Category Archives: Memory

KWIK on Speed Reading

  • My baseline was ~400 words per minute but after going through and doing the single line method (see below) I was reading at ~600 WPM
  • Speed and comprehension is of course the goal but speed first
  • 5 obstacles to effective reading – lack of education, lack of focus, subvocalization, regression, belief
  • Best readers have the best comprehension and they have the best focus
  • Keep book at eye level with indirect sunlight and use finger to highlight each line
  • 5 pillars of quick reading:
    1. Place – the environment: cooler, good light, minimum distractions, positive anchors (some type of smell for example)
    2. Physiology – your state: sit up straight, good posture, be curious/focused, relaxed state of awareness (visualization, nature sounds, etc.), visual pacer – if you want greater speed, use your left finger while you read
    3. Psychology (why) – ask questions as you read
    4. Procedure (how)
    5. Practice (when)
  • When wanting to conquer something or feel pain (Abra)
    • Acknowledge
    • Breathe into it
    • Release
    • Align
  • S Method – start top right and move down page in an “S” shape – miss a lot but get the gist
  • Center Method – read right down the middle of the page – miss a lot but get the gist
  • Single Line Method (what Kwik recommends) – using finger, read line and under each line – speed up reading significantly and comprehend majority if what you read
  • Exercise – read as much as you can in 4 minutes, then read that same amount in 3, and then that same amount in 2, and lastly in 1 (speed and not  comprehension is key)
  • Use mind mapping to take notes on book with who, what, when, where and why as the branches
  • Push yourself beyond what you’re comfortable with – don’t expect to get everything, focus on speed and then comprehension
  • 3 R’s to better comprehension
    • Read
    • Record
    • Relate
  • Eat, brush teeth and do everyday things with opposite hand to build better neural connections
  • Physical exercise – cross legs and twist one arm and grasp hands so like a pretzel and bring to chest, breathe for a minute; cross fingers and leave only pointers up and draw an infinity symbol slowly and follow with eyes; standing bicycles helps to warm up
  • once start reading around ~800WPM can use finger to read left to right and line below from right to left since brain is taking in full lines at this speed so can comprehend as opposed to individual words
  • Reading 4 Power
    • Power of purpose – why are you reading something
    • Power of organization – what do you already know about this topic, how is this info organized?
    • Power of questions – what are the main ideas
    • Power of anticipation – what happens next?
  • Before starting to read technical material:
    • Create a map
      • Look at the pictures/other images in the book
      • Write down the included vocabulary words
      • Have some questions in mind before starting to read
      • Organize – create a grid or mind map of the table of contents
      • Review your notes your grid or mind map
    • Skim the material
      • Can use speed reading methods (S, single line or center methods)
      • Allows you to organize information
      • Skimming confuses you and stirs up questions which when you actually read the material you can answer for yourself
    • Read the material
    • Can do these three things on separate days to improve retention and learning

KWIK on Memorizing Lists and Numbers

KWIK Mentor Month 1 – Memorizing Lists
  • FAST
    • Forget, Be Active, Manage your State, Teach
  • Mastery is mastery of the fundamentals
  • use senses, imagination, association, visualization in order to remember anything better
  • Quick recall – choose 10 places on your body which will remind you of what you want to bring up
    • first – Top of your head (tap head)
    • Second – nose
    • three – mouth
    • four – ears
    • five – larynx
    • six – shoulders
    • seven – clavicle
    • eight – fingers
    • nine – belly button
    • ten – seat
  • AEIOU – help to make things more memorable
    • Use Action
    • Emotion
    • Imagination
    • Outstanding
    • Unusual
  • Emotion tied to information becomes a long term memory
  • MAP – Memory Action Program (know why/how you will use your improved memory)
  • Homework – ask someone for 10 random things and memorize, teach to somebody

KWIK Mentor Month 2 – Memorizing Numbers
  • Again, use senses as much as possible.
  • Association, association, association – associate what you don’t know with what you do know
  • 3 learning styles:
    • Visualize numbers – look up as this helps get blood to flow to certain parts of your brain, picture numbers as a specific color and texture
    • Auditory – repeating the actual numbers with fluctuations in tonality/volume/cadence, helps to have certain types of music which brings you back into a certain mental state (beta, alpha, theta, – learn in theta)
    • Kinesthetically – “handwrite” people’s names on their forehead to help remember it, imagining yourself writing dates or numbers helps remember,
    • The more you can combine all 3, the better you can remember anything
  • Techniques
    • Association – create some meaning to numbers you’re trying to memorize (2#’s makes you think of a players jersey),
    • Make more concrete – turn numbers into words (1=T…)
    • Rhyme – creating rhymes (six sticks, seven heaven, etc)
    • Picture – create pictures from numbers (1=stick, 2=swan, etc)
      • Can take a list and assign a picture to the first thing on your list (stick list) and then a swan list, etc.
    • Alpha numeric – associate sounds with numbers (what geniuses of history have used)
      • 1- tuh, duh
      • 2- nuh
      • 3- muh
      • 4- ruh
      • 5- luh
      • 6- ja, ga (soft g)
      • 7- ka, gq (hard g)
      • 8- fuh, vuh
      • 9- puh, buh
      • 0- suh, zuh
      • Then create words and pictures around these sounds by adding in vowels between these sounds
      • The body list method (1=top…) relates the alpha numeric method as 5= larynx (la sound…)!!
  • Practice these techniques and build out number rhyme list, picture method, give each a textured and volume – as many associations as possible

KWIK Mentor Month 3
  • Shuffle and memorize a deck of cards
    • Location method and alpha numeric methods will be used
    • TIP – since cards are abstract, Turn Into a Picture
      • Start word with suit letter and end with number
      • 10 of spades = suds (all spades start with s and because 0, ends with s)
      • Then decide on 10 places in your home and put suds into that first spot…if can do 5 can do 52
      • For face cards – put actual people to represent each card
        • King of Diamonds = Bill Gates
        • Queen of Diamonds = Oprah
        • Jack of Diamonds = Jack Dorsey
        • Queen of hearts = Mother Theresa
        • King of hearts = Ghandi
        • Jack of hearts = Elon Musk
        • King of clubs = Tiger Woods
        • Queen of clubs = Michelle Wie
        • Jack of clubs = Jack Bauer
        • King of spades = Chris Rock
        • Queen of spades = Ellen Degeneres
        • Jack of spades = Louis CK
      • Once get comfortable with images, chunk 3 at a time (PAO – person, action, object)
        • Can make all cards people – all hearts are people you’ve had romantic relationships with…
        • Ellen, smile, couch (PAO)
        • First card is person, second is that person’s action only, and third is the third person’s object
    • Exercises- come up with images or PAO (more advanced) for your deck of cards

KWIK Mentor Month 4
  • Learning skills faster
  • What keeps people from starting to learn the desired skill
    • Afraid it’ll take too much time
    • Be aware of your self-talk and keep it positive
    • Schedule your practice for 30-60 minutes
  • 5 stages of learning
    • unconsciously incompetent – don’t know you don’t know how to do something
    • consciously incompetent – know you don’t know how to do something
    • consciously competent – can do it but requires conscious effort
    • unconsciously competent – do something automatically
    • Mastery
  • Very important to have a coach/mentor for a particular skill you are trying to pick up
  • Deconstruct skill into its separate components – make it into smaller, simpler, more manageable pieces
  • Get into a childlike state with enthusiasm for learning – no sense of failure, only wonder and will keep doing until they learn it
  • Growth happens when you’re outside your comfort zone
  • Practice makes permanent. perfect practice makes perfect
  • There is no such thing as failure, only feedback
  • Do something that challenges you enough, have positive reinforcement, practicing before bed helps consolidate overnight, visualizing success, eliminate distractions, get into a great learning state
  • Books – outliers, talent code, mastery,

Kwik Master Recall

Jim Kwik does an unbelievable job of making a lot of pretty complicated topics around improving your memory straightforward and enjoyable to learn about. Hope you find the notes I took from his lessons as useful as the lessons themselves. I have provided below a very broad synopsis but the context in the lengthier notes really helps to solidify the techniques. Please leave any questions or comments and I’ll answer any questions you have!

  1. The “sun” list matches a unique image to numbers 1-20 with the idea being that you can create an outrageous image with whatever you are trying to remember (US Presidents, amendments, periodic table, etc.) and the image associated with each number. For example, 1 is associated with sun and to remember that George Washington is the first president, I created an image of the sun burning wooden teeth. The more ludicrous the image the more likely you are to remember it. (see Masterclass – Week 1)
  2. The alphanumeric or Major Mnemonic system turns numbers into letters and from those letters you form words with the idea being that words/images are easier to remember than numbers. (see Masterclass – Week 6)
  3. These two lists are interchangeable but I highly recommend making the initial upfront investment and memorizing the sun list forwards and backwards (literally) and then creating an image for numbers 00-100 using the alphanumeric system. This really isn’t as daunting as it might sound and you will amaze yourself with how much and how quickly you will be able to memorize enormous lists. Also, you would think that having the same image would confuse you when you have dozens of different lists you want to memorize, but you’d be amazed how well you can compartmentalize and keep everything distinct.

Masterclass – Week 1

  • This session will focus on word recall – Basic Association and PEG Method
  • 4 areas of learning
    • tactics/techniques
    • toughness
    • theory
    • teamwork
  • Memory and recall is very measurable so can see improvement clearly
    • The most influential people tend to have a super memory in 1 or 2 of the 12 memories (Buffett with numbers, Clinton with names, etc.)
  • The more you put in your brain the more you can hold (like a web and the more you know the more connections you can make)
  • Emotion tied to information becomes a long-term memory
  • Basic Association – Technique 1
    • Making an association between two or more things
    • Exercise – when given 20 words I remembered 8 but they weren’t in order like he wanted (average around 5-9)
    • Memorize this “sun” list!:
      • 1 = sun
      • 2 = socks
      • 3 = traffic lights
      • 4 = car
      • 5 = gloves
      • 6 = soda
      • 7 = rainbow
      • 8 = magic 8 ball
      • 9 = cat
      • 10 = toes
      • 11 = skis
      • 12 = roses
      • 13 = spaceship
      • 14 = carrot
      • 15 = tennis
      • 16 = candles
      • 17 = magazine
      • 18 = voting booth
      • 19 = golf
      • 20 = glasses
    • Got 18 of 20 second time after doing these associations once! (forgot rainbow and voting booth)
  • All learning is connecting something you know to something you don’t know
  • PEG Method – Technique 2 (if can’t use basic association)
    • Imagine and set pegs in order to help remind you of things – location reminds you of information
    • 3 steps for memorizing (memory is as easy as PIE)
      • Place (location)
      • Imagine (imagination)
      • Entwine (association)
    • Have 20 Pegs already – this is the “sun” list from technique 1!
      • 1 = sun = newspaper burning in the sun =  freedom of the press
      • 2 = socks = a bear wearing socks on his arms = right to bear arms
      • 3 = traffic light = quarters falling out of the traffic light = restrictions on quartering soldiers
      • 4 = car = searching for someone in a car = unreasonable search/seizure
      • 5 = glove = OJ Simpson’s glove = no self-incrimination
      • 6 = soda = Speedy Gonzalez drinking soda = right to speedy trial
      • 7 = rainbow = jury debating on a rainbow = right to trial by jury
      • 8 = magic 8 ball = magic 8 ball says need $1M to be bailed out = excessive bail prohibited
      • 9 = cat = people being walked by cats= people’s rights’ retained
      • 10 = toes = toes of a salsa dancer have incredible power = power reverts back to the states
      • This exercise teaches you the  Bill of Rights!
  • Worst way to take notes is not at all, then verbatim. Take down key words which reminds you of key concepts (mind maps)
  • Exercise = learn “sun” list backwards and forwards, practice PEG method (memorize 12-15 random words), build on PEG list (21 = deck of cards, etc.)

Masterclass – Week 2

  • This session about remembering names and faces – MOM, FDR, Be Dr. Suave, TIP, 
  • Remembering people’s names is a very powerful way to show you care and is a leadership skill
  • MOM – technique 1
    • Motivation – why do you want to remember the person’s name?
      • Jim creates a motivation scale from 0-10 and if low, figure out how to boost it up
      • Can use motivation metric for pretty much anything
    • Observation – remembering often more a matter of paying attention than having poor retention
      • Be powerfully present and observe your surroundings!
      • Make people feel like they are the only one in the entire room
    • Mechanics – techniques used to improve memory
  • FDR – Technique 2
    • First time he’d meet someone he’d imagine writing that person’s name on their forehead
    • Mind doesn’t know the difference between something you vividly imagine and something that’s real
    • So, first time you meet someone write their name on their head and use as many senses as possible – makes ordinary/bland information stand out and memorable
      • Spell “Janet” on her head in your favorite color, does it smell like those markers we used when we were young
      • Make micromovements with your hand to actually write out the name
  • Be Dr. Suave – Technique 3
    • Believe – you have a good memory and never tear yourself down because mind believes what you think
    • Exercise – the memory techniques, practice makes progress
    • Decide – you are going to remember whatever it is
    • Relax – Stress is self-made and can be helpful but usually only if you are in danger. Can’t be upset or stressed or worried if you are completely present and breathe deeply
    • Say – the person’s name or whatever you want to memorize
    • Use – use the name or whatever in conversation
    • Ask – about the person’s name, especially if unique
      • Be genuinely more interested in people than you yourself are interesting
    • Visualize – try to turn the person’s name into a picture
    • End – when you say goodbye to someone use their name and you will remember it (and you will remember them)
  • TIP – Technique 4 (General memory tool to better remember anything)
    • Turn
    • Into
    • Picture
  • Exercise – Practice FDR Strategy with anybody new you meet, MOM

Masterclass – Week 3

  • This session is about mastering words, spelling and vocabulary – deep immersion, using the language, organizing information and key word substitution 
  • Space Repetition – Technique 1
    • When want to take from short to long term memory can use space repetition technique
    • Space the memorization – Study for one hour. then wait to review one hour later, one day later, one week later and then one month later and once remember it then you will know it forever
  • Deep Immersion – Technique 2
    • Living in the environment you want to conquer on a consistent basis (country for language, med school, etc.)
  • Use it – Technique 3
    • Use new vocabulary word or language to deepen the hold you have of it
  • Organize information – Technique 4
    • Keep a vocabulary journal, flashcards, etc.
  • Key Word Substitution – Technique 5
    • Turn Into a Picture
    • Take word into a picture, turn definition into a picture and then connect the two. Make the picture:
      • ction – make picture animated
      • xaggerate / Emotion – exaggerate the picture or make emotional
      • llogical – make picture illogical since that’ll be more memorable
      • utstanding
      • nusual
  • To improve spelling – Write a word down on a piece of paper, move it so you have to look up and left, close your eyes and then see if you can still picture it and “spell” it in your head
  • Looking up and right can indicate a lie since that usually indicates imagining something
  • Looking up and left helps with visualization
  • Looking down helps access more feelings
  • Using certain unusual smells/fragrances while studying can help – chewing a weird flavor gum, smelling an incense, etc.
  • Exercise – carry a vocabulary journal and write 5 -10 words and definitions per day

Masterclass – Week 4

  • This session is about recalling what you already know – chain linking method
  • Being able to use your body to help recall things (using fist to recall which months have 30 v 31 days)
  • Can’t just say something, have to say it and feel it in order to remember it
  • Space repetition, as always, important to turn something into a long term memory
  • Can get rid of certain body lists if need be – imagine yourself showering yourself clean of that list and this can help you forget it
  • Chain Linking Story Method 
    • When given a list of words/facts/whatever, create a story that links the list
    • Don’t have to use the “sun” list

Masterclass – Week 5

  • This session is about giving a speech in 3 steps without any notes – Loci Method
  • Loci Method Technique 1
    • Simonedes came up with this method after he escaped a building that collapsed but was able to identify where everybody was sitting
    • Within 48 hours, up to 90% of the information you learned can be forgotten if don’t take good notes
      • Best way was to take notes of key words and key ideas
      • Kwik prefers mindmapping (Tony Buzan) – forces you to determine key concepts and then use pictures/few words to take notes
    • Once you have your key concepts, you “place” them in your different loci and can then walk through your palace to remember concepts
    • 10 tips for activating superhero brain (which of 10 areas are you neglecting?) – diet, kill ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts), exercise, brain nutrients (Omega 3’s, etc.), positive friend group, clean environment, sleep, brain protection, learning new things, and stress management
    • Example of Loci Method using my room
      1. Front door
      2. Closet
      3. Island
      4. Sink
      5. Stove
      6. Fridge
      7. Couch
      8. Desk
      9. Bathroom
      10. Bed

Masterclass – Week 6

  • This session about how to recall numbers
  • Goes over alphanumeric again
    • 1 = top = “ta” sound, etc.
    • vowels, silent letters, “w, h and y” have no value
    • double letters have single value (shimmer = 634)
  • Can use this system for dates by turning into numbers
    • Land on Moon July 7, 1969  7.2.0.1.9.6.9 = CaNs TuB SHiP (bad example but you get the idea)
  • Exercise – create images for 00-100, memorize and once feel comfortable, ask people for random numbers and try memorizing
  • Alpha numeric or Major Mnemonic System:
    • An extremely useful system with the premise that words are easier to remember than numbers. By using this system you can chunk numbers by turning pairs of numbers into sounds and eventually words and eventually stories
    • 0 = S, Z
    • 1 = T
    • 2 = N
    • 3 = M
    • 4 = R
    • 5 = L
    • 6 = Sh
    • 7 = K
    • 8 = F, V
    • 9 = P, B
    • So, for example, the number 27 is broken out into N (for 2) and K (for 7). Since vowels are unassociated, you place vowels in between the N and the K to form a word – NuKe or NiKe would both be appropriate but the important thing is that its memorable to YOU.

Masterclass – Week 7

  • This session focuses on dates
  • Human Calendar – Allows you to determine what day of the week a date falls on (for 2015)
    • January – 3
    • February – 6
    • March – 6
    • April – 2
    • May – 4
    • June – 0
    • July – 2
    • August – 5
    • September – 1
    • October – 3
    • November – 6
    • December – 1
    • 0 = sunday
    • 1 = monday
    • 2 = tuesday
    • 3 = wednesday
    • 4 = thursday
    • 5 = friday
    • 6 = saturday
    • January 1, 2015 = Add the 1 plus 3 (value for January) = 4 = 4th day of the week = thursday (if less than 7, that is the only number you need)
    • January 15, 2015 = 15 + 3 = 18/7 = 2 r 4 = 4 = Thursday (only care about the remainder if greater than 7, 21, 28)
    • January 21, 2015 = 21 +3 = 24/7 = 3 r 3 = Wednesday
    • December 25, 2015 = 25 + 1 = 26/7 = 3 r 5 = Friday
    • Cool but I don’t think very useful and they don’t describe how the “human calculator” gets the numbers which you have to add.