NZT and Self-Improvement: What would you do if you had the Limitless pill?

Limitless is one of my favourite films. It’s the story of Eddie Morra, a writer played by Bradley Cooper, who begins taking a pill that allows him to access his whole brain, rather than a mere 20%. As a result, he writes the book he’s been unable to produce for so long, learns multiple languages, and enters the financial market. These gains are accompanied by beautiful women, rich friends, and Maseratis. Not bad.

I love the concept of being able to stretch yourself to do what you always wanted to do. Who doesn’t wish to become a well-rounded, interesting person? I was thinking today about what I would do if I had the NZT pill, and came up with the following list:

  • Improve my Catalan and Italian
  • Read more non-fiction
  • Have super-confidence
  • Write inspiring blog posts
  • Be obsessed with learning
  • Be more musical
  • Name classical music easily
  • Read all of Tolstoy’s work
  • Improve my social skills
  • Get a first class degree
  • Learn to dance well
  • Draw and paint well
  • Perfect my English grammar
Yet I can do all of the above without any need for a pill. Limitless shows how grim the side effects of such medication can be. I’m going to work on the list I’ve just constructed, and prove to myself that its contents can be accomplished. I can spend twenty minutes working on languages per day, practise drawing when the urge strikes, and build on my confidence. Everyone wants to become better at languages or be more intellectual, but they often don’t realise how the only obstacles in their way are self-doubt and a lack of willpower. 
Consider what you’d like to achieve in an ideal world, and then ask yourself if it’s really as impossible as you presume. 

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It's good to meet you! I started Tolstoy Therapy back in 2012 to share my healing journey through anxiety and PTSD with books. I also climb mountains, go on solo adventures, and write over at

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