Kwik is a perfect last name for a man who devotes his life to helping people learn better and faster. Yes, it’s pronounced like the word “quick.”
Jim Kwik was born in 1973 and when he was around five years old, he suffered a traumatic head injury. It severely set him back in school for years. On his website, he shares that he was known as the “boy with the broken brain.” As he grew older, he became almost obsessed with learning about the best and fastest ways to learn.
Kwik says, “I discovered that, no matter the circumstances, we can rebuild our brains. And after working on myself, I realized my brain was not broken…it just needed a better owner’s manual. This shattered my own limiting beliefs – and over time, it became my passion to help others do the same.”
He is a remarkably interesting guy to listen to. And remember that being a speaking coach, I’m openly biased about who I enjoy listening to. He does speak quickly, and I get the feeling that he’s so excited about sharing his message, that revs him up!
Have you ever listened to a speaker and, although you enjoyed the presentation, you can’t really name one new thought that you’ve learned? I’ve watched presentations that seemed chock-full of aphorisms such as these: You’ve got this! You can do it. Knowledge is power. You’re more than you think you are. But the speaker doesn’t provide a single concrete way to improve your situation.
That’s where Kwik is different. I have passed along (with attribution) several pieces of his wisdom in I classes I’ve taught. Consider this: When you’re taking a class or listening to a presentation, here’s his way to take notes. Draw a line down the middle of your notepaper. On the left side, jot down thoughts you want to capture. On the right side, in your own words, note how you might use that specific information; consider WHY you would use it or WHEN.
And one of my favorite pieces of advice from Kwik is this: Ask yourself each day, who is counting on me to be my best today? I find that so inspirational because it’s not about me being the best in the world to earn fame or money or power. It’s about being my personal best for the benefit of others.
Kwik has a good bit of free training on YouTube, and he also has a podcast which I’ll link below.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “I’m too old to learn new stuff,” I’m going to challenge you on that assumption. Be compassionate with yourself and allow for the possibility that you are wrong. The world in general, including experts, used to believe that we were born with a certain number of brain cells and that as each year passed, more cells died off, so that each year we got dumber.
Wrong! According to Harvard Health, Dr. Amar Sahay, a neuroscientist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital says, “… the reality is that everyone has the capacity to develop new cells that can help enhance cognitive functions.”
And neuroplasticity, the brain’s lifelong capacity to change and rewire itself in response to the stimulation of learning and experience, means our brains make new connections and build new pathways when we are learning.
So if you didn’t already know that, your brain is working out right now, digesting that new information and figuring out what to do with it!