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I’m attracted to human intelligence and intellectual power. Movies of this gene usually would be my favourites. If you have the same interest as me, you would like Limitless (both the 2011 film, and the 2015 TV series).

Limitless the 2011 film is about a struggling author. His career is facing a stumbling-block, and his girlfriend breaks up with him because of his lack of progress and financial dependence. By chance, he takes a sample of new “smart drug”, NZT-48. After taking the pill, he is able to learn and analyze at a superhuman rate and recall memories from his distant past. Within 24 hours, he is able to clean his messy apartment and writes 90 pages of his book. In just 3 days he becomes a proficient piano player, finishes his book, and masters several languages. He also successfully makes a return of 2 million dollars in the stock market using his enhanced analytical skills, with the help of the drug’s amazing effects which he takes daily.

Limitless the 2015 TV series is a continuous story of the Limitless 2011 film. The TV series is about a 28-year-old guy who has not done much with his life. He is introduced to NZT-48, a miracle drug that opens the full possibility of his brain and gives him access to every neuron in his brain. Within 12 hours after taking the pill, he becomes the smartest person on earth, able to perfectly recall everything he has ever read, heard, or seen, and capable of prodigious leaps of intuition and reasoning. He uses his enhanced abilities to help the FBI.

The movies introduce the theory that the drug allows the pill taker to access the limitless power of his brain. NZT-48, however, has dangerous side effects, such as hallucinations and the sense of time skipping forward (the pill taker notices that several hours have suddenly passed of which he has no memory). If one attempts to stop taking the drug, one will experience several mental rebound effects, and could die.

In reality, there is a possibility that you can maximize your brain power, of course not at a superhuman rate, but at an optimum rate that you can brain can possibly reach. Not by taking drug which will bring along dangerous side effects, but by taking the right food and establish the right habits.

At the start of 2016, let’s make well-being your new-year resolution by applying tips and exercises to sharpen your mind and boost brain power.

A strong memory depends on the health and vitality of your brain. You can boost your brain power at any age. The human brain has an astonishing ability to adapt and change – even in old age. This ability is known as neuroplasticity (or brain plasticity). With the right stimulation, your brain can form new neutral pathways, alter existing connections, and adapt and react in ever-changing ways. The brain’s incredible ability to reshape itself holds true when it comes to learning and memory. You can harness the natural power of neuroplasticity to increase your cognitive abilities, enhance your ability to learn new information, and improve your memory at any age.

#1 – Give your brain a workout

Memory, like muscular strength, requires you to “use it or lose it”. The more you work out your brain, the better you’ll be able to process and remember information. But not all activities are equal. The best brain exercises must have 4 elements: 1 – teach you something new and out of your comfort zone, 2 – challenging, 3 – a skill you can build on (when a previously difficult level starts to feel comfortable, tackle the next level of performance), and 4- rewarding, enjoyable and satisfying. Think of something new you’ve always wanted to try: like learning how to play the guitar, play chess, speak Mandarin, or learn the GMAT. Play brain games; invest at least 20 minutes a day.

#2 – Do not skip the physical exercise

Physical exercise helps your brain stay sharp. It increases oxygen to your brain and reduces the risk of disorders that lead to memory loss, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It also helps to reduce stress. Exercise plays an important role in neuroplasticity by boosting growth factors and stimulating new neuronal connections. Exercise in the morning before you start you day makes a big difference. It prepares you for learning throughout the day. Physical activities that require hand-eye or arm-leg coordination or complex motor skills are particularly beneficial for brain building. Exercise breaks can help you get past mental fatigue and afternoon slumps. Try zumba, running, yoga for 1 hour/3 time per week or 30 minutes every day.

#3 – Get enough sleep

95% of adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleeps every night to avoid sleep deprivation. The key memory-enhancing activity occurs during the deepest stages of sleep. Get on a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. Establish a routine and be disciplined. Avoid all screens for at least an hour before bed. The blue lights emitted by TV, tablets, smart phones, and laptops trigger wakefulness and suppress hormones such as melatonin that make you sleepy. When you have a power sleep, you have a power mind.

#4 – Invest time for healthy relationships and laugh more

Humans are highly social animals. Relationships stimulate your brains. Research shows that having meaningful friendships and a strong support system is vital to brain health. People with the most active social lives have the slowest rate of memory decline. So invest time for healthy relationships through these activities: volunteer, have a pet/or a baby, join a club, make it a point to see friends more often.

Laugh more and laugh with friends because laughter is the best medicine and laughter keeps the stress away. Start with: 1 – laugh at yourself to take yourself less seriously; 2 – when you hear laughter, move toward it; 2 – spend time with fun, playful people; 3 – surround yourself with reminders to have joy; and 4 – play with children and emulate them because children are the experts on playing, taking life lightly, and laughing.

#5 – Eat a brain-boosting diet

A diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, “healthy” fats (olive oil, nuts, fish) and lean protein will improve memory.

  • For mental energy, choose complex carbohydrates. When you need to be at the top of your mental game, carbohydrates can keep you going. However, simple carbs (sugar, white bread, refined grains) give you a quick boost followed by an equally rapid crash. For healthy energy that lasts, choose complex carbs such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, high-fiber cereal, and whole beans. Avoid processed foods and limit starches (potato, pasta, rice) to no more than one quarter of your plate.
  • Get your omega-3s. Eat “fatty fish” such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardine, herring, trout, etc.
  • Eat more brain-boosting fruits, vegetables and nuts including broccoli, spinach, leafy green vegetables, asparagus, winter squash, tomatoes, blueberries, blackcurrants, walnuts, olives, etc. These food will help to prevent dementia.
  • Limit calories and saturated fat. Research shows that diets high in saturated fat (from sources such as red meat, whole milk, butter, cheese, cream, and ice cream) increase your risk of dementia and impair concentration and memory.
  • Drink green tea. Regular consumption of green tea may enhance memory and mental alertness and slow brain aging.

There is no need to take NTZ-48. You can boost your brain power, improve your memory and sharpen your mind through those simple tips and natural diets. Once you can harness the power of your neuroplasticity, you can maximize your brain capacity, reach to new level of success and happiness, and become “limitless”.

To a more successful 2016: The year of well-being!

Published on my LinkedIn profile

Bonus: FYI, a recent article published on Business Insider list down 8 types of intelligence that influence how successful you are, which are most applicable to the entrepreneurial role:

  1. Word-smarts (linguistic intelligence)
  2. People-smarts (interpersonal intelligence)
  3. Self-smarts (intra-personal intelligence)
  4. Number-smarts (logical-reasoning intelligence)
  5. Nature-smarts (naturalist intelligence)
  6. Picture-smarts (spatial intelligence)
  7. Body-smarts (kinesthetic intelligence)
  8. Music-smarts (musical intelligence)

The most successful entrepreneurs are those with the broadest range of interests, skills, and experiences (street smarts).