Summary: The James Altucher Show – Ep. 254 – Jim Kwik: Train Your Brain to Maximize Memory and Motivation – Part I

I don’t remember how I stumbled upon James Altucher‘s podcast. But I’m really glad I did.

His style of interview isn’t so much about running down a list of questions for the sake of conducting an interview; he really listens to his guests and derive curious and insightful questions that tend to bring out stories and lessons that go to the core of that person. And he interrupts a lot, all the time and I love it.

His 2nd episode with Jim Kwik rises to the top as one of my favorite show. Their conversation excavated truths about life, personal growth, relationship and much more. There were so much practical wisdom in this episode that I separated it into two parts.

Description from his podcast about the guest: Jim Kwik is a leading expert in memory improvement, brain performance, speed reading and learning. But before he became the expert, he suffered a brain injury. And that made it really hard for him to learn.


Things are worth remembering the most… loved ones… another one is life. If life is worth living, it’s worth remembering… besides love and life is the lessons… maybe a lot of people make the same mistake over and over again because they forget the lessons in their lives. – J. Kwik (4:15).

3 L’s: LOVE, LIFE, LESSONS. Let that soak in a bit.


In the mornings, I call them my Maker’s Hours… the things I truly care about and want to be creative about… I do it in the morning. In the afternoon… my Manager Hours. Because most people don’t have any Maker’s Hours; they just manage from 9 AM to 5 PM. – J. Altucher (17:15).

This is a very tactical plan to execute a day. Be intentional about using your energy for the tasks that are most important to you.

Creativity has been mentioned in several other podcast as the catalyst for a fulfilling life. I’ll showcase a couple ones in the near future.


Our most valuable asset nowadays is that none of us are being paid for our muscle power, we are paid for our mind power… knowledge, in this economy, is not just power, it’s profit. – J. Kwik (22:16).

Wow! Read it one more time. In the age of information, entrepreneurs drive innovation, alter economy and leverage influence because they hold the key to the future, which is knowledge. This is more true than ever in today’s world.


The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth… Ideas are the currency of the 21st Century. – J. Altucher (22:40).

There he said it. Altucher echoed Kwik’s claim with his version, which is just ask poignant and powerful.


White hat – scientific, logic standpoint – white like a scientist’s lab coat.

Red hat – emotion – red like the heart.

Black hat – critic, judge – black like judge’s robe.

Yellow hat – optimistic, what can go right, positive.

Green hat – out-of-the-box thinking – green like grass.

Blue hat – listen all the answers, then come up with a decision – blue like the sky

Six Thinking Hat – Decision-making skill process by Edward de Bono brought up by J. Kwik (25:58).


If you just do the easy things in life, then life is hard. – J. Kwik (30:04).  

Though i have lived a fairly comfortable life–growing up in a stable family, received years of education that led to a productive occupation in the medical field that earns a above-mean income for the past 8 years, I have learned that it is the tough trials, the challenges and tears shed that I learned the most about myself and the people around me.

I have swirled this quote in my head for the past couple days and one quote comes to mind.

Easy short-term choices lead to difficult long-term consequences. Meanwhile, difficult short-term choices lead to easy long-term consequence. – Rory Vaden


If you still haven’t gotten enough of these truth bombs, please check out the Part II summary of the conversation between Altucher and Kwik.

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