Limitless by Jim Kwik

3 Bullet Book: 2020, book #51: “I don’t look at life as balance, I look at it as a symphony. Every musician isn’t playing for the same amount of time but they all come in at the right moment and make this incredible art.” — Jim Kwik

Finished on July 17, 2020

I had been following Jim for a little while on Instagram when he released his book. There are a group of people that I follow closely on Instagram and they ALL recommended his book. When a circle like that recommends a book, I always listen. This book was excellent. There were a number of key points that I took away from the book and there were a number of segments that affirmed things I already implement in my life.

The 3 Bullets

1. Many people know about SMART goals, those that are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-based, but not as many know about HEART goals. Here is what Jim outlined, Healthy, Enduring, Alluring, Relevant, True. When we think about setting goals, we should really be thinking about the goals that are going to be sustainable and beneficial over the long term. It’s one thing to accomplish some goals over the course of a few months but another entirely to have goals that you can achieve over a lifetime that continue to add to you and push you forward.

2. Jim dove into the concept of competence. Most people leave it competent or not but it’s much deeper than that. There are the two types of incompetence — one you know about and one you are ignorant or naive towards. Then there’s the type of competence that most people refer to, that of conscious competence. This is when we can do something and do something well yet, we must do it actively. The fourth level of competence that Jim spoke about is that of unconscious competence. We know how to do something competently and we do so as though it were second nature. I have found that many people I encounter don’t even strive to get to the fourth level. Far too many people are comfortable or even content with being good at something and stopping there. We were created for more.

3. The person that Jim is throughout his life was evidenced in various areas throughout the book. He is someone who values efficiency and the subject matter that he focuses on empowers his readers to use a lot of the actionable information. Jim iterates, “there is no thing as a bad memory. It’s a trained memory or an untrained memory.” It’s up to us to work on ourselves and develop and maintain our minds at their best. Lots of people do lots of things but many are not productive or beneficial for them.

3 keys to overcoming limiting beliefs:

1. Name your limiting beliefs.
2. Get to the facts. What is the evidence? Rather than focusing on how you felt, focus on what happened.
3. Create a new belief.

When you critique yourself, create a new character, somebody separate from yourself.

Pay attention to the way that you talk. A fixed mindset usually shows up when you say things like, “I’m not good at that.” Rather say, “this is something I’m not good at yet.” Pívot to the growth mindset.

Mistakes have often been viewed as proof of failure but should rather be seen as proof of trying. Mistakes are a sign that you are trying something new. You make mistakes; mistakes do NOT make you.

Motivation = purpose x energy x small simple steps (S3)

This gets us to a flow state

SMART goals

Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-based

HEART goals

Healthy, Enduring, Alluring, Relevant, True

To have great focus: The most important thing is to keep the most important thing the most important thing. That is the essence of focus.

“I don’t look at life as balance, I look at it as a symphony. Every musician isn’t playing for the same amount of time but they all come in at the right moment and make this incredible art.” — Jim Kwik

4 levels of competence:

1. Unconscious incompetence: you are not aware of what you don’t know.
2. Conscious incompetence: you’re aware of what you don’t know. You may know what it takes to gain competence but have not taken the necessary actions to become competent.
3. Conscious competence: you have the capacity to act with competence but only when you do so intentionally; it takes effort. You can do it but it takes work.
4. Unconscious competence: you know how to perform a skill and it’s second nature. The key to go from conscious competence to unconscious competence is to practice and study.

7 habits that improve studying:

1. Employ active recall — review the material then actively determine how much you remember right away.
2. Employ spaced repetition — spacing out review times forces learning to be effortful.
3. Manage the state you’re in — be aware of your mood AND your posture.
4. Use your sense of smell — smells are especially effective at bringing memories to the front of our brain.
5. Music for the mind — there is a connection between music and mood and mood and learning. Baroque music in particular, with BPM of 50–80 has been shown to be especially effective because it puts the brain in an alpha wave state.
6. Listen with your whole brain — the human brain has the capacity to digest up to 400 WPM of information but the average New York speaker talks at about 125 WPM. This means that 3/4 of your brain could be doing something else while someone is speaking to you. HEAR: Halt. Empathize. Anticipate. Review.
7. Take note of taking notes — understand the purpose of taking notes. Use your own words do you process what you’re hearing while you listen. Capture and create; write notes and include your response to them.

Remembering names:

Say it
Ask (where it came from)
End (the conversation by saying their name)

“There is no thing as a bad memory. It’s a trained memory or an untrained memory.” — Jim Kwik

Speed readers don’t read every individual word, they read groups of words and anticipate what words are coming. They are able to speed through nonessential material and slow down or even re-reading exciting and important information. Flexibility is power. Using your finger as a guide can increase your reading rate 25–100%. Do not touch the page, highlight the words.

“If you’re persistent, you can achieve it. If you’re consistent, you can keep it.” — Jim Kwik

I gave this book a 3.5/5

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