How to Be Limitless in Real Life | 14 Mental Hacks and Techniques

By Jonathan Roseland

I'm not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I'm a researcher and pragmatic biohacking practitioner exercising free speech to share evidence as I find it. I make no claims. Please practice skepticism and rational critical thinkingYou should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health. Affiliate links in this article support Limitless Mindset - spend over $150 and you'll be eligible to join the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.

Limitless movieIn the 2011 movie Limitless, the main character takes a clear pill, NZT-48, that endows superhuman mental abilities allowing him to become a master communicator, seducer, and a wealthy, powerful businessman virtually overnight.
While the movie is fictional, it’s certainly possible in real life to become influential, make money and achieve success relatively quickly by way of cognitive ability development, mastery of communication skills, and mindset transformation.

A Quick Story...

When I first saw the movie Limitless over a decade ago, I was in a bad place...

  • I was broke, living on my brother's uncomfortable couch.
  • I had just been through a very rough business partnership breakup, an experience not unlike getting divorced.
  • My dating and social life had gone from rockstar to zero overnight.
  • My nights and weekends were spent watching TV on the same couch I slept on every night.
  • Living in a very lame suburb, I was miles from a suitable workout location. I got lazy and stopped exercising.
  • Additionally, I had some legal problems with my driver's license - NOT from drinking and driving - but I had lost my driver's license due to some unpaid fines from years ago and driving under revocation. I never went to jail but I had to spend a ton of time going to court and most of my disposable income dealing with the legal system.

When I saw the movie, I knew that some real-life equivalent of NZT-48 had to exist and I needed to find it! Check out these photo galleries of my life in the ensuing decade and judge for yourself whether I found it...

By the end of this article...

You will have the tools to begin a high-leverage (meaning fast) personal development process that is holistic (meaning that you are changing your behaviors and transforming your mindset so that the change is sustainable) and quantifiable (meaning that your progress is measurable). In a period between a few months to several years, depending upon your learning style, budget, and aptitude for personal development you could become surprisingly close to Bradley Cooper’s character Eddie Maura by focusing on improvements in the following areas of your life:

  • Mastery of communication skills
  • Influence abilities
  • Improving memory
  • Cognitive ability development
  • Mindset transformation
  • Skill acquisition
  • Knowledge acquisition
  • Dietary improvements
  • And dressing sharp

Get ready to hack your reality and become Limitless!

Mastery of Communication Skills

Communication skillsIt’s amazing that while communication skills are undeniably such a huge factor in our success in business, relationships and life we spend so little time developing them. Like in the movie, excellent communicators consistently end up in stations of success and power (Barrack Obama, is a great example of this). In Limitless, the main character’s silver tongue is what opens a lot of doors for him. Focus on learning these aspects of communication:
  • Body language techniques
  • Usage of creative metaphors
  • Demonstrating listening skills
  • Practicing topic depth escalation
  • Magnanimous conversation stealing
  • Speaking pace and tonality moderation
  • Applying economics principles to communication
  • Emotional withdrawals and deposits (this podcast goes deeper into the supply and demand arbitrage method)

Technique: Body Language Mirroring

This is a body language technique where you mirror the body language of the person you are interacting with. If they put their hands on the table, put your hands on the table. If they rest their elbow on their seat, rest your elbow on your seat. Mirroring should be used with strategic timing though, do not mirror them 100% of the time. Mirror them to build rapport when they say something you like.

Influence Abilities

Those seeking a Limitless lifestyle will also need to develop sharp influence skills. It’s well said that... 
You can get anything you want in the world if you know how to ask.
Those who "know how to ask" would develop the following skill sets:
  • Neuro-linguistic programming
  • Embedded commands
  • Negotiating skills
  • Rapport building
  • Hypnosis and cold reading
  • Playing the young and ambitious card 

Technique: Use People’s Names Frequently

During a conversation try to use a person’s name about once every 3-5 minutes or as often as you can without it being awkwardly repetitive. Using someone’s name immediately engenders rapport, captures their attention, and increases their likelihood of going with what you are suggesting.
Book RecommendationsNever Split the Difference by Chris Voss, Pitch AnythingThe 2AM Principleand The 48 Laws of Power.
The 48 Laws of Power
Category: Book
Way of the Wolf: Straight Line Selling: Master the Art of Persuasion, Influence, and Success
Category: Book
Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal
Category: Book
The 2AM Principle
Category: Book
Flip the Script: Getting People to Think Your Idea Is Their Idea
Category: Book

Nootropic Smart Drugs

Like NZT-48 in the movie, Nootropics will make you a whole lot smarter, more creative, focused, and more productive. And they can do it fast - within 10-30 minutes of taking them.

The majority of Smart Drugs are nutraceutical supplements, meaning that they are high-quality concentrations of the kinds of vitamins and nutrients you find in organic foodsTwo questions I get A LOT from people who are new to Biohacking and haven't yet tried smart drugs are...

Which "smart drug" supplements actually work and have science behind them?
Which Nootropic should I get started with?

My answer to both questions is the same: Piracetam

How much do they cost? Actually, one of the most proven Nootropics can be consumed for about 40-cents-a-day while some high-dosage, sophisticated Nootropic stacks run +300/month a month.

Cognitive Ability Development

brain cognition

You want to shift more of your cognition to the logical, reasoning faculty of the mind. This is the domain of mathematics, problem-solving, and pattern recognition. The most important thing to understand is that the brain, like any other muscle in your body, gets more powerful as you exercise it. Have you ever wondered why you keep repeating the same patterns in life? Your brain prefers to process new situations using existing synaptic connections (formed by your past experiences). If you want to experience new things in life you need to give your brain practice building new synaptic patterns. Your brain is the most powerful pattern recognition computer tool on the planet but there are some ways to sharpen it:
  • Try new things! This should be obvious, make it a goal to venture beyond your comfort zone in big and small ways to experience new things in life. By interrupting its patterns and exposing your brain to new experiences you make it faster to adapt.
  • Try mind mapping: these are software tools where you create a graphical layout of your thoughts or plans. By creating a graphical layout you are forcing your brain into a higher level of focus while making plans for the future.
  • Force yourself to use the scientific method when dealing with situations where you usually jump to conclusions or just repeat what you did in the past.
  • Be a content creator instead of a content consumer. Content consumption certainly isn’t bad (the content you are consuming right now is showing you how to be Limitless in your life) but for the most part, it is a passive mental activity whereas creation is like climbing a mountain in your mind. Content is a generalization for information that people consume for entertainment or educational purposes. It could mean writing a book, creating art, making music, vlogging, making Youtube videos, producing a short film, doing a podcast, building a website, or starting a blog. Ask yourself how much time in the day you spend consuming content (surfing the internet, watching TV, reading articles, etc). Try to cut that time in half, and use your new free time creating content instead.
  • Do some logic puzzles.
  • Learn a new language: Language acquisition challenges and causes cognitive development on a variety of conscious and unconscious levels. When you start learning a new language practice talking to yourself in your mind in that language. Check out these infographics for hacking language learning.
  • mouseTry the Cash Flow board game by Rich Dad Poor Dad. It’s entrepreneurial monopoly where your objective is to leverage the cash flow from your player's day job into investments that will provide residual income.

Technique: Move your mouse to the other side of the computer

If you are right-handed and have your mouse on the right side of your computer move it to the left and force yourself to use your non-dominant hand (or vice versa) for an hour a day. At first, it will be very awkward and uncomfortable but practice for just one hour a day and you will greatly strengthen the bridge between the right and left sides of your brain.

Improved Memory

In Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich he lists memory improvement as one of the things that help contribute to a person’s success in life. An individual seeking a Limitless memory would want to focus on the following:
  • Visually based associations: It’s said that association is the basis of memory. Memory experts utilize visual association techniques heavily to improve recall abilities.
  • The ability to remember names and details about people.
  • Spend time playing memory and cognition games.

Technique: The AV Association Technique for remembering limitless names instantaneously.

Mental Energy and Creativity

In Limitless while on NZT, the character has a surge of mental energy and creativity enabling him to finish his book and get a shocking amount of stuff done. Have you ever told yourself something like...?

If only I had a little more mental energy I would be able to accomplish my goals; start that business, write that book, or take that trip.

Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as limitless mental energy here are some ways to make the most of it...

  • Sleep cycle management; we rob ourselves of a lot of mental energy because of mismanaging our sleep cycles. One of the biggest ways is by interrupting our REM (rapid eye movement) sleep cycles, REM cycles occur in 90 minutes intervals. Our body will naturally wake us up at the end of these sleep cycles. If we hit snooze at that time we will probably only sleep for another 20-30 minutes. By that time we will wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle, thereby disturbing our brain as it processes our short-term memory into our subconscious. This results in low mental energy throughout the day. I’m sure you’ve had the experience before of sleeping and then not feeling as sharp throughout the day. Now you know why.
  • Daily mental energy cycle management.
  • Peak state management - Find flowstate for yourself!
  • Proper diet for maximizing mental energy (more on this below).
Unleashing limitless creativity
The most creative people in the world are that way because they are surrounded by inspiration. If your life consists of commuting to work, working, commuting home, running errands, and watching TV in the evenings then it’s no wonder you lack creative energy! Few easy ways for more creative energy:
a) Read more (and you don’t actually have to read, I consume the information of about three books a week via audiobooks and programs!) I recommend both fiction and non-fiction.
b) Watch documentary films: If you are like most Americans, you spend several hours every day watching TV. Instead of turning your mind to goo by watching sitcoms or dramas be infotained by documentaries about real life. The documentary streaming service Curiosity Stream is well worth it. If you're ballin' on a budget Top Documentary Films catalogs over 3000 free films. Venture back out onto the fringes of the world wide web and you'll encounter some mindblowing documentaries, like this one about the Mudflood hypothesis. Also, you'll want to check out these Limitless Mindset documentaries about health, science, mindset, and conspiracy. 

Stress Management

Stress Management

Mismanagement or excessive amounts of stress will prevent you from living Limitlessly. Stress is defined as the measure of change occurring in your life at any given time; things like a new job, moving, the break up with a partner, etc. Make sure you are spending time daily on healthy stress management activities:
  • Working out.
  • Eating healthy, complete meals.
  •  Mindfulness meditation practice.
  • Relaxation time.
  • Physical contact with other people (If you don’t have a significant other get massages).
  • Sex.

Enhanced Situational Awareness

On NZT, Eddie has a Jason Bourne-sque situational awareness for diffusing and resolving dangerous situations. Here are some real-life ways to increase situational awareness:
  • Survival and firearms training courses
  • Martial arts training
  • Sensory acuity exercises
  • Reality testing for lucid dreaming

Technique: Sensory Deprivation Exercises

Turn off one of your senses while doing daily activities. This forces your other senses to sharpen. Start with something easy like watching TV with the sound off and reading the body language of the characters. Then you may want to move on to something more challenging, like making a meal while blindfolded!

Knowledge Acquisition

Boy studying learning school knowledge 750

Limitless individuals have an internalized understanding of information equity and are knowledgeable about a wide variety of topics. At the same time though they can subtly guide a conversation towards topics that they have a mastery of. A Limitless individual wouldn’t waste their time taking irrelevant classes, they would consume information and acquire knowledge in more efficient ways. Here’s my favorite way:

Technique: Practice task-batching in combination with passive information consumption

Separate your work into two categories
a) Creative/high mental energy-consuming tasks (Examples: blogging, negotiating, sales calls, designing, meetings, strategizing, planning, communicating with other people, etc) b) Monotonous or repetitive tasks which require little mental energy (Examples: responding to emails, organizing paperwork, data entry, etc) 
Plan your Type b tasks at the end of the day when your mental energy is low and batch the most similar, monotonous tasks one after another. While you are doing this consume information passively. Here are my three favorite forms of passive information consumption
  1. Listening to audiobooks – I recommend a membership with Audible.
  2. Listening to podcasts – Which you download free from Apple Podcasts or Castbox.FM, my favorite podcast app.
  3. Listening to documentary films – On your second screen or tablet

Skill Acquisition


In the business world knowledge workers who can quickly acquire new skills and abilities will have a huge advantage.
  • Teach; it's well said that the best way to learn something is to teach it. While you are learning a new skill find a friend who you can share with weekly and teach the same things you are learning. A great way to practice this is when you learn the AV Association Technique teach it to a friend (do that this week!)
  • Practice on the computer: For almost every skill imaginable there are (a lot of times free) websites and software that you can use to practice and hone your new skillset.
  • Ready, Fire, Aim (NOT Ready, Aim, Fire) – This is the opposite of what people describe as analysis paralysis; when you embark on a new endeavor you focus on action, making progress, and resist the temptation to over-plan, overanalyze, and second guess. For skill acquisition, this means you begin using new skills as soon as possible in the real world before you have completely mastered them (obviously this doesn’t apply to brain surgery).
  • Practice skill leverage; as opposed to becoming a professional student who is always filling their head with new skills, learn the skill of leveraging the skills and strengths of others to accomplish your goals.

Diet Hacking

Diet Diagram

You are what you eat. While the brain accounts for only 2% of the body's weight, it burns 20% of the body's calorie intake and requires specific nutrients for optimum performance. Most Americans and people in the western world do not eat a brain power diet. You’d be amazed at how you can sharpen your mind (and body) by eating right!

Book Recommendation: The Plant Paradox, Fast This Way, and Food Forensics

The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner
Category: Book
Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging
Category: Book
The Plant Paradox
Category: Book
Food Forensics: The Hidden Toxins Lurking in Your Food and How You Can Avoid Them for Lifelong Health
Category: Book
Glucose Revolution: The Life-Changing Power of Balancing Your Blood Sugar
Category: Book
Fast This Way: Burn Fat, Heal Inflammation, and Eat Like the High-Performing Human You Were Meant to Be
Category: Book

Mindset Transformation

Mindset transformation

I’m sure you have heard stories before of a successful person who had it all and then through radical circumstances lost it all and then in a short while, had made it all back. The reason why should be obvious, it’s because they have a winner's mindset. Every book written by a successful person about success talks at length about mindset. A fair warning though, some self-help books trivialize the mindset message by stating (in many more words) that...

positive thought + making goals = massive success and wealth.

As any entrepreneur will tell you it takes a whole lot more than positive thoughts to become successful. The mindset conundrum is that to be a winner you need to have a winner's mindset but If you haven’t experienced massive success yet it’s debatable whether you can get yourself in a winner's mindset. There are a couple of ways that those pre-Limitless mindsets can deal with this...

Visualization and goal association: This is a powerful method that I could write a book on (and many have). A brief description: 1) Create some emotionally charged long-term vision goals 2) break the vision down into smaller, accomplishable, measurable goals 3) Create visualization associations between the emotionally-charged vision and the tedious day-to-day actionable tasks to get there.

The ability to banish negative thoughts from your mind. A mindfulness meditation practice will help a lot with this.

Watch the movie Limitless. If you found it as inspirational as I did, rewatch it once a year.

Technique: Mental language reframing

We can drastically improve our mindset by changing the way we talk to ourselves. There are certain things we say in our minds that limit our potential. An example: I Can’t Afford It – This phrase is a mental limiter, anytime you hear yourself saying this in your mind reframe it as How Can I Afford It? Or what do I need to do to afford it? By reframing this negative as a question we force our minds to work and figure out a way to afford it.

Dress Sharp

lifehacking your looks

In Limitless, while on NZT the leading man is frequently shown looking very sharp in a fine suit. Don’t underestimate the empowering effect (especially for men) on your mindset and over other people of dressing well. In the book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell documents numerous double-blind case studies of how the way a person dresses drastically affects our perception of them and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of how our experience with them will go. Regardless of how non-judgmental people claim to be the way we dress when we meet people makes a big difference. People in suits and uniforms will always be figures of authority and command respect.

For Gentlemen:

Wear a suit, yeah I know suits aren't terribly comfortable but a suit makes a loud, clear statement: I do things important enough in life that I wear a suit. Unless it's a really swanky function I do not recommend a tie though. I recommend leaving the top shirt button undone, this looks very sexy and sharp. I recommend buying your suits at Express for Men where they run around $300, I bought a suit about 4 years ago there. I'm amazed at the number of compliments I get on it after all the drinks that have been spilled on it and all the adventures it's been through. 

For Ladies:

In business settings: Dress as stylishly as you can without it being a distraction at work. Forever21 and Express are your best friends. Buy a nice watch, in general, men have more discriminating tastes in watches than ladies so it’s a great way to make yourself stand out.

In social situations: I'd recommend a cocktail dress, there is truly no better way to strike the delicate balance between sexy and classy than with a cocktail dress. If it's more a business setting a lady suit is fine. Also, get yourself a small purse for when you are going out. Women who are out socializing with large purses are just clumsy looking.

 Practice the AV Association Technique

This is a memory system hack that will be invaluable to you in social and business situations. It will allow you to easily remember, and masterfully recall thousands of details about hundreds of people. The Audio-Visual Association Technique is very cognitively engaging and it builds your creative faculty over time. Click the link below for a four-part video course that will teach you in 45 minutes a powerful mental hack that master salespeople, politicians, pickup artists, and cult leaders use to remember limitless names instantaneously.

Access: AV Association


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