Last updated: June 8, 2018
Humans (homo sapiens specifically) have many characteristics and attributes that have led to our domination of the Earth and the living creatures that inhabit it. We aren’t omnipotent, but we have found a great degree of power in our nature.
Part of our nature is a desire to find shortcuts, easier routes, and better solutions. Bill Gates famously said “I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job… because he will find an easy way to do it.” Indeed, for thousands of years humans have been rewarded for seeking the easiest route to overcome whatever obstacle stands in our way.
As with any other characteristic, there is a downside to this part of human nature. The same desire for a shortcut has lead to a search for the limitless pill. It is the same feature that encourages people to spend billions of dollars on face creams, muscle building supplements, fat burners, and a whole host of other consumer products.
The bottom line is: there is no limitless pill.
I will discuss nootropic drugs that have a huge impact on cognitive abilities, but it is imperative to start off on the right foot. You aren’t “bad” or “dumb” for trying to find a limitless pill. You’re just following human nature.
A Limitless Pill in the Small Things
When Bill Gates developed Microsoft and collected his billions of dollars ($76+ billion to be exact), it had nothing to do with a limitless pill. In fact, even though Gates talks about finding an easy way to do things, the foundation and building of Microsoft was anything but easy.
Gates instead focused on the small things. At age 13 he was already using a teletype block computer at his private prep school. By the age of 17 he had studied source code diligently and started a business with a friend .
He did not fast track his way to success with a limitless pill, but instead spent many years of his life doing small things that mattered. He learned skills like coding, negotiation, sales, and he did all of this at a time when most other children were outside playing and having fun. He was taking a disciplined approach that focused on small tasks done repeatedly and done rightly.
This is where success happens and this is the true limitless pill revealed: the small things.
The small, daily tasks we engage in make a big difference. If you ensure to get enough sleep, eat the right foods, and read the right books, you won’t need a limitless pill in order to make giant leaps in your education, professional life, or entrepreneurial project.
Nootropic Drugs – A Bargain to Break Through
Even though small tasks and practices make the biggest difference in success or failure, sometimes having a nootropic drug may help you to break through to another level. A perfect example of this is the author Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 Hour Workweek, 4 Hour Body and 4 Hour Chef, and one of the most enjoyable, inspiring, and informative podcasts that exists .
When he was writing his books, he took a drug called CILTeP (“chemically induced long-term potentiation”), which is said to increase focus, concentration, and memory. Ferriss mentioned “I love CILTeP… if I use it, I just need to ensure that I can budget for 10 to 12 hours of sleep that night because I need to replenish whatever is being put into hyper-drive, but for writing it’s fantastic.”
Ferriss made a bargain to increase his level of writing capabilities even if it meant he needed more time to recuperate. He traded something in order to go above and beyond 100% for a short while.
This is what most people are doing with nootropics and that is fine. However, it’s imperative to realize you are making a trade off before you do so. CILTeP and similar products aren’t simply a limitless pill or shortcut, but an added bonus if you are doing all the other small things right.
This nootropic was developed within the community by a man pseudonym “Abelard Lindsay”. He wrote on the Longecity forums in 2011 and thousands of people used the formulation for themselves .
As this stack developed, people like Tim Ferriss and Dave Asprey started to discuss the common positive effects they experienced while using it. Hundreds of thousands of people joined the conversation on the forums and Reddit.
Many of them experience similar positive effects as Ferriss and Asprey. In 2013 Abelard Lindsay also partnered to create the Natural Stacks CILTeP product, which is currently the most affordable and easy way to use this combination.
Modafinil / Adrafinil
Another common drug people look to as a “limitless pill” is called modafinil. Within some communities, modafinil is the go-to drug of choice because it can improve memory , reaction time , and prevent fatigue in those who are sleep deprived .
Dave Asprey has famously gone on CNN in order to discuss the drug and considers most people to be “suffering from a modafinil deficiency” . Despite the exaggeration, there are hundreds of studies proving the efficacy of modafinil.
If you want to buy modafinil, there are online pharmacies where you can purchase it (and armodafinil). Nootropedia recommends Afinil Express, but you may also choose to purchase adrafinil if that legal option is more in alignment with your values.
Racetams are one of the first class of drugs considered “nootropics”. Piracetam was initially synthesized in the 1960s and has since become a classic starting point amongst those who are starting a nootropics journey. While some sources tout piracetam as a limitless pill, the truth is quite different.
Piracetam is well studied in many regards, but it is assuredly not the most potent of the racetams. Phenylpiracetam, however, has been listed on the 2016 World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances . While athletes may not be able to buy phenylpiracetam because of the enhanced stimulation, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage. This drug is similar to aniracetam and fasoracetam, but a little more stimulating.
Other Powerful Nootropics
Just because we have outlined 3 of the more powerful drugs that can help increase focus and concentration (along with other aspects of cognitive performance), there are many more with dozens being released every few months. Some of the unique blends that have stood the test of time include Qualia or Mind Lab Pro (the former is far more stimulating than the later).
If you want an “easy win” when it comes to nootropics and mental clarity, consider the combination of L-theanine and caffeine. This is not only well-studied, but simple, and more effective than the standard cup of coffee alone.
Limitless Pills & Doing the Work
Bill Gates took no shortcuts, neither did Tim Ferriss, or any of the successful people in this world. At least, not from the perspective of finding a “limitless pill” that solved all of their problems. Many of these men were ingenious in their pursuit of the easiest way to do things, but it all came through steady, deliberate, practice and discipline regarding small practices.
That doesn’t mean nootropics and cognitive enhancers can’t work. Ferriss and many others have obviously used nootropics with great success, but that wasn’t the magic pill that made them achieve.
Nootropics can help and sometimes it is a trade off, but the real limitless pill is in the small tasks. Be wary of magic potions and limitless pills. They will never be a substitute for doing the work.
- References (Click to Expand)
- Gates, Bill (1996). The Road Ahead. Penguin Books. Page 14