Supercharge Your Brain

with Jim Kwik

JIM KWIK is a New York Times Best Selling Author, Entrepreneur, and International Speaker. After suffering a brain injury at the age of 5, he thought he was useless and a worthless person. But one day when he met the father of a friend, he found out that he was not worthless and then he started reading what he loves and kept focusing on the concept of “how to learn something”, and he started investing his focus in learning. After years of slowly investing, he learned how to become an expert in speed-reading, brain performance, memory improvement, and accelerated learning. He is now a well-known brain coach. He has trained CEOs, celebrities, and many big companies such as Virgin, SpaceX, Fox Studios, Naik, Japon, and Harvard University. He also wrote the book, Limitless, and he donates the proceeds to charities advancing the studies in Alzheimer’s and underdeveloped countries providing schools and opportunities for learning.

IN THIS EPISODE…Joe sits down with Jim in his home to talk about the concepts from his life and book, Limitless. Jim shares so many incredible one-liners that really make you reflect on your own learning process. He also explains the top 10 skills people need to train their brain, and even gives you insight into his own morning routine; the most exciting part for you to hear is a story he hasn’t told before, which is the in-depth explanation of how he got started teaching critical thinking and it is simply incredible.

🔍 Breakdown with Jim Kwik:
Chapter 1 (0:00): Introduction
Joe introduces Jim Kwik and sets up the episode.

Chapter 2 (1:35): Jim tells his story
From a young age, Jim suffered an accident that left him feeling inept at learning and unconfident in his cognitive abilities

Chapter 3 (10:30): Starting his path toward meta-learning
Going to college was something Jim didn’t feel he would be able to do, and yet he found himself in school and finding a mentor that helped him find confidence in his abilities.

Chapter 4 (20:17): Pushing through adversity
There was a path Jim had to take between where Jim is today and his origin story. Jim shares how he was able to do this and Joe gives him truth bumps along the way.

Chapter 5 (28:13): Living in a digital era
We are in a world that offers so many distractions, so Jim offers his insights into being proactive versus reactive and how we can take those tips into our parenting skills.

Chapter 6 (42:13): Leading by example
Consistency compounds is a two-word phrase that Jim encourages us to think about when setting up our daily routines.

Chapter 7 (49:50): Digital villains
Jim identifies three digital villains that drain our time and our mental capacity. It is what to look out for and make sure to overcome.

Chapter 8 (55:05): Top ten skills to train your brain
There are 10 important skills Jim identifies and has in his book people should follow to make sure their brains are performing optimally.

Chapter 9 (63:43): Daily Routine
Jim has a daily routine that helps fortify his ideals around meta-learning.

Chapter 10 (72:55): How to retain and recall
Jim Shares how he is able to retain and recall information for all of the countless books he has read and continues to read.

Chapter 11 (83:22): Closing Remarks
Joe wraps up the episode and shares his final thoughts

Material Referenced in this interview:
→https://www.limitless.com
→Limitless by Jim Kwik
→Atomic Habits by Tony Hsieh
→How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
→Limitless by Jim Kwik

📞 Connect with Jim
→https://www.instagram.com/jimkwik
→https://www.facebook.com/jimkwikofficial
→https://twitter.com/jimkwik
→https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkwik

👊 To learn more about Not Almost There by visiting this link
→ Not Almost There http://notalmostthere.com

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Jim Kwik:
After I learned these strategies and my life improved, my grades, improved everything in my life got better. I got really upset. Actually. I was like, this is so unfair. There were simple things I could have been doing this whole entire time that would have made things a whole lot easier. I didn’t have to struggle. I didn’t have to stress. I didn’t have to suffer. And the other thing I was feeling besides just angry about it was, wow. I kind of show other people how to do this. And I don’t, I don’t talk about this hot, but how I ended up teaching it was

Joe Chura:
Jim Kwik. How are you today?

Jim Kwik:
I’m Doing outstanding, Joe. Thanks for having me.

Joe Chura:
Oh, it is incredible. I cannot believe I’m in your, your book room here.

Jim Kwik:
Yeah. This is when people hear my story there, they would be surprised if I, you know, read a book much less wrote a book. I used to have this fear kind of phobia of books. Cause I had to, it took me three years longer just to learn how to read with my brain injury as a child. And I would always get nervous around books. I think it became one of those things really pass around the book as a child and you get like nervous cause you have to read out loud cause I couldn’t do it. So yeah. Now I love libraries.

Joe Chura:
I want to dive into that for sure. But first your Jim quick, you have millions of people that watch your videos, your YouTube channel, your podcast. You have, you have trained hundreds of thousands of students at this point, kids and adults into how to use their brain. You’ve taught celebrities. In fact, I saw the infamous picture walking up here that I’d love to get a picture with you by later regarding the X men in your, your adventure there that I want to dive into you. And you’ve just done so many incredible things and you’ve been an inspiration to me and so many other people I know, but the story didn’t start that way. It was, it was far different. You were, you were a child and I think other children and people can relate. I know I certainly can. I still to this day have a hard time learning things as fast as others, but you had something happened to you when you were young. That really stuck out to me. I think it’s only fair to start there to really set up your story.

Jim Kwik:
Sure. My, my inspiration was came out of desperation. You could say, as I, I alluded to I had it when I was five years old and in school elementary school, I had a very bad fall and I had a traumatic brain injury. And you know, after that I was rushed to the emergency room and don’t have a lot of memories around that time. But my parents said I was never really the same where before I was very curious for energize very playful. I became very like shut down and where it really showed up was in school. I had poor poor memory, took me an extra few years just to learn how to read. I was teased a lot for it. You know, I, I remember when I was nine years old, I was struggling and I was, you know, teacher came to my defense, but all I remember her saying, she pointed to me and said, that’s the boy with the broken brain.

Jim Kwik:
And that label kind of became my limit every single time I wasn’t picked for sports or did well in school, which was very often I would always say, oh, because I have the broken brain that became my self-talk. And so I learned ways to compensate over the years and you know, to go from below normal, to normal, to some people, you know, say above and yeah, and BI became my passion. My passion became learning and I fell in love with my brain. And now my purpose is teaching other people how to learn better, how to focus, how to remember, how to, how to read faster basically to level up their learning so they could level up their own life, you know, and that that’s an, I want to build a better brighter world. And so our mission is no brain left behind.

Joe Chura:
Yeah. The mission is unbelievable. And as I told you earlier that I’m a student of, of yours and so’s my daughter Morgan. And she has a question for you that I’ll get into in a little bit. I asked her last night, I’m like, what should I ask you? So yeah. So she’s 11 amazing, amazing. My nine year old watches as well. So it’s

Jim Kwik:
What is an advantage? I wish I was exposed to a lot of the content. You know, I’m a, I’m a big fan of a lot of the guests that you’ve had on your stage and also in your podcast. And just to me, having access to that knowledge early on, it’s incredible. That would have been a complete game changer,

Joe Chura:
Right? Yeah. And I want to get into like, why don’t schools teach more of that. So, but, but first I want to just kind of back up a little bit because what I found fascinating somewhat ironic is your love for superheroes. And when you stood on that share when you were in school, when you fell, you’re actually looking to see if you can view a fireman. Yeah.

Jim Kwik:
I, I grew up outside in New York city in Westchester, New York and we were a block away from a firehouse. And so I got, I was always enamored by firefighters. You know, for me, there were modern day superheroes. They had their uniforms, they, they ran towards danger where most people are running away from danger. They, they offer people a real help and real hope. And yeah. So for me, I, I, I just really neighbored, I staffed fire truck, you know, like toys, all the toys and everything. So yeah, I, I believe that we all need people to inspire us, to be able to, you know, that shows us that one person could make a difference. And yeah, that, that was actually what happened. I heard this, these sirens outside in kindergarten class and we couldn’t see outside the window cause you know, we’re five years old. So we all went to grab our chairs from our desks and bring them to the window cell. And I took a bad fall into an iron grade kind of radiator and yeah. Even thinking about it, it’s just like a little, little, it gets me a little bit unnerved, but, but yeah, that’s what I wanted to see. And so I’m, I’m very, I believe we all have this superhero potential inside of us.

Joe Chura:
And then you w what I found fascinating about your story, it sounds like you just had the, these issues of learning in grade school. She had them in high school and then through college as well.

Jim Kwik:
It was, it was at least like 13, 14 years straight. You know, I would work hard because that was, you know, really one of the traits I got from my parents, they’re very disciplined and they worked hard and very kind, and, but I wouldn’t get the results. I would work three times harder than people around me. And it was tough. You know, it really made me feel like I wasn’t enough that there was something wrong with me. I would do a book report. But if a teacher asked me to present in front of the class, I was so nervous. I was phobic of public speaking and I would lie and I would actually take the zero instead of actually doing it. Cause I was so frightened and the universe has a sense of humor, right. My two biggest challenges growing up were learning and public speaking. Right. And that’s, that’s all I do for a living. And so, but I do believe our struggles can become strengths. You know, I, I imagine, you know, with your, with your story and we were talking before we started recording that, you know, sometimes adversity can be an advantage, right? Sometimes we have to go through a typical T to, you know, to be able to develop ourselves.

Joe Chura:
Yeah. I used to not be able to speak. I had such a horrible stutter and I was terrified of going in front of, of anyone in seventh or eighth grade. I remember I had a part in the play. My, I still remember my name. It was Seymour cash in this play. I was a Hollywood producer in the plan. I had like five lines and I was mortified because the spotlights are on you. You’re on, you’re ready to go. And it is humorous because I built a company and grew it. And how I decent at public speaking was just getting up in front of everyone. And gradually over time as my employee base grew, I didn’t, I didn’t notice. And then I’d speak at events. It was nothing. Right.

Jim Kwik:
It’s just interesting that it’s cert growing term, like, you know, a hundred to 200, 300 to eight on all those. Yeah.

Joe Chura:
And then all of a sudden, like after you get past a certain number, it doesn’t matter. Right. Right.

Jim Kwik:
Because now you do these events with like a thousand plus people and it’s just, you get nervous at all.

Joe Chura:
No, I get really energized from it. It’s like, it’s the opposite. It’s so interesting because of where I came from to be able to stand up in front of people and get energized. And I think it’s because I learned a while ago, it’s not about me. It’s about them. It’s about teaching them or being a funnel for information. Yeah. So I’m here to get them to learn, but I’m not the one that is necessarily teaching. I’m the one that is funneling this information through me, to the audience.

Jim Kwik:
I love that. Yeah. I think that’s why we’re here is to be able, cause you know, like if somebody gives you a dollar and you give them a dollar, not much changes, but if you share a new idea or some kind of inspiration with somebody and they share an idea and all of a sudden you have brand new ideas and new and new levels of inspiration and then you could really create some big change. Yeah.

Joe Chura:
Do you think your parents coming, being an immigrants, being immigrants coming here made a big difference for you in the sense of how to deal with adversity and what are the, what are some of the things that they told you as you were going through this as a, as a child?

Jim Kwik:
Yeah. My, my dad came here when he was 13 kin, fortunately lost both of his parents. And so they couldn’t afford to get two other siblings. He couldn’t afford, they couldn’t afford to like to feed him and everything. So he came here to live with his aunt, didn’t speak the language and just, you know, had the normal challenges of adapting and everything. My mother is living in the back of a laundry mat that our parents, the work dad. And so, you know, the end didn’t speak the language. And so that was a little bit of a barrier, but because of it, you know, we really prioritized family. We prioritized hard work. I was, you know, I had my paper route, cause I didn’t, we didn’t have as a lot of access, we didn’t have the necessary, the education or the money or the network or anything.

Jim Kwik:
But, but I was very, I wanted to work hard. So I, I used to read the comics. That’s how I taught myself how to, how to read. And then the newspaper comics, I saw an ad there about it and newspaper delivery boy. And I took it and started delivering it three years probably earlier than I was legally supposed to be able to do. But it was just, my parents really they’re on the wealthiest. People are spiritual or the most health conscious or, you know, they’re probably never read a self-development book or took a yoga class or meditate, but they’re just really kind good people. You know, I believe the life we live at our lessons, we teach other people and they were just my, my, they were my written original superheroes, you know, you know, the ones I looked up to. And so they always really encouraged us, my, my, me and my siblings to be able to work hard and just be kind, always learn and you know, good things will happen. Yeah,

Joe Chura:
No, I love that. I love that story. And I think that is a, an ingredient to you overcoming that, that adversity. But another ingredient that I know happened when you were in college and you went to your, your, your friend’s house.

Jim Kwik:
Yeah, I was, I was a freshman in college and I, I thought freshmen men, I can make a fresh start. So I took all these classes and I was so excited to show the world and, you know, make my parents proud. And I did, I did worse. And I, because college is so much more difficult because you’re spending so much less time in school and Mora’s on your own responsibility around. So I was ready to quit because I didn’t have the money even to be in school. And so a friend said, Hey, before you make this big decision, why don’t you get some perspective? And I think it’s important for us every once in a while to get some new perspective, the change the people we’re with or change the place that we’re in, in the environment. And so I visit him and his family one weekend and father is walking me around his property and says, well, how’s school, which is the worst question you could ask me.

Jim Kwik:
I, I just, and I’m 18 years old, very insecure. And I break down in front of this complete stranger, which is very rare, but I had so much emotional buildup and tell my whole story about broken brain and ready to quit school. And then he was like, why do you win while you’re in school? What do you want to be? What do you want to do? What do you want to have? What do you want to share? And, you know, I ended up writing it down for him, you know, on a piece of paper, I would make this bucket list. And when I’m done, I start folding it to put in my pocket. He rips up out of my hand and he starts reading my dreams and I start freaking out, honestly, because I didn’t, it wasn’t expecting him to because you’re, you’re, you know, I think all of us are concerned about other people’s opinions about them being judged by people.

Jim Kwik:
And, and when he’s, he looks at it and he’s when he’s done, he says, you’re this close to everything on this list. And if you’re not watching on a video, I’m spraying my index fingers about a foot apart. And I’m like, no way, give me 10 lifetimes. I’m not going to crack that list. He takes his fingers and he puts them to the side of my head, meaning what’s in between is, is the key, the bridge. And he takes me into a room I’ve never seen before. It’s a wall, the wall ceiling, the floor covered in books, you know? And I never been in like a library in somebody’s home before. And you know, like this. Yeah. I’ve never, I don’t think there’s a lot of videos of me in this, in this library here, if you’re watching this on video. So this is really amazing.

Jim Kwik:
I feel very much, very much at home. I wish I could get, have osmosis and all of that. I would sleep in a room like this now, but back then I was very, it was very intimidating, but he starts to grab books and hand them to me. And there were these early, early personal growth books and Norman Vincent Peale, the power of positive thinking. Psycho-Cybernetics Napoleon hill, Dale, Carnegie, like all these icons and some very early and also some biographies of some incredible men and women. And he can make, he makes me commit to reading one book a week and that those, those books ended up changing my life. You know, people see photos of me with Oprah or Ilan or bill gates or any of these people. We, we bonded over books and that’s that there’s no, there’s no magic behind it. It just leaders are readers. And you know, I’m very passionate about if somebody has decades of experience and they put into a book and you could sit down in a few days and read that book, you could download decades in a days. And I just think it’s a huge advantage to learn from other people’s experience, you know, same as listening to podcasts.

Joe Chura:
Yeah, no, I, I absolutely love that story. When you were describing it, you don’t say, or I haven’t heard you say I’m sure you’ve just had it sometime. What was on that list? Where were a few things that were on there?

Jim Kwik:
There were a lot of things on the list were things I wanted to do for my parents, things that, that they couldn’t afford, or even if they had the means they wouldn’t do for themselves, you know, cause they just so, so, you know, like taking them on trips and doing things that, that, you know, it’s easy to take for granted. And so, and that was the leverage, honestly, because when, when he first presented me with all these books, I was like, I can’t do this. I can’t even keep up with my schoolwork. But when he started reading those things out loud, it provided a purpose. And I think it’s so important for us to be able to realize why we do what we do. That if anyone who’s listening has trouble with motivation or motivating other people, I think reasons reap results. When, when people could feel the benefit that will come from following through, or they feel the, maybe the pain that comes from not following through, I think it gives ’em gives us some drive. And so I’m always looking for that in myself and others. Like I’m on this passionate pursuit, a potential in other people. I just, that lights me up more than anything. And, but I think it’s important to start with why you want to do something like, like Simon Sinek talks about, start with why,

Joe Chura:
So what you’re handed these, this, these stack of books, I imagine it was pretty critical. And to start with the right one to, to start the spark, what was that first book?

Jim Kwik:
Yeah. So I don’t know which with the first one, because I started reading, I was a very slow reader at one point. And so I was part of the reasons why I thought I’d flip through, you know, multiple books simultaneously, like, you know, trying to multitask or at that early age because I wanted to devour it and I wouldn’t eat or sleep or anything. Cause I really couldn’t keep up with my, my schoolwork. But I would, I would say definitely thinking of a rich was very early on Dale. Carnegie’s how to win friends and influence people was like mind blowing, mind blowing book for me, you know, I was, it was a book I would read almost every year. You know, talk about the power of remembering people’s names and people don’t care how much, you know, until they know how much you care and you know, in life and in your work, you know, but it’s, it’s amazing that all these books, they know they’re, they’re timely, but they’re also timeless, you know, a lot, a lot of wisdom there. And so now I know the power of, of, of a book. And so now I’m just find myself writing every single day, just even if I’m not gonna publish it, but I’ll post on social media or something like that. Or as a tweet or somewhere,

Joe Chura:
You have an incredible amount of quotes saying you’re like the king of amazing, like one or liners that I don’t even know how you, well, I know how you remember everything cause you have memory techniques to remember them, but it’s are those all derive at least from an old book that you read or a newer book? Yeah.

Jim Kwik:
I would say that all of us are, you know, sitting or standing on shoulders of, you know, people before us. And I just feel like a lot of this wisdom. I think we get people attracted to our work because we make neuroscience and this and POS kind of accessible for, you know, the average everyday person. I don’t have like a PhD or a master’s or I’m not a psychologist or anything that ends with an IST at all. But I just, you know, I’m just sharing my own personal experience. And then, because we have students, as you mentioned all around the world and every country, we get a lot of feedback, but you know, I feed my mind constantly. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m only read. But then I also schedule time just to ponder. I feel like sometimes when we’re going through the day, we don’t schedule white space.

Jim Kwik:
And I think that’s so important for all your, all your listeners, because if they’re listening to this, then they’re achievers, right. They know for their business to grow or their brand to grow or their bank account to grow that they need to grow. Right. That if you could change your brain, you could change your life. You change your brain, you could change the entire world, but it takes constant improvement. You know, I have this thing, I always be learning chapter one, but, but I think the faster you can learn, the faster you can earn as knowledge stays, not only power, the right knowledge is profit. Right? And so, yes, I, so I come up with a lot of ideas, but it’s, it’s only because I just practice the things that I, that I teach. And so I think that I’m more concerned with feeding my mind each day than I am even feeding my body, you know?

Jim Kwik:
And then whatever you nourish tends to flourish and there you go, I’m just making this up, but be we have to stand guard to, to our, to our mind. And you know, sometimes we just let her anything come in and I just think it’s so important that there’s a quote in limitless from a French philosopher. And he says, life is the sea between B and D B as birth D is death. Life C is choice. And I do believe we always have a choice on what to focus on. You know, what things mean, how we’re going to feel about something, you know, and, and what we’re going to do at any given time. And those, all those choices add up and they create, you know, our life. And I, I think it’s important to remind everybody that we have agencies. You know, we shouldn’t always give so easy to give up our power to something on the outside and say, okay, I’ll feel good if the weather’s like this, or I’ll feel good if this person treats me this way and no judgment.

Jim Kwik:
But I just feel like that when you know that we want to be a, this metaphor, I talk about being a thermostat, not a thermometer thermometer, just reacts to everything. And sometimes we react to the economy or politics stuff, but a thermostat doesn’t react. It gauges the environment, but then it sets a goal, right? It sets a temperature, it sets a vision and the environment reacts to it. And, and I think that for the most part, we have more power and influence than we think we do that we’re smarter and more stronger than we think. And sometimes it takes the life’s conditions to be able to reveal, you know?

Joe Chura:
Yeah. And the irony is I think life rewards uniqueness versus reactiveness.

Jim Kwik:
I would, I, I would second that for sure. I think nowadays, like the future belongs a lot to the creators, you know, where a lot of even jobs are being outsourced are being automated or artificial intelligence what’s not, is going to be, is what’s truly limitless. There’s no limit to our creativity. There’s no limit to our ability to solve problems. There is no limit to our imagination. There’s no limit to our ability to come together, you know, and, and make positive change. And so, yeah, we live, we live in an exciting times, you know, like we, whoever’s listening to say like, you are the greatest project you’re ever going to get to work on. So you need to take time and make time to create, create magic.

Joe Chura:
Yeah, no, that’s, that’s right on. You said something earlier about giving yourself time to just think and ponder and what, what I find interesting. And I want to get into the villains in a few minutes from your book, but my, my son’s nine years old and I’m not exaggerating. If he doesn’t have something to do for two minutes, he says, he’s bored. And I said, just daydream, just like just stare out the window and think of something. And that thought is so tough for him to grasp because he’s had constant attention. Some of it is it, I mean, it’s on me, right? Like he’s not getting a phone. He’s not getting devices. He’s not getting that attention of less. I’m giving it to him in those ways. But it is. I find it very hard for kids to be able to just relax and daydream and think and visualize and think about things and have wonder what’s what happens down the line. Cause we haven’t seen generations come from this constant connectedness, right?

Jim Kwik:
Yeah. We live in and I’m not an anti-technology, you know, technology allows this to happen, you know, for us to be able to connect and, and be able to, to educate or entertain or empower people that we will never meet. But I think technology is a tool for us to use, but if it’s using us, then, then we become the tool. And I don’t think that’s, that’s the goal. I think everybody, my general feeling for it is I get this question a lot about, you know, eventually these devices are going to be implant in our, in our minds. And you know, I probably wouldn’t be an early adopter to that. Like I, I want to just like, you know, we have cars that could take us from here to there or elevator, you know, I, I always preferred if I can to exercise, you know, my, my body or my mind to do it more organically.

Jim Kwik:
But certainly with this generation, they’ll never know what, you know, back in college. I, I, there was, you know, I didn’t have access to the internet. Right. And there was no email or anything else like that. And so I would imagine right now, there’s this, these, you mentioned some of these digital kind of villains, if you will, that it just intensifies things like we live in an environment hasn’t caused these challenges, but it’s amplified a lot of our distraction or a lot of our overload, you know, a lot of our kind of like it takes time to think, and it takes energy to think and the ponder. And sometimes if the devices are doing the thinking for us through algorithms, or they’re telling you, Hey, this is what you should be eating. Or this is what we recommend, or this is like the news. And it’s kind of filtering out things and we don’t get to use our critical thinking and be logical and rational.

Jim Kwik:
And so I feel like those muscles aren’t getting flexed as much and they’re not getting used. And so I would say use it or lose it. And so with, with kids, you know, it’s, it’s this healthy. Some people call it a balance. I would call it more of a harmony trying to figure out, you know, no judgment, just finding what works for, for everybody. But I would always say, you know, never let a tool, just do all the work for you because you know, I’d want to exercise my mind, you know? And so I want to keep it active and that’s how we keep it fit and help him. Like, like, it’s kinda like if you’re born and like, or you hit the age where you could drive and you were given a car and it’s take your car free, clear, but you had that car, the rest of your life and you couldn’t change it.

Jim Kwik:
How well would you take care of that car? Right. And while we’re born with this vehicle called our body, which has a brain also as part of it. And I feel like we have, we self-care is so important now, you know, making sure we upgraded and take care of it. And so, so, so kids growing up, yes, they, they, a lot of them feel like they’re driven to distraction because every ring, ping, ding app notification, social media alert, like share comment, it’s just this big dopamine flood that maybe is driving us to be distracted. And that’s why I think it’s important for kids and adults because adults are just, you know, you know, the kids to have time to play, to have time to ponder, to schedule white space, to be able to think, especially adults. Cause that’s, that’s our value in the marketplace and our ability to solve problems, our ability to be creative, our ability to make good decisions. But I feel like peoples, they only do it like when, when they have to, or in between things as opposed to really scheduling time when they’re most alert and, and just pondering a question right. Or something for their business, something for their, their life.

Joe Chura:
Yeah. One of the action items you have in the book is just to memorize someone’s phone number, which back in the day that’s, that’s all you had, you had the landlines and then you just had to remember a phone number. You get someone’s phone number on a piece of paper. There’s no exchanging of contacts digitally. Yeah. It’s just so funny to think about that. Another story I was, I was just laughing. Cause it just hit me like a ton of bricks. It was my honeymoon in 2008, I’m driving with my wife. We’re in Europe, never been even out of the country except like maybe Mexico and I’m like 30 years old or so. And we go to Sandra pay from niece, we rent this smart card that, you know, I’m six, two, and we’re in this little smart car. She falls asleep on the way back.

Joe Chura:
There’s no navigation, it’s getting dark. And all I saw is the ocean. And I’m like, okay, I have no clue where I’m at. I’m like an hour and a half from our hotel. No way to get it. Don’t speak French at all. And like, how do I get back? And it was, we, we, I mean, I’ve many twists and turns me trying to wake her up. Like Heather, get up, you gotta help me here. You know, she’s not very directionally challenged. She has many good qualities, but that’s not one of them. And it was, it was just crazy. And I just think of that because I had to rely on like, okay, where’s the sunsetting, where’s the ocean. How do I give back to this? Cause I knew, I knew as long as I follow the ocean in some manner I would get back. Cause we were, we were staying pretty close to it. And it’s just, it’s just really interesting. Cause now it’d be like, why would you do that? You can just look on your phone and go to Google maps and find directions. You don’t even have to have that critical thinking.

Jim Kwik:
Yeah. There have been studies done even in London where they have the taxi drivers, their brains are actually wired different and they’re denser in different parts of their brains.

Joe Chura:
Memorize it. Right? Yeah.

Jim Kwik:
Yeah. Very much so. And so you [inaudible], you know, the whole book limitless is in our work is just the reason why you can, you know, redraw the borders and boundaries of what’s possible is because of, you know, the science of our brain. It’s like near neuroplasticity saying that our brain adapts it’s the ultimate adaptation machine, meaning that when it has new novel does novelty, there’s some new stimulus that, that our brains will actually change depending on our experience. So it could change our thoughts. They could change our habits, it could change our feelings and we could rewire ourselves just like a muscle. Like you give a novelty and you feed a nutrition and you give it some, some sleep and it can grow stronger, same thing with our mental muscles. And so it’s an exciting time without a doubt.

Joe Chura:
So I want to go back a bit because I need to bridge the gap between you starting to read these books and the gym quick. Now what happened in between those? I know it’s a loaded question and we’re going to have to like in between those two periods,

Jim Kwik:
How I ended up doing this for my, yeah. I mean I never, you know, I never thought growing up that I would, you know, if you spell when asked me like what I would be when I grew up in, when, in when P a trained coach now, like I think we coined that word, like a good 25 plus years ago. So I, what I would say is, after I learned these strategies and my life improved, my grades improved everything in my life got better. I got really upset. Actually. I was like, this is so unfair that there were simple things I could have been doing this whole entire time that would have made things a whole lot easier. I didn’t have to struggle. I didn’t have to stress. I didn’t have to suffer. And the other thing I was feeling besides just angry about it was, wow.

Jim Kwik:
I got to show other people how to do this. And I don’t, I don’t talk about this a lot, but how I ended up teaching, it was I found the classroom that wasn’t being used one night when I was having these thoughts, like a Thursday night at seven and it was empty. So I was like, next Thursday, I’m going to just put five or 10 people in that room and, and teach them some things. And then maybe afterwards one or two of them will like to go on this journey and learn deeper. I could tutor them. And so I go home to my dorm room and I take out a piece of paper and I read a Martin with a marker is my first marketing free speed reading memory tips get better grades and less time is this your freshman year? So my freshman year, and then I write the, the room number Thursday, seven o’clock next morning, on the way to class, I make some photocopies, put it on some boards, not a lot.

Jim Kwik:
And then fast forward to Thursday, seven o’clock I’m walking to this classroom, hoping just five people showed up. And when I get turned the hallway, there’s a crowd of people outside the classroom. And my honest answer, my question was like, oh, I was like, wow, I hope whatever’s going on. And soon so I could do my thing. Right. And, and I couldn’t even get in. And there’s this tall guy in the, in the doorway. And I was like, what’s going on inside? He’s like, there’s a speed reading class. Honestly. I said, wow, what a coincidence? Like, what are the chances? There’s another speed reading class in the same classroom, the same night, the same time. And I kind of pushed my way in and it’s crowd of people there. Every seat is taken people standing in the back and lo and behold, no one’s teaching.

Jim Kwik:
Right. And it takes my slow brain all that time to realize why they’re all there. I do a head count instead of five or 10 people. There’s 110 people. And remember, I’m your soul baker? I’m phobic of public speaking. I’m 18 years old. I look really young. All right. This is like 30 years ago. And I I’m wearing t-shirts shorts. There’s graduate students, teaching assistants there. And I have nothing prepared to talk about. Right. And my heart’s beating out of my chest and I can’t even breathe. Cause I’m so like terrified. So I leave because I can’t even perform. Right. And I go, I can’t even go back to my dorm room because my friends will just, you know, make fun of me. So I go to this fountain and I just kinda meditate and just getting get centered. And when I’m meditating, I hear this voice since my mother’s voice.

Jim Kwik:
And I won’t tell you what she said, but it essentially is a hundred people came out to learn something disappointing them. You’re disappointing me kind of thing. And I’m doing this walking meditation back to my dorm room and I stop and I take one step back to the classroom. And I noticed show that one step in another direction can completely change your destination, your life or your, some people call it their destiny. So I go back to the classroom and I honestly, it’s embarrassing as a memory expert. I don’t remember what I said. It just came through me. I don’t know if you, I mean, sometimes on stage, you just like you just open your mouth and it’s just stream of consciousness. But at the end of two hours, I said, Hey, I don’t know if I could help all of you, but I, you know, I could teach who you, what I know in 10 hours, maybe two hours a week for the next five weeks.

Jim Kwik:
If you’re interested, I get 30 bucks an hour. That’s what I got teaching tennis back in high school. And I’ll be in the students that are tomorrow noon. And this is what happened. A hundred people stand up and they leave. They don’t now one person talks to me and now I’m there 10 o’clock at night, I’m in an empty classroom. And I’m totally confused. Like what just happened? And I’m exhausted because I’m mentally, emotionally, physically let, just spent cause you ever face a fear. And it just like takes everything out of you. And I ended up falling asleep on the carpet and I get woken up by the class coming in the next morning, which is embarrassing. I run back home, back to my dorm room, shower, go to breakfast, go to class 12 o’clock comes. I was like, oh, I promise I’ll be in student center.

Jim Kwik:
I go to student center. I hope just one person is there that believed in me. And I get there. The same crowd is there at the end of not even two hours 71 of these students signed up for a program that didn’t even exist and add that at $300 a person, because I didn’t even do the math $30 an hour for times 10 hours. And because I didn’t realize that the kids could go to have these ATM cards and they could just take out 300 because I didn’t have, I didn’t have that. And so now I’m not even 19 years old and I have like $21,000 cash in my book bag. And you know, and I just, I use that to feed my mind and really pursue my, my skills, knowledge, skills, and abilities. I travel around the country, learning everything I can about memory speed, reading, focus, neuroscience, eventually positive psychology.

Jim Kwik:
And one of those, the reason why I’m here today is one of those students. She was a freshmen. She read 30 books in 30 days on health and wellness and immune system. And she ended up saving her mom’s life of like a terminal cancer. And when I heard that, I realized that knowledge is power than, than learning is our superpower. And it’s this hoop where we all have and I’ve dedicated. My devs was 30 years ago. I dedicate my life to helping people to unleash that power. Yeah. So that is an incredible story. Thank you for sharing that. Thank you. I think a lot of people could identify with taking like some of messes in our life and turning it into our message. You know what I mean? We, we go through all, we all go through challenges and I think that challenges can lead to change that, you know, that our struggles could be our super powers and you know, and if it’s not there yet, I just feel like that there was a version of ourself that we haven’t met yet. And I think the goal is we just show up every single day until, until we’re introduced.

Joe Chura:
Isn’t it crazy? I’ve, I’ve talked a lot about on this, on the podcast, like the dots connecting behind you, but you can’t really see them in front of you and you taking that step, you meditating, even rewinding back that you go to your friend’s house. Like how serendipitous, all of that was to the steps to lead you, to kind of where you’re at to finding your purpose, to help others with your, with your gifts that you’ve read from books. Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s really impressive.

Jim Kwik:
I get guys got goosebumps. I call, I call them truth bumps. So I, I, it feels, that feels right to me. I feel like that we can’t, you know, my hope is that everyone who’s watching or listening to this, that they look back that if they’re going through difficult times right now that they could look back and they, they could realize, you know, even a year from now or two years from now, or whatever amount of time in the future, that things happen the way they’re supposed to that maybe at the, they get to a point where they’re actually glad and they appreciate that things didn’t work out the way they once hoped, you know, and that, that’s how I feel. You know, I, I had three traumatic brain injuries put in special classes. My mom became a special education teacher and public school system to be able to help me.

Jim Kwik:
I feel like the things that I was sometimes embarrassed about growing up with my learning challenges or things, situations I’m most proud of now. Yeah. You know, and so we hear a lot about post-traumatic stress. So we don’t hear a lot about post-traumatic growth, which is that I would imagine you’ve had this experience, maybe something you’ve gone through, just, you know, it was really, really tough. You want wishes upon, maybe you went through something that was really, really tough and you want to wish upon anybody, but, you know, you got to a point where you would change it, you know, through it, maybe somebody listening, they found meaning they found a strength, they found a mission, you know, and it, it gave him purpose.

Joe Chura:
Yeah, no, that’s, that is so right on. And that the irony of this story that I told earlier in regards to me speaking, my son who’s nine is on the autism spectrum because of speech of Practicee. I mean, one of the, his symptoms, his speech practice that he can’t read nor can he speak fluently. Yeah. And so it’s been a life of adversity for him since he’s been two years old, but I think it’s gonna lead up to him being a very, very strong individual. And it’s interesting because I also am a believer that adversity is it, VR is a gift. And yet, like when I look at my children, it’s, I, it’s hard to balance not removing adversity from them completely because the, I have the ability to give them more than I received. So I don’t know if you have any advice on that, but I’d love to,

Jim Kwik:
I mean, it’s been my personal experience as well. That, I mean, that is the whole idea where we fall, because it allows us to, you know, to develop our strength, to be able to get back up. I feel like I haven’t met a strong person ever that had an easy past, you know, I, I can’t think of one strong person that I know that had an easy past, and I feel like, you know, that, that, that adversity certainly can be an advantage that I think that, you know, we have to choose are hard. You know, you’ve heard your appellate peoples talk about it, but it’s just like, Hey, you know, like, you know, being sick as hard and being fit as hard, you know, which we choose our heart, you know, you know, not having money as hard and, and working and developing something’s hard.

Jim Kwik:
And we, we choose that hard relationships, you know, breaking up is hard. And then having a long-term relationship, it’s, it’s hard. Also. We just have to choose, choose what’s difficult. And it’s been my experience that if we just always relegate ourselves to doing the easy things in life, then that’s when life gets really hard. You know, the easiest thing in life is to do nothing is, is to just binge watch no judgment because that’s everyone everyone’s own progress and their own purpose. But if we just procrastinate and put everything off, then life gets really hard. But if we do the difficult things in life, then life gets a lot easier. So I feel like, you know, that’s why we have it. I mean, you go to the gym and you lift weights and you don’t curse the weights. Some of us do, but what you do it because it it’s an opportunity to grow.

Jim Kwik:
It’s an opportunity to get more fit. And, you know, life is our event, right? Life is our conference every day is like our seminar. And we have problems, you know, and these problems, you know, help build our, our determination, you know, our, our drive or our faith, you know, our, our resilience and our grit. And so I think it’s, it’s important, you know, especially for children to realize that, you know, even the basis of like a growth mindset and a fixed mindset is just like, you know, we’re not rewarding people, mice calling them geniuses and everything where we’re rewarding their discipline or rewarding their effort, or they’re putting into something. So that way, if they, if children or even those who are managing or leading, you know, if they have a difficulty that they either say, oh, I’m either good at this, or not as opposed to, you know, rewarding their effort and their, their, their struggle.

Jim Kwik:
And I think that’s a big lesson for all of us to learn. And it it’s that easy, you know, it’s that simple. And it’s also that hard, cause it’s one thing to say, it’s another one, you know, when you’re going through it. But I think part of this process is being kind to ourself, you know, realizing that, you know, kind of like falling in love with that person in the mirror. Who’s been through so much, but it’s still, still standing, you know? And so whoever’s struggling right now. Just remember people are watching and you inspire people with your grit, you know, and your grace, you know, whether they want to admit it or not. And so I, and, and asking for help, just as a reminder, as a sign of strength, you know, there’s none an, I don’t think anyone’s an island. You know, we all have people that are supporting us, whether we know it or not, you know, there may be rooting for us or clients that are, you know, buying from us.

Jim Kwik:
So it takes a village, you know, that’s how we become limitless. You know, like people ask how to become limitless in a limited world, we do it together, you know exactly what we’re doing right. And Reno right now. And I think community is so important. That’s why, you know, I’m excited to speak at your event to be able to, to meet, you know, all the members there to be able to share ideas. Like we all need somebody to encourage us, to challenge us, to cheerlead for us, to empower us. And if you haven’t found that person, my recommendation is be that person for somebody else, you know, especially be that person for yourself.

Joe Chura:
So right on. And I don’t know why it took me 43 years to realize that if you want to help someone change, the best thing you can do is lead by example,

Jim Kwik:
What do I like

Joe Chura:
That? And that’s, and that is kind of what you’re saying is like, you’re, you don’t know who you’re inspiring.

Jim Kwik:
Yeah. We were talking about that and going on stage and how you, you do it because you’re there, you don’t get nervous because as soon as you step on, you’re just thinking about to, you’re contributing to, you know, like you never know who’s in the audience. You know, that was me because like, you know, reading these books or going to these seminars very early on when I was 18, I used to, I used to get friends to chip in like $20 to be able to get gas, to go to an event like, you know, two states away, which, which is difficult, you know, cause that was their drinking money or something else like that. But I just, you never know who’s in the audience and you never know who, who could benefit from this. And that, that keeps me going like right now, knowing that people are listening to this around, you know, around the world, in different places, you know, maybe they get one idea or they just, they doubled down on themselves and they show up and you know, everything can change. But I do believe that one step in another direction, you know, just with what I had gone through, it could change everything. So when we make one little step on like, Hey, I’m going to do 10 minutes of reading today, or 10 minutes of exercise, or I’m going to spend 10 extra minutes with my kid or something like that. All of that adds up to little things, add up to big things.

Joe Chura:
Yeah. I was reading, I think it was atomic habits. And they’re talking about like getting someone to floss, you know, you don’t, you don’t, you have your floss by your toothbrush. And then you’re like, okay, just floss one tooth, which sounds ridiculous. Right. You do it once with your like that season. And you’re like the next day do two teeth. And the next thing you know, you’re flossing. So it’s those incremental baby steps to develop habits.

Jim Kwik:
Yeah. I believe consistency compounds, you know, little by little, a little becomes a whole lot. So even, you know, as you, as you know, you’ve been talking about like improving just 1%, every single time, right. Adds up to huge, huge changes. And that’s how winning is done. That’s how transformation happens. You know, it’s just a reminder that every, every expert was once a beginner, right? Every, every professional or pro was once an amateur. Right. And so big things all have small beginnings.

Joe Chura:
So I want to ask about action steps and things. People should look out for like the digital kind of detox and the digital dementia and mad. And then I want to talk quickly about the things people should focus on without giving them the techniques. Cause we’ll see, we’ll save refuel for that. Your courses dive into that. They’re very actual, your book does a really good job in summarizing those and getting people start in. So we’ll save that as a teaser, but, but I want to just kind of outline it. But before that, cause I know I’m going to forget if I don’t ask you this, your, your friend’s dad, have you talked to him since then? Does he know who you’ve become?

Jim Kwik:
Yeah. So this was three decades ago. So things I’ve, I tried to track this person down like years and years ago, you know, and I haven’t been successful at it, you know, but it’s, you know, my, my thing is he always, he talked about how the life you live or the lessons you teach, you know, just like you were saying that you can’t change anybody, but you can be an example for them. And so, you know, for me, my promise has always been to pay it forward, you know, to be that, be that mentor for somebody else. And I feel like that’s, you know, like a modern day superheroes, anybody who has a relationship with human being, whether you’re a parent, whether you’re a teacher, whether you’re an entrepreneur, if you could add unique value. And as you talked about, you know, in service, cause everything in life, you know, nature, everything grows, you know, it’s green and it grows or it’s has to give and us to give back to the environment.

Jim Kwik:
And otherwise it’s kind of eliminated. And I feel like that’s when we’re, we’re happiest when we’re, we’re, we’re making advance and we’re advancing, we’re progressing in neuro. So we’re giving back. I think we donated all the proceeds to limitless hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity, to Alzheimer’s research, to building schools around the world for children who have no access to education. And I think the formula is you learn to earn. So you could return, you know, a sexy exactly what you do with refuel, like how you’re able to, as a philanthropist, be able to give back. I think it’s important because especially nowadays that’s what here is do. It’s just, they they’re there for those people who are in need. And I think that’s a great antidote to fear. You know, where a lot of people right now are really struggling with anxiety and stress, I think can antidote to anxiety, stress, and fear is contribution. You know, putting our focus on making somebody’s life, you know, a little bit better. And you know, and we do all do it on our unique ways. How do you invest some of your time, your talent, your treasure to just make a difference. And it can be just calling on a neighbor who might feel lonely, can be making food for some frontline, more AB anything. Right. But it, but I think that that’s why that’s why we’re here.

Joe Chura:
Well, it’s just like what happened to you? I mean, your face, your fear, and you had this out-of-body experience where you’re able to deliver your first talk. And from that point you just kept taking steps.

Jim Kwik:
Yeah. Yeah. And over time, I mean, everyone sees the end results. Right. But we don’t see what’s below the iceberg very often a struggle, the embarrassment, like all the failures and the mistakes. That’s a watch. Yeah. So success is definitely not a straight line nor do I think it, it would, it wouldn’t be interesting if it was right. But I feel like, I know you have a lot of entrepreneurs who listened to us, you know, as well as anybody who takes personal responsibility for their life. And sometimes you have to feed your business until it feeds you back. Right. You know, and if you do the things that other people aren’t willing to do, then you could, you know, maybe even live a life that other people can’t. Yeah. But it, but it takes work. And that’s the thing there’s no, I don’t know any way around it, it takes it, it takes discipline. It takes hard work. It takes sacrifice. But it’s not about whether it’s easy. It’s whether it’s, whether it’s worth it.

Joe Chura:
Yeah. No, that’s so right on. And I, I can fully relate to that. It was years before I took a salary and in my companies and in 2013, it was, it was a bit ironic because we, I, the only funding I got so credit to businesses was a convertible note from a client. Wow. That note equated to the same amount of money, coincidentally, that we lost that year, which is $300,000 in 2013. Interesting. And, and in 2017, I’m so blessed to say we are ranked number 30, nine of the fastest growing companies on wow. At a few hundred employees. And we’re a very healthy company. And, and I, and I can tell you that it was, there were so many nights of stress of like developing literally disease on my body. Like eczema, like, like you don’t see that side of it. And I only say that to say like, there’s so much below the iceberg that goes on and you, you tend to see the outcomes. Good, good, or bad. But a lot of this stuff takes work. It’s not, it’s not this linear path. It’s not a magic pill, but that said, it’s so possible. Like if I was able to do this and, and you’re able to do what you do not speak for you, but like people are limitless. I don’t think it’s, I don’t, I think it’s a limited world at all. Like there’s so much,

Jim Kwik:
There’s so much abundance that that’s out there. We talk about it on our podcast, like about exponential thinking and how we live in a world that, I mean, we have more access to the world’s information in our pockets than, and Clinton had access to him when he was president. I mean, it’s an, you know, and going back to what you were saying, what’s below the surface. Like I went for a run this morning. That’s the two things I have to doubt to run and read every day. You know with, with the name, like quick to do it pretty fast also, but I was going past this lake and there were these ducks and it’s kind of like that duck on the water. Right. It could be all calm on the, on the surface, but underneath it could be peddling like really, really fast. And we don’t always see that, but, you know, and th that’s one of the things on social media and I love social media and it’s, you know, challenging.

Jim Kwik:
Sometimes we develop this kind of digital depression where we’re always kind of comparing ourselves to everybody else’s life and then the highlight trailer. And the truth is sometime, you know, it’s greener where you, where you water it. And sometimes it’s greener on Instagram because of the filter they’re using, you know, or there’s a lot of artificial turf that’s out there. And I would say that comparison and envy is the thief of joy. And I’m just saying, you don’t have to compare yourself to anyone else other than, you know, this about, you know, the best potential of our own self or the person we were yesterday. And I think we feel important for us to do things on our own timeline and, and it liberates us from the, you know, a lot of people don’t know their purpose. And I would say that a lot of us, you might, if it’s, sometimes it’s buried under other, a pile of other people’s expectations and opinions about ourselves,

Joe Chura:
I think that’s a great segue into what, what I wanted to talk about, which, which is what should people watch out for? Like, what are these digital villains or villains in general?

Jim Kwik:
Yeah. So I was saying that there are four forces that are out there driven by technology that we talk about in limitless. That actually is compromising our, our productivity, our performance, even our profitability and our prosperity and, and peace of mind, frankly, I tend to alliterate everything says a lot of PS, but so really quickly. So these are like the four horsemen of the mental apocalypse number. One’s digital de luge. It’s a term that I coined basics. We talk about information overwhelm, right higher and information. Anxiety is a real, a health condition, higher blood pressure, compression of leisure, time, more sleeplessness. And it’s like taking a sip of water out of a fire hose. So that’s why I always teach people how to read faster or learn faster, because I think it’s the most important skill today. And I know we’ll be talking about that in-depth at, at your event and even people’s strategies to be able to accelerate their learning.

Jim Kwik:
I think if there’s one skill to master, it’s our ability to learn rapidly like an individual or a team’s ability to learn rapidly and translate that learning into action is the ultimate competitive advantage. Second supervillain besides digital luge is digital distraction. You know, like how do you maintain your focus and your concentration to get things done? You know, you read a page in a book and you forget what you just read because your mind is wandering or you’re on zoom, or you just hear your attention is going elsewhere. So techniques to hone your concentration and then digital dementia, which you mentioned about phone numbers. I mean, how many phone numbers do we all know growing up? Like all of them, you know, unless you were born, you know, more and more recently, but how many phone numbers do we know now we know like make one or two or three memorized.

Jim Kwik:
And not that you want to memorize 500 phone numbers, but it should be concerning. We’ve lost the ability to remember one or a pin number or a passcode or something we were going to say or something somebody told us or an appointment or someone’s name. I believe two of the most costly words in business are I forgot. I forgot to do it. I forgot to bring it in. I’ve had that conversation. I forgot that. Meaning I forgot that name. And then finally, the fourth one is digital deduction. And it’s a term that I coined basically saying that because of technology, technology is doing all the thinking for us is telling us what to buy and what to eat and what to think. And, you know, thinking it takes a lot of cognitive energy. And so that’s why so few people actually indulge in it. Cause they’re tired all the time.

Jim Kwik:
They have mental fog or, you know, they’re, they have brain fatigue and they, you know, you know, they they’re like looking at a menu at the end of the day and they can’t even order something for dinner because they’re just so spent. And so we teach people, you know, basics and critical thinking, good decision-making problem solving abilities. And that’s really, you know, what I think should have been taught back in school, you know, school taught us what to learn, what to focus on, what to remember, what to study, what to think, but not how to remember how to focus, you know, how to study, how to think, you know, how to learn better. And so there was no focus one-on-one back in school or retention one-on-one. And so that, that’s my, my passion through our, our videos through our podcast or books is teaching people this thing called meta learning, learning how to learn.

Joe Chura:
Yeah. I th I think that’s thanks exactly what I’ve been learning from you and limitless, and I’d love to touch on some of those things now. So when you, when you were teaching these, these courses or you’re getting feedback, what is w what are the, some of the top skills that people should have to train them?

Jim Kwik:
Yeah. So there’s two different parts. There’s the hardware and the software. So a lot of what we, what you mentioned, our courses and our podcast teaches the software on how to remember names and how to read faster, how to focus and concentrate, and you can learn great programming, but you have to also upgrade the hardware also. So that’s really the amazing thing, right? This three pound matter between our ears called our brain. So 10 of my favorite things to focus on. So we know that one third of your memory and your brain’s potential is predetermined by genetics and biology in two thirds is in our control. At least two thirds. Some people would say a hundred percent in our control, you know, according to the epigenetics and everything. So 10 quick things I would say, and be able to go write this down. I would encourage everyone to actually rate themselves, maybe do a quick assessment, zero to 10, how much time and energy they’re putting towards it. Number one is a good brain diet because what you eat matters, especially for your gray matter. So some of my favorite brain foods are like avocados, blueberries, broccoli, olive oil. If your title allows eggs, the Coleen and eggs is good for cognitive health, green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach. If you eat fish, sardines and wild salmon, your brain is mostly fat. So those fish oils tumeric helps to lower inflammation in your, in your body and your brain

Joe Chura:
Experimentation. Sorry to interrupt you in this one. I want to understand, like, how how’d you come up with that list?

Jim Kwik:
So this is actually science-based. So it’s a whole area of science. We talk about in the book called narrow nutrition, that your brain is only 2% of your body mass, but it requires 20% of the nutrients. So your brain actually requires different nutrients than the rest of your physical body. Obviously, your body is part of your brain is part of your body. And so like, for example, the vitamin D and walnuts is very neuro-protective right. It’s great. Antitoxin and for your brain, dark chocolate is wonderful for your brain, not milk chocolate or high sugar, but generally what’s good for your mood is going to be good for your mind. And so on a scale of zero to 10, people can rate themselves, you know, how much, how good is their diet, because cause what we matters to our brain and it literally becomes us, right?

Jim Kwik:
And the, on the opposite side of the spectrum processed food, fried food, sugar really messes with our brain, something fierce. So zero to 10, number two. And I got this from Dr. Daniel, amen. Who’s a famous brain doctor killing ants, killing ants, automatic negative thoughts is, cause I believe your brain is like a supercomputer and your self-talk is a program that will run. So if you tell yourself I’m not good at remembering people’s names, you won’t remember the name of the next person you meet because you program your supercomputer not to. So on a scale of zero to 10, how, how positive encouraging, empowering are your thoughts? Number three, exercise. And that’s probably the most well-documented what’s good for your heart is going to be good for your head when you move your body. And when your body moves your brain cruise, the new ways you create brain derived, neurotropic factors, BDNF, which is like fertilizer for neuroplasticity.

Jim Kwik:
And yet. And I don’t mean just like doing soul cycle or Pilates three times a week. I mean, moving throughout the day, you know, we live in a very sedentary lifestyle. We’re all behind screens. People don’t know if they’re working from home and if they’re living at work and it be very stationary. So we need to, the primary reason we have a brain is to control our movement. So move all day. So on a scale of zero to 10 brain nutrients, I’ll throw that in there. I’m not an expert on this. I’m not in Trishna. So talk to your functional medicine doctor, but you know, having a profile done to see what nutrients you might be lacking because you can learn a great technique on speed reading. But if you’re lacking certain like B vitamins or omega-threes, you’re not gonna perform as well, right? So you need to take care of that hardware.

Jim Kwik:
So you might need to supplement. I always prefer getting from food, but you know, if you can’t get it through food, get through supplementation. And then number five, as a positive peer group, highly recommend this because it’s not just your neurological networks or your biological networks. It’s often our social networks who you spend time with those who you become. Right? And that’s why I think it’s great that there, that everyone who’s listening to this there’s, they’re part of your community. They can connect with you on YouTube, through social media, through your live events and realized that we’re not in it by ourselves. And we go further when we’re doing it together, we tend to who you spend time with is who you become. That’s why these gatherings are so important because we started adapting. You know, I always tell people to watch w a T C has a lot of acronyms.

Jim Kwik:
W is your words or your actions T or your thoughts C is your character. H are your habits. And we started adapting and imitating those of those people around us using their words, their actions, their thinking, their thoughts becoming, you know, their integrity or their character and adopting their habits. Right? And so scale of zero to 10, how positive encouraging are the, is your peer group? And we can always create our own masterminds, right? Create our own book, clubs, create our own people that are just not energy vampires, you know? And then we all have people in our lives, friends and family that sometimes kind of steal our energy. And I would just say that, you know, you can love them and also choose your peers. Another one, number six, I would say clean environment. So on a scale of zero to 10, your brain loves the clean environment.

Jim Kwik:
Cause your external world is a reflection of your internal world. So when you clean and you make your bed, you clean your desktop, you have clarity of thought number seven, sleep. I mean, can we talk about this? Like how many people are listening to us? They have trouble sleeping. They have trouble staying asleep. And it’s so important to keep your brain healthy, right? That’s where you consolidate short to long-term memory, CVL long-term memory issues, check your sleep. It’s where you clean out beta amyloid plaque that could lead to Alzheimer’s or dementia. That’s where you dream. And you know, if not getting that good, deep sleep or REM sleep, you’re not going to be able to get that restorative, you know, thing for your mind and your body. So on a scale of zero to 10, we’ve done like 10 episodes on optimizing your sleep on our podcast.

Jim Kwik:
And I think it’s so important because you can do everything else. Sleep is probably the number one brain hack. If you will. And then finally, eight, nine and 10, eight, protect your brain. You know, I had three traumatic brain injuries before the age of 12. So wear a helmet, don’t let your kids do, you know, extreme sports. If you give, take it, prevent it because your brain is very it’s resilient, but it’s also very fragile. And number nine is new learnings. And I’m preaching to the choir because anyone is listening or watching this. They love to learn, but that’s how you create new connections. And the faster you can learn, the faster you can earn. And it actually helps you live longer. There was a study done on nuns. They called it aging with grace. They were living 80, 90 and above. And they said their longevity was because of their, part of it was their emotional faith and gratitude, but the other half, they were lifelong learners.

Jim Kwik:
And because of it, add to your sort of life and life to their years are good years. And then finally the big one stress management, chronic stress has been shown to actually shrink the human brain. It puts you in fight or flight or freeze, and that’s not the place you want to study and that’s not the place you’re going to be the best parent. And it’s not the place that you’re going to do well in sales meetings. Right. And so, you know, spending time getting in that parasympathetic rest and digest zero to 10, how well are you coping with stress? You know, and what are you doing? Like my favorite thing is to meditate. Some people like to work out. Some people go, you know, get some body work or have some red wine or something, but we need to be able to have a way to systematically reduce this stress that builds up just through day-to-day living. So those are just 10 quick tips on just how to upgrade your, upgrade your brain. Because we upgrade everything. We upgrade our cameras, we upgrade our phones, we upgrade our, all this technology, our computers and our software on our apps. But we don’t upgrade the most important tool that does everything for us. Right. So,

Joe Chura:
Thanks for sharing those. I think every one of them are spot on and I know you’ve tested those over time and yeah. And that’s, that’s great when you, when you’re thinking about all these, cause it seems like a lot too, and I know it’s not meant to be, you have to be perfect on every one of those on a daily basis, but I’m curious, not, not that someone would follow this, but like what is your routine like?

Jim Kwik:
So my routine is just what kind of works for me. And I would just say to understand the principles behind it, that you don’t have to do everything. My thought processes first we create our habits. Then our habits create us, right? That if you want to win the day, you have to win that morning. And so the certain things that I do and you don’t have to do everything, but you know, maybe test it out for yourself because ultimately the person that’s listening to this is their own expert. The way I’ve designed it is, you know, Tim Ferris has his and Oprah has hers and Tony as his mine is about getting my brain said since that’s, you know, I want to get my mind. Right. And so, and my prerequisite is it doesn’t take a lot of time. So you could do this. Even if you have kids, you could do them with your kids and it doesn’t take time.

Jim Kwik:
It actually helps you to almost make time and, and make up time and productivity and performance. So simple things and no specific order, I’ll wake up and I’ll just take two minutes and just write down my dreams. Mary Shelley created Frankenstein in her dreams. Paul McCartney created the song yesterday and his dream, a chemist created the periodic table and his dream Jack Nicholas came back from a slump by changing his grip in a dream. You know, what are we dreaming about? But we’re forgetting. So I just take, I’ve had like a journal right by mine, around in my nightstand. I just take two minutes, write down my dreams. And I find every week there’s gold there. And I just feel like that’s, you know, like we spent 20 years of our lives sleeping three to four, three to five years dreaming, like that’s a trigger saw treasure there.

Jim Kwik:
Another thing I’ll do is I’ll make my bed. I’ve been talking about this for like ever, but then a lot of people make their bed, but me, I make it with intention. I make it excellent because I think excellence is a habit and how we do anything is how we do everything. So maybe we take that excellence and other things like my, my, my writing or my, my work, next thing I’ll do is I will I’ll hydrate. So I th the thing with habits and we’ve had James Clara, atomic habits and BJ Fogg, tiny habits on our podcast. So I’m a big fan of their work. The key for habit design is you want to make, what’s good for you, easy and what’s bad for you. Difficult. So for me, I want to hydrate first thing in the morning. So I’ll put a glass of water by my nightstand the night before, right?

Jim Kwik:
And I’ll drink that water because just staying hydrated or boost your reaction time and thinking speed upwards of 30%, which is a huge lift. Yet we can lose up to a pound of water at night through respiration, perspiration. And so I’ll drink that water also have some probiotics also for my gut health. Cause I think her gut is your second brain. Then I’ll go outside immediately. There was a study done at Appalachian state university and talking about exercise and they say, when’s the best time to exercise in the morning, afternoon or evening. And they said actually in the morning and doesn’t have to be your full workout. But those who exercise in the morning actually improve their deep sleep upwards of 75% deeper sleep, which is huge. So I’ll go outside. And the reason why I go outside is the sunlight helps to reset your circadian rhythm.

Jim Kwik:
It’s the most important, probably the most important asleep tip that you could have is getting out in direct sunlight. Even if it’s hazy, you’ll get the benefit of it, but it has to be outside, not through filter cause the windows will actually not let all the spectrum through. And so through your eyes is your eyes is the only part of your brain. That’s outside your skull, right? That’s how you reset your circadian rhythm is get in daylight, first thing in the morning. So when I’m out there, I’ll stack and I’ll do three minutes of exercise. Like I’ll jump on the rebounder that I have in the room here, or I’ll do some jumping jacks, some calisthenics, that’d be huge, a couple other things that I’ll throw into it. And this doesn’t take time. Like you can do this with your kids. You could talk about their dreams for a minute or two.

Jim Kwik:
You can show, you know, show them, make their bed, right. You could do two minutes or three minutes of outdoor activity with them. Titrate. All these things are very simple to more brushing your teeth with your opposite hand. I’ll recommend that I’m a big fan challenge because I’ve been teaching this for 30 years and I teach people how to use, you know, there are, as your body moves your brain grooves that actually stimulates a different part of your brain, but the other reason you do it, it forces you to focus right. And be present. And I think that’s important because most people, if they distract themselves first thing in the morning with their devices and they wonder why they can’t focus throughout the day. Right. I have a video on YouTube that has 37 million views just saying, don’t touch your phone for 30 minutes in the morning.

Jim Kwik:
Yeah. And it’s because it rewires your brain for distraction or probably buys your brain to react to everything as opposed to proactively, you know, designing your day. So when you’re brushing with you with your opposite hand, it forces you to focus and you take that focus and other activities. And then I’m a big fan of cult therapy. You know, I met Wim Hoff back in 20, 20 0 6, 20 0 7. And speaking at events in Boston and you know, at my home I have cold punches and I just, I like a cold showers. I don’t sorry. I don’t like it. But I grew up in the Northeast, you know, and I’ve spent cold times, you know, and in New York and Chicago and different places, and I’m not a fan of the cold, but it’s our teacher and it helps to lower inflammation in our body. It helps to reset your nervous system, even better than coffee for me.

Jim Kwik:
And going back to our original conversation, it’s training you to do difficult things. First thing in the morning. And I feel like caret, like resilience is a muscle and it’s a way of exercising that and being comfortable, being coming uncomfortable. And then when you have to have that difficult conversation at work, or, you know, with your family or you need to terminate somebody or whatever, it’s like our speak on stage. It shows up, you know, in those emotional muscles. So those are just like six or seven things that I do in the morning. Not time-consuming at all, even taking a cold shower, probably take you less time, you know? So you save time there. But the big thing is don’t touch your phone the last 30 minutes of the day in the first 30 minutes of the day, if you could help him, you know, I would challenge actually, everybody who’s listening or watching this, you know, you take a screenshot of this episode and wherever you’re consuming it, tag us both on social media and see if you’re up to this challenge of not touching your phone.

Jim Kwik:
And just because again, if you’re picking up your phone out of just habit and boredom, then, then it’s using us. Right. And I would say that it’s very liberating for me. Like just to, for me, when I wake up, I want to touch my phone until I come up with three things I want to accomplish personally and professionally that day, like I’ll, fast-forward, I’ll literally do a thought experiment while I’m in bed. I’ll fast forward. And then to say at the end of the day, if someone, my family asked me how my day was and I was like, tell you, it was amazing. And then I’ll say, okay, what had to happen in order for me to feel that way? Okay, here are three things personally, not big things. Maybe I went for a 20 minute walk with our dogs. Right. But it was just like something that would give me joy and you know, three things professionally, cause we’re not going to do the 300 things on our to-do list. Nobody does that. But if I just accomplish these three things, you know, hubs, joy, and then, and I’ll work off of those six things. That will be my focus throughout the day, because it’s not even about time management. It’s about priority management. Right? The most important thing is to give the most important thing, the most important thing. Right. And really it’s about, you know, like Dr. Stephen Covey talks about putting first things first,

Joe Chura:
Have you ever thought of creating your own calendar? And every day is like a, a saying or a quote,

Jim Kwik:
Will you do that? Yeah. Yeah. I have it like a daily quick, quick, quick quickest or something quick, quick quote, quick quotes. Yeah. I mean, I like, I have those quotes all over my office and even on my computer because none of them not, not just mine, but I mean just other people’s. Cause it’s, I dunno, there’s a certain, and I’d be curious actually. So take a screenshot of this tag us both. And let us know if you’re going to do this kind of challenge with your phone or share your favorite quote. I love quotes. So I know you always need some good ones. Yeah.

Joe Chura:
The challenge I’ll tag you. Cause I need to do that to you. That is something I struggled with because of work stuff. And I mean, there’s a million reasons, right? The reality is I wake up at five 30 to work out. I don’t need to look at my phone. Yeah. It’s just a habit. Like I tell myself that lie, but it’s something I need to work on too.

Jim Kwik:
A lot of people say it depletes them like even having at the dinner table, having the phone, even if it’s face down Simon Sinek talks about the stress. It creates anxiety of just having to reach for it. Right. You know, and how we’re not present with the people that you know, are, are we’re with. And, and again, technology, I love technology. It’s a tool for us to use, but if it’s using us, then we become the tool. And I would say the technology is there to make our life more convenient. But if we’re doing it a habit or out of boredom, I think we should. We should, we should, we should manage that.

Joe Chura:
So two more quick things, cause I know, I know we gotta, we gotta roll in a second here. One is, I’m looking at all these books. I read a lot of books too. Nowhere near as many as you read, how do you recall the key points of the books when you’re looking at? I don’t know how many books are your thought there’s thousands. Yeah. There’s a lot of books. So like how do you, how do you recall the key points of them and retain them for later in your

Jim Kwik:
That’s great. So reading is a skill. And for most people, the last time we upgraded that skill took a class called reading. We were like, what? Six years old? Seven years old. So it’s, it’s the difficulty in demand has increased, but how we read it is the same. So that growing gap creates a lot of stress. And I think a lot of people are, I bet who are listening to this are really good at buying books, but they sit on your shelf and it becomes shelf help, not self-help. And because their skill in buying a book, it’s not the same skill level of reading that book. And, and we do the things that are just we’re good at, right. And if we’re not good at reading, if reading puts us to sleep or we forget what we read or we can’t focus and our mind distracts us and we’re probably not going to do it often, just like if you’re not, you know, if you’re not, I’m not a great golfer.

Jim Kwik:
So I don’t spend a lot of time, you know, on the greens because it’s just not that fun for me. Right. So I would say, upgrade your reading skill. How can you do that specifically? Well, we teach different techniques and we’ve done multiple podcasts episodes. I actually put a link in my Instagram to a free masterclass on speed reading so people could know charge, could just bring a book online and go through it. And like instantly it’s amazing. We could, by going through it on average people improve 50%, which is amazing. Just saving an extra 20 minutes on every hour, two lessons, 50%. It’s incredible. Right? And that’s the thing, that’s the growth we could have because we haven’t been trained in decades. But one of one tip quick tip is just even to two questions, two things to do. Number one, if you want greater speed, use your finger while you read.

Jim Kwik:
We know that when you use a visual pacer and you underline the words, it’ll boost your focus and your speed and I focus will boost your comprehension because our eyes are attracted emotion. And so when we’re underlining the words with a pen, a highlight, or a mouse on a computer, our finger, our infer, our eyes are being pulled through the information cause visual focus leads your mental focus. All right. The second thing I would say that would help you retain a lot more. What you read in these books is ask better questions. Most people, when they read, they don’t have anywhere near as many questions in terms of what they’re looking to get out of the outcome of reading that book and questions are the answer. Meaning there’s a part of your brain called the reticular activating system, RAs, which determines what you’re aware of, what you concentrate on.

Jim Kwik:
So for example, years ago, my sister, I talk about this in the book would send me postcard as an emails about a specific kind of dog, a pug dog, or a very docile little dog that you could dress up and you know, do whatever. But I started seeing these pug dogs everywhere, all of a sudden, right? And my question is where were these pub dogs before? They were always there, but I never paid attention because I wasn’t, it wasn’t important to me. So once I started asking the question, like, why is she sending me all these pictures? Because her birthday was coming up right? Then I started seeing them everywhere. Well, the answers are always there. And so when you start reading and you start asking more questions, you’re reading through it. And then all of a sudden there’s a pug dog. There’s a poke dog.

Jim Kwik:
There’s that’s comprehension. Right? So we’re pulled through the information as opposed to attention being pulled apart, thinking about like things that are going to distract us. But my three questions I ask all the time when I’m learning something, even listening to a podcast like yours, how can I use this? I’m obsessed with that question. So I start getting answers. Number two, why must I use this? So customer I head to my heart is you want to get those emotions there because if I don’t have a reason, I won’t get the reward. And then the third question I ask, when will I use this? So it goes to my head, to my heart, to my hands, like in terms of scheduling, because if it’s not the truth is we schedule doctor’s appointments, investor meetings, client calls. But when do we schedule like our own growth? Like a lot of people, they won’t work out, not because they’re lazy assists, they don’t schedule it.

Jim Kwik:
And then the whole day escapes them and they are like, oh, I should have worked out today or should have meditated. You know? But I think for every hour, people listen to a podcast like yours, they need to get in the habit of saying, okay, I’m going to spend an equal hour implementing what I learned from that. And because the truth is all the books, audio, I was going to say, tapes that kind of Dade me all the, all the books and podcasts and conferences. None of it works unless we work. Right. And that that’s the, the key is to take knowledge is not power. It’s potential power because power, when we apply it, you know, and so on. So all your listeners and all the people that you know, and amazing people that have tenure events, I would say that we do ourselves a disservice by reading something and not implementing it because then you’re no better off than somebody who’s illiterate. Right. And so that’s the goal. Those who can learn and then translate that learning into action will they’ll lead the field.

Joe Chura:
Yeah. Otherwise their ideas, right. And their ideas in your brain and who doesn’t have ideas. So you just get,

Jim Kwik:
There’s so many ideas, but very few implement implementers. Right.

Joe Chura:
Cause I know we got roll, but I promise Morgan, I’d ask you this question. So Morgan is my 11 year old daughter and she’s a student of, of Kwik brain. She asked me, what would you tell your younger self?

Jim Kwik:
Oh, that’s a good advice for great question. You know, there, there are two people that I want to make proud in my life. And most people, when I say that will think of parents, but for me, I want, I want to make the, the 90 year old, Verdun the 90 year old me proud. And the nine year old me proud, you know, looking back at that nine year old boy who was a labeled broken, it was hard to think about it, but the one that was just wanting to run away and you know, and just not be seen, you know, I wanna, I wanna make that boy proud. And then I wanna make, you know, fast forward to that nine year old version of me proud also. And so I would say to the nine year old boy that, that you’re not broken, you know, and that you are enough.

Jim Kwik:
The other thing I would say is that I don’t know if the nine-year-old version of me would get this, but then you are a hundred percent responsible for your life, that your circumstances, your environment now, other people’s expectations, your experiences might’ve shaped you, who you are, but you, you have choice who you’re going to be today and who you’re going to be moving forward. When I talk about responsibility, it was used. So you saw my office. I have this art from Stanley on the wall, different in almost in a lot of my rooms. And Stan is the creator of all of my favorite superheroes that are also in my room. And I got to introduce, I got to spend time with him and go to dinner. And I asked him in the car, who’s your favorite superhero that you’ve created? And he says, it’s Ironman.

Jim Kwik:
And he signed that Ironman for me in the corner there. And then he’s, I said, Jim, who’s your favorite superhero? And I said, Spiderman. And without a pause in his iconic voice, he goes with great power comes, great responsibility and truth. Be told, I reversed things a bunch maybe cause my traumatic brain injury when I hear something. And when I read it still and I heard something different, I was like, you’re right with great power comes great responsibility. And the opposite is also true with great responsibility comes great power. When we take responsibility for something, we have great power to make things better. So Morgan, I would say that I would say to my nine-year-old self is that you’re doing fine and you are responsible for your life, you know, good, bad, or good, better or indifferent. And you know, at these difficult times they can define you these difficult times. They can diminish you or these difficult times they can develop you. You know, we, we always decide,

Joe Chura:
Wow, what a put great insights and advice to leave this wonderful conversation with. Thank you, Jim so much for your time. Can’t wait to see you in December and refuel. For those of you who are watching and listening, Jim’s going to be there in Naperville and we’re going to get into some of these techniques. I’m sure. And just a lot more, but man, I really am honored to have had this time with you today. And again, you’ve been an inspiration to me and it’s just been incredible to get to know you more. Yeah.

Jim Kwik:
Thank you, Joe. And I just want to thank you for not only what you do, but also the, the manner you do it. I haven’t done a like podcast here in my, in my home. I do my own podcasts, but that that’s, that’s, that’s a real treat for me to be on the receiving end. Cause you know, normally it’s still a different, but I would say, I look forward to seeing everybody at refuel and you know, if you are going to screen capture this, like tag us and put a link because you know, if you got any value out of what you heard, I think, you know, the best way of learning something as a teacher. And so if you posted, I’ll actually you’ll be tagged me. I’ll get the CNL re it and I’ll actually give to copy of limitless to one person just as a, just as a thank you.

Jim Kwik:
You know? And so, yeah, I, I really do believe I, I, this is the quote that gets shared the most, that life is like an egg that if an egg is broken by an outside force life ends, but if it’s broken by an inside force, life begins, great things begin on the inside. And if you’re listening to this still like, and you have greatness inside of you already, you know, and, and that, that’s where it starts. You have greatness and genius. And I think we’re all on this quest to reveal and realize our fullest potential, you know? And so that’s really the goal is to keep showing up for ourselves. But I’m amazing. Thank you my friend. Thanks, Joe.

Join us virtually at REFUEL 2021 on Wednesday, December 15th. Jim Kwik will be our opening Keynote speaker, followed by an amazing line-up including Amy Purdy, Cal Fussman, Angela Manuel-Dave, and Jocko Willink.

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