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Maneesh Sethi – Pavlok

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In Episode #115 Ari sits down with Maneesh Sethi, a self-described victim of severe ADD and the founder of Pavlok, a new, wearable device designed to help people break their bad habits. During their conversation, Maneesh and Ari talk about the technology behind Pavlok, its story from concept to creation and the major benefits of breaking bad habits and increasing productivity.

**Time Stamped Show Notes:**

– 21:54 – Introduction of Maneesh Sethi, the founder and creator of the _Pavlok_

– 22:23 – Maneesh defines what Pavlok _is _and how it _changes _what we do

– 24:10 – The mammalian brain versus reptilian brain on positive reinforcement

– 24:34 – The positive enforcer of quitting a negative habit is hard for your mammalian brain to process

– 27:18 – Biting nails, smoking cigarettes, watching porn, browsing Facebook and head-scratching are some of the most commonly broken bad habits with Pavlok

– 27:47 – Studies on breaking bad habits, particularly smoking cigarettes

– 27:54 – [Shick Shadel](, the Seattle-based treatment facility and their experience with aversion therapy

– 29:50 – After a year of treatment at Shick Shadel, fewer than half smoked another cigarette again…the best nicotine patches have a 7.5% success rate

– 31:03 – Pavlok is the first ever self-contained, wearable shock device

– 32: 07 – Self-administered behavior modification _can _work, but Pavlok aims to automate it

– 32:48 – Tim Ferris’ 30-Day _No Complaint _ challenge

– 34:14 – How can Pavlok promote _good _habits?

– 35:25 – Pavlok comes with an API to integrate to other developers programs and apps

– 36:40 – One of the benefits of Pavlok is that users can _intentionally _perform the bad habit to prompt Pavlok to shock them and accelerate the habit-breaking process

– 39:26 – _[Thinking Fast and Slow](,_Fast_and_Slow)_

– 40:30 – “_There is no disincentive to anything anymore_”

– 41:55 – Pavlok IndieGoGo campaign is over

– 43:29 – What are your _Top 3 Tips to Being More Effective?_

– 44:07 – Implement a negative reinforcement to force yourself to write down the 3 things you need to do every day

– 45:21 – Make bets to maximize loss aversion

– 48:47 – Identify the power of the accountability partner ** **

**7 Key Points:**

  1. The mammalian brain does _not_ respond as effectively to positive reinforcement as it does to negative reinforcement.
  2. Biting nails, smoking cigarettes and watching porn are some of the most unwanted habits Americans struggle to break.
  3. Self-administered behavior modification _can _work.
  4. One of the main problems within the modernity of western society is the loss of disincentives.
  5. Make bets with yourself and others to maximize loss-aversion.
  6. Identify someone who can help you be accountable.
  7. Using tools to help you break habits is completely OK.

**Resources Mentioned:**

– [Fiction and a Better Life]( – LifeHacker article discussing the psychological benefits of reading fiction

– [ Shit Express]( – A company designed to demonstrate the power of marketing via mailed horseshit

– [Fliplingo]( – IFTTT for translation…business translation automated

– []( – The manufacturer of the _Mother_; a un — Send in a voice message: