BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast

BiggerPockets Podcast 443: 10 Ways to Learn Anything Faster with Jim Kwik

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During childhood, Jim Kwik experienced a traumatic brain injury. As a result, he lacked focus in school, wasn’t able to read properly, and at one point, a teacher told him that he had a “broken brain”. So how did a kid with a “broken brain” become the leading mental coach for athletes, CEOs, and movie stars? Simple: Jim looked into how to learn instead of what to learn. Soon enough, Jim was reading faster, memorizing with higher accuracy, and doing well in school.

His friends asked him for some tips so they could improve their grades as well. With some success in his inner circle, he decided to make a flyer for speed reading and memory improvement classes. He put up the flyer at his college hoping one or two people would show up to his impromptu class. Over 100 students showed up, of which 71 signed up for a full course with Jim. After that, Jim knew it was his life mission to help those who wanted to learn, memorize, and live better.

So why is it so hard for some people to memorize things? We forget details all the time, whether it be names, addresses, phone numbers, or other important information. Jim goes through a simple method to memorizing any piece of information, called the M.O.M system. He also outlines 10 tips for a limitless brain, many of which you can implement soon after you finish this episode!

Even something as simple as reading slightly faster can allow you to save weeks worth of time each year. So if you’ve been beating yourself up over forgetting that one seller’s name, check out Jim Kwik’s podcast and his new book Limitless. As Jim puts it, increasing your memory and reading power not only adds years to your life, but life to your years!

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Brandon:
This is The Bigger Pockets Podcast, show 443.

Jim:
Life is like an egg. 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.

Intro:
You’re listening to Bigger Pockets Radio, simplifying real estate for investors large and small. If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing without all of the hype, you’re in the right place. Stay tuned and be sure to join the millions of others who have been benefited from biggerpockets.com, your home for real estate investing online.

Brandon:
What’s going on, everyone? It’s Brandon Turner, host of The Bigger Pockets Podcast, here with my cohost, Mr. David Green. What’s up, man? How are you doing?

David:
I’m doing really good. We did a fantastic interview today.

Brandon:
Yeah, we did.

David:
It was one of the best we’ve done, I think.

Brandon:
Yeah, this is an amazing guest, a guy named Jim Kwik. You may have heard about him. He’s kind of a big deal. He’s the guy that you see him hanging out with Will Smith and Oprah and Stan Lee, and I really wanted to ask him today on the show and we never got to it, but I wanted him to explain his story of hanging out with Stan Lee. Stan Lee from the Marvel Comics because it’s just a phenomenal story. Here’s what I’m going to say. He wrote a book called The Limitless. I devoured it this weekend. It’s amazing. If you want to hear the Stan Lee story, you’re going to have to read the book. That’s my tease to get you to read the book because it is so good.

Brandon:
Today’s show was all about the brain and how to make the brain work better so we can get better things out of life like our real estate, or our wealth, or our finances, or our business or our family life. All of that stuff is improved or hurt by what’s going on between our ears, and so Jim is the guy. He’s the guy in the world for training your brain to work better. Today, we cover things like how to read faster with greater comprehension, how to remember more things, how to remember people’s names. We talk a little bit about identity on like how we talk about ourselves. We just cover a lot of ground today, so you guys are going to love this interview, but before we get to that, let’s get to today’s quick tip [crosstalk 00:02:06]-

David:
Quick tip.

Brandon:
Very simple quick tip today. I want you to listen to this show with a pencil and paper, if possible. I mean, if you’re driving to work or whatever, that’s fine. Don’t turn it off, but if you have the ability to listen to this with a pen and paper, please do it, especially at the end. Jim lays out 10 final tips in the last 10 minutes of the show or maybe 20 minutes of the show, but it’s like, “Do these 10 things if you want to increase your life, improve your life because this is what’s going to help your brain.” He actually names a bunch of foods that you should be eating to… Just like a lot of good stuff. The quick tip is listen with a pen and paper if possible.

Brandon:
Also, he at the end of the show also talked about he’s going to give away one of his books to somebody for sharing this on their social media, so go listen to that as well and do all of that good stuff. Now, I think it’s time to get into this interview with Jim Kwik. Anything you want to add before we jump into it?

David:
Mostly just that my mind’s blown how good this guy was. He’s kind of like a personal trainer for your brain.

Brandon:
That’s what it is, yeah, personal trainer for your brain.

David:
I don’t think until we talked to him that I ever realized how important it was to have something like that, so I’m every excited to bring this to the masses.

Brandon:
Yeah, and I don't want people to think about… Some people might be thinking right now, "Well, I want to learn how to buy a duplex," or, "I want to learn how to multifamily or raise or money. I don't need to learn how to learn. I'm going to skip this episode and go to something else." I just caution you to remember that everything we have, our brain drives it, so this is I would say more important than the tactics of how to buy that duplex, how to raise money, all of that. This is the thing that's going to drive every other area of your business, so listen up. Enjoy this interview with Mr. Jim Kwik.

Brandon:
Mr. Jim Kwik, it is amazing to have you on the show today. It is a huge honor, and I just want to start by jumping right into things and wondering like, how did you become this guy? You teach celebrities, and movie stars, and athletes, and CEOs all about how to increase their brain power. How did that happen? Where did that passion come from?

Jim:
You could say my inspiration was my desperation. People see me on stage or on YouTube videos, I do these crazy demonstrations where maybe I’ll have 50 or 100 people stand up in an audience and introduce themselves and I’ll memorize all their names. Or maybe they’ll give me 100 words or 100 numbers and I’ll recall them forwards and backwards and out of order. I always tell people afterwards, “I don’t do this to impress you, I really do this to express to you what’s really possible,” because the truth is every single person who’s listening to this, they can do that and a lot more.

Jim:
You’re thinking, “No way, I can’t do that.” But regardless of your age, your background, your career, your education level, your financial situation, your gender, your history, your IQ, any of that. None of that matters, there’s no such thing as a good or bad brain, there’s a trained brain and untrained brain. Reason why I know it’s possible is I grew up with some pretty severe learning challenges. When I was five I was in school and I had a very bad fall, traumatic brain injury. I was rushed to the hospital and before my parents said I was very energized, very curious, very playful. They said afterwards I was just shutdown. Where it showed up the most was in school.

Jim:
I had a very bad focus, I couldn’t remember anything. Teachers would repeat themselves over and over and over again. I would have this early imposter syndrome where I would just pretend I understand, but I didn’t understand anything. It took me an extra three years just to learn how to read and that was really… you know when they passed around those books and you get in those circles and that book got closer, and closer, and closer, that was just nerve wracking in general. But when it got to me, I would look at it, wouldn’t mean anything I would just pass it on.

Jim:
The biggest thing was when I was nine years old I was slowing down the class, being teased for it and the teacher came to my defense but all I remember her saying, she was pointing at me for the whole class said, “That’s the boy with the broken brain.” I was just like, “Wow.” From there that label became my limit. As children you’re not born with this idea, you’re a blank slate. Your environment, expectations get imprinted on you and for me every time I did badly in school from then on I would say, “Oh, because I have the broken brain.” That became my inner talk. That was a big challenge all the way through 18, I struggled with this.

Jim:
Eventually I hit a wall and I just said, “This is crazy. School is teaching me what to learn. Math, history, science, Spanish. But there are no classes on how to learn. There are no classes on focus, concentration, on study skills, on reading faster, on memory.” I always thought it should have been the fourth hour in school, they teach you three R’s, reading, writing, arithmetic. Obviously spelling wasn’t one of them. But what about recall? What about retention? [inaudible 00:06:31]says learning is remembering. But you’ll look at a kid, you’ll say, “Study. Concentrate. Remember this.” But that’s like looking at a kid and saying, “Play the ukulele,” who’s never taken a class on the ukulele. We’ve never taken classes on any of these things.

Jim:
School taught us what to learn, not how to learn. The school system hasn’t improved as much as the world has. We live in an age of autonomous electric cars, spaceships that are going to mars. Our vehicle choice when it comes to learning is like a horse and buggy. My mission really is, when you look at my path, you would say my struggle became my strengths. With challenge comes change. Now my mission really is build better, brighter brains to leave no brain left behind.

David:
That’s awesome. So basically you went from the person that struggled with learning to the one that’s now world famous for teaching it. Can you tell us a little bit about what your transition was like to go from one extreme to the other?

Jim:
Yeah, I don’t share this usually in interviews. Maybe it’s useful for people on their success journey. When I was 18 I learned all these skills, I turned, I transformed my brain and my grades. First time I ever did anything did anything well. When you’re like that you can’t help but help other people. I believe passion is what lights you up, purpose is how you take that passion to light other people up. My passion quickly became learning where it wasn’t before and my purpose was teaching other people how to learn.

Jim:
I didn’t know how to do it and I didn’t have a lot of money in school. I had to work all these part time jobs and I said, “Oh well.” Friends like, “Why don’t you tutor? You’re tutoring us, why don’t you tutor what you’ve learned to other people?” I was like, “Okay. I don’t know how to do that,” but when I had that thought I was walking past a classroom that wasn’t being used and I was like, “Okay, next week, same time, same place, I’m going to do a little information session. I’m going to put five or ten people in that room and teach them speed reading, memory tactics and maybe one or two of them wants to be tutored.” I go home, and this was my first marketing guys, I take a scrap piece of paper and I take a marker and I write, “Free speed reading, memory tips, get better grades, less time. Classroom Thursday, 7:00.”

Jim:
Next morning I make some photocopies on the way to class, put it on some bulletin boards, not a lot. Fast forward to Thursday 7:00, I’m walking there, I’m getting nervous. I’m doubting myself. I’m like, “I hope five people show up.” I turn the hallway, there’s a crowd of people outside the room. I’m thinking, honest to God I was like, “I hope whatever’s going on ends soon so I can do my thing.” I’m not thinking why they’re there. Then I go there and there’s like I mentioned a crowd there, I can’t even get in. It’s like, “What’s going on inside?” This guy looks at me, he’s like, “There’s a speed reading class.” Honest to God I said, “Wow, what a coincidence.” What are the chances there’s another speed reading class, the same room, the same time, the same date?

Jim:
You can only see what you believe is possible. They say, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” but it’s also you’ll see it when you believe it. I didn’t believe it. I went inside, I pushed my way in and there’s a crowd of people, and low and behold nobody’s teaching. It takes my slow brain, this is embarrassing to admit, all that time to realize why they’re all there. I do a headcount, instead of five people or ten people, there’s 110 people. Just as background, I’m 18 years old, I look really young. There’s graduate students, teaching assistants, and I’m phobic of public speaking. I have nothing prepared to say and I’m phobic to public speaking because I grew up with learning challenges. I couldn’t read as i mentioned. I taught myself how to read by reading comic books.

Jim:
I felt like my super power was being invisible growing up because when you feel like you’re broken, you don’t want to be called on in class. You don’t want to give a book report. I would lie and say I didn’t do the book report to the teacher, and I would just throw it out on the way out. I was phobic. I’m freaking out in that room, my heart’s beating out of my chest. I can’t even speak and I leave. I would love to say I didn’t but that’s the truth. I go to this fountain and something about the water, I don’t know about you guys but showers, water, just kind of calms you down a little bit. I’m just sitting there meditating, I can’t even go back to my dorm room, my friends are going to make fun of me.

Jim:
I’m doing this walking meditation and I stop and I heard this voice in my head, it’s my moms voice and I won’t tell you exactly what she said but essentially it’s like, “Hey, all these people came out to listen. Do something you promised, you’re disappointing them, you’re disappointing me.” I take one step in another direction and I notice, back to the classroom. It’s funny, one step in another direction can completely change your destination or your destiny. [inaudible 00:11:07]have a quote from a French philosopher saying, “Life is C between B and D.” B is birth, D is death, C is choice. I believe these difficult times can define us. These difficult times can diminish us. Or these difficult times can develop us. Ultimately we decide.

Jim:
One little choice in another direction completely changes your destination. I would remind everybody that these small simple steps that you can take that we’re going to talk about in this conversation, just one of them can unlock an incredibly different future. Sometimes when we’re working or persevering, we don’t see the doors that your perseverance and your learning can unlock. But it’s there, it’s coming. I go back to the classroom, and I don’t remember for two hours what I said, and it’s tough to say as a memory expert. But after I’m done I remember I was like, “I don’t know how to help everybody but I need about 10 hours to teach you what I know.” I spend two hours a week for the next five weeks, I get $30 an hour because that’s what I got teaching tennis back in high school. “I’ll be in the student center tomorrow to answer your questions at noon.”

Jim:
I promise you guys, all these people just stood up and left. Nobody talked to me. I had these two overwhelming emotions. Number one, totally confused. Like, what just happened. And total exhaustion. Have you guys ever done something you never thought you could do? It’s like a big thick fear, and then you do it and afterwards I emotionally, mentally, physically spent and I end up falling asleep on the floor. Right on the carpet. I get woken up the next morning, looking up at the next class coming in in the morning. Really embarrassing, drooling on myself. I run back to my dorm room, shower, go to breakfast, go to class. 12:00 comes, I was like, “Oh, I promised I’d be there to answer questions.”

Jim:
I’m going, running to the student center hoping one person shows up, just one. I get to the student center, there’s a crowd of people there, same crowd. After not even two hours, 71 people, 71 of those 100 kids signed up for a program that didn’t even exist yet at $300 a person, $30 an hour times 10 hours. I didn’t realize that kids could go to an ATM machine and take out $300 cash. I didn’t have an ATM card. Now I’m not even 19 years old and I have $21,000 cash in my backpack. What do I use it for? Part of it I used it for food because I was very underweight and I wasn’t eating really well. Most of it I used to feed my mind. I read this quote a long time ago that said, “Don’t let school get in the way of your education,” Mark Twain quote.

Jim:
I started using my money to invest in my own education, learn every speed reading, memory, adult learning theory. Everything I could to further my career. The reason why I’m here with you today is one of those students, she was a freshman in college who read 30 books in 30 days. Just kind of get that, if you have books on your shelf you haven’t read yet, go to Amazon, pick 30 books and you read it. Not skimmed or scanned, but really absorbed it. I wanted to find out not how, I know how, I taught her. I want to know why, what’s her motivation? I found out her mother was dying of terminal cancer. Doctors gave her mom just 60 days, two months to live. The books she was reading were books to save her moms life. I wished her luck, said prayers, we said prayers together. Six months goes by and I get a call from this young lady, she’s crying, she’s crying crying. When she stopped I found out they’re tears of joys. That her mother not only survived, she’s really getting better. Doctors don’t know how, they don’t know why, they called it a miracle.

Jim:
Her mother attributed 100% to the great advice she got from her daughter who learned it from all these books. In that moment I realized something, that if knowledge is power, learning is your super power. If knowledge is power, learning is your super power and it’s a super power we all have. That moment I dedicated my whole life to showing people how to unlock that super power inside of them. That’s what I really believe we’re here to do. That the life we live are the lessons we teach. We all have this genius inside of us, it’s just our brains doesn’t come with an owners manual. It’s not user friendly, we’re not taught in school how to access it. So I made that my mission in life.

Brandon:
That’s amazing man. Really, really good stuff. All right, I want to get into some more tangible stuff here. Specifically maybe we could cover reading, memorization, stuff that we do to improve our brain, obviously today. Why don’t we start with reading, the first thing. The question I have is why do people struggle so much with reading? Reading fast, understanding what they’re reading, and how can they improve both their speed and comprehension?

Jim:
I’ll give you a reason why it’s a challenge when it comes to actually reading is sub vocalization. Sub vocalization meaning it’s like have you ever, when you’re reading, noticed you hear that inner voice inside your head?

David:
Yep.

Jim:
Hopefully it’s your own voice, it’s not somebody else’s voice. The reason why it’s a challenge that they call it sub vocalization, if you have to say the words inside your head you can only read as fast as you could speak. That means your reading speed is limited to your talking speed, not your thinking speed. We can actually think a lot faster than we can read. How many people do you know listen to a podcast, or an audio book at faster speed? They can understand it but they can’t speak that fast.

Jim:
The challenge is a lot of people, they feel like in order for them to understand it, they have to say the words because it’s the way they learned. Teachers said, “Sit quietly by yourself. Read quietly to yourself. Read silently to yourself,” that’s where you took an external voice and you internalized it. It’s been there ever since. How do you get over some of these obstacles? One thing I would say to help everybody here be a better reader, that will instantly boost your reading speed and focus, would be to use a visual pacer. When you read, using a visual pacer, and a visual pacer can be something as simple as using a pen or a highlighter, a mouse on a computer, your finger, probably the easiest because you always carry it with you. Underlining the word, not skipping anything, will boost your reading speed 25 to 50% across the board.

Jim:
Just trying it, just trying it now, not taking the time here but if everyone just picked up a book, read for 60 seconds how they normally would read, count the number of lines and then continue reading with your finger, just underlining. Not touching the screen, not touching the paper, but just right above it, using your eyes and just kind of pacing back and forth, that can count the number of lines in 60 seconds with your visual pacer, that second number will be about a 25, 50% lift. Which is incredible. How many people would love to get 50% on their investments last year? Reading takes time and time is money. Using this will help not only with your speed, because a lot of times people are slow because they back skip. They reread words which is a really bad habit, so this gets you to go through the information and because you have better focus, you tend to understand the information better and also retain it as well.

Jim:
I actually, in my Instagram profile I just put a link there, I’ll make sure it’s there at the time of this broadcast where people can take a free MasterClass, absolutely free. They just bring a book online, schedule it, do it and I’ll walk you through this process.

Brandon:
That makes sense. I think when I was younger I used to read every single solitary word on the page. Today, even reading your chapter on speed reading in the book, I realized I do a lot of that so my speed… I probably read, I don’t know, 500 words a minute now because I’m using that exact same philosophy and exact same thing. It really works.

Jim:
Yeah, the average person reads about 200, 250 words per minute. If you can do something at 500 words a minute that means, the average person has to read about four hours a day. Just think about what you have to process in a day, not just books but emails, social media, all that reading, you save two hours a day like you’re doing over the course of a year, that’s like 730 hours. Even if you save one hour a day over the course of a year, 365 hours. How many 40 hour work weeks is that? Like nine? You get over two months of productivity saving one hour a day on something ubiquitous as reading.

Jim:
That’s an incredible advantage in today’s economy.

Brandon:
Yeah, 100%. 100%. I want to shift to one more topic and that is the idea of memory. In other words, how to remember more things like people’s names. In real estate especially, we’re always networking, talking to people, trying to put together deals, and I am… there’s an I am theme, I am terrible at remembering people’s names. I’ve said that for years and as a result I am terrible at remembering people’s names. I’m like the guy that will never say somebody’s name. I’ll be like, “Hey bro, what’s up dude?”

Brandon:
Even people I know, I’ll hardly ever say their name just in case I screw that up and I don’t want them to think bad about me. What tips do you have for that?

Jim:
We want to erase that for sure. I believe that a name is the sweetest sound to a persons ears We heard that through the ages. What’s a message we send to somebody when we forget their name?

David:
You don’t matter.

Jim:
Yeah, they don’t matter. That they’re not important. Really, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. If we’re communicating to them like we don’t care enough just to remember their name, how are you going to show you’re going to care for their future, their family, their finances, their property? Whatever it is we have to offer them, if we don’t care enough just to remember them. Here’s the thing, people remember people who remember them. It’s what you know, right? The success is three things, success is what you know so that’s why learning faster is such an advantage, but it’s also who you know and who you remember. It’s not only that, it’s also who knows you. When you can walk into a room and meet 20 strangers and leave saying goodbye to every single one of them by name, who are they all going to remember? They’re going to remember you.

Jim:
That’s a stand out skill. It’s such a rarity nowadays because everybody suffers from digital dementia, meaning you put everything in your phone, it keeps your to-do’s, your calendars. How many phone numbers did you guys know growing up? How many phone numbers did you use?

David:
A ton.

Jim:
A lot. How many phone numbers do you know right now? Current numbers?

Brandon:
I know my wife’s number, that’s it.

Jim:
Right, and most people don’t even know that. Here’s the thing because I train at Facebook, at Google, at Nike, all these places. At Google I’ll say this and they’re like, “Well Jim, why do I have to remember all this? We created the search engine, you might have heard of.” They’re organizing the information, but here’s the thing, we talked about your life is a reflection of all the decisions you’ve made to this point, but we can only make a good decision based on information that we know. That presupposes we remember it. That’s why forgetting things could cost us a lot.

Jim:
I’m very passionate about this because I lost my grandmother to Alzheimer’s and to dementia, and she was my caregiver growing up as a child because my parents had all these jobs and everything. We donated 100% of the proceeds of this book to Alzheimer’s research and to build schools for children in need. 100%, we just did another 50K for Pencils of Promise. Built higher school, classrooms, teachers, everything because that’s our mission in doing this, in the work that we do. Going back to the power of your memory, memory is not just remembering facts, figures, foreign languages as we talk about in the book, it’s about remembering your life. It’s about remembering your loved ones. If you know someone who has dementia or Alzheimer’s, when you lose your memory it feels like they’re losing their humanity. The things that binds our world together.

Jim:
What I’ve discovered is there’s no such thing as a good or bad memory, there’s a trained memory and an untrained memory. This book is endorsed by the director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Brain Health. The top Alzheimer’s researcher at Harvard University, I train at these institutions and we found that one third of our memory’s predetermined by genetics and biology, but two thirds is in our control. What I would love to do is tell you about that two thirds, move the needle for all of us, especially to be able to remember names and remember client information, product information, property information and so on.

Jim:
Here are three keys to a better memory everyone. If they can, take notes because there’s a learning curve but there’s also a forgetting curve. This is kind of like a little MasterClass on a big brain upgrade for everybody. Within two days, a forgetting curve says that you’re going to lose upwards of 80% of something your fear wants. Which is tragic guys. If you’re a podcast, you read something, within two days, 80% of it could be gone. How do you mitigate that through these techniques? And start by taking notes.

Jim:
Everyone remember MOM. If you want a better memory, M-O-M. I’m going to pull out the acronyms, a lot of them. Ready? Let’s say somebody has trouble remembering names. So Brandon, you have trouble remembering names, that’s 90% of the population, but lets say there was a suitcase $10 million cash for you, it’s from [inaudible 00:23:55], for you or your favorite charity if you just remember the name of the next stranger you meet. Who’s going to remember that persons name for $10 million?

Brandon:
For sure. For sure.

Jim:
Everybody. Everybody listening is going to be able to do that. How come everyone’s a memory expert all the sudden where before they said they’re horrible with names? It’s because what technique did you use? Nothing. The M in MOM stands for motivation. I really do believe that a big part of success is understanding your own motivation and the motivation of the people around you. Motivating your team, motivating your kids, it could be motivating a perspective client to buy something. Motivation, we talk about it in a whole section of the book, The Key to [inaudible 00:24:38], everything. Fundamentally, motive for action is your why. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to remember this persons name?” Simple thing like asking yourself, “Why do I want to remember this persons name?” Maybe to show the person respect, maybe it’s to do a deal, maybe it’s to practice these things I learned on this podcast. If you can’t come up with a reason, you won’t get the results. Reasons reap results.

Jim:
I’ll tell you, if somebody’s listening to this and they are making excuses and they are complaining, where’s your why? What’s tapping your heart? What’s your purpose? Who’s counting on you to play your A game today? Sometimes we disassociate, we try to distract ourselves by whatever, whether we eat, or we watch, or whatever. But the reality is… here’s something, I’m going to drop a couple names here. Not to name drop but because it will be memorable for everybody. Years ago I get a call, there’s a big fight, you guys know it, it’s Mayweather Pacquiao and I get a message from Sylvester Stallone. He’s like, “Do you want to watch the match together?” I’m like, “Do I want to watch the biggest boxing match in history with Rocky? Definitely.” I go to his home and I’m sitting on his couch and get this, I’m sitting here and Sylvester Stallone is sitting right next to me and to his left on the other side is Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Jim:
I swear to God, if somebody took a picture of that couch, people would be like, “Who photoshopped that idiot in that picture?” Because it just doesn’t belong. But I watched the match and you guys saw it, it was what it was, but then I was just like, “What does it take guys to be that good? $300 million, what’s it take to be a champion?” I’ll always remember what Arnold said, he said, “Jim, the difference between a champion and an amateur is a champion is willing to push past the pain period.” I was just like… that’s interesting how you talk about pleasure and pain because I remember asking Stallone right after that about something, he asked me what I was working on and I told him a project, and I said, “Should I do it?” And he had the same languaging. He said, “Will the rewards or the pleasure, be worth the pain?”

Jim:
You think about building a muscle or anything else and it’s always those last reps that we least want to do but we get the most growth out of. Sometimes finding your reason will give you enough purpose to get through those hard times to develop grip. So purpose. Motivation, first thing, if I want to remember something I read or listen to on a podcast, or someone’s name, ask myself why. If you don’t come up with a reason you probably shouldn’t be doing it or you definitely won’t get the results.

Jim:
The O in MOM, people are watching this on YouTube?

Brandon:
Yeah.

David:
Yep. Yep.

Jim:
Okay, so do this with me guys, shake out your hand like this. Both of you, shake out your hands and make a fist, and then put it to your chin. Where’s our chin? It’s funny because I do it in audience, to people listening in audio, I put it to my cheek. It’s interesting because the O in MOM stands for observation. A lot of times people blame their retention when they forget a name when it’s not your retention, it’s us paying attention. The art of memory is the art of attention. The art of memory is the art of attention. Often we’re not really listening to somebody, we’re thinking about how we’re going to respond.

Jim:
We’re waiting for our turn to speak. Even if you write down a simple word like listen, and scramble the letters, it spells another word perfectly. It’s like a brain teaser. It spells the word silent. I feel like a lot of people, even family, friends, they don’t want our gifts but they want our presence. I think those that I’ve noticed that have a powerful presence, they also have an incredible memory because they’re powerfully present. Their incredible memory and their powerful presence comes from being powerfully present with people. Who can do that? We can all do that and show the person more presence.

Jim:
People feel that. Maya Angelo, the famous poet, she said, “People will forget what you say, they’ll forget what you did, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel.” The O is observation. Motivation, observation, and the last M in MOM, methods. Methods for doing it. I put it last only because 80% of success, I don’t know if could be found in your industry, is really psychology.

Brandon:
For sure.

Jim:
It’s that mindset, it’s their drive and motivation. The mechanics people know, how many podcast people have you listened to to know how to do this or even how to have six pack abs? The methods are clear, the common sense is not common practice. Knowledge, we talk about lies, another lie is knowledge is power. It’s not, at best knowledge is potential power. It only becomes power when we utilize it, but the truth is all the podcasts, all the books, all the online programs, all the coaching, none of it works unless you work.

Jim:
Methods are really simple, I’ll give it to people right now and you can write them down. I’ll give you 10 tips for a better brain. This will be worth it right here. I feel like if people just got this part of it, it could change everything. It could take you to next level of your learning and also your life. Remember I said two thirds of your memory’s predetermined by lifestyle, is in your control? I’m going to share with everyone really quickly, 10 keys for having a limitless brain. Again, when you upgrade this software here, this operating system, everything in your life improves. Not just financially, but all the treasures of your life.

Jim:
What I’m going to ask everyone to do is turn this into an assessment. I believe self awareness is a super power. Rate yourself on a scale of 0 to 10, how much energy you’re putting into these 10 things. I’m going to give everyone 10 quick tips for having a better brain and I promise people a difference also, and a better life.

Jim:
The first one is a good brain diet. On a scale of 0 to 10, how good is your diet? People can search this and I teach people how to memorize these lists and everything else like that online. We have our own podcast, all these downloads for it but I would say that some of the most famous ones in the area of nutrition, avocados, blueberries, I call them brain berries. Broccoli, olive oil is good for the brain. Eggs if your diet allows, the choline in eggs is good for your brain. Green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach. Wild salmon, sardines. Your brains mostly fat so the fish oils are big. Turmeric it helps to lower inflammation. You can make an almond milk with turmeric, it’s really good for you. Walnuts, good for the brain, looks like a human brain. And dark chocolate, not milk chocolate, but dark chocolate’s good for your brain. Number two, besides a good brain diet, on the opposite side, the things that are bad, processed foods, fried foods, high sugar foods, really bad for the brain. What you eat matters especially for your brain matter. 0 to 10, how good’s your brain diet?

Jim:
Number two, we’ve talked about, killing ants. Killing ants is actually clinically proven to be good for your brain. ANTS, is obviously an acronym. [crosstalk 00:31:44]

Brandon:
I was going to say, ants?

Jim:
Dr. Daniel Amen who wrote Change your Brain, Change your Life. ANTS stands for automatic negative thoughts. On a scale of 0 to 10, how good and positive, and encouraging are your thoughts? I would just remind everybody about their things, if you think you can, think you can’t, either way you’re right. Henry Ford said that. That 0 to 10, 10 being great.

Jim:
Third one, exercise. This is a big one. I don’t just mean CrossFit three times a week, or Pilates, whatever. Moving. We’re stuck behind screens all day, they say sitting is the new smoking. No judgment but it’s just… we’re not getting the movement. You know that Steve Jobs was famous for doing his walking meetings, very creative. Come up with solutions. We know as your body moves, your brain grooves. If you listen to this podcast, or an audiobook when you’re going on a walk on the beach or walking in the park, or something elliptical that’s rhythmic, you’ll actually retain it and understand it better. When you move you create brain derived neurotropic factors. Fancy words, B, D, and F which is fertilizer for your brain. On a scale of 0 to 10, how much are you moving? I recommend every 30 minutes, an hour, just get up and just stretch. Do some jumping jacks. If it’s good for your heart, it’s going to be good for your head.

Jim:
Number four, brain nutrients. I always prefer you get your nutrients from food. Talk to your health practitioner, nutritionist, talk to a real medicine doctor, get a nutrient profile. If you’re lacking key vitamins and minerals, your brain is not going to be working at best. The number one nutrient I would say, Omega 3’s, DHA, that’s what we talked about, that fish help. The central fatty acids, Omega 3’s. That’s number four.

Jim:
All right, the rest really fast. Number five, positive peer group. You’ve heard this, many of your guests have talked about this. You are the average of the five people you spend time with. I’ll tell you from a brain perspective why that’s true, we have these things called mirror neurons. Mirror neurons are like a mirror, imitates. If you ever notice people who have been together for a long time, they tend to look like each other, because they start adapting the same gestures, the same language, the same habits and behaviors. I always tell people to watch W-A-T-C-H. W stands for words, we start using the words of people around us. A, actions. The T, thoughts or things. C, your character. And H, your habits. First you create your habits, and then your habits create you. You create your habits of moving and breathing and hydrating and mediating, and those habits create you back.

Jim:
We start adapting and adopting those five things from people around us too, so that’s why they say if you spend time with nine broke people, be careful because you’re number 10. Who are we spending time with? Sometimes our friends and family are the ones that pull us down because we give them the power to do so. It’s not necessarily true but they maybe have good intentions, they don’t want you to get hurt, they’re like, “Why are you always listening to that podcast with those two guys? Or why are you reading those books?” But maybe they have good intent, they don’t want you to get your hopes up. They don’t want to lose you because you’re growing. But the truth is they can be sincere, but they can be sincerely wrong too. Monitor your positive peer group. We all need people to encourage us, challenge us, cheerlead for us. If you haven’t found that person yet, be that person for somebody else. Especially be that person for yourself. That’s number five. 0 to 10, if you’re around energy vampires, people stealing your dreams, stealing your energy, we’re going to be stuck.

Jim:
Number six, clean environment. Your brain loves a clean environment meaning that when you make your bed… I have this video, millions of views. It’s just Jim Kwik’s morning routine. Very popular podcast episode but I do. Tim [inaudible 00:35:27]has his, Oprah has hers, mine is about getting your brain right and different things I do in the morning that don’t take a lot of time, you can do with your kids. But making your bed, because you train the first thing excellent, and then you take that excellence into other things in terms of your calls. [crosstalk 00:35:42]

Brandon:
It’s like how you do anything is how you do everything.

Jim:
Exactly. Excellence is a habit. Also, clean environment, your brain loves that clean environment. Imagine you come back at the end of the day to a well made bed, you come back to success. In the military you make that bed impeccable. It’s centimeters and angles. We take that same level of discipline and pride into the things we do. Clean environment. You clean your desktop, all the sudden you have clarity of thought, everything’s where it needs to be.

Jim:
Number seven, big one for everyone, sleep. Sleep. How is your brain the next day when you get a bad nights sleep? How’s your focus? How’s your ability to make good decisions? To solve problems? How’s your memory? Prioritize your sleep, in the book we talk about extensively how to optimize your sleep. It’s where you clean out plaque that leads to brain aging challenges like Alzheimer’s. It’s where you consolidate short to long term memory. If you have long term memory issues, check your sleep. It’s also where you dream. Do you know Paul McCartney created Yesterday in his dream?

Brandon:
No way.

Jim:
Yeah. Mary Shelley created Frankenstein in her dream. It’s amazing, your dreams, your brain doesn’t shut off at night, that’s why the first thing I do is I remember my dreams in the morning, I show people how to do that and people can find that free online also as well.

Jim:
Finally, after sleep, eight, nine and ten. Eight, brain protection. Protect your brain, even though I love competitive sports and UFC and everything else, I’m just like, “Oh man, that guys brain… those concussions aren’t good for your brain.” It’s very resilient but it’s also very fragile. Wear a helmet. On a scale of 0… I had three traumatic brain injuries before the age of 12. Take care of your brain.

Jim:
Finally, nine and ten, nine is new learnings. People ask what’s the thorough line behind all success, these people are dedicated to lifelong learning. They’re avid readers, I just did an Insta story with Will Smith who did the cover quote for the book. I was like, “What’s two things you do to keep you at your best?” He was like, “I run and I read. I have to do something physical and something mental every single day.” I would say, human beings are the ultimate adaption machine. We adapt to stress. We adapt to challenge. With challenge comes change and challenge yourself each day, especially with your learnings.

Jim:
There’s a study done on longevity with these nuns, they were living 80, 90 and above, they said the secret to longevity, half of it was their emotional faith, their gratitude. But the other half, they were life long learners. Because of it, it added years to their life and life to their years. It was on the cover of Time Magazine. The story was called Aging with Grace, very, very beautiful. A lot of love and faith there. That’s number nine.

Jim:
Finally, ten, stress management. If we could talk about what’s going on with the world and chronic stress, it shrinks your brain. It puts you in fight or flight or freeze, but you’re not going to build your real estate empire, you’re not going to get to next level if you’re just stressed all the time. Your flight, or freezing. What do you do to cope with stress? On a scale of 0 to 10, how well are you coping? My go to is 10, 20 minutes of meditation. People are like, “I don’t have 20 minutes,” if you don’t have 20 minutes, you have to meditate for like an hour. If your life is so, so busy like that. Meditation by the way, and I talk about my process in there, online you can find it, quick meditation. It’s not about controlling your thoughts, that’s what people think it is, but you can’t control your thoughts any more than you can control your heart from beating.

Jim:
The goal is not to control your thoughts, the goal is not to let your thoughts control you. When you’re quiet, you focus on your breath or some kind of word or mantra, you exercise your focus. You bring it back from the world of distraction. That shows up when you need to read, or when you need to do sales calls or presentations or investor meetings and so on.

Jim:
Those are the 10 keys for having a limitless brain. You can do all of them, if you’re neglecting your sleep you’re going to wonder why you’re not getting the results. If you’re around a lot of energy vampires, or eating a big processed meal and you’re in a food coma, everyone wants to know what the magic pill is, there’s no pill but there is this process.

Brandon:
That’s so good man. That’s so good. That’s one of those, I want everyone to rewind the last five or ten minutes here and listen to those ten again. Put those into practice, you will be a different person. You talked about earlier Jim, see I used your name there? That’s pretty good.

Jim:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Brandon:
I had this fear for half a second like, “What if I got his name wrong?” Happens. You mentioned if you would have taken a step in the other direction you would have ended up somewhere totally different right? I like to think, if you put those ten things into practice right now, and none of them are super complicated things, just good advice. If you put that in five years from now, you’re going to be a completely different person. It’s amazing what those little changes will do. Very cool man.

David:
I think something I really like about what you shared Jim is you talk about the brain very similar to how athletes talk about the body. If I didn’t know that you were speaking about the mind and I was just listening to this podcast, I could absolutely believe you’re talking about ways you break down muscles and they build up stronger and form your body to form specific functions by the way that you train yourself. Challenge brings change, you have to put yourself under stress and you will adapt.

David:
I think its fascinating and it’s incredibly empowering concept that if you don’t like your body, we all know you can change it. That’s because it can be seen, you can’t see what your brain is doing but you can see the results that come from it and this is very similar.

Jim:
I love that so much. That’s such a powerful observation. It’s one of those things, I wear a brain… if people watch this on video, I have a brain on my shirt.

David:
Oh yeah, right.

Jim:
I always have this in most photos everything, and the reason why I do is because you’re exactly right. What you see, it’s in our awareness because if it’s in our awareness we tend to take better care of it. Some people could see their skin, they could see their car, they could see their home, whatever you see you tend to take care of. But we don’t see the thing that controls everything. I always wear these shirts just… you wear your emotions on your sleeves, maybe you wear your genius on your chest.

Jim:
Absolutely, people have been calling me a brain coach for years, and it’s like, “Wow, that’s really accurate,” because what does a personal trainer do? They get your muscles, they get your bodies stronger, fitter, more agile, more energized, more flexible. I want your mental muscles to be stronger, more energized, greater endurance, more flexible also as well. I want it to be faster, these mental muscles. I like to take people to the mental gym if you will. The brain is part of the body, it’s an organ but it acts more like a muscle. It says here on my shirt, it says use it or lose it. If I put my arm in a sling for six months, it wouldn’t go stronger. It wouldn’t even stay the same, it would actually grow weaker. [crosstalk 00:42:26]

David:
It would atrophy.

Jim:
That’s where people’s cognitive decline comes from. Usually when they graduate school because then they think, “Oh, my learning is done because my education is done,” there’s a dip. And when they retire, because often when people retire, they retire their minds also as well. Their bodies not far behind.

David:
That’s such a good point because most of our bodies do fall apart with old age. We got out of the sport we played, or we got out of whatever we were doing, we got in a relationship, we got content. You let your body fall apart. It would make sense the mind would do the same thing. Thank you Jim, this has been, pardon the pun, mind blowing to get to talk to you here today and some of the information you shared.

David:
For people that are at the edge of their seats and they just want to know more, where can they find out more about you?

Jim:
For podcast listeners we have our own podcast, it’s 15 minutes long and you can just search Jim Kwik on your podcast app and you’ll see it there. Or you can go to Kwik Brain. Most people go to Kwik Brain, you just have to spell it right. Kwik really is my last name but it’s spelled K-W-I-K, brain.com. There they’ll also get access to videos where I’ll take people on stage and show you how I remember their names through different techniques.

Brandon:
That’s awesome.

Jim:
Then on the book, Limitlessbook.com if you’re interested or you like to read. Audiobook, ebook, or print book. Limitlessbook.com, we donate the proceeds to charity. It’s just like an owners manual for your brain. Then the last things on social media, if we’re connected, I would challenge actually everybody here to take a screenshot of whatever you’re watching or listening to. I’ll give you the last brain hack, if you want to learn any subject or skill faster, and we already talked about is the ultimate advantage, you can learn faster, you can apply it towards money, Mandoran, martial arts, music, everything gets easier, right? Mobile home, everything gets easier.

Jim:
What you can do is learn it with the intention of teaching somebody else. They call it the explanation effect. The explanation effect says that if you learn something, to explain it to somebody else, you learn it twice as well. I encourage everyone to take a screenshot of this episode and tag the three of us on social media and post it, but also post what you got out of this. One thing you’re going to do for a limitless brain, what’s one thing? Maybe it’s that brain food, I’m going to go out and get some of that dark chocolate or avocados. Maybe I’m going to control my thoughts, maybe I’m going to do ten minutes of exercise a day just to break it up, some jump rope, some jumping jacks. Maybe I’m going to get those brain vitamins, those Omega 3’s. Maybe I’m just going to as we start another month or whatever, I’m going to unsubscribe to the negativity of some of these peer groups that I’m in. Maybe I’m going to clean my room.

Jim:
Small simple steps. Remember this, little by little, a little becomes a lot. Inch by inch it’s a cinch, yard by yard is too hard. You don’t have to do everything, just something. Post it, tag us in it that way I see it. I’ll repost some of my favorites, I’ll actually send a copy of the book to one person. Just as a thank you because I really appreciate anyone who watches this, I know you have a very dynamic community. Everyone here’s already a lifelong learner, they wouldn’t be listening to this if they weren’t. I believe that we’re all on this journey together. The journey we’re on together is to reveal and to realize our fullest potential. I believe there’s a version of you that you haven’t met yet and our goal is to keep showing up until we’re introduced to that person.

Jim:
I always tell people, this is the most quoted thing I say on Twitter and everything. Life is like an egg, 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. I believe everybody’s listening, if you’re listening to this, you have greatness inside of you. You have genius inside of you. Now’s the time to let it out. You don’t want to downgrade your dreams to meet this current situation. You want to upgrade your mindset, your motivation, your skills to be able to meet [inaudible 00:46:16]dreams.

Brandon:
That’s so good man. Thank you so much for being a part of this today, this was awesome. I encourage everyone to go pick up a copy of Limitless, it is amazing. It’s one of those if you change the fuel that goes into your body, it’s going to effect every part of your life. This is the fuel that goes into your brain, this is how we improve our brain. If you’re trying to improve your relationships, your parenting, your wealth, whatever it is, your body, all that stuff is improved by fixing and improving your brain. Thank you for writing this, and thanks for joining us today.

Jim:
Thank you both so much.

David:
All right, awesome. It’s been great Jim. This is David Green for BrandIn, glad he at least remembers my name, Turner, signing off.

Outro:
You’re listening to Bigger Pockets Radio. Simplifying real estate for investors large and small. If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing, without all the hype you’re in the right place. Be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from biggerpockets.com. Your home for real estate investing online.

 

 

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • How Jim recovered from a traumatic brain injury as a child
  • Why school teaches us what to learn, but not how to learn
  • Increasing your reading speed so you can finish tasks faster
  • How to remember important things like names, addresses, and phone numbers
  • The 3 keys to a better memory
  • The 10 tips for a limitless brain (including diet, exercise, and learning)
  • How to learn anything faster (no matter what it is!)
  • And SO Much More!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show:

Connect with Jim :

Real strategies that work for real people seeking to build wealth through real estate investments. Co-hosted by Brandon Turner and David Greene, this podcast provides actionable advice from investors and other real estate professionals, who chat about failures, successes, motivations, and lessons learned.
    Jonathon Nila New to Real Estate from Modesto
    Replied 8 days ago
    Dammm good episode!