Izsights is a platform first and foremost for learning, sharing and creating. We’ll focus on High Performance (see High Performance Lab), Learning and Healthy Living. Run by Adam M. Ismaeil, aka Iz, topics will be addressed ranging from nutrition, movement and mental & cognitive health to mental models, various philosophies and book reviews to habits, routines and ways have a more balanced, efficient and fulfilled lifestyle. The goal is to create an intersection of ideas, sharing and collaboration that promotes learning across these areas by boiling things down to the essentials for performing better, learning more effectively and living a healthier more balanced lifestyle.
Health & Performance
In May 2017 I left management consulting. While “doing my bid”, I saw a clear evolution in my line of thinking around health & performance. Early in on in life I had focused on optimizing my efforts and inputs purely to compete at a higher level in sport. Thanks to those efforts, the lessons and habits I acquired are what fueld my career opportunities as a young professional. And yet, once I got there, I had to find another gear mentally and cognitively. But how? The answer, and what became a differentiating feature of my performance, was leveraging intense workouts and various nutrititional protocols to perform at my best.

The evolution continued. Over the years, I became a trusted source of nutrition, supplementation, exercise and coaching advice for friends, colleagues, clients and family. My conversations were enjoyable, but always led to the frustration of realizing how most people are in the dark when it comes to knowing how to take care of their health & performance. And set their own expectations. Too many people are in a reactive mode of ‘wait for the symptoms like pain or disease, then run to the doctor and get a perscription’. This is true of medical procedures as well as the management of pain through physical therapists that many of us rely on due to bad habits. I realized there was a huge knowledge gap and wanted to help be a part of the solution. To me, that solution was insightful content and educational material that empowers folks to dictate their journey a little bit more and be less reliant on the reactive model of health & performance we’re accustomed to.

The High Performance Lab and High Performance Lab Podcast (iTunes) are dedicated to empowering individuals and organizations to higher levels of health & performance via pointed content around Nutrition, Movement and Mental & Cognitive Performance that gives us the information we need, without any of the confusion or intimidation that so often accompanies it.

Learning & Mental Models
You know what scared the hell out of me? Waking up after 4 or 5 years in a demanding career and realizing I had been focusing 100% of my time on solving other people’s (clients/companies) problems. And solving these problems wasn’t easy, they were complex, so it meant learning & development that was focused on professional outcomes. I just about lost it, as a competitive person, when I realized how much I’d been ignoring some of my real interests and passions and suddenly felt behding the peloton again.

It felt like starting over, because well, it was starting over. But it helped me realize how much there was to learn about and how broken not just he ttraditional education system as a whole is, but how fundamentally flawed the construct of how we learn is. In other words, many of us need to re-learn how to learn. This vertical focuses on ways we can all “learn how to learn” more effectively to make up for lost time. I’ll be exploring different mental models, ways to solve problems, think through things and make decisions more effectively; Reviewing books and sharing key lessons in an effort to think about things differently.

Methods & Tools
Everyone has different learning habits. I’m the guy who can only sit, listen and retain information for 30 minutes. Maybe an hour tops. I learn my listening, asking questions and then testing things out on my own. In other words, I learn best by doing, failing and doing again. I’ve always been an experimenter with health & performance – whether it’s nutritional protocols and supplements, training methods or nootropics (“smart drugs”) – but these days I’m going to be expanding the scope of my efforts to experiment with routines, methods and tools that I can validate and share with you in a highly leverageable format. The goal is share anything that can help you live more efficiently and effectively.
Our current political environment is more theatre than government. Thank you, media. And I think the circus show on the side pulls everyone’s attention away from some of the real ‘elephants in the room’. One of those elephants, innovation, is both exciting and scary at the same time. Technology and science are driving so much change and progress that’s beneficial, but we’re at weird stage where the replacement of humans with technology, intelligence and robotic process automation is not as evident because it’s not yet truly begun. We aren’t truly feeling it yet. Most of the predictions today say we’re 50 to 60 years out from “general intelligence” where our machines are actually learning and thinking damn close to the way we do. Now I’m no doomsday freak building a cement cave in my backyard, but if I had to put my finger on one of the biggest opportunities for explosive anarchy given the fragile state of our social, political and economic construct – I’d put my money on the progress of innovation.

So why the hell did I go that route? Not just to scare people. The majority of this vertical will be focused on learning and unpacking new technological paradigms that most people don’t understand. Including me. But part of that learning will be accepting our responsibility, together, that individuals and organizations can no longer ignore or be blindsided by technology.

“Alright folks, I’m no technologiest, but let me take a stab at describing the problem“

“Sorry, an API? Gary, you’re the techy, why don’t you fill them in on what the heck an API is while I google it..”

I’ll be the first to say I’m far from an expert in tech, science or broad innovation – far from it – there will always be true experts. Much of my perspective comes from working or collaborating with technology partners, startups and design agencies to help large organizations respond to, adapt or integrate innovation. But those statements above were oddly acceptable. Under this vertical, let’s explore the most important new technological paradigms first and foremost to learn, but also to get ahead (if possible) of new, potentially threatening, people-replacing technology.

Adam M. Ismaeil, AKA Iz

Born in New Jersey, Adam spent his high school years in the Hudson Valley, about one hour North of New York City. Competing in sports was a huge part of life, continuing into college as a two sport athlete at Springfield College where he studied exercise science. Athletics taught Adam a ton of lessons that he still pulls from today. While at Florida Southern College, Adam was a three year captain and starter on the Men’s Lacrosse team leading the program to records in wins, national ranking votes and upsets of top 5 teams for the first time in school history. He twice garnered all-america nominations and earned 1st team all conference, being named team MVP in 2012 and was runner up for conference player of the year as a defensive midfielder – the first defensive midfielder to be considered for the honor in conference history. After graduating with a degree in Finance & Economics, Adam scooted back up to NYC and spent about four years in management consulting focused on advising investment banks and their wealth management business units. In May 2017 – after opportunities from Capco and EY – he felt as though despite a growing skillset his learning was leveling off and was siloed. Looking for an opportunity to expand horizons adn compelled to pursue other passions, Adam has been researching, studying, learning, sharing and creating on his own and through this platform. For the last year Adam worked for a small commercial real estate software company and has focused heavily on re-learning how to learn, how to think more efficiently, investing in health and putting a ton of effort into creating and documenting it here with the hopes that you will find value. Outside of working and creating on the side, Adam loves trying new health or nutrition protocols, exercising, reading books, watching movies and is looking forward to spending more time in the elements.

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