I Track My Entire Life

I have since 1995. It started as a “what if” kind of idea and then just evolved to total time tracked with relevant activities. I’ve evolved a nomenclature that makes it easy, and I do it all in Filemaker Pro software. It’s basically tracking my life 24/7 which I guess is approaching 25 years now. It includes all the people, places, and pennies I’ve interacted with.

It seems like this could be the only place where people might care, but I reckon I’ve gone further down this road than anyone else. I suppose the ultimate question is what is the relevance. I also kept every receipt from 2005. I just wonder if anyone would see research value.

At this stage it’s a little broken up as there have been many upgrades in Filemaker and much of the time was spent in Australia with a different date structure and financial accounting, but basically I have the data stored if I went to the effort to combine it all.

2 Likes

Hi John,
25 years of self-tracking is impressive. Your message makes me think you are not sure the value of the data you collected, but I would be curious to hear cases when the data was valuable to you over that period?

I’ve been tracking various aspects of me and my family’s well-being for about five years now and I regularly question the value of the data. That said, the process of observing daily/monthly/yearly changes to the data pushed me to understand why, and from this I’ve learned a lot. I also experienced a handful of those ‘aha’ moments thanks to the ability to aggregate events across space and time periods that stretch much farther than my ability to recall them.
Sergio

1 Like

Sergio,

Your message makes me think you are not sure the value of the data you collected,
but I would be curious to hear cases when the data was valuable to you over that period?

You are right about that! I have no idea really. I started this only as a test to see if I could. Now I say I have complete data on a multiplicity of factors but who is really going to care and who could I compare it to if no one else has done this.

What would interest you to know? That way I could see if I could run a report on that topic. I have no idea what would be worth knowing since I know it already. I’ve already figured out major things that no one knows about major human activities and the masses don’t exactly care about this either given the magnitude of the discoveries.

http://tinyurl.com/cnhxwye

John

Hi Dr John

25 years is such a long test!

Can you tell me what discoveries you made in relation to the pennies that you tracked?

Hi John, I do think you’ve come to the right place to find people interested in your discoveries. Certainly there are people in this forum who have a combination of an empirical mindset and an openness to new ideas; so I encourage you to share a few insights you’ve gained from your self-tracking experiences. I think it would be difficult to do this for 25 years without learning something of general interest, and given your experience thinking about how to share insights for broad application, I predict you have the requisite skills. Even learning something from you about what hasn’t worked, in terms of the tracking process itself, would have value, given the length of your test.

Also, are you able to provide any samples of the records? I’m curious about the process itself, what Filemaker layouts you use, and how you do the collection.

Here’s the whole system in nine words with three words to drill down to the nine. Every human activity can be enclosed within these 9 terms: Make it 12 for all the words.

Personal Relational Financial are the top tier:

Personal: Physical, Emotional, Mental
Relational: Family, Social, Work
Financial: Buy, Sell, Transfer

Every other human activity drills down into tiers below these nine words.

Pennies are something that was pretty well understood which I learned from others. It’s just that I personally know every financial transaction I bought, sold, or transferred. Theoretically, I could plug all the financial data into excel and get all the financial ratios of every type. The point is, I’ve captured the correct data to evaluate, I just never really cared to run the reports. I still made dumb financial decisions, :smile: -)

The real discoveries I’ve made that are unique to humanity are how the Mind works, and how Relationships work, neither of which have been clarified to the detail that I have now. Also some healing discoveries. They are in book form and are out there for people who are interested in how the truly Mind works, and how Relationships actually work.

Basically, it’s data modelling 101 but I went to the core transactions of single human activity.

25 years ago it wasn’t as obvious as it is today, with computers and all.

Is this clear basically?

If you know or use Filemaker I’m in. What kind of report would you like to see? I did a “making love” report at one time that was pretty funny dating 3 girls at the time. Silly me.

I’m in here really deep, I just really don’t know what to do about it all. If I was FB I’d be trying to sell people down the river.

Collection is mostly by hand, clicks on the computer, that are preset based on the 9 words. It’s pretty painless these days. I just keep it going out of habit anymore.

It could be on the phone if someone it wanted there. That would take some pennies. :slight_smile: Actually, it “needs” to be on the phone, it was meant for the phone.

Hi John,

Just to comment regarding your 9 terms - they align with some of the top-level concepts I am tracking. In addition, I also track the items in bold:

Personal: Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual
Relational: Family, Social, Work
Financial: Buy, Sell, Transfer
Environmental: Air quality, Weather, noise

A more general comment on deriving value from these datasets, I don’ t know if this is your case, but early on in my self-tracking experience, i decided to spend more of my time hammering away at the data, running experiments to see if there was something there. If i had to estimate the breakdown, I would venture to say it is 50/50 today in terms of time spent on the collecting part vs. the analysis and experimenting part. Coming back to your comments, I am curious in your 25 years of self-tracking how you characterize the time spent on collecting activities vs. those related to analysis/experimenting.

Sergio

[quote=“Sergio, post:8, topic:6807”]
Personal: Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual
Relational: Family, Social, Work
Financial: Buy, Sell, Transfer
Environmental: Air quality, Weather, noise
[/quote]

Sergio,

Here’s one for you right off the bat. Spiritual is only mental, you have a non-existent category space there. It’s like math. Math is a thing, but it’s mental. Spiritual is a thing, but it’s categorized as mental as described below.

– A more general comment on deriving value from these datasets, I don’ t know if this is your case, but early on in my self-tracking experience,
– i decided to spend more of my time hammering away at the data, running experiments to see if there was something there. If i had to estimate the
– breakdown, I would venture to say it is 50/50 today in terms of time spent on the collecting part vs. the analysis and experimenting part.

I have zero idea what this means. What is “hammering away at the data.”

– Coming back to your comments, I am curious in your 25 years of self-tracking how you characterize
– the time spent on collecting activities vs. those related to analysis/experimenting.

My sole motivation for tracking what I do was to design and track a human person’s life from a generic pov. The only thing I care about is the unit of the human. Called generic human studies. It’s a concept that includes tracking all humans, of any color or stripe to the generic level. In this system, everyone gets “spiritual” for free. Whatever you say is spiritual is already right. I respect spiritual, I’m very spiritual. :innocent:

Think of a human as one cell in the human body of many other such like people cells to make up the human body.

Your other bolded categories are outside the GHS person molecule as part of the Environment which are valid to measure, but society measures those. I would import all that data.

This system has evolved and so far after 25 years talking about it never has anyone adopted it as I assumed everyone would. Here’s a screen shot of what I look at.

Every underlined word on the left clicks to an input source
There’s a start and end date/times.

“What really happened” is a contribution from ghs to humanity, as that’s what most people care about. I’ve explained my theories in the book, What is Generic Human Studies?.

So, to summarize, my goal for all this tracking was to prove the “concept” of ghs in some third-party objective way so other people could see for themselves. And I did. Filemaker is amazing software and it suited me to learn it.

It’s like a life-crm. If someone wanted to take me up on this idea it would behoove them to start using Filemaker.

I’d be willing to see what my system doesn’t do that anyone else’s does. Assuming you had total human data available to you, what would you want to know? What do you care about? What’s important to you?

John

1 Like

Hi John, I think I can answer your question about what “hammering away at the data” means. This means analyzing data, asking questions that promise to be answerable based on the recorded observations. For instance: Am I getting sick more frequently? Some people do much more complex queries.

We use Filemaker extensively at QS to organize our workflows, but I don’t use it for any personal tracking.

Your description of a generic model makes me want to ask: How has the data you’ve gathered based on this generic model answered a personal question in your life, or failed to answer it in an interesting way?

Agaricus

– Am I getting sick more frequently? Some people do much more complex queries.

What’s the purpose of their query? If it’s to manage their lives, then that’s more art. How would you track getting sick, by hospital records? By, I threw up today? My BP went up? I’d have to think about this. I could tell a patient they are getting sick more often, and would they even hear me? I’m more about “why” and “what.”

–Your description of a generic model makes me want to ask: How has the data you’ve gathered
–based on this generic model answered a personal question in your life,
–or failed to answer it in an interesting way?

My personal question was, what are the foundational principles of all humans and how/where does my life fit into that generic model. “Interesting way” is in the eye of the beholder. I was interested in knowing that information. More like a Plato thing perhaps.

Just FYI as a talking point, not a true reality as my current system is woefully outdated, and I’m not trolling for work. FM is a hobby for me. But if it was done right and intentionally, if you installed an ideal modern GHS system in your company, whatever it is you do, it would work better than whatever you are doing now. Perhaps more so because everyone who uses it would understand better what they are doing also because the system would be easier to support and deploy.

And maybe your system is perfect now. FM is such a great tool and there are incredibly talented FM programmers. It’s just the idea, that the generic template is what we are all doing anyway. Why not just start there and add the little pieces of custom. I put a pre-dawn version of the GHS system in 20+ various businesses and it fit them all with some name changes, and special reports depending. One took a business process that was two weeks long needing 2 hired staff every two weeks for the job, to one person half a day at most.

GHS is first a mental concept, then it flows down into what I call the “real world.” How you apply it and what you want out of it is up to you.
J

Hi John

Could you share some screenshots of the earlier records in your collection, it would be very interesting to see how your collection of variables has evolved over time?

Not sure of the question, but the basic format has been the same since almost the beginning. There’s been various layout versions. What you can’t really see is the brilliant way it offers the various choices due to the programming structure. If it’s a physical choice, you get the physical options. Each of the 9 words has it’s own pick lists.

I meant could you show me what you tracked for the equinoxes of 1999. I’m spiritual like you and I’m curious how you spent those days?

    • I meant could you show me what you tracked for the equinoxes of 1999.
      – I’m spiritual like you and I’m curious how you spent those days?

Well, my current data set is from 1/1/2014. To go back that far I’d have to dig into some backups and do some consolidation of data. Currently there are 60481 records not counting this one. I could print the exact days activities if I went into the archives. I would assume I was meditating at some point.

With the current data set I have
38 days:16 hours:13 minutes of meditation.

approximate 1550 days, so divided is .60. So is that an hour or 3.4 of an hour? Can you even divide minutes into days?

Sounds about right. The reporting part of any of this is hit or miss

I know the data is normalized, I don’t really do many reports.

In the past week I’ve meditated 7.25 hours, so that sounds about right. And is easier for me to understand.

John

Hi John, am I right to understand that you have 25 years of archived data but have rarely or never used it for any reports, and you currently only have convenient access back to 2014? This question is judgment neutral, I think that’s interesting that you’ve invested the time and energy in creating the record, and this act of tracking has enough value to keep you at it, even without doing any analysis. (Or, “hammering away at the data.”) That’s evidence of a kind of value that isn’t typically acknowledged in explanations of the value of self-tracking; that is, the value of the activity itself.

1 Like

That’s evidence of a kind of value that isn’t typically acknowledged in explanations of the value of self-tracking; that is, the value of the activity itself.

That’s a great point Gary. After five years of self-tracking, my feeling is that these benefits (see related thread on Hawthorne effect](Hawthorne effect in QS), are real but also hard to quantify.

Sergio

– Hi John, am I right to understand that you have 25 years of archived data but have rarely or
– never used it for any reports, and you currently only have convenient access back to 2014?

Yes, this is a very accurate depiction. Although I believe I could get back to 2004 based on what I getting ready to attempt maybe, to gather it all in one place.

– That’s evidence of a kind of value that isn’t typically acknowledged in explanations of the value of
– self-tracking; that is, the value of the activity itself.

I wouldn’t go that far. :slightly_smiling_face:

I had a driving purpose, which was to prove the GHS philosophy with a software proof, which I have. As opposed to just having it in words like a philosophical article. I suppose there was a longer term goal of making it easy for other people to do the tracking so they could “hammer the data” which I call a “report” btw.

One point I don’t think you guys would see at this stage is that everything everyone on this site is tracking goes under those 9 words. I could place all the data anyone has tracked and pin it somewhere, like an outline format really, somewhere to be drilled down to so you could hammer it. It would also expose faulty questions or premises that would invalidate tracking something in some way that wasn’t useful. But only for a single person, not a group. Group evals would need to group and then do whatever. Like average of sleep per however many people tracked sleep, etc.

As part of this process I also figured out How Relationships Work (or don’t) to the level of normal words everyone uses which is part of the mystery of the next paragraph.

As amazing as the GHS philosophy, science, and art is, I’ve never had anyone even remotely get to the level of grokking it, which I’m sure is a word people here understand. Whereas I thought it was instantly understandable the second it came to me. I think I’m like that guy who went in front of all the smart scientists of the time and suggested that the periodic table was based on notes, and then he got laughed out of the room until it was proven after he died.

I guess I’m going to have to look at this and see what it means?

OK, The Hawthorne Effect: One Comment:

**–The reason I posted this in the forum was to bring focus on benefits of self-monitoring so that **
–QS can be recognized as a form of treatment instead of considering it as just an experimental method.

I guess treatment is a word, I prefer to call it awareness. Self awareness here perhaps?

There is definitely a concept, I learned about in Scientology (don’t hurt me) called “as is” ing. Where if you truly see something as it is, it disappears. Which is part of why I feel logging food, or sleep, or exercise provides insight.

It’s particularly cruel if you log relationship interactions. I feel like a lot of people don’t want to actually know How Relationships Work, because it tosses into their face that their relationships aren’t working and this blows their little fantasy that they are.

I did an rel eval for one person who was vaguely unhappy with his “friendships.” He named his 10 best friends. Based on the facts, zero of them were friends, and his very “best friend” interaction was based on when the guy needed to be picked up at the airport.

I always felt knowing what was wrong was better than ongoing lifetime denial. Apparently this is an acquired taste.

:grinning:

You lost me at “Scientology.”

1 Like