As I write this, I realise that the content here is slightly on the edge – but I do this to provoke your thinking in an area that you may not be aware of. If you do find this tough, please accept my apologies, if you find this exciting, then please moderate.

How many times have you provided chocolate in some form in an intervention or coaching session?

  • Perhaps the intention was to keep blood sugar up mid-afternoon following lunch but perhaps you also understand that chocolate (especially dark chocolate) affects the way the brain works. Flavanols exist in cocoa (so the darker the chocolate the more Flavanols). Flavanols have an effect. They increase the amount of oxygen flowing to the brain, and the better your brain’s cognitive skills will be for a short time.
  • Nuts (walnuts especially) are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, whose absence has been linked to depression and cognitive deficiencies.
  • Whether this is a marketing ploy, or whatever, “The Problem Solver” beer can get people just drunk enough to boost brainpower. According to Chicago professor Jennifer Wiley, the average man produces his most creative thinking with an alcohol level of 0.075%.

So the question for you.

Is it ok to give people chocolate, nuts and beer to help improve their creativity and cognitive function?

  • But it does not stop there. In 2018, the Independent reported that ‘Microdosing’ LSD is not just a Silicon Valley trend. The outcomes are that the ‘users’ become more creative and focused. The practise, known as “microdosing”, involves taking minute quantities of drugs every few days.
  • It is well covered in news that Steve Jobs took LSD and marijuana. Jobs suggests that the latter helped him to ‘relax and made him more creative’.
  • There is also contradictory evidence that there is no impact in the use of cannabis on divergent thinking. In fact, there is an actual decrease in creativity when taking a larger amount of cannabis.

If you answered yes to the chocolate question, is it OK to introduce micro-dosing into your coaching, if you get better engagement?

Woah, steady Simon – where did that question come from, of course, it isn’t.

But, if there were no ‘legal’ restraints where would your line be ethically and morally?

From a personal perspective, I cannot condone the use of drugs to enhance performance.

If we dip across into high-performance sports, we understand the short-term performance impact, but like anything that we put into our high-performing bodies – this has an effect at some point.

For some, the expresso pick me up, or ‘start to the morning’ is fine – but at some point, as the caffeine hit wears off, tiredness kicks in or the need for another ‘addictive’ coffee fix hits.

A provocation today – enjoy your thinking and exploration.