- Title: Limitless
- Sub-title: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life
- Author: Jim Kwik
- About the author: Jim Kwik is a world-renowned expert in memory improvement, brain optimization, learning, and mindset. His own challenges with learning and memory stemming from a childhood brain injury lead to him creating ways to overcome his obstacles. For over two decades, he has shared what he learned and has served millions including top entrepreneurs, entertainers, athletes, political leaders, and corporations.
- Pages: 344
- Published: 2020
- ISBN-10: 1401958230
- Link to book
Limitless is a book all about upgrading the most powerful technology in the world: your brain.
Jim Kwik has been teaching others how to change the way they learn, remember, and think for over 25 years.
You wouldn’t have suspected it if you knew him as a child. Jim suffered a head injury when he was young that lead to a learning disability that troubled him until his college years.
It took a few impactful individuals and experiences for Jim’s eyes to open up to the limitless possibilities of his mind. His struggle soon became his strength and he shares all he knows in his book.
Limitless is divided into four parts:
- Free Your Mind
- Limitless Mindset
- Limitless Motivation
- Limitless Methods
The book offers a blueprint for upgrading the brain. Jim shares his advice and strategies to get the most out of that thing between your ears. Along with methods and strategies for learning, memory, and thinking, the author offers ways to optimize and heal your brain through nutrition, sleep, and meditation as well.
The book covers aspects of the mind from all angles. Topics in the book include:
- Limitless brain and why it matters
- How to read and remember
- Belief systems
- 7 lies of learning
- Flow state
- Speed reading
Limitless is 300+ pages of pure gold. Discover the practices and techniques that have been sought out by top-performing individuals in all fields and backgrounds.
Limitless is a must-read for anyone interested in unlocking and achieving their full potential. This book does not favor any particular reader. Gender, race, age, etc do not matter. Limitless should be read by everyone.
The potential benefits from upgrading your brain, mindset, motivation, and methods should move you enough to read this book. Think about how your life would change if you were able to improve and optimize your beliefs, learning, memory, energy, and the other topics that the book discusses.
I take notes on every book I read for my own record and to help create these book reviews. I found so much value in the book that my notes ended up being 35 pages long on a Word document. It was single-spaced and in size 12 font.
I’m looking forward to implementing everything I have learned from this book.
Top 20 takeaways
* In no particular order
1. We can enhance our brain and supercharge our ability to learn.
2. We rely on technology too much for our critical thinking, reasoning, and memory.
3. Our capacity to learn is limitless; We simply need to be shown how to access it. Learning how to learn is the ultimate superpower and makes every other skill and ability possible.
4. If there is a gap between your current reality and your desired reality, there is a limit that must be released and replaced in one of three areas: a limit in your mindset, a limit in your motivation, a limit in your methods.
5. The key to making yourself limitless is unlearning false assumptions. The inner critic in your head inhibits you, limits you, and stops you from pursuing the life you truly want to life. You are governed either consciously or unconsciously by a suite of limitations either you impose on yourself you others impose on you.
6. The four horsemen of our age that lead to overload, distraction, and forgetfulness are: digital deluge, digital distraction, digital dementia, and digital deduction.
7. Our brains are capable of neuroplasticity. They are malleable and the structure of the brain can be shaped by our actions. The hardware upgrades with each new synaptic connection and strengthening of connections.
8. We don’t just have one brain. Hidden in the walls of the digestive system is the gut brain and it has an outsized effect on determining our mental state.
9. It’s best to read and study in bursts of shorter time periods such as 30 minutes. That is the time for peak concentration. The idea of primacy and recency also make the case for 30-minute sessions. You are most likely to remember the first thing and last thing. By breaking a 3 hour study session into multiple 30-minute sessions, there are more beginnings and endings to remember.
10. There are multiple forms of genius, competence, and intelligence that are expressed.
11. To learn faster, we must transcend the narrow definition of what we believe is possible for ourselves.
12. Knowledge is not power, only the potential for power. You must take action.
13. The formula for Motivation = Purpose x Energy x s^3 (small simple steps).
14. Lack of sleep compromises all of your cognitive skills, your focus, your memory, and your overall brain health. It’s common that a contributing factor for depression and many more disorders is lack of sleep.
15. Even if you have a reason for doing something every day, one thing that can keep you from doing so is fatigue. You need mental and physical vitality for fuel. This can come from nutrition, sleep, exercise, environment, your peer group, stress management, and other actions.
16. One of the most significant reasons that people fail to act is that we feel overwhelmed by what we need to do. Take small simple steps to get closer to your goal.
17. Whenever work is interrupted with distractions, it takes more than 20 minutes each time to get back on track.
18. Yes, your brain is an organ. But it acts like a muscle. There’s a significant resemblance to a muscle in that it’s a use-it-or-lose-it device. Our brains stay fit only when we make a concerted effort to keep it fit. If we fail to keep our brains in shape, either through laziness or being overly dependent on technology to do our thinking, it becomes flabby.
19. Contrary to popular belief, speed reading can boost comprehension, boost focus and concentration, and take less effort than traditional reading.
20. You’ll never change your life until you decide to change something you do daily. Our daily decisions and habits have a huge impact or success and happiness.
What I liked
Practical to do’s and how to’s, no fluff
This book is extremely practical and Jim Kwik offers all the to-do’s and how to’s you could need to take action. There is nothing for the reader to second guess on how to do something. I thought this book was written well and it truly is a blueprint on what you need to do.
There isn’t any fluff in this book and I personally appreciate that in a book. Limitless used an appropriate amount of personal stories and experiences to show examples and emphasize points.
Some authors go overboard with this and tell more story than advice. Jim did not. Limitless is filled with things you need to know and how to realize the benefits of those things.
Can implement and achieve without external help
Seemingly everything recommended in this book can be achieved on your own without any external help or purchases. That means you can read this book and immediately start implementing the techniques Jim has shared. This is exactly what I did. I read the book, took notes, and started taking action.
Compare this to some of the personal finance books I have reviewed such as Financial Freedom and I Will Teach You To Be Rich. In those books, you need external resources to help you achieve financial freedom. You need a brokerage account. You need funds to perform to achieve returns. You need tenants to rent out your rental properties, etc.
With Limitless, you can read strategies on how to speed read and literally implement them to read the remainder of the book.
Proof from the author
At the beginning of the book, Jim Kwik walks through his life story and the struggles that nearly lead to his death. He also shared the story of how his grandmother had dementia and what it was like to slowly lose her as she lost her memory and self.
Then he tells the story of his triumph over his disabilities and how he now helps millions, including elite high-performers in all fields of work. With what he had to overcome, I’ll take every bit of advice he gives. He is proof that these methods work and that the mind can be limitless.
Debunking of myths
Many myths around the mind were debunked throughout the book. Examples include the 7 lies of learning and myths around speed reading.
There are many common misconceptions and limiting beliefs involved with learning, memory, reading, and the overall capability of our brains. It is refreshing to have someone come in and open your eyes to the truth, or at least show a different point of view.
That point of view could be one that is limitless.
“Kwik start” for active learning and engagement
Every few pages or so, there is a gray box at the end of a section titled “Kwik start.” The short text within the box asks the reader questions or directs the reader on an action to take. The verbiage is related to the reading that preceded it and it is meant to engage the reader.
This is a form of active learning and it accomplishes two major things: it gets the reader to think or take an action, and this active learning helps cement the information into long-term memory. This reflection, recall, and use of information helps build synaptic connections in the mind.
Acronyms for remembering
As a way to make things easier to remember, Limitless is filled with acronyms related to the lessons in the book. Some of these include:
- FASTER, HEART, LIES, ANTS, BE SUAVE, MOM
They may be awkward and cheesy, but they were effective in helping me remember the content the letters stood for and represented.
Benefits for your life and career
The benefits of this book to your life and career are….limitless (ba dum tisss).
In all seriousness though, this book has become one of my favorites related to improving and optimizing the brain. I love the topic of learning how to learn and helping your brain perform at its peak.
The brain allows us to do everything from learning, thinking, creating, innovating, loving, and accomplishing. Knowing how to learn faster, smarter, and better can truly apply to any area of your life.
It seemed as if every page of Limitless was filled with tips and actionable steps the reader could take to improve themselves. If you implemented just 10% of the things recommended in this book, I think you would still have a substantial improvement.
Many of the things Jim Kwik recommends will be harder and take more effort at the beginning of your journey and implementation. The front-loading will pay dividends to you for the rest of your life. Tough it out in the beginning and know that it will pay off.
You will regain all the lost time and much more once your systems, habits, and beliefs have changed.
10 Actions You Should Take
1. Use your mind to remember more things instead of your phone, like a grocery list for example.
2. Write down limiting beliefs and labels you have for yourself. Work to eliminate or disprove them.
3. Give your brain time to rest. Drive your car with no music. Eat meals without looking at your phone.
4. Use the Pomodoro technique for reading, learning, and other tasks. 25 minutes on. 5 minute break. Repeat.
5. Consider what your purpose and why are. Who is counting on you to be limitless and achieve your potential?
6. Buy Jim’s top 10 brain food recommendations and add them to your regular diet.
7. Clean your working/learning environment.
8. Break down your goal by working backwards and identifying small simple steps you can take to achieve the goal.
9. Add cold showers, breathing exercises, and meditation to your morning routine.
10. Try to read a piece of text while counting numbers out loud. This will help you avoid sub-vocalization while reading. Reading without sub-vocalization is essential to speed reading.