When you walk into the wellness center’s orientation room, a notification on your Apple Watch asks if you’d like to grant the wellness system temporary access to your Apple Health data, which has evolved into a digital self-sovereign identity and authentication system that puts 100% ownership and control of every piece of your digital footprint in your hands.
The room’s design evokes a hybrid of dance studio and a martial arts gym, but instead of where those might have traditional mirrors on the walls, here they are mirrors filled with an array of digital sensors.
A gentle, relaxed, and warm voice that contains the most vital elements of masculine and feminine comes through your wireless earphones and welcomes you to your personalized well-being construction and Self-design session.
It suggests that now is the time to open your orientation kit…the neutrally-designed and sealed bag you were given when you first arrived.
“Don’t worry about the generic boring look of the stuff in there, “ the coach tells you, “In a few weeks, you’ll receive a package with the first versions you’ve designed for yourself in orientation today.”
“Until then, you are welcome and encouraged to hang onto this one.”
You open up the bag and unseal the kit, which contains an augmented reality headset and some blissfully soft clothes. The fit is loose, with plenty of room to move comfortably. A perfect match to your body.
The coach comes back over your earphones.
“Great. Are you ready to begin?”
You are, and you say so out loud.
“Please put on the headset and stand in front of one of the mirrors where you can see your whole body clearly.”
When the AR glasses settle into place, the mirror in front of you activates and a digital version of you appears.
A virtual you.
While this digital version of you has a bit of that video game character look, you’re amazed by the accuracy of the resemblance.
To find out just how good this thing is, you raise your arm, wiggle your leg, and make faces. With every movement, the digital version of you reflects back what you’ve done instantly and seamlessly.
It’s so accurate, you think to yourself, anyone could be forgiven for believing they were gazing at themselves in a real mirror and not a virtual one.
As you marvel at the digital you, the coach comes back into your earphones and requests your permission to ask a series of personal questions about your life, your relationships, and your overall sense of yourself.
“Per this center’s self-sovereign data policy,” the voice says “You retain 100% ownership and control of every single bit of data you generate in this and every session here.
Other than your expression of consent at the end of this message, every movement your body makes, every word you say, and every single personalized insight the AI derives from the work we do together remains completely in your control.
We upload it straight to your Apple Health data vault and our systems can only interface with it during our sessions together.
Further, our organization accepts 100% liability if any third party that has not received your explicit consent accesses your data while our systems are interfacing with it, up to and including anyone on this center’s staff.
Do you agree to those terms?”
“Yes,” you say, “I grant my consent.”
You adjust your posture so your feet feel rooted into the ground.
The insoles in your sneakers, woven around a meta-material with extraordinary properties register your grounded posture and authenticates you.
In that moment, the panel on the wall to the right of the mirror turns on.
If you have ever gone through the “character creation” interface of a role playing game like Skyrim or World of Warcraft, you’ve seen one of these before:
It’s a table of attributes, broken down into categories like emotional well-being, physical well-being, social well being, financial well being, and a connection to something greater than yourself.
Under each category, there are relevant attributes like communication skills (speaking and listening), clear sense of purpose, mindfulness, equanimity, charisma, body fat percentage, and financial health (savings/liabilities/investments/philanthropic activities).
Each high level category and each of its attributes have a score that falls somewhere on the scale from 1-100, all of which are derived from the 90-minute intake you did earlier that day.
So if you’re a 27 year old male with 28% body fat who gets winded walking up hills, have an intensely painful relationship with your mother, and have a moderate amount of debt, you might score a 28/100 on “body fat” and “physical health, a 10/100 on “maternal relationship” and a 50/100 on “financial health.”
From the aggregate of all these scores (weighted according to each one’s estimated impact on your well being and self-confidence), you get a decently accurate, entirely measurable sense of the present state of your well-being.
Your guide walks you through each score and checks in to see if each one seems accurate to you. After you’ve made some adjustments, it’s time to design a version of yourself for three years from today.
“Many people find this process to be quite moving, and we recommend going through it with the guidance of one of our center’s coaches. Would you like a human in the room as you design the version of yourself that you would like to become?”
Yes, you would.
A person of the gender you specified as your preference for a coach walks in and introduces themselves.
After some gentle formalities, the coach walks you through each attribute, offering clarification on what each one means and, if you’d like, the research that supports its inclusion.
One by one, you and your coach adjust the scores in the direction you’d like them to go.
As you do so, you notice the digital version of you in the virtual mirror start to change.
You dial down your body fat score and your digital belly shrinks. You notice the excess fat draining from your face and the bones in your jawline and cheeks becoming more visible.
Liking what you see, you dial your lean muscle mass score up 85. Your digital muscles fill out.
You adjust your financial health score from 50 to 80..
As the score rises, your avatar’s posture softens. You stand a bit taller and your shoulders loosen, rolling down and back.
Finally, you get to your “maternal relationship health” score.
You pause. This is the most sensitive one.
As you begin to adjust the score from 10 to 50, you sense some of the tension easing out of your avatar’s face.
You adjust the score from 50-80, and the transformation is startling.
The furrowed brow, locked-tight jaw, and slight frown you’ve been wearing for as long as you can remember relaxes.
Your digital face morphs, reflecting a dramatically calmer, more serene expression.
The clothes you walked into the wellness facility with are now baggy on you in the virtual mirror, and your wellness guide asks if you’d like to design an outfit for this new version of you.
“Imagine it’s three years from today, and you are getting dressed for a party everyone you love and has supported your journey along the way is throwing to celebrate the Self you have become. What would you be wearing?”
Curated from a nearly infinite digital wardrobe with an AI’s personal styling support, your outfit for that evening is impeccable. You look dazzling.
After you and your coach put the finishing touches on your attribute scores, your coach asks you to close your eyes and take 3 deep, long, slow breaths.
After the pause, you open your eyes.
As you take in the mentally, emotionally, and physically strong, financially-sound version of you…the version of you that has learned to forgive your mother for all mistakes she made with you when you were a kid and forgiven yourself for the mistakes you’ve made and the wounds you’ve carried to this point… an overwhelming feeling of warmth emanates from your heart.
You stare into the eyes of the version of you that has made peace with your most painful demons and found joy.
It stares back.
You start to well up with tears.
As you begin to cry, your coach asks if you would like a hug.
You nod, right on the edge.
As your coach’s deep, authentic hug envelopes you, you can’t help it. Your heart melts open
These are tears of joy, but they also contain your grief..
You cry for all pain you have been in recently and all the suffering you’ve experienced in your life. You cry for the suffering your mother went through when she was a kid, two decades before you were even a glimmer in her eye.
But your tears are not just grief. They are also full of compassion.
Compassion for the struggles you’ve faced and the strength you forgot you had.
Compassion for everyone you love, and even for everyone you thought you hated.
Compassion because in this moment, right now, staring at joyful version of yourself, you’ve remembered exactly how challenging and painful it can be for anyone to be alive on Earth.
You cry through your joy, your grief, and your compassion for a full 10 minutes. Your coach’s hug never abates.
You compose yourself and look back at the digital you. And suddenly, in an instant, you notice that when you weren’t looking, the crying shifted to laughter.
A laughter that starts like a slight tickle in the belly, and in that instant you realize just how close the physical movements of crying and laughing actually are then you ascend into giggles and then genuine laughs and it crescendos to a place where you’re now laughing as hard as you were crying just a few minutes ago.
You don’t even know what’s funny, but it is.
Your coach asks if you like what you see.
When you say yes, the digital image in front of you shifts from a mirror reflection of you to a “world map” (like the one you find early on in an open world video game) with the part of it that’s lit up reflecting the geography where you live, work, and spend most of your time.
The rest of it waits to be filled in.
As you look at it, a range of three illuminated paths, all starting from where you’re standing right now, open to help you find your way to the boundary of the charted area.
Each path begins with a small, simple, enjoyable new skill and builds on it (and your growing sense of accomplishment). Each initial stage of the journey is designed to take approximately 90 days and continue for about a year or so.
To support your path and guide you through any setbacks along the way, you have access to a follow-up system with regular, proactive check ins over text message (with a machine-assisted human on the other side), with lots of positive feedback, rewards, celebrations and hidden delights (easter eggs) along the way.”
“Based on the AI’s analysis, any of those three paths are the most aligned for your current skills, passions, and life situation. All of them are likely to open the door to where you’d like to go and far beyond them; but they are not the only ones.”
And if you’d like to reconfigure any of them or use our library of trainings, virtual master classes, and local mentors to design your own first 90 day path from scratch, you are more than welcome. And, of course, you are free to walk out of here and follow none of them at all..
“Whatever you choose, we are here to offer guidance and support.”
“Your choices,” the coach reminds you, “always remain yours.”