In the theatrical teaser to "Jupiter Ascending" a line caught my attention earlier this year.
"Your earth is a very small part of a very large industry".
What if “earth" and a "very large industry" were metaphors for my life and it’s connectedness to everything around me?
This line stuck with me as I barreled through a second year of global media attention for a project five years in the making to link myself to technology, to find meaning in my own information exhaust.
Perspective affords my own data that I’ve collected so much more meaning, so I want share a bit of “Christory” with you.
In my hometown of Westminster, Maryland, the year is 1982 and I'm a new resident after being homeless with my family for a few weeks because of bad business decisions made by my father.
As a gift, my father bought me a Honda Elite Scooter.
I wasn't old enough to drive, but we were in a small town, and that’s how small towns worked in the United States in the 1980s.
The scooter never made up for the fear of losing everything, a fear I still struggle with, but that little red scooter certainly set me free.
I spent that summer before my freshman year of high school jetting around the country roads of my little farm town.
I got a job delivering newspapers and soon met Dr. Alva Baker.
Dr. Baker was opening a walk-in medical clinic in Westminster and ran an advertisement in the classifieds looking for a computer clerk.
I sat nervously in the patient waiting area to wait for my interview, practicing my speaking skills by deepening my effeminate voice.
I was just 14 and I was sure Dr. Baker would see through my scooter and my dot-matrix printed resume for who I was: a kid,a hungry kid, who didn't want to be homeless again.
Dr. Baker was bearded, graying and carried himself with the grace of a noble king.
He spoke with a gentleness that said he had given far too much bad news in his tenure as a physician.
After reviewing my resume, he asked me how old I was, I started to lie and then said, "14, but I'll be fifteen very soon!"
Dr. Baker smiled warmly and told me “Come back in a year Mr. Dancy.”
A year to the day, I drove my scooter to his office, walked in and asked to see him.
After being taken to an examination room, I sat there a bit scared, well terrified, heck I can still feel my hands cold and dripping like dish rags to this day.
Dr. Baker came into the office and sat down.
Looking over his glasses he spoke, "You're 90 minutes late, I said one year Mr. Dancy".
My head was spinning doing the calculations, could he be serious? Was my lot in life tied to a miscalculation of future time?
With a laugh that made his warm tone rich and lush like a grand piano in a concert hall, I realized all was well.
I spent the next 15 years in the Medical field.
I covered everything from backing up Tandy computers to uploading claims on an AS400. I coded ICD9, CPT codes, I escorted patients to rooms, checked-in patients, installed medical systems, helped design the first software that allowed SCO Unix to talk to these new Microsoft Windows 3.51 Servers. Heck, I ended a 15 year run managing support for a portion of WebMD.
Most people, who are acquainted with my professional career, know me post-1999.
They know Chris Dancy, the IT Operations, ITSM, the help desk guy, the desktop management guy, the business dev guy, the social media guy, the mobile guy, heck, some people only know "The world's most connected man."
Before I was a "wired" up, mindful cyborg or helping to manage two different billion dollar software companies (BMC Software and ServiceNow), I was simple Chris Dancy, the guy who was all things computers and healthcare in a small town who ended up running a support division for WebMD.
Healthcare has always been in my blood.
I'm a systems thinker.
The human body is the greatest technological system every created.
Well-being is the final upgrade to all our technology.
For this reason, I left BMC Software in March of this year in search of a world where I could bring equanimity to an unquiet mind, a burdened body and a yearning soul of pleasure and attention unwoven.
I had a lot of things I could do.
Opportunity is kind to the prepared.
I met with Google, HP, and heads of state in foreign lands.
I worked with Coke, hung out at Nike, helped start an international dialog about personal data, wearables and the human heart.
Connected with some of the worlds most creative people on the planet with the help of Wunderman, in Cannes, France this spring.
I've been offered books, TV shows, heck, I'm even in a trailer for a movie that I was asked about to star in.
I travel all over this earth as " The world's most connected man" and get paid handsomely to talk about my experiences with technology.
Life is good.
During these travels I had the great privilege to speak at an event for the Clinton Foundation in Palm Springs of January this year.
After that event I was approached and started a dialog with Healthways Inc.
Instantly I was immersed in a world of population health, wellness and well-being.
As of July 1, 2014, I have joined Healthways Inc., as Senior Vice President, Chief Digital Officer.
Currently, I’m relocating to Nashville, TN, after making Denver, CO my home for the past 19 years.
I believe that we’ve spent enough time being the CEO of our lives — now it’s time to become the CIO of our health.
Never in human history has there been such an amazing opportunity to harness the power of the connected individual for population health.
Never have we had tools as powerful as the ones we possess today, from the choices we make and the apps we use to the services we purchase, all create a version of us.
Ironically, if you turn your phone off, and turn it toward your face, you can see how beautiful you are, your image is displayed in a kind reflection, usually reserved for selfies.
Unfortunately, when you turn the phone on, the image disappears, and you are left with a collection of behaviors and mind styles.
Your devices stop displaying you, they aren’t kind, and they keep you in a feedback loop lacking the compassion to a connected world of hyper personalization that feels a bit like a sensory depravation chamber.
Look around the web, everyone is on trial, including humanity for the crimes of awareness outsourced.
I've successfully mapped much of this world and am anxious to continue sharing my journey of transformation with the world and to create a healthier environment, one device at a time.
Thank you to the many of you who I have spent my life with, shared my dreams with, those of you who I have never met, but follow my journey, and especially those of you who silently whisper, “He’s going to change the world.""
It's time, that our "earth" becomes a larger part of its own enterprise, the enterprise of well-being.
As Dr. Baker would say to me each night after we closed our little clinic and I would sit backing up our systems, “Mr. Dancy, be well.”
Be well, my friends.