Self Experimentation - AJ Jacobs on finding advisors and designing experiments on the mind body and soul *

October 6, 2017

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How can trying new things help you live a better life?

Few can answer this question better than AJ Jacobs.

He is famous for his year long experiments on his mind, body and soul, each of which has been turned into hilariously insightful bestselling books and Ted Talks.

In Know It All he read the entire encyclopedia britannica over 18 months. In the The Year of Living Biblically he attempted to live by the Bible’s hundreds of rules as literally as possible. Drop Dead Healthy he took a one year healthy quest in which he revamped his diet, exercise regimen, sleep schedule, sex life, posture and more.

And today AJ and I chat self-experimentation strategies

  • Why we should conduct self-experiments
  • Best practices for self-experimentation design
  • How to find top notch advisors and create an advisory board
  • How to discern of the million things you could experiment on, which should take priority.

I’ve been following AJs work for a while and am amazed at how he weaves insight, hilarity and science into something so superb.

This is a fun one!

If you want to apply these insights to your own life here are some exercises to get you going:

  1. Write down 1-3 areas of your life where you’d like to try something new. Write why you’d like to experiment on these and what you hope to be the outcome (10 min)
  2. Write your guess on how to make an effective self-experiment
  3. Listen to the episode and take note of which strategies you may want to adopt
  4. List 2-3 action items / things you’ve learned
  5. Now do it! Or schedule the action items into your calendar

You also may like our episodes on Deliberate Practice and Talent if you want to improve your skills.

Click to listen on iTunes.

Click to listen on Soundcloud.