California School of the Arts

Interview with memory/speed reading expert Jim Kwik

After a head injury at the age of 5, Jim Kwik went through school with a learning disability. He didn’t understand what the teachers were teaching, couldn’t focus in class, and it took him an extra three years to learn how to read. Growing up, he was labeled as the kid known as the “boy with the broken brain.”

Who would have thought that Kwik would become a memory and speed-reading expert? He became the founder of Kwik Learning and releases educational podcasts on Kwik Brain, with the goal of helping as many people as possible reach the full capacity of brainpower.

“My inspiration was my desperation. Believe that you can do it. It is not a matter of how smart you are. It’s a matter of how are you smart. Everybody has a certain level of intelligence, it may be verbal, linguistic, mathematical, musical, artistic, or maybe they are just great with people,” Kwik said.

How did he overcome his challenges? His friend’s father asked him to write down a list of his goals and achievements. He said, “Jim, you are this far away from completing your goals,” and held up his hands about eight inches apart. Kwik didn’t believe him. But then, something happened that would pivot his life forever. He raised his fingers up to Kwik’s head, and Kwik realized all he needed was his brain.

“All behavior is belief driven. In order to be able to achieve a result you need to do something about it. You can’t do it without a belief that allows you to do it. Watch your self-talk and your beliefs. Your mind is always eavesdropping on your self talk,” Kwik said.

However, another accident hospitalized him once again. He took this as an advantage and began reading books every day to increase his knowledge.

“If you want to read faster, there are always obstacles getting in the way. First is lack of education, you aren’t born with the ability to read. It’s a skill. The difficulty has gone up. Like all skills they can be improved with training. I want people to have better brighter brains. You can get better grades in less time and with more confidence than ever,” Kwik said.

His podcasts on iTunes have reached top charts in the educational section many times and his students in Kwik Learning are from 150 different countries around the world.

“Working hard is important. To have resilience and persistence [is important]. But, working hard won’t always get you where you need to go,” Kwik said. “You have to work smart as well.”

He recently released a podcast episode titled “Speed Study Secrets (Not Taught in School)” where he goes over the four things to do and not to do to improve studying in school. He also gave advice to struggling students, or people looking to improve their skills.

“My message to everybody is that it’s possible because your brain is amazing. Learn how to learn,” Kwik said. “Knowledge is power and learning is a superpower.

Twitter: @jimkwik @KwikLearning


Kwik Brain: Memory Improvement | Accelerated Learning | Speed-Reading | Brain Hacks | Productivity Tips | High Performance