A Nomadic Blogger Who Wants To Upgrade Humanity By Shocking People With A Device Called The “Pavlok”: The Maneesh Sethi Podcast Episode

Affiliate Disclosure

Biohacking, Body, Mental Health, Mind-Spirit, Performance, Podcast, Podcast-new

Listen on:

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Meet Maneesh Sethi.

Several years ago, Maneesh invented a device called Pavlok out of necessity: since he was young, he has had trouble concentrating. Maneesh studied psychology at Stanford under the legendary BJ Fogg, where he learned the basic principles of behavior change. He left Stanford to pursue a successful stint as a nomadic blogger (hackthesystem.com), during which his struggle to concentrate on writing led him to hire an assistant to sit next to him and slap him every time he got off task – leading to a viral video that garnered hundreds of thousands of views and a productivity increase of 400%. Inspired by this, Maneesh set out to create a less painful but just as effective way of boosting productivity and breaking bad habits, and in 2013 he started Pavlok.

Since I first met Maneesh when rooming with him at a health conference, and learned of his “Pavlok” device that we delve into in this episode, he's been trying to make Pavlok a full solution for behavior change. This means asking what someone wants to change, adding reward and punishment, and keeping people accountable. Pavlok 2 is the next evolution of what he is trying to do: upgrade humanity.

The latest iteration of Pavlok Ecosystem includes The Device, The Software, and the Behavioral Currency: Volts. Maneesh recently rebuilt Pavlok 2 from the ground up, adding 7+ days of battery life, customizable stimuli, motion and gesture tracking, and upgraded bluetooth connectivity. In addition, Pavlok 2 tracks your sleep, learns your gestures and patterns, and can remind you with a vibration, beep, or zap to start and stop doing behaviors – like a personal coach, on your wrist. He also created the milanese magnetic strap, which he claims makes it the most comfortable wearable you've ever felt, and is also tying the Apple Watch to the Pavlok Band.

Pavlok connects to your phone via Bluetooth (iOS/Android App). The Pavlok Core App connects the device to your phone. The App itself is similar to an App Store: you start off with the basic apps (Alarms, Sleep Tracking, the Bad Habit Intro Course). Maneesh has about ten different Pavlok Apps available right now. New ones are constantly being made by him, his partners, and his developers.

He's also added what he calls “Volts”. Volts are a digital currency that rewards you for positive behaviors. Volts are earned by contributing to the community and performing healthy behaviors that you enjoy Volts can be used to unlock apps and products in our platform or to buy goods and services – for example: courses, coaching, entertainment, and more.

How are Volts related to Pavlok? 1. The Pavlok App is includes community and resources for positive behavioral change; and 2. The Pavlok wearable (not required) tracks and trains your behavior automatically. Maneesh calls it your “24/7/365 personal coach.” Volts are a digital currency (buy-in only) for the next six months or so. Afterwards, they will become a crypto currency (buy-in, cash-out).

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Why Maneesh hired a girl to follow him around and slap him in the face…[18:50]

-The inside story of Maneesh's Shark Tank experience (and how he made Mr. Wonderful cry)…[22:25 & 30:30]

-How Maneesh created a wearable that reinforces both good habits and punishes bad habits while tying in a cryptocurrency…[26:20]

-How you can use Pavlok to very quickly cut a sugar habit…[37:55]

-How you can use Pavlok to teach yourself how to do squats (and any workout) more consistently…[45:25]

-Why Ben chews on an apple tree stick…[46:35]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com (Maneesh's brother Ramit Sethi's website)

HackTheSystem.com (Maneesh Sethi's website)

Pavlok.com/bengreenfield (this link will give you a 20% discount)

Show Sponsors:

-Omax – Go to tryomax.com/ben to get a box of Omax3 Ultra-Pure, FOR FREE Terms and conditions apply.

-Kion Serum – Rejuvenate your skin and invigorate your complexion with twelve potent, all-natural and organic ingredients that have been expertly blended to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, improve skin firmness and elasticity, and even skin tone. Get yours now at GetKion.com.

-Harry's – Claim your FREE TRIAL OFFER from Harry’s today – $13 value for FREE when you sign up, just cover shipping! Your Free Trial Set includes:  A weighted, ergonomic razor handle, 5 precision-engineered blades with a lubricating strip and trimmer blade, rich lathering shave gel, and a travel blade cover. To get your Free Trial set go to Harrys.com/BEN right now!

-Organifi – Go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Organifi and use the discount code there for 20% off your order.

Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Maneesh or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

Related Posts

17 thoughts on “A Nomadic Blogger Who Wants To Upgrade Humanity By Shocking People With A Device Called The “Pavlok”: The Maneesh Sethi Podcast Episode

  1. Ivo says:

    Maybe a true test would be to actually start a habit of something you DON’T like. A bad habit.

    As a fitness and health biohacker everything that improves longevity and health is already right up your alley.

    So let’s go to the dark side. For example:

    – taking up smoking

    – no more reading books or

    – no sex


  2. Justin says:


    In regard to fish oil supplements, at Kion.com you explain that higher levels of DHA are optimal, with a 1:1 EPA:DHA ratio being the most ideal, as found in LivingFuel Super Essentials. Yet upon checking out OMAX after your glowing endorsement, it boasts a 4:1 EPA:DHA ratio, claiming that EPA is most important. Now I’m not sure which one to go with. How do you explain this rather glaring contradiction? Thanks!

    – Justin P.

    1. I am not super picky about my ratios as long as they aren't much in excess of a 4:1 ratio skewed towards EPA. Here are some reasons that I like the 1:1 ratio, but after looking into OMAX and trying their stuff, I don't mind that they go as high as 4:1.

      SuperEssentials Omega: Why EPA/DHA ratio of 1:1.

      Fish oil naturally is a 3:2 ratio in a triglycerides form but the unnatural process of esterified super concentrating fish oils can significantly alter this ratio and are seldom returned to their natural triglyceride form.
      EPA primarily affects mood, behavior and coagulation.
      DHA primarily affects brain development, structure and function.
      Both EPA and DHA work synergistically in the body and are extremely well studied compounds that provide significant health benefits individually and collectively across the spectrum of systems within the body.
      Recommended daily doses of Omega 3 are topically total combined EPA and DHA regardless of the ratio.
      Studies on the health benefits of omega-3 fats typically use higher amounts of DHA than EPA to achieve desired health benefits
      DHA is also a precursor to DHA however too much DHA can result in potential coagulation issues (blood thinning)
      Therefore ideally one can take EPA/DHA at a 1:1 ratio to obtain an ideal balance of the benefits of both and so that regardless of if the desired benefits are from a certain amount of EPA or DHA one can take as many as necessary without throwing the body out of balance.

  3. Estevan L. says:

    Hey Ben,

    This question is off topic to this podcast, but I’ve listened to, “3 Ways To Biohack A Sauna For More Heat” podcast. You talked about using a high dose of Niacin called Niasafe by Throne. I’ve checked multiple websites and it looks like this product is discontinued. Is there any other Niacin pill you would recommend taking before getting into an Infrared Sauna?

    1. HI ESTEVAN. I sent this Q to Thorne. This is the reply…. "We have never to my knowledge had a product called Niasafe 600. Perhaps they are referring to Niacel which can be found here: https://www.thorne.com/products/dp/niacel-250

      As for which Niacin pill you would recommend taking before getting into an Infrared Sauna check out this article: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/biohacki…

  4. JP says:

    Why not just delete your facebook account, along with all the other time-wasting, soul-sucking social media apps?

  5. Kevin says:

    Lol, sounds like an interesting device, no habit in particular I want to get rid of atm but I’ll keep that one in mind.

  6. Mohammed murtuza nusrath says:

    Wow 7+days of battery life sounds awesome its 7 times better than apple watch battery

    I’m presently waiting for pavlok 2 to arrive in the mail

    I have great aspirations from myself which I’m hoping to get help from this great wearable invented by Maneesh

  7. James says:

    Did he dance for you?

  8. David Fish says:

    This attempt at aversion therapy didn’t go so well 😆: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYglvcLwkK4

  9. Jon says:

    Maybe the new version of the Pavlok is much better, but the earlier version completely failed me. I was trying to quit the habit of pulling out facial hair (from under my chin, etc.), and the problem was that the Pavlok would repeatedly malfunction, so that the shock was either too slight or non-existent or variable in intensity, such that I was getting intermittent reinforcement that didn’t work at all. I reached out to the company repeatedly to help me with this, but they couldn’t get the problem fixed. They sent a replacement eventually, but the issue was still there, which made me realize that the problem wasn’t my particular product, but rather, the fact that the product was simply not put together very well. So after giving up on and returning the device, I put an old-fashioned rubber band on my wrist and got rid of the issue in about three weeks’ time. The rubber band had the advantage of being perfectly reliable, consistent and, best of all, completely free (one of those amazing perks included in my office job). And when it broke at some point, I just took another rubber band out of the drawer and went on snapping away until I was done. So the moral of this story is this: you can try the Pavlok — as I said, I don’t want to blackball the new version, which I haven’t tried and which might have fixed the issue — but before you do that, take a few weeks to see if a rubber band doesn’t do the trick ….

    1. Jeremy says:

      Perfect example of relying more on yourself than technology. The device didn’t fail you. You just found a way that works better for you.

  10. bonsai1 says:

    when i try to order it for $199 as the Ben discount link says,it comes up in the cart at $299.Don’t see a way to get the discount.

    1. Strange, it's working on my end. Which browser are you using? Can you try a different one and let me know? Also, you're for sure using this link? https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/pavlok

  11. Michael Schott says:

    I would be sold on Pavlok is Ben can get rid of his habit of being shirtless!

    1. Ben, let me fix you

    2. Lise says:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *