Let’s start with a definition of the term “biohacking”, then I’ll try to try to give a high-level overview of some of the concepts and techniques used in this pursuit. I’ll also try to tie these concepts into better performance in the sport of competitive pocket billiards.
(v) To use systems thinking, science, biology, and self-experimentation to take control of and upgrade your body, your mind, and your life.
(n) The art and science of becoming superhuman.
Dave Asprey, The Bulletproof Executive
This is the definition put forth by my unofficial biohacking mentor, Dave Asprey, from The Bulletproof Executive and UpgradedSelf.com. He produced the following info-graphic (see bottom of page) that visually depicts all of the different aspects of body, mind and spirit that can hacked to produce a more well-lived life. You should check out Dave’s blog and podcast to dig deeper into stuff he has done and learned.
I’m using this same basic concept to hack my body, mind and spirit to see how it can improve my pool game. Looking at the graphic, below, you can see a lot of things that can influence one’s performance on the pool table. Let’s take a look at some of the areas that can be upgraded.
Hack your age: Yes, you can hack your age…or at least how old you “feel”. Don’t get stuck in the “normal” mindset that you just keep declining as you get older. There are ways to feel younger as we age. You can balance hormone levels, change gene expression, etc. Even the way you breath can change your health.
Hack your thoughts: Anyone that has tried to play pool in a competitive atmosphere knows that your thoughts play a big role in success or failure. Motivation, cognition and emotions all come into play. There are ways to hack all of these aspects of your inner-self. This is closely tied to hacking your higher self, which we’ll touch on later. I hope to uncover some innovative ways to change how I think and gain more control over my inner thoughts.
Hack you brain: There are so many moving parts involved with brain function. That means there are many different aspects that can be hacked and fine-tuned to get better results and help to keep you playing high-level pool even later in life. There are also smart drugs and herbs that can be used to, legally, enhance performance and give you a secret edge. At a more basic level, your overall health can dramatically impact your cognitive functions. There is a lot of evidence that shows how poor gut health can contribute to depression, hormone levels, alzheimer’s and many auto-immune diseases. There is a lot to learn in this area of your being.
Hack your diet: Your pool game can be greatly influenced by your overall health. Your health is directly linked to what you eat. Your energy level is directly linked to what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, etc. Your mood can be greatly affected by your diet. Your eyesight can be affected by health ailments caused by a poor diet. I can go on and on. Bottom-line, to perform at a high-level in any competitive endeavor, you need to eat well. You need to hack your food.
Hack your ability: Getting better at pool is more than just playing 10,000 hours of pool or hitting a million balls. Though, this is a typical path for many players to get to a very high level or even a moderate level of play. There are ways to hack your ability to get bigger jumps in proficiency in a more compressed time-window. Things like hammer-drills, cold thermogenisis, eye training and even opposite-handed mirror writing. We have to think differently, to become exceptional.
Hack your higher self: This area of development has huge potential in life and in your game. There are a lot of conventional and not-so-conventional techniques that can be used to try to get more performance and enjoyment from your pool game. In today’s world, stress is a killer and lack-of-sleep is rampant. These two things are also true for many pool players, especially the hard-core road players, professionals or anyone trying to earn a living from pool. A lot of these players are traveling a lot, especially flying. This is another form of stress. There are ways to help alleviate or greatly reduce the affects of jet lag and/or all-night-pool-sessions (ever heard of earthing?). There are many other aspects to hacking our higher self, like heart math (heart-rate variability), intention, quality of sleep (have you heard of the Zeo?), breathing techniques, meditation, yoga or qi gong. I know that this area may sound too “touchy-feely” to some of you, but don’t let that dissuade you from trying to hack this area of your self. Some of this stuff is really cool, scientific and not-so-touchy-feely.
I know I just barely scraped the surface on all of these topics. I’ll be digging into each area and self-experimenting to find out what works for me and share those experiences. I hope you can follow along and be involved at some level.