Every single person reading this book will share one thing in common: they inhabit biological bodies. But there is something else they may or may not possess, and that’s the ability to think consciously about their physical wellbeing. This awareness allows them to take proactive steps to strategize and improve on their life, no matter what kind of body they’re working with.
“Biohacking” is broadly defined as any attempt to improve, upgrade, or enhance the biological realities of human life. Originally, biohackers were renowned for DIY experiments with drugs, gene editing, or body modification techniques that fell far outside of conventional science and medicine. In time, however, ordinary people also acquired a taste for embracing their power to use science to improve on what nature endowed them with.
In the chapters that follow, we’ll be exploring three key areas in which the art of “biohacking” has been practiced, and several everyday ways that you can use these principles to your own advantage. Thankfully, you don’t need to go to extremes to make drastic changes to your longevity, mood, mental faculties, self-discipline, and overall vitality. Whether it’s a good sleep schedule and the right supplements, or a completely rebooted dopamine system, we’ll explore practical and proven techniques for making the best of your life, here and now.
If you could do one thing to improve your life drastically, what would it be?
There are countless books out there on self-discipline, productivity, self-esteem, purposeful living, emotional resilience, and more. But could there be something that underlies all these separate behaviors, attitudes, and mindsets? Well, yes. Maybe the secret ingredient for a life that is disciplined, focused, proactive, and balanced is simple: dopamine.
As neuroscientists gain a more sophisticated understanding of the physiological correlates of our mood, our cognition, and our behavior, it becomes clear that any serious change to our lifestyle must include a change to our biology. For a biohacker, the neurochemicals -- hormones and electrical connections in the brain -- are akin to the programming in a computer; if we can rewrite the code at the back end of our own biology, we can influence the programs we run.
Understanding the effects of dopamine on the human experience requires a bit of a perspective shift. Think of yourself as both the machine and the programmer – you are able to consciously control your own experience if you understand the rules of its operation. In layman’s terms, the brain is a neurochemical machine that operates according to a variety of hormones and neurotransmitters, which can be thought of as chemical messengers or instructions for the body. In a literal way, they are the concrete expression of your reality.