Limitless Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Limitless shows you how to unlock the full potential that your brain has for memory, reading, learning, and much more by showing you how to take the brakes off of your mental powers with tools like mindset, visualization, music, and more.

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Limitless Summary

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Learning isn’t easy. From the time you’re a child you’re told to sit down, be quiet, and do what the adults tell you. It gets even worse when you have to deal with the social pressures of school, especially if you get bullied. 

This was the case for Jim Kwik, whose traumatic brain injury gave him a learning disability that made classwork incredibly difficult for him. Even a teacher once called him “the boy with the broken brain.”

Kwik’s assumption that he always had to work hard to learn kept him back. It remained this way until he realized that he needed to work smarter to accelerate his mental capacities. 

He began trying all kinds of mental hacks to improve his abilities to focus, remember, and retain information. It all worked, and he became a genius.

Just like Kwik, you might be held back from your full potential by a few simple limiting beliefs. Don’t fear though because he’ll show you how to break through these barriers and take advantage of all of his best brain-boosting techniques in his book Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life.

These are the 3 most memorable lessons I got out of this book:

  1. Use the power of music, smell, and the Pomodoro technique to study efficiently.
  2. You can expand your memory instantly by using visualization.
  3. If you read more than other people, you will become more successful, so get better at it!

Let’s get right into it and learn how to expand our minds and get smarter!

Limitless Summary

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Lesson 1: If you want to improve your focus while studying, utilize music, smell, and the Pomodoro technique.

Limitless is also the title of a movie starting Bradly Cooper where the main character finds a pill that lets him make full use of his mental abilities. The drug, called NZT-48, takes him from a struggling author to a millionaire who’s on track to become the US President.

While this pill sounds like an exciting opportunity if it were real, it’s only science fiction. However, there are actual things you can do to enhance your brainpower right now. 

Let’s start with music. A lot of research shows that you can learn faster and improve your mood with the right music. I love movie soundtracks to help me concentrate. The author suggests Baroque music that’s between 50-80 beats per minute.

Smell is another way to hack your brainpower for your benefit. Try putting the same essential oil on your wrist when you study and when you go in for an exam and you’ll remember what you studied better. 

Another favorite of Kwik’s many brain hacking tools is the Pomodoro technique. To utilize it, set a timer for 25 minutes and work without distractions the entire time. When the timer is up, take a break for five minutes. Repeat as many times as necessary until you’re done studying.

Also, try active recall with your Pomodoro’s. This means closing your book or other study materials regularly and reviewing everything you’ve learned to make it sink in.

Lesson 2: Visualization can help you instantly expand your concentration and memory.

Scientists have only recently discovered neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to change over time. That means you can mold all parts of your brain to do and be whatever you want!

Take your ability to concentrate, for instance. How would your life change if you could focus on anything you wanted for as long as you wanted? You’d probably work a lot harder and make more money, for one thing. 

Although it might seem like a fantasy, you can achieve this by using visualization techniques. Imagine, for instance, that whatever you want to focus on is a glowing ball of light. Anytime your attention drifts, bring it back to the ball.

Memory is another part of your brain you can improve with training and visualization. Say you want to remember a set of words. Make up a story that connects all of them together and tell it to yourself when it’s time to recall them. 

The loci technique is another way to expand your memorization skills. This involves taking a place or room you know well and attaching parts of whatever you’re memorizing to objects in that place. Then, you mentally walk through the room to remember each point.

If you need to memorize an important speech, for example, you might pick your bedroom. You could then use your lamp to remember your intro, a nightstand to remember that story you wanted to share, and so on.

Lesson 3: Get better at reading and do it more often and you’ll become more successful!

It’s sad that people have thrown their reading skills out in exchange for time on social media. It’s worse that science proves that people who read are more successful. Their jobs pay more and they have better opportunities.

Do you want to be successful? Make more money? Have more chances to win? Then read. 

The way your brain benefits from reading is clear, and this is the central reason why this practice leads to success. It boosts your focus and memory, and activates many mental functions at the same time.

The trouble is, you might not enjoy reading simply because you can’t do it well. That’s because most people never learn how to get better at it after about fifth grade. You’re probably no better at it than the average 11-year-old!

Get better at reading by making time for it, to begin. Also, stop subvocalizing, or pronouncing each word on the page in your head. Doing this limits you to reading and learning only as fast as you can speak. 

Instead, count as you go down the page or use your finger to keep your mind going. It might be hard at first, but with practice, you’ll improve. And soon you’ll be reaping the many rewards of reading!

Limitless Review

I’ve seen Jim Kwik in a few YouTube videos and the guy has always impressed me. I’m really happy that he’s written Limitless to summarize all the nuggets of wisdom that are in his brilliant mind! I love that this is real life evidence that a growth mindset works.

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Who would I recommend the Limitless summary to?

The 25-year-old who gets discouraged thinking they’re stuck at their current intelligence level, the 62-year-old who loves learning new things and wants to get better at it, and anyone that wants to find ways to efficiently master skills like reading and focus.

Last Updated on December 5, 2022

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Luke Rowley

With over 450 summaries that he contributed to Four Minute Books, first as a part-time writer, then as our full-time Managing Editor until late 2021, Luke is our second-most prolific writer. He's also a professional, licensed engineer, working in the solar industry. Next to his day job, he also runs Goal Engineering, a website dedicated to achieving your goals with a unique, 4-4-4 system. Luke is also a husband, father, 75 Hard finisher, and lover of the outdoors. He lives in Utah with his wife and 3 kids.