“We can use data, computers, and technology to see our real selves more clearly.” – Chris Dancy
I am currently obsessed with all things smart.
This is partly because the title of our (relatively) soon-to-be-published next book is Smart Growth.
The book’s objective is to demystify the process of personal growth–– to provide a tangible model for what growth looks like. We all want to grow, make progress, and achieve our potential, but we’re sometimes at a loss about where to start. Or how to gain momentum once we do start, and what to do when we’re tired of doing something we’ve learned to do so well that it no longer interests us.
The model is the S Curve of Learning, and it’s a tool that can help us answer these questions. It helps us monitor and track where we are in our growth. With this data in our possession, we can use it (as with a biometric device) to help affect and direct our development.
We can get smart about our growth.
This is why I am so excited for you to hear from Chris Dancy, who many say is “the world’s most connected man.” I think of him as the world’s quintessentially “smart” man because by examining and tracking every aspect of his physical health and lifestyle through apps, sensors, and data, he’s found a way to harness his habits and completely disrupt his life.
He will tell you his life was a bit of a mess, calling for some significant disruption.
But after his mother gave him an unexpected gift, he decided he wanted a better life. He started measuring and quantifying various facets of his life as a means of directing his self-improvement project. What you will hear on the podcast is fascinating, but here are just a few quotes from his book, Don’t Unplug: How Technology Saved My Life and Can Save Yours Too, that either didn’t make their way into the podcast, or I simply want to underscore:
“We don’t have app stores; we have habit stores…with each app you download, you will be conditioned into a few new habits.”
“Your phone is a gateway to a world of distractions or awareness. Start by looking at your relationship with your health as a series of applications. You don’t need resolutions…you need a good data plan.”
“Social networks are databases of our values at any given moment…. A digital doppelganger.”
“As you become more intimate with who you are online and how digitally connected you are, you will find this is a wild and woolly world of self-realizations–––the last stop is self-actualization––become who you feel you were meant to be.”
“If you wear a sensor long enough, you become one.”
I experienced that with him. We had technical difficulties when we first logged on. I was discombobulated. He wasn’t. He was sensing my experience–––and focused on helping me be calm.
I’ll wrap with this quote from Chris–
“I used data to create feedback loops that created my perception of myself. If I could collect data, I could create an action.”
I use my Apple Watch to track steps. I use Whoop to track my sleep, strain, and recovery. The data tells me I am not taking care of my physical health as much as I thought. Technology is helping me see my true self more clearly.
What are you tracking, measuring, and quantifying?
How does it help you know where you are in your growth?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
And if you’d like to be eligible for 1 of 5 copies of Chris’ book, hit return and say, “I am growing smart.”