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. Then I put on my trans-cranial stimulation device, known as the Thync, and waited to see what happened. Wow! 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 frenzied euphoria, I took off the devices and went about my day. Having just been catapulted into sweet ecstasy, my day became both incredibly productive and happy.
This is not 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. In an age when depression is rampant and dangerous drug use is epidemic, amazing new ways to feel peaceful, euphoric, and just plain happy are popping up all over the place. However, people miss out on these amazing methods because they simply don’t know about them. From safe drugs to “happy apps,” to high tech brain stimulation devices, a whole new world of ways to feel good is blossoming.
We live in an age where everything is shifting and accelerating. Yet, most people still pursue an ancient path for finding happiness. Their formula for being happy is to try to control all the external events and people in their lives to be exactly the way they want. This is a tiresome activity at best, and there are always some events and people that we can’t control.
However, there is a new model for finding more joy and peace of mind: find it within your self. Of course, this is a not a new idea. Everyone from the Buddha to Jesus has said that heaven can be found within, but now there are cutting edge and more efficient ways to tap into this magical kingdom.
About a year ago I was invited to talk to Google employees about “The Future of Happiness.” I described new ways to control their minds and emotions that were more effective than trying to be happy by controlling all the events in their life. The reaction was intense. Everyone wanted to know what some of these innovative ways to “hack happiness” were, and
how they could get them. That led me to write a book on the subject. In my research 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 your focus, energy, and mood.
Yet, you have to try out many of them in order to find the one or two that really rock your world. I also learned that people define happiness in unique ways. Some people want a gadget that increases their pleasure, while other folks want a tool that improves their relationships or makes them feel totally peaceful.
Because I’m a junkie for joy, I’m continually trying the latest thing. As with all technologies, “inner” tech keeps getting better In fact, I’ve found that some of the apps and gizmos I’ve tried helped train me to reach higher states of consciousness more easily. For example, I’ve found I can easily access feelings of bliss now that I’ve felt such things while using
meditation apps or my Thync neuro-stimulator. When a supplement, gadget, or app can help you learn to access your own joy more efficiently, I think that’s a really good thing.
It’s hard to say exactly what the future holds, though Steve Jobs was seemingly pretty good at predicting it. In 1972 I had the rare 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. Well, nowadays 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 slowly but surely creeping into our lives.
In fact, I believe our ways of finding happiness, peace, and even love are all being updated by advancing technology. This “technology of joy” will only accelerate until the entire way we pursue happiness is transformed in the next few years. While some of these gadgets or tools can cost hundreds of dollars, I list more than thirty of them in my book that cost less than a latte. Currently, many of these apps, supplements and gadgets are pretty unknown, but soon
that will change. As science fiction writer William Gibson once said, “The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed.” By investing a little time and money in this blossoming field, you can find a few things that are remarkable and mind-blowing. In a world where we’re all too busy and distracted, more effective ways to tap into the peace, joy and love
within can be a truly wonderful thing.