We’ve all heard of the fabled “super pill.” Who could forget that fateful scene in The Matrix when Morpheus offers Neo a choice between the blue pill and the red pill—to remain blind to the truth, or to awaken to the deeper underpinnings of reality that few will ever know?
While pills like this have been the theme of countless Hollywood movies, it’s uncertain as to whether or not they could actually exist in real life.
In a world where the $935 Billion pharmaceutical industry insists there’s a pill for every ill, it’s only natural to be skeptical.
When I got the opportunity to interview the CEO and co-founder of a pill that’s setting out to upgrade the quality of life for every human by inducing greater states of empathy, my curiosity got the best of me.
This week on the Unconventional Life Podcast, I caught up with James Schmactenberger of Neurohacker Collective, a company that has reached hundreds of thousands of people with its pills that do everything from enhancing cognition and creativity to lengthening life expectancy.
In this week’s podcast episode, I dive into the vision behind Neurohacker Collective with James. Plus…
James founded Neurohacker Collective after he came face-to-face with the fallibility of his own health. At the time, he was running a company called Body Mind—or perhaps more accurately, it was running him.
Overworked, stressed, and depleted of energy, James was diagnosed with stage 3 adrenal exhaustion in his twenties. It led him to seek a specialized form of intravenous treatment.
His experience with the treatment was nothing short of miraculous.
“All of the depression had gone away,” James says. “My brain function not only came back to where it was, it became meaningfully better than it had ever been before.”
But one unintended side effect emerged too…
“My sense of empathy increased dramatically. Everything that I had studied throughout my life from spiritual traditions about how we’re all interconnected all of a sudden became palpable and I could start to see and feel the interconnectedness of life in a way I never could before.”
When James sought out to create a pill that could recreate that experience for others, the vision for Neurohacker Collective was born.
Below are some of the highlights James shares about what he’s learned along the way to founding and scaling Neurohacker Collective into the company it is today.
Shift From “I” to “We”
Have you ever been worried about your finances? Virtually all of us have. Financial strain is an incredibly uncomfortable feeling, and unfortunately, it’s a big driver for our economic and life decisions. The problem is, many of us are so worried about being able to meet our personal needs that we are blind to the needs of those around us.
“When people start a business, they focus on, ‘What are my personal needs?’ That’s not a big enough lens to look through,” James insists. “Instead ask yourself, ‘How do I contribute to society in the most profound way? What is it that’s mine to uniquely contribute?’”
When we expand our awareness to the needs of the collective, we not only consider our own needs but the needs of others. Our vision becomes larger, and by extension more compelling. By shifting from “I” to “We,” we enroll others into our vision, and the necessary resources to materialize that vision assemble more effortlessly as a cohesive effort.
Focus on Happiness
One of the greatest pitfalls of our society, James says, is that it values the accumulation of “stuff” over the pursuit of happiness. Voices all around us, implicit and explicit, send us the message that our value as a person lies in the amount of material wealth we have accumulated. Though it’s difficult to go against the grain, in a society devoid of wisdom, it’s actually the right thing to do.
“Most of us are willing to give up the things that bring us real joy to try to get ahead. We’re willing to trade in our happiness and ethics for more ‘stuff,’” James says.
Be willing to reevaluate your priorities. Are your current priorities making you happy? Consider that if you rank experiencing joy above owning more possessions or seeing the number in your bank account increase, you may become significantly more fulfilled and at ease.
Want more of James and Neurohacker Collective? Check out the Collective Insights Podcast.
For this week’s Unconventional Life Giveaway, Neurohacker Collective is giving away a bottle of Qualia Mind and Eternus to one lucky winner (retails for $228). To be entered to win the giveaway, click here. A winner will be selected next week.