Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square, has opened up on what helps him get through the day and keep fit, both mentally and physically.
Dorsey, 42, calls himself an experimenter whose daily routine now differs a lot from three years ago. “A lot of my routine today is all due to what felt like just had to be done in order to not just survive but to make sure that I continue to be performant and I continue to be clear,” he said on the health living podcast Ben Greenfield Fitness.
He said meditation had the biggest impact on him in terms of mental health. He has been meditating for nearly 20 years, and what at first were five-minute breaks he took to concentrate turned into an exercise of choice.
Dorsey is a well-known enthusiast of Vipassana, an ancient technique that commonly includes a 10-day retreat completely free from all forms of communication.
During such getaways, he meditates for nearly 15 hours, with the diet comprising nothing but vegetarian breakfasts and lunches.
He recommends doing at least one 10-day retreat every year and dedicating two hours every day to meditation, splitting it between morning and evening.
As far as physical health is concerned, the billionaire admits that he doesn’t have a personal trainer, nor does he go to a gym. Instead, he does a five-mile walk every morning to the office, rain or shine.
“I’d be out the door at 7.30 and then I’d be in the office by 9.00am. And during that walk, I would listen to podcasts like yours, or I would listen to audiobooks, or I would just think,” Dorsey explains.
When Dorsey doesn’t walk to work, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, he works out on an exercise bike and does seven-minute routines via the work-out app Seven. It doesn’t build muscle, he said, but keeps him fit and gives energy.
Three years ago, the Twitter co-founder bought a barrel sauna and an ice bath with a built-in chiller, switching between them over the course of 15 minutes.
He admits that he went too far into veganism at some point, and excessive amounts of beta-carotene — a pigment found in carrots and other colourful plants and fruits which the human body converts into vitamin A — turned his skin and hair orange.
Diet is another pillar of his lifestyle. Dorsey details that he has been eating just one meal a day for the past two years and has been experimenting with “prolonged fasting” in recent times, which even caused hallucinations at first.
“For the past two years, I only have dinner,” Dorsey added. “I usually eat around 6:30, and I eat until about 8:30 or 9:00 at the latest. And that’s when I can also drink wine, like red wine usually.”
“I don’t have anything until around 6:30. And then, I usually eat a really big meal and I have a protein, whether it’d be fish, chicken, or some steak. I try to have a lot of greens in terms of salad, a big arugula salad, spinach. And then, I sometimes have asparagus or brussels sprout or some other green vegetable. And then, I have mixed berries as a dessert, maybe some dark chocolate.”
Last year, Dorsey’s lifestyle led to backlash after he shared some details about his 10-day meditation trip to Myanmar, where thousands of people were killed and hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees fled the country because of what they called violence and discrimination on the part of the military. Critics accused Dorsey of promoting Myanmar as a tourist destination despite allegations of human rights violations.
He acknowledged that he didn’t “know enough” and should have “learned more” about the Myanmar crisis, but insisted that practicing meditation there was not an endorsement of the violence.