Quantified Self vs. Sedative Lifestyle

How is modern life holding us back from being our true selves and how can we get back to who we really are? Stefan Heeke describes how self-tracking can be used to reclaim originality


Life is undoubtedly getting better in many ways thanks to technology and economic development. However, what we associate with “progress” often makes us more distracted and dependent. The trend is to select the default option, go with the flow and seek more convenience, e.g. the elevator apartment, getting food delivery, the new home entertainment system – all of which takes away from our ability to move, cook, learn, communicate or entertain ourselves (or be entertaining). It is a slow, invisible process of self-disablement that not only degrades essential life skills, but also reduces opportunities of self-expression and social interaction. When convenience is the goal, distraction is the result. We all feel it: there is this nagging emptiness that we can’t quite define. Personal Analytics helped me discover and get to the bottom of this after I recorded my personal habits, mood and objectives on a daily basis over an extended period of time (see also: Quantified Self). Quantifying my well-being helped me see invisible patterns in my life, most importantly I saw what worked for me and what didn’t – and I could prove it with numbers. I found that the key to doing better is to do less, re-introduce discipline, spend time with loved ones, seek an active lifestyle and remove distractions. That’s my personal formula – yours may be different. I truly believe that if we all had the tools to find out what really works for us (and what doesn’t) we’d have more empowered lives.

This is guest post from Stefan Heeke, founder of the unchained lifestyle movement. Stefan is a data analyst that applies his analytical skills to self improvement. I am always happy to meet Stefan at one of the Quantified Self events all over the world and highly recommend  visiting his blog unchainyourlifestyle.

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