What are Nootropics?
Many years ago, I had a major problem. I was struggling to cope with working full time, studying for a master’s degree plus, meet my responsibilities as a dad and husband.
Desperate to succeed and avoid failure, I launched into a quest to find a way to enhance my mental performance. Eventually I found the world of nootropics.
You may be wondering – what the hell are nootropics? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Nootropics in Australia are in its infancy – being used on the margins.
But, that’s about to change as new products and legal alternatives come to market.
On the street they’re called smart drugs, brain tonics, brain boosters or cognitive enhancers.
If you’ve seen the movie ‘Limitless’ with Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro you get the idea. If you haven’t seen the film, here’s a snapshot in a couple of sentences (warning– Spoiler Alert).
Eddie (Bradley Cooper) is a loser who starts taking a drug called ‘NZT-48’. He unlocks his brain’s potential, goes superhuman and turns his whole life around and lives happily ever after.
So why are nootropics becoming a thing? Great question. Basically it has everything to do with coping, or not, with our modern lives. Turns out that my problem is one shared by a growing number of Australians.
We consume more information in one day than our 15th century counter-part did in their whole life time. That’s epic.
The problem is – our brains have not evolved to match the pace of technology which has seen an explosion in information available 24/7.
Too much information overwhelms our brains. This leads to crap decision making. At the end of a long day in the office, my brain feels like a wrung out, dried up sponge. Certainly, when I say I need to grab a coffee and take 5 minutes out to recharge my brain – no one has ever asked why.
Information overload is such a huge problem, the Harvard Business Review as far back as 2009 reported that information overload costs the US economy $900 billion a year. Imagine what the cost is today.
Don’t even get me started on the impact on our mental health.
Add in fake news, mis-information, social media and the constant call on our attention and you can understand why our poor old brains are swamped and struggling to cope.
Technology was meant to make our lives easier. Yeah, right.
Competition to succeed
Since 1970 the worlds’ population has doubled. For Gen X’s Y’s, Z’s and millennials, that really sucks.
When I grew up, in sleepy New Zealand in the late 70’s – early 80’s everyone had a small house on a big piece of land. Now, people have a big house on a small plot if they’re lucky – and no home if they’re not.
Land is finite, crowds aren’t. The earth now houses 7.6 billion people who are struggling to get a better life.
All the important stuff is more expensive – homes, food, transport, energy. You need a great job just to survive, let alone thrive.
Competition for jobs is fierce. Hell, our Australian Prime Ministers can’t keep their job’s for more than 18 months before being shafted by their colleagues for not performing.
If you’re at university, you could be looking for killer grades so you can nail the best job on graduating. If you’re on the corporate ladder, it’s kicking ass at your job to fend off the up and comers or securing that promotion – with the nice status and pay increase.
Improving ourselves, economically, intellectually, or emotionally is a natural and age old human hobby. Thank goodness, otherwise we’d still be living in caves.
And self improvement is the nub of the film, ‘Limitless'. When Eddie unlocks his brain’s potential, his life blossoms.
So, it’s a 3-part deal;
Improve brain = total well-being = real world benefits.
Nootropics is very popular in the USA and Europe and is starting to move from the edge to more mainstream use. Nootropics is an emerging trend in Australia, although the options, particularly for non prescription drugs are limited.
I use natural, plant based nootropics which I discuss in this blog. From personal lived experience, the benefits of boosting brain power are life changing.
Add in, our super busy lives, information overload and competition for just about everything and that makes self improvement mandatory. Let's face it, no one’s going to give you what we want, you have to step up and go get it.