Episode 78 |

Reaching Self-Optimization Through Self-Awareness: Justin Dudek

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This Week’s Guest:

In case you’ve never heard of the Quantified Self Movement, let me give you a little introduction before we talk about today’s guest. The quantified self movement is a group of citizen scientists who study their own health through various biomarkers and through tracking behaviors. This allows them to optimize themselves in some inspirational ways.


This week’s guest, Justin Dudek, is a behavior hacker who’s part of the quantified self movement. He has a Bachelor of Science in social psychology from Arizona State University, but only got involved in this kind of behavior hacking a few years ago. In that time, he has tracked everything from heart rate variability to sleep to bad (and good) habits. In doing this, he has experimented with neurofeedback, Pavlok (electroshock), holotropic breathing, ice pads, and much more.


Find Out More About Justin Here:

Justin Dudek at BIL Conference
Justin Dudek on LinkedIn


In This Episode:

  • [02:29] – Justin talks about how he got into the quantified self movement.
  • [03:50] – What’s the biggest breakthrough Justin has had from studying his own behavior and biomarkers?
  • [06:13] – In response to Stephan’s question about habits, Justin begins by explaining what he believes a habit is. He then explores some of the bad habits that he has reduced through this work, and some positive habits he’s formed.
  • [10:18] – Justin shares the steps he took toward managing his addiction to sugar. He then digs into the motivations and experiences behind that addiction.
  • [14:38] – We hear more about Justin’s experience using a Pavlok. He has an issue with punishment-based behavior-changing methods.
  • [18:04] – Moving onto the subject of porn, Justin talks about ranking his bad habits by how much time they consume. He then talks about the frequency with which this habit resurfaces, and what it means when it does.
  • [22:16] – Justin talks about a commitment he made for several weeks not to use the word “try.”
  • [27:30] – Stephan brings up a Reddit post called No More Zero Days. Justin then responds enthusiastically, saying he’s started doing that without realizing what it was called.
  • [30:23] – Does Justin use an app to track his social media usage — or does he even track it at all?
  • [34:40] – We learn what holotropic breathing is, and what Justin’s experiences with it have been.
  • [39:23] – Justin explains why Kundalini yoga is his preferred type.
  • [42:10] – Stephan and Justin discuss Stephan’s experience doing a 49-minute chanting marathon several years ago.
  • [43:30] – The great thing about breathwork is that it changes your brain patterns, Justin explains.
  • [45:07] – Justin talks about his experiences with neurofeedback devices. He has used them, but doesn’t own one.
  • [46:13] – We hear about Justin’s use of sleep tracking.
  • [48:17] – How do you use old family photos to hack your behaviors and optimize yourself? Justin gives an overview of how this works.
  • [51:45] – The practice of using family photos in this way has shifted — and continues to shift — some of Justin’s relationships with his family members.


Get Optimized!

  1. Practice saying “no” to your negative thoughts and beliefs. When you have an impulse to partake in a bad habit, or to avoid a good habit, let the impulse pass and then make a conscious choice.
  2. Stay aware of  your bad habits. Just as an alcoholic is always in recovery rather than cured, your habits may never be “broken,” but you can manage them.
  3. Examine your bad habits carefully, and figure out what pushes you to indulge in them. Minimize stress in your life, increase happiness, or otherwise address the true root of the problem.


Links and Resources:

Justin Dudek at BIL Conference
Justin Dudek on LinkedIn
BIL Conference
Quantified self
Tony Robbins
No More Zero Days
Holotropic breathwork
Kundalini yoga




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