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Mark Sisson: Maximizing Gene Expression For Entrepreneurs

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There is so much more to freedom than just money, cash flow, and building businesses. In this episode of Freedom Fast Lane, Ryan Daniel Moran talks with Mark Sisson about the dangers entrepreneurs face due to habits, such as sitting in front of a computer for hours on end, and what it’s like on a cellular genetic level to isolate ourselves. This podcast takes a look at what it’s like in the modern world when we undo a lot of the healthy habits that we evolved to participate in.

The Primal Connection

We are more medicated and successful than we have ever been, and yet more unhappy and dissatisfied than ever before. In his book, The Primal Connection, Mark asks the question, “What if all of our problems can be answered at the cellular level?” He finds ways to tap into the good feelings, and reduce or eliminate the bad feelings.

Everything emanates from the biochemistry that happens at the cellular lever. Dopamine and oxytocin are chemicals released through contact, eye contact, and closeness to others. This becomes eliminated through electronic communication and devices, such as cell phones and Skype.

Strategies for Entrepreneurs Who Work Alone

Ryan noticed that his most unhappy days were those where he spent long hours in front of a computer and didn’t see anyone. Creativity rises to the surface when you interact with someone else, and Mark suggests looking at opportunities to mastermind, network, and get together with other likeminded people.

Dark Nights and Sleeping

After reading The Primal Connection, Ryan implemented changes throughout his home that included adding live plants in his office, using a stand up desk, and buying a Squatty Potty. Ryan now does ‘dark nights,’ where he turns off all the artificial lights after a certain time and unplugs electronics.

Mark says that sleep is one of the more important human behaviors and is overlooked, which is partly due to the creation of artificial light that allows us to stay up late and not miss out on potential activity. We end up staying up well past the time our genes expect us to. Historically, humans went to bed when the sun went down and woke up when the sun came up. If we compromise the repair process that sleep allows, over time our bodies will be compromised too. Through history, when the sun goes down and blue light of the sky disappears, we have an onset of melatonin that allows us to get to sleep. This is an important part of the rhythm, which we now delay by using blue light and staying up late. Orchestrate waking and sleeping cycles to the rhythm that is hard wired into our genes, and don’t subject yourself to ‘blue light,’ such as TV screens and digital devices.

Genetic Switches and Biohacking

There are no good and bad ways to live your life but rather choices and opportunities to explore new ways of doing things. There is a big distinction between success and happiness, and it’s important to know these two things aren’t the same. Mark looks at what happens at the level of gene expression, the human body as human genetic switches that turn on and off based on choices we make.

The trend of biohacking is finding nuances and trying to work them into what is modern convenience, but Ryan wonders if this perpetuates the problem of continually trying to do more. Mark doesn’t like the term biohacking as it has the connotation of ‘cheating’ and having an unfair advantage against your own body.

The Modern Isolated Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs in 2015 can be considered ‘desk jockeys,’ as we tend to sit for a long time, work late, and be isolated. Mark’s observation is that we don’t ‘need’ to do anything, but you can choose to allow your desire to enjoy the process. The stand up desk from Focal Upright Furniture is an adjustable desk with a leaning post stand. Mark stands on a stone mat barefoot, and never works more than an hour and twenty minutes at the desk without taking a break to go outside. There are little things we can do throughout the day that will improve our life and productivity. Ensure you plan a career that keeps you interested, motivated, and on-goal, versus having to summon the courage every day to ‘hit it hard’ and feel like you are getting beaten up. Look for the wins every day.

When you wake up in the morning, make sure you start the day with gratitude for having accomplished, achieved, or included positive things in your life. 

Aging Like Mark Sisson

Once your body has ‘been there’ and achieved a certain level of success, it is easier to regain, and doesn’t take as much to maintain. Eighty percent of your body composition happens as a result of what you eat. It’s a result of how you manipulate hormones and gene expression to become good at burning your own stored body fat when there’s no food around. Everybody has a six-pack, it’s just you can’t see it on most people. Mark prides himself on having dialed the diet into where he knows intuitively how to eat at every meal, when to stop eating, and when to enjoy the last bite of food, push the plate away and say that’s enough.

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Links to Resources Mentioned

The Primal Connection (book)

Mark’s Daily Apple

Mark Sisson Freedom Fast Lane

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