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Optimize Your Brain to Optimize Your Business with Guest Jim Kwik: MakingBank S3E1

with Jim Kwik



MAKING BANK is a weekly YouTube TV show and iTunes Podcast full of #Success and #Business with Josh.

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As an entrepreneur, you’re paid for your mind power and your business is very dependent on that. If you can figure out how to optimize your brain, you can use it to build a better business.

Today on #MakingBank, host Josh Felber invites Jim Kwik to discuss 10 things that really move the needle for having an optimal brain. He shares some excellent advice on how you can optimize your brain in very simple ways.

Jim Kwik is the founder of Kwik Learning and is a world expert in speed-reading, memory improvement, brain performance, and accelerated learning. For two decades he has served as the mental coach to top celebrities and CEOs in entertainment, technology, education, and business.

Jim has shared the stage with global ambassadors from Sir Richard Branson to his Holiness The Dalai Lama. His work is predominantly featured in the recent NYT best-selling book, “Use Your Brain to Change Your Age.

So, tune-in to hear Josh and Jim talk all-things brain health and optimization, as well as…

✔   The importance of remembering your dreams as an entrepreneur.

✔   What to focus on in order to have an optimal brain.

✔   Why CEOs who read have a strong advantage over those who do not.

✔   How you can apply brain optimization techniques in very simple ways and still get results.

And more…

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Optimize Your Brain to Optimize Your Business with Guest Jim Kwik: MakingBank S3E1

Josh Felber:                          Welcome to Making Bank. I am Josh Felber, where we uncover the success strategies and the mindsets of the top 1% so you can amplify your life and your business today. I’m really honored and excited for today’s guest. He’s come back on Making Bank. I want to welcome Jim Kwik to the show.

Jim Kwik:                                 Thanks for having me.

Josh Felber:                          Yeah, man.

Jim Kwik:                                 It’s good to see you.

Josh Felber:                          For sure. It’s good to see you again.

Jim Kwik:                                 Hi everybody.

Josh Felber:                          Jim and I were talking a little bit before. We’re like, “How can we best deliver the most value to you guys today?” And I think it’s just really uncovering what Jim’s mindset and his strategies are to keep his brain in optimal performance. He’s an entrepreneur just like you guys, and just how he’s able to break through the distractions and noise on a daily basis. What he’s eating to really help optimize and move that … make sure that brain is firing quickly.

Jim, let’s dive in and really take a look at that first step of what you start your day out with and how you utilize foods, it could be to start with.

Jim Kwik:                                 Absolutely. First of all thanks for everybody who’s joining us for this conversation. We’re going to talk about how to optimize and build better brains so you can have a better business because your business is really dependent on your mind power. We’re not paid for muscle power, we’re paid for our mind power. It’s not your brute strength. It’s completely your brain strength. The ability to solve problems, to be able to think clear and be able to focus, to be able to learn faster. Because the faster you can learn, the faster you can earn. That’s why it’s so important to have this conversation

Josh Felber:                          For sure.

Jim Kwik:                                 I think, really, right now entrepreneurs are suffering from all these kind of … It’s interesting being an entrepreneur right now because you have so much pressure. You have so many things that are vying for your attention and so how do you manage all of that in a digital economy were there’s distractions and there’s these demands and there’s these difficulties?

Part of it is building up some kind of growth plan. Your mindset is part of it. It’s building your growth. It’s not just growth, it’s also your ability to have grit because nowadays-

Josh Felber:                          That sustainability for-

Jim Kwik:                                 Right. You go through challenges. Part of going through as an entrepreneur’s journey, you’re going through challenges and it changes you.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 Sometimes our struggles become our strength. I know this because growing up, when people see me on stage, it’s funny. We’ve shared stages before. People see me do these demonstrations where I’ll memorize a room full of people’s names. Literally, 100 people’s names, or they’ll give me 100 numbers or 100 words forwards and backwards. I always tell people I don’t do this to impress you, I do this to express to you what’s really possible.

Because the truth is you could do it, too. Every single person that’s with us today has incredible capacity to learn, to think, to solve problems and have a vitality of their mind also as well. But the challenge is your brain is this incredible super computer but doesn’t come with an owner’s manual.

Josh Felber:                          Sure.

Jim Kwik:                                 Nobody shows us how to use it, so you wonder why you’re stressed. You wonder why you have information fatigue syndrome or information anxiety. I’d love to go through strategies on how to conquer all those modern day super villains. We geek out over super heroes.

Josh Felber:                          Right, yeah. The Batman phone case that I’m utilizing for my kids’ phone.

Jim Kwik:                                 I have my Iron Man case also, as well. But the reason I talk about super heroes a lot is because I feel like entrepreneurs are real life, modern day super heroes.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 They’re the ones that are solving problems. They’re the ones creating value. They’re the ones that are creating jobs, things that weren’t there before. So I honor the capes that you wear. The truth is that there are these super villains also, that get in our way. The ones I talk about a lot are things like information overload, and overwhelmed. It kind of holds us back, and we always feel like we’re trying to catch up, and we can’t ever keep up, much less get ahead.

How I like to start, I mean, we can talk about something new that we didn’t talk bout before.

Josh Felber:                          For sure.

Jim Kwik:                                 Starting your day is really important. Everyone always talks about morning routines. Oprah has her routine, and Tony Robbins has his routine. For me, my morning routine, and the concept behind this, for some of you who are just new to this idea, is that if you want to win the day, you win the morning. Right?

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 Because you want to develop positive momentum, because if you want to have a great day, you have to have a good morning.

First of all, I start, I wake up and I start by remember my dreams. That’s the first thing that I do. Why is that important for an entrepreneur? I don’t really have this conversation out … I did a podcast episode on this recently for our show. The reason why entrepreneurs want to remember their dreams is this, when you’re going throughout your day, you are learning. At night, though, things don’t just shut off. Actually, your subconscious mind is working on the things you worked on that day.

So it’s solving problems. It’s integrating your short to long-term memory. The challenge is, is you could have some real deep wisdom and solutions in your dream, but when you wake up, most people don’t remember their dreams.

Josh Felber:                          For me, I remember as a kid I always would. But not, as an adult, it’s like, “What happened to them?”

Jim Kwik:                                 And you wonder that. You know you had something that was insightful or inspiring, and for the life of you, you can’t recall what it is. The first thing I do is I go through a process. And I can give you a couple of tips here on how to remember your dreams. I go through a process. The reason why is this for an entrepreneur. Some of the most incredible discoveries in culture, in literature, in art, in science, and invention, and in music, actually came from someone’s dreams.

For example, Frankenstein came to Mary Shelley in a dream.

Josh Felber:                          Wow.

Jim Kwik:                                 Isn’t that incredible? Frankenstein, right? Paul McCartney dreamt about Yesterday, the song Yesterday in a dream. How amazing is that, right? Elias Howe invented the sewing machine in his dream. That’s amazing. Even this scientific method in the periodic table. The periodic table actually came … the whole structure of it came in a chemist’s dream. So that’s what’s happening when you’re sleeping.

Because you’re an entrepreneur, you’re working on solving these problems, and putting together your team, having your impact, scaling your business and everything, or starting your business. Then at nighttime, you actually have this incredible power. Your subconscious is so much more powerful than your conscious mind, and it’s working on it, so you want to be able to remember it.

I go through a process. A couple quick tips on how to remember your dreams. First of all, when you go to bed, set the intention that you’re going to remember your dreams. What I mean by that specifically, is have you ever … you have to wake up at like 6:30, and you set the intention to wake up because you have something very important, and you wake up like two minutes before your alarm clock goes off.

Josh Felber:                          Oh, yeah.

Jim Kwik:                                 Because that’s your setting your intention, and so trust that you will be able to do that. Trust you’ll be able to remember your dreams. The other thing is very simple, is keeping a dream journal by your bed. I keep a journal by my bed, and I specifically only use it to write my dreams. I start training my brain to remember your dreams better because once you start attuning to that, you could start writing ever single morning. Or even if you wake up, you could write in it. Maybe you could go on Amazon, get one of those pens that have a little light on it and such.

Write your dreams, but you’re training yourself to do it. I also do … I had a podcast episode on lucid dreaming. Do you know what lucid dreaming is?

Josh Felber:                          Yeah. But I don’t know if a lot of people here do.

Jim Kwik:                                 Lucid dreaming is this. Have you ever had a dream and you realize that you’re dreaming? You’re in a dream, but you realize. You’re aware. So lucidity means awareness. Dream, you’re aware that you’re dreaming. It’s an incredible tool that anyone can learn how to do, even if it’s not natural for you. You can train yourself to be aware that when you’re dreaming. What the benefit, is that you could have some real amazing up time, be able to solve problems, live out your imagination, these incredible dreams, talk to people that you’ve always wanted to talk to, and learn from it.

Then, also, get all the benefits from restorative sleep, which is so important. We’ll come back to this thing called sleep, because I think it’s the number one brain hack out there, is getting good rest. Most of the entrepreneurs, they’re working 9 to 5 because they’re working their job. Then at nighttime, they’re building their business sometimes. They’re not getting the rest.

I would say yes, work hard, play hard, but also rest hard also. Because sleep is so important. When you lack sleep, you don’t make the decisions the next day. You don’t think well. You don’t solve problems really well. It focuses your memory. Everything is shot when you don’t get sleep. So could use some really good hacks.

But the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is, I remember my dreams. I go through this process, like a five-step process to be able to do that. Next, actually … I don’t know if you do this, Josh. I actually make my bed first thing in the morning. It’s one of the reasons why is because they always say, “How you do anything is how you do everything.”

Josh Felber:                          Sure.

Jim Kwik:                                 And you’re training yourself first thing before you get out of that bed to be able to do something with excellence. How long does it take to make your bed?

Josh Felber:                          30 seconds.

Jim Kwik:                                 Exactly. You’re talking about 30 seconds, one minute. Make your bed. It’s worth it. You do it with excellence, you have a win. Right? You get to hit the first domino in your day. You start out with a win. You feel good about yourself. Again, you’re training yourself that the little things matter. What’s also wonderful is when you come back at the end of the day, at night. You come back to success. Or you come back to a made bed.

By the way, having a clean environment is part of having a really sharp mind, also, as well. I talk about the 10 keys for locking what I call your Kwik brain. And one of them happens to be sleep. But the other one happens to be cleaning your environment. Because when you clean your environment, you start having better focus and clarity also.

Remember if you clean your desktop on your computer, and all of a sudden … or you clean your office, and you have clarity.

Josh Felber:                          It’s this big clutter, and then it’s like, “Ah, let me get it all organized.”

Jim Kwik:                                 Exactly. Because your internal world is a reflection of your external world, right? So I make my bed. After that, I go through breathing exercises.

Josh Felber:                          Okay.

Jim Kwik:                                 Most people, they go to food first thing for energy. But you can go a long time without food.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 How long can you go without food?

Josh Felber:                          Weeks. I mean, I just 36-hour fasted last week.

Jim Kwik:                                 Really?

Josh Felber:                          Yeah.

Jim Kwik:                                 How did you feel?

Josh Felber:                          I felt amazing. We actually had a 5K run as I was getting ready, before I … I ran the 5K, and had energy, and super-focused. And then I ate after the 5K and stuff.

Jim Kwik:                                 Yeah. I do intermittent fasting. I don’t really eat food in the morning, myself. But you should talk to your health practitioner, and coach, and stuff like that.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 Food. We can go weeks, over a month without food, right? But how long can you go without something like water? Like maybe a few days?

Josh Felber:                          A few days, yeah.

Jim Kwik:                                 But how long can you go without air? A few minutes.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 So you went from a few weeks, to a few days to a few minutes. So I do breathing exercises in the morning, and it’s important. You could do whatever works for you, box breathing, alpha breathing, Wim Hof method. There’s a lot of different ways of doing it. We could do a whole episode on breathing techniques.

It’s important though, because the challenge is, your brain is only maybe 2% of your body weight. But it utilizes over 20% of its resources. Sometimes a lot of us are on our computers all day, and we’re collapsed like this, and we collapse our diaphragm, the lower … and the lower one third of your lungs absorbs almost two thirds of all the oxygen. A lot of people are not getting the breath, and the air, and the oxygen.

That’s why a lot of people suffer from mental fog, or mental fatigue, or their tired.

Josh Felber:                          Ah, the oxygen.

Jim Kwik:                                 Is the breathing, which is very important. That’s why even my rituals, when I’m working on a computer, they say sitting is the new smoking.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 People are sedentary. They sit there for eight hours and never get up. Set your clock, and set your alarm to stand up every 30 minutes, or 45 minutes. And just spend a few minutes, and we teach people how to do these brain movements. Because as your body moves, your brain grooves, right?

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 It’s one of the most … and you know this because one half of your brain controls the other half of the body, and vica versa. When you use your body in certain ways, actually stimulates your brain to make new connections. They call it neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is basically saying that you can make new connections in your brain just by having a new thought, or new movements. So novelty and nutrition is really important.

I do the deep breathing a number of times. Actually, I do some like burpies, for like one or two minutes. It’s not my exercise for the day. But I like to get into my body and energize myself. Do something pretty intense for a minute or two, just to kind of wake up like that. I do have a big, tall glass of water. I usually put some kind of fancy drops in it or something like that. Then I make a tea.

My tea is like a brain tea. I usually jumpstart my brain with a brain tea. I put gotu kola, ginkgo, lion’s mane. I put some honey … some people, honey doesn’t work for them, but it happens to work for me really well. And I put some kind of fat in there. It could be like MCT. Some people put butter, like [raspid 00:13:27] butters. Some people put [gihi 00:13:30] in it. But just put some kind of fat in there. It just helps you to be able to absorb it.

Sometimes I’ll put tumeric in there, because tumeric really is a super food. I did a whole podcast episode on the 10, my favorite brain foods. One of them is that kind of yellow powder, like a golden powder, which is really important. I know you and I talk about inflammation.

Josh Felber:                          Sure.

Jim Kwik:                                 And inflammation is something that you have in your body, your brain. Your brain is obviously part of your body, but it’s there, and it creates a lot challenges for a lot of people because you’re under stress all the time. We’ve talked about cold therapy, we’ve gone to cryotherapy together. It’s a wonderful way to wipe out inflammation in your body. Just like, if I bang my knee on a coffee table, I would put ice on it to reduce the swelling.

Well, we have swelling in our body all the time. We know some of the high-performers, they take ice baths.

Josh Felber:                          Ice baths.

Jim Kwik:                                 Michael Phelps, and everyone else. So cold therapy is really good. So I jump in the shower, and while my tea is kind of setting. I’ll take a cold shower every single day. It just wakes me up, and it’s a nice … and people don’t want to hear this, but as a coach, I want to tell people what could work for you potentially. But a short cold shower kind of wakes up the nervous system. It’s like control-alt-delete, which is a nice reset for people.

Then I have my tea and I journal. Some people use the five-minute journal. Probably what you’re familiar with, and talk about gratitude, because I think that’s very important. And really feel the things that you’re most grateful for. Everybody has a to-do list. I wake up and I have a to-feel list.

Josh Felber:                          Ah, yeah.

Jim Kwik:                                 To feel this, and we’ve talked about this in the past, that I think there’s two kinds of people. There’s thermometers and there’s thermostats. A thermometer, when you think about the function, a lot of people would put them in the same category, but it’s very different. A thermometer is something that reacts to the environment. It tells you what the environment is giving it.

But a thermostat is different. A thermostat sets a standard. It sets a vision. It sets a goal, whatever it is. Then the environment raises for that.

Josh Felber:                          To that, yeah.

Jim Kwik:                                 That’s what really an entrepreneur is, right? An entrepreneur is somebody who says, “Okay, I’m going to spend more time being a thermometer than a thermostat.” Because all of us could react to things. We could react to the economy. We could react to the weather. We could react to our clients and how they’re treating us. But to the degree you’re happy and fulfilled, it’s like where you have the locus of control inside, and you set the standard.

That’s what entrepreneurs do. They have a vision, and then it may be invisible, and they make it more visible out there. I think it’s really important to have that vision for yourself. Most importantly, vision how you want to feel every single day. Everyone has a to-do list, but they don’t have a to-be list. This is who I’m going to be today. Or this is what I’m going to feel today, as opposed to just waiting and hoping I’m going to feel fascinated, or interested, or-

Josh Felber:                          Reacting to what’s around you.

Jim Kwik:                                 Exactly. Then you brought up a really good point. I have a to-do list, and I also have a not-to-do list. I know it’s a lot of the really high-level, elite mental performers that I get to work with. Like all these CEOs, and actors, A-listers. They have a to-do list, but they have a really big not-to-do list.

Josh Felber:                          Sure.

Jim Kwik:                                 You have a to-feel list, a to-be list, and not-to-do list. But one of the things I don’t do … you notice I’ve gone through a number of things I do in the morning. I never mention my phone. Most people, the first thing that they do when they wake up, is they touch, and go through their phone. I’ll tell you two things why you don’t want to do this, for productivity.

Number one, every like, share, comment, every time you get that, it creates a dopamine hit, right? And this is, Instagram, we just did a podcast episode on how to change your habits. I think really, right? We know this. You first do make your habits, and then your habits make you. But I brought on Dr. BJ Fogg. He was a Stanford University researcher, and teaches people how to create new habits, and make things addictive. One of his students co-founded Instagram. Think about how addicting Instagram and social media is.

Because every single time you see a read message thing, like, whatever it is, you have to click on it because it’s this impulse. You have to be able to do that. Even one of the growth hacks I have, is there’s a setting on your phone where you can actually triple hit your button, and then it actually turns everything gray scale. So you don’t see the blue light.

Josh Felber:                          The colors right.

Jim Kwik:                                 You don’t see the red that makes you feel like, “Oh, I got to check this message,” or whatever it is. So the first thing that checking your phone does, it fries you, because it trains you to be distracted, right? It’s training you with all these dopamine hits, all the chemical hits that you’re getting, to be distracted. That’s a big problem for a lot of entrepreneurs. They can’t stay focused on one thing at a time. They try to multi-task, and we know that multi-tasking doesn’t work.

Conclusively, all the research says you cannot do two cognitive intense activities at the same time. You could walk and chew gum, right? Because it doesn’t take a lot thought. But you cannot work on two projects at the same time, and you feel like you can because you’re getting those same dopamine fixes, because you’re getting novelty. But every time you switch from one thing to another, there’s a switching cost.

It takes upwards of five minutes, to twenty minutes, to regain your flow, regain getting back in the zone. Your focus, your concentration. If you feel like you’re multi-tasking, you’re actually losing ground definitively. We have your to-feel list, not-to-feel list. For the other part of reaching for your phone, besides all the distraction, you’re training yourself to not only be distracted. You’re training yourself to be reactive.

And you know this because you’ve seen this. You get these emails, and these texts and it’s the first thing you’re seeing. You’re training yourself to be able to fight fires, to be able to … everybody has these things that they want from you, and you’re just reacting to things as opposed to setting your day with an intention. That’s why I think journaling is important. I’m drinking my brain tea, and I’m writing down, “Okay. This is what I want to feel today.”

The three things I want to accomplish today, and I have three business things, and I have three personal things. They don’t have to be epic things. They don’t have to be really huge, big things. They could be simple a having a green juice today, or going for a walk for my personal things. But on a business thing, I think, out of the 200 things on my to-do list, I think about the three things that would move the needle the most.

Because there’s some things on that list that if you did that one thing, it would take care of 20 things on your list, right?

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 We’re always talking about the Pareto’s Principle, and the 80/20 rule, always focusing on first things first. So I’m drinking my brain tea, I’m journaling a little bit. So a little bit later, not too much later, I actually make like a brain smoothie.

Some of the brain foods that I said-

Josh Felber:                          These are more the super foods and stuff.

Jim Kwik:                                 Yeah, these are like the super ingredients that really, that you put together, and just make a good meal. Because you are what you eat.

Josh Felber:                          Sure.

Jim Kwik:                                 We know that for entrepreneurs, or for everybody, even your families and everybody, your friends, your team. One third of your intelligence, your memory, your potential there, is predetermined by genetics and biology. But two thirds is completely in your control. What I like to focus on, are the 10 things that really move the needle for having an optimal brain, what I call the Kwik Brain.

It ranges. It’s a good brain diet, right? Getting rid of negative thoughts, exercise. Studies have shown that when you exercise, and then afterwards study or do something, you’re in better focus, you have better memory. Basically, you have better blood flow.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 When you get your heart moving, right? It starts to circulate blood into the areas that you need it.

Josh Felber:                          That could just be a walk. Because I know when I work out, whether it’s running, whether it’s crossfit, or whatever it may be, that’s a lot of times when the best ideas come to me.

Jim Kwik:                                 Completely. When you’re going for a hike outside and you’re in that place, that’s when you’re actually creating these brain-derived nutrients and connections.

Josh Felber:                          Sure.

Jim Kwik:                                 Movement is key, because as your body moves, your brain grooves. We’re talking about exercise. We’re talking about supplementation. We’re talking about maybe … you and I, how many cities have we been in the past week?

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 You’re traveling, so you don’t always get to eat the best foods ever. So supplementing with Omega 3s and B vitamins. Sometimes, I highly recommend everyone watching this, get your blood work done, and get a nutritional profile. See the areas that you might be deficient at, because … like, I teach people how to read three times faster. I teach people how to learn languages, do all these things. But if you’re lacking certain B vitamins, it’s really hard to hold your attention for people.

So look at what you’re … and I would also recommend food sensitivity, hormonal, all that stuff plays a part. Everyone always wants to know, what’s the magic pill to have a better memory? But it’s not a pill. It’s a process.

Josh Felber:                          Sure.

Jim Kwik:                                 All these things matter. Sleep matters, clean environment matters, brain protection, new learning, stress management, all these things work. So you can’t just do one thing. You have to do it all. Because your brain is everything. Your brain controls your income, your intelligence, your impact on the world. Most people, they haven’t optimized their brain because they never had training in this area.

School, it’s interesting. School teaches you what to learn, math, and history, and science. Not a lot of classes on how to learn, and how to think, and how to solve problems, how to focus, concentrate, how to remember things. How to remember people’s names in business. The number one business etiquette networking skill there is, is remembering people’s names. Or reading fast. Nobody teaches you these things. That’s why I love your community, because you’re bringing this knowledge to people, and you’re helping them up-level their learning so they can up-level their life.

So I make my brain smoothie, and I’m not going to throw all 10 things, my super foods, but things are like, avocado, really good fats, right? We’re talking, if you eat fish, salmon, or some of the smaller fish. Sardines, very good because it has all the fats that you need. I’m talking about blueberries, which are just delicious. I call them brain berries, which are really great to be able to add to. Walnuts.

I notice that walnuts, what it looks like, it actually looks like-

Josh Felber:                          Like a brain. Yeah.

Jim Kwik:                                 Like your brain, right? And there’s certain foods, like signature foods. Like, if you cut a carrot, and you look at it on the profile, it looks like an eye.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 Or your avocado’s really good for reproductive organs. Like, nature tells you these things. And a lot of these ingredients, like green leafy vegetables, very good for your brain, right? A lot of things that have antioxidants, and Vitamin E, fights free radicals, which is important because your brain, your body’s always under attack. But I’ll take a lot of these ingredients, and I’ll actually throw it into a blender, and I’ll make a brain smoothie. And that’s an easy way to be able to consume it.

You put your avocado in there, your green leafy vegetables, your blueberries, water is a super food, right? Because most people are dehydrated.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 Your brain, your body’s like 70-75% water. Make sure you stay hydrated. I’ll put all these ingredients … maybe not the sardines … in my brain smoothie, and I’ll have that. That’s when I’ll start reading. I really do like … I’ve had this opportunity to work with high-performing actors that have to film crazy hours at crazy days in different locations and stuff like that. Someone like a Will Smith. He says, “Jim, every morning, I run, and I read.”

Metaphorically, do something physical, and do something mental. We were talking before we started filming, about preparation and how do we prepare to go on film, and do all this. I remember asking him, because we were in Toronto together, and he was filming from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. each of those nights, which really messes up your sleep and everything. I was like, “When somebody calls you at three o’clock in the morning, how do you get ready?”

He’s like, “Jim, I never have to get ready. I stay ready.” And that’s what I’m saying. If you live your message, and you’re doing this work, as success coaches have said, I don’t know if it’s Tony Robbins or somebody else, what you practice in private, you’re rewarded for in public. Do the work, and you get all the rewards. So do the work.

So I’m reading. He says he runs and reads. I like to read every day. There’s not a day that goes by that I won’t read something. I just did a show on how to read 52 books a year without speed reading. People’s like, “That’s a lot of books.” Because the average person reads like two books a year.

Josh Felber:                          Maybe, yeah.

Jim Kwik:                                 Maybe, if that. The average CEO, though, reads about four or five a month, like one a week. That person has such a huge advantage, right? If somebody has decades of experience and they put into a book, on negotiation, on sales, on marketing, on team development, culture, whatever it is, product development, any kind of scaling thing. If you put it into a book, and you can sit down in a few days and read that book, that’s awesome.

Josh Felber:                          That’s awesome. Yeah.

Jim Kwik:                                 You could download decades into days, and you have such a big advantage. So I read. And here’s the thing. I went on Amazon. I wanted to find out the medium number of words per book. It’s about 64,000 words. That means 50% higher, 50% lower. I’m like, “That’s interesting. The average person reads approximately 200 words per minute. So you divide the two, and you have about 320 minutes to read a book.”

Josh Felber:                          Oh, wow. Okay.

Jim Kwik:                                 Now, that sounds like a lot, a big number, but if you divide that by seven, that’s about 45 minutes of reading a day. Just 45 minutes of reading a day will get you a book a week done.

Josh Felber:                          That’s interesting, yeah.

Jim Kwik:                                 That sounds doable, right? To be able to have that. So I read every … and besides the fact, we teach people how to read three times faster, right.

Josh Felber:                          Condense it.

Jim Kwik:                                 Right, you could read basically in 15 minutes that normally takes 45 minutes, and then you’re done. My goal is to get people reading one book a week. We do like a book a week club if you will. Because that’d be the biggest difference.

Most people, overestimate what they can do in a day. But most people grossly, grossly underestimate what they can do in a year. You’re taking 52 books, and putting it into your mind in a way that you can retain it, and comprehend it, not where you’re skimming or scanning, but really reading it, then you just have an incredible advantage. You have the expert’s edge, right?

So that’s what we’re talking about. I drink my smoothie, I read my book, and I’m ready for the day. I’m ready. That’s like the first hour. And people think, well I can’t do that because I have kids, and I have this and this. Then, wake up a little bit earlier, and make this a priority. I get tagged in this in social media all the time. I tell people self-love and self-care is not self-ish. Self-care is so important for entrepreneurs because I can’t tell you how many entrepreneurs … I get to work with some amazing ones, like you, that just … they run themselves ragged, and they’re hustling all the time.

I totally get the hard work, right? But you got to work hard, and you’ve got to rest hard also. You got to restore hard because it’s not sustainable.

Josh Felber:                          I know one of the things you mentioned, even just from a time perspective, just being able to make the smoothies and all that, is we located, or came across Daily Harvest. They ship you, and their like all the nutrients. So my kids love the ones with the walnuts, and that’s the same ones I love too. It has all the brain foods you’re talking about. You literally have no excuse. You just dump it in the blender, put some coconut milk with it, blend it up, and you got like a rock star brain smoothie.

Jim Kwik:                                 It’s the best ever, right? That’s what the most successful people do because the reason why you create these success routines, and these rituals is because you don’t want to extend … you only have a certain amount of mental energy throughout the day.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 And you can do the best you can to enhance it. You can do the meditation, and the cryotherapy, and everything else that we do, and you’ll have a certain level that you can tap into. At the end of the day, you’re going to get fatigued. At some point, right? Because you work, and you stretch, and you rest. But here’s the thing. There’s this thing called … and this is one of the super villains that entrepreneurs face, is decision fatigue.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 Decision fatigue basically says, the research says that you can only make a certain amount of good decisions a day, then you’re done. At the end of the day, you could be out with your family or friends, and you’re looking at a menu, and they’re like, “What do you want?” And you just honestly cannot choose something because you used up all your decisions.

This is why people like Mark Zuckerberg, right? Who runs Facebook, or Tony Hsieh, who runs Zappos, that’s why they wear the same T-shirt. They always wear the same sweatshirt. You ask them, the reason why is they don’t want to waste one of their decisions on, what am I going to wear today? As opposed to, how am I going to impact billions of people? That’s a little bit better question. I’m not saying they only have one T-shirt, right? Or one sweatshirt. They probably have like 20.

Josh Felber:                          It’s like 100 of the same color, or … yeah.

Jim Kwik:                                 I actually have three of these shirts. I have the largest collection shirts and super hero memorabilia ever. Because people send me the stuff all the time. If you’re one of those people, thank you so much for that. But I’m the brain guy. So I don’t have to think about, “Oh, I have to [inaudible 00:30:08] people onstage. I have another … what am I going to wear?”

Because I’d rather think about, how am I going to serve? That’s just a better thing. But if you win the first hour of the day, you can win the rest of the day.

Josh Felber:                          I know when we were talking about brain, and learning, and memory, and I’d shared a story with you earlier, was the fact that … it’s been two years now, when I was at your place, and we did all this extra brain training, and speed-reading, and memory cards. And you taught us how to count to 10 in Japanese.

Other than then, I hadn’t exposed to Japanese, so I was able to take what you taught me, and teach my daughter at time, who was six, and she picked it up right away, and just last week, so about two years later, she was at her school, and they were doing Spanish, and Russian, and some different language stuff. She’s like, “Well, I know Japanese.” So she taught the class how to count to 10 in Japanese.

Jim Kwik:                                 Wow. That’s amazing.

Josh Felber:                          Just the basic skills of what you taught was able to have her, two years later, remember and be able to teach.

Jim Kwik:                                 And that’s the thing. How long did it take for her to learn?

Josh Felber:                          Five to ten minutes at the most.

Jim Kwik:                                 Yeah, and that’s the thing. When you understand how your memory works, you can work your memory. That’s the really cool thing about it. I think the reason why memory is so important for entrepreneurs is because, even if you can find stuff on Google, and such like that, the reason why it’s very, very important, I’ll give you two reasons.

Number one, all your decisions … your life is a reflection of the decisions you make every single day.

Josh Felber:                          Sure.

Jim Kwik:                                 Right? And so it’s the cumulation of that. Now, we could only make a good decision based on what information that you know and remember. So if you lost, for example, half of the information. You forgot half of the things that you knew. If you forgot half the people you knew. If you forgot half of the case studies, half the product information, your expertise, you would be extremely less valuable, right? In terms of your ability to create new wealth.

Now, think about if you could actually double what you can know, double the amount of people you know, double the amount of languages, and anything that you need to be able to remember, then you are a real asset, either to your company, or to your team, or to the world at large. That’s number one, the reason why you have that.

The other reason why you want a good memory is because your memory, it’s not just remembering foreign languages, and formulas, and facts, and figures and all this stuff. Certainly, that’s doable for everybody that’s watching. But the three things I really want to remember, that are most important, the reason why you want immensely fit memory, mind if you will, just like you want physical strength, you want mental strength, and endurance, and flexibility, and sharpness, is because you want to remember things like, first of all, your loved ones.

Right? Three Ls, your loved ones because these are the special souls in your life, friends, family members, clients that you hold. You want to remember those people. The second L I would say, is you want to remember your life. You want a strong memory to be able to remember things in your life, and because, if your life is worth living, it’s worth remembering. A lot of people don’t even remember what they had for breakfast yesterday. Because they don’t have a trained memory.

The third thing besides loved ones and your life, I would say is your lessons. Remember your lessons, and especially in business. I see this repeatedly being an advisor for a number of businesses and startups, is a lot of people will repeat the same mistake over and over again, in their business, in marketing, in their health. They’ll eat the same crummy food, they’ll get in the same relationship, whatever it happens to be. They’ll invest in the same things, and then they’ll still fail.

Because they don’t remember the lessons. I have a friend named Mary Lou, and she said that definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. She says, “Jim, that’s not insanity, doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. It’s actually a poor memory. Because people aren’t remembering this thing, and they repeat.”

So anything you don’t remember, the lessons you don’t remember, you’re doomed to be able to repeat them. That’s why it’s important to have a good memory. The challenge is, is when I was talking about digital distraction being super villain, we’re outsourcing our memories to our smart devices. I think about how many phone numbers did you know growing up?

Josh Felber:                          I remember when I was a kid, I was like, “Man, I can remember like 50 or 100 phone numbers.” And it was like X, Y, Z, Lee, and I would be able to rattle off the phone number. Now, it’s like maybe five.

Jim Kwik:                                 Exactly.

Josh Felber:                          Maybe 10 at the most.

Jim Kwik:                                 At most, and I guarantee you, that’s probably five or ten more than most people remember. Now, I’m not saying I want to memorize hundreds of phone numbers, but we’re outsourcing our brains to our smart devices. It’s our phone numbers, our to-dos, the simple math and calculators tells us how to get here or there. Here’s the challenge. And that’s fine because it’s convenient. But also, if you’re relying on it, it’s crippling because your brain is like a muscle that grows stronger with use. It’s use it or lose it.

Now, people can’t remember a name. They can’t remember what they need to do that day. They can’t remember someone’s phone number anymore, and they lose that capacity. My thing is, you want to be mentally fit. It’s not just about mental intelligence. It’s about mental fitness.

I had a student call me up the other day, and it was first thing in the morning. She’s like, “I found it, I found it, I found it.” She’s like, “I love you, I love you.” I was like, “What did you find?” She’s like, she hid a family heirloom that was given to her by her grandmother in her home. It was a necklace. And it was given, not to her mother, or to her two sisters, it was given to her to be able to protect and steward over it. She hid it somewhere in her home, and for three years, she didn’t know where she put it.

Josh Felber:                          Wow.

Jim Kwik:                                 And she thought she lost it. She thought it was stolen. She got so much grief from her family. After going through our online program, she woke up in the middle of the night, at like three o’clock in the morning, she ran down two flights of stairs, behind the boiler, into this little crevice, and pulled out the necklace. I was like, “I didn’t teach you in that program how to remember where you put things. That wasn’t part of that program.”

She’s like, “I don’t know what it is, but after going through that program, I just feel like my brain is 20 years younger. I’m sharper, fitter, I started remembering things even without using the techniques.” She said this, “Thank you so much for giving me my brain back.” That’s my thing.

Josh Felber:                          That’s awesome.

Jim Kwik:                                 Growing up with learning challenges, because I had a brain injury as a kid, so I couldn’t do all this stuff, and I know what it’s like to struggle. I just want to help people build better, brighter brains. For me, it’s no brain left behind.

Josh Felber:                          For sure. So know we got a little bit of time left. I wanted to touch base on sleep. One of the biggest things I know with sleep is making sure you get sleep, but is it the quality? So say, is it better to get super deep sleep for six hours? Or kind of off and on restless sleep for eight hours?

Jim Kwik:                                 This is something that’s a powerful subject for me, because I suffer from this really sever sleep apnea. It’s a breathing disorder at night, so for four years, recently, for four years, I never slept more than two hours a night.

Josh Felber:                          I remember yeah.

Jim Kwik:                                 It was like combined, total. Because I would stop breathing a couple hundred times a night because of this genetic issue. I had a breathing device, a CPAP, and a dental device to move my jaw forward so I could get more air. Nothing was really helping me. So I studied sleep intensely. I have had surgery that created more airways. Now, it’s a little bit better. So it’s not perfect, but it’s progress. So sleep, first of all, we know it’s important, right? It’s important for your brain. If you want a Kwik Brain, you need to sleep better. I would say the longer and deeper you sleep, the better, obviously.

A couple of sleep hacks, if you will, number one, I have blackout curtains, so it’s pitch black. You want to sleep in an environment where it’s pitch black, and even to the point where I don’t even have an alarm clock in there, or if you’re in a hotel, cover the alarm clock because there’s no … because you have photo receptors on your body, and anything will get you out of that state.

Secondly, what I would say on top of for sleep specifically, is I don’t have the phone in there. I don’t have anything digital in there, to limit the EMFs, electromagnetic fields that are going in that, because we’re really sensitive to those kind of things. The night before, I have kind of like a go into a parasympathetic mode, where you’re ready to sleep. At night, I don’t touch a computer or digital device the last two hours before I go to bed.

What it does, first of all, you shouldn’t be doing work at that time anyway, because you’re not going to be very productive. But number two, when you’re on those devices, it emits blue light, so all the screens emit this blue light, and the reason why it’s a challenge, is because it inhibits the production of melatonin, your own melatonin, and melatonin’s key to relax and put you into a sleep state.

If you are going to use digital devices, then you put flux on your computer, like these different apps that can eliminate the blue light, or reduce the blue light as time goes on. I wear the glasses.

Josh Felber:                          Use the glasses, yeah.

Jim Kwik:                                 I wear the blue blockers.

Josh Felber:                          Which makes a huge difference.

Jim Kwik:                                 Huge difference.

Josh Felber:                          It’s amazing.

Jim Kwik:                                 Literally, you can go on Amazon and buy them for like four or five dollars, these red-orange glasses that block out the blue light, and you just wear them the last hour or two at night. I take like a sea salt, like a bath. That Epsom salt is full of magnesium, and magnesium gets really well-absorbed transdermally, like through your skin. I make a little sleep tea, with chamomile, and do all this stuff. But do everything you can to be able to maximize your sleep. Remember, it’s things that you could do, and also things not to do.

You’re not drinking or ingesting caffeine past three o’clock in the afternoon, certainly. You eliminate that, and you eliminate digital devices, you add some really good things. I always feel like it’s really simple. Just do something positive. Like add something, and then subtract something.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 Right? That’s the key. You stop doing something, you start doing something else. You stop drinking your diet soda, right? And you start replacing it with water. You stop doing this, and you start going for a walk.

Josh Felber:                          Sure. And I think that’s key, is replacing something. So if you’re stopping one thing, hey, here’s what I need to replace it with that’s a better thing.

Jim Kwik:                                 That’s one of the keys for breaking bad habits.

Josh Felber:                          Right. Because I think a lot of people, not to get off sleep topic for a minute, but a lot people, the way they’re trying to break a habit, or get rid of one habit, they’re not replacing it, and so a couple days later, maybe 10 days later, they’re all of a sudden back to that same habit they were at. Whereas, if we’re substituting, okay, hey, like you said, instead of smoking, I’m going for a walk, or this. I think that’s a definite must to success when you’re trying to change your habits.

But back on the sleep. I know you were mentioning that. The teas and the different things like that, to really get into that sleep, and you don’t have the phone in the room. What ways do you … because I know for me, I’ve utilized different type of magnetics under the bed, and things like that to really block EMFs. But also help create the different brain waves and stuff. I use a lot of binaural beats when I’m going to sleep to actually get me into deep sleep super quick.

Jim Kwik:                                 I like all those because they accelerate your ability to fall asleep better. If you’re going to have your phone, and you have an app on there like the binaural beats or anything, just have it on airplane mode, obviously, without emitting anything, and also you don’t feel the angst to be able to check things on there, also, as well. I also put it, again, on gray scale so that way it doesn’t have any of those blue light. It doesn’t have the red like, “Oh, I have to check my messages.” That kind of thing.

A lot of people do a meditation before they go to bed, so they’ll have Head Space. Very simple, free app, 10-minute walk through on calm down into meditation. I use a heart math device, which is also heart resonance. So heart rate variability. It’s a really simple device. It clips to your ear, plugs into your phone, and has a visual pacer, so you breathe in and out according to it.

Josh Felber:                          I just got it. I haven’t tried it yet. So I’m excited to check it out.

Jim Kwik:                                 It makes a big difference for me, personally. There’s these little bio-hacks that you could use technology to help accelerate your high-performance for sleep. I would keep it as simple as possible, especially if you travel a lot. I’d rather … it’s so easy to make things complex. Sometimes, entrepreneurs, we do that because we know so much about a subject. I feel like real genius is making it simple and doable, where it could be consistent.

Because if it’s too difficult, like if you have 30 different supplements you take, and all this other stuff, it’s not always sustainable, financially, or your time, or just practically. It’s something that you commit to, is something that’s better. I’d rather you have something good today, than something that’d be perfect eventually, decades from now.

Josh Felber:                          For sure. I know you have a new show that you’ve recently launched, and I’ve caught some here and there.

Jim Kwik:                                 Oh, good.

Josh Felber:                          But the really awesome thing is they’re like 15 minutes, 12 minutes, short little bursts.

Jim Kwik:                                 Well, brain bursts. I like that.

Josh Felber:                          Brain bursts. There you go.

Jim Kwik:                                 What we have is a podcast. It’s called Kwik Brain. And here’s the only thing, you have to spell it right. The last name really is Kwik. I didn’t change it to do this. My father’s name was quick. My grandfather’s name was Kwik. But it’s called Kwik Brain, K-W-I-K Brain. You get it on iTunes or android. Every podcast is exactly that, 10 or 20 minutes, a very short and to the point. What it is, is basically brain hacks for busy people who want to learn faster, and achieve more.

We have episode that I talked about my top-10 favorite brain foods. I teach people how to memorize them, so the next time they’re at Whole Foods, they can pick them up easily. How to read a book a week. How to create habits. And also, we did an episode on how to break habits. Those two are just extremely, extremely valuable. So anything, how to remember names, how to speed read, all that content there, you just go to iTunes and be able to listen to it.

Yeah, then also stay engaged. You and I are both very active on Twitter, and Instagram, and Facebook, so it’s just @JimKwik. If you have any questions, tag us both. I would love to know what you thought of this. I would actually re-listen to this episode, and then take notes. There’s a great episode that I did on how to take notes the best way, because most people don’t take notes properly. Listen to that episode, come back to this episode, then take notes like that. Take a picture of your notes, and then post it and tag us in it. Because I’d love to see all the takeaways, your biggest “ah-has” form here, and I would love to either retweet it, or just respond to it. That’d be huge.

Josh Felber:                          I remember seeing the notes one because I went and watched it again. I was getting ready to go do something, I’m like, “Oh, wait. I see the notes thing. Let me snap a couple little screenshots of it, figure out, and then I started implementing that.” I think it’s awesome how it helps you be able to find stuff and recall information, and then really be direct in what the key pieces, or key takeaways are.

Jim Kwik:                                 Yeah, a lot of people will listen to both our shows, and they’re working out, or they’re driving a car, which is great. Because with mine, it’s like 10-15 minutes long. People tend to binge listen to a number of them, like they do Netflix. Because every single episode makes you smarter, faster, and better. Because the truth is, you’re faster and you’re smarter than you think.

Josh Felber:                          Cool.

Jim Kwik:                                 And that’s the theme of the show.

Josh Felber:                          That’s awesome. Then, last question. What kind of last insights, or advice, or direction you’d like to leave our audience with?

Jim Kwik:                                 I was counting, and I got up to like 25 real takeaways that you could employ. We talk about all the different brain foods, and the smoothies, and the making your bed, and journaling, and gratitude, all these different things. What I would stress out of all of them, besides listening to the podcast, and doing this, and taking notes and stuff, and sharing this episode with your friends, is learn something and teach it to other people.

So the takeaway, I would say is in the future, as you re-listen to these conversations, learn as if you’re going to teach it. The reason why is two-fold. The reason to learn anything is not only for yourself, but for somebody else. That’s a real benefit, right?

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 That’s the reason you want to learn anything that’s empowering and inspiring. But the other reason why you want to teach it to somebody else, is it helps you learn it better. What I mean by that is, when you listen to a podcast like this, or you read a book, and you get takeaways, and you’re learning with the intention of giving a presentation, or coaching somebody, a family member, your child.

Josh Felber:                          Sure.

Jim Kwik:                                 Like what you did with counting in Japanese.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Jim Kwik:                                 When you learn with the intention of teaching it, you learn it twice as well, because you focus differently. You ask questions differently. You take notes differently. You have to really own it in order to be able to express it back out. I always tell people, when you teach something, you get to learn it twice. That’s a tweetable, @JimKwik [inaudible 00:46:25]

But learn with the intention to teach. I would say go forward. Obviously, if you’re still watching this, and you’re here with us, that you’re a lifelong learner. Commit yourself to that. Also, don’t become just a lifelong learner, become a lifelong teacher and coach also, as well. Learn it to be able to give it.

Because here’s the thing, you learn to earn, to return. You learn to earn, because the faster you can earn. Memory makes you money. Learn, earn, and then return. You give it back. Because everything in nature has to learn, has to grow, and has to return. It has to give back, otherwise it gets wiped out and it’s eliminated.

Same thing with economics, and this industry. If you don’t add value, you’re just gone.

Josh Felber:                          Yeah. There for a little while, then gone.

Jim Kwik:                                 It’s true. We’ve seen it so many times.

Josh Felber:                          Yeah. Well, awesome. This was stellar. So much information. As you said, 25 at least?

Jim Kwik:                                 Yeah.

Josh Felber:                          Golden nuggets packed in there, takeaways from the show.

Jim Kwik:                                 Take a picture of your notes and share it, and also, take a picture of the books you’re reading. Remember I would say this extra bonus thing. But when I was saying I read 20 minutes, or 30 minutes, or 45 minutes a day to read a book a week? Take a picture of what you’re reading and tag us. I’d love to see what you’re reading also as well.

Josh Felber:                          For sure. All right. Jim, I just want to thank you again for coming on the show. We had such awesome information today. Really sharing with our audience again, and just really appreciate your time today.

Jim Kwik:                                 Appreciate you too.

Josh Felber:                          Thanks, man appreciate it.

Jim Kwik:                                 Take care.

Josh Felber:                          I am Josh Felber. You were watching Making Bank. Get out and be extraordinary.