The image above is from the Glass Brain Project. You can read and learn more about this from the interview of Tim Ferriss of Dr.Adam Gazzaley at the Gazzaley Labs.
I have been writing quite a bit about my struggles with my diabetes and depression and everything in-between, for those few who have been reading this I hope it has given you some solace to know that everyone has challenges. I have been digging a lot into self-awareness. The more and more I go into the depths of trying to figure out what I am suppose to do, the more my intuition points to the notion of #QuantifiedSelf i.e measure what is going on in my body. The body is the best manifestation of what we are made of. So
I got Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband
and Withings WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer
as gifts from my wife this Christmas. I believe what gets measured gets done. I have been doing more research on food, diet and intermediate fasting to keep my diabetic condition under control. I think everyone of us need to take responsibility for our own health, physical and mental. There is no-one else who has better information about this. I also think the path to growth is by going deep into yourself.
I have been doing this for the past 6 months and it has been a revelation. So many biases, faults, self-doubts, dysfunctional thoughts and insecurities. I highly recommend that everyone keep a journal and write down your biases, faults, self-doubts, dysfunctional thoughts and insecurities. It can change your life or your perspective of life. What has all of this got to do with Startups and Founders? I believe I speak for many founders who go through this crazy roller-coaster of a ride and we don’t take time to see the damage it does to our body and mind. The best way to keep a good grasp on this is to measure what is happening with our bodies. I firmly believe my diabetes condition was due to my own failings in launching a venture fund which I thought was so close to getting done and then everything fell apart. The stress of that failure despite all the wins that I have had was earth shattering to say the least. I just never came to terms with that. In addition, there were so many personal interactions with people whom I gave the permission to abuse me. I think it was Mahatma Gandhi who said, no can hurt us without our permission. I have been for far too long been giving permission to just too many people to hurt me. Until I recognized and realised my own faults and deal with this personal failure I cannot expect anyone else to change or could I see the challenges that were in front of me and my personal growth. It is hard to quantify what happens in your head, ie. your thoughts, you can write them down or see a therapist and talk about it but our thoughts are ephemeral. Even though our thoughts are ephemeral, they get bound in our subconscious mind and if they are negative thoughts they manifest as body conditions. I think this theory has a lot of merits, I experience it. Being mindful and focusing on meditation, has helped me but I am still so far away from actually having great meditative states that I cannot yet write about it with clarity. Meditation and being mindful is the goal for 2016.
Our bodies are capable of superhuman feats, they are a miracle. It is amazing how effectively they function despite all the abuse with regard to bad food and environmental damage that we put it through. It took a shock like diabetes for me to realize that our body is the greatest tool that we have been given. If we don’t know how best to use this tool then everything else falls apart. The Quantified Self initiative was started by Quantified Self Labs, a California-based company founded by Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly. The web-resource serves the Quantified Self user community worldwide by producing international meetings, conferences and expositions, community forums, web content and services, and a guide to self-tracking tools. I am totally immersed in this now. I think our biggest challenges can be solved by looking into ourselves. I wish more startups would focus on finding ways to quantify the human body. With all the technology that is with us now, this should be possible. I am pretty sure many startups are working on it. I think more startups should do this in Iceland. We have probably the best data set through the Genomics company Decode. Coming back to the question of diet, I wrote about my binge listening Tim Ferriss’s Podcast and how 2 of those podcasts led me understanding Ketosis. This is what led me to Quantified Self website and whatdoyouknow when the first post I see is this fascinating short talk by geneticist Jim McCarter, we see detailed data about the effects of a ketogenic diet: lower blood pressure, better cholesterol numbers,and vastly improved daily well being. Jim also describes the mid-course adjustments he made to reduce side effects such as including muscle cramps and increased sensitivity to cold.
Jim begins: “When I tell my friends I’ve given up sugar and starch and get 80% of my calories from fat, the first question I get is: Why?”
The rest of the talk is his very clear answer.
I have been on Ketosis without knowing what I was doing. I am going a lot more into it now. I think a lot of conventional wisdom with regard to healthy diet needs to be challenged. I will be writing a lot more about this, if you are a startup doing anything with Food and/or Quantified Self let me know I would like to learn what you are doing.