“Limitless” came highly recommended. A book that is full of tools to help you tackle digital deluge, digital distraction, digital dementia and ultimately digital deduction. A book to help you to use the unique resource you have at your disposal. Your brain.
It processes dramatically faster than any existing computer, and it has virtually infinite storage capacity. Right now, you have somewhere around 86 billion neurons (also called brain cells) firing and acting together in concert as you read these words and assimilate the information on these pages. Because our brains are subject to the influence of our genes and environment, we each possess a brain that is entirely unique to us. They’re like snowflakes; no two are alike.
You are not limited to just one brain. You have a second, your gut. The gut is lined with more than a hundred million nerve cells. What’s more, these nerve cells operate through startlingly similar pathways as the brain. The connection between the brain and the gut is still being explored, but it seems that they function in very similar ways and that they function in tandem.
70,000 thoughts per day
If the tremendous power of our minds are available to us, why are we struggling? If your brain is indeed so magnificent, why are overload, distraction, forgetfulness, and feelings of inadequacy affecting us so much? Your brain generates up to 70,000 thoughts per day. It might as well be positive, productive and useful.
The book describes how to tackle limiting beliefs and your internal programming. You are whom you believe you are. You are your internal language. You can change that language. Change your internal belief, and anything is possible. Superheroes don’t become true superheroes by giving in to limiting beliefs. A mindset that comes from silencing your inner critic presents you with a world of possibility. When you’re surging with positive emotions, you’re seeing and seizing on opportunities you might never have noticed before. And with a high sense of motivation and the right methods, you’re well on the road to becoming virtually limitless. Read “Breaking the habit of being yourself“
The book wonders why the education system does not teach you how to learn. (don’t let school interfere with your education).
Focus and boredom
About the importance of boredom and focus (asking the brain to shift attention from one activity to another causes the prefrontal cortex and striatum to burn up oxygenated glucose, the same fuel they need to stay on task).
About the importance of reading. A way to install new software into your brain? It promotes neuroplasticity. When you read any book, you have the opportunity to stretch the range of your mind, and it will never be the same. Parts of the brain that have evolved for other functions—such as vision, language, and associative learning—connect in a specific neural circuit for reading, which is very challenging. A sentence is a shorthand for a lot of information that must be inferred by the brain. In other words, reading gives you an incomparable level of mental exercise, and the brain is always a “muscle” that gets stronger the more you challenge it.
- Reading kicks your brain into gear. When you read, you’re using your brain for many functions at once—which is a vigorous and rewarding workout.
- Reading improves your memory. Because you’re giving your brain such a great workout when you read, your brain functions at a higher level.
- Reading improves your focus. One of the things we do when we sit down with a book or even spend some dedicated time with a newspaper is train our focus on this one thing.
- Reading improves your vocabulary.
- Reading improves your imagination.
- Reading improves understanding.
All of this builds both your empathy for others and your understanding of how the world works beyond yourself.
Action and practice
About the importance of action. Knowledge × Action = Power. About training and deep practice. Fake it until you achieve mastery. Create the right habits. You are also your habits. The habits you repeat (or don’t repeat) every day largely determine your health, wealth, and happiness. Knowing how to change your habits means knowing how to confidently own and manage your days, focus on the behaviours that have the highest impact, and reverse-engineer the life you want. Read “Atomic habits“
About checking your motivation. You can fake motivation too. The reality is that you do motivation. Ultimately, motivation is a set of habits and routines, guided by your values and your identity, that you carry out every day. Taking small steps
Kill your ants
About the importance of a good diet, exercise and sleep. About killing your ants. (automatic negative thoughts), killing distraction, creating flow. Read “Deep work“.
Become a superhero
The book gives techniques for learning, listening, memorisation, recall, speed reading and thinking. Follow the steps in the book, do the steps in the book, and you will become the superhero you could and should be.