About Joe Cohen
At the age of 25, Joe was sick, broke, and unemployable.
Since ‘biohacking’ himself from sickness in mid 2013, Joe has become an investor and entrepreneur, founding SelfHacked and SelfDecode.
SelfDecode is your personal digital health coach that combines data from genetics, blood tests and symptoms to render personalized health recommendations.
Joe is the owner and main writer at Selfhacked.com.
Joe also consults with high profile executives, self-hackers & companies and is writing a book about optimizing health.
Joe likes to spend his free time learning software development.
My Life Story
I was born in 1987 to an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish family in Brooklyn, NY.
When I started this blog, I was simply a ‘biohacker’, seeking to upgrade myself and share my results.
My upbringing and health wasn’t conducive to learning in my childhood/adolescence, and by the age of 18, I couldn’t understand what I was reading in a simple newspaper. I needed some serious upgrading.
Part of this illiteracy was due to a horrible education and the other part had to do with not being optimally healthy.
Although I had health issues all of my life, at the age of 25 (summer of 2012), my body broke down and I had a health meltdown.
I was unemployable and I couldn’t even handle going to school part time (I flunked my courses).
I took it upon myself to experiment with everything possible. I’ve experimented heavily with supplements, diets, lifestyle factors, devices and philosophies. You could say I’m your official human guinea pig.
Only when I’ve consumed all the literature (and often a whole bottle of the substance in question) do I feel confident in giving you advice.
My aim is to help you understand exactly why your body isn’t functioning optimally, and what to do about it.
I see too many clients whose main ailment is misinformation – there’s an unhealthy amount of it online.
I’m sick of the mainstream doctors telling you that you’re perfectly healthy when you obviously aren’t – or even worse recommending you go to a psychiatrist because a few basic blood tests couldn’t find anything life threatening.
I’m also sick of alternative health leaders spouting quackery.
That’s why I’m bringing back the basic science, paired with the spirit of self-experimentation, to offer you cutting-edge health information.
100% BS free.
June 2005: Graduated high school and travelled to Israel in search of meaning. I couldn’t understand what I was reading in a simple newspaper. I was functionally illiterate because of having never read a book in my life – even for school. I also had a variety of cognitive problems.
January 2007: started college after more than 1.5 years learning talmud in Israel.
January 2010: graduated college with two degrees in finance and psychology, but didn’t know what I wanted to do. Spent the next few years exploring myself and doing some odd jobs.
July 2012 (age 25): started premed studies. My first day of school, I had a health crisis that was even worse than the myriad of nagging issues I had been dealing with for a long time.
February 2013: moved out of my mom’s house and started my premed studies anew after I had flunked out of my classes, since I was ill.
July 2013: started Selfhacked after some big breakthroughs in health – without any clue about what WordPress was or anything about blogging. The only writing I had done was for some assignments in college.
February 2014: I became completely financially self-sufficient and independent while in school. Since this time, I have not received financial help from anyone.
July 2014: satisfactorily finished premed studies.
April 2015: started Selfhacked Radio.
November 2015: started Selfhacked forum.
December 2015: uprooted my life in NYC and moved to a more optimal house/location after lots of research
January 2016: Selfhacked reached 100,000 visitors a month and is growing.
June 2016: Launched the SelfhackedStore.
July 2016: SelfDecode launches.
Connect With Joe
You’re welcome to befriend Joe on facebook if you want to connect. Unfortunately, he rarely has time to answer messages.
About Joe’s Personality
Knowing more about Joe’s personality could be useful before you get a consult, befriend him on Facebook or just to get a face on who is producing the content here.
The Big Five Personality Model and the Myers Briggs Test (MBTI) are two well respected ways to categorize personality.
Joe According to The Big Five Personality Model (R)
The big five personality model has the most science behind it in relation to other personality inventories.
- High: Openness to experience: (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious). Appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, curiosity, and variety of experience. Openness reflects the degree of intellectual curiosity, creativity and a preference for novelty and variety a person has. It is also described as the extent to which a person is imaginative or independent, and depicts a personal preference for a variety of activities over a strict routine. Some disagreement remains about how to interpret the openness factor, which is sometimes called “intellect” rather than openness to experience.
- High: Conscientiousness: (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless). A tendency to be organized and dependable, show self-discipline, act dutifully, aim for achievement, and prefer planned rather than spontaneous behavior.
- Low: Extraversion: (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved). Energy, positive emotions, surgency, assertiveness, sociability and the tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others, and talkativeness.
- High: Agreeableness: (friendly/compassionate vs. analytical/detached). A tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others. It is also a measure of one’s trusting and helpful nature, and whether a person is generally well tempered or not.
- Low: Neuroticism: (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident). The tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety, depression, and vulnerability. Neuroticism also refers to the degree of emotional stability and impulse control and is sometimes referred to by its low pole, “emotional stability”.
Joe According to Myers Briggs: INTJ
This information is copied word for word from here.
The Myers-Briggs personality grouping has the most non-scientific support by people – it’s accepted and used by work places, including 89 out of the Fortune 100 companies. Scientific evidence is lacking, though.
INTJ PERSONALITY (“THE ARCHITECT”)
It’s lonely at the top, and being one of the rarest and most strategically capable personality types, INTJs know this all too well. INTJs form just two percent of the population, and women of this personality type are especially rare, forming just 0.8% of the population – it is often a challenge for them to find like-minded individuals who are able to keep up with their relentless intellectualism and chess-like maneuvering. People with the INTJ personality type are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but they do not squander their energy.
Nothing Can Stop the Right Attitude From Achieving Its Goal
With a natural thirst for knowledge that shows itself early in life, INTJs are often given the title of “bookworm” as children. While this may be intended as an insult by their peers, they more than likely identify with it and are even proud of it, greatly enjoying their broad and deep body of knowledge. INTJs enjoy sharing what they know as well, confident in their mastery of their chosen subjects, but owing to their Intuitive (N) and Judging (J) traits, they prefer to design and execute a brilliant plan within their field rather than share opinions on “uninteresting” distractions like gossip.
“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”
A paradox to most observers, INTJs are able to live by glaring contradictions that nonetheless make perfect sense – at least from a purely rational perspective. For example, INTJs are simultaneously the most starry-eyed idealists and the bitterest of cynics, a seemingly impossible conflict. But this is because INTJ types tend to believe that with effort, intelligence and consideration, nothing is impossible, while at the same time they believe that people are too lazy, short-sighted or self-serving to actually achieve those fantastic results. Yet that cynical view of reality is unlikely to stop an interested INTJ from achieving a result they believe to be relevant.
In Matters Of Principle, Stand Like a Rock
INTJs radiate self-confidence and an aura of mystery, and their insightful observations, original ideas and formidable logic enable them to push change through with sheer willpower and force of personality. At times it will seem that INTJs are bent on deconstructing and rebuilding every idea and system they come into contact with, employing a sense of perfectionism and even morality to this work. Anyone who doesn’t have the talent to keep up with INTJs’ processes, or worse yet, doesn’t see the point of them, is likely to immediately and permanently lose their respect.
Rules, limitations and traditions are anathema to the INTJ personality type – everything should be open to questioning and reevaluation, and if they see a way, INTJs will often act unilaterally to enact their technically superior, sometimes insensitive, and almost always unorthodox methods and ideas.
This isn’t to be misunderstood as impulsiveness – INTJs will strive to remain rational no matter how attractive the end goal may be, and every idea, whether generated internally or soaked in from the outside world, must pass the ruthless and ever-present “Is this going to work?” filter. This mechanism is applied at all times, to all things and all people, and this is often where INTJ personality types run into trouble.
One Reflects More When Traveling Alone
INTJs are brilliant and confident in bodies of knowledge they have taken the time to understand, but unfortunately the social contract is unlikely to be one of those subjects. White lies and small talk are hard enough as it is for a type that craves truth and depth, but INTJs may go so far as to see many social conventions as downright stupid. Ironically, it is often best for them to remain where they are comfortable – out of the spotlight – where the natural confidence prevalent in INTJs as they work with the familiar can serve as its own beacon, attracting people, romantically or otherwise, of similar temperament and interests.
INTJs are defined by their tendency to move through life as though it were a giant chess board, pieces constantly shifting with consideration and intelligence, always assessing new tactics, strategies and contingency plans, constantly outmaneuvering their peers in order to maintain control of a situation while maximizing their freedom to move about. This isn’t meant to suggest that INTJs act without conscience, but to many Feeling (F) types, INTJs’ distaste for acting on emotion can make it seem that way, and it explains why many fictional villains (and misunderstood heroes) are modeled on this personality type.
- Quick, Imaginative and Strategic Mind – INTJs pride themselves on their minds, taking every opportunity to improve their knowledge, and this shows in the strength and flexibility of their strategic thinking. Insatiably curious and always up for an intellectual challenge, INTJs can see things from many perspectives. INTJs use their creativity and imagination not so much for artistry, but for planning contingencies and courses of action for all possible scenarios.
- High Self-Confidence – INTJs trust their rationalism above all else, so when they come to a conclusion, they have no reason to doubt their findings. This creates an honest, direct style of communication that isn’t held back by perceived social roles or expectations. When INTJs are right, they’re right, and no amount of politicking or hand-holding is going to change that fact – whether it’s correcting a person, a process, or themselves, they’d have it no other way.
- Independent and Decisive – This creativity, logic and confidence come together to form individuals who stand on their own and take responsibility for their own actions. Authority figures do not impress INTJs, nor do social conventions or tradition, and no matter how popular something is, if they have a better idea, INTJs will stand against anyone they have to in a bid to have it changed. Either an idea is the most rational or it’s wrong, and INTJs will apply this to their arguments as well as their own behavior, staying calm and detached from these sometimes emotionally charged conflicts. INTJs will only be swayed by those who follow suit.
- Hard-working and determined – If something piques their interest, INTJs can be astonishingly dedicated to their work, putting in long hours and intense effort to see an idea through. INTJs are incredibly efficient, and if tasks meet the criteria of furthering a goal, they will find a way to consolidate and accomplish those tasks. However, this drive for efficiency can also lead to a sort of elaborate laziness, wherein INTJs find ways to bypass seeming redundancies which don’t seem to require a great deal of thought – this can be risky, as sometimes double-checking one’s work is the standard for a reason.
- Open-minded – All this rationalism leads to a very intellectually receptive personality type, as INTJs stay open to new ideas, supported by logic, even if (and sometimes especially if) they prove INTJs’ previous conceptions wrong. When presented with unfamiliar territory, such as alternate lifestyles, INTJs tend to apply their receptiveness and independence, and aversion to rules and traditions, to these new ideas as well, resulting in fairly liberal social senses.
- Jacks-of-all-Trades – INTJs’ open-mindedness, determination, independence, confidence and strategic abilities create individuals who are capable of doing anything they set their minds to. Excelling at analyzing anything life throws their way, INTJs are able to reverse-engineer the underlying methodology of most any system and apply the concepts that are exposed wherever needed. INTJs tend to have their pick of professions, from IT architects to political masterminds.
- Arrogant – INTJs are perfectly capable of carrying their confidence too far, falsely believing that they’ve resolved all the pertinent issues of a matter and closing themselves off to the opinions of those they believe to be intellectually inferior. Combined with their irreverence for social conventions, INTJs can be brutally insensitive in making their opinions of others all too clear.
- Judgmental – INTJs tend to have complete confidence in their thought process, because rational arguments are almost by definition correct – at least in theory. In practice, emotional considerations and history are hugely influential, and a weak point for INTJs is that they brand these factors and those who embrace them as illogical, dismissing them and considering their proponents to be stuck in some baser mode of thought, making it all but impossible to be heard.
- Overly analytical – A recurring theme with INTJs is their analytical prowess, but this strength can fall painfully short where logic doesn’t rule – such as with human relationships. When their critical minds and sometimes neurotic level of perfectionism (often the case with Turbulent INTJs) are applied to other people, all but the steadiest of friends will likely need to make some distance, too often permanently.
- Loathe highly structured environments – Blindly following precedents and rules without understanding them is distasteful to INTJs, and they disdain even more authority figures who blindly uphold those laws and rules without understanding their intent. Anyone who prefers the status quo for its own sake, or who values stability and safety over self-determination, is likely to clash with INTJ personality types. Whether it’s the law of the land or simple social convention, this aversion applies equally, often making life more difficult than it needs to be.
- Clueless in romance – This antipathy to rules and tendency to over-analyze and be judgmental, even arrogant, all adds up to a personality type that is often clueless in dating. Having a new relationship last long enough for INTJs to apply the full force of their analysis on their potential partner’s thought processes and behaviors can be challenging. Trying harder in the ways that INTJs know best can only make things worse, and it’s unfortunately common for them to simply give up the search. Ironically, this is when they’re at their best, and most likely to attract a partner.
INTJ IN THE WORKPLACE
Above all else, INTJs want to be able to tackle intellectually interesting work with minimal outside interference, no more, no less. Time-consuming management techniques like trust-building getaways, progress meetings, and drawn-out, sandwiched criticisms are only going to annoy INTJs – all they need, be they subordinate, colleague, or manager, is to meet their goals with the highest standard of technical excellence and to be surrounded by, if anyone at all, people who share those values.
INTJs are independent people, and they quickly become frustrated if they find themselves pushed into tightly defined roles that limit their freedom. With the direction of a properly liberal manager, INTJs will establish themselves in a position of expertise, completing their work not with the ambition of managerial promotion, but for its own intrinsic merit. INTJs require and appreciate firm, logical managers who are able to direct efforts with competence, deliver criticism when necessary, and back up those decisions with sound reason.
Note that it is INTJs’ expectations of their managers that are being defined here, and not the other way around, as with some other personality types. Titles mean little to INTJs – trust and respect are earned, and INTJs expect this to be a two way street, receiving and delivering advice, criticisms and results. INTJs expect their managers to be intelligent enough and strong enough to be able to handle this paradigm.
Active teamwork is not ideal for people with the INTJ personality type. Fiercely independent and private, INTJs use their nimble minds and insight to deflect personal talk, avoid workplace tension, and create situations where they aren’t slowed down by those less intelligent, less capable, or less adaptable to more efficient methods. Instead, they will likely poke fun by forcing them to read between the lines and making them deal alone with work that could have been easier if they’d only taken INTJs’ suggestions.
INTJs are brilliant analysts, and will likely gather a small handful of trusted colleagues to involve in their brainstorming sessions, excluding those who get too hung up on details, or who otherwise have yet to earn their respect. But more likely, INTJs will simply take the initiative alone – INTJs love embracing challenges and their consequent responsibilities, and their perfectionism and determination usually mean that the work comes out clean and effective, affording INTJs the twin joys of solitude and victory.
Though they may be surprised to hear it, INTJs make natural leaders, and this shows in their management style. INTJs value innovation and effectiveness more than just about any other quality, and they will gladly cast aside hierarchy, protocol and even their own beliefs if they are presented with rational arguments about why things should change. INTJs promote freedom and flexibility in the workplace, preferring to engage their subordinates as equals, respecting and rewarding initiative and adopting an attitude of “to the best mind go the responsibilities”, directing strategy while more capable hands manage the day-to-day tactics.
But this sort of freedom isn’t just granted, it’s required – those who are accustomed to just being told what to do, who are unable to direct themselves and challenge existing notions, will have a hard time meeting INTJs’ extremely high standards. Efficiency and results are king to INTJs, and behaviors that undermine these conditions are quashed mercilessly. If subordinates try to compensate for their weakness in these areas by trying to build a social relationship with their INTJ managers, on their heads be it – office gossip and schmoozing are not the way into INTJs’ hearts – only bold competence will do.
Professional competence is often the area in which INTJs shine most brilliantly. Their capacity for digesting difficult and complex theories and principles and converting them into clear and actionable ideas and strategies is unmatched by any other type. INTJs are able to filter out the noise of a situation, identifying the core thread that needs to be pulled in order to unravel others’ messes so that they can be rewoven into something at once beautifully intricate and stunningly simple in its function.
The real challenge for INTJs is that in order for their innovative (and to less insightful individuals, seemingly counter-intuitive) ideas to be heard, they need to have a friendly ear to bend, and developing an amiable rapport with authority figures is not exactly in INTJs’ list of core strengths. In their early careers, INTJs will often have to suffer through menial tasks and repeated rejections as they develop their abilities into a skillset that speaks for itself.
INTJs will often find ways to automate routine and mind-numbing tasks, and as they progress, their natural confidence, dedication, and creative intelligence will open the doors to the increased complexity and freedom they crave.
Where’s My Drawing Board?
INTJs tend to prefer to work alone, or at most in small groups, where they can maximize their creativity and focus without repeated interruptions from questioning colleagues and meetings-happy supervisors. For this reason INTJs are unlikely to be found in strictly administrative roles or anything that requires constant dialogue and heavy teamwork. Rather, INTJs prefer more “lone wolf” positions as mechanical or software engineers, lawyers or freelance consultants, only accepting competent leadership that helps in these goals, and rejecting the authority of those who hold them back.
Their independent attitude and tireless demand for competence mean that INTJs absolutely loathe those who get ahead by seemingly less meritocratic means like social prowess and political connections. INTJs have exceptionally high standards, and if they view a colleague or supervisor as incompetent or ineffective, respect will be lost instantly and permanently. INTJs value personal initiative, determination, insight and dedication, and believe that everyone should complete their work to the highest possible standards – if a schmoozing shill breezes through without carrying their own weight, they may find INTJs’ inventiveness and determination used in a whole new capacity as the winds turn against them.
Timid Men Prefer the Calm
As their careers progress further and their reputation grows, so will the complexity of INTJs’ tasks and projects. INTJs demand progress and evolution, new challenges and theories, and they often accomplish this by pushing into more active strategic positions. While they don’t care for the spotlight, INTJs do enjoy controlling their ideas, and will often expand into low-profile but influential roles as project managers, system engineers, marketing strategists, systems analysts, and military strategists.
But really, INTJs’ vision, creativity, and competence in executing their plans make them viable in just about any career that requires them to think about what they’re doing. While some careers, such as low-level sales and human resources, clearly do not play to their strengths, INTJs are able to build a niche into just about any institution, including their own, that they put their minds to.
In romance, people with the INTJ personality type approach things the way they do with most situations: they compose a series of calculated actions with a predicted and desirable end goal – a healthy long-term relationship. Rather than falling head over heels in a whirlwind of passion and romance, INTJs identify potential partners who meet a certain range of pre-determined criteria, break the dating process down into a series of measurable milestones, then proceed to execute the plan with clinical precision.
In a purely rational world, this is a fool-proof methodology – but in reality, it ignores significant details that INTJs are likely to dismiss prematurely, such as human nature. INTJs are brilliantly intellectual, developing a world in their heads that is more perfect than reality. People entering this world need to fit this fantasy, and it can be incredibly difficult for INTJs to find someone up to the task. Needless to say, finding a compatible partner is the most significant challenge most INTJs will face in life.
Politeness Is Artificial Good Humor
Sentiment, tradition, and emotion are INTJs’ Achilles Heel. Social standards like chivalry are viewed by INTJs as silly, even demeaning. The problem is, these standards have developed as a means of smoothing introductions and developing rapport, of managing expectations, the basis of personal relationships. INTJs’ propensity for frank honesty in word and action tends to violate this social contract, making dating especially difficult for them.
As they mature, INTJs will come to recognize these factors as relevant, incorporating pace and emotional availability into their plans. But the meantime can be dangerous, especially for more Turbulent INTJs – if they are shot down too many times they may come to the conclusion that everyone else is simply too irrational, or simply beneath them intellectually. If cynicism takes hold, INTJs may end up falling into the trap of intentionally displaying intellectual arrogance, making solitude their choice rather than happenstance.
Always Remain Cool
The positive side of INTJs’ “giving up” is that they are most attractive when they aren’t trying to be attractive, working in a familiar environment where their confidence and intelligence can be seen in action. Allowing others to come to them is often INTJs’ best strategy, and if they perceive a potential to the relationship, they will spare no effort in developing and maintaining stability and long-term satisfaction.
As their relationships develop, INTJs’ partners will find an imaginative and enthusiastic companion, who will share their world and at the same time grant a huge degree of independence and trust. While INTJs may never be fully comfortable expressing their feelings, and may spend more time theorizing about intimacy than engaging in it, they can always be relied upon to think out a mutually beneficial solution to any situation.
INTJs seek strong, deep relationships, and trust their knowledge and logic to ensure that their partner is satisfied, both intellectually and physically.
But when it comes to emotional satisfaction, INTJs are simply out of their element. Not every partner has the sort of fun INTJs do in addressing conflicts and emotional needs as puzzles to be analyzed and solved. Sometimes emotions need to be expressed for their own sake, and putting every outburst under the microscope isn’t always helpful. If this becomes habit, or INTJs think it may, they are capable of simply ending the relationship, rather than dragging things out.
Truth and Morality
INTJs are bewilderingly deep and intelligent people, bringing stability and insight into their romantic relationships. They prize honest, open communication, and all factors of the relationship are open to discussion and change, but this must be reciprocated. INTJs do what they think is right, and sometimes that comes across as cold – it’s important to know that INTJs don’t make these decisions lightly. They spend a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to understand why and how things go wrong, especially if they’ve devoted themselves to the relationship, and they certainly hurt deeply when things fall apart.