May 12, 2016

Joy Hacking & the Future of Happiness.


**Editor’s Note: This website is not designed to, and should not be construed to, provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion or treatment to you or any other individual, and is not intended as a substitute for medical or professional care and treatment. Always consult a health professional about health care changes before trying out new home therapies or changing your diet.**


I popped the pink pill into my mouth and waited for the expected feelings of ecstasy.

No, the pill wasn’t the drug XTC, but rather a legal and safe alternative.

Next, I put on my trans-cranial stimulation device, known as “The Thync,” and waited to see what happened. After five minutes, it felt like my brain was flooding me with endorphins.

Finally, I placed the scalp stimulator known as “The Tingler” on my head. When I did this, an orgasmic wave of intense pleasure rippled through my entire body.

After a few minutes of this euphoria, I took off the devices and went about my day. Having just been catapulted into sweet ecstasy, I found I was both productive and happy.

This isn’t a future scenario. This is how I like to start my mornings.

Nowadays, there are new and improved ways to feel good—even ecstatic—that most people don’t know anything about. From safe drugs, to “happy apps” and high-tech brain stimulation devices, a whole new world is blossoming.

About a year ago, I was invited to talk to Google employees about “The Future of Happiness.” In doing research for the talk, I learned that different things work for different people. For example, there are a lot of supplements known as “cognitive enhancers” that can dramatically increase focus, energy and mood. Yet, not everyone likes the same ones.

However, having given various supplements out to hundreds of people, I can say that three of them stand out as almost always helpful:

400 mg of Sulbutiamine.

Sulbutiamine is a derivative of thiamine (vitamin B1) that is designed to cross the blood brain barrier. Studies suggest it improves memory and reduces anxiety.

500 mg of CDP Choline.

According to Wikipedia, this supplement helps improve focus and mental energy, and may be useful in the treatment of attention deficit disorder.

200 mcg of Huperzine-A.

Huperzine-A is derived from a plant called Chinese Club Moss, and is used for Alzheimer’s disease, and as a memory and learning enhancement.

Each of these supplements is considered safe, and all are easy to buy online. Taken alone—or better yet, all together—they help the average person to focus, feel good and be fully alert. They are like vitamins for the brain.

When I take them, I get more done, and I feel surprisingly joyous while moving through my day.

Over time, I’ve learned that people define happiness in unique ways. Certain people want something that increases their pleasure, while other folks want a tool that improves their relationships or makes them feel peaceful.

Fortunately, there are a lot of great apps, gadgets and supplements to choose from. With a little trial and error, anyone can find something that powerfully meets their particular needs.

As with all technologies, “inner” tech keeps getting better. In fact, some of them are so good that it’s possible to get addicted to them. Ultimately, one has to discern whether a given gadget is truly a friend that helps them find the joy within—or just another WMD (Widget of Mass Distraction). Since there are many tools that do different things, there’s no simple answer as to whether something is beneficial to a given individual.

For example, people become addicted to and dependent on coffee. Yet, caffeine can allegedly prevent many types of cancer, and helps people be productive.

So, is coffee a “good” thing? It’s up to you to decide.

It’s hard to say exactly what the future holds, though Steve Jobs seemed pretty good at predicting it. In 1972, I had the unusual opportunity to be in a computer class with Steve Jobs. Of course, at the time he was just a nerdy teen, and I was four years his junior. He and I would vie to play tic-tac-toe on a 500-pound “computer” that our High School had recently purchased.

Steve was obsessed with this machine.

One day I asked Steve why he was so fixated on this refrigerator-sized computer. He turned to me and said in an intense manner, “Don’t you see? This machine is going to change everything! It’s going to change the world!” 

It turns out Steve Jobs was right.

It may not seem like the latest brain supplement, neuro-stimulator or mood-enhancing app is going to change the world, but technology has a way of discreetly slipping into our lives. This “technology of joy” will only accelerate until the entire way we pursue happiness is transformed over the next few years.

I’ve seen that when people try out enough of these new gadgets, apps and supplements, they inevitably find something that feels good—and is good for them. When that happens, their lives are never the same.


Author: Jonathan Robinson

Editor: Toby Israel

Image: Gratisography


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