Competition in today’s economy has led many individuals to seek out ways to do more and perform better with less time and resources. So-called nootropics or smart drugs are helping the highly driven do just that, but at what cost is it being done? In fact, the issue of addiction in the C-suite is increasing day by day as they work in the cut-throat environment.
The smart drugs were originally prescribed to treat narcolepsy. However, today they are commonly used to provide laser-sharp focus to those in high-stress careers who need to be on their game all the clock. These smart drugs have attracted quite a following from Joe Rogan, a commentator for the Ultimate Fighter Championship, to Timothy Ferriss, the best-selling author of The 4-Hour Work Week.
The proponents of these drugs say that these smart drugs provide the consumers with a clear head and the ability to perform better through improved concentration. One supporter, Dave Asprey, who created the web forum Bulletproof Executive, likens the drug to a scene out of The Wizard of Oz where suddenly the audience begins to see things in full color.
It is said that the movie titled Limitless is based on the drug, which portrays Bradley Cooper popping special pills that allow him to fully take advantage of his true brain capacity. Jesse Lawler, who hosts a podcast on his website, addressed the popularity of such drugs. He claims that while so many of society’s drugs rob one’s ability to make sound decisions, they do just the opposite.
The problem is that critics warn that the long-term effects of these smart drugs have not been studied well. Doctors caution that the lack of sleep brought on by the consumption of such drugs takes a toll on one’s psyche and can lead to extreme hypersensitivity.
Since these smart drugs do not cause dopamine spikes like Adderall, it has been deemed safe and non-addictive. However, some users are questioning those assertions, when after missing a dose, they come crashing down, consumed with the anxiety of re-entering an imperfect world.
Instead of using drugs for better performance among C-suite executives, it is highly recommended that they practice mindfulness, which is quick and easy to perform and produces lasting results. To practice mindfulness, you sit quietly and listen to your mind and body.At first, becoming more mindful can be surprisingly uncomfortable. However, sitting quietly with oneself and experiencing feelings without reacting can be a bit intimidating. We see the suffering we are usually too distracted to see, especially in our culture, where success is measured as the ability to make things go our way.
Some people believe they can master mindfulness practice just in a few weeks, while others believe that it takes decades of concentrated effort to reap any benefits of practicing mindfulness. The reality is somewhere in between these two thoughts. Indeed, senior practitioners tend to be skilled in quickly achieving a state of mindful awareness, but studies have shown that benefits can accrue in as little as eight weeks after you have started practicing mindfulness.