Thanks for letting me know that you want to hear my story! That means a ton.If enough people vote, then I’ll start writing more frequently in my own voice, rather than just talking about Pavlok.
In the meantime, you can read about me on my old website (no longer updated): https://hackthesystem.com/about/ — man I should really update that site. All that history is pre-2013.
You can see the blog post that inspired me to start Pavlok here: Why I Hired A Girl On Craigslist to Slap Me In The Face — And How It Quadrupled My Productivity.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve suffered from a complete inability to focus. My teachers would write “Maneesh is so smart—if we could only get him to quiet down and just do his homework, he could succeed.” When I went to college, I was diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Instead of providing clarity, this diagnosis led to a massive ‘imposter syndrome’: if I was ADHD — if I had a ‘disorder’ — how did I ever get into Stanford? How would I ever succeed in the real world? When would the world find out that I was a broken, disordered, fraud? (I have a lot to say on this topic — a LOT — but I won’t overload you here. If you’re interested in hearing more of my thoughts on ADHD, mis-diagnosis, dopamine/serotonin, nootropics, etc — please let me know in the comments below).This interest in changing my own behavior led me to study STS (a mixture of psychology, marketing, and computer science) at Stanford University. I’ve always looked up to Professor BJ Fogg, who is well known for his work on habits and Persuasive Technology. My brother studied in his lab, and I had a chance to study with him during my STS degree. I began my blog, Hack the System with habits in mind. (Don’t try to sign up for the email list — that website is defunct).
I began testing methods to improve my own behavior.
I’ll be back later to talk more, but for now, if you want to know more about how I perceive and teach habits, here are a few sources.
Watch my keynote to the Royal Society of Medicine on How to Form Good Exercise Habits in the Brain.
Read about Habits and Routines in a guest post I wrote for the Bulletproof Blog: Here’s How To Change Your Habits For Good
Let me know in the comments below what topics you’d like to read more of!
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Habits, Technology & Behavioral Change