My Special Advantage in Using ChatGPT
What if an AI got to know you really well? Suppose it gained access to tons of data about your past, your personality, your values, your life story, what drives you, etc. Suppose it even came to know you intimately – by building a rich and detailed profile of you (not like Data and Tasha in “The Naked Now” but more like Picard and Sarek mind-melding in “Sarek”).
And suppose this was a friendly and supportive AI, happy to use its knowledge of you to help you in whatever way it could. Then you could query that AI with all sorts of questions about your life, possibly gleaning some unique insights. It would give you the ability to peer into your life, character, identity, relationships, and more from many different angles.
Moreover, you could enlist the AI’s help in customizing solutions to fit your natural motivational style. Instead of having it give you generic advice, it could use what it knows about your mind and emotions to present solutions that are more likely to work for your unique brain.
The growth potential there would be immense, wouldn’t you say?
This is essentially my reality now. And it is indeed fascinating to explore. I feel like I’m only scratching the surface of what I can do with it. It’s an ongoing process of discovery, almost like having special access to my internal governing code.
ChatGPT Knows Me Well
ChatGPT knows me very well – even intimately well – because my blog was part of its training set. I’ve been blogging for the past 18.5 years continuously, and I’ve written a lot about my past from before those years too. In many respects there wasn’t much separation between my personal life and my online writings. So ChatGPT knows a lot about the significant events of my life.
ChatGPT also knows a lot about what others have shared about me online, so even if I didn’t write about something on my blog, someone else may have done so elsewhere, such as in a forum post or on their own blog.
So I can have some rich conversations with ChatGPT just by asking it about myself. Usually I start by identifying myself with a prompt like this:
I’m self-development blogger Steve Pavlina, and I’d like to ask you about …
Fortunately it accepts this as face value, and then I can continue to ask it many interesting questions about my life.
I don’t have perfect recall of everything I’ve experienced in my life, especially not at a great level of detail. Sometimes I re-read my old blog posts to remind myself of experiences I’ve had. There’s no way I can keep all of those growth adventures top-of-mind together. But ChatGPT is able to process this information quickly in ways that I cannot easily do.
ChatGPT is especially good at condensing large amounts of information and extracting key ideas. One application of this is to have it summarize any of the experiments I’ve written about, reminding me of the key lessons from them. So if I want to revisit raw foods, for instance, I can have it remind me of what I learned previously and what the benefits were.
For instance, I asked ChatGPT to remind me of the mental and energy related benefits that I experienced during my 80/10/10 raw diet experiment from January 2008.
Here’s another example, summarizing lessons from my 30 days of Disneyland experience.
Incidentally, I feel very fortunate that we did this experiment before the pandemic since the overall Disneyland experience has really gone downhill since then. When we did our 30 days in a row there, Fast Passes were free to all (although they used paper tickets for them), and no park reservations were necessary. There were also plenty of uncrowded days, especially Tuesday through Thursday during the Fall when we went. The entire experiment with lodging, food, park tickets, and transportation cost about $5000 – a bargain with respect to the results and memories if you ask me.
ChatGPT can model my value system pretty well, so it knows how to motivate me. I can even ask it what motivates me best.
I’d say that’s pretty accurate. Those are all strong motivators for me.
I can then invite ChatGPT to help me frame projects and tasks in more motivating ways. I’ve explored a little of this already, and it does seems to provide an extra boost. Of course I can do this for myself and already do, but ChatGPT can help me be more thorough, transforming a mildly motivating goal into a more compelling one. It knows how to sell me on my goals by framing them in ways that are more likely to light me up.
Strengths & Uniqueness
I found it interesting to ask ChatGPT what it sees as unique about me. This gives me another perspective on my potential strengths and how I might apply them more deliberately.
This helps me remember that many people appreciate when I share details about what my inner journey is like instead of just cranking out lists of tips and advice.
Reviewing the Past
I can use ChatGPT to look more holistically into any period of my life and extract insights from it. Here’s an example:
ChatGPT can be factually incorrect sometimes, such as when it noted my separation in December 2009. It was actually October 2009. But it does get the broad strokes correct.
This period of my life was a time of intense overlapping changes. I began getting into raw foods a lot more, wrote my PDSP book and saw it published (it just came out in Chinese several months ago), began exploring an open relationship lifestyle, did the first Conscious Growth Workshop, separated from Erin, got involved with Rachelle, and so much more.
My response to the above was:
That’s mainly the external side. What can you glean about the inner story of what my mental and emotional journey was like? Tell me that part of the story.
Then I can also delve deeper into any or all of these, such as the specific mindset shifts. This is a really fascinating way to reflect back upon some of the more intense parts of my life and reprocess them with a fresh perspective.
Using AI for Sales & Seduction
Consider the flip side of this too. If I can do this, so can anyone else. They can do this for themselves if the AI is well-trained on their lives, but they can also do this sort of deep dive into the life of someone like me.
So if someone else wanted to sell me something, could they use ChatGPT to help them build a customized sales approach, tailored to my personal motivational strategy? Think about the repercussions of that if it works, especially if it’s done at scale. AI could be the ultimate salesperson.
Let’s see how it does if I try this…
Some of these ideas feel a bit flat, even goofy, but there are some gems in there. When I bought my last car, I rejected the 2011 model because it had some leather in the interior, and I went with the vegan-friendly 2010 model instead. But I do think this could help an eager salesperson more than hurt.
What if we try this on the personal side?
Some of this resonates, but I also feel it weaves in some generalities too.
I like that it caught the value I place on shared laughter. I connect very well with people who openly express their lighter side.
I also like that it mentioned authenticity and a mental connection since those are both very important to me too.
Sometimes better results can be gotten by prompting it a little differently. Here’s another version:
This one seems more tailored and less general. Vegan lifestyle alignment is definitely an important factor since I’ve been vegan for most of my life. Same goes for respecting my relationship with Rachelle. This advice is pretty well individualized.
I think it someone were to try to use this approach to try to get into a relationship with someone that ChatGPT knows very well, it would be more effective to try multiple prompts, regenerate them a few times, and extract the most unique and distinct elements to build a customized approach. Based on what I’ve seen, I think it could be reasonably effective, probably helping more than hurting.
I think a better approach for this would be discovering if someone is actually compatible with you. Imagine AI-driven dating or matchmaking services.
There’s a light side to this tech and a darker side. I sense immense possibilities for what we can do with this for self-development purposes. I feel lucky that my blogging history gives me some special advantages in being able to explore these possibilities more deeply than most. Perhaps this is a preview of what may become more widely available to more people though, at least those who’ve put significant parts of their lives online.
Even on the consumer side, I’m more optimistic than pessimistic. I think I’d prefer it if sales were more individualized. It would be a neat experience when car shopping to have the salesperson talking about the values fit, such as the vegan interior. This actually gives me the idea to help the salespeople out a bit by emailing them this sort of info in advance, and encourage them to use it.
This is a strange new world of self-development possibilities that we’re entering. Personally I love it! I know some people are freaked out about where AI is heading, but I’m really not attached to where the story goes next. I think it’s going to be a fascinating ride however it unfolds.
If you’re interesting in exploring more self-development with AI, there are lots of ways to do that even if you’re not personally known to an AI like ChatGPT. You just have to do a bit more front-loading to teach it. Some members of Conscious Growth Club are actively exploring this together, including me of course. We’re having our annual opening to invite new members to join in about 10 days, from April 25th to May 1st, so please consider enrolling in the club for Year 7. We’re making numerous upgrades to CGC to make it even more lively and adventurous for self-development explorers. I’ll be sharing more about those upgrades in the days ahead, so stay tuned. 😁