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As human beings, we lean towards comfort and choosing the easy way. That’s part of our natural instinct. It’s so much easier to kill time than truly do something useful. To put it a different way, we’re all inherently lazy.
That said, laziness isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Bill Gates famously stated, “I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job because he will find an easy way to do it.” And he’s right.
The underlying implication is that there are two types of lazy people: those who take action and those who don’t. But to be effective, even the “good type of lazy” must be motivated, confident in his or her abilities, good at solving problems and quickly able to understand things. How can you achieve that? Enter the Limitless pill.
What Is the Limitless Pill
The Limitless pill, or NZT-48, is a fictional smart drug introduced in the 2011 movie “Limitless.” In a nutshell, it’s a drug which transforms you into a superhuman by hacking your brain and fully unlocking its capabilities.
The drug’s user gains incredible mental skills which can also reflect in physical actions (for example, being able to master hand-to-hand combat). That’s thanks to the heightened state of awareness and lighting-speed reaction times that the Limitless pill provides.
NZT-48 also turns users into extremely fast learners, making it possible to, for example, gain fluency in a new language within minutes. Individuals become competent at every task, and everything they do when using the pill seems like the right thing.
NZT does come at a cost, though. It creates immediately addiction. Worse, withdrawal symptoms are extremely difficult to bare and can lead to permanent trauma or even death.
Effects of the Limitless Drug
NZT-48 takes the term smart drug to a whole new level. It transforms its user into a calm and charismatic genius with an omnipotent mind. Sound pretty good, doesn’t it? Here are some of the effects in greater detail:
- Limitless cognitive proficiency – NZT allows the user to process an infinite amount of information and multitask on several things at once without losing focus.
- Super-fast learning – The mere act of skimming through text (which is also increased to incredible speeds) leads to instant retention. Users can learn to do anything effortlessly.
- Perfect memory recall – Users of the Limitless pill can remember virtually anything with great ease, even if something only happened once or if they were only vaguely aware of it.
- Superhuman intuition – No detail goes unnoticed, and a large number of cause and effect relations are understood. Patterns are easily spotted, and the user has complete control over his or her focus.
- Flawless charisma – The superhuman intelligence and intuition also reflect in the NZT 48 user’s social skills and persuasive abilities. Earning people’s trust and getting people to like you become natural.
- Superhuman body control – Users can control their body as they please. They can do the most demanding manual task effortlessly without any previous experience.
Is There a Real NZT-48
Now that I’m sure you’re sold on what the NZT drug can bring to the table comes the real question. Does a real-life limitless pill exist?
Sadly (or perhaps not?), no. There is no such thing as a pill that will magically make you superhuman, capable of gaining instant success at anything you do.
The way I see it, the Limitless pill is a bit of a metaphor for our desire to take shortcuts in life. It’s just our nature and how the world works. Elon Musk wasn’t born how he is today. He became that person by being committed to studying since he was a small child, always learning, always pushing ahead.
No compound will turn you into a genius. As much as many of us don’t want to hear it, we have to do that ourselves by regularly “enriching” our minds with knowledge and insightful experience. Getting enough sleep and eating the right, nutrient-rich foods (something most of us don’t do) can also only help.
That all said, while the Limitless pill is pure fiction, some real-world compounds do actually come pretty close to it.
Real Life Brain Pills Like Limitless
As stated above, there is no shortcut when it comes to becoming a genius or achieving success in life. It’s plain and simply just a long and hard battle (mostly with yourself).
But, just because no pill will instantly make you superhuman, doesn’t mean there isn’t one that could give you an edge. One that could, at the very least, provide a significant boost to what’s already there.
It turns out such supplements exist, and people have been using these “Limitless pills” since long before the movie appeared. These alternatives to NZT-48 are called nootropics.
While they won’t make you the smartest human being to ever walk the earth, they without a doubt come in extremely handy when it’s time to get things done.
This is the reason why nootropics are increasingly popular. Students, professionals, gamers and athletes alike flock to them. They don’t do it because these supplements will turn them into something else. They do it to amplify what they already have.
Many people might say that using smart drugs is cheating. And in a sense, I suppose that’s true. But without them, and despite our best intentions, we don’t all possess the mental resources to accomplish everything we want.
A 9-to-5-er may be wishing to live an entrepreneurial lifestyle. However, after 8 plus hours of work, it’s pretty difficult for anyone to have the mental capacity and stamina to keep on grinding, even if it’s towards their own dreams. And here I very much speak from personal experience.
So, for those of us who from time to time could use some help from a real-life Limitless pill, below are four options which give the most comparable effects.
Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting agent. It has been prescribed in America since 1998 as a treatment for narcolepsy . It can also do great things for your cognitive performance   and has an uncanny ability to give you the drive and mental capacity to work (effectively!) for hours on end .
These are the main reasons why hands down, modafinil is considered the closest real-life compound to the Limitless pill.
After taking modafinil, you actually start enjoying work  (believe it or not, even the tedious tasks) and your problem-solving skills go through the roof . Modafinil creates a clear-headed mental state  that helps you almost effortlessly work past anything which may require extra focus even when you’re sleep deprived .
The motivation, concentration and memory boost you receive make it very close to NZT-48 indeed.
Modafinil is a prescription drug in many countries. If you’re interested in exploring it, you can talk to your doctor about getting a prescription. Alternatively, you can get generic modafinil online directly from any number of vendors (the latter being my preferred way of going about it).
Adderall is a stimulant and one of the most commonly prescribed ADHD medications in the United States . It also happens to yield effects which are very similar to the Limitless pill. There’s little doubt why Adderall is a favorite among students looking for that extra edge with their schooling .
While, of course, stimulating, Adderall takes focus levels to a whole new level . It’s basically a legalized version of speed. Its potency and effectiveness are the main reasons for its popularity.
On the downside, Adderall has a long list of side effects , including several cardiovascular risks . It can also be very addictive  if used regularly (need to go to rehab kind of addictive). This is the reason why I personally choose to stay clear and recommend you do the same. There are several viable alternatives to Adderall, with modafinil, which gives very similar effects but is a lot safer, leading the way.
The best thing about Noopept is the obvious improvement in memory retention and recall experienced immediately after taking it . Users also report better verbal articulation and increased sociability.
While it’s the least potent option on this list of real Limitless pill alternatives, Noopept is also the safest one . In fact, I would go as far as calling it healthy. It has neuroprotective properties  and the ability to stimulate the production of NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) , both of which have long-term brain health benefits .
I’ll prefix this section by saying I’m in no way suggesting you go out and start using cocaine. Stay way clear of it. The only reason it’s mentioned here is because of the many similarities it shares with NZT-48.
Though it has more or less the same stimulating properties as modafinil and Adderall, users report that cocaine somehow comes even closer to the Limitless pill. This claim is likely due to the massive confidence boost it gives .
Very unhealthy with proven and severe long-term side effects , cocaine can boost productivity, reaction time and intuition . It can also make you more charismatic , which is something that the Limitless pill does as well.
Another notable similarity between the two is the destructive effect on mental and physical health. So again, while similar the NZT drug, cocaine is definitely not recommended by neither yours truly nor anyone else associated with this site.
Yes, we all want a quick way out of mediocrity. A pill that will magically put things in place is a beautiful thought but sadly not one that’s based in reality. Instead, it’s up to each of us to take control and look at every day as one ripe with opportunity (and make the most of it).
We must not limit our existence by being convinced geniuses are simply born, or that we’re missing a secret ingredient like NZT-48 to get us ahead. Those are beliefs which will hold you back and make the road to success all that harder.
Instead, feed your body daily with positive thoughts, nutritious food, and sleep. And if called for, by all means, consider the use of modafinil, Noopept or any number of other top nootropics. They’re not quite the Limitless pill, but will definitely give you that extra edge.