Jim Kwik (@jimkwik) hosts the Kwik Brain podcast and is the author of Limitless — Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, Unlock Your Exceptional Life.
What We Discuss with Jim Kwik:
- Why it’s a L.I.E. that your intelligence is fixed and the person you were at age eight is the same person you are today and the same person you’ll be tomorrow.
- Why genius is not born, it’s built — and it leaves clues.
- The limitless model: a three-part framework for not only accelerated learning, but for unlocking human potential.
- A formula for sustainable motivation that drives consistent action.
- How changing the dominant question you (perhaps unknowingly) ask yourself every day can redirect the focus and trajectory of your life.
- And much more…
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Labeled as “learning disabled” after suffering head trauma at age five, Jim Kwik was resigned to living a life subservient to the notion that he would never be as bright as his peers or capable of excelling to any degree beyond the lowest of averages. But for the past 25 years, he’s been doing what the old version of him would have considered impossible: teaching the world’s best and best-known how to achieve beyond their own self-limiting beliefs and unlock the mental superpowers that lie dormant in all of us.
But in order to get to the point where he could instruct others in expecting — and extracting — better from themselves, he had to do the same for himself. Jim rejoins us for this episode to expand on how he overcame the disadvantages of a “broken brain” and learned how to learn efficiently and effectively in a way that prior methods of education had failed to instill as outlined in his new book, Limitless — Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, Unlock Your Exceptional Life. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support!
Sign up for Six-Minute Networking — our free networking and relationship development mini course — at jordanharbinger.com/course!
THANKS, JIM KWIK!
If you enjoyed this session with Jim Kwik, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from This Episode:
- Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life by Jim Kwik
- Jim Kwik | How to Unlock Your Brain’s Secret Superpowers, TJHS 85
- Kwik Brain Podcast
- Kwik Learning Online
- Jim Kwik’s Website
- Jim Kwik at Facebook
- Jim Kwik at Instagram
- Jim Kwik at LinkedIn
- Jim Kwik at Twitter
- Albert Einstein Facts, The Nobel Prize
- “Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid.”, Quote Investigator
- The IQ Test Wars: Why Screening for Intelligence Is Still So Controversial, The Conversation
- Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
- Limitless (Film)
- Dr. Mark Hyman at Twitter
- Change Your Mindset by Turning Nouns into Verbs by Jim Kwik, YouTube
- How to Sustain Your Motivation, Kwik Brain 158
- 10 Keys to Unlock Optimal Brain Health, Kwik Brain 003
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
- How Much Does a Tesla Cost?, Energy Sage
- Guy Raz at NPR
- Terry Gross at NPR
- Mark Manson | Channeling Hope, Choosing Problems, and Changing Values, TJHS 198
- Discovering Your Dominant Question, Kwik Brain 138
- Instagram #Pug Photos
- Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society
- Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Theme Song with Lyrics, YouTube
- Sleep Apnea Symptoms and Causes, The Mayo Clinic
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, Wikipedia
Transcript for Jim Kwik - How to Upgrade Your Brain's Limitless Potential (Episode 345)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:03] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with producer Jason DeFillippo. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most brilliant people, and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. We want you to become a better thinker. If you're new to the show, we've got episodes with spies and CEOs, athletes and authors, thinkers and performers, as well as toolboxes for skills like negotiation, body language, persuasion, and more. So if you're smart and you like to learn and improve, you'll be right at home here with us.
[00:00:40] Back on the show with me once again is Jim Kwik. He was known as "The Boy with the Broken Brain" as a kid because he'd suffered a head injury. He had a learning disability, couldn't memorize things, couldn't read, and was a bad student. He's dedicated himself to self-improvement and learning, specifically meta-learning, or the science of learning how to learn. Today, we speak about focus, purpose, and motivation. These ideas are different than you might think. They're less hokey than you might think, and they interact in different ways that never occur to most of us. There's always loads of practicals in episodes with Jim, so make sure to check out the worksheets on the website at jordanharbinger.com.
[00:01:13] And if you want to know how I managed to book all these great folks and manage all these relationships with all the guests that come on the show, I have a networking course that is free. You can use it for your business, you can use it for your personal life. That's over at jordanharbinger.com/course. Most of the guests on the show, they subscribe to the course and the newsletter. So come join us, and you'll be in smart company where you belong. Now here's Jim Kwik.
[00:01:37] Jim, thanks for coming on the show, man.
Jim Kwik: [00:01:38] Jordan, it's such a pleasure to be back. I've been really looking forward to this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:42] Yeah, we've been friends for a long time and last time you came on the show, I think we talked about focus, study, memory, speed reading, some critical thinking type stuff. We'll do a little bit more critical thinking stuff today, but I'd like to get into some of the -- I don't know if it's new content, but certainly stuff we haven't talked about in the past.
Jim Kwik: [00:01:58] I can appreciate that, especially what's going on in the world right now where people feel like they're overloaded, they're overwhelmed, they're not certain what tomorrow's going to look like, job might be in jeopardy, the future of work, or the new normal. People are very concerned, for sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:14] Let's give them some good news. There are seven LIEs to learning. L-I-E. I don't know what L-I-E stands for here, but I'm sure it's some clever mnemonic device that you've created. Because if I know one thing about you, it's that you have clever mnemonic devices. So I'd like to talk about these. It's like starting with some good news, right?
Jim Kwik: [00:02:31] It is a LIE, of course, is an acronym. I use a lot of mnemonics. I use a lot of -- I alliterate everything to make it memorable and maybe easy to share and store. A LIE for me stands for a limited idea entertained. So it's this idea that mindset plays a role and the beliefs that we choose to entertain about ourselves and about life and about learning has an effect on our results. Something as simple as one of the LIEs, like intelligence is fixed. Like you take a test when you're eight years old and that's your intelligence when you're 88 years old. We know it's simply not true. And so as part of the book, we talk about mindset and on limiting these commonly held beliefs that may hold back our performance and our results.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:21] The first one I think is -- first of all, good news for everyone -- is the idea that intelligence is not fixed. I think a lot of people know that, but I will tell you, if you told me this 10 years ago, I would have probably not even believed you, and I am so glad that that is not actually true.
Jim Kwik: [00:03:38] Yeah. I mean, we tend to think of IQ scores as a fixed reflection of our intelligence, but that is simply not the case. The IQ test actually measures, maybe a segment of academic capabilities, but not innate intelligence. To this day, IQ tests still don't measure creativity, emotional intelligence, social intelligence -- you know, the practical intelligence. So that is what a lot of people would call street smarts, if you will. And there's an important distinction to remember that there's a difference between test scores and your ability to learn. And so we talk about that in the context that the truth is it's not necessarily how smart you are on a test, it's how are you smart and that there are multiple types of intelligence. And a lot of it is context-dependent. Meaning that maybe Einstein wasn't -- if his car didn't work and he was pulled over on the side, maybe he couldn't fix his own car because it's context-dependent depending on what's going on in the environment.
[00:04:36] So more of a belief that's more accurate is that intelligence is not fixed. It's more fluid. And I could show anybody how to do better on an IQ test, to be able to study, to be able to boost their memory and have those numbers, if you will. But for me, an intelligence is the ability to adapt. Intelligence is the ability to see patterns that I do believe that genius leaves clues when someone is successful at certain things. That if you're willing to put the time in and do the deep work and uncover, there are strategies and there are processes that you could [use to] create similar results. And so intelligence is not fixed. It's certainly fluid.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:13] We know that the IQ thing is kind of not necessarily the case because when people take IQ tests with different backgrounds or even in different contexts, but they're the same person and it's the same time of day or a different time of day, the results change.
Jim Kwik: [00:05:26] Completely.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:27] We know that these simple measurements of intelligence are not necessarily true and even standardized tests now, I think -- "That train has sailed," as Austin Powers says -- on the standardized test saying anything about our intelligence other than our ability to actually take standardized tests.
Jim Kwik: [00:05:43] Exactly. That means you're really good at taking tests, which is one form. Then there's visual-spatial intelligence. People are geniuses at -- they're great graphic artists, and they are wonderful architects. There's kinesthetic intelligence. People who you've had on your show have incredible control and development of their physiology, the athletes, the choreographers, the dancers. There are so many different forms of genius, and it's really, again, not how smart someone is, but really how are they smart. And so the idea that intelligence is fixed, that's absolutely false. You can increase it, and there are multiple forms of intelligence than maybe the SATs, tests for verbal and mathematical, there are so many more that are equally valued. We need all kinds of intelligence in society. You need all forms of intelligence on your team.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:33] So "Genius leaves clues" is something you mentioned before. Tell us what that means, because that's a very clever sort of bumper sticker in itself, but let's dive into that.
Jim Kwik: [00:06:40] And so that's one of the costs of saying things that might sound a little trite and memorable that maybe it takes away from the impact and people could blow it off. I believe that when people see -- for example, when I do things on stage and I memorize a hundred people's names or a hundred words and numbers, I always tell people there's a method behind what looks like magic. That genius, in fact, is not necessarily born, that genius is built. That's just another LIE, that genius is born. That through deep work and practice that we can actually grow our talent and we can get better at skills and we could have new distinctions.
[00:07:22] And you know, really what Limitless is about is -- it's not about being perfect; it's about progressing and advancing beyond what you currently believe is possible. And one of the things that keeps us static is thinking those deeply held beliefs or self-talk. Because you could give somebody a method for remembering names, but if their mindset, or they have a limited belief that says, "I'm not smart enough," or, "I don't have a good memory," it's just going to be more self-fulfilling than anything else.
[00:07:52] When we're talking about "genius leaves clues," I believe that people who are great investors, they are able to negotiate. They are able to do anything in between, that they're doing certain things that are usually unconscious or invisible to the rest of the world. And when people know what they're doing, that there is a process, like maybe there's not a pill and everyone wants the pill. Right? What's the pill that's going to fix my love life? What's the pill that's going to make me all the money? What's the pill or silver bullet that's going to fix my memory?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:23] Well, the title of your book is from that movie -- well, I don't know if it's from that movie, but there was a movie called Limitless. Was that Bradley Cooper, by the way?
Jim Kwik: [00:08:30] It was. It was with Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, where he goes from zero to hero and he takes that pill and he has this incredible focus and. He has an incredible memory. He learns languages and he has this surge in motivation. But when the pill wears off 24 hours later, he goes back down to zero again.
[00:08:48] The foreword of the book was by Dr. Mark Hyman. And he writes in it that "There is no genius pill, but Jim gives you the process for unlocking your best brain and your brightest future." So I don't believe in the pills, but I do believe that there is a process for doing things, for investing, for negotiating, for creating great relationships, to being a great listener, to being able to read faster.
[00:09:10] When you take a noun and you turn it into a verb -- people often say to themselves, "I don't have motivation," "I don't have creativity," "I don't have focus," those aren't things you have; those are things that you do. And when you turn it into a verb, it gives you your agency back, frankly. It allows you to have more control as opposed to being the effect and just wake up and I'm like, "Oh, I hope I have energy today," or "I hope I'm creative so I can write that book or make those videos."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:38] Jim, you know me, I always want to zoom in and go micro and I was about to jump into the motivation angle here because that is a common misconception that I think needs [to be] cleared up and people would be well-served to hear that. But I know you have the Limitless model. Do you want to give us an overview of this before I start throwing a magnifying glass on specific pieces?
Jim Kwik: [00:09:56] That's perfect. So the Limitless model is a three-part framework for not only accelerated learning but for unlocking human potential. I know that's a grandiose claim, so we'll dissect this. I want everybody to think about an area of their life where they feel like they're not making progress, where they are not advancing. It could be in their career. It could be in their income. It could be in their impact. It could be in their health. Maybe it's in their personal relationships, or maybe they're not progressing in their learning, as we talk about in terms of reading speed or their memory. I want you to think about an area where you feel like you're in a box and you're not making progress. And in that box you have -- you know, it's three dimensional, right? And the three dimensions that keep you in that box are the three elements to the Limitless model. So it keeps you there but also, these are the same three elements that will liberate you.
[00:10:52] And so I want everyone to take out a piece of paper if they're able to, if not, they just can imagine it. Imagine three intersecting circles. So you could think about Mickey Mouse, two ears that are intersecting and the face. And they all cross over with each other. So there's some shared space. These are the three circles that really unlock your potential, your ability to learn, your ability to earn, your ability to grow.
[00:11:18] The first circle is your mindset. And how I would define mindset are -- it's your assumptions and attitudes about something. Your mindset is your attitudes and assumptions about the world and how it works. It could be your mindset about your assumptions and attitudes about yourself, or about learning. So what would fall squarely in that circle would be things like what you believe is possible will be part of your mindset. What you believe you are capable of. Because you could believe something is possible, but you could also believe that you're not capable of that thing. What would fall in that circle are things like what you believe you deserve. And so this is the first M of the Limitless model. Now, there are three Ms, obviously.
[00:12:05] The last M is going to be methods, and primarily Limitless was a book on methodology. When I was ready to turn it into my publisher, it was things that you and I have talked about before: how to read faster, how to focus, how to use critical thinking skills, learning languages, and give TED Talks from memory. And then I asked myself this question. I said: "Will everybody who gets this book and reads it, will they all get results?" And my honest answer was "No," really not by a long shot, because a lot of people know what to do, but they don't do it. And what keeps people from doing the things that they know they should do. And so I added these two elements in, and really it's three books in one.
[00:12:47] First thing is your mindset. And that's where we talk about the LIEs, the limited ideas that we entertain, and we have to unlimit those in order to be able to move forward. Because I could teach you a method on learning languages or giving a TED Talk from memory, but if your mindset is, "Oh, I'm not a good public speaker," or, "I have a horrible memory," that's going to keep you in that box.
[00:13:08] The second M in the circle is your motivation, and I know this is something that is very concerning for a lot of people because there's a LIE around motivation. There are a number of LIEs around motivation, like there are around mindset -- a limited idea entertained. Like one of the LIEs I think around motivation is that -- first of all, most people think motivation is going to a seminar and jumping on chairs and waving your arms and saying, "Yeah, I'm going to change my life." And the next day, we know what happens, right? You don't start exercising, you don't start eating the good food, you don't start writing that book or whatever or start saving and doing the things that you know you should do. So what gets in the way? So motivation, for me, really is sustainable drive. And I have a formula for sustainable motivation. Even when Bradley Cooper took the pill, he had a surge in motivation, but when that pill wore off, no motivation, no drive. And so there's a formula.
[00:13:59] Now, one of the LIEs before I give you the three-step formula, is that you have to enjoy the thing because looking at it scientifically, motivation, it's not what you say. Someone could say they're motivated or they could feel motivated, but the evidence that you're motivated is that you do something. You take some sort of consistent action. Somebody can't say that they're motivated to work out and not work out. Knowing that's the case, one of the things I thought about was so many people say you have to enjoy that thing in order to be motivated and you have to have this intrinsic motivation. I could think of some counterexamples, meaning that I have friends that wake up at four o'clock in the morning. For me, I don't do that. But they work out even on top of that, and I asked a friend of mine who does that and you can't say this person is not motivated. They never missed a day. I asked him a question, "Do you enjoy waking up in the morning that early?" And he says, "Absolutely not. I'm not a morning person." I was like, "Okay, do you enjoy working out at least? Is that why?" He was like, "No, working out. I hate it. It's the second thing I dislike the most after waking up early." And I'm like, "Wow, and yet you never miss a day." So it doesn't mean you have to enjoy that thing because a lot of people think in order to be motivated to do something, they have to enjoy it.
[00:15:19] Now, I'm all for adding joy to it and finding the positive in it, but it's not a prerequisite. Meaning that when you and I have talked about my morning routines in a previous episode, the first hour of the day, one of the things is I take a cold shower, or if people do follow me on social media, I often take a five-minute ice bath, pure ice. And the truth be told, I hate it. I really hate it. I grew up in the northeast. I don't like the cold at all, and yet I never miss it. And I'm consistent about it, and people could say I'm very motivated and it's not that I enjoy it, but I have a reason to do it. This is what I want to get into in terms of human motivation. And so there are three keys for sustainable motivation. So as you're thinking about some area or life where you're "not motivated," you're not making progress, you sabotage, you procrastinate, you put things off. This is the formula for sustainable motivation. And how I came up with this is not only is this book the latest neuroscience applied to accelerated learning and human potential cognitive performance, it's also just 28 years of field testing this from children with learning challenges to seniors who have early-stage dementia and everyone in between. Again, genius leaves clues. And when I think about the motivated individuals that I know, they have these three elements.
[00:16:44] So let's go through a thought experiment. Let's say you and I and the person listening to this right now, we are going to build the ultimate human being who's motivated all the time. They have the ultimate motivation. It just never falters. And so as we're going through this thought experiment, I believe the formula is P x E x S3. These are the three elements for sustainable motivation. Now, the P stands for purpose. I don't love taking cold showers, but I have a reason for doing so and I'm not --
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:20] What is the reason? I hear about this and I'm just like, "Why do this to yourself?"
Jim Kwik: [00:17:26] So for me, I feel better after I take a cold shower than I do having coffee. It's like a nervous system reset.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:34] Try having more coffee!
Jim Kwik: [00:17:37] They say cold therapy. You hit your knee on the coffee table. You put ice on it to reduce the swelling. It reduces inflammation. That's the goal. We lower inflammation in our body that can lead to challenges. And for me though, it really just, it wakes me up in a way. And I don't do it all cold, I go cold and I go hot, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. And they say it's good for your skin, but really for me, I just feel like it's a reset and I feel amazing afterwards.
[00:18:06] And when I'm talking about purpose, I'm thinking about the P stands for purpose in the equation. And I don't mean your life purpose. I mean having a purpose for acting. Because the truth is that if somebody is not following through in terms of their motivation, sometimes they can't find the purpose in it. They don't see why it's relevant or rewarding for themselves. So maybe they shouldn't be doing it in the first place. Let's look at that. One of the best ways to improve your efficiency and effectiveness is not doing the things you shouldn't be doing, but if you can't find purpose -- or maybe that person, it's just intellectual. Like they can make a list of pros and cons of why they should do something, but they're not feeling it. And I really do believe that, as we know, that people don't buy logically, they buy emotionally. Because when we are not logical, we are biological. You think about dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, these endorphins is … this chemical soup. And so how do you allow yourself to feel the rewards of doing something, feeling it, and also the consequences of not doing it?
[00:19:08] Because, for example, I have an acquaintance who just would not change their lifestyle. They eat all the crappy food, they don't exercise, they don't, you just name it. And then one day, they have a heart attack and they had triple bypass surgery and they came out of it and they still continue their lifestyle, with smoking and everything else. No judgment. But that's just their choice. And I have a quote in the book from a French philosopher that says, "Life is the C between B and D." Life is the C between B and D. And I start the book that way. And you're thinking, "You know, Jim, you're speaking in tongues, you're speaking in code." B stands for birth. So D stands for death. And C, life, stands for choice. I really do believe that we are the sum total of the choices we've made up to this point. Choices like: Where am I going to go to school? Who am I going to spend time with? What am I going to eat today? Am I going to exercise or not exercise today? Where am I going to live? All these choices led us up to the point we're at right now. And I believe right now with the difficult times -- that these difficult times, they could diminish you. These difficult times can define you. Or these difficult times can develop you. Ultimately, we decide, right? And so we make these micro-choices all the time.
[00:20:29] Going back to the power of motivation is just choosing the meaning behind something. This man who didn't choose his -- he chose his lifestyle, what to eat or not to work out or whether to smoke or not. And then one day, his daughter comes to him crying, crying, and crying, and the father wants to know what's the matter. And she was upset because she wants when she grows up, her father to walk her down the aisle at her wedding. All of a sudden, he starts to work out. All of a sudden, he starts to eat better, right? And so you have to allow yourself to feel the rewards of doing that activity that you want to be motivated for. And I also think that some people, they always want to be positive. I think pain can be a great motivator, to allow yourself to feel the consequences of not following through with something.
[00:21:21] So that's the P and the equation is purpose. And again, not just intellectually knowing the benefits that come from following through. Also allowing yourself to feel the pain, like who's counting on you to show up today and to follow through on these things. So the P is purpose. Now I went back into this mental experiment. I'm saying, okay, we're designing the ultimate human being who's always motivated. If that person just has purpose and they really feel it, will they always be consistently acting and motivated?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:21:55] You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:58] This episode is sponsored in part by Notion. Notion is an app that replaces tools like Evernote, Google Docs. It's all of those things in one. Notion can be used for your business. It can be used for you individually. That's how I'm using it. It's really an awesome place to gather your notes, your tasks, your to-do lists, spreadsheets, projects, all-in-one place. It's highly customizable so you can work the way you want. Make it look the way you want. It's fun to use. It's fast. It looks good too, and it's one place to organize just everything and work the way that you want to work. I've been using Notion lately to throw down some show prep or outline articles, meeting notes. You can journal in there. If you're big on productivity, definitely check out notions, see what you think of it. It really is kind of an updated version of a lot of the tools you've probably been using for a long time. Jason, tell them where they can try this app.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:22:46] They can try Notion for free. Just head over to notion.com/jordan to get started. That's N-O-T-I-O-N.com/jordan. Get started for free today and get your stuff organized.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:57] This episode is also sponsored in part by HostGator. People regularly ask me if they should go all-in on their side hustle, and I usually advise them to keep their day job as a safety net while figuring things out. Well, if you're like a lot of folks out there and you find yourself suddenly with reduced or non-existent hours at that day job while staying safe from corona cooties, maybe there's no time like the present to see how sustainable that side hustle might actually be. And what do you want to get your business website up and running for contact-free sales to the world? HostGator can make it happen today at a budget you can afford. With every plan you get, unlimited email addresses, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk space, free SSL certificates, advertising credit, WordPress blog tools. HostGator even guarantees 99 percent uptime with 24/7 365 support and a 45-day money-back guarantee if you aren't 100 percent happy. So visit hostgator.com/jordan to get up to 62 percent off. That's hostgator.com/jordan.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:23:54] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. And to learn more and get links to all the great discounts you just heard from our amazing sponsors, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. Don't forget we have a worksheet for today's episode so you can make sure you solidify your understanding of the key takeaways. That link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. If you'd like some tips on how to subscribe to the show, just go to jordanharbinger.com/subscribe. Subscribing to the show is absolutely free. It just means that you get all of the latest episodes downloaded automatically to your podcast player so you don't miss a single thing. And now back to the show.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:28] Yeah, of course not. Because you're going to run into these times when, "Sure, I have a reason to do this. I want to walk my daughter down the aisle, but I'm 300 pounds or something like that." And I don't even know if we need an absolute measurement. "I'm 100 pounds overweight." Right? But in the moment, I'm like, "But I'm hungry. Oh, and I'm so tired, I did so much work today. I deserve to eat this rack of ribs," which sounds amazing right now, by the way. And so it's hard in the moment to then seize that motivation. You just think, "I'll start tomorrow," and then you let yourself down and you beat yourself up, but you still ate the ribs.
Jim Kwik: [00:24:58] Exactly. And part of that delves back into the mindset, you know, in terms of the mindset of what we deserve, the mindset of what's most important to us and what's possible. What I noticed when I was doing the experiment, I was like, I could think of another exception. Even if somebody has purpose and they really feel it, they might not still act. So let's use a simple example like working out again, right? It's very straightforward. Somebody could have a reason for exercising and they get to feel it. But let's say -- the E by the way, to give it away, stands for energy -- so maybe they have a newborn and they haven't slept in three days, or they're so freaked out with what's going on right now in the world that they have this anxiety and it's keeping up them up late at night and they lack the energy so they're not going to be motivated to work out.
[00:25:44] And energy is very important. Like having the fuel, let's say they want to read every single day. They know, "Hey, I think it's important to read. I heard Jim say reading is to your mind what exercise is to your body. I want to level up and learn new skills while we are cocooning during this time." But let's say that person ate a big meal of processed food and they're in a food coma, they're not going to be very motivated to study or read because they lack the energy. And so I wanted to address energy in the book, so we did a whole chapter on how to optimize and level up your mental vitalities for people who struggle with mental fatigues. We talk everything about the best brain foods, optimizing your sleep, and so on. And then my mind went, "Okay, you have purpose and you have energy. Is that all you need for this ultimate motivated human being?" And I was like, "No. I can think of one more exception that will keep this person from acting." You could feel the reasons, the purpose. You could have an abundance of energy. You got a great night's sleep or eating all the best foods ever, but if that thing in your mind is too big or too intimidating or too confusing, then you're not going to do it. And S3, the final part of the equation, are small, simple steps.
[00:26:59] So many people -- you know this, Jordan -- they had this idea, they want to create the next multimillion-dollar social media brand.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:05] Right. They want to create the next Uber. They don't just want to like, get off their butt and make the app. Yeah.
Jim Kwik: [00:27:09] Exactly. It was so huge. It's like, "I want to find my soulmate and live happily ever after." I mean, these are people's goals. They want to have the perfect body or whatever it is. It's just way too big. How you find your small simple step, your S3, is asking this very simple clarifying question: "What is the tiniest action I could take that will give me progress towards this goal where I simply cannot fail?" What's the tiniest action I could take that gives you progress towards this goal where I can't fail, because it requires very little effort, very little energy. I think a lot of people overthink things. Thinking is good, but overthinking and wanting everything to be perfect, it's paralysis analysis. What is one little thing? So maybe it's not working out, as an example, maybe it is putting on your running shoes. Maybe it's not reading 45 minutes a day, maybe it's opening the book or reading one line in the book because nobody's going to stop at one line. Inch by inch, it's a cinch, yard by yard, it's too hard.
[00:28:08] It's really -- energy management is motivation. That's what we're talking about. Having purpose gives you energy. Doing the things like eating the best foods, sleep gives you vitality, gives you energy. And then breaking things down into small bite-sized pieces requires very little energy. And you get some momentum on top of that. That's motivation.
[00:28:28] And then the final M in the circle we talked about are methods. Those are the processes for doing things. In the book, we document five specific kinds of superpowers. I like to talk about mental superpowers. We talk about speed reading, memory enhancement, focus, study, and critical thinking skills. But when you're looking at this model, here's a lot of the big ahas for people. As you draw this out on paper or in your mind, you see these three big circles intersecting, now where mindset crosses over with motivation, you have what I call inspiration. So you have experts on mindset. You have a great book called Mindset by Carol Dweck. You have motivational speakers or motivational books where that crosses over, you have this area of inspiration. So you have inspiring speakers, you have inspiring movies. When you're inspired by a movie, it kind of shifts a little bit, your mindset and gives you a little energy, a little motivation. That's the first I, and of course, I'm going to have three Is to match three Ms.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:26] Naturally.
Jim Kwik: [00:29:26] Where mindset crosses over with methods -- because the problem with mindset and motivations, you have inspiration but it doesn't include the methods. So you're inspired but you don't know what to do. Right? Because you lack the methods. Where mindset crosses over with methods, you have ideation. Meaning your mindset says, "Okay, I know this is possible. I know I'm capable of it and I know what to do," the methods, but you're still not doing it. So it stays an idea because you lack the motivation. So that's ideation. And that's a lot of want-to-be entrepreneurs, right? They read things on mindset, everything they think is possible because they see it on social media. They might even know what to do, but they don't do it. And so we know that ideas are readily available. But what a lot of people don't do is where motivation crosses over with methods -- you're motivated, you have purpose, you have energy -- and you know what to do, the methods. That's implementation, the third I, implementation. Yet you could still be stuck in that box because you're only going to be able to achieve what you believe is possible -- what you believe you are capable of, what you believe you deserve because you lacked the mindset.
[00:30:36] And then finally where all three Ms [and] where all three Is intersect, that middle point, that nexus if you will, is a fourth I and that fourth I is integration. Integration, like integer or integral, it means you're whole. This is where it's just who you are. That's the Limitless state. And so when you think about whether it's relationships or your career, or your impact or your income, this is a framework for looking at it and analyzing, saying, "Okay, here's some new distinctions. If I'm not making progress, I'm not advancing. Is it in my mindset? Am I telling myself these LIEs? Is it in my belief in myself? Is it a belief about the world or how businesses work? Or is it in my motivation? Do I have real purpose here? Am I allowing myself to feel that purpose? Do I lack the energy? Maybe I'm around these energy vampires that every time I try to make progress, these people bring me down and suck all my battery life? Or am I overwhelmed? I'm not breaking down as small, simple steps. Or am I not role-modeling people who know in your current ways of marketing or investing or of negotiating? The methods, maybe they're antiquated and I need to learn the new processes." And so it takes the judgment out and you can narrow in into the area where there exists the bottleneck.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:56] Right. This makes sense. Because I think a lot of people, they'll think, "Well, I just need to get motivated." And it doesn't matter how motivated you are if you don't have any sort of plan or even if you do have the plan and you don't necessarily have the purpose to sustain that motivation, it's not going to happen. So if you don't have a method, it goes nowhere. Or let's say you have that motivation -- and by the way, we're going to put all this in the worksheets along with this sort of Venn diagram and everything with all these different alliterative, little bumper stickers that we can throw in the worksheet. You don't have to replay this and take notes. We'll give you the notes in the worksheets that are always on the website at jordanharbinger.com.
[00:32:30] But for people that might have methods and motivation, if you only believe you're going to get to a certain level, you will self-sabotage. And I know this sounds a little hokey, like, "You believe it, you can achieve it." I don't believe that at all. In fact, I believe that there's a lot of people that only have a mindset and you see them online. They're the people who are like, "I can achieve anything." And it's like, "Cool. What are you going to do?" "Well, tomorrow -- because today I'm tired -- I'm going to. Go and post it a lot of memes on Instagram," and it's like, okay, your method is flawed. Your motivation is lacking. Your mindset, you know, A plus, I guess, but it's not going to do squat for you. Alternately, I do know a lot of people that are hardworking. They wake up every day with a more or less a go-getter attitude.
[00:33:08] And this was me, especially even when I worked in the law firm. It was never like, "I should start my own thing. I could do something better." It was always like, "Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. Who are you? You're 27," you know, at the time. "You're 27 you're not going to be able to run a business. That's for people who know what they're doing. A lot of these people went to business school. You can't just start your own thing and have it be successful, knucklehead, you got to clamp down." So I worked really hard. I got up every day, worked out, I went to law school, I graduated and passed the bar exam. My methods were sound, my motivation was there, but the mindset was inherently limiting.
[00:33:38] Now, getting laid off/leaving -- it sort of depends on which technical term you want to look at -- then I brought my motivation and I brought my methods to that, but I had a mindset shift that was forced upon me by the economy. Because it was either the biggest victim of that recession or just started doing what I wanted to do anyway. And even then, man, I'll tell you. It was hard for me to wrap my head around making more money than I would have as a lawyer. It was like, "Well, I'll do my own business, but I'll never make like multiple six figures as an individual because that's lawyer money and you can't make a good living doing something you really like, because that's somehow cheating."
Jim Kwik: [00:34:13] Ooh, yeah. That's a perfect example where your mindset is kind of like that unconscious thermostat where you said like, what's your worst in terms of income. And then your behaviors and your motivation will come to be able to reflect that and you'll be able to create that. Having the right mindset in terms of what you believe is possible. Because some things that keep us away from what we really want is this belief that we don't deserve it or we can't get it. Or they can have the right mindset as you mentioned, and be motivated, but they're using antiquated methods like maybe the system that they're operating within that job or those rules doesn't allow for the results that you want to create.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:50] Another interesting example where this crops up and just happens in people's language and it's very subtle. And again, I'm not one of those people who's like, "Oh, you've got to be careful of your word choice because this, that and the other thing." But I mean, I saw on Twitter somebody had taken a picture of my car's license plate because my wife made a really funny sort of vanity plate. It was all her idea. I probably shouldn't shout my license plate number out on the show. But needless to say, whenever people see our car, they take photos of the license plate. And we have a Tesla because we share a car, so we just bought one decent car instead of like two cars, because I never drive anywhere and we'd barely ever go anywhere, especially right now. So we drive a Tesla and a lot of people will take pictures of that, and I saw somebody on Twitter post it and then someone replied, "Oh, well, that guy is probably this, that and the other thing with the license plate like that." And I was like, "Actually that's my car," because I searched Twitter for my license plate cause it pops up a lot. So, "Actually that's my car. And I wonder why you say that." And she seemed like a normal person. She just said some nasty stuff based on the type of car. And I said, "Do you find that Tesla drivers are inconsiderate or something?" And she goes, she wrote back very candidly, she goes, "No, it actually has nothing to do with you. I just know I'll never be able to afford a Tesla. So I always hate on people because it actually is a really cool car." And I said, "Whoa. What makes you say that?"
[00:36:03] Because we're talking about a car that's not like, it's not insane. It's not a sports car. It's the lowest model that you can get. You know? It's really like a basic, in many ways, electric car. And I just thought like, "Wow, that's a really interesting thing to say about yourself. Like plenty of my neighbors have Teslas and they're not doctors and lawyers exclusively, like there's plenty of normal people that just own these cars." And I can't remember her exact occupation, but I think it was, she was like in journalism or something. She's like, "Well, I will never make enough money to have a lifestyle that affords that kind of car."
[00:36:34] And I remember getting in a conversation with her through a direct message, and I was just like, "You know, you've got to get rid of this idea because you will actually sabotage yourself from the opportunity that you think you don't deserve. That could be really good for you and for your career because it doesn't fit the idea of the lifestyle that you're ‘allowed' to live as a writer, as a journalist. And I gave her some examples of writers that were killing it. You know, Guy Raz, he's a journalist who's making tons of dope, doing How I Built This and other stuff with NPR. Terry Gross, I'm sure it does pretty well, especially working for NPR, doing Fresh Air, and then other writers like Mark Manson. No one's going to tell that guy like, "Hey, man, you better get a day job." I think he's probably in the eight-figure segment of earnings from his books by now. So you really do have to be careful, and I didn't think people actually did that.
[00:37:25] You know, if I had read your book before, seeing examples like that and saying, "Oh, you know you're self-imposing a lot of your limits and dah, dah, dah." I would just think, "Ah, this is some self-help mumbo jumbo BS. Nobody's really doing that." But if you talk to enough people, you will see folks that say, "I will never get to do this." And they don't see anything wrong with that kind of mindset, that kind of expression. They don't see how that limits them. It's completely invisible.
Jim Kwik: [00:37:47] And it is. And that's part of the reason why I wrote this book -- and it's not just a book on methodology -- is to make the invisible more visible. Because I see it consistently. Just like how active you are on Twitter, when I'm out speaking all the time, people come to me after a speech in the privacy of just one-on-one conversation. They'll say things like, "I had this label similar to yours where I felt like I was stupid. My father made me believe this." Or they'll be saying things like, "I'm way too old. I can't do that. I don't deserve that." And they'll be telling you all the reasons why they can't possibly do that. And if I give them a counter reason -- because my idea here is that if somebody else is in the same, similar situation where they didn't have the money or they didn't have the network or they didn't have the education, and they're still able to go through this, then it kind of eliminates some of our excuses and people come to you still and they'll say like, "Oh, I just can't possibly learn that," or "I'm not smart enough." And I'll say, it's a little cliche, I was like, "Hey, if … you keep on fighting for your limitations, you get to keep them." But people will dig in and then they'll defend all the reasons why they're not capable or able to do that. And they'll give you all the evidence for it too.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:03] "I can't learn this because I'm learning disabled." Or "I'm not good at languages," is another one. I used that too. If you'd told me in high school, "Hey man, you're probably going to become pretty much fluent in five languages as an adult." I'd say, "I got a C in French, man. You got the wrong guy." And then I moved to Germany and it turns out I'm actually pretty good at learning languages, and now I speak Mandarin Chinese and German and Serbian. You know, like these are things that I had to shed. But when I was in Germany, I kept saying, "I'm not good at languages, I'm not good at languages." And then one day, the evidence just started to overwhelm me because I understood 80 percent of what people were saying to me that day in German, or the teachers were saying in school, and it was just like, "Okay, fine. I think I know a lot of German." And then I just went home and started speaking and my host parents were like, "What happened? We couldn't get you to talk for four months. Now we can't get you to shut up." It wasn't that one day I suddenly learned German because I just had the right vitamins that night and woke up speaking German. It was that my brain finally let go of the idea that I wasn't good at languages and then I sought out evidence to refute that and I still do. Like I'm still taking Mandarin Chinese in the morning because I need to refute the evidence that my brain says, "Hey, look, you might not be able to learn this." And look, you might not do this with languages.
[00:40:22] If you're out there listening to this and you've ever said anything like, "I can't do this because I'm learning disabled." "I can't do this because I'm bad with names. I have a bad memory," or, "I grew up poor," or, "This type of career will never afford me that." Or "I can never get this type of relationship in my life," or "My friends will never be these types of people," it might seem innocent enough, but like you said, if you fight enough for your limitations, you get to keep them. Like, there were plenty of kids that were in Germany with me that said, "I can't learn German. I'm never going to make friends here." And they went home early and it makes me wonder, 20/20 hindsight, how many of them were like months, maybe even weeks or days away from waking up and going, "You know what? I can probably do this. I could probably do this. I understand what's going on. Why don't I just like shed this BS and get to it?" Because I certainly was thinking, "Maybe I should just leave. I'm never going to learn it," but I didn't want to give up. I didn't want my parents to make fun of me for leaving, also.
Jim Kwik: [00:41:14] And that's interesting because you had a reason, going back to purpose. Even for me, it was a decade and a half of struggles in school. I would always be shrinking behind the big kid. I would always purposely find the seat that was behind the tall kid so I wouldn't be called on. I would be saying to myself, "I'm just not good at tests. I can't public speak. I can't learn this like everybody else." And then it becomes, in a lot of ways, self-fulfilling. And it's interesting when you illustrated that that something just didn't happen and all of a sudden -- there were things that gradually got you to a point where you hit this threshold and you couldn't possibly deny the evidence to the contrary.
[00:42:00] The brain primarily is a deletion device and you can't focus on everything. So we tend to delete the things that we don't believe. If we don't believe that something exists, we just won't see it as much as opposed to seeking it out and looking for the evidence to support it. It's not even necessarily right or wrong. For me, a belief is not necessarily about truth as much as it is, "Is this useful for me to adopt?" For me as a teacher, I have a general belief that everybody has this incredible genius potential. Now, whether it's true or not, I don't know. You could probably argue for not. But I choose to believe it and I'll act accordingly. Because I think more people fall short of what they're capable of far more than the people who are on the other side of that.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:42:48] You're listening to the Jordan Harbinger show. We'll be right back after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:52] This episode is sponsored in part by NetSuite. Now, NetSuite is a dashboard. I'm oversimplifying things here, but it's a dashboard for pretty much everything in your business. It gives you a lot of visibility and control. There's enough uncertainty to go around right now. You need the right numbers. You need them right now in one place. NetSuite by Oracle is the world's number one cloud business system. So there's a lot of things going on with both HR. You know, we've got layoffs going on, we've got inventory, we've got supply chain issues. NetSuite will give you financials, cash flow, payroll, inventory, everything all-in-one place. You have clear visibility and control of your business, and of course, it works remotely, so you can be looking at the same dashboard with everyone else, from your phone, from home, whatever you need to do. No more guessing, no more waiting on reports. Make smarter decisions with confidence because you've got crystal clear visibility into your numbers. Jason, they've got a free guide. Tell them where to get it.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:43:44] They can receive their free guide, Managing Business Uncertainty, and they can also schedule a free product tour right now at netsuite.com/jordan. Don't wait, get your free guide and schedule your free product tour at netsuite.com/jordan. Once more, that's netsuite.com/jordan.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:01] This episode is also sponsored by LightStream. Are you paying more money in interest than you need to on your credit cards? A lot of people right now have been in my inbox like, "Hey, I've got this debt. What should I do?" You can refinance your debt today with a credit card consolidation loan from LightStream. So the way that this kind of works is, first of all, LightStream will give you a rate as low as 5.95 percent APR with autopay, which is much lower than the national average credit card rate of over 19 percent APR. So what that means in layman's terms here is -- I don't know, Jason, when you get a credit card, what is it like 21 percent, 14 percent APR? The interest rate on those things is notoriously really high. So if you hold a balance on a credit card -- Jason, have you ever held a balance on a credit card?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:44:44] Oh, have I ever? Come on, you know, I went to college. I know what it's like. You rack them up and then you know, you get to 27 percent interest after you miss one payment. So I have definitely refinanced my credit card debt. I know I wish LightStream was around back when I had to do it back then because I got 10 percent back then. So this is a great deal.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:03] Yeah. I think a lot of people don't realize, especially when you're in college or, hell, if you just have emergencies come up and you're not thinking like, "Oh, that's a heavy interest rate." You're just like, "I need to go to the dentist and get this freaking tooth filled."
Jason DeFillippo: [00:45:15] That's exactly what I used mine for, by the way, that's exactly -- I had a $27,000 dentist's bill. So thank you, American Express, for that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:22] Did you have any teeth left after that visit to the dentist?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:45:25] Two less than I had when I walked in the door.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:27] $27,000? What did they replace it with?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:45:30] Nothing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:31] Platinum. Do you have platinum teeth?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:45:33] I wish I did. I would love platinum teeth. That would be so baller.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:36] Geez. All right. Well, aside from 2 Chainz over here, you can probably get away with a cheaper dentist visit. Either way, the application at LightStream is quick. It's easy. It's 100 percent online, which is great cause you ain't going anywhere these days. There are no fees at all. And you can get your money as soon as the day you apply, depending on how that all goes. So Jason, tell them where they can try LightStream.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:45:56] They can apply today to get a special interest rate discount and save even more. The only way to get this discount is to go to lightstream.com/jordan. That's L-I-G-H-T-S-T-R-E-A-M.com/jordan. Subject to credit approval, rate includes a 0.5 percent autopay discount. Terms and conditions apply and offers are subject to change without notice. Visit lightstream.com/jordan for more information.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:18] This episode is also sponsored in part by Progressive Insurance. Fun fact, Progressive customers qualify for an average of six discounts when they sign up for Progressive auto insurance. Discounts for things like enrolling in automatic payments, ensuring more than one car, going paperless, and of course, being a safe driver. Plus customers who bundle their auto with home or add renter's insurance save an average of 12 percent on their auto. There are so many ways to save when you switch, and once you're a customer with Progressive, you get unmatched claim service with 24/7 support online or by phone. It's no wonder why more than 20 million drivers trust Progressive and why they've recently climbed to the third-largest auto insurer in the country. Get a quote online at progressive.com in as little as five minutes and see how much you could be saving.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:47:01] Auto insurance from Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and affiliates, home and renters insurance, not available in all states, provided and serviced by affiliated and third-party insurers. Discounts vary and are not available in all states and situations.
[00:47:14] Thank you for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us on the air. To learn more and get links to all the great discounts you just heard, so you can check out those amazing sponsors, visit Jordan harbinger.com/deals. And don't forget the worksheet for today's episode. That link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. If you're listening to us on the Overcast player, please click that little star next to the episode. We really appreciate it. And now back to the show.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:42] Now, again, I want to highlight that this is not "Believe it and you can do it," because frankly, you can't. That's what the Limitless model says. Just because you believe it, you can't. You have to have the other pieces in place. And I was so glad because, as you and I both know, there are so many sort of self-helpy people that are, "You are enough," and it's like, "Well, no, you're not." There are pieces that go into this. It's a nice thought that you're enough and that you believe that you can do it but not really. There's a lot of people that would love to believe they can speak Mandarin, but the fact is they can't. And I was one of those people before I spent eight years learning it. And there's a lot of people that probably think, "You know, I could be a lawyer if I wanted to," and they're not wrong about that. But if they then make the leap to, "I know as much as a doctor, because I read an article on the Internet," and we're seeing a lot of that lately -- that's different and that's dangerous thinking.
[00:48:30] So it's not just all about mindset and I hate to beat a dead horse for a lot of people who are like, "Dude, I know I can't do this just because I believe it." You would be shocked at how many people sabotage themselves, not just into thinking they can't do something because they believe it, but then doing the opposite and thinking that they are qualified just because they believe and leaving all the other pieces on the table, which is just as destructive and weirdly entitled and delusional, I'll add.
Jim Kwik: [00:48:53] I agree with that. People could stay in their mindsets saying "Everything is possible" and think of like, "I'm just going to attract all of these things." But honestly, if they don't do the work and the steps and the methods, there's action involved, also. And so it is not one thing, and that that's what in our society -- sometimes when people watch social media, they're looking for the one thing to make a million dollars or the one thing to improve their memory. The one thing to get the perfect body. It's never one thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:20] Another topic that's sort of adjacent to mindset -- although I think it crosses over all three areas now that you mention it -- is the concept of a dominant question. Can you tell us about this a little bit? I find this useful, and it dovetails into a nice story that you told me earlier.
Jim Kwik: [00:49:34] I mean, this is extremely practical. Something that falls into all threes and becomes integrated as a powerful tool, called your dominant question. The research suggests that we have anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day. A lot of those thoughts are actually coming in the form of questions that we're asking ourselves. There are some questions that we're asking more than any other questions; I call those your dominant questions. So whether you have one or two or three, the reason why it's important is because when you have a question, you activate that part of your brain called the reticular activating system, RAS for short. The example that I use, I really do believe that questions have a lot of power in them. You know, whether you ask a question like, "Why do I want to remember this person's name?" Or asking questions before you read something, then you get answers and answers and answers as opposed to not having those questions. I think questions are like magnets for solutions.
[00:50:31] And I know this because I remember years ago, my younger sister would send me like these postcards, these images, these emails of a very specific kind of dog, a pug dog. These little docile dogs with smushed faces. And the question I would ask myself is: "Why is she sending me these pug dogs?" And I kept on asking that and I realized, I came up with the answer. Her birthday was coming up. So she's a great marketer. She's seeding that really intelligently. But an interesting thing happened; I started seeing pug dogs everywhere. I would go to the grocery store and the woman in front of me would be holding a pug dog at the register. I'd be jogging in my neighborhood, and I swear to you, Jordan, there's a guy walking six pug dogs. And my question for everybody listening is: "Did these pug dogs just magically appear on Earth?" Of course not. They were always there, but I never paid attention to them. Because at any given time, there could be a billion stimuli you can be paying attention to.
[00:51:27] So primarily your brain is a deletion device. It's trying to keep more information out because if you let it all in, you would go insane. We'd be way overloaded. What you let in is really determined by your questions. I started asking questions about pug dogs. I start seeing pug dogs everywhere. And so going back to the power of questions, it's kind of like your mind has an algorithm like Instagram. If you go through Instagram or Facebook and you like all of the cat posts, then Instagram is going to show you, because of the algorithm, more cats.
[00:52:02] And that's also my concern with people indulging and overindulging in the news. I'm not saying "Don't know what's going on." I think it's intelligent to gauge what's going on in the world. But some people could say, and they'll even say this themselves, they're guilty of it. Maybe they're spending way too many hours in the day doing that, and it's not leading to something that they want to be able to create. Because chronic stress shrinks your brain and chronic fear actually suppresses your immune system. It makes you more susceptible to colds or viruses, flu, and such. It's an area of science called psychoneuroimmunology.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:40] I used to think that was total BS, by the way, and it turns out to be true. Those people that always think they're sick -- some people have issues where they believe that -- the hypochondria. But some people actually think themselves into such a state of stress that they get sick far more than everyone else. It's amazing and it sucks for them, obviously.
Jim Kwik: [00:52:58] And it applies even for having a commentary on some people who are so rigid with their diet, for example, and there's no judgment. It's just they're so obsessed with it and they're so stressed and there's so much anxiety that it kind of negates all the benefits of eating all those vegetables. Do you know what I mean?
[00:53:15] Anyway, going back to what we're talking about here is that your mind has that algorithm. If you focus on everything that's dark, it starts showing you more of that in your mental newsfeed, and then you don't shine a light on what's possible. Or you might not be shining a light and deleting opportunities or deleting things that you can be grateful for in that moment because we don't have infinite conscious focus. So we're selecting. And then so whatever we feed, we get more of. Whatever we can engage on social media, they give us more of. And the same thing with what we put in our minds.
[00:53:49] And so going back to this, how to regain control, more of your focus, is the power of questions. And we have a dominant question; we're not limited to one, but just thinking about these pugs, for example, if you had this dominant question of "How do I make things better?" Like for example, I have a friend who I took through her process in the book and we found out her dominant question is "How do I get people to like me?"
[00:54:15] Now, Jordan, you don't know how old she is. You don't know where she lives. You don't know her cultural background, you don't know her career, but you probably know a little bit about her personality. If somebody is obsessed with answering the question of "How do I get this person," or "How do I get people to like me?" what's her life like? What's her personality like?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:31] Ugh, yeah, constantly insecure and evaluating others' perception of her. Terrible.
Jim Kwik: [00:54:35] Yeah. And then some people take advantage of her. She's always people-pleasing. She's a martyr. She's a sycophant. Her personality molds depending on who she's spending time with, that's what she happens to like or dislike. And so you know all this about her and you know one question that she asks -- the cover quote for the book Limitless is from Will Smith. I get to work with a lot of actors, teaching them how to speed read scripts, remain focused on camera, be able to remember their lines faster and easier.
[00:55:04] And I remember we spent the entire day together in Toronto. He was shooting at nighttime from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Everyone thinks that Hollywood is so glamorous, and I know you've had a lot of these guests on your show, a lot of times it's anything but. It's just hurry up to wait and you're waiting and you're waiting. You're waiting. I remember we were shooting, it was like two o'clock at night, right? And it's in the middle of winter, we're in Toronto, we're shooting outside. And earlier that day, we found out his dominant question was "How do I make this moment more magical?" How do I make this moment more magical? And I was like, "Can we make it better?" And he was like, "Yeah, how can I make this moment even more magical?" And I was like, "Wow, because that presupposes it's already magical." And I was like, "That's an interesting question."
[00:55:51] And then later that evening, we know we're waiting and waiting and waiting and we're freezing. And his family is there from West Philly, you know the song, and we're just watching these little monitors, waiting for them to reset the set. And while there's a whole crew there that attend to guests, he's the one that comes out with blankets. He's making hot chocolate and bringing it to everybody. He's cracking jokes. He's telling stories. And I realized in that moment that he's living his dominant question: "How do I make this moment even more magical?"
[00:56:25] And so my question for everybody who's listening is: What do you think your dominant question is? Because when you ask, it's going to change your mindset. When you ask, it changes your purpose or your reasons for doing something. And when you change your focus, it changes the way you feel. And when it changes your motivation, you do certain things that you wouldn't normally do. Another question to ask everybody is: What do you think your partner's question is? It would explain a lot of their behavior. Because if you ask that question so many times, you're going to see pug dogs, pug dogs, pug dogs.
[00:56:58] As an example, growing up as a kid who was labeled "The Boy with the Broken Brain," for me, I was always like, "Why am I broken? Why am I not enough?" And I would find evidence for it, "Oh, it was because of this and this and this and this," and that didn't help me in any way, shape, or form. Later on, I got sick and tired of asking that question similar to your journey. And I started asking a little bit of a better question: "How do I fix this?" When you feel like you're broken, you're thinking, "Okay, how do I fix this? How do I fix this? How do I fix this?" And so those questions really lead our life. And one of the questions that would be supportive when you're going through challenges is asking a question like training herself: "Where is the gift in this?" When I had learning disabilities and I couldn't public speak, I would think, "Where is the gift in this?" And it's funny because I eventually came up with answers because now all I do is public speak on this thing called learning, right?
[00:57:52] You know this personally, I mean, I don't talk about it publicly, but for years I had horrible, horrible sleep. Horrible, horrible sleep. I didn't realize that for five years I was sleeping about 90 minutes a night, maybe two hours.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:05] Wow. That's awful.
Jim Kwik: [00:58:07] And it wasn't even a solid 90 to two hours. It was interrupted where I later got diagnosed with really severe sleep apnea. And when I had that sleep apnea, we realized, the doctors said, "No wonder you're not sleeping, you're not breathing 214 times a night. You stopped breathing for at least 10 seconds. And it's like somebody 200 times a night is coming in and putting a pillow on your face because you have obstructive sleep apnea." And then, so I had this very painful surgery. They called it a U-triple-P. They cut out my tonsils, my uvula, my soft palate. I let more airflow come in. But during that time of struggle with my sleep, I would always say, "Where is the gift in this?"
[00:58:47] Because you have to find some kind of meaning, otherwise you're just going to be depressed all the time. And what the gift was is it forced me to come up with these distinctions that I put in the book. It forced me to double down on all the things that I teach because how can you be productive, how can you perform unless you have better methods? It also gave me a deep appreciation for my own time. Meaning when you are sleep-deprived all the time and you feel exhausted, you don't overcommit to things. Meaning that I think a lot of people are burnt out because they're saying "Yes" way too much. They're saying "Yes" because they're afraid of losing an opportunity or they have FOMO. This fear of missing out, and their attention and their energy is so spread out. But for me, when you feel like you have a limited amount of time, energy, emotion, temperament, you don't say "Yes" a lot. So everything, even now that I'm sleeping, I still stick with that. The gift is I have the ability to do what I do because I leaned into my skills that I teach, but also I really treasure my time. I think part of self-care is remembering that when you say "Yes" to somebody or something, you're not saying "No" to yourself. And a lot of people are just -- they're not putting borders and boundaries around the things that are important to them, the things that they really value.
[01:00:04] And so right now, like I don't want to be anywhere else talking to anybody else. Like I've been looking forward to this conversation and it was like a "Hell, yes" or a "Hell, no" kind of experience. Not because I'm so enlightened, but because I trained myself because I have limited amounts of energy, limited amounts of time, and so you make wiser decisions. You only do the things that you feel you're completely aligned and integrated for.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:26] Jim, there are always so many practical takeaways from every episode that we do. These worksheets are going to be packed full. There's stuff we didn't even get to that I'll probably throw in the worksheets as well. So thank you very much for coming on and I really appreciate it. I hope your book launch goes smoothly, although we talked about that pre-show. It's a little tough right now in isolation. And stay safe and stay sanitized and we'll talk soon.
Jim Kwik: [01:00:44] Jordan, it's been a real pleasure and I'm really excited about this Limitless. My message for everybody here is we're grossly underestimating our own ability. And if you feel like you're being held back, most people could find the book right now, obviously online where books are sold, and we did something very special for the book. I want this to be the most-read book, not the most-bought book, but I want people, as a reading teacher, to read it. So when people go to limitlessbook.com, we created a speed reading memory course there that we give to every single person as a thank you. It's kind of like for people who like audiobooks and videos, this is like a book summary, if you will, that will inspire you and give you tools to be able to read the book. And we're donating 100 percent of the proceeds to build schools. We build schools everywhere from Guatemala to Kenya. And also donating the rest to Alzheimer's research in memory of my grandmother.
[01:01:34] And I challenge everybody actually to take one step is to take a screenshot of this episode, tag Jordan, tag myself, and share your big aha because when you teach something, you get to learn it twice. And if there was one takeaway or one thing you're going to commit to, that's a small simple step as we talked about to share it on social media. I'll repost some of my favorites on Twitter and Instagram and so on, and I'll actually gift a free copy of the book to somebody as well.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:01] Perfect. Jim, again, thank you very much. Always a pleasure. Hope to see you in person at some point when the cloud clears here.
Jim Kwik: [01:02:07] Appreciate you.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:11] Big. Thank you to Jim Kwik. The book title is Limitless. A link to the book and the rest of Jim's stuff will be on our website in the show notes. If you do buy the book, please do use our website links. It does help support the show. Also in the show notes, there are worksheets for each episode, especially here with Jim. There's always a lot of practicals. You can review what you've learned here. Those are on the website and we've got transcripts for each episode, and those can be found in the show notes as well.
[01:02:35] I'm teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships using systems and tiny habits over at our Six-Minute Networking course, which is free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. The number one mistake I see people make is putting this off and not digging the well before they get thirsty. Build your network before you need it, even if it means starting from what you think is from scratch. These drills take just a few minutes a day. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. You can find it all for free at jordanharbinger.com/course. As I mentioned before, most of the guests on the show subscribe to the course and newsletter, so come join us and you'll be in smart company.
[01:03:10] In fact, why not reach out to Jim Kwik and tell him you enjoyed this episode of the show? Show guests love hearing from you. You never know what might shake out of that. Speaking of building relationships, I'm on social media at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram.
[01:03:23] This show is created in association with PodcastOne and this episode was produced by Jen Harbinger and Jason DeFillippo, engineered by Jase Sanderson, show notes and worksheets by Robert Fogarty, music by Evan Viola. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Our advice and opinions, and those of our guests are their own, and I'm a lawyer, but not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. And remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for the show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody who has trouble staying motivated or if you know somebody that thinks that motivation is the only thing they need and they're struggling with it, they're watching stupid Instagram memes all the time, share this episode with them. This might be the missing piece, or at least the pieces of the Limitless model might be the missing pieces. Hopefully, you find something great in every episode that we do, so please do share the show with the people you love. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on this show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.