Power, money, sex: Those “mitochondrial imperatives” drive us, but the shell surrounding them can be tweaked to make the ride smoother.
Life-hacking guru Asprey (Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster—in Just Two Weeks, 2017, etc.), inventor of “bulletproof coffee” and other concoctions, surveys “maverick scientists, world-class athletes, biochemists, innovative MDs, shamans, Olympic nutritionists,” and other such outlying types in order to cobble a system by which, following the rules, readers are meant to become smarter, faster, and happier. Each of those key comparatives comes with a packet of rules and exercises, the first law among which is already widespread: “Use the power of No,” meaning say no more often to the things and people that demand your time. Saying no takes many forms, including reducing the number of choices one has to make in daily life. Buy a simple wardrobe like Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck, eat the same things for breakfast, and put your elective energy into more important decisions. Asprey’s montage of pop-psych from several sources will be familiar to self-help readers (“‘Can’t’ is always a lie”; “When you label something 'bad,’ you miss out on an opportunity to figure out how it can be good”). Less run-of-the-mill is the author’s cheerleading for the use of psychotropic and nootropic drugs; his enthusiasm for LSD would cheer Timothy Leary, while he ties his advocacy of mood enhancement to mental flexibility (and, naturally, has a line of products available to seal the deal). He also advocates for other good things of life, from vitamin D3 to “conscious sex with the right people.” Traditional moralists and gym rats may find some of Asprey’s ideas unsettling, but those who are familiar with more free-form notions of life extension and biohacking will be encouraged to "stop doing the things that make you weak and start doing more of the things that will make you stronger.”
A provocative book that lies on the edges of the self-help universe.