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Limitless

Favorite Quote: Don’t take criticism from someone you wouldn’t take advice from.

Sign up for his free speed-reading online masterclass at www.jimkwik.com/reading (I haven’t yet taken it, if you have, send me a message with your observations).

I read this quote a fourth of the way through the book: “I’m going to share much of that method with you in the book.” (The referenced method is how to easily memorize information.) It’s like, dude. Enough. I bought your book. You don’t need to sell me. I’ve literally purchased and read a fifth of your book, get to the damn actionable advice already!

I had to wait until Chapter 8 for this actionable information. The first third of the book has taken the approach that the reader first needs to be built up and given confidence in their abilities. Time and time again the author references limiting beliefs and such. If you don’t suffer any prior traumatic psychological issues that you can’t over on your own (as the author had), I think you can skip this portion. And, I’m no genius. In fact, I think my learning abilities are average.

I enjoyed the part about brain foods, though, with the exception of Tumeric, I’d consider them all relatively obvious, healthfood options (blueberries, avocado, leafy greens, water, etc.).

One of the most intriguing concepts in the book is the Fogg behavioral Model which says for a behavior to happen three things need to happen: trigger, ability, motivation. Let’s say there’s a raffle and you win. It’s $10 and you win, but you’re not a good dancer. You decide not to embarasse yourself in front of a big crowd. In this case, the trigger was you winning, you have the ability to dance (though you may not be skillful), but you lacked the motivation. Let’s say, now, the prize is $1,000. The increase in price money gives you motivation and you dance.

The author provides a strategy to remember your dreams. Dreams are an expression of your subconscious mind.

  • D (Decide): the night before set a conscious intention to remember your dreams
  • R (Record): write down whatever you remember of your dreams the night before
  • E (Eyes): keep your eyes closed upon waking, it will help you remember
  • A (Affirm): prior to bed and after the intention in ‘D’, affirm that you will remember your dreams
  • M (Manage): manage your sleep routine for consistency and optimacy
  • S (Share): talk to someone about your dreams, this will bring more to the surface

The author recommends some things for better minds:

  • a glass of celery juice and probiotics in the morning and/or before you start working.
  • meditation, specifically Ziva Meditation.
  • rubbing essential oil on your wrist while you are learning and just before the test. Smell brings back memories.
  • scent of rosemary to improve memory and peppermint/lemon to promote concentration

Probably the most enlightening chapter was Chapter 9: Small Simple Steps as it provided information on habits or behaviors and how to form them. Basically, everybody wants to eliminate a bad habit and form a good habit. A habit is a behavior. And a behavior happens when three criteria are satisfied: motivation, ability, trigger.

There are three types of motivation: pleasure/pain, hope/fear, social acceptance/rejection.

Ability is really simplicity. When something is simple, we’re more likely to do it (think your taxes every year). There are six categories of simplicity:

  1. Time: we have the time available to perform
  2. Money: financial ability
  3. Physical effort: physically easy
  4. Brain cycles: simple things require less thinking, we shy away from things that require us to think too hard
  5. Social deviance: a simple act fits into social norms (this is connected with acceptance motivation)
  6. Nonroutine: the further taken from your normal routine, the less simple (think the trainer asking you to change your diet, go to the gym 6x per week, and no more sweets or alcohol versus starting the gym once per week)

Finally, there are three types of triggers:

  1. Spark: a trigger that immediately leads to motivation (alarm clock beeps, you fear getting to work late so your behavior is to wake up)
  2. Facilitator: works well with high motivation, but low ability (ie you want to learn to play the drums with zero musical training)
  3. Signal: when you have high motivation and ability, you only need a reminder (for me, it’s handstands. The gym is my signal)

You can use the above to form a habit, but you can also use it to break a habit. Think of a habit you don’t like? How about checking your phone in the middle of the night. Why do you do that? The phone is nearby (ability), the pleasure from notifications (motivation), and the trigger (probably a combination of the dopamine and sight of the phone).

Exponential thinking is a neat concept. Essentially, it’s creativity at its core. How easily can you connect the dots between two seemingly unrelated things.

The two bonus chapters are unavailable on his website. In fact, so is his list of brain supplements.

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