It takes a lot to impress a visionary like Elon Musk.
But after bonding with the billionaire over science fiction books like The Lord of the Rings and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Series, brain coach Jim Kwik found himself agreeing to teach his tactics to some of SpaceX’s researchers and rocket scientists.
“I think leaders are readers. (Musk) brought me in because he realised, (like) the most successful people on the planet realise, that in order to be successful, you have to always be learning,” Kwik told CNBC.
The Kwik Learning founder is a leading expert in speed-reading, memory improvement, brain performance and accelerated learning. After a childhood brain injury left him learning-challenged, Kwik created strategies to enhance his mental performance.
For more than two decades, he has served as the brain coach to students, seniors, entrepreneurs and educators, and as an advisor to many of the world’s leading CEOs and celebrities.
Kwik’s clients include the likes of Google, Virgin, Nike, NYU, Fox Studios, CalTech, Harvard, and Singularity University.
In his New York Times’ bestselling book, Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life, Kwik explains how to change your mindset, motivation and methods to expand the mind and accomplish more.
Here are some of Kwik’s top tips for learning anything faster:
Mindset | Kill your ANTs
To flip your mindset, it’s important to combat all those “automatic negative thoughts” (or ANTs) that tell you that tell you can’t learn something new.
“If you regularly tell yourself that you can’t do something, or that you’re too old to do something, or that you don’t have the smarts to do something, you won’t do that thing,” Kwik writes.
To eliminate ANTs, Kwik suggests talking back to them. Identify what you want in every aspect of your life, so you can move from negative thinking to positive possibilities.
Motivation | Eat ‘brain foods’
Poor eating choices can lead to fatigue, increased stress and depression, poor mental health, irritability, and decreased productivity and energy.
Kwik suggests eating one serving daily of what he calls ‘brain foods’:
- Dark chocolate
- Green leafy vegetables
- Salmon, sardines or caviar
Method | Embrace the power of reading
“I think leaders are readers,” says Kwik.
“There’s power to reading (and) these benefits compound over time. The key is consistency.”
He’s not the only one who thinks so. It’s said that a young Elon Musk read for 10 hours each day before growing up to become the Tesla CEO. Meanwhile, former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates apparently reads 50 books a year and fellow billionaire Warren Buffett reads at least 500 pages of content a day.
Kwik suggests setting a daily reading goal, even if it’s just for 10 minutes to start. Pick a book you’ve always wanted to read, put away any distractions and set a timer. He also suggests reading with a visual pacer to help move your eyes across the page, such as a bookmark or you can use your finger.
“Reading is great exercise for your mind. Remember, you can download decades of experience by reading just one book,” Kwik writes.