This article contains many spoilers about Limitless. See the movie first, then come back to this article.
Our hero Eddie gets access to 100% of his brain by using a smart pill called NZT. He tells us via narration, "Everything I'd ever read, seen and heard was now organized and available."
Us in the real world can't access that much brain power, but with Google Search, smart phones and some clarity of mind on our part, we can have tons of information ready to use, if only we make the decision to do so.
"All fear and shyness was now gone," Eddie tells us. Yes, those are success blocks. But we don't need a pill to rid ourselves of those blocks. Classes, books, hypnosis or just diving into where we have to go, can start eliminating fears.
After hooking up with higher caliber friends (his useless relationships are "better forgotten and put away in mothballs," he says) and going to Puerto Valletta, Eddie says,"Mere lounging wasn't enough."
Yes, being a 'lounger' will not move us closer to what we really want. In that scene Eddie gets it: "Suddenly I knew what I needed to do. But it would take money to get there."
Ah, money. Here's where we lose a lot of people. My success teacher Dr. Paul Mastrodakus once said: "I can announce a seminar that says this coffee pot is God and I'll get 100% sign up. But any seminar that has 'money' as the subject, people just don't seem to want." I wonder why? Maybe getting money sounds like work. But money, that symbol of energy, is a must in the real world to accomplish our goals and live our dreams.
With increased brain power, Eddie apologizes to his ex-girlfriend saying, "My power for self sabotage wasn't boundless after all." He then asks her, "Why did you stay with me for so long?"
When she asks when his book is coming out, he replies, "Next year," and then immediately asks her about her job. It seems our hero has got off of his own problems and is now giving out interest to other people.
In the beginning of the film, when Eddie is standing on the ledge of the building ready to jump, he talks about "Wanting to make an impact on the world, instead of the pavement." When explaining his book in the bar, Eddie mentions a 'utopian society.' So we can guess that his final goal might be helping the world.
When Eddie is accused of having 'delusions of grandeur' he retorts with, "I have an actual recipe for grandeur." Ah, a plan. Definite plans get definite results. Indefinite plans do not get 'indefinite results', they get NO results. Eddie says, "I wasn't high, I wasn't wired, I was clear. I knew what I needed to do, and how to do it."
Notice the first thing that Eddie does once he's on NZT. He cleans up his 'base of operations,' his apartment. Where have you heard this before? Actually he first smoothes over his bad relationship with the landlord's wife and helps her write her law class paper. Eddie is a giver.
Next as the 'enhanced Eddie', he gets a haircut, new clothes, exercises and starts learning; studying languages. Yes, sounds like the Rules Of Living the James Bond Lifestyle. He then finishes his novel in four days. This is possible without NTZ if you type 5 pages an hour,16 hours a day, for four days = 320 page book.
Yes, all this can be done without the NZT.. It just might take a little longer to reach the success level that we want.
Eddie says, "There are moments in your life when you cross a bridge and know that your old life is over." This can scare some of us as it gets us out of our comfort zone to accept a change, even a positive change. But if a new life means, not having to run to the bank in 100 degree weather, because my car is broken, to make a $20 deposit to cover my overdue electric bill, then I'll take that new life.
And while a high level of success is necessary to express our true selves, Eddie cautions us with, "We are all wired to over reach. Look at history, all the countries that ruled the world. No one stopped and said, 'We've got France, Poland, a big Swiss bank account. Let's not invade Russia in the winter. Let's go home, pop a beer and live on the interest.'" Yes, better not fulfill the Peter Principle and rise to our level of our incompetence.
We see that Eddie can access classic literature when he compares Robert DeNiro's energy customers to "Oliver Twist begging for his bowl of gruel." Not bad to have an understanding of a few classics under your belt.
DeNiro makes a good point about earning your power by experience. He tells Eddie:
"Your super intellect is a gift from God, but you didn't earn it because you're careless with your power, flashing it around like a trust fund child. You never had to earn it year by year. You don't know how to assess your competition because you never had to compete."
Finally Eddie overcomes his challenges to get where he wants to go, the U.S. Senate. His next step will be the Presidency where he can accomplish the most good. However, the now evil and manipulative DeNiro wants to control Eddie so Eddie can pass laws to benefit DeNiro's various companies. But now Eddie has learned to compete and gets rid of DeNiro with verbal strategy. Eddie won't be corrupted.
Leaving the theater, after watching Limitless, I heard a patron remark, "I wish I had that pill." To me it sounded like, "I'm not going to even try to 'enhance' myself' like Eddie. I want a free ride."
In fact, even on NZT, Eddie worked hard, studied, exercised, worked on his finances and upgraded his appearance. Things anyone can do without NTZ.
To me, real NZT is water, as 90% of the human brain is made of it. Just Google 'benefits of water' and see the 10 things water does for humans and how much more we should be drinking.
In fact, it's Eddie's 'baptism' in water, after he dives into the ocean, where he realizes his real purpose in life, which seems to unfold as: Improve himself to the point of being able to serve others and make a positive difference in the world.
Finally, like all success that we accept as ours, Eddie's success in now internalized and natural. When he speaks to a waiter in Chinese, his girlfriend looks at him in awe. Eddie turns to her, sees her expression and says, "What?"
Written in 45 minutes, without NZT.