Would You Waste a Fictitious Magic Pill?


I remember having a conversation with someone about Limitless – the movie / TV show where a lucky guy takes a pill that makes your brain work.

For the next day, you become a super genius.

You remember everything.

You notice everything.

Your brain effortlessly reaches points that without the magic pill you have never even seen before.

It's like taking your creativity, your insight, your dexterity, your intuition and your self-control, and composing them all up to a million percent.

The disadvantages, at least in the show:

It is not legally available, so there are the usual hassles of somehow getting a clean and reliable supply.

But also, every time you take it, it kills you a little.

Of course, once or twice is fine.

Five or ten times, not that much.

So like I said, we're talking about this hypothetical drug. And, of course, we asked ourselves, what would you do with a pill?

The characters in the series wonder about that. They see what the pill does, so they are curious. When they get their hands on it, they live their dreams – things like playing an incredible stage comedy or being unbeatable in the ring.

These are big dreams.

Except it's a waste of drugs.

When we talked about this, we both relied on the same idea. No surprise, as this is the only sensible approach:

Use the heightened state of genius to figure out how to recreate this state, without the need for the drug.

It should be possible. All drugs – from antidepressants to hallucinogens to caffeine – recreate natural states in the brain. This is not to say that drugs are worthless. It is not easy to get out of a funk or hallucinate at will.

But it is possible.

So, assuming that this magic drug is no different, it should be possible (although extremely difficult) to choose to enter this state.

It is the only sensible use of the magic pill. It is a choice between an incredible night or an incredible life.

This is what happens when you focus on training your mind.

Of course, you could learn a skill like, for example, computer programming. It would improve your life a lot. It would increase your career prospects, create new opportunities, open up new hobbies and change the way you think.

Or you can focus on cultivating your mind, through training like hypnosis.

You get all of these benefits and more.

And with this improved state of mind, learning computer programming becomes easier.

You can increase your energy levels, harness your motivation and integrate the material at a deeper and more unconscious level.

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