I don't know about you but I love the idea of taking every aspect of your life, i.e health, work, relationships and spirituality, to the highest levels. The idea that you can take shortcuts or bio-hack your way to create a life lived at the max is energizing. It's even more fascinating that there's science that backs up almost everything related to becoming a Game Changer, according to Dave Asprey. That's why I couldn't wait to sit down with him and talk about his new book, Game Changers. It's the culmination of his years-long immersion into answering questions with some of the most sought-after influencers. The 46 science-backed, high performance "laws" are a virtual playbook for how to get better at life.
Garnett: Out of all of the game changing ideas, which ones are the hardest in your opinion, to incorporate into your life and why?
Asprey: Different laws from Game Changers are hard to implement because of your own internal roadblocks. For instance, some people are really good at Law #1, "Use the Power of No," and these are people who are really okay with saying, "I'm not going to do that today because it's not in alignment with my larger goals." For a lot of people this law is the hardest one of all, because they're so eager to please other people or they feel emotionally responsible for other people.
One of the other laws that's particularly hard to follow is Law #8, which is "Get out of Your Head." It's really scary to get outside of your own head and to see what you're really doing or hiding from yourself. This makes it perhaps the hardest of all the laws to follow. But the people who do big things in the world almost universally have found a way to do this.
Garnett: Knowing what you know about human performance and incorporating so many behaviors that ensure you're at your best, what road blocks or fears do you experience now? Do you have any at all?
Asprey: I do have roadblocks, but I don't have fears about any of it. The reason I don't have fears is because I've spent four months of my life with electrodes on my head, going through and figuring every pattern in my nervous system that triggers a fear that I know of, and resetting the pattern. This deep commitment to personal development has gotten me to the point where if I do feel fear that isn't based on a real and present threat, I recognize that it's usually my ego, and that it's probably something I haven't dealt with. I ruthlessly get it out of my system, not by suppressing it, but by figuring out the root cause and turning it off at its core, which in turn creates a lot of peace and a lot of high performance in my life.
The biggest roadblock I have is that I don't have enough time in the day to utilize all of the techniques and technology from Upgrade Labs and Bulletproof that I have access to. So, my biggest roadblock now is calculating which methodology will have the highest return on investment for the time that I spend.
Garnett: What do you think is the number one reason most people struggle NOT to be at their best, and how can they even begin to fix it?
Asprey: The word 'struggling' is at the root of the problem here. What I've observed from interviewing these 500 experts that were the data set for Game Changers, is that these people are not struggling. They might work hard, but they're actually creating pull instead of pushing against something. Struggling is what a puppy does. If you hold a puppy, it'll wiggle around while you hold it. And then it finally just surrenders. The people who are changing the game, they're generally not 'struggling' to change the game. They're working hard with passion, they deal with their internal resistance and fear, and actually begin to enjoy. Most of the time, they're not struggling through the day. So, I think it's about re-framing how we characterize what a 'struggle' means.
Garnett: You say that you want to live to be 180. What do you think is the most important game changing behavior for longevity, and why are you convinced that getting to 180 is possible?
Asprey: In recent time, we have seen that humans can live until 120. Those people didn't know anything about the techniques, technology, and science we know about now, including new findings in topics like genetics, and mitochondria, among others.
The most important game changing behavior for longevity is simply believing that it's possible and changing your mindset right now. If your picture of being 90 involves wheelchairs, walkers, retirement homes, not remembering your own name that's probably where you're going to end up. If your vision for being 90 or 100 involves being an elder member of society, giving back to the next generation, seeing your grandkids, and showing up all the way, then it can happen.
Garnett: You are clearly a type A person who is obsessed with being the best at all aspects of life. Why is this, and what do you say to people who are type B or just not that interested in being the best they can be?
Asprey: I'm not obsessed with being the best in all aspects of life, but I believe that life is precious. You only have so much time that you're here. And if what you're doing matters, then wouldn't you want to show up all the way? Wouldn't you want to do the stuff that matters the most, especially when what matters is fun? When you're doing what you're supposed to be doing to make the world a better place, it feels good. If you're doing something that's important, and you do it with excellence and see the impact, that is one of the most rewarding things there is to being human. The pleasure and joy that comes from this kind of fulfillment is really important.
Garnett: What was the best part about writing this book? What was the most challenging?
Asprey: The hardest part of writing the book was that it was based on almost 8,000 hours of total work. We're talking about almost 500 podcast interviews - with hours of prep-work involved for each interview - then going through all the transcripts, re-interviewing some of the people and then doing the statistical analysis of their answers. And after all of this work, I needed to brainstorm and land on a through line. Doing all of this work while being a CEO, a dad, and a podcaster wasn't easy.
The best part about this whole process was being able to structure what I've learned from all of these masters. For me, there are two ways to learn things: one is to teach a class on it and the other is to write a book about it. So, by forcing myself to do this work, I reaped the benefits.
Garnett: Which practices besides gratitude, which you talk about practicing with your kids, do you think are essential for parents or for young children.
Asprey: I have two kids, 9 and 11, and being a conscious parent is a huge amount of work. High performance parenting is when you're able to be present for your kids. Even when you're tired, even when you've worked a lot, even when you're sick, you need to be able to take a deep breath and still respond the right way. Which is why almost everything in Game Changers applies to being a better parent.
Garnett: What's next? I am sure your readers would love to know.
Asprey: The next book is all about what we can do to live to at least 180 and live as a productive, powerful, happy, healthy person. I'm also putting together the science and data that no one talks about that you can use to increase the amount of time you're going to live as a healthy human being. The intriguing part of that book is that if you do even just a few of the things listed, you're likely to have a higher quality of life no matter what. And if I'm right, and I think I am, you're probably going to get more years. But in the worst case, you'll simply have better years instead of more years.