The LX Story
People are complex life-forms. Unpredictable, emotional, irrational, and diverse. And Earth has seven billion people, with seven billion stories, and seven billion sets of hopes, dreams, and fears. Fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters. Bosses, colleagues, friends, lovers, and enemies.
And then, there is you. Before you even worry about anyone else, and how you relate to them, do you know who you are? And I mean truly know. What really motivates you? Keeps you awake at night? What are you great at, and never going to master? How should you behave to make friends, influence people, or get that promotion you deserve? And what do you want to really achieve in the 30,000 days you have here on Earth?
< gulp >. Yeah, scary questions, but important ones to be able to answer if you are going to be happy in life.
I realized several years ago, I couldn’t answer these questions for myself, and so I set out on a voyage of self-discovery. I read the bookshelves of Amazon, watched the videos of YouTubers, browsed the stories of Instagrammers, and listened to the podcasts of pop-culture Gurus. I got feedback on sofas and in coffee shops from various executive mentors, life coaches and well-being experts. I had dinner debates with academics, financiers, sports stars and business leaders. And I conferenced, retreated, meditated, studied and used different approaches in the four corners of the world.
Now looking back, I realize that a couple of years after my journey first started, I was drowning in the advice that exists out there. Ironically the huge menu of overlapping, unprioritized, one-size-fits-all and at times contradictory thinking left me feeling more daunted than before I started. Not good. Since then, I have learned that I am not alone and many people feel this way. Sound familiar?
So back then, like Mark Watney [Astronaut & Space Pirate], as an independent-minded determined scientist-at-heart, I took the only option that felt comfortable: I tried to engineer the sh!t of the problem.
Now I should say that my first few years of proactive self-discovery had not been wasted, indeed far from it. A number of ‘universal truths’ had become clear to me:
i) self-reflection and awareness is always a good thing;
ii) there is always good basic ‘foundational’ advice to adopt before the more complex advanced approaches;
iii) all coaches / advisers / managers / parents / friends are by human-nature unconsciously biased;
iv) everyone is different and so what works for one person might not work for somebody else;
v) more data is better than less, but it has to be accessible and insightful to be useful.
Armed with these truths, a first-principles analytic approach, and the narrow focus to work out what is the basic practical advice I should personally follow of the ocean of options, I coded the first LX algorithms.
At the time, I did not really know how these would work in practice, what form the “answer” should take, and was actually fairly confident that I would not actually make sense of it all. But I thought it would be fun, so I gave it a go. What’s the worst that could happen?
Looking back now, my initial LX approach was embarrassingly crude, but even then, it helped me parse through at a very high-level the proliferation of personality frameworks and an associated morass of advice and get to some clarity about who I am, and what I probably should and should not do. And so, I used it to start to develop and evolve my own LX life priorities and plan. Progress!
More importantly, I glimpsed for the first time an algorithmic technique that offered me holistic, practical personality and well-being advice in probabilistic terms -- computational psychology or coaching if you like. It also seemed likely to offer an elegant statistical way to bridge from the everyday language we all use, to the grandest of 20th-century psychology theories. This itself was a purely coincidental by-product that I was not actually looking for but gave me the confidence I was on the right path.
Now my LX analysis and algorithms do not tell me what to do in specific situations or what choices to make, but they do help me understand myself better and the ‘flow of my life’. The analogy is like watching a gas; an observer cannot predict the motion of a single molecule, but they can predict the likely mass action of the gas and how it will probably react to different forces, pressure changes, and more or less space to move into.
Since those early versions, my equations have evolved and helped me improve my self-awareness, life priorities and plan. At the encouragement of friends, I have also worked quietly over the years to expand, generalize, and refine that initial set of algorithms, analysis, and advice so it also helps them. And today, while I am the first to remind everyone that it is only ever probabilistic advice, the LX computational psychology and personalized advice consistently resonate both emotionally and statistically with people who receive it.
Fortunately, I am now in a place to have over 50 experts from many different fields helping me develop further the ‘primary LX algorithm’ and ‘package of advice’ it produces. Without the wisdom of this crowd, LX would not be what it is today, and so it is partly as an acknowledgment to these 50 (L) experts (X) that I have chosen the LX name.
With this help it means I can now make LX accessible to help a wider audience. It feels the right time to do this as LX is on Version B (Battenburg), uses several base clustering languages, has a database of >2.6 million customizable advisory words, uses a big-data-driven adaptive survey script and runs results validity checks versus more than 15 classic psychology and well-being assessments. With the support of this team, I hope now the LX system will help more people like me, to better parse through the ocean of ‘x’ options ahead of them in their own journey to becoming their best self.
Then there is me, LX, the creator of LX AI. Some of you might be thinking LX is an abbreviation of my name, and you would be right (sort of). But I am almost certainly not the LX you are picturing in your mind as you read this. I suppose I might be teasing you a bit, but I am not going to reveal my true identity to you, or anyone… at least for now.
But do please forgive me, this is for your benefit. Just like Satoshi Nakamoto, Tsugumi Ohba, the Gorillaz and Banksy, I don’t seek individual publicity, or institutional acknowledgment for my theories and I don’t want to be famous. Maybe you will have fun guessing who I am, where I am, and what I am. And who am I to deprive you of the sport of working it out for yourself? Who am I, indeed?
Before you do seek to discover who I am, consider this. Whomever I turn out to be, if you knew you would consciously or unconsciously judge me, my ideas, observations, advice and ultimately the LX System and insights. And the LX AI computational psychology system and its customized coaching should stand by itself. My gender, ethnicity and nationality doesn’t matter. My age and experience doesn’t matter. My physical form doesn’t matter. My ideas, observations, theory and algorithms should be all that matters. If they help you awesome! If you have ideas on how they can be better... let me know.
With my personalized 'Speed Profile', ‘Book of You’, ‘LX System’ and 'Life Priority Planner', I have tried to set out to help you in some small way become your best self. I hope you will agree I have done my bit by sharing my perspectives on how to think about yourself and where you are in life. What you do with it is in your hands now. I do hope you will use this small gift of better self-awareness to help create your own best life.
Your friend, or maybe that should be your friends,
Until we speak again.
L & X
I believe that...
Everyone is unique and equally remarkable.
Everyone is a blend of different character traits, behaviors and aspirations.
Everyone’s character evolves over time but rarely changes dramatically.
Everyone can behave in different ways, but we all have natural styles.
Everyone has strengths to contribute, and weaknesses to manage.
Everyone’s dreams in life are unique and important.
I aim to...
Share my observations on your personality - I am not testing or evaluating you.
Personalize my conversations and thoughts - I never narrowly label people.
Use data to inform and educate you - I try to simplify but I won't be simplistic.
Focus on your preferences - I do not measure skills or capabilities.
Approach things with a positive mindset - I believe that everyone has strengths.
Start a conversation - I do not offer you all the answers to life.*
* The point of life is the journey, not the destination.
For Teams & Leaders
Your questions; our answers
The science behind the magic
Customized for you!