You Are What You Don’t

You Are What You Don’t: Radical Transformation and the Positive Limits of Play by David Charles is the story of seven life-changing experiments in ‘positive constraints’.

What are positive constraints?

Positive constraints are a variety of lifestyle hack where you take one of your habitual behaviours and stop doing it for a certain length of time.

Why? Simply to see what else happens. It sounds small – and it is – but the results of this hack can be profound.

  • Travelling without aeroplanes transformed me from being an EasyJetsetter into someone who cycles around whole countries for fun.
  • Shopping away from supermarkets for a month gave the lie to their claims on cheapness, choice and convenience forever.
  • Quitting walking for a day showed me that changing the way we use our bodies can be our quickest way to change the way we feel.

What are the experiments?

The seven positive constraints in the book are:

  1. No Walking
  2. No Aeroplanes
  3. No Mobile Phone
  4. No Supermarkets
  5. No Money
  6. No Borders
  7. No Ego

In each experiment, I use my own experiences to explore more general themes, exploiting psychology, sociology, philosophy, history and economics to come to some conclusions about what’s important and how to get the most out of life.

Where can I read You Are What You Don’t?

You Are What You Don’t will be published in early 2017. In the meantime, I’ll be publishing new stories and extracts from the book every week, right here on the YAWYD Blog.

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