Most of us, even if we don’t admit it to anyone but ourselves, have something personal we want to change, or something we want to Do Better At. We all have things in life that need to be different, period, myself included. We’re all spinning around the sun striving for greatness.
But there’s a tendency to be our own worst enemy once we decide to make those changes. So, naturally, when The Hustle started running an experiment on nootropics that seemed to be yielding positive results in the struggle to personal achievement, my interest was piqued.
I’d seen nootropics being touted as some sort of be all end all shortcut to enlightenment, they’ve been all over the internet for the past few years. But now there was a face to put to the praise, inviting me to follow his journey to mental perfection. Josh was cruising along so well on Rise that by week two of his experiment I called up Nootrobox and had some shipped.
When Josh finished his experiment with Rise and concluded that they had not, in fact, changed his life it was a record scratch moment for me. It did not mirror my experience at all. My theory is that Josh is such an easygoing, laid back guy already that he doesn’t need the edge that nootropics can offer — so he concludes they’re not for him.
My life as an typical semi-stressed office worker in a large metro area definitely does need that edge, and I’m writing this as a rebuttal to Josh’s conclusion. I say that nootropics can change your life.
After the first week of taking Rise I was just straight up better at life. I’d finally gotten out of my own way enough for my mental engine to shift into a higher gear that I did not even know I had. They’ve given me more precision in my mental focus so my thoughts aren’t bouncing around like a candy gorged kid whenever I sit down to try and accomplish something.
This sustained boost in my mental energy and abilities is an effect I’ve been striving to unlock. I’ve tried increased exercise, a precise diet, and various and sundry stress management year after year. Even with perfect sleep I’d struggle to stay engaged at work after 2pm, and frequently got home wanting to veg out instead of working on personal projects.
Regular exercise increased my energy levels but only so far; there was always a distinct point where increased exercise and an ever healthier diet would begin resulting in diminishing returns. Meditation and therapy left me calmer and more in touch with my feelings, but my thoughts and fears were still tripping me up and proving an annoying barrier to personal greatness.
I’d begun to feel like I was close to the end of what I could reasonably squeeze out life, like I’d fine-tuned myself as precisely as I was ever going to. Turns out there’s more tuning to do – Rise unlocked an entirely new level of existing that I’d been unaware that was possible.
Taking Nootropics have resulted in a consistent taking away of my mental sludge. In contrast, something like caffeine is a temporary solution to my mental frenzy, and also gives me the jitters if I’m not careful. The nootropic effect for me is a pleasantly persistent nudging by the benevolent voice in my head that knows my limits haven’t been reached yet. This voice normally gets ignored in favor of Netflix and cool things on the internet.
Suddenly that voice is sensuously persuasive and impossible to ignore. Gone is the unwillingness to drag myself away from whatever shiny distraction is keeping me occupied, while mentally whining that I don’t wanna do the thing.
Important Things are most definitely Getting Done now, with an uptick in frequency and a downtick in bitching to myself about how there’s much more fun to be had in life… and I’d better go have some because I might get hit by a bus tomorrow, you never know.
Having this boost in brain power makes it that much easier to mentally push myself past the first 40% and squeeze more out of my day. At work I’m crossing more off my to-do list in a day than I used to in a week. I’m coming home after murdering my work to-do list and ploughing through chores instead of letting them pile up. I’m feeling invigorated after accomplishing so much in a day and am picking up long-discarded hobbies for fun, instead of just watching TV.
I started feeling so confident in my ability to stretch myself that I signed up for an online programming class. This might not seem like such a huge deal but I used to passionately hate programming. Back then I was unable to progress with it because I was afraid of making mistakes. Now I’m throwing syntax errors all over the place and, better yet, I’m not backing down until I’ve fixed them.
I feel like I’m on my way to becoming not just good but great at life. Rise has been like a deep clean for the nooks and crannies of my brain, scrubbing out cobwebs and banishing the accumulated psychic gunk responsible for general brain fog and the inevitable inability to follow complicated conversations after about 2pm.
This is not a magic pill. This is not going to turn you into a superhero able to run your company, be the perfect life partner and say the right thing every single time. You’re always responsible for your own degree of kicking ass. Rise isn’t some magic elixir that will solve all your problems but it will (particularly if you’re in a typical, stressful, fast-paced office job) give you a leg up over the ever-present ability to get in your own way.
It’s given me an edge that I didn’t know was possible, one that I’m planning to hone for a very long time. Sounds intriguing? Sounds insane? Try it for a month and decide for yourself. You might end up with an experience akin to Josh and call it a bust, or you might find yourself in the same place you are now but even better.
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