Microdosing the microbrain
I won't be writing my column today. I'm turning that privilege over to a 6-foot-tall, electric green chipmunk, whose name, according to his business card, is Chippy C. Chipmunk.
If you find it strange for a serious and respected guru of the workplace, like me, to partner up with a giant green chipmunk, like Chippy, I can quickly calm your concerns. Mr. Chipmunk is in the mix today because his resume is outstanding; his opinions are compelling; and I have just ingested a microdose of psilocybin, a key psychedelic ingredient in "magic mushrooms" and -- get ready for it -- a lot of successful careers.
What you once would find in the yurt of a stoned-out hippie is now to be found in the executive suite. Or so I learned when I read "Silicon Valley Is Micro-Dosing 'Magic Mushrooms' To Boost Their Careers," a recent article by Jack Kelly on the Forbes website.
If you think drugging is reserved for the young and the restless, it's time to expand your mind. According to Kelly, the prime proponents of microdosing mania are "those 35 years and older," who are "trying everything -- including questionable fads -- to appear younger than they are, and which may offer an edge for their career."
Why do successful businesspeople, many of whom are rolling in perks and stock options in America's leading technology companies, risk boiling their brains? Because even without the aid of psychedelics, these ancient men and women in their middle thirties have seen the writing on the wall. They know "the work world is obsessed with youth."
No argument here. Young workers don't know a lot, and they can be extremely demanding when it comes to receiving constant approval for everything they do, like breathing, but they have one advantage that overrides everything else: They work for cheap.
While munching magic mushrooms may be a risky way to prove you're young and dumb, it's not the only way worried middle-agers try to keep up with what they think is going down. To open the doors of perception to the perception that they are with it, these old fogies are "improving themselves" by adopting foolish fads like "intermittent fasting, cryotherapy, long-term meditation retreats in far off exotic locations, Botox and facelifts for men."
(Of all these knucklehead activities, the only one I can endorse wholeheartedly is intermittent fasting. I once went 15 minutes without a meal or a snack and felt positively childlike -- and extremely hungry.)
The stated goal of the microdosers is to "boost their creativity and greatly enhance their work performance." It's the next level up from Adderall, a "prescribed drug that elevates their adrenaline, sharpens focus and helps people to work better and faster."