On Motivation: Four Sigmatic

If I had to guess what the most popular blog post topic was, I’d guess it was motivation. It’s probably the most popular book topic as well. People who buy self-help books are always looking into how to keep moving forward towards their goals. It can’t just be hard work, there’s got to be a secret to it. And anyone successful has got something to say on the subject. “You’ve just got to push through the wall”, they say, laughing maniacally. “Use my proven system to keep ‘Getting Things Done'”, or “you have to learn ‘The Power Of Habit'”, or even “you need to automate your life to have the Four Hour Workweek you’re dreaming of”. I’ve read (or, at least, listened to on Audible), a bunch of these books in the past 8 months. I’ve learned quite a bit about different systems and methods for staying on my game. And I can say conclusively that I know how the rich and successful stay as motivated and high performing as they do.

It’s drugs, guys. It’s always been drugs.

That’s not to say that these systems don’t have merit. Training yourself not to waste time surfing the internet, or to just do things that take less than two minutes right now, are definitely good tidbits and will help you manage your time better. But no one’s doing all this without stimulants of some sort. Everyone’s got their favorite. For Wall Street Bankers and Instagram Models, it’s cocaine. Mine’s the tried and true caffeine.

And when I say favorite, I’m not lying. I drink an extraordinarily unhealthy amount of caffeine per day to get myself through my day job. I generally drink two of these per day:

Sweet nectar

Each of these Rockstar Energy Drinks has 240mg of caffeine in them, and so if you do the math, and add in the other shots I get in from other sources, I’m taking in over half a gram a day. And the worst part is, I get home and I’m still tired. Probably from my heart racing for 8 hours. I don’t know, I’m not a doctor. But I went to one and he said that’s almost certainly the reason.

So I was listening to Tim Ferriss’ podcast, because he talks a lot about what successful people do in their lives, and I want to hear them spill the beans that they have some cool new Limitless drug. They never bring up the drugs, I think it might be a faux pas. But he does advertise some drugs, specifically Mushroom Coffee from Four Sigmatic. The ad basically says that he drinks it, it’s changed his morning routine, it’s got less caffeine, and keeps him going all day. That sounds promising.

So, I threw down the 39.99 plus shipping to get a month’s supply of Mushroom Coffee. That’s the smallest amount you can get, and I was a little uneasy about that. I kinda wanted to just buy like…one? It’s probably better that I got 30, and I’ll get to why a little later, and shipping 1 packet of instant coffee is probably not economical. I get it. But fear set in after I did this.

I hate mushrooms. They’re disgusting. What am I doing for this blog? Like is this even entertaining? Tim says it still tastes like coffee. I don’t even drink coffee.

So shipping said it was going to take a week, but it actually showed up 2 days earlier. Happy Birthday to me. So I got home from work, heated up some water, and gave this thing a try. Lets get MOTIVATED.

The orange cup is full of water for when I want to throw up because I ingested mushrooms

So, first thing, when you open the packet, it smells vaguely of dirt. Like, not an overpowering stench, not unbearable, but it’s definitely there. Instant coffee doesn’t always smell the best either, so I moved forward.

The first taste…basically dirt again. Like, I don’t eat dirt, but putting this stuff in my mouth is basically what I imagine having a mouthful of dirt tastes like. It’s oddly easy to ignore the taste, though. It’s not good, but it’s like 7 ounces of water and some dirt, and you can get through it.

So, the effects are decent. It acts basically the same as caffeine, though I don’t get jittery and I feel more comfortable sitting down for longer. This might be (read: probably is) a placebo effect. I’m okay with that, lets ride this crazy train out. I sometimes have a problem where I can’t sit still, probably due to the mountain of caffeine in my system at any given time, and this doesn’t make me feel like that. It only has ~50mg of caffeine in it, rather than my normal 240mg.

I’ve continued drinking the dirt coffee every morning for the past week. It keeps me going ~4-6 hours, basically wearing off around lunchtime. I grab a High Brew or something for the rest of the workday. I’ve effectively reduced my caffeine intake from 500+mg per day to less than 200mg, and I don’t really feel any worse for wear. I don’t necessarily get the rush of energy that I’m used to from the Rockstar, but a consistent awake and energized feeling for several hours is pretty nice. I haven’t noticed any real changes at work, though I have felt more inclined to get up and do things at home.

So what’s the active ingredient in this stuff? Well, after reading the package, I can tell you it’s made from Chaga and Lion’s Mane, two mushrooms harvested from Finland forests, and…Arabica coffee. I could probably get the same effect from just drinking instant coffee. Maybe I’ll try that as a control.

So, would I recommend this? I mean…I’m still drinking it every morning. It doesn’t taste good, at all, but I might buy more. We’ll see how long I can ride out its effects. I’d say give it a shot.

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