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December 2, 2020

Biohacking for Excellence: A new way for leaders to achieve optimal performance

The recently popularized term “biohacking” has brought to light an age-old doctrine of mind-body balance that many ancient cultures aspired to achieve. I am a huge fan of Leonardo Da Vinci, who was heavily influenced by the ancient Greeks and Egyptian culture, and his dedication to innovation in every area of life. Optimizing human performance has been around since the beginning of time. In today’s fast-paced environment, it is more critical than ever as a leader to balance yourself to achieve optimal efficiencies. 

People crave information to get ahead and are often curious about the tactics top performers implement in their everyday lives to reach their goals and surpass all expectations. Since we are in the Information Age, data on people and companies that have successfully implemented some biohacking techniques can easily be found online, allowing everyone to benefit from these ideas. 

As a father of three daughters, a husband, a CEO of a start-up, and an athlete, there are a lot of things to juggle in my life. Each waking moment has to be optimized for efficiency. There is not enough time in the day to do everything, so when I do things, I have to be on my A-game.

I’ve always been fascinated by human potential—how can we push ourselves physically and mentally to reach great heights? And that’s when I discovered the idea of biohacking and started researching how to integrate it into my everyday life. 

Now that I’m in my late forties, I feel the best I ever have. I believe that self-development is a lifelong journey and you have to figure out what works for you. I can share what I do for myself in terms of “biohacking” and you can determine for yourself if you would like to try out any of them.

My biohacking foundation consists of 5 things — meditation, nutrition, exercise, recovery & reading:

Meditation

“In the same way that rain breaks into a house with a bad roof, desire breaks into the mind that has not been practicing meditation.” — Buddha 

I start my mornings by doing Wim Hof breathing for about 15 minutes. I find it’s a great way to begin the day with a clear head and get myself in the right mindset for what’s ahead. I also regularly meditate. Particularly, if I have a lot on my mind or have to make an important decision for the company, I find it very therapeutic to take time out of my day to meditate and ultimately gain clarity. It’s amazing how taking a step back can give you a fresh perspective. 

Nutrition  

“Sorry, there’s no magic bullet. You gotta eat healthy and live healthy to be healthy and look healthy. End of story.” — Morgan Spurlock, “Super Size Me” Director

My mother raised me to be well-rounded at an early age. As a nutrition teacher, she instilled the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and being physically active. I’ve maintained these simple principles in my adult life. 

The food you put in your body nourishes you, so I’m a big believer in eating clean. I use a meal service throughout the week. I allow myself one or two cheat meals. Life is all about balance, so it’s important to reward yourself and indulge in the things you love every once in a while. My team at DiversyFund has definitely seen me chow down on a double bacon cheeseburger from time to time. 

Exercise 

“Push yourself, because nobody else is going to do it for you.” — Anonymous 

Did I mention I’m a fitness junkie? I really enjoy working out and the adrenaline that comes from it. I work out about six days per week which usually consists of two days of running and four days of Crossfit. I am extremely competitive and I really enjoy the camaraderie at Crossfit.  

Recovery

“Anyone can work hard, but the best have the discipline to recover” — Lauren Fleshman, former American track and field athlete

While I love exercising, it is really taxing on your body, so I make it a priority to have a solid recovery process in place to ensure my body is taking time to heal. I’ve built a home ice bath by buying a freezer and filling it with water. It’s now at 33°F and is always a mental challenge to psych myself up. I last about 4 – 5 minutes per ice bath. 

In addition to ice baths, I also incorporate stretching into my daily routine. I typically stretch in the morning and before and after a workout. 

Sleep

“Sleep is the best meditation.” – Dalai Lama

Sleep is extremely important to maintain my overall well-being and plays a big part in my recovery process. After starting acupuncture, my acupuncturist told me that my body runs hot. After finding this out, I stopped doing Bikram hot yoga and purchased a special bed that has a cooling function. This has been a game changer for my sleep! I sleep great and wake up each day feeling invigorated (and that’s saying a lot for someone who has a newborn).

Reading

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss

I’m constantly reading. Knowledge is power and I try to read a few books a month and lots of articles throughout the day. I like to share interesting articles I find with my employees to get their perspective. We also have a resource center in the office that is filled with some of my favorite books.

When I’m not reading, there’s a good chance you can find me listening to a podcast. I listen to a variety of podcasts ranging from business, finance, management and more. 

Other Biohacking Habits and Tips

Biohacking is not a new thing; it has, however, been getting more and more attention. My advice is to “Do, Learn, Grow,” which is our motto here at DiversyFund. I believe that my biohacking habits have helped me become a better and more effective leader for my team.

Find out what works for you, choose something, learn from it, and change it until you figure out a routine for yourself, and consistently work to improve it. Life is so much better when you are able to enjoy as many moments as you can, so why not try to enjoy every moment?

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