How to live longer and better | Dave Asprey

[silence] Dave: Everyone always wants to start with
the third “F”, but we’ll get there, I promise. Let’s talk about fear and we’ll talk about
fight or flight. One of the things that I use with my clients…and
just one of the things I teach is heart rate variability training. This was profoundly effective for me. In fact, if they do this before soldiers go
into combat, the soldiers have a much harder time getting PTSD. All you do with this kind of exercise is you
clip a $100-dollar sensor to your ear or use a chest strap and you look at your iPhone,
and it tells you to breathe in, breathe out. Okay. Emily just told you to do that, right? There’s just a little difference. The difference is that you need to breathe
in, and breathe out, and make the light turn green. And when the light turns green, it means that
you’ve successfully changed the space between your heartbeats, which sounds a little bit
odd. It’s because, when an animal is in that fear
space, whether you’re getting ready to fight or runaway, your heartbeat becomes very regular. Da-dum, da-dum, da-dum, da-dum, da-dum. When you have exactly the same number of beats
per minute but you’re not ready to run away, what you end up with is a very different kind
of heartbeat. Your new, calm, not afraid heartbeat is like
this. Da-dum, da-dum da-dum, da-dum, da-dum da-dum. Same number of beats, same amount of time,
but spaced differently. It’s very hard for me to say, “Change the
spacing of your heartbeat during meditation.” You could probably spend two years sitting
in lotus pose doing a heart-opening Buddhist on meditation and achieve the same state. It’s just easier. It takes about 10, 15 minutes a day for about
6 weeks to have the skill. And what really is cool with this is that,
as soon as you get the light to turn green, you’re like, “All right. I turned off my fight or flight, my sympathetic
nervous system, and I turned on my parasympathetic nervous system.” You’re sitting there going, “All right. I feel pretty good.” In fact, I had one computer science guy, a
super engineer, a little bit Aspergers. He calls me after six weeks, he goes, “Dave,
I did it for two hours straight and I think I experienced bliss.” Okay. In my entire time in Silicon Valley, I don’t
know any computer science programmer guys who would use the word bliss, unless they
were at Burning Man and on something. So I was pretty impressed. Breathe in, breathe out. And do this thing. And this goes back to the question, “How do
you know one person’s experience when another one…” I don’t. But I can tell you what it’s like when you
do it. In fact, we can do it together, if you guys
wanna do it. We don’t have the sensor to tell you you did
it right but you’ll probably feel a difference. So, I’ll guide you through it. What you do, you’re gonna breathe in for five
seconds, and you’re gonna fill a balloon from the center of your heart. So starting right in the middle of your chest,
fill a balloon. You can make it this big…you make as big
as the planet, it’s all up to you. But as you breathe in, it just inflates. And when it’s full, you’re going to picture
the physical feeling in your body of the most blissful, happy experience. When you hugged your mom. When you met your spouse. Whatever means the most to you. Your best friend. You get that feeling in, and then you let
the balloon pop and shower down around you. So you’re ready? Breathe in for five. Fill it up. Visualize the feeling, make the feeling happen
in your body, and then just allow it to rain down around you. And breathe out. If you do that for 10 minutes, even without
a sensor, it’s a powerful meditation. If you do it with a sensor, you know exactly
when you got it. And it’s a very fine nuance. One of my clients runs a billion-dollar hedge
fund. And he only does this on airplanes, which
is a great place to do it. And he called me up, all excited, “Dave, I
didn’t believe you. I finally bought the sensor, I did it on a
flight to Hong Kong, and I felt really, really good. In fact, I started doing it every day. So I got super green zone…” You know, these are type A guys, “Super green…I’m
good.” So he takes it into to the office, and he
puts it on his ear, and he does his breathing before the market opens. The second ding the market bell rings, it
turns red. He stayed in fight or flight mode the entire
eight-hour trading day. He couldn’t make it go green. And it pissed him off because he realized
he wasn’t as in control of himself as he thought he was. It took him two weeks of training for him
to be able to trade through the day without going into fight or flight mode. The change in his energy was that, at the
end of the day, he wasn’t cranky, he wasn’t tired, he wasn’t pissed, he had energy to
go play with his friends. He was burning less energy because he stopped
the automated fear response. You do the same thing with a dog. The dogs is afraid of loud noises, you slowly
expose them to loud noises, you pet them, and you do all the other things that make
them calm down. So, suddenly a dog that would have been freaking
out and climbing the walls, stops climbing the walls and sits there. This is a way of doing that. So, heart rate variability training. I use a couple of technologies. There’s a Bulletproof app that’ll monitor
what your heart rate’s doing all day long, including this kind of thing. It’s called Stress Detective, I think it’s
$5 bucks or something. Not a huge part of the business, but it’s
something that’s cool. And the one that’s good for on-again, off-again
training is from the HeartMath Institute. I carry it on my website, it’s called the
Inner Balance Sensor. You can also buy it on Amazon. It runs about $100 bucks. And this is one of those things…It changes
your brainwaves. It does so much. It is the single fastest way that I know,
to take someone who has fear, which we all do, and to turn the dial down enough. The most powerful thing might not even be
learning how to turn off the fear, but just learning how to feel when you go into it. When I thought I was really, really good at
this, I put the sensor on my ear and I went driving in Silicon Valley traffic. Every time someone cut in front of me, my
body wanted to kill them. It took me two weeks to be able to drive in
traffic without a blip. Someone cuts me off, maybe they’re dying,
I don’t know. But it’s not my problem, I don’t have to own
that anymore. All of that power that went into wanting to
kill idiots, actually now goes back into changing the world. So, stop the leaks. This is a major one. Another one, something that I do with my kids
every single night, I’ll offer it to you. They’re nine and six, it’s Anna and Alan,
and I say, “All right, tell me a win today. Tell me something that you worked on that
you got…” You should do this too. “And tell me a fail…” People are like, “You to talk to your kids
about failure?” Hell yeah. Like, “You didn’t have any failures today? I’m sorry. Maybe tomorrow you’ll do something that makes
you learn. Yeah. That’s really too bad, I know you can do better
tomorrow.” Seriously, this happens every night. Actually, most nights, well, they go, “I did
have a fail. I was working on this and it didn’t happen.” Right? “I was trying to draw a bunny and it didn’t
look like a bunny. It was a failure.” “Good job. I love that failure.” Okay? Do that for yourself. But the biggest thing of all there is gratitude. That turns off your fear thing, and to some
extent, your feast thing. And when you tell your nervous system that
the world is an abundant place, it is a free biohack that completely changes things. It’s just gratitude. Three things you’re grateful for. And I do it with my kids, I tell them what
I’m grateful for. And sometimes the damnedest things come out. When my son was about four, he said, “Daddy,
I’m grateful for the Big Bang, because without it there wouldn’t be anything.” “Great one.” If you do that every night, whether you write
it down or not, it doesn’t matter, you cannot go to sleep in a fight or flight mode. What that’s going to do is transformative,
because it will improve the quality of your sleep. I have no doubt that you’re gonna hear from
several people, over the course of this week, and probably every week, telling you, “Sleep
more, sleep more.” And I would respectfully disagree. Sleep better, sleep better is more important
than sleeping more. Sleep as much as you need and as little as
you must. Because you slept so damn good, you’re ready. And part of the way you go to sleep at night,
and you go into deep sleep and you have good dreams, is you practice gratitude before you
go to sleep. It could be the worst day of your life…”I’m
grateful I’m not gonna have another day like this.” Boom. Gratitude. Okay? Always. It’s a requirement. We talked about sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, guess what
your body thinks is gonna happen? You’re gonna die. All the body cares about is not dying and
making sure you live long enough to reproduce, and then you’re done. Okay? That’s the meat operating system. Well, if you are short on sleep, your body’s
fear of being tired can tax you enormously. If you can change your mindset to say, “You
know what, I’m jet-lagged. I didn’t get enough sleep last night. I chose not get enough sleep.” Or, “Something happened, I didn’t get enough
sleep. My body doesn’t feel as good as I want it
to feel, I’m not gonna die.” You will have twice as much energy that day…You’re
still tired, there’s still a biological cost of not getting enough sleep. But the biological cost is much less because
the stress about being tired was worse than the actual tired. And that’s an interesting thing that you don’t
hear talked about. The cure for that is just coffee. Just kidding. The cure for that is hypnotherapy, heart rate
variability. In fact, if you’re really exhausted and you
do a little bit of heart rate variability, you’ll feel that your body’s like, “God, I
feel like I’m gonna die.” You’re in that sympathetic state, and you
can shift yourself back to parasympathetic. You’re like, “Okay, I accept the fact that
I’m tired, but I’m not gonna die.” And this comes down to controlling your nervous
system. The other thing that hacks fear enormously
is neurofeedback training, the 40 Years of Zen stuff that you heard Vishen talk about. I spent 10 weeks of my life and sent hundreds
of people through this program with electrodes glued to my head. I have $50,000-plus worth of EEG equipment
sitting in my labs…in my backyard, that I use on myself, on my wife, on my kids. My kids actually get neurofeedback too. Talk about someone on Earth really struggling
to get their mind working, to just show the mind what it’s doing. From one perspective, it’s a mirror…shows
your mind what it’s doing. Your mind doesn’t know that it’s flopping
around. Your mind doesn’t know that it’s doing things
that aren’t productive to try and keep you alive. Because, unfortunately, the mind has no nerves. Like, the brain doesn’t have nerves that go
into it, except the fifth cranial nerve…something tied to your molars, if memory serves. So it doesn’t know its interstate. Everything in it is pushing out, it’s looking
all around you, and it’s sensing. It’s sensing light, smell, taste, temperature,
pressure. It’s actually sensing, from a magnetic perspective,
your heart senses the hearts of everyone around you. This is actually shown now. If my heart has a high coherence, this heart
rate variability stuff, your heart will actually resonate with it. And if I’m super stressed, you’ll pick up
on that. And some of us are more sensitive than others. But this is the state of being an animal,
animals pick up with us to. You know, the guy can walk up to any animal
and the animal’s… “Hi.” And then the other person who walks up to
any animal and it runs away…Well, they’re picking up on our nervous system state. And it’s not something that you’re probably
conscious of, but it’s something you can be conscious of. With 40 Years of Zen, with neurofeedback,
things like that, you just become aware of the voices in your head, and I eventually
got mine to turn off. So there isn’t a voice in my head. It just went away. And that was precious. Along the way, I learned to be able to take
what would be an incredible amount of work stress. And I’m not stressed about work, I love what
I do. We have coffee shops opening, I have a top-ranked
podcast with 32 million downloads, just signed another book deal for two soon to be “New
York Times” best sellers next year sometime. And I’m working on a TV show now with one
of the top groups in Hollywood, and a whole bunch of new products and new coffee shops. And I have a family and kids and I see them,
and I go to sleep at night without all this swirling around in my head because I turned
off all that shit, and that was huge. Now, I spent a lot of time on fear because
it’s such a big thing. But let’s talk about those damn cookies, all
right? If your body is partitioning energy wrong,
i.e., it’s going to your butt not to your brain, then you have an energy problem. You’re eating too much sugar, you’re eating
the wrong things, you’re eating too often, or not often enough, your blood sugar swings. When your blood sugar swings, the brain says,
“I don’t have enough energy.” Guess what it thinks is gonna happen when
it doesn’t have enough energy? “I’m gonna die.” You think it would think of some other things,
but apparently, if you want a species to live forever, you really get them focused on death. So it says, “All right. I’m gonna hack my blood sugar, I’m gonna squirt
out some adrenaline, I’m just good at some cortisol, it’s gonna raise my blood sugar.” Guess what adrenaline and cortisol trigger? Fight or flight. So all a sudden now, all day long, you’re
trying to be in this common focused state, and then you ate stuff that triggered a blood
sugar spike and blood sugar crash, and you have a problem there. The reason that I wrote “The Bulletproof Diet”
wasn’t to lose up to a pound a day, which is what you put on the cover of books when
you want them to sell a lot, it was actually so people could have more willpower. And I couldn’t convince my publishers that
willpower was a big selling point. I would gladly weigh 100 pounds more and feel
this way. I’m already married, I already have kids. Right? So, it’s not that important that you look
a certain way, it’s important that you feel a certain way. And when you have stable energy to deliver
to the brain, your willpower goes up dramatically because your brain stops worrying about these
crashes. “What’s for lunch? What’s for lunch?” You don’t care what’s for lunch because you
have enough energy. In fact, you could skip lunch entirely, and
you wouldn’t care, and you’d be able to keep bringing it all day long. And I can run circles around the 25-year-olds
who work for me. I’m 43. And I couldn’t do that when I was 25. I have more energy now than ever because I
have stable delivery of energy to my head. There’s a three letter word that starts with
“F,” that causes that, anyone wanna guess it? Audience: Fat. Dave: Fat. Exactly. And I think Mark Hyman is gonna mention fat
at least once, because he just wrote a “New York Times” best seller also. “Eat Fat, Get Thin. That’s a good book, I also like “The Bulletproof
Diet.” But the whole point there, there are certain
fats you can eat that trigger different feelings in your body. And when you do that, the voice in your head
that says, “Eat, eat, eat, eat, eat,” shuts the hell up, and you win. The reason I have, for probably eight years
now, had Bulletproof coffee every morning is because I don’t care about food when I
have it for breakfast, I had it for breakfast this morning. Not because I’m trying to sell you guys on
Bulletproof coffee, it won’t change my life if you choose to drink it or not, but it’ll
change your life. And it’s that big of a thing. You can also do some advanced techniques like
Bulletproof intermittent fasting, there’s supplements you can take that reduce cravings. But for the most part, if you just get the
biological energy stable and you stop eating things that cause inflammation and cause cravings,
you’ll feel amazing. And you’ll have so much more willpower than
you ever thought. You’re not worried about dying all the time
from the fear side, and you have all this energy and you’re not wasting it worrying
about whether you’re gonna eat the cookie or not. The cookie loses its power. It’s not kryptonite anymore, it’s just a damn
cookie. That’s cool. Now, my favorite part of the talk. The final “F” word. What the heck do you do about that desire? Well, you could take the approach that Harvey
Kellogg…you know, the guy who wrote Kellogg’s Corn Flakes? He realized that male sexual desire was the
root of all of society’s evils and created a whole line of foods to reduce male sexual
desire. I’m not kidding. That’s actually where corn flakes came from. If you don’t believe me, you can Google it. It’s on the internet, it must be true. It actually is true, I went beyond Google. That’s scary. And Graham crackers too, he was part of that
weird cult of, like, sexual desire is bad. But if you read Napoleon Hill, he talks… In fact, an entire chapter of “Think and Grow
Rich,” like, the first book that released a lot of this knowledge that’s still circulating
in the self-help, personal growth, personal improvement space. He wrote a whole chapter on sexual transmutation,
on how you can take energy that your body really, really wants to spend on reproducing
and you can put it to work to change the world, literally. And I paid a lot of attention to this, and
this is something I practice. I gave a talk in 2011 at the Quantified Self
Conference, which is probably the most embarrassing talk I ever gave, because I was testing a
Taoist equation. The Taoist actually wanted to live forever. They were immortal-seeking people, which…I’m
actually on that, my goal is 180 years. And I don’t say that, like, laughing. I really am working on 180 years. I’ll do everything in my power to get there,
and if I don’t, I’ll be dead, so I’ll probably be okay with it. But what they figured out was, for men only,
there’s an equation, and it’s age in years, minus seven, divided by four, and that yields
a number. At the time I did this test, my number was
eight. Which means, if you wanna maintain your health,
do not ejaculate more than once every eight days. And if you wanna live a really long time,
only ejaculate once every 30 days, no more frequently, and please limit your orgasm to
less than one hour. This is for men. This is only for men. I’m like, “Holy shit, I gotta try that.” Well, I’m a biohacker, I could quantify it. And plus, like, wouldn’t wanna try an hour
orgasm. And no, you don’t turn yourself inside out. The Taoist teachings for women were, have
lots of orgasms. Now, you see the problem here. That little voice in your head that says,
“If you don’t ejaculate in that beautiful place right now, you are going to die, the
world will come to an end.” Okay? You gotta get control of that voice in your
head if you’re gonna try and do that. Or you have to have a wife who’s really willing
to cooperate with your bizarre experiments, which mine, thankfully, was. So, in this talk, I actually graphed my daily
happiness level, my satisfaction with everything in my life, with my frequency of sex and frequency
of ejaculation. That’s an embarrassing talk, because here’s
the experiment when I tried to go 30 days, and on day 24 there’s an, “Oops.” I start over. The video is online, one of the more embarrassing
talks I’ve given. But I can tell you that my happiness level
was so much better when I ejaculated less. There’s also a really cool thing that happens,
you could, like, draw the math for it, the less often you ejaculate, the more often you
have sex. Because you’re like, “I’m still horny, I have
to have more,” right? And that brings the woman to more orgasms,
which makes the guy go, “I need even more sex.” So, it actually improves your sex life if
you don’t… I don’t know, what’s the polite word for it? Don’t shoot every time? Whatever the right word for that is, when
you have mastered that Labrador inside you that says, “If you don’t ejaculate right now,
the world will end,” and you teach it to sit down and shut up, and to ejaculate when it’s
allowed to, just like the dog with a piece of popcorn on its nose. Number one, you’ll be a damned good lover. And number two, your ability to do things
in your life will change in a way that you would never believe. I’ve had Bulletproof followers, people I’ve
coached, like, “Dave, I went 30 days without masturbating, 30 days without ejaculating,
I got a 30,000-dollar raise. I started a new company.” And I’ll tell you, to this day, the Taoist
equation is one that I follow, and there is no way in heck I’m gonna walk around ejaculating
all willy-nilly. I got shit to do. Now, on that note, you’ve just learned three
“F” words. And I know I’m going over time by a couple
minutes, but you need the other two “F” words, that are the most important ones. One of them is “Feel.” Because it doesn’t matter if some guru, even
me, says something works, and when you try it, and you try it consistently, you do it
right, and it doesn’t work, you’ll feel it. And that is the most important kind of evidence
there is. In fact, it’s called empirical evidence, and
it is no more or less important than Phase 2 clinical trials kind of evidence. So when you see someone say, “I practice evidence-based
medicine,” what they’re actually saying is, “Anyone who doesn’t agree with me is an asshole.” Evidence-based means I reject most evidence
unless it agrees with my theories. Unfortunately, that’s how it’s used today. There’s actually a hashtag for that now, it’s
called #sciencetroll. So when you see someone who comes in and you
say, “You know, I felt great when I did this stuff, and, you know, there’s something to
this.” And they go, “That can’t have happened, that
didn’t happen.” They’re just a science troll. They stop listening to the evidence, that,
“You know, I hit myself in the head, it hurts.” There’s no double-blind trial for that, therefore
it doesn’t hurt. So, that’s one thing. Feelings really matter, and you gotta listen
to those. And the second thing is, figuring the other
“F” word. Read the research. If you’re gonna try something crazy, look
at that, because there’s great value in the research that drives evidence-based medicine. But if you do just the figuring and the thinking
without the feeling, you’ll do dumb things, like eat a low fat diet for 40 years and make
the country obese. It doesn’t work. You can see if it works. We have mirrors, scales, and also, “How do
I feel right now?” That’s the biggest question for you. So, now you’re all master biohackers, thank


  1. Master your inner Labrador.
    Heart rate variability practise
    Good job on failure with gratitude
    Tell mind what it's doing
    Fat increase energy, decreases lethargy, gives stable energy and controls cravings.
    Age-7/4=ejaculate interval(in days)
    Feel it not the research
    Figure it out yourself.

  2. Dave looks really good here and the last few month, for years he looked ill and not healthy from his experimentations, finally found the formula, nice going!

  3. Dave is 43 years old and he looks like he is 50+.Wtf is he teaching about?He is just making money and this speach is very good marketing.

  4. My problem is I can't find a happy thought. I'm not a miserable person by far, no depression nothing… but when he says to think of a blissful moment, i can't think of anything that made me super happy. Everything is pretty average. 🙁 and now I'm sad that I can't find a happy thought. Well this ruined my day. Lol

  5. My problem is I can't find a happy thought. I'm not a miserable person by far, no depression nothing… but when he says to think of a blissful moment, i can't think of anything that made me super happy. Everything is pretty average. 🙁 and now I'm sad that I can't find a happy thought. Well this ruined my day. Lol

  6. I love how being in a boxing ring or a cage with someone clearly more skilled than you that brings it to you hard, can put us in the fight or flight mode quite literally, but also very acutely as a mental choice on a 60hz refresh rate too. I think it makes us stronger in a brain-training way, and on mental steroids rate, ironically! 😀

  7. Interesting video !
    check out this willpower video from I design my Life

  8. Starting to think this guy is a bullshit scam artist….

    I'm sure he gets money if you buy one of those sensors.
    Instead of him telling us great things that have happened to him and others by using this stupid gadget, why not show us some data from a significant source. Like an actual scientific experiment proving that this crap works?
    Its not surprising to me that I found Dave on Dr. OZ. For he is also a huge bullshit snake oil salesman.
    At the end of the day he is making money off of suckers like us who dont have the slightest bit of critical thinking skills.

  9. The actual science seems to say busting more nuts equals longer life. Also Napoleon Hill was a lying crook. I'll try the heart rate variability stuff tho

  10. Is it bc if the heart rate goes up it’s harder to notice small variabilities? At least that true with EKGs

  11. How do you train your willpower? 😃 Check out for FREE a Q/A with the one and only Dave Asprey where we dig deeper into this topics.
    Sign up for Mindvalley Mentoring and get access NOW 👉

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