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Book Summary – Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life

Human potential is infinite. There are no limits on your creativity, imagination, and abilities, except those that you impose on yourself. Limitless by Jim Kwik shares principles and strategies to unlock your brainpower and performance.  In this Limitless summary, you’ll learn how your brain works and how to harness your unlimited potential by addressing 3Ms: Mindset, Motivation, and Methods. The ideas and strategies are ideal for learners, professionals, or anyone who’s interested to improve your learning strategies and approach.

Becoming Limitless: An Overview

Jim Kwik’s journey began with a childhood brain injury that severely impeded his ability to learn. For years, he believed that he couldn’t learn properly because his brain was “broken”. Then, he started to read widely about brain sciences, educational psychology, and meta-learning, and realized that he could transform his brain and learning abilities.

After years of learning and trying various strategies and techniques, he overcame his learning difficulties to become an expert in memory, brain performance, and accelerated learning. In this book, he presents actionable insights that can help anyone to improve their mental performance.

Overcoming 3 Key Barriers

Specifically, there are 3 barriers that could hinder individual, group or organizational potential:

Mindset, or self-limiting beliefs and assumptions;
Motivation: A lack of purpose to drive the required action; and
Methods: Ineffective approaches that hinder results.

Read on for more on these 3 barriers below.

Tapping into Your Limitless Potential: Overall Strategies

To tap into your unlimited brain, you must first understand how it works. The brain is not fixed, but instead rewires itself constantly with neuroplasticity. Every thought or action forges new neural pathways or strengthen existing ones, which means you can shape your brain throughout your life.

Jim Kwik shared several learning tips that you can apply right away to tap on your brain’s inherent rhythms and functions.

The Pomodoro Technique

Our concentration tends to decline after 10-40 minutes. To avoid diminishing returns in learning, use the Pomodoro technique developed by Francesco Cirillo.

• Basically, spend 25 minutes on any task, then take a 5 minute break before repeating the cycle.

• Such spaced repetition (repeated learning at intervals) enhances retention by leveraging the primary and recency effects, i.e. our tendency to remember the start and end of a study session.

The FASTER Method

Use the “FASTER method” to accelerate learning.
Forget: In order to absorb new information, set aside any distractions, limiting beliefs, and what you think you know.
Act: Make learning active (not passive) by taking notes, testing yourself, and engaging with the content.
State: Adopt the right posture and choose a positive emotional state (e.g. fun, joy, curiosity).
Teach: Learn with the intent to teach the material to others. This will deepen your engagement and understanding.
Enter learning time into your calendar to establish a learning routine.
Review your material regularly to strengthen memory, recall, and comprehension.

Check out our full Limitless summary to learn more about:

• Your “gut instinct” (yes, it’s real);

• How to ask good questions to guide your focus; and

• The 4 digital villains to beware of in our digital era.

Limitless: Mindset + Motivation + Methods

The bulk of the book addresses these 3Ms to harness your unlimited brain.  Here’s a quick overview. You can get a full breakdown of the specific strategies and tips in our complete 15-page Limitless summary.
Limitless summary - 3M s for ecoming Limitless

1. Limitless Mindset (The “WHAT”)

Your mindset includes your beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions about how the world works, who you are, what you can do, what you deserve, and what’s possible.

It shapes your reality and determines how you perceive and interact with the world. For example, if you believe “I’m stupid” or “I’m a slow learner”, you might avoid learning new things, and thus create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You’re the only one who can control your beliefs. And the good news is, you can unlearn existing beliefs, redefine who you are, and what’s “possible” for you. For decades, it was widely accepted that it was impossible to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. But once Roger Bannister broke this barrier in 1954, many others started to do so.

Check out our full 15-page Limitless summary for:

• The 4 forms of genius (beyond IQ) that everyone can have;

• 7 myths that block learning; and

• How to reframe your limiting beliefs.

2. Limitless Motivation (The “WHY”)

Motivation is not a fixed trait, but a function of how you manage your energy. Jim Kwik summarizes it with this formula: Motivation = Purpose x Energy x Small Simple Steps.

Limitless summary - Motivation FormulaIn a nutshell:

• A strong purpose energizes you. So, get clear on why you’re doing something, and align your goals with your HEART (Healthy, Enduring, Alluring, Relevant, Truthful).

• You need energy to take action and sustain them.

• The best way to replace bad learning habits with good ones is by repeating small simple steps.

In our complete summary, we share:
• Examples of how to align your purpose, values, identity, goals, and passions;
• 10 ways to boost your brain energy;
• How to combat procrastination by breaking goals down into the tiniest possible steps, then perform them daily until they become effortless habits. Read more about forming and changing habits from Dr. B.J. Fogg in Tiny Habits; and
• The 4 stages of flow and how to get in flow more regularly.

3. Limitless Methods (The “HOW”)

This is about learning how to learn (meta-learning). Specifically, to accelerate your learning, you must learn 5 things: to focus, study, speed-read, improve your memory, and improve how you think. Jim Kwik elaborates on each area by drawing on ideas from various books, combined with his own experiences. Here are just a few highlights–more details in our complete Limitless summary.

Focus: Become a master at focusing on what you’re doing. This includes training your “concentration muscle”:
(i) Do one thing at a time. Don’t multi-task.
(ii) De-clutter your environment and remove distractions.
(iii) Imagine your attention as a ball of light, and intentionally direct it at something or someone. Each time you notice the ball of light drafting away from the task/conversation, intentionally shift it back.

• Use 7 habits to study more effectively (e.g. spaced repetition, active recall, using different senses etc.).  [Learn more about spaced repetition and other learning/study tips from our  Make It Stick summary.]

• A strong memory increases the amount of information you can access, provides raw material for critical thinking, and enhances your brain’s focus and learning capacity. Enhance your memory with MOM (Motivation, Observation, and Methods), and various techniques (e.g. visualization, associating new info with what you already know, using stories).  [You can dive in specifically to this topic in our Unlimited Memory summary.]

Speed reading allows you to read faster to learn faster. An average person can read 150-250 words per minute. Jim Kwik shares how you can multiply your reading speed using specific techniques to overcome 3 key issues that slow down our reading.

Thinking. Often, we get stuck because we’re thinking about issues from a fixed perspective. Challenge your thinking pattern regularly to infuse new ideas and answers.  Kwik cites examples of the Six Thinking Hats approach by Dr Edward de Bono, the 8 forms of intelligence by Dr. Howard Gardner, knowing your dominant learning style (visual, auditory, or kinesthetic), along with other frameworks to upgrade your thinking.

Getting Started

To get started, you can choose 3 tips from each of the 3Ms above. Or, follow the 10-day program in the book (also included in our full summary).

Getting the Most from Limitless

Ready to unlock your limitless potential and start mastering the 3Ms to enhance your learning skills? Do check out our full book summary bundle that includes an infographic, 15-page text summary, and a 31-minute audio summary.
Limitless summary - Book Summary Bundle

The book is packed with personal anecdotes, stories, recommended action steps, and even recipes for brain food.  You can purchase the book here or visit kwikbrain.com for more details and resources.

About the Author of Limitless

Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life was written by Jim Kwik—an author, speaker, and expert in memory improvement, brain optimization, and accelerated learning. He is the CEO and founder of Kwik Learning, an online platform that provides training for unlocking the brain’s potential. He is also a brain coach for students, entrepreneurs, educators, and some of the world’s leading CEOs and organizations.

Limitless Quotes

“There are no limitations when you align and apply the right mindset, motivation, and methods.”

“When you accept that all of your potential is entirely within your control, then the power of that potential grows dramatically.”

“It’s not how smart you are, but how you are smart.”

“Mistakes don’t mean failure. Mistakes are a sign that you are trying something new.”

“Genius is not born; it’s made through deep practice.”

“Motivation is not something you have; it’s something you do.”

“By increasing the ways you use your brain, you increase the capabilities of your brain.”

“Small simple steps repeated lead to habits. Our habits are a core part of who we are.”

“The most successful people in the world are lifelong students. Make study a part of your entire life.”

“The more you remember, the more you can learn.”

Click here to download the Limitless infographic & summary

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