Do you want to optimize your life? Start your morning with a kale-garlic-ginger smoothie, or better yet, meditate and fast until noon. Next, hit the gym for your mixed martial arts workout and take a cold shower to activate your immune system. Then plan this summer’s vision quest: Maybe you’ll head to the jungles of Peru, where a shaman will brew you some mescaline-laced psychedelic tea — don’t worry; the intense nausea means you’re grasping new dimensions of reality.
Next, read a book on evolutionary psychology to remind yourself that you’re just a social primate with genetically programmed urges. Then read some Stoic philosophy to control those urges. Take ownership of your day and soon enough you’ll be a millionaire, running your own lifestyle coaching empire.
On the surface, this is the message of a new generation of wellness gurus, a network of podcasters centered in the Austin, Tex., area and Southern California. Yes, they are easy to mock, and their gospel of health, wealth and contentment comes with the usual moral hazards: Too much faith in self-improvement glosses over structural injustices that place real limits on what’s possible for many people.
Image credit: Jing Wei