Obligatory disclaimer – I am not a doctor and nothing in this article should be taken as medical advice. This article exists to document what I’m doing and is not meant to advocate consuming any drug or supplement without the consultation of a medical professional.

Ten years ago, the scientific journal Nature ran an online survey taken by 1,400 people in 60 countries around their use of three cognitive enhancers, or so-called “smart drugs”:

  1. Adderall / Ritalin (often prescribed to patients with ADD or ADHD to aid with focus)
  2. Provigil (also known as modafinil and often prescribed to fight fatigue or jet lag)
  3. beta blockers (a general category of drugs that reduce anxiety by blocking the effects of epinephrine, ie adrenaline)

The study found that about 20% of respondents reported having consumed at least one of the three with the goal of improving concentration and mental performance. I have to imagine if we ran that same survey today, the number would be higher. Continue reading

If you’re a regular reader, you know I believe that training makes it possible. No one is good at everything, and everyone can improve with sustained effort.

I’m working on some new projects that can be loosely categorized as “helping people be more excellent at things they care about”. I know that readers of this blog are involved in tech, entrepreneurship, fitness, and management from my last readership survey, but I’d like to go a little further on what you’re working to improve right now.

For instance, in the past, I’ve focused on improving my dating life (I even hired a dating coach at one point), taking my fitness to new levels with monthly fitness challenges and marathon training, and improving as a product manager. Continue reading

I recently had a conversation with therapist who was interested in findings from The Asian American Man Study because many of the people she works with come from that demographic. She observed that her clients often feel like they aren’t fairly recognized in the workplace or have a difficult time with dating but they also aren’t willing to admit that there’s something about them (their attitude, their demeanor, their appearance, or their cultural values) that might be contributing to this issue. Continue reading

One of the things I’m trying to remind myself of this year is “play to my strengths”.

Truly understanding ourselves — our tendencies, preferences, abilities, and the impression we give to others — is enormously important to leading a successful and satisfying life. We often overlook our strengths because they come easy to us. We rely on them so frequently that they almost don’t exist in our minds. We’re typically see our weakness much more often, since it’s more obvious why we struggle than why we succeed. Continue reading

The year is coming to a close and that means a couple things:

  1. You’re getting invites for holiday and year end parties
  2. Friends and coworkers are coming down with terrible colds, flus and other debilitating illnesses
  3. Your brain starts pondering how the year has gone and what next year will hold

I don’t have much advice for you around the first two issues, except, try not to eat too many gingerbread cookies, and wash your hands frequently.

But perhaps I can say something useful about the third. Continue reading