Founder’s Story: Why I Started Aware Healthcare

(5 minute read)

As the founder of this company, I think it’s important for me to share why mental health is so personally important to me, and how I’ve experienced the problems we’re solving first-hand.

Childhood

Growing up, both my parents struggled with mental health issues, and I was often on the receiving end of their pain.

Starting at 8 years old, my Uncle would take me across the bridge to Philadelphia to watch Phillies baseball games. One day, I remember him explaining to me that he could predict the likelihood my favorite player (Ryan Howard) would hit a home run, or my favorite pitcher (Cole Hamels) would strike someone out. I thought it was black magic and called him a wizard. He told me it was statistics and some called it data science. Immediately, I was in love. Anticipating what was going to happen next was so satisfying to me because, in contrast to the chaos back home, data science provided a way to predict the future.

At 12 years old, I continued seeking control amidst the chaos by starting my 1st business: a tennis lesson service business called Supreme Tennis. My home life was teaching me that vulnerability meant weakness and I couldn’t trust anyone else but myself, so making my own money gave me the independence I craved. Supreme Tennis was the one thing in my life I had complete control over, and the more the business prospered, the less my chaotic home life held me back. By 15 years old I was on track for my first six-figure year. And at 18 years old I sold the business and left for college to the University of Michigan.

Meditation

At 19 years old I traveled outside of North America for the first time, fell in love with a woman in Israel, and experienced my very first heartbreak upon returning back home to Michigan. The next four months were the darkest of my life… and what I would later recognize as my first major depressive episode. Then on the final day of my Sophomore year, desperate for forward motion and coming off a harsh Michigan winter, I set a goal to start meditating everyday. Even with the best statistics in the world, I could have never predicted what would happen next.

At 20 years old, daily meditation had not only helped heal my depression, but also had a series of other cascading effects on my work and life (more here). First, meditation led me to San Francisco, where I had the opportunity to work with Calm: a startup of 15 people at the time that would later become the first mental health unicorn, valued at over $1 billion dollars. Second, meditation led me to travel the world, where I spent 6 months backpacking through over a dozen third-world countries, and living off the land for weeks at a time with indigenous tribes (more here). And third, meditation led me to start my 2nd business: a data science consultancy for mental health technology companies called Conscious Insights, where I had the privilege to help grow 8 startups into top digital health brands over 3 years.

Calm’s 10 million user party
Living off the land in the Amazon
Building Conscious Insights

Starting Aware

At 23 years old, after learning from so many brilliant people at the likes of Calm, Oura, Akili, Oak, Spire, Hopelab, and others, I decided to break out on my own and start my own digital healthcare startup; what would later become Aware Healthcare. Then at 24 years old, while raising Aware’s first round of outside capital — $1.5mm in 6 intense weeks — I experienced my first panic attack. None of the coping mechanisms I could usually rely on — meditation, exercise, journaling, cooking, reading, or sleeping — were able to hold back the flood of stress that came with having millions of dollars up-in-the-air. It became clear that I could no longer just manage my symptoms of depression and anxiety, but rather had to heal the underlying root-causes. So I decided to seek out a professional, and began my first serious experience with psychotherapy.

Seeking Therapy

But first, I struggled with access. In my search for the right therapist, at one point I emailed 150 practitioners from my insurances’ online provider directory. In each email, I asked 3 questions. (1) if they had any availability, (2) if they took my insurance, and (3) if they used treatment based on science. Nobody was able to answer yes to all 3 questions. Being in a vulnerable state, I found reaching out for help to be difficult, and then not finding anyone to be devastating. Yet, something told me I couldn’t just give up on therapy. So I compromised, and agreed to start seeing therapists who didn’t take insurance, for as long as it took to find someone in-network.

‍But then, I struggled with quality. As I started trying different therapists, I would begin each relationship by asking simple questions like “how will I know I’m getting better?” and “what can I expect by when?”. To my surprise, these questions were met with blank stares or non-answers. By everyone I asked, I was told “you’ll just know” and “there’s just no way to be sure”. As a data scientist, these responses infuriated me. Can you imagine going to a doctor, them recommending surgery, you asking if it’ll work, and them responding “not sure, we’ll see”? That’s what therapy is like today. The fact that therapists had no way to know if I was making progress gave me low confidence I could trust them with my pain, let alone my time and money.

Evolving Aware

After struggling for months with access and quality, I was forced to abandon the idea of using my insurance altogether, and swallow the idea of paying $150-$250/session indefinitely. Unlike most, I had this privilege. So over the next 6 months, I proceeded to see 12 different therapists and experiment with 8 different types of therapy.

Eventually, after 6 months and $20,000 of experiments, I found the right therapist for me, who I’m happy to say I still see today. But it should have never been this hard. Yet, looking back now, it feels like it was worth it. Because through navigating the process of finding quality therapists a dozen times, I learned as much about what is broken about America’s mental health care system as how to fix it. And, as a direct result of my own personal experience with the problem, I decided to evolve Aware Healthcare as a business, from a data technology for healthcare providers to a data-driven network of therapists. Aware, as it exists today, was born.

Looking Back

I’ve come a long way from those Phillies games, and sometimes I imagine talking to that 8 year old kid and showing him where he’d end up going. That he’d be okay. When I started my first business at 12 years old, I could have never imagined how much of a full-body sport entrepreneurship would be, and how much I would grow as a result. But the greatest surprise didn’t come until I started struggling with my own mental health at 19 years old, and daily meditation sparked a whole new personal and professional path for me. 1800+ days later, I’m still meditating every day.

Today, my (1) love for data science, (2) experience with business building, and (3) commitment to mental health have together brought me to Aware Healthcare.

This is me sharing my story, because I know I’m not alone.

Join Us

If this story resonated with you, please reach out, and let’s see what we can build together.

We’re currently hiring for 4 critical roles:

  1. Founding Engineer: a product-focused and full-stack developer.
  2. National Network Network Director: a builder of mental health provider networks.
  3. Clinical Director: a progressive psychologist or psychiatrist.
  4. Chief of Staff to the CEO: a scrappy business operations generalist.

Join us, and help create a world where quality mental health care is not a privilege, but a promise. Together, we can build a new mental health care system, where stories like mine become the exception, not the rule, and everyone gets the quality care they deserve.

Thank you,

Signature

AJ Goldstein

Founder & CEO

Aware Healthcare

Announcing Aware Healthcare

After 10 months of hard work, I’m excited to announce that Aware Healthcare is live and growing!

Last week we launched to our first 200 patients and now we’re hiring for 7 new positions (2 full-time roles, 5 summer interns) to join us on our mission of building the thermometer for the mind.

We’re Hiring:

The positions we’re hiring for include:

  • Principal Data Scientist (Full-Time)
  • Full-Stack Software Engineer (Full-Time)
  • Data Analyst (Intern)
  • Data Engineer (Intern)
  • Software Engineer (Intern)
  • Research Assistant (Intern)
  • Administrative Assistant (Intern)

And here are some of the many benefits we’re offering as part of our internship program (starting in < 2 weeks on June 8th), in addition to cash compensation:

  1. Early-stage startup experience
  2. Portfolio projects
  3. Summer case study
  4. Letter of recommendation
  5. Future job referrals
  6. Professional mentorship
  7. Networking opportunities
  8. Real impact

More details on each of these benefits in the job descriptions linked here:

www.awarehc.com/careers


Our Why:

I started Aware Healthcare because I believe the greatest problem in mental healthcare is not stigma or access, but measurement. Mental health patients often don’t receive the care they need because we lack a universal vocabulary for describing how we’re mentally feeling. And mental health providers often can’t treat those who need it most because we lack an objective measure for prioritizing one condition or approach over another. 

So why do we have a thermometer for the body but not a thermometer for the mind?

We’re starting with addiction because there is simply no more costly, preventable, or unmanaged disease in the United States of America. Addiction costs our nation $700 billion every year and leads to 70 other comorbid medical conditions. 16% of Americans meet criteria for clinical addiction and another 32% classify as risky users. Yet, with nearly half of Americans *directly* affected, we continue to turn our attention away from this chronic, complex brain disease.

So how big of a problem does addiction need to become before we give it the attention it deserves?

Join Us:

Now in a post-COVID world, the need for remote monitoring of mental healthcare has never been greater. This is no longer just an idea. Real patients in recovery from a substance-use disorder are being touched by our work every day. Which is why we’re inviting 7 new people to join us, in paid positions, starting immediately.

Interested? Check out our open positions below, and message me directly if any of the roles are a good fit for you or somebody you know.

We’d love to hear from you.

www.awarehc.com/careers

Our Mission Just Got Real: Losing a Teammate to Drug Overdose While Working to Prevent Addiction Relapse

(5 minute read)

Over the past 4 months, I’ve been starting a new technology company focused on predicting and preventing addiction relapse.

Then yesterday, on Christmas morning, I found out that one of my teammates had overdosed. Overnight late last week, he passed away in his sleep. The next morning, his mother found him lying in his bed, his glasses still on… his body cold. He was 23 years old.

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My teammate [on the left] as a child in Michigan with his friends. Out of respect for his family, he will not be named.

On Christmas morning, as I sat for a half-hour on the phone with his mother, listening to her crying hysterically… still mourning the loss of her son… she told that me in the days leading up to his death she had never seen him so happy.

“I’m sorry, I think the phone may have cut out. Did you say ‘happy’?”… “Yes. He told me about the promotion you gave him last week. He was so excited. He said it was his dream job… that he finally felt successful. He told me ‘Mom, I want to make you proud’.”

The Story, As I Understand It

Speaking with his childhood friends thereafter, I learned that, for at least the past decade, he’s struggled with addiction, depression, insomnia, and anxiety. One of his friends from middle school told me he started seeing a therapist for it all when he was 15 or 16. A second friend told me “he took Xanax a lot”. A third told me he “had a thing with opioids” and “kind of had an alcohol addiction”. He never me told any of this.

His mother explained that her husband — his father — has struggled with “these issues” his entire life. I know from my own research that addiction is a complex brain disease originating in the reward circuitry of the brain, and that genetics account for 50-75% of the risk. As one addiction psychiatrist put it, “people may choose to take drugs, but nobody chooses to be an addict”

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According to CASA Columbia’s 2012 report on Addiction Medicine, risky substance use and addiction are the largest preventable and most costly public health and medical problems in the US today. Together they are the leading causes of preventable death, cause or contribute to more than 70 other medical conditions, and result in total costs to the government alone of at least $468 billion each year.

Two days before his death, I promoted him to lead our engineering team. While we had only met just 3 months ago, his skillset was incredibly impressive. He was a full-stack engineer. A product manager. A digital designer. On our last Zoom call, he showed more initiative than he ever had before… volunteering to stand-up our technology live in the cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS), to help with customer discovery, to reach out to every investor he knew. It was just last year that he graduated the University of Michigan with a degree in Computer Science… but boy did he know how to hustle.

The night he passed, I set him up with a new email on our company’s Google Admin console. Then we texted to coordinate him setting up a new AWS account for the company. I emailed him asking if he could take ownership over finding us the AWS credits we needed in the most cost-effective way possible. He emailed back in less than 3 minutes, saying “Yup, got it covered. Have rough estimates of the cost, will let you know once it’s finalized.”

Then I never heard from him again.

When Facts Become Feeling

The thing I just can’t get over is the irony of it all. He overdosed while building a tool to prevent addiction relapse. On one hand, it makes absolutely no sense. On the other hand, it makes perfect sense… but in a way that I can’t exactly wrap my head around.

It gives me chills to think that I was likely the last person he communicated with before he died… that our work together was one of the last things he thought about. The night he passed, he told his Mom he would be “up late, finishing a project”. Nothing unusual: he was a hard-worker who, when he couldn’t sleep, often worked through the night. Nobody thought it would be his last.

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Contrary to popular belief, addiction has nothing to do with a lack of willpower or moral weakness. In fact, 48% of all Americans over the age of 12 are directly affected, with 16% meeting criteria for ‘clinical addiction’, and 32% more classifying as ‘risky users’.

Over the past 2 months I’ve been learning everything I can about addiction. I just finished a 2012 report by CASA Columbia which spanned 250 pages. I’ve been listening to people’s struggles first-hand, through attending addiction support groups — like AA, NA, SMART, and Refuge Recovery — several times per week in my area. I’ve even been holding near-daily meetings with addiction psychiatrists, to learn everything they know about treating and managing the disease.

And yet, despite all of this, I couldn’t see it right in front of my own face… on my own team.

Everything I’ve been reading… everything I’ve been learning… did not truly come alive until just yesterday, when I was on the phone with the mother of my teammate, listening to her sobbing over the death of her only son.

Our mission just got real.

What Comes Next

While we’re still an early-stage startup in stealth-mode, this unexpected loss has me feeling the need to share a bit about where we’re headed.

The one-liner is this: my company, Conscious Insights, is a consulting group developing an AI technology to predict and prevent substance-use disorder relapse using passive meta-data from patients’ smartphones.

Our mission is to build the ‘thermometer for the mind’; enabling care providers to ‘check the mental temperature’ of their patients (with explicit permission) — in an objective, continuous, ecological, and passive fashion — at any time. This way, they can determine which patients require heightened attention and intervention, in advance of relapse.

In my teammate’s case, our technology could have potentially let his mother and doctor know he needed help, days or weeks in advance.

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Our mission is the build the ‘thermometer for the mind’

And while there is still a ton of work to do, what started as ‘a crazy idea’ just a few months ago is starting to come together.

In March 2020 Conscious Insights will be kicking off a 300+ person clinical study at several Community Health Centers across the state of California. It will be the first study of its kind, and the largest to ever use technology to predict/prevent addiction relapse.

This is why my teammate was up late that night. Because he saw setting up our AWS account as the first step in a larger opportunity to help hundreds more with the same struggle that’s plagued him and his father their entire lives.

I just wish I knew before it was too late. For others in the future, it’s our mission to change that.

Join the Mission

If you were moved by this story and are interested in supporting our mission, here are some ways you can get involved:

  1. RESEARCH WITH US: We are seeking additional research partners (e.g. health centers, treatment clinics) to join our upcoming clinical studies. Through partnering with us, we are offering to provide research staff, obtain IRB approval, grant early access to the eventual product, and fully compensate all parties involved for their time. Not to mention the opportunity to be recognized as a leader in the field of addiction medicine as we learn, together, what early warning signs exist addiction relapse… and ultimately develop a tool that alerts trained medical professionals to intervene before it’s too late.
  2. BUILD WITH US: We are openly hiring for paid Data Science, Machine Learning, and Backend Engineering positions on our team. We have several part-time roles (10-20 hours/week) starting in January 2020 with our consulting services business, which you can apply for here. Likewise, we have several full-time positions (40 hours/week) starting in August 2020 (involving signal processing analysis with smartphone meta-data) for this new product business.
  3. SPEAK WITH US: We are actively recruiting advisors, with stock-options, primarily across three different areas:
    1. (A) experts in treating substance-use disorders (e.g. addiction psychiatrists),
    2. (B) health professionals in managing addiction (e.g. nurse care managers),
    3. (C) healthcare leaders whose systems financially ‘bear risk’ for addiction relapse (e.g. capitated insurance payers)

If any or all of the above apply to you, please fill out this short Google Form and someone from our team will contact you shortly: https://forms.gle/hhNJ6Wws1ahtwCUr6

Conscious Insights - Interest Form

Alternatively, if none of the above apply to you, but you are still interested in helping support our mission, please fill out the form with how you’d like to get involved, and we’ll be in touch.

Fixing our country’s broken model of care is going to take a village, so thank you in advance for your interest in getting involved.

 

Psychedelics & The Future of Mental Health Treatment

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How many people know someone who’s depressed despite the fact that they take anti-depressants? Or have people in your lives affected by addiction – opioid, alcohol, or otherwise?

Well, there’s hope.

The scientific research that continues to come out around the use of psychedelics to treat depression, anxiety, opioid addiction, alcoholism, and a whole host of other mental disorders… is nothing short of amazing.

In two such examples, cited in the video below:

1) [4:10-7:10] In the largest study to-date examining the effect of psilocybin on depression and anxiety in individuals with life threatening cancer diagnosis (people freaking out because they’re going to die), a single high-dose session of so-called magic mushrooms resulted in sustained reduction of depression and anxiety, from clinically-severe levels (23/25, 26/30) to nearly-symptom-free levels (6/25, 7/30) a full 6 months out.

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To put this in perspective: current depression medication (most commonly SSRIs) hasn’t evolved since the 1980’s, requires people to swallow a pill every day, comes with a long-list of side-effects, and does absolutely nothing for the 1/3 of depressed adults with treatment-resistant depression (TRD).

2) [7:10-9:00] In a pilot study examining the effect of psilocybin in the treatment of tobacco addiction (people who want to but cannot quit smoking), three low-doses of mushrooms led to 80% of participants being biologically-confirmed (e.g. breathe samples, urine samples) as smoke-free 6 months out. And these results held up to 60% 2.5 years after their target quit-date.

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Comparatively, the best FDA-approved medication we currently have in treating tobacco addiction is less than half as effective, averaging 35% abstinence 6 months out.

And the best part?

The Imperial College London just announced they’re launching the world’s first Centre for Psychedelic Research (2.5 minute teaser video here) so it appears this is just the beginning.

As someone with a family history of mental illness, who’s had my own fair share of battles with depression, and lost family/friends to the addictions described above… watching this video and reading these studies, I can’t help but feel incredibly hopeful for the future.

The future of mental health treatment is bright.

My Appearance on the KYŌ Conversations Podcast

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This week marks one full year since I launched my podcast, which makes it fitting that my first appearance on another show just went live!

I’m incredibly excited to share this conversation I had with Marc Champagne on the KYŌ Conversations Podcast: https://journal.kyoapp.com/aj-goldstein/

Marc asked some very thought-provoking questions, and in just 45 minutes we had the chance to walk through much of my story leading up to today. We covered topics like:

1) how/why I started my first business at 12 years old

2) driving myself into a dark depression through 6 months of 80+ hour weeks on my first tech startup

3) the friends and mentors who helped through the darkest period of my life

4) starting to meditate everyday 1044 days ago, and how the daily streak is still going today

5) what I see at the intersection of data science <-> mindfulness and why I’m obsessed (hint: see episode title)

6) my current step-by-step 3-hour morning routine (including meditation / journaling / exercise / eating / etc), how it’s iterated over the years

This is just the beginning!: https://journal.kyoapp.com/aj-goldstein/

 

Internal vs. External Problems

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When faced with what appears to be an insurmountable or overwhelming challenge, I go through the following mental checklist:

  1. How’d you sleep last night?
  2. When was the last time you’ve eaten?
  3. Did you exercise this morning?
  4. Have you meditated yet today?

And in the process I’ve found, time and again, that problems are rarely external.

The situations I think ‘need to change’ are, 80% of the time, an issue of self-care.

So the next time you’re faced with a feeling of sadness, frustration, confusion, or doubt, try asking yourself:

  1. Is this an external or internal problem?
  2. Am I tired, hungry, sedentary, or distracted?
  3. Could this situation be resolved, or more easily navigated, by first attending to these needs?

Before focusing on what’s external, let’s take care of ourselves.

1000+ Bookmarks Later: These Are The 5 Most Influential Articles I’ve Read In the Past 5 Years

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Man has the internet taught me a lot.

Today I found myself digging through a time-capsule worth of bookmarks from the past 5 years in search for a master list of design resources requested by a co-worker.

In the process of all this digging, I came across countless articles I’ve since forgotten existed, yet at the time of reading were nothing short of mind-expanding for me.

It’s funny how learning works. When we really learn something, the lesson becomes part of who we are. But somewhere along the way, we tend to forget the source.

Perhaps this is where the myth of a self-made person comes from? In ourselves and others, all we ever see is the end-result; too easily forgetting all the people that’ve helped along the way.

As I look back on the 1000+ articles I’ve read and bookmarked over the past 5 years, I thought I would share the 5 that have been most influential on my thinking.

I’ve chosen these articles because, since reading each of them, I’ve experienced a distinct before/after in how I approach the given topic. And collectively, I would go so far as to say that the lessons I’ve taken away have served as more of an education than school ever could:

1) On making big life decisions:
https://hbr.org/2013/11/stop-worrying-about-making-the-right-decision

2) On minimizing regret and living a good life:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/study-reveals-5-biggest-regrets-people-have-before-die-iwuoha/

3) On asking for, and giving, advice:
https://cfe.umich.edu/no-advice-is-better-than-bad-advice/

4) On the pursuit of mastery:
https://jamesclear.com/deliberate-practice

5) On making things people want:
https://blog.bufferapp.com/people-dont-buy-products-they-buy-better-versions-of-themselves

Here’s to feeling infinitely grateful to all the people we’ve never actually met, and yet thanks to the internet, have permanently changed the course of our lives 🙏

What free article/video has expanded your mind or changed how you see and interact with the world? Share your own favorite(s) in the comments below!

Plot Twist: Why I’m Moving from San Francisco to Portland, Shifting from Conscious Insights to Oak Meditation

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Life sure does keep you on your toes.

In what has been quite the unexpected turn of events over the past week, I have some big news to share.

This week I will be packing up my things, moving from San Francisco California, and putting my business — Conscious Insights — on hold to go work full-time for Kevin Rose at his latest venture — Oak Meditation — as employee #7 / data scientist #1 in Portland Oregon.

For the past year and a half, I’ve been fully focused on applying data science to mindfulness-technology, and up until now have been convinced that consulting for many companies in this space was the best way to make the most positive impact.

Just 10 days ago, I would have never considered this a possibility.

However, after several face-to-face conversations with Kevin and the Oak team in Portland last week, and an abundance of video chats thereafter, I have been successfully convinced otherwise; given an offer and opportunity that I just cannot refuse.

So instead of working for many companies in this space, I’ll be going all-in on just one.

At Oak Meditation, not only will I be able to continue contributing to the cause I care so much about, but I’ll also have the chance to lead all-things data within this new organization, and build a world-class team around me in the process.

I’ll be growing in tangible and measurable ways each and everyday, creating a modern data architecture from the ground up, participating in BoD meetings + VC pitches, weaving data into every aspect of the business, and — most importantly — working alongside just a fantastic bunch of humans.

It’s ironic that, as I write this, I’m on a plane from SFO —> NYC for a 2-day Mindfulness in America conference. Since starting to meditate everyday 908 days ago (April 27 2016 was when it all began), this practice has found it’s way to the total center of my work and life.

Climbing to the top of Corona Heights late last night to say goodbye to San Francisco, a friend and I recounted about how much of a turning point that day has been for me. Now, when I think about how deeply the practice has transformed my life, and all the ways it’s allowed me to give back to others’ lives, I feel a sense of appreciation and purpose that’s impossible to put into words.

Working for Oak is the next step in this journey.

The hardest part about this decision was leaving SF: a city I just arrived in 5 weeks ago, and a place where most of my closest friends in the world reside. But alas, after many long-hikes and late-night-hangouts over the past week, I feel — deep in my bones — this is what I’m meant to do.

So Portland, here I come.

Portland, Oregon and Mount Hood from Pittock Mansion

Simple Truths: My Guiding Signals in a World of Noise

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One of the best lessons I’ve learned over the past few years is that — when faced with a difficult decision or challenging situation — rarely is more information the answer.

Instead, what I’ve found to be so incredibly helpful is this idea of “simple truths” (what some may call “first principles”): short snippets of wisdom that have been gathered, carefully curated, and repeatedly learned over years of life experience.

I originally learned of the concept from a French philosopher named Alain de Botton, who’s ideas on education reform are fascinating, and is often quoted as saying “we overeducate ourselves out of simple truths”.

As Alain explains, school teaches us that once we know something, that’s it; you know it, and it’s time to move onto the next chapter. But this is dangerous, because it leads us to believe we understand more than we actually do. That is, knowing something in your head is entirely different than feeling it in your bones.

To truly understand requires repetition; repeatedly learning the same lesson over and over again until it translates from conceptual understanding to daily practice. Understanding an idea is on a much lower dimension than acting on it. For example, knowing that daily exercise is good for you is much different than actually going to the gym everyday.

So every time I move into a new place (5 times and counting over the past 3 years), I start a new wall of simple truths. And then, over the course of my time there, I gather these ‘simple truths’ from all sources: conversations with friends & mentors, books I read, podcasts I listen to, or even just experiences I have. Then, every time I’m faced with a difficult decision or challenging situation, I return back to the wall as my source of guiding light.

Friends who know me well (and have received my countless text messages sharing new addition to the wall) often give me shit about my seeming obsession with “post-it note wisdom”. But in a way, this is my religion. The difference is, instead of becoming defensive or dogmatic about it, I start over more than once a year. I’m always beginning again, gathering new lessons and repeatedly learning them until I can’t *not* remember.

Truthfully, up until now I’ve been pretty insecure about sharing these simple truths outside a core group friends… mostly because I realize that 95% of them won’t resonate with others in the same way they make sense to me. But, as I take down my 5th wall in the past 3 years, I feel a need to be more vulnerable than I’m naturally willing, and share.

For the past 11 months, these 25 simple truths (below) have been my guiding signals in a world of noise. There’s nothing complex about them, but they’ve been so very helpful for me in what may have otherwise felt like hopeless situations.

My hope is that, even if 24/25 pass you by, just 1 (5%) sticks with you; enough that you’re able to feel it in your bones, and not just know it in your head whenever you need it most. After all, as Derek Sivers says, “if information was the answer, we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs”.

AJ's Simple Truths 2017-18

Announcing the Data Journeys Podcast

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I am thrilled to announce the official launch of my new podcast, Data Journeys: https://www.ajgoldstein.com/podcast/

Data Journeys is a podcast for aspiring Data Scientists where I’ll be interviewing world-class Data Scientists about their learning journeys.

In each episode, the goal is to have them tell their story and equip up-and-comers with the strategies, tactics, and tools that the best in the world have used to get to where they are today.

I’m speaking with guests ranging from the US Military to Silicon Valley, from the top-ranks of academia to down-under in Australia, with a focus on how they’ve bridged the gap between acquiring technical skills and creating real-world impact.

For example, two upcoming guests are Andrew Ng — the co-founder of Coursera — at Stanford University and Fernando Perez — the creator of Jupyter Notebooks — at UC Berkeley.

You can listen or subscribe to the show via links to iTunes, Soundcloud, Google Play Music, and more at: https://www.ajgoldstein.com/podcast/

Enjoy the show!