Have you seen the movie Limitless (which is now also released as a TV series)?
The protagonist is sort of a lazy guy, with writer's block and a crap life. He lives in a filthy shitty apartment where he's behind on rent, lacks energy and instead of finishing his novel (which he know he should do), he procrastinates and goes out drinking.
In many ways I can relate to how he feels. Knowing that I can perform better and get more done, but just not being able to do it. I guess we all have felt that way.
The feeling of knowing you're better than this, is even worse than the fact that you're not getting stuff done and the consequences of that. Especially when you're a freelancer like me, it can be hard to get stuff done when you don't have a boss hanging over your shoulders, making sure you're doing work.
Not getting stuff done means not being your best — either in school, professionally or just life in general.
Anyways, back to the movie …
Our guy happens to run into an old friend, which also happens to be a drug dealer.
His drug dealer friend is a sharp dressed guy. He's advanced into the world of legal drug dealing now — as a pharmaceutical rep. After meeting each other again, he introduces our protagonist to the mysterious drug NZT-48.
“You know how people only use 10% of their brains? Well, this drug allows you to use 100% of your brain“
This is where it gets interesting:
From being a filthy slob in a filthy apartment, he goes on to being the man he wants to be.
He can seduce any woman. He becomes a millionaire. He's smart. He writes his book. He can do anything.
Can you do the same?
Can you just go grab some of this magical NZT-48, and turn your life around?
I guess you could, it's just too bad there's no supplement with that name in real life.
The good news? There are supplements available on the market today that does this.
I wasn't high, I wasn't wired. Just clear. I knew what I needed to do and how to do it.
Smart drugs, nootropics or whatever you want to call them — memory enhancers, neuro enhancers, cognitive enhancers, and intelligence enhancers — these are designed to increase your focus, your cognition and your memory.
The name smart drugs can be misleading.
If you're stupid, these ‘drugs' won't exactly make you smart — they make your reach your full potential.
By remaining focused, not getting sidetracked or procrastinate, and by increasing your memory and cognition, you'll be able to learn faster, get more done and feel more energized and awake.
What was this drug? I couldn't stay messy on it, I hadn't had a cigarette in six hours, hadn't eaten, so… abstemious and tidy? What was this? A drug for people who wanted to be more anal retentive?
OK, so what exactly is the drug used in Limitless?
The nearest drug you can find in real life is called modafinil.
It's a memory-improving, focus-improving and mood brightening psychostimulant. The supplement will enhance your attention span, vigilance and wakefulness.
Unlike amphetamines, Ritalin (methylphendiate) or cocaine, it's less likely to cause anxiety, jittering or locomotor activety.
In the beginning modafinil was prescribed to people with narcolepsy to help them stay awake during the day. It's also been used by the navy and air force to increase the alertness and focus of pilots on long missions in dangerous territory.
Modafinil keeps you alert. You feel awake, and your working memory is increasing.
Here in the United States, modafinil is still a prescription only drug. Many US residents would therefore have to obtain a doctor's prescription, or purchase it from a foreign supplier online.
Does Modafinil actually work?
Short answer: yes. It works very well.
It's commonly used by athletes — including sprinter Kelli White in 2004, cyclist David Clinger and basketball player Diana Taurasi in 2010 — as a performance enhancement drug. It's also the secret of many successful lawyers, doctors, business owners and straight A students.
I bought modafinil for the first time about 2 years ago — using a foreign supplier online.
I took a dose of 200 mg in the morning, around 9 AM, when I first sat down in front of my computer to get some programming work done.
It's hard to describe the effects modafinil has on you. You don't really get smarter (it's not knowledge in a pill), but you get a strange ability to focus on exactly what you're doing.
I worked at that time in a shared office space, where I share office with a number of other freelancers. And during the day I would stay so focused that even though people were coming and going, talking and saying ‘hi', I really didn't notice too much.
I was obsessed with doing my coding project. What had taken me days to get started, took the hours to get finished.
That day I was 100% focused on my work. I did 12 hours straight of programming, without taking any breaks or without drifting off into other stuff like Reddit or Facebook.
It's truly a strange feeling.
When I was done, I didn't feel tired or exhausted.
I went to the gym, and had an amazing workout. Other days where I've worked 12 hours (and staying a lot less focused), I've been so tired that I've skipped the gym for the TV because I just couldn't get myself to do it.
The difference between this and my usual work day was huge.
Since then I've been using modafinil on several occasions. This is a much more powerful drug than other Nootropics we've tested earlier (stuff containing herbs and minerals like Alpha Brain). Those work great — don't get me wrong, but Modafinil is stronger.
Where one is something I use every day just to make me feel a bit more alert, and to make sure my brain get's all the nutrients it needs, the other one is a highly potent nootropic — a true smart drug.
By that I mean it's much more efficient. Some people say they feel a subtle change when doing the over the counter nootropics, but when doing modafinil it's like night and day!
I don't use modafinil every day, not should you, but I do use it on occasions where I have more work or more stress than usual. I'll definitely continue to do so. In fact, I'm using it as I'm writing this article, because I've been putting all of these reviews off for so long I just have to get them done.
Are there any side-effects?
Though I didn't feel any side-effects, according to the sources I could find, modafinil can cause:
- Back pain
- Nausea and dizziness
- Stuffy nose
- Upset stomach
- Trouble sleeping
It has a lot less side-effects than other nootropics such as Adderal.
Should I try modafinil?
If you want to improve your focus, working memory and productivity to get shit done: yes.
If you want a better solution for everyday use, something that can give you a boost, improve focus and wakefulness, without the side effects, I highly recommend that you try AlphaBrain from Onnit.
There's nothing wrong about using both. I do. But if you're going to choose just one, go with the AlphaBrain one.
Where can I buy modafinil?
You can buy generic modafinil (or modalert, exactly the same thing) from here. This is the same provider I've used, and continue to use to this date.