There's a science to everything
I. Nature Helps Those Who Help Themselves
According to science, of the 5,000,000,000 species to have ever graced the world's stage, only one known species has ever been armed with a mind.
And so, since the philosophers of the world have already said everything important that needs to be said, arguably the greatest philosophical insight of all is this: the only thing that makes us "human" is the mind—everything else we can find in a pig or a cow.
To be human is to be 99 percent chimpanzee. After all, we share roughly 99 percent of our DNA with chimps. Of course, as I'm sure you know: between one and none—there lies an infinity.
In an effort to not steer too deeply into metaphysics or religion, just know there's a reason Shakespeare felt compelled to call the human mind "noble in reason" and "infinite in faculty." He even went so far as to have likened the human capacity for understanding to being "like a god."
Take a second, if you will, and truly chew on the above vitamins for thought.
The mere fact that you and I can both close our two eyes, and in so doing behold an entirely new world with our third eye, reveals an unprecedented feat in the natural world.
Sure, the Labrador is every bit as responsive to the ringing doorbell as we are, but surely only one of the two kinds of creatures can reminisce over yesterdays and dream of tomorrows.
"Nature" bears that name for a reason. In other words, something qualifies as "natural" to the extent it is normal or qualifies as the rule, not the exception. From aardvark to zebra, the human is the only exception whose brain can produce a mind.
For the above reason, to enhance that peculiar brain of ours, which, by Nature's standards, can be called either "unnatural" or "supernatural," we have to supplement these magical three-pound organs. Or to put it simply:
Nature helps those who help themselves.
II. Nootropics—the "Smart Pills"
Pic: Wikimedia Commons
In 1972, the chemist and psychologist Corneliu E. Giurgea coined the term nootropic (any health supplement that boosts cognitive performance).
Dr. Giurgea noted his reason for synthesizing nootropics was merely a function of necessity. "The hand of evolution is long," said Dr. Giurgea, "and life is short."
To put it simply, Dr. Giurgea figured that we could use these supercomputers of ours—called brains—to improve the brains themselves, as opposed to waiting on Nature to confer benefits to some future generation.
"If Nature wanted pigs to fly," goes the saying, "she would've given them wings." The same holds true for humans.
Aha! unlike in the pigs' case, Nature armed us with this god-like mind. And so, we've used it to build machines that soar higher and fly faster than any bird that Nature has ever crafted.
We humans didn't wait on Nature to give us a land of milk and honey. No, no. Rather, we used the human mind to develop agriculture.
We trained cows to gift us milk. We taught bees how to mimic Uber Eats and deliver us a boundless supply of honey.
Now, unsurprisingly, we've figured out how to use the brain to develop supplements to make itself smarter.
III. The Takeaway
First, let me note I'm no "doctor" or "trained professional" or any other titles usually placed before names for the sake of being able to grant permission slips for either school or work.
I'm merely a common guy with common-sense to an uncommon degree! And so, by no means am I instructing you to take brain supplements, although if you've had a cup of coffee this morning—the "caffeine" qualifies as a nootropic.
If you've had eggs for breakfast—the "choline" qualifies as a nootropic.
Catch my drift?
So before taking anything, consult with your physician. See which mix of smart pills works for you. Besides, I've long been of the view: whatever works for me is the only thing that works at all.
Among my personal favorites are the following smart pills:
- Alpha GPC
- Lion's Mane
- Huperzine A
- Ginkgo Biloba (Energy Now brand)
Most of the above supplements can be purchased for pretty cheap on Amazon, especially in their powdered forms. Also, if you're really nerdy like me, you'll probably be interested in learning a bit more about the wonders of nootropic stacking.
For maximum benefit, I recommend starting a healthy, well-balanced diet along with daily exercise. The reason being, the name of the game here is "supplement," and all of the above recommendations merely serve to supplement that mind of yours, which Shakespeare once dubbed:
How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god!