How To Learn Faster, Remember More, & Find Your Superpower – Jim Kwik on On Purpose with Jay Shetty

Check Out The On Purpose Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Don’t let school get in the way of your education
  • You have more control than you think over your intellect—genetics only plays a small role
  • Change your self-talk, change your life
  • Start reading more fiction
  • “A lot of people say they stopped playing because they grew older, but it’s the opposite—you grow older because you stop playing.”Jim Kwik
  • There’s a gift in every struggle

Books Mentioned

Intro

The Boy with the Broken Brain is Now a Memory Champion (Jim’s Early Struggles with Learning)

  • Despite now being a brain coach, growing up, Jim struggled in school—he had trouble focusing, a bad memory, and it took him much longer than typical to learn how to read
    • At the age of 9, Jim recalls a teacher calling him “the boy with the broken brain,” something that’s stuck with him to this day
    • Things got so bad that Jim once lied about not having completed a book report to avoid talking about it in front of his class (out of a fear of appearing stupid)
  • At the age of 18, things changed for the better after a friend’s dad encouraged Jim to do two things:
    • Write down his dreams
    • Starting reading more, specifically one book/week, telling Jim, “Don’t let school get in the way of your education”
      • Later in the podcast, Jim says this was the best advice he ever received
  • Developing a love for reading led Jim to begin studying the art of learning, setting him on a path to becoming one of the world’s leading memory experts

How Teaching a Free Speed Reading Class Made Jim $21,000 Richer

  • To put his skills to the test, in college, Jim decided to host a free speed reading class on a random Thursday night
    • Not expecting anyone to show up, Jim was presently surprised when 110 people filled the classroom
  • The night flew by, and Jim ended the class with an upsell: he was offering private tutoring sessions for $30/hour (for ten weeks total, for one hour/week)
    • 71 of the 100+ kids signed up, leaving Jim $21,000+ richer (he invested the money in more books/learning courses to improve his skills)

You Have More Influence on Your Intellect Than You Think

  • “Regardless of your age, background, career, education, financial situation, gender, history, or IQ, only about one-third of your intellect, potential, and memory is pre-determined by genetics and biology; two-thirds is in your control.” Jim Kwik

Self-Talk Influences Your Life Outlook (Thoughts Are Things)

  • Jim recalls reading a passage from a book that stated: “Your brain is like a supercomputer and your self-talk is a program it runs. So, if you tell yourself you’re not good at remembering names, you won’t remember the name of the next person you meet because you programmed your supercomputer not to.”
  • “If you knew how powerful your mind was, you wouldn’t have a thought or say something you didn’t want to be true” – Jim Kwik
  • For instance, if you’re running around all day, wondering, “How do I get people to like me?” it’s as if a negative filter is placed on your lens of reality
    • A thought like this influences your personality, who you spend time with, and so much more
  • In summary: Change your self-talk, change your life

Change Your Self-Talk By Changing Your Words

  • For instance, instead of thinking to yourself, “I don’t have a great memory,” say, “I don’t have a great memory yet”
  • More examples:
    • Instead of saying, “I have to do X,” say, “I get to do X”
    • View “problems” as “puzzles”
    • Not: “I’m so busy;” But: “I’m so productive”

🎧 Turning a Screw: $1; Knowing Which Screw to Turn: $9,999

  • This is a story you’re just gonna have to listen to…

Search for Harmony in Life, Not Balance

  • Why? – Balance relates to equality (and why would you want to spend the same amount of time at work as you do with your kids?)
    • Also, when you think of the word “balance,” you might picture someone trying to balance a ton of plates—is that really how you envision your life?
    • Instead, search for harmony—like an orchestra: Not every instrument has an equal role, but they come together to create an incredible symphony (do the same with your time)
  • Related to the above, Gandhi famously said, “When what you think, what you say, and what you do are aligned, we experience harmony in life”

Why You Should Read Fiction

  • The biggest reason: reading fiction improves creativity and imagination skills
    • And realize: in the automation age, the only jobs that won’t be outsourced or taken over by robots/computers are the creative ones
  • Also, reading fiction increases your overall empathy (when reading, you’re identifying with each character’s feelings)

Stan Lee Taught Jim the Power of Play, Following Your Passion, and Living with Purpose

  • Jim calls Stan—a famous comic book writer who co-created Spider-ManIron Man, Black Panther, and The Avengers—”the youngest old person” he knew 
    • “A lot of people say they stopped playing because they grew older, but it’s the opposite—you grow older because you stopped playing.” Jim Kwik
  • Stan embodied the idea of following your passion—he famously worked well into his early 90s (solely out of love for the craft)
  • What about purpose?
    • It’s simple: One superhero can make a world of difference—is there a better example of purpose than that?

Life is Like an Egg

  • If an outside force breaks an egg, life ends; if an inside force breaks an egg, life begins
    • So realize: “All great things begin on the inside” Jim Kwik

The MANY Quotes to Ponder (there were seriously a TON, and unless otherwise mentioned, they come from Jim)

  • “We’ve discovered more about the human brain in the past ten years than in the previous thousand years combined.”
  • “I feel like, in this age of information, we’re drowning in data and information, but we’re starving for real wisdom.”
  • “Parents have to be very careful with the words they use—your external words become a child’s internal words.”
  • “I don’t believe knowledge is power—at all. It has the potential to be power, but all the podcasts, online programs, coaching seminars—none of it works unless we work it.”
  • “If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein
  • “The same level of thinking that created your problem won’t solve your problem” – Albert Einstein
  • “Isn’t it interesting that one step in another direction can completely change your destiny?”
  • “Knowledge is power; learning is your superpower, and it’s a superpower we all have inside of us.”
  • “It’s not how smart you are; it’s how are you smart?”
  • “To create any kind of results in our life, we need to behave a certain way, but in order to do a behavior, we need a belief that enables that to happen.”
  • “If you procrastinate, put things off, and just do the easy things, life is hard. But if you do the hard things, life becomes easier.”
  • “There’s a gift in every struggle.”
  • “I believe that difficult times either diminish you, define you, or develop you, and ultimately, we decide—that’s the power we have.”
  • “The life you live are the lessons you teach.”
  • “Self-love and self-care are not selfish—you have to give to yourself before you give to somebody else
  • “People will forget what you say, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel” – Maya Angelou

Rapid Fire Questions

  • If Jim could have one superpower, what would it be?
    • “The superpower of helping people unleash their superpowers” 
  • The best advice Jim ever received?
    • “Don’t let school get in the way of your education”
  • What’s one way someone can become a better learner?
    • As Rumi said, “Sell your cleverness for bewilderment”
      • Just like children, develop a sense of wonder and never be afraid of making mistakes

Additional Points to Ponder

  • To change your perspective, change your place (environment) and the people you surround yourself with
  • Something Jim Carrey once taught Jim: Always be true to yourself and live free from the concern of others
    • “I really do believe that we could go broke buying into the opinions and expectations of other people. If other people’s opinions are fueling us, then we could run out of gas really fast.”
  • The best way to learn something is by teaching it
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