THE 41 PROJECT SUMMIT: "HUMAN SUPERPOWERS"
Mitch Thrower: Today, we need to change our perspective. We’ve all grown up. We talk about what we would do if we were talking to our teenage self. What I would say is I would say, “Change your perspective.” What do I mean by that?
Let’s actually think about Instagram. This photo could have been taken by any person in this audience. And when you were taking this photo looking out the window, you had perspective. Maybe you were moving at 100 miles an hour. Maybe you were just thinking about your life. But when you remove the wing without that plane, look at the picture without a plane.
Maybe your perspective changes, but now I really want to change your perspective. And I’m going to do one thing to that photo that should dramatically alter your perception. And my words are, in a way, a mouse that’s clicking things in your mind. And in our lives, that’s something we’re doing.
I can do something and make you all do something right now by just saying two words. Conscious breathing. And everyone in here is now consciously breathing. You weren’t before.
So, let’s change your perspective on this photo right now. All I’m going to do is change the orientation of that picture. And now you’re in space. It’s the same picture but it starts to make you think about the fact that we’re moving around the earth at almost a thousand miles an hour as the earth spins. The earth is moving around the sun at about 67,000 miles an hour. And the solar system is moving around the galaxy at 515,000 miles an hour.
But yet our galaxy is being hurled through the universe at the sum total of 2.2 million miles an hour. So, pushing your changing of perspectives is really, really critical for me. This photo was taken from the moon to change the perspective of humanity. And I like to think of it as kind of earth’s first selfie, if you will.
And when we look back in the 60s on our lives and on that planet, whereas [unintelligible] said, “Every war was ever fought, every idea was ever--“ you know, that’s us. And also in the 60s, my father started something called the Yule Log. If you remember the Yule Log, it was a burning fireplace on TV. And his idea was to create this burning fireplace to enable New Yorkers who didn’t have fireplaces to enjoy a fire on the holidays.
It showed on Christmas Eve, but many people don’t know that it bounced roller derby off the schedule of programming for WPIX. But he taught me a sentence, a word. And our developers at our company really don’t necessarily like this, because it becomes a problem when you keep saying it. But there’s a sentence that I want everyone to remember, and that is, “You know what would be great?” Or, “Wouldn’t it be great?”
When we think about our lives and what we’re doing, and your spark can light a fire. And what we want to do here at 431 is light a fire that will change the world.
My background as a triathlete started by fracturing both my knees, having four knee surgeries, and then healing. Thankfully healing and being able to run again. But there were times in my life when I felt like Forrest Gump. So, finding the sport of Triathlon and Ironman, I really felt like I can run again.
And there are so many things like that in life that when they’re gone, we acknowledge them. When they’re gone, we understand what they were worth to us. But health and fitness are something that most of the time people don’t realize they have until it’s gone.
In this photo, I’m actually on the far left hand side. It’s the start of one of my favorite races, which is an Ironman up in Canada. And if you look at those unruly folks up there--I’m the guy in the blue hat, by the way. In the blue swim cap. But if you look at those unruly folks, they all have something that they’re thinking about and they’ve all found something and they’ve discovered something.
This is a photograph I took at the Ironman. I was actually a photojournalist, because when we purchased the magazine we didn’t have enough money to pay a photographer. So, I bought a camera. And we were actually building and growing our sport by sharing those stories with the world of what it meant to achieve something excellent.
So, I took this photograph. It’s actually two shots overlaid on top of each other. One is underwater, and I think Karen, you are probably in that photo somewhere. So, that is something that is really truly, you know, it’s a perspective that you need to get.
And this is another photo that I love. Someone sent me this kid, and what’s fantastic about it is his goggles fell off, and he propped the goggles between his mouth and his nose to hold them on his face as he was moving forward. He had the stick-to-itiveness to move forward in his life.
But you know what? We are facing a problem. Because a lot of people don’t share the perspective. There’s a lot of folks out there that just do not know what it means to be healthy. And the problem is obesity. It’s childhood obesity. It’s our body mass. It’s the diseases, the disorders. All of the things that we’re talking about this weekend which really challenge our society.
And as that problem really frames itself, what went wrong behind this human cell? And you can see the picture of a human cell and the two outcomes. If you were a scientist studying the two outcomes, what went wrong between option A and option B? It’s the same cell.
What’s the difference between these two women? Is it the organic apple? Is it the processed white bread? Is it the pesticides on the lettuce? What is changing someone’s behavior to have a different outcome for how they feel and how they look and how they live their lives? What’s the difference between these two men?
I really love that video. And what’s the difference between these two lifestyles? And you may recognize that donkey on the left for how you felt when you felt completely overwhelmed. And I’ll ask you, what are those boxes that you’re carrying around? Is it stress? Is it a poor diet? What are the things that are getting you lifted off the ground, and just to a point in your life where, I don’t know?
It really is. You have to wonder what that donkey is thinking and feeling right now. And I know I’ve felt like that at certain points in my career. But I’ve also felt like the horse running in the field on the left at different points in my career.
And what’s the solution? What is the solution to this problem? Because we’re all facing it, and we think about solutions. We propose solutions. We’re changing the world one step at a time. One light in a room, I think. But we need something different. We need something bigger. We need a movement.
And so now I want to ask you guys about superpowers. Think for a moment, what are the superpowers you would like to have? Who’s your favorite superhero? What are the superpowers that you would love to have more than anything else today? Just process maybe three or four in your mind. I’d like to be able to--I really would love to--In those superpowers, in your future, most of them either exist or we’ve built them.
In 1903, the Wright Brothers actually created a plane. Less than one human lifetime later, we lit a match under a chair and hurled ourselves to the moon. It was a pretty complicated chair, of course, but we did it. X-ray vision, and people who, when I ask them what superpower you’d like to have and say x-ray vision, I always wonder a little bit about them. But it’s something that is true. We created x-ray vision.
Super healing. It doesn’t look very impressive to have a scab heal over a month’s time, but it looks really impressive if you look at it under a fast-forward time lapse photography. Time travel. We are in a self-healing, waterproof, human time machine moving us second by second into the future.
Remember the sentence I said a moment ago? It’s in the past. You’re a time machine. We can breathe underwater, we can hear things billions of miles away, and we’ve been able to create these crazy events that Joe’s created, like the Spartan Race, to show human strength. To show the unbelievable things that you can do with your human body.
And of course, when you think about immortality, the genes that you have in your body today have been around for hundreds of thousands of years. And your children will pass those genes on. In a way, you’re immortal.
So, think for a moment about two kids wanting to fly, looking out into the distance as kids thinking about Superman or a way to fly. And then think about two other kids that actually created a way for us to fly. Why didn’t you consider these capacity superpowers? What was it about the superpowers that makes you think, “That’s not a superpower. The fact that my body can heal, that’s not a superpower. I really can’t imagine that being a superpower.”
And then what is it about the ones that we were able to create that makes us think those are not superpowers? Well, one of our greatest strengths as a human being, and maybe the one that made or helped us create those manmade superpowers, is also our greatest weakness and probably one of the biggest challenges in helping the world get more fit today.
What is that strength and also that weakness? That is our impatience as a human being. We want to go from point A to B. We’re not fast enough. We create something to do so.
But it’s also our kryptonite. Because we’re impatient. We want to get thin. Are we going to eat healthy? I can go and have a wonderful meal of a salad and organic food. That night when I go home and I get in bed, am I suddenly looking different? I’m not.
So, it’s also our kryptonite. Because we have this thing called temporal blindness to the impact of our decisions. And that temporal blindness is poison, is a challenge. It is a disaster for our society. Because if this young lady ate that entire cookies. Looks like Oreos, maybe some chocolates, a few cupcakes. Would she actually look different the next day? Probably not. Because it takes time to change the 100 trillion cells that make up the human body.
Now, remember, you’re 90 percent not human. You’re 90 percent the bacteria that your human cells command. But the 10 percent of you that actually is a human cell, there’s 10--excuse me, 100 trillion of those. An adult has 7 octillion atoms. For perspective, there’s only 300 billion stars in our galaxy. That’s a staggering statistic, and I’m sure that on this video, there will be lots of scientists that comment below about different components and maybe I’m off by a few zeroes here. But this is something that’s really unbelievable.
And if you can remember from the stars in our galaxy. How fast is our galaxy moving through the universe away from the big bang? 2.2 million miles an hour. That’s how fast you’re moving today.
We are big data. All of these 100 trillion human cells, each one of them contains 1.5 gigs of data. Think about that. On the left, you’ll see the first gig, the first 1 gigabyte hard drive 20 years ago. And then you’ll see the one that’s likely in many of your camera cards today, which is on the other side.
But what’s important to note is 1.5 gigs times 100 trillion cells equals 150 trillion gigabytes or 150 billion terabytes or 150 zettabytes. What does that mean? That means that your human cells could fit 25 billion Library of Congresses in code. That’s staggering.
We are writing our code with our lifestyle decisions. You’re choosing with every choice you make, to either support or sabotage your future. With every food you put in your body. Has anyone here ever had an Ambien? If you think about Ambien, well, here’s a little, little pill that can knock you out cold.
If that can do that to you, think about what a cookie can do, or think about what a pizza could do. Think about what you’re doing in your molecular structure every time you eat something. Our visible results are not immediate and that’s a challenge. What we do is not visible immediately.
So, what’s the solution? We need number 28. That’s the solution. That’s it. That’s all we need, is number 28. And so what we’re going to do today, at 431 in Vermont in these beautiful mountains, invited here by Joe and crew, is discover and launch number 28.
I like to think of the game Chutes and Ladders. Many of you have played this game. What happens when you land on number 28? You go all the way up. You get a shortcut to go all the way up to number 84. And if you look at number 87, what happens if we land on number 87? Well, we go all the way back as humanity. And what would be a number 87 event for humanity?
Smoking is introduced by the Indians to the Europeans. Hydrogenated oils are invented to preserve food. You know, those are number 87s for us in our fitness. But what’s our number 28 today? We need a number 28. We need a code 28 perspective shift, and that is the power of the time lapse.
And so what I want to launch today is the 431 time lapse challenge. Pretty simple. There’s three rules. Record a time lapse of anything in your life that demonstrates a path to fitness. Upload the video to YouTube and share it with your friends, challenging people to join you, and donate to the 431 project.
It's a 6-month, 12-month, or 18-month period. There are awards given for each. And the combined capacity of this room and the people that are here in the 431, out there on the web for us to communicate, to educate, and to demonstrate that you can change your life and that you can do it by actually letting the world know that you have a self-healing, waterproof time machine, is magnificent. Thank you very much.