Image: Bradley Cooper as Eddie Morra in the movie “Limitless”. Source: IMDB.

In the movie “Limitless“, the protagonist Eddie Morra has problems in life: his girlfriend Lindy has left him, he has no progress in writing his book, his bills for the flat are not paid, and life does not go well in general. Accidentally, Eddie gets hands on a new nootropic called NZT-48 and discovers that he has a perfect memory, great social skills, and extreme intelligence. This allows him to get his life in order, finish the book, and achieve a lot of great things in life. While on NZT, every single thing that he does in life, he does purposefully, concentrated on the best possible outcome. He knows exactly what to do and how to do it right in each situation.

Eddie is optimal in everything:  intelligence, health, work, love and relationships and so on. Imagine feeling in the best possible way, having a good level of fitness and good health, great social skills, being fulfilled in love, friendship and family relationships, and having a high income, while being crazy passionate about what you do to achieve that.

Here is the list of “smart” things Eddie does while being on NZT:

  1. He cleans up his mess and disorder and keeps it clean. Research shows that having less clutter around reduces stress. It can be argued that with less stress and clutter, you get increased productivity, better mood, better health and so on.
  2. He does not smoke. Smoking is extremely unhealthy in the long term [3]. Those, who say that cannabis is healthy, often forget the fact that smoking (and all the byproducts of smoke, ash, and burns to the inner part of the mouth, throat, and lungs) are damaging no matter whether you smoke tobacco or flowers from the Alps.
  3. He does not drink or consume any other narcotic substances. His mind is clear and calm.
  4. He tries to look good – nice haircut, shaved, clean, good clothes. The impression that you leave on other people matters unless you are Mark Zuckerberg.
  5. He does sports. This has a positive effect on almost all areas of life: health, self-confidence, appearance, intelligence, energy, mental health. As a Chinese proverb says: “healthy body, healthy mind”.
  6. He does a lot of self-education, learns new languages, reads books. Having your mind exercised is not less important for health than doing sports. This can be seen in the facts that people, who do more mind-intensive work, have a lower probability of getting dementia, memory and intelligence problems in the older age.

By the movie scenario, the NZT pill has also significant side effects, and this is the “not so smart” part. However, what we, Evolution Hackers want to achieve is the same or better life without using substances that are detrimental to our health in the long term.

This is the ideal that we want to achieve at Evolution Hacker: be the ultimate best version of ourselves using the latest research, technology, and scientific approach to making decisions.

It is no secret that intelligence is what has set homo sapiens apart from other apes, and gave us an incredible evolutionary advantage that brought the onset of human civilization. What can we do to be even better? Increase our intelligence even more! Having this great evolutionary strength, it seems strange that not that many people are concerned with actually becoming smarter, even though education, on average, has a significant positive effect on one’s life in terms of health [1], income [2] and overall quality of life. One of the dramatic parts of human life is also the realization of our mortality. That is why achieving the immortality or at least, extending one’s lifespan, has been very important to humankind for many millennia.

So, what do we want to achieve overall?

  1. We want to be smarter and learn continuously because stagnation in the ever-evolving world means degradation. If your salary does not increase, inflation will eat a big chunk of your quality of life with years passing by.
  2. We want to prolong our healthy and productive life as much as possible. This means that we not only want to live longer, but we also want to live a high-quality life – what’s the point in living, if life has no pleasures at all?
  3. We want to live purposefully, happily and peacefully. Everyone’s life has a meaning, everyone has wishes and priorities in life, even though it might be hard to understand and figure out. Noone wants to be apathetic, depressed and stressed.

How can we achieve that and be even smarter than Eddie Morra?

  1. Remove bad habits: smoking, alcohol, drugs, unhealthy food.
  2. Drink less coffee and consume less sugar. Both act as stimulants, cause addiction and result in a “crash” when the effect disappears quickly and cravings increase.
  3. Start exercising or continue doing so.
  4. Start eating healthier foods, eat more organic foods.
  5. Take daily multivitamins. Lack of iodine and iron is a very common condition that leads to lots of other health problems.
  6. Sleep smarter: avoid blue light in the evenings to keep our circadian rhythms intact and sleep well. Bad sleep affects all areas of human life, and therefore it is of high importance.
  7. Avoid sitting lifestyle: use standing desks, walk regularly, stretch, do yoga.
  8. Avoid stress and incorporate mindfulness into our lives.
  9. Visit a psychologist from time to time to develop healthy coping mechanisms with problems that life sometimes throws at us. In the book “The Happiness Hypothesis” [5], Jonathan Haidt writes that the money spent on therapy makes us happier than money spent on stuff.
  10. Do regular health checks with a doctor.
  11. Take a genetic test and figure out your predispositions towards various diseases. Better to be prepared.

These are just a few examples of relatively simple things that can have a significant and lasting positive effect on our lives. Check out other articles about that and hack the evolution with us!

References:

1: Hummer, R.; Hernandez, E. (2013): The effect of Educational Attainment on Adult Mortality in the United States. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4435622/
2. Wolla, Scott; Sullivan, Jessica (2017): Education, Income, and Wealth: https://research.stlouisfed.org/publications/page1-econ/2017/01/03/education-income-and-wealth/
3. How smoking affects your body. https://www.nhs.uk/smokefree/why-quit/smoking-health-problems
4. Health effects of alcohol on your body: https://www.nhs.uk/smokefree/why-quit/smoking-health-problems
5. Haidt, Jonathan (2006): The Happiness Hypothesis. Link: https://www.happinesshypothesis.com

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