Do we now need smart drugs to be our best? Or do we just need to be smarter?
I watched a documentary recently about a man’s journey into the world of smart drugs. He had what on the surface appeared to be an amazing life: lots of travel, work that he was passionate about and that allowed him to make a difference, he was in demand as a speaker at conferences and events around the world.
Behind the scenes though he found himself constantly stressed, run down and struggling to find a way to stay on top of everything.
Looking for a way to combat this he turned to the world of nootropics, or smart drugs, to try and find that edge.
Nootropics are supplements that are typically from outside of the pharmaceutical world, often bought over the web and used with no medical supervision or input. From what the program showed they are often unregulated (in the sense that they are not freely available through legal channels), and there is little to no quality control over the ingredients or the manufacturing process.
Some of them didn’t seem to have much of an impact, some of them made him too amped up to work effectively, and they often left him with even less control over his body than he’d had without them – stuck waiting for the effects to wear off or searching for another supplement to counter the effects of the one that wouldn’t wear off.
He found different adherents in the centre of the nootropics universe (Silicon Valley), and different manufacturers of the supplements. It was like watching a tasting menu of different cults. Adherents took up to 100 different supplements each day, combining this with additional regimens such as extended fasting, exercise and/or breathing exercises that culminated with a dip into the icy waters below the Golden Gate Bridge.
Keeping track of the different products and their effects added to his stress, as did trying to maintain a professional demeanour while presenting under the influence of some of them.
When it because too much and the results weren’t there he went to a doctor who had a particular interest in this space. She advised him that he was run down and needed to de-stress. She also referred him to a life coach to help him take a step back and assess the bigger picture.
It was in conversation with the life coach that he finally realised what was driving him on this quest to do more and be better: he’d grown up in poverty and wanted to ensure that he would never have to experience the pain and humiliation of that again.
What she didn’t ask him (at least in the footage that was shown) was a question we ask of our clients - how much money do you need (as an income from your savings and investments) so that you no longer have to work but you don’t ever have to worry about money?
This is not something many of us have ever considered.
Most of us are raised in an environment of financial scarcity. What this means is that there is never enough to do all the things we want to, and so we could always do with more, and we carry this with us all through our lives.
I’ve seen people who are extraordinarily wealthy who continue to suffer from this fear, even though they couldn’t spend all of their money if they tried.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Once you are clear on what is most important to you, you can work out what the cost of that is - and how much you need to ensure you can afford this, come what may.
When you hit that target, that’s it - you’re done.
You don’t have to keep stressing, working and saving. You can if you want to, but it’s a conscious decision to do so - and it should only be because there’s something else you are getting out of it other than the financial rewards.
We help our clients to work through this so they have that confidence and can make those decisions.
We’ve outlined the 9 steps we implement with our clients in our Roadmap to a Great Life. If you’d like a copy of it with our compliments you can access it by clicking here.