Ep 492: Creating a Limitless Life by building a Limitless Mind with Jim Kwik

RV (00:02):
Well, I’m honored to introduce you to one of the people who is my favorite friends and one of the smartest people I think, on the planet and truly has become one of the biggest personal brands in the entire world. And Jim Quick is someone that I just got to meet maybe just over a year ago. Actually a couple years ago. We met at Ed Mallet’s book launch. We became friends. He became a, a client of Brand Builder’s Group. And every time I meet this man, I’m just blown away by his brilliance, his network, his commitment to service, the depth of his expertise. You may not know this, but he is a brain coach that’s been has worked with people like Will Smith, Hugh Jackman, Jim Carrey, Alex Rodriguez, the Rock. I mean like major, major celebrities. And he’s well known for his speed reading and memory techniques, as well as just helping people optimize their brain overall.
RV (00:58):
He’s got millions of online followers. He’s trained many CEOs, obviously celebrities. He’s spoken for world renowned organizations like Virgin and Fox Studios, Nike, Zappos, Harvard and he’s been on the Today Show and all over national media. And then, you know, he wrote this book, limitless, which sold several hundred thousands of copies, became a New York Times bestseller. We got a chance to work with Jim on the expanded edition of Limitless, which just came out. And you can learn more about [email protected]. Anyways, Jim, thanks for making time for us, man. What an honor to have you,
JK (01:35):
Rory. I I really appreciate not only what you do, but the manner you do it. So thanks for your friendship. Thanks for your support and helping us with our brand. Yeah, we’re on a mission to build better, brighter brains. No, no brain left behind.
RV (01:48):
Yeah, man, I I, I love that. I, I for the people that don’t know you, can you just tell us the story of, of, you know, it’s in the book and you talk about it, but like why you started working on sort of brain optimization in the first place from your, from your personal childhood?
JK (02:03):
Yeah. I mean, I know your listeners are interested in this. ’cause Entrepreneurs, they, you know, your number one wealth building asset you have is your mind, right? I mean, and the faster you can learn, the faster you could earn today, knowledge is not only power, knowledge is profit. And so the more you know, the better decisions that you can make, the more you could expand your business, your bank account, and your brand, you know, the effect that you have in the world. One of the ways I share my messages on stages, we’re in front of about 250 to 300,000 people every single year. As a public speaker, you know, this is my 32nd year of, of speaking as a brain coach. I usually do, if there’s time these demonstrations, I know you and I have shared the stage numerous times.
JK (02:49):
For me, if I have time, I’ll pass around a microphone in an audience and maybe 50 or 60 or maybe even a hundred people introduce themselves and I’ll memorize all their names, or the audience will challenge me. Amazing. Memorize a a hundred numbers or a hundred words. Yeah. And I’ll do it forwards and backwards, but I always tell people, I don’t do this to impress you. I really do this to express to you what’s possible. Because the truth is every single one of you listening, you could do that too. Regardless of your age, your background, your career, education level, financial situation, gender history, iq we just weren’t taught, you know, school is a great place to learn what to learn, like math and history, science, Spanish, but there are zero classes on how to learn. And I think if there’s one skill your listeners like that, there’s like one idea to take away from this.
JK (03:32):
Your ability to learn rapidly and translate that learning into action is the ultimate competitive advantage today in the 21st century. Right? And I know it’s possible for all of us because it’s such an advantage, but I didn’t grow up with that advantage when I was five years old. I had a traumatic brain injury. I had a very bad accident in school. When head first into a radiator. I was rushed to the hospital, lost all this blood passed out. I mean, but really where I showed up was in school. I had learning disabilities after that. I was put in special education. I had poor focus, poor memory. I had migraines every single day when I was five and six, seven. I just thought it was like normal when I was, it took me three years longer just to learn how to read. When that was very frustrating.
JK (04:21):
It really laid into my, my self-esteem, my self-worth, you know, a lot of self-doubt because if I wasn’t like all the other kids, I would work hard because I came from immigrant parents. But it’s, you know, that installed that discipline. But I, I just didn’t do well. And I just felt like it was kind of unfair When I was nine years old, I was being bullied and, and teased for slowing down the class. ’cause I just didn’t understand lessons. Teachers would’ve to repeat themselves over and over again. And I would learn to pretend, but I didn’t really understand. And teacher came to my defense when I was being teased, pointed to me in a fellow class and said, leave that kid alone. That’s the boy with the broken brain. Oh. And I could tell you Rory, that that label became my limit. I didn’t understand it at the time.
JK (05:06):
Adults had to be very careful, their external words, ’cause they often become a child’s internal words. So every single word it play out. Every single time I did badly in school, which was all the time, I would always say, oh, ’cause I have the broken brain. Or to my parents, I didn’t do well on this quiz ’cause I had the broken brain, or I was in pick for sports. ’cause I have the broken brain. And you know, we’ll talk a little bit about that in terms of learned helplessness and how our self-talk. I believe our brain is this incredible supercomputer. And our self-talk is the program it will run. So if you tell yourself something like, I dunno, maybe your listeners say to yourself, I’m not good at remembering names. Right? Something pretty common. You won’t remember the name of the next person you meet.
JK (05:45):
‘Cause You program your supercomputer not to. Right? Your mind is always eavesdropping on, on your self talk. And so I struggled and then eventually I found a mentor at age 18. So I struggled. Those 13 plus years got introduced to the power of the mind, the power of the brain. I started leaning into starting getting curious, like, how does my brain work so I can work my brain, right? How does my, my memory work so I can work my memory better? You know, how does I got curious about how to make it practical every day. You know, if they say your brain is this incredible gift and superpower, why wasn’t I able to, why do we forget the keys? Right? Why do we forget what we just read, ? How come we’re overloaded and we can’t keep up with, with all the information?
JK (06:28):
So you know, and after I learned these things, I started to teach. And my, one of my very first students I started to tutor, she was a college freshman. She read 30 books in 30 days. Wow. Not skimmer scan. And I know you’re a book lover and reader. Yeah. But can you imagine that advantage? And I wanted to find out not how I taught her how to speed read, but I wanted and to understand even more than she would. I wanted to find out not how, but why I am always interested like you, why, like why do people do what they do? Right? How many, so many people know what to do, but they don’t do it. ’cause Common sense is not common practice. And I found out that her mother was just recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and doctors gave her mom only 60 days to live.
JK (07:13):
Wow. And the books she was reading were books to save her mom’s life. And with that leverage, you know, it was just, I, I wish her prayers six months goes by, I don’t hear from her. And I get a call one, one morning and it’s this young lady and she’s crying profusely. But when she stops, I find out there are tears of joy that her mother not only got, you know, survived, but it’s really getting better. Doctors don’t know how or why they were calling it a miracle, but her mother attributed a hundred percent to the great advice she got from her daughter who learned it from all these books. Wow. And in that moment, I realized that if knowledge is power, then learning is our superpower. And it’s a superpower we all have. It’s just, you know, people are struggling with their focus or their memory, or their overload or distractions, whatever.
JK (08:00):
It’s not really your fault. You know, we just weren’t taught how to be able to use your brain doesn’t come with an owner’s manual and it’s not user friendly. So that, that’s why I wrote Limitless, to be an owner’s manual for your brain, your most valuable asset that controls everything to be able to read faster, focus better, improve your memory, remember client information, product information, you know, give speeches without notes, do all these things. But yeah, I just feel like we wanna fill in the gaps of the education system, you know, for both education and, and professional personal development. And I feel like it’s a gift that everybody could give themselves.
RV (08:39):
Yeah. I mean, it, that’s what it is. It’s, it, it is an owner’s manual. Like it is an instruction guide and there’s mindset. There’s motivation, there’s daily practices like, it, it’s such a powerful book. And you, you know, you, you mentioned that your, that label became your limit, right? Early on. What do you think are some of the most common destructive labels that people have? I mean, like, you mentioned their names, right? Like, I’m bad with names, but like, when it comes to, let’s talk about personal brand specifically, right? So like, you had to overcome this learning deficit, this sort of, you know, these mental challenges with like your development. And you then became one of the world’s leading experts. And then you went, you know, kind of from being like, you’re pretty, like a lot of people don’t, maybe don’t know this, but like you’re pretty introverted guy. Yeah. And yet
JK (09:32):
Very, very,
RV (09:32):
You are one of the, become one of the biggest personal brands in the world. You’re reaching maybe a few hundred thousand people a year in your speeches, but millions through your videos and your podcast and social media, et cetera. Like, what were some of the labels you had to overcome or that you think personal brands often have to overcome to be able to get their message out to more people?
JK (09:54):
So for me, I, I believe it’s the person in the mirror. It certainly was in my case. My two biggest challenges growing up were learning. And because of it, public speaking, I would I remember I was failing high school English, and they called my parents in, and I was so ashamed you know, I wasn’t gonna pass the class. And the teacher, you know, talked to my parents, talked to me, and felt a little empathy and said, I’m gonna give you one last chance you could do this book report on Albert Einstein of all people, and to get extra credit to be able to pass, you know, class. And, and I I said, I’m gonna do it. I told my parents, told the teacher I made promise to them and myself. I spent this was back when people spent time in the libraries.
JK (10:41):
This, I was dating the, you know, pre-internet . And I did this book report after weeks and I was so proud of it. And the day was due when I go down my parents, I, I found it was waiting for me with a little note for my parents. They professionally bounded and I was just so proud of it. I, it’s hard to describe, but I’ve never felt pride around anything I did before. But I felt like this is, you know, it just symbolized something, right. And the day it was due I go, I can’t wait to hand it in. I’m sitting in class and then towards the end of the class, the teacher says, all right, we have a surprise for all of you kids, Jim, come to the front of the class and present your book report.
RV (11:22):
Oh no,
JK (11:24):
I froze. ’cause At this time, you know, I never gave a speech before. I, I was my superpower. I talk about superpowers a lot. I was really being invisible. You know, as you mentioned, I was very, I’m very introverted, but I, back then I was extremely shy and awkward. ’cause I never knew the answer. So I was being, I would always shrink down ’cause I didn’t wanna be called on. ’cause I just never could know. I didn’t know anything. Wow. And I would sit behind the tall kid and even my posture was like slumped up to take up less space. I didn’t wanna be seen or heard, or maybe I did, but I didn’t, you know, want to. So out of fear. So I think fear is a big obstacle for a lot of us. It’s interesting that my two biggest challenges growing up are learning and public speaking, .
JK (12:07):
‘Cause God has a sense of humor. You do it for a living. Those speaking, yes. All I do is public speak on this thing called learning. But it’s just a reminder to everybody that your struggles lead to strengths. Right? Our challenges lead to change and adversity can be an advantage. Like, I, I believe that sometimes there’s some things we can only learn in a storm, right? And some, some storms come to be able to clear our path. And we don’t know until hindsight looking back years from now, why things happened the way they they did. But I do believe I was guided and, you know, grateful for what I went through. But I bring this up because the things that kept me from growing even the impact was, you know, self-doubt. You know, people struggle with things like imposter syndrome. Who am I at 20 years old to be able to go into companies as I did and teach people three times my age?
JK (12:58):
Right? Like, and, and it was, it was interesting. So I, I would say the person in the mirror was, was my biggest obstacle. The doubts, the fears not being good enough, your failure. A lot of trauma that I had to kind of unravel growing up. And I just, even with the book, people Assume when the book came out in 2020 that I had like lots of books. But this was my first book. Mm-Hmm. . And it was interesting because I wanna help people. And I then this goes back to a bunch of conversations you and I have had on branding. I wanna help people, but I don’t wanna be, I don’t necessarily need to be known for it. It’s really weird. Like, I, I wanna feel like my life has purpose and I could have an impact, but I don’t need as much to be acknowledged for it.
JK (13:46):
I feel like if I had that drive, I’ve maybe even helped more people. But because of it, you know, over 30 years, every opportunity to really scale, I always said no media book deals, train the trainer. I met with Kaplan, the franchise, you know, like to open up quick learning centers, you know, different places, infomercials and PBS specials. All those offers came. And I always said no. And then one day I, I was in a car accident and I I almost died and I definitely could have. And the next day that week, I, I signed the book deal that was in my inbox for like, 10 years. Wow. Because it just made me think about legacy. And you know, just to everybody listening, I don’t know who I’m talking to, but creating the life you want, you know, the contribution, the character that, you know, all whatever is important to you, it can be scary, but you know what’s a lot scarier is regret.
JK (14:45):
You know, I, I spent a lot of time in senior centers. I, I lost my, my parents, I mentioned they immigrated here, had many jobs. We lived in the back of a laundromat that my mom worked at. Didn’t speak the language or anything. My grandmother took care of me because my parents were always working. And when I was going through my challenges at five years old, she started showing early signs of dementia. And she, she eventually passed of Alzheimer’s when I was seven. So all those things like really informs where you go. Like, my inspiration really was my desperation to feel good enough to feel like, oh, is my brain gonna work when I’m older and, you know, with my accident? So, you know, it’s the idea where people listening where you make a decision where you take your mess and you turn it into your message.
JK (15:34):
And I totally agree with you that we are best suited to support and help the person we once, you know, were, you know. And so like, I want to help that 9-year-old boy that had so much doubt and, you know, was being teased and ridiculed and feeling like they weren’t enough. And I think we can improve our confidence, our self-esteem overnight if we just understand our, our, our brains. Like, ’cause it’s so fantastic. And, you know we’ve dedicated our life to getting this out there on stages. And we have one of the top where we’ll cross a hundred million downloads on our podcast this year.
RV (16:08):
Wow. I didn’t realize that it was that, that’s awesome, man.
JK (16:12):
Yeah. And the book, thanks to, you know, yourself, your team and the other supporters, like, you know, we’ve done over, over a million copies just, you know, on on limitless on audio books and Kindle and print 40 different languages. We’re just very, very, very proud. We donated all the proceeds to charity. We built schools in Ghana, Guatemala, and Kenya also supported Alzheimer’s research for women. Women are twice as likely to experience Alzheimer’s than men. So in, in memory of my, in my, my grandmother. But it’s nice. You know, I feel like, you know, we’re just getting started and you know, our goal is to be able to support people, you know, having their, the brain they desire and deserve.
RV (16:53):
Yeah. And I, I think, you know, that concept of, I, that’s probably one of the reasons why I was drawn to you right from the first time I met you. You know, we were backstage originally at, at that, at my lead event, and there were so many like major VIP important people both speaking and just like in general in that Yeah. Vicinity.
JK (17:14):
That, that was, that was a, who’s who I remember was Jenna and Mel and everybody. Yeah.
RV (17:21):
But you were, you were so humble. And it was like what you just said, I think is what spoke to me was like, I’ve never ever caught a sense of ego from you or a, an ounce of like, posturing or positioning or who I know. I mean, before we started this interview, I had to even ask your permission to share. Like, are you okay if I tell people that like, you work with Hugh Jackman and the Rock and Will Smith? ’cause I know you’re like, you don’t share those things very often. And I’ve gotten to know that and I’m just like, I mean, this is amazing, Jim. Like, it’s, it’s incredible the, the, the, the people that you’re working with. And, and yet it’s the heart of going, it’s your heart of service, which has been really powerful to see and to go look at all the good you’re doing from your, from scaling.
RV (18:05):
Like look all the money you’re doing for charity and all of the people you’re reaching. And I just, I love that because to me that’s what, you know, we just, we define our audience as mission-driven messengers. Hmm. And it’s not that we don’t care about money. We do care about money, but, but money is subservient to the mission. And I’ve always felt that way about you. And I can’t say that about everybody else in this space. But I do feel that way about you and, and I and, and, and I, you know, I love that you, you know, you’ve got one book, like you put every so much into this one book. Not, not everything, you know, but like so much into this, you could have written 15 books. But like you’ve, you, this is one of the things that we, we tell our clients about books is a book should be a conclusion, not a hypothesis.
RV (18:55):
And a lot of, a lot of authors write books that are hypotheses. They have like, oh, an idea and then they put it out there. This limitless is, this is a series of conclusions of a lifetime of work and study. And it’s like, it’s banked. Dr. Mark Hyman wrote the Forward for this. Y’all like the, the, the, the doctors, some of the leading doctors in the world. Come on Jim’s podcast and everything. And I just, anyways, I, I love what you do and most of all, like the, the way that you do it I, I got one other question for you before you go, but, but, but where do you, before that, where should people go, Jim, if they want to, you know, connect up with you, obviously they can get limitless, expanded. Well else would you send them?
JK (19:38):
The book [email protected]. You get to where support your local bookstores, you know I would say social media, you know, take a screenshot of this conversation wherever you’re consuming it, and tag Rory, tag myself. Say hi. I’ll repost some of you know, some randomly and gift out a few copies of, of Limitless to your community as a thank you for having me on your show. We, we were not, we’re, we’re not hard to find, you know, just search my name in your podcast app. We just crossed a 1.5 million subscribers on YouTube. So we put, you know, regular content there and help how to read faster, improve your memory, best Brain Foods, changing your habits, unlocking limitless motivation and, and so, so much more. Yeah.
RV (20:29):
I mean, it’s amazing. And if you, if you just think about like the a hundred million podcast downloads and the, the millions of subscribers, all the people you’ve helped that never buy a book or never buy one of your courses or programs. Like what a what a what a gift.
JK (20:46):
Nine 95% of what we put out there is completely free. You know, we’ve just, again, we wanna positively impact at least 1 billion brains. It’s pretty bold and audacious. That’s why we appreciate you and your community and just helping us show people build a better, brighter world. I believe you change your brain, you change your life, you change your brain. You could change the world. And yeah, I’m, I’m very optimistic of, you know, what the next, in the years are for everybody here that’s listening, you know, in terms of their own potential and on performance.
RV (21:20):
Yeah. So last little thing. You know, if somebody is sitting in that moment right now, Jim, they’re listening to this and they, they have a label that’s a limit, right? They had somebody say something to them. Yeah. Or they had, they said something to themselves and maybe they, they do have a vision to go, I want to impact millions of people. I want, I wanna, I wanna create videos, I wanna create content. But they’re struggling in that moment. Like, what, what, what encouragement, what last little bit of encouragement would you give to that person?
JK (21:47):
I’ll if it’s okay, I don’t, I’m, I don’t really share this, but how I got started on my career, maybe people get a couple of little nuggets that they can relate to. When I, when I got accepted into a local university I thought freshmen meant I could make a fresh start. And I wanted to show the world that I could do it and make my parents proud. I’m the oldest of three siblings and I wanted to be a good example, right? And I took all these classes freshman year and I, I did worse because it’s so much more difficult. And I was ready to quit. And I don’t know if someone’s at that place right now, that they’ve tried a few things and they’re just kind of ready to quit. But but hear me out. Like I, I told a, a friend of mine that I didn’t know how to tell my parents because I didn’t, I didn’t have the money to be in school in the first place, so I didn’t wanna waste it, right?
JK (22:45):
And my friend said, Hey, why don’t you come with me to visit my family? I’m going this weekend and get a different perspective. And I, that word perspective really changes things for me. I think that if you’re anyone feels stuck, like they’re not making progress in some area of their life, maybe their brand, their business, their followers, their impact or income, whatever, it helps to change your point of view, right? And how you do that, you change your place or you change the people you’re spending time with. And I end up going the weekend visiting his family and pretty well off family, a beautiful home on the water. And the father walks me around his property before dinner and asked me a very innocent question, which is the worst question you could ask me. He says, Jim, how’s school? And I just, I start, and you mentioned how introverted I am, I start bawling, crying in front of this complete stranger uncontrollably because I had so much pent up like, like emotion that and I just tell my whole story, broken brain ready to quit school.
JK (23:53):
It’s not for me. Don’t have the money. They don’t know how to tell my parents. I’m gonna be a total disappointment to them. And he’s like, Jim, he asked me a new question. He’s like, well, why are you in school? And besides perspective changing the place and people you’re with, maybe we need to ask ourselves new questions. ’cause I didn’t know why I was in school. I just thought, that’s something you do, right? You go to school, get a career and do that thing. But, you know, I was like, I didn’t have an answer ’cause no one’s ever asked me that question. And you ask a new question, you get a new answer, like a, a question like what’s the best use of this moment? Or what if it would’ve succeeded and I didn’t do it right? Like, it’s just a different thing. And, and then he says like, well, Jim, he saw I was struggling with the answering.
JK (24:38):
It’s like, well, what do you wanna be, what do you wanna do? What do you wanna have? What do you wanna share or contribute? I didn’t have any answer. And he really was patient with me. And I start to answer and he takes out a piece of paper to stop just, and he asked me to write it down, right? Like a bucket list, like all the things I want to do before I kicked the bucket. Mm-Hmm. . And I don’t know how long the exercise was, but when I’m done, I start folding the sheets of paper to put in my pocket, you know, my list of dreams. And he reaches out and grabs the page, pages right outta my hand. And Rory, I’m freaking out because I’m like the most insecure 18-year-old kid. And obviously this person’s very successful and he’s reading my intimate goals and, you know, like dreams, right?
JK (25:22):
Yeah. Things I’ve never shared with anybody or even realized until I wrote ’em down myself. And when he’s done. And we’re all scared of being judged, right? Like, that’s why I was shrinking down all the time. ’cause I didn’t wanna be judged, right? Other people’s opinions or expectations. And I realized that if we fuel your life with other people’s opinions, then we’re gonna run outta gas. Right? It’s just not very sustainable. And I would remind everybody, don’t take criticism. ’cause That’s what keeps us from acting is like what people are gonna think. And you don’t wanna be criticized. I I, I live by this thing. I have this on my wall. Don’t take criticism from someone you wouldn’t take advice from. Don’t take criticism from someone you wouldn’t take advice from. And so he’s reading it, I don’t know how much time goes by. He’s like, Jim, you’re this close to everything on this list and I’m spreading my index fingers like a foot apart.
JK (26:09):
And I’m thinking, no way. Gimme 10 years. I’m not gonna crack that list. And very wise, ma man who was mentor to me, he takes his index fingers, Rory, and he puts ’em to the side of my head, meaning what’s in between was like the key that’s gonna get me everything on that list. And he takes me into a room of his home I’ve never seen before. You would love it. It is wall to wall ceiling, the floor covered in books. Awesome. And I remember I had my reading difficulties. I’ve never read a book cover to cover, and it’s like being in a room full of snakes for me, right? I’m so intimidated. But what makes it worse, Rory, is he starts going to shelves and grabbing snakes and handing them to me. And I’m freaking out, right? Because I’m thinking like, what does he want me to do with this?
JK (26:52):
And yeah, I started looking at titles of these books. And there are these biographies of some incredible women and men in history and some very early personal growth books. Like Norman Vincent Peele, the Power of Positive Thinking, Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, right? All the classics. And he says, Jim you have to read to Succeed. I want you to read one book a week. And I automatically go and I say, are you kidding me? Like, did you hear anything? I was saying, I have a brain injury. I’m a poor reader, and I’m not that smart. I have all this schoolwork. And when I said schoolwork, he was like, Jim, don’t let school get in the way of your education. Right? That’s like a Mark Twain quote. And I was like, that’s very insightful. And yet I can’t commit to doing that. ’cause If I say I’m gonna do it, I have to do it.
JK (27:41):
I can’t. And I, people do this to me all the time at events. They know a memory guy. They’re like, Jim, I’m so glad you’re here. I have a horrible memory. You know, I’m, I’m just getting too old. And I always say, stop, if you fight for your limitations, you get to keep them. Hmm. If you fight for your limits, they’re yours. Right? But I’m fighting for my limits of, and I mentioned the schoolwork and he’s like, don’t let school get my education. I’m like, yeah, but I still can’t do it. Right? And then, very smart man, he reaches into his pocket and he pulls out my dream list, which he still has. And he has the audacity Rory, to read every single one of my dreams out loud. Oh my gosh. And imagine that, right? Like this insecure self-doubt. And you hear like someone who’s obviously doing well, complete stranger.
JK (28:24):
You hear your dreams and somebody else’s voice, enc canted out into the atmosphere, right? Yes. And it messes with my mind and my spirit something fierce. ’cause A lot of the things on that list were things I wanted to do for my family, you know, for my parents, things they, they can never afford to do. Or even if they had the money, they wouldn’t do it for themselves. Right? And with that motivation, having going back to purpose, if you have a reason, you’ll get the result. ’cause Reasons, re rewards, right? And a lot of people, they’re not, you know, if they’re, if they’re holding back with their brand or their book or something that they know they wanna get out there, like I did for so long, I didn’t have a, you know, I wasn’t, I knew intellectually the reason, but I wasn’t feeling allowing myself to feel that reason.
JK (29:08):
And with that leverage, I agree. ’cause I wanna help my family to read one book a week. So fast forward, I’m back at school and I have a pile of books sitting at my desk. I have to read for midterms. I have a pile of books that I wanna read that I promised to read, and I already couldn’t get through pile A. So what do I do? I don’t have the time. So I don’t eat, I don’t sleep, I don’t work out. I don’t spend time with, you know, people and anything. I just live in the library for weeks and weeks and weeks. And one night at two o’clock in the morning in the library, I pass out, out of sheer exhaustion, I fall down a flight of stairs, hit my head again. Oh my gosh. And I woke up in the hospital two days later.
JK (29:46):
And at this point, ’cause I wasn’t eating, I was very malnourished, hooked up to all these IVs. I was down to 117 pounds. Wow. Right? So I lost all this weight. I thought I died. And it was the darkest time in my life. And when I woke up, I thought, there has to be a better way. Right? And when I had that thought, and you know, God speaks this in in different ways, like the nurse came in and brought a mug of tea. And on it was a picture of Albert Einstein, you know, the person I did that book report about. And it was interesting that learning that he had learning disabilities and he processed things differently and all this. But on the mug was a quote that said, the same level of thinking that has created your problem won’t solve your problem. And it made me ask a new questions like, what’s my problem?
JK (30:35):
Well, I have a broken brain. I’m a very slow learner. Well, how do I think differently about it? Like Einstein, I was like, well, maybe I could fix my brain. Maybe I could learn how to learn faster. And I was like, okay, where do I do that? Well, school. And I asked the nurse for a course bulletin for, with all classes for next semester. And I start going through it a couple hundred pages. And they’re all classes again, of what to learn, but not how to learn. So I set my schoolwork aside and I started studying these books and then other things in the area of neuroscience, adult learning theory, multiple intelligence theory. You know, I wanted to, I was obsessed, like, how does my mind work? So I work my mind. I wanted to know what did, what did ancient cultures do to remember things before there were printing presses and, you know, computers, right?
JK (31:20):
And I started studying that, and then light switch went on. And I just started to understand, you know, about 60 days into it. And my grade shot up. And so did my confidence in my life. But to, to bring it back to my career, how I ended up teaching it was, I, I was upset that I struggled every single day for 13 plus years when there were solutions out there. And, you know, I felt a moral obligation to help people around me that were struggling the same way. And that moral impetus, I started to tutor and I wanted like friends just for free. And then I was like, well, how do I get more people? I was like, and I had that thought. There was a classroom that wasn’t being used on a Thursday night at seven o’clock. I was walking past. I said, okay, next week, same on Thursday at seven o’clock, I’m gonna just put five or 10 people in there, teach them for free for a couple hours.
JK (32:15):
And then maybe afterwards, one or two of them wants to be tutored and I can help them. And I go back, this is my first marketing. All right? So this is how free public seminar. Here it comes, . This is amazing. I take a piece of paper and a black marker and I write free speed reading memory tips, get better grades, less time. Thursday, seven o’clock, put the classroom right? Good hook. Good hook. Yeah. And then the, and this is, this is, and this is how, and I’m telling you, we don’t have to, you could, we could begin before we’re ready, right? , I didn’t know what I was doing, but I, I, I just kind of trusted. I prayed and I prepared. But and the next morning I take, I make a few photocopies on the way to class. I put ’em around on bulletin boards.
JK (32:58):
Not a lot. Fast forward to Thursday. The next Thursday I’m walking at seven o’clock and I just pray there are five people that show up, right? I turned the corner and outside of the room, there’s a crowd of people. And my honest thought Rory, was, wow, I hope whatever’s going on ends soon so I could do my thing. Right? , because you can’t see what you don’t believe. Right? And it’s not that you’ll, you’ll believe it when you see it. It’s, you’ll see it when you believe it, but I didn’t believe it. And I go, I can’t even get in. ’cause There’s people standing at the doorway. I’m like, like, what’s going on inside? And this guy looks at me, he’s like, there’s a speed reading class. And I thought, honest to God, I said, no way. What are the chances? There’s another speed reading class, the same room the same night, you know, same time.
JK (33:47):
And I, I pushed my way in and packed, right? All the seats are taken, people standing in the back, and lo and behold, no one’s teaching. Right? And it takes my slow brain all that time to realize why they’re all there and who they’re all there for. And remember, I’m 18 years old. I look like I’m like 13 years old. wearing t-shirt, shorts, and I’m nothing really s wear prepared to teach, right? I was, you know, and, and I’m full bank of public speaking. I’ve never done it before. Right? Right. Because even that book report, when when the, when that teacher asked me to hand it in, I, I was so nervous, Rory, in high school, like to pay able to pass, I, I looked at her and I lied. I said, I didn’t do it. And you could see the disappointment in her face and in the, you know, I was being teased more.
JK (34:37):
But when the class ended, I remember leaving the class, I, I reach into my book bag and I take out that, that professionally bound book report. And I, I threw it in the trash. And I think it symbolically it was like giving up hope. You know what I mean? Or my dreams or my potential. But that’s why Einstein coming back to me and giving that kind of, that, those words of wisdom. But going back, I, I still haven’t done any public speaking. So I’m freaking out. My heart’s being outta my chest. I I even talking about it, my mouth is going dry so I leave. Right? And, ’cause I can’t even talk with all those people there. You just left. Yeah. ’cause there’s not five or 10 people. I do a head count and there’s 110 people. Oh man. Right? So I leave, I told you it was a good hook.
JK (35:20):
It was a good marketing . And I go to this fountain because I can’t even go back to my dorm room. ’cause My friend, you know, my suite mates all make fun of me. ’cause They all knew about it. And so I’m just meditating by the fountain. Water’s kind of calming me down. And I have, I hear this voice inside in my, my head and it’s my mom’s. And I won’t tell you exactly what she said, but essentially it’s like all these people, you promised to help these people, a hundred people, and you’re disappointing them. You’re disappointing me kind of message. And I’m doing this walking meditation back to my dorm room. And, and here’s the lesson. I stop and I take one step back to the classroom. And the lesson for me is one step in another direction completely changes your destination. If you’re going this way, you take a step this way, you’re gonna end up somewhere different.
JK (36:10):
And there’s a quote in Limitless from a French philosopher that says, life is the letter C between the letters B and D. Or B stands for birth and D stands for death, life, c, choice. We always have these choices, right? Our lives are the sum total of all the choices we’ve made up to this point. You know, I believe these difficult times, they could distract you these difficult times. They could diminish you or these difficult times they could develop you. You decide. And I made this choice to go back to the classroom. And I go there, I apologize, but I don’t remember what I talked about for two hours. But you ever, like, this stream of consciousness just kind of flows through you. And when I’m done, Rory, I came out of this trance. I was like, I don’t know how to help all of you, but if you’re interested, I need about 10 hours to teach you what’s working for me.
JK (37:00):
Maybe two hours a week over the next five weeks I get $30 an hour. This is what I got teaching tennis back in high school and just making this up there. And I say, I’ll be in the student center tomorrow at noon. If you’re interested, I’ll answer your questions. And I swear, Rory, a hundred people stand up and they leave. Not one person talks to me. Huh? So I am sitting 10 o’clock at night in an empty classroom and I’m totally confused. And I’m so exhausted. ’cause You know, when you do something you never thought you could do, I end up passing out on the carpet and it was the best sleep of my life. I get woken up the next morning, the class coming in at eight o’clock and the next morning and I run, I’m embarrassed. I run back to my dorm room, shower, go to breakfast, go to class, 12 o’clock I promised to go to the student center to answer questions.
JK (37:50):
And I’m going to the student center running a little bit late. And I just hope one person believed in me, just one. Right? And when I get there, Rory, that same crowd of kids were there. And at the end of 90 minutes or two hours, 71 of those students signed up for a program that didn’t even exist. And at $300 a, a person. ’cause I didn’t do the math. 10 hours times, $30 an hour. And I didn’t realize that students could go, they have a plastic card that goes into an ATM machine that takes out $300, right? Because I didn’t have that. And so I’m not even 19 years old and I have $21,000 cash in my pockets and my, my book bag. What? And, and I don’t even know, like, it’s so surreal. ’cause That’s a lot of money. But that was definitely a lot of money.
JK (38:38):
30 back then. Yeah. Years ago. That’s a lot of though. Yeah. And so I’m sitting there and I’m thinking, what do I do with this? And I hear my mentors phrase, don’t let school get in the way of education. I use practically all of it to travel the country by every program, go to every seminar get mentored and coached by some of the best people in the space. And I, I really feed my mind. And one of those 71 kids was this young lady who read 30 books in 30 days and saved her mom’s life. Wow. And that’s why I continued on the journey, you know, but I, I just wanna, men, you know, reiterate that it was, it was perspective. If I feel, feel stuck changing the people replaced to get a new point of view, asking new questions of yourself. ’cause You ask new questions, you’ll get new answers.
JK (39:31):
And stepping in a direction, making a choice, right? ’cause One step in another direction completely could change your destination. And if you’re listening to this, I feel like there’s a reason why to, to our, to listeners that, you know, maybe they could relate to some aspect of my story. That they feel like they’re here for a reason and they, and they went through adversity and they, they learned something from it. We hear a lot about post-traumatic stress. We do not hear a lot about the other side post-traumatic growth. People have gone through such difficult times that you wouldn’t wish upon anybody. But you discovered something. You discovered something about yourself, or you got clarity, or you found a mission, you found a traitor, a strength, right? And you, you know, and you want change what happened, right? And I feel like now’s the time that we have to so many people, like we dim our lights.
JK (40:23):
Like I was shrinking all the time because we didn’t want those light to shine in somebody else’s eyes. And I feel like we live in a, sometimes in a dark, dark world. And we need as many people to shine as possible. And and do the things. I feel like life is difficult for one of two reasons. Either you’re leaving your comfort zone, life gets difficult, right? And you’re in the unknown. Or life is difficult ’cause you’re staying in your comfort zone. And I feel like that for a long time, I stayed in my comfort zone because I just wanted to have my small little learning center and teach, you know, the, the a hundred people a month that I was teaching or whatever. But I also feel like that moral obligation that, you know, we’re here for a reason. And I feel like at the end of our life, I feel like that it’s like I, I visualize myself meeting the person that I could’ve been.
JK (41:20):
You know? And I just don’t wanna be disappointed. And my message for everybody here is that there is, and I promise you, I, I coached half of the Fortune 500 companies in the world. I, I, I, I, we have students online in every country in the world have a lot of feedback from people. And I could tell you without a doubt that there is a version of yourself or your brand, or your book or your bank account. There’s a or your brain, there’s a version of yourself that’s patiently waiting. And the goal is we show up every single day until we’re introduced. Right? And I just feel like we’re all on this quest to reveal and realize our fullest potential. And when, when would now be a great time to make that choice. You know? And it doesn’t have to be a big one.
JK (42:07):
It could be like little, a little thing you could do to kind of keep your momentum, you know, for me it was about getting my brain and my mind right? Because I knew everything was gonna come from that. But things have to go from your head to your heart, then to your hands, right? You know, it’s, it’s your mindset. It’s your motivation. It’s also the methods. So that, that, that’s, that’s what limitless is for me. I love that Limitless is not about being perfect. It’s not about, you know, it’s about progress. It’s about advancing and progressing beyond what you’re currently demonstrating or you believe is possible. And I just know that this is available to all of us. That I’m not, definitely not special in this case. You know, and so I, I look forward to people like staying in touch with, with both of us. ’cause I, I, I’m, I’m hoping that I get to read their books or see them on stage or watch their, their videos or however they’re getting their, their message out to the world.
RV (43:01):
Absolutely. Yeah. That’s so powerful. That’s why I get my kicks, I get my kicks these days from watching clients succeed and when they win. And it’s just awesome to be a part of it. What an inspiring message, buddy. So y’all get limitless. Follow Jim. Say hello. Learn from his stuff. I’m telling you guys, this is a guy has a heart of gold. And it’s, and, and, and brilliant insights that’ll change your life. Jim, you went way over time, buddy. Yeah. You gave us so much extra time, . I know you have to go. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Please just
JK (43:33):
, I wanna, I wanna wanna thank you and your team again. We got, we we, because we collaborated and we learned from you. We, we helped so many more people. And you know, looking forward we have a few, we have, we have another book coming. So
RV (43:48):
Come on now. We’ll
JK (43:49):
Definitely. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So we’ll, we’ll talk, we’ll talk about that. But thank you, thank you for what you do. You’re, you’re an inspiring force of nature, you know, and unstoppable force for, for good and for God. So thank you.
RV (44:00):
Thank you, brother. Well, we’ll link up to everything y’all and Jim, we’re praying for you. We’ll talk soon, buddy. All the best.