The brain is one of the most essential parts of the human body. It’s what allows you to do whatever it is that you choose to. Everything conveyed inside your brain is what makes you react, and in return, defines what it is to become a human being.

Over the generations, there has been a constant search for the ultimate drug that will make human beings become extraordinary and stand out from the current state of normal human beings. Of course, there are several ways to accomplish this – such as physical training, knowledge gathering, emotional and spiritual balance, among other things. All of this just to reach that next stage of becoming a mightier you. However, since people are getting used to acquiring everything “in an instant”, researches are always attempting to find ways to make any individual become more than what he or she is capable of.

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And from this desire to “hack” a humans brain, Nootropics were born and introduced to our clamoring society. They are becoming widely popular to the public nowadays as they are known to enhance one’s mental prowess. However, can a drug really do the trick?

Is it safe? Is it effective?

Could it actually be the key towards unlocking the mind and become a super being?

The Origin of Nootropics

It is uncertain when exactly mankind first discovered and used plants and fruits to alter their moods and thoughts. However, researchers have found evidence that this practice may have began as long as 10,000 years ago.

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Drawings inside caves have been found and are believed to have described the everyday lives of those living at the time. What is interesting is that some of these drawings match the patterns created by other humans in recent tests as they were observed during mind-altering conditions. This conclusion has been based on Turing Instabilities wherein neutral patterns are observed under the influence of hallucinogens.

Several cultures all over the world also have nootropic-like substances. An example includes the Gingko Biloba, which is popularly known among the culture of China, and Ayurvedic adaptogen is well known in India. While such compounds have unique roles in the progress of humanity’s history, it is just in recent years that people have begun to adapt and be able to create and optimize nootropics for improving one’s memory and thought perceptions.

The term “nootropics” was coined by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea which came from the greek word ‘noos’ which stands for mind and ‘tropein’  meaning towards or to bend.  These days, nootropics are typically used for enhancing the memory, focus and cognition far beyond the normal circumstances that the brain can handle. For many, taking nootropics is the key to better productivity, improving mood, stress reduction, and increasing self control in times of extreme mental pressure.

The Forms of Nootropics

There are many classes of herbs and supplements that may be considered a nootropic. According to NootropicsJournal, natural substances such as Adaptogens help the person in managing stress, and in return, can actually enhance his or her cognition. Examples of adaptogens include maca, tulsi, rhodiola, cordyceps and ginseng.

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Another example of a nootropic supplement is called Alpha Brain. This herbal nootropic supplement is designed to improve concentration and enhance focus. Side effects have also been found to be minimal based on consumer experiences and studies. It is said to be more favorable than drinking a cup of coffee for alertness – which at times can bring unwanted nervousness and palpitations, in extreme cases.

CILTEP is another supplement which is referred to as a “nootropic stack.” It means that the food supplement is a combination of herbs created to improve the brain’s might. It’s been found that CILTEP consumers share similar results and experiences, especially with regard to having noticeable results, with much emphasis on concentration development.

Most natural foods and herbs are generally considered safe to intake which also boosts the functionality of the brain and at the same time, provides the nourishment that the body needs. Still, the best option to reach the optimum performance of your brain and overall health, according to experts, is a proper, well-balanced diet. Below are some good sources of brain-boosters which you may want to consider:

  • Foods like oily fishes which are rich in DHA and EPA
  • Bright colored vegetables and berries which have high antioxidant contents
  • Coconut oil and MCT oil which are both healthy fats
  • Leafy vegetables, bananas, and other sources of Vitamin K

The Trick of Nootropics

The effects of nootropics vary from one person to another, and users can end up having varying changes within their body. The primary effect of a nootropic is the increasing number of neurotransmitters that are present inside the brain. With this occurrence, the neuroplasticity of the brain increases as well, together with the rise of dopamine and serotonin levels. This phenomenon is responsible for helping one’s ability to focus and with enhanced memory levels and other cognitive performances.

There are several guidelines for a chemical to meet in order for it to be called a nootropic. Dr. Giurgea created the list as follows:

  • A nootropic must aid in keeping the brain protected from physical, as well as any chemical injury
  • It must, in some way, enhance the cognitive abilities of the brain and prevent such from being interrupted by a certain health condition
  • A nootropic should help in improving one’s memory, focus, and learning process
  • A nootropic must not be toxic or produce numerous and alarming side effects
  • A nootropic should boost the control mechanisms in the cortical and subcortical sections of the brain

The aforementioned criteria aren’t met by a lot of potentially acclaimed nootropics since many do have critical side effects after usage. Then again, given the case, there are still other substances that already caught the attention of the public. Some of these include the off-label use of Adderall or Ritalin, popularly known for ADD/ADHD drugs, which can actually enhance the cognitive performance of the user. There is also a drug called Modafinil that is increasingly becoming famous for its effectiveness. However, in some rare cases, such stimulant drugs can actually threaten the user’s life.

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The question now is: do nootropics really work?

According to recent studies, there is an abundant of positive results for substances like piracetam and many others. Nevertheless, there are many other compounds which also contain a lot of potential. Because of this, biohackers, or people who seeks to “hack” their own minds, have become more popular than ever in helping to discover the extent of nootropics’ capabilities on people.

In their quest for better understanding of these drugs, it has been found that there are various side effects and potential benefits which are all taken into account within scientific studies. However, unless enough people consume the compounds and provide sufficient statistics from their experiences, such compounds cannot be perfected. Even though there are still limits from researches, there is enough proof that nootropics really work (as supported by the compound users and manufacturers).

It is now for you to decide whether you will take the risk and personally gain the experience of using nootropics or not. Side effects are always a possibility with some of the substances out there so proper research and consultancy should be used with every attempt to use these drugs.

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Why Launching a Startup is The Best Thing You Can do With Your Life

After a C-level career in finance I decided to launch my own start-up. I was happy working in the city of London, the environment in the company was great, the owners were just yet inspiring. Nonetheless, somehow it was never enough and I dreamed of something more.

Two reasons why you should stop working for someone else

In March 2014 I decided to quit and start on my own. I didn’t know what I was going to do or which direction to go, but I felt it was a rational decision I will not regret. My main reasons for quitting were simple.

#1 it is hard to achieve high financial goals

I realised that no matter how much I loved all the corporate life and the available resources I wasn’t getting closer to my personal financial goals. Successful companies are reluctant to make late comers equal no matter the time and effort they put in.

Even when the results are above all expectations the owners will still attribute it to the company’s generic growth. It’s very unlikely that you’ll become a multimillionaire working for someone else.

#2 It’s hard to feel complete

I always compared myself to other people in the organisation, as a matter of fact that is what all of us are doing when we are working for someone else. We compare ourselves to the people inside and outside the firm.

No matter how much I put in I always felt that I could do more. Nonetheless, I didn’t see good reasons to work an 18-hour day if I will not be made equal. Don’t get me wrong I worked very hard, but I wasn’t “all-in”.

Four reasons to start on your own

It might be hard to find the right idea at the start. Most of my ideas were crazy or stupid, or both. Some of them didn’t make any sense. Until one day… I was back in the UK looking for a horse riding weekend trip in Surrey.

It took me two hours precisely to find what I was looking for. Let it sink in. With an average pay of £500 an hour I hypothetically spent £1000 doing a “monkey search” through Google.

That’s how ActivityFan – the activity booking marketplace was born. As soon as I started working on my own start-up I realized that I will never be able to go back to working for someone else and here is why.

The challenge is real

No matter how challenging your current job is having a start-up will always be much more challenging. It’s green field and you have to build everything from the start. You will not be stuck in routine ever again. It’s requires enormous amount of effort to even get your project of the ground.

If you’ll decide to self-fund you will feel the pressure of having to get rolling before you become flat broke. Trust me it’s the most motivating kick on the backside you can experience. If you ever felt like: “I don’t feel like working today” it will never happen again.

It boosts your creativity

Limited resources will force you to focus on the most effective ways of achieving results. No matter if we are talking about marketing or simply getting things done, you’ll learn to think outside of the box.

It takes up all your time and you don’t mind

When you have a start-up there is no difference between work time and free time. As a matter of fact, all of your free time becomes your work time and all your work time becomes your free time. You’ll enjoy every day. At time it might be hard, but the satisfaction of moving forward outweighs all the tiredness.

You love it with all your heart

You might have heard people saying: “having a start-up is like having a baby” and it’s completely true. The only thing you can talk of is your start up, the only thing you think of is your start-up and you love it with all your heart. It defines you and makes you complete, every success story is your personal success and every failure simply motivates you to keep on going.

Launching a startup is the best thing you can do with your life, but are you ready for the challenge?

This post was written by Elina Pedersen. Elina is a traveller (over 60 countries) and the founder of Activity Fan  – the activity booking marketplace. Elina was born in Estonia, but she lived in Netherlands, Australia, and USA. Elina currently resides in UK. Her main goal is to help people find their next big adventure, as well as to support small-local businesses worldwide.

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