Upgrade Your Brain’s Capacity To Learn And Succeed - Transcript

Introduction: Coming up on this week's episode of the Doctor's Farmacy.

Dr. Jim Kwik: So it's not how smart you are, it's how are you smart? It's not how smart your kids are, it's how are they smart?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Welcome to the Doctor's Farmacy. I'm Dr. Mark Hyman, and this is a place for conversations that matter. And today I'm delighted to be talking to Jim Kwik, who's a global expert and the go-to guy. When it comes to upleveling your cognitive function. If you're interested in unlocking your greatest potential and moving past limitations through upgrading your brain and learning anything and everything faster, you're going to want to listen in. Now, Jim Quick is an internationally acclaimed authority in the realm of brain optimization and memory improvement and accelerated learning. He's had over 30 years of experience and in that Jim has dedicated his life to helping people tap into their brain's full potential. After overcoming learning challenges after a childhood brain injury, Jim embarked on a journey with the mission to leave no brain behind. Through his teachings, Jim inspires others to unlock their inner genius, empowering them to live a life of greater power, productivity, and purpose.

Dr. Mark Hyman: From students to tech mavens to CEOs and Hollywood celebrities and professional athletes, Jim's teachings resonate with a diverse audience. Industry giants like Google, Virgin, Nike, SpaceX, and 20th Century Fox, along with institutions like Harvard and the United Nations have embraced his methodologies, his collaborations with entities such as the US Air Force and Cleveland Clinic further highlight the extensive scope of his influence. Now we're taught all sorts of things in school, yet we're really not taught how we can learn best and why mastering the art of learning is so valuable. And so today in our podcast, we kick off our conversation diving into why developing our ability to learn enables us to become the best versions of ourselves and why learning how to learn makes us healthier, wealthier, wiser, and happier. As Jim says, he shares super practical tips for upleveling our ability to learn through things like harnessing the power of writing by hand and using our calendars to schedule intentional time to learn.

Dr. Mark Hyman: We also deep dive into what Jim calls the four super villains that stand in our way of learning and how we can conquer them. We're also facing an onslaught of information all day long and our relationships to our phones and our devices can greatly harm our memory and our ability to focus throughout the day. Jim shares a simple two minute exercise. He does first thing in the morning to keep from falling victim to his technology. He also shares why when we understand our brain, it can work better. We don't all learn the same way. So Jim shares about a tool he created to help identify how you learn process and excel at different things. I used it and I found out I'm a cheetah. So learn what that is. You'll hear it coming up. We also talk about my results and how they can be applied also to you.

Dr. Mark Hyman: We spend a lot of time managing and working to cross off things on our to-do list, but Jim shares his own what not to-do list and talks about why we should each make one. I like that idea. I have a to not list or a to don't list instead of a to-do list. And of course, we can't talk about brain health and cognitive performance without discussing the role of food. Jim talks not only about what to eat to support your brain, but why things like when you eat, the order in which you eat and who you eat with and why you're eating at all are important as well. And now let's dive into my conversation with Jim Kwik.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Welcome back to the Doctor's Farmacy podcast. Jim, it's great to have you back.

Dr. Jim Kwik: So good to be here, my friend. Thanks everyone who's tuning in.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So Jim and I have gone back a long time. A fact, the first time I met Jim was just after I'd written my book, the UltraMind Solution, which was about fix your broken brain. And Jim was all about the brain and I was like, who's this guy? And we had this great conversation and we've been friends ever since, and I've learned so much from Jim about how to optimize our brain health and how to actually use our brains better. And we're going to talk about Jim's new book today, which is called Limitless. And this is an incredible book which was previously released, but this is an updated edition that has all sorts of things we're going to talk about, whether it's AI and learning neurotropics, how to know your brain type and lots more. The title is Limitless, expand edition, upgrade your brain, learn anything Faster and Unlock Your Exceptional Life. Well, who doesn't want to have an exceptional life? I certainly do. So Jim, what inspired you to actually update this book? Because I thought it was a great book to start with and I think there's some real interesting things in there that you bring in that I think are going to make a difference for people. So what are those sort of highlights from the book that are quite new and innovative?

Dr. Jim Kwik: So when the book came out a few years ago, I know this, you wrote the foreword for it, it came out in April, 2020, which was

Dr. Mark Hyman: Good time to release a book, right? Yeah,

Dr. Jim Kwik: Interesting time. Sure. Release a book. So we're really proud of the book. We donated the proceeds to Alzheimer's research for women. Women are twice as likely experience Alzheimer's than men. In memory of my grandmother. Also, we built schools. I had learning challenges in school from a traumatic brain injury. And so we've built schools in Ghana, Guatemala, Kenya. And so we updated the book though just because the world has changed a lot over the past few years. So it's meant for a post pandemic AI world. It has all the original strategies on how to read faster, improve your memory, brain optimization, focus, flow, changing your habits, but then also really focuses on the new material on creating momentum in your life, which is what we talk about the M'S in the original book, mastering Your Mindset, your Motivation and the methods for brain optimization and learning faster.

Dr. Jim Kwik: And this is really about gaining momentum. So AI to enhance your human intelligence that will give you greater momentum, understanding your brain, cognitive type. I think there's a lot of self-awareness is a superpower, allows you to lean into your strengths and your traits to help you create momentum velocity for the first time in over 30 years, I talk about publicly, about brain supplements, human studies on nootropics. And so it's vast. It's got 120 new pages. So very excited about that. And also my world, not only the external world has changed, my world has changed. I mean, I entered my fifties, we had our first child and it really made me want to double down on my conviction and our commitment to helping build better, brighter brains, especially for the new generation.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Well, it's so important. I don't think we put enough emphasis on learning because learning is the key to everything. If you can learn something, you can do something. Whether it's your, I mean, I was just in the Africa, the ZA tribe, which are hunter gatherers. I mean, if you don't learn how to build a fire from a stick and a little Kindle, if you don't learn how to shoot a bird or an animal out of the tree with an arrow, you're going to starve. So learning is really key. And I think it's across all the spectrum of life. And one of the things that you talk about, just how important learning is and how we actually don't focus on it as a skill. We think, oh, you should just be able to learn. Just read, just do your thing, just study. But it's not like that.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And there's an old Chinese proverb that says learning is a treasure that will fall. Its owner everywhere. And what we learn becomes part of ourself. And the tools that we get from learning are things that we can access any time to actually optimize our life. And I think whether it's one of the wanting to optimize your health or optimize your relationships or optimize your financial life or optimize any aspect of your world, you have to be able to learn. And that learning is not a given skill, and it's not something we learn how to do. We don't learn how to learn in the sense your work is so much about learning how to learn as a tool to help us live our best lives. And I think that's really the key to what you're doing. And what's really different about your work from my perspective, is that you have really studied the art of learning, the sort of skill of learning, the tools of learning in a way that most people haven't.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And then you're able to translate those into practical things. We know, for example, if you want to build muscle, well, you need to go to the gym and lift weights. If you want to get your cardio up, you go for a run. But what the heck do you do to optimize your brain and to deal with the skills that we need to actually function at a high level? And I think one of the challenges today, and I know this is true for me, is just the enormous flood of information, the constant stream of information flooding our senses from social media, from the news, from the internet. It's just almost unmanageable for most of us. And we get overwhelmed, and I do too. And I got 40 tabs open on my browser. I want to read all these articles and then I'm like, oh God, well when am I going to do this? And I don't want to look at my screen at night. So I think you say that there are no limitations. The only thing required to unlock our potential is fundamental tool, how to learn. So where do we start? What are your top tips for learning how to learn?

Dr. Jim Kwik: Well, you're absolutely right. I mean, the faster we can learn, the faster we can earn, right? Because knowledge today is not only power, knowledge is profit. And I don't mean just financial profit, that's kind of obvious, but also all the treasures of our life. When we can learn how to learn, we could get healthier, we could get wealthier, wiser, happier also as well. I think there's not only this gap between those who have and those who don't have. There's this gap between those who know things and those who don't know yet. So there's a quote in limit,

Dr. Mark Hyman: And those are related, I think,

Dr. Jim Kwik: Right? Very much so. Very much so. Yeah. I love that, that you say that learning is really the key to greater success because if you want your business to grow, you have to grow. And I really think our true wealth lies between our ears. This three pound gray matter is our number one wealth building asset that we have. Yet it's not user-friendly. It doesn't come with an owner's manual.

Dr. Mark Hyman: No. Right?

Dr. Jim Kwik: And in school, you're right, they teach you what to learn, subject like math and history, science, Spanish. But there are zero classes on how to learn going to somebody, a teammate, family members saying study this or focus remember this. That's like going to somebody saying play the did do or play the ukulele, who's never had any kind of training on how to do that. And so we wanted to fill in those gaps. So knowing that learning is so important, every creature has their superpower, right? Some are super fast, some creatures breathe underwater, some could fly, some could are super strong. We're not any of those things. But because we have the ability to learn and translate that learning into action, we can fly and we can go underwater and we can go super fast because this technology is so very important. So we take two approaches, the software on how to read faster strategies on how to remember names, how to learn a language, how to focus, but then also you have to take care of the hardware also, which is the brain itself. And so optimizing that with managing stress, getting the proper nutrition, getting proper sleep and so on. I think one of the fastest ways people could learn as they're listening to this is just remember when you learn something, learn it with the intention of teaching somebody else, even when you're listening. Yeah,

Dr. Mark Hyman: I'm laughing because in medicine we have this thing and when we go to the hospital and we learn how to do a procedure or something, and we have this phrase called see one, do one, teach one. So that is, you'll see how to do it, you do it, and then you teach the next one in line the medical student, the resident, how to do it. So it's

Dr. Jim Kwik: So very important. You take advantage of something called the explanation effect. When you learn, even when people are listening to this conversation right now, we're going to go over some practical, pragmatic strategies, proven strategies to help people optimize their brain, learn faster and create momentum, especially in the new year. And one of the things is if you learn with the intention of teaching somebody else, then you're going to learn it better. You're going to focus better, you're going to ask better questions, you're going to take better notes. Certainly.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I mean, it just occurred to me, Jim, that I've written 19 books actually. One was kind of a ghost writing, but I realized that a lot of the reason I do it is I want to learn more about a topic and it forces me to actually ingest enormous amounts of information, learn a lot, and then synthesize it, digest it, and provide in a clear way for people to understand and then to take action from. So it is actually how I've kind of learned what I've learned. Okay, I want to focus more on longevity. I know the basics, but I want to study this more. So I pull every paper or I want to know about food nutrition. So yeah, I kind of know the fundamental framework pretty well, but what does all the data say and how do I translate that into actually meaningful things? Whether it's understanding whether you should be vegan or eat high fat, or whether you should eat red meat or not, or there's so many questions and these are not things you can just answer by kind of a lighthearted approach. You have to actually learn and study and then synthesize and teach. And I think that's why I love teaching because it forces me to learn.

Dr. Jim Kwik: And it makes you active too, because the other part of learning is learning. It's not a passive endeavor if you were learning is not a spectator sport. So many of us were conditioned through school we were being lectured to, and it was just the human brain doesn't learn best through consumption. It learns better through exactly what you're saying through creation and co-creation and organization application. And so I feel like when we take an active role and responsibility in our own learning, that it's not that a teacher or somebody you an expert you're listening to does it to you. It's something that we have full responsibility that we could take that information and make it personalized for us. We talk about optimizing how to take notes, how to retain what you learned because there's a learning curve, but there's also a forgetting curve. They say when somebody listens to something on a podcast or reads it in a book, hears it in a conversation, they're only exposed the information at once.

Dr. Jim Kwik: Within 48 hours, 80% of it is forgotten. And that's not really good use of our time and our energy or attention. And so I think some of the fundamentals, learning to teach it, being active in your learning, we teach a whole brain note taking technique and limitless, expanded. One of them is put a line down. We find that people who can write notes do better on comprehension and retention exams and universities. Yeah, digital is great storage for sharing. But one of the reasons I would imagine, I mean I think there's something very powerful about handwriting something. When you take an idea and you put it on paper, it's the first step in taking something invisible in your mind and make it visible outside of yourself in your external world from your internal world. But I also feel like most people listening could type pretty fast.

Dr. Jim Kwik: And one of the worst ways of taking notes actually is full transcription. They find the best way is capturing key ideas and keywords. But the other thing is somebody could type as fast as someone could talk, but you can't possibly write as fast as someone could speak. No. So you have to synthesize it, right? So it forces you to actively listen and filter and really focus on what's most important also as well. But if you're going to hand write notes a simple way, people could do it, even try it right now if they're not working out or driving commuting, just put a line right down the page and on the left side you capture on the right side create meaning on the left side you're going to take notes, left brain logic, how to remember names, how to read faster, what are some of the best nootropics or how to use AI to improve your hr, your human intelligence that'll be going on the left side.

Dr. Jim Kwik: And then on the right side, if your imagination, your right brain is going to distract you, I'd rather it distract people on the right side of the page and they could write their impressions. How am I going to use this? How does this relate to what I already know? What questions do I have? When am I going to apply it? And I think those are key ideas that for every hour we spend learning something, I would challenge people to spend an equal hour applying and implementing it. The challenge is a lot of people get hooked on the actual act of learning, but their life doesn't change. And we know that knowledge by itself is in power. It has the potential to be a lot of power, but only goes power when we implement it. And so one of the ways of implementing it is just scheduling time. I think one of the most powerful productivity performance tools we all have is our calendar. But we'll schedule PTA meetings or investor meetings or sales meetings, team meetings, whatever, doctor's appointments. But we don't schedule our application of what we're learning on the regular. And so many people buy books and they sit on their shelf and it becomes shelf help, not real.
Speaker 4: I have a lot of those books shelf help.

Dr. Jim Kwik: They're
Speaker 4: Not really using it. My shelf is very healthy

Dr. Jim Kwik: And I want to remind everybody that the ability or the capability, the skill of buying a book is very different than the skill of reading and understanding and remembering that book also. And I think a lot of people don't read because they're not very good at it. When's the last time people took a class called reading? I mean six years old, seven years old. And I grew up with, when I had my TBI when I was five, I had sensory issues, I had balance issues, I had migraines almost every day. I would think it was normal, but what really showed up was these processing issues, teachers would repeat themselves over and over again, took me three years longer to learn how to read. And one of the teachers said, Hey, leave that kid alone when I was being teased, that's the boy with the broken brain.

Dr. Jim Kwik: And that was kind of like that label became my limit. But I really do believe that we have students, we have the largest academy online of accelerated learning students in every country in the world, and we have a lot of feedback. And then I have to say, regardless of someone's age or background that they could improve these areas. It's not fixed your memory or focus, it's not fixed like your shoe size through neuroplasticity, our ability, our brain's ability to be malleable and make new connections even as we get older. It's so very exciting. So that's what I mean about limitless. It's not about being perfect, it's just about advancing and progressing beyond what we believe is possible.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, it's interesting. It reminded me when I was in medical school, I mean there was no computers mean there, but there weren't weren't no PCs anyway. And I had to take all my notes by hand and I was very diligent about keeping my notes. And I think it did really land in my brain by actually the slowing down of that act. So I think it's a really interesting frame for thinking about the how to learn is right and take notes. But nobody wants to do that on paper anymore because it's such a mess. But I guess now they have these iPads where you can kind of do it and then it'll translate to text because I can't even read my writing anymore. It was bad enough before medical school, but after medical school and it's like I can't even read. I'm writing. So one of the things you talk about is the super villains, the four super villains, the standard, their way of learning. What are those? How do we conquer those things?

Dr. Jim Kwik: So I think everyone could relate to these. I obliterated them, so it makes 'em more memorable. So they all start with the letter D and they're driven by technology. And technology didn't create them, but it certainly has amplified it really quickly. The first one is digital distraction. How do you maintain your focus and your concentration in a whirl of rings and pings and dings and app notifications, social media alerts, like shares, comments, you name it, right? And that's why we'd have a whole chapter dedicated to how to focus. Another one is digital deluge, which is this overwhelm you're talking about. We did program long time for years, we've trained at Google and I remember the chairman there has a quote, he was chairman at the time, Eric, and he said the amount information that's been created since a dawn of humanity, since humans walked the planet to the year 2003, just a two decades ago, that amount of information is now created every two days online.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, it's insane.

Dr. Jim Kwik: So the amount of information, Moore's law, it's doubling at dizzying speed. The half-life is getting shorter, it's getting outdated. So you, our ability to learn to unlearn, to relearn is an incredible competitive advantage. I think it's the most powerful edge that we could get in our life and school and our careers also as well. But that digital deluge creates challenges like information, anxiety, higher blood pressure, compression of leisure time, more sleeplessness, more rumination. And so that's why we teach people how to learn faster or read faster. It's so important. Third one is digital dementia, which is digital dementia. Digital, yeah, it's what's that? The idea that we're outsourcing our memories to these external hard drives like our phone. I mean, think about it, mark. How many phone numbers did growing up? A

Dr. Mark Hyman: Lot. A lot. Now I know my own, I can barely remember my fiance's phone number,

Dr. Jim Kwik: Right, exactly. And so we could be texting or calling every single day to a number of people. If we don't check our phone, we don't really know what it is. And not that, lemme back up. So not that we want to memorize 500 phone numbers, but it should be very concerning that we've lost the ability to remember one phone number or a pin number or a passcode or something we just read. I believe two of the most costly words in life sometimes are, I forgot, I forgot to do it. I forgot that conversation. I forgot what I was going to say. I forgot what I read. I forgot that person's name. I mean just goes, I forgot to go to that meeting. Every single time we have those thoughts, we lose time, we lose trust. We can hurt a relationship on the other side, I think memory is an incredible magnifier when you can easily remember client information, product information, give speeches without notes, remember important things about the people that you love, your clients, your customers.

Dr. Jim Kwik: I mean, life gets a whole lot easier. So that's why the largest chapter in the book is on memory improvement. And then finally the fourth one, outside of digital distraction, digital deluge. Digital dementia is a term I coined called digital deduction and is I was reading research on saying that the new generation, the younger generations, the first time that they've had, they tested worse than previous generations when it comes to logic and critical thinking. And they were correlating that to technology, doing the thinking for us. I mean, you think about algorithms, even something simple like GPS, we don't have to build the visual spatial awareness and that intelligence, that part of our brain because there's technology doing it for us. And with algorithms, it's always telling you what to think all the time based on what you're engaging with. It's true.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's hard to imagine a world without Google maps. I mean we all used have to drive and remember where going and learning

Dr. Jim Kwik: And they would have these tests like at London Cabbies that we talk about. We do a lot of research where they have to, in order for them to get their license, they have to go through years of studying. And they actually shown that the part of their brain, hippocampus, it's more highly developed, more dense because they're neurons. What's the term? Neurons that fire together, they wire together. But that's how you do it. It's use it or lose it. It's similar to technology. If you have to go to the bank and it's eight blocks away and you choose to take your car, that's great, but that's an opportunity to get your steps in. Or if you have your apartment on the fourth floor, your office on the fourth floor, and you choose to take a lift or an elevator and you don't take the stairs. I mean, again, technology is very convenient. But I think there has to be a balance with also keeping our minds mentally fit. And our brains are an organ, obviously, but they act more like a muscle. It's use it or lose it. And I want people to have their strongest mental muscles, their sharpest memory, lots of energy, stronger, stronger memory and so on.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And so in a sense, you identify these things that stand in the way of our alerting, the digital distraction, the deluge, the dementia, the deduction. Then I'm sure you give people a roadmap on how to think

Dr. Jim Kwik: Dealing with these. That's why we have chapters for everyone. So the superpowers that we talk about, there are all the chapters. It's really a guidebook on meta-learning what we should have learned in school, learning how to learn in fun, enjoyable, easy, simple ways. So the memory chapter is to combat digital dementia. There's a whole thinking chapter and problem solving and how to think more clearly to help overcome the digital deduction and focus and concentration and flow to get over digital distraction and so on. So it's one of those things, again, technology like fire is technology, early form of technology, but it's how it's applied. Technology could cook your food or it could also burn down your home. It's just how it's utilized.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, it's so interesting. It reminds me when you're talking about a Marvel series, right? It's like the super villains and the superpowers.

Dr. Jim Kwik: Yeah, exactly. I

Dr. Mark Hyman: Think it's really nice way of framing it. And I think it's true. We have to be vigilant about the things that interrupt our ability to actually live a life that's fulfilled, engaged, that allows us to do what we want to build relationships, to build our wellbeing and our health to build financial security. I mean, these are the basic skills in life we don't learn as we grow up. And most of us have to come back to that. And I think I want to get into some of the specifics of how do you actually do these things? It sounds like you've got a roadmap and you've relearn this for yourself after your own challenges. And then you've applied this to thousands of people. You work with celebrities, you work with Fortune 500 companies, you do a lot of work in this space, and you're the go-to guy if people want to optimize their cognitive function. So what are the things that you guide people to? What are the things that we can take home and the listeners can actually get and understand and try some things at home?

Dr. Jim Kwik: So one of the things is understanding your brain type is something that's in the new expanded version. It's a model that I used for coaching for years, and this is the first time we've kind of released it to the public. And what I mean by that is I realized that after three decades as a coach every single day working with individuals, I think the future belongs to personalized learning. Meaning that everybody learns a little bit different. Just like not every food is for everybody or exercise is for everybody. And we've identified four different brain types. And for this model I pulled on from things like personality types like Myers Briggs to introvert, extrovert, multiple intelligence theory, visual, auditory, kinesthetic processing, left brain, right brain dominance. And we created a simple quiz that's in the book, and

Dr. Mark Hyman: I did it, I did it. Maybe we can use me as a practice case. Yeah, perfect, perfect. I, I dunno what that means. But I just was from Africa and I didn't get to see a cheetah, which was very disappointing. I saw leopards and lines, but no cheetahs.

Dr. Jim Kwik: Yeah, one of my favorite places. What I would say is, so we created just a simple assessment. People take what Harry Potter School are you or what Game of Thrones character are you or friend's character. So we found that there are four buckets. And so it's not how smart you are, it's how are you smart? It's not how smart your kids are, how are they smart? And we realized that tests like IQ tests or standardized tests like an SATs only kind of measures like verbal and mathematical and there's so many different other forms of intelligence. And once you understand how you learn your best, it's kind of like your dominant hand. Doesn't mean you don't use your other hand, but it's just what's more effective and efficient and easier for you. Sometimes when we're trying to learn something though, your brain type is different than a teacher's brain type.

Dr. Jim Kwik: And so those styles, it's like your two ships in the night and if you've ever been struggling to learn something, you're actually interested in, sometimes it's like two ships passing each other in the dark and you don't make that connection. It's like love languages. So maybe you might be expressing your love through words of affirmation, but that person receiving it looks for acts of service and kindness. And so it's just like you're not meeting their values and also you're not communicating. And so yeah, for brain animals, you could remember code CODE. I'll go through 'em really rapidly. People could also take the test@mybrainanimal.com, my brain animal.com. So do you know how there's personalized learn and there's personalized medicine based on our genetics or DNA? There's personalized based on assessment and there's personalized nutrition based on assessments like a nutrient profile or microbiome test. This is the test for your personalized learning.

Dr. Jim Kwik: So what happens is you take the quiz, it takes about four minutes, it's free, nothing to buy, and then we give you prescriptions on how you could read faster, improve your memory access flow based on your animal type. And so very quickly, code, I use an acronym for everything just as a shortcut so everyone can remember it. COD. So the C is the animal is the cheetah. That's me, yes. Their dominant trade is action. I mean, these are people who have strong intuition. They thrive in fast paced environments. They adapt very quickly. They're action mindset and they can benefit immensely from structured time-bound challenges give them a target and they will sprint towards it.
Speaker 5: If I have to write a book, I get

Dr. Jim Kwik: It done. Right? Exactly. The cheaters are the ones that are make things happen, right? The O and code are your owls. And again, we are a mixture of these animals, but one is more dominant. There's usually a primary and a secondary, an owl. If action is the dominant trait of a cheetah, the fastest animals on the planet, owls, they're dominant trait is logic, very analytical, very methodical. They thrive when giving the space to dissect and ponder and analyze. There are always these individuals who benefit from deep work sessions away from distractions. The D, and now just even thinking about it, cheetah makes decisions differently than an owl would. And they would read differently where maybe a cheetah reading would sprint through the data and research and owl would have to go through more and more details. The D are your dolphins and your dolphins. Their dominant trait is creativity.

Dr. Jim Kwik: These are your visionary thinkers. It's all about the future innovation possibilities. Entrepreneurs, creatives, they're the dreamers they could build. They have a vision for themselves that maybe other people can't yet see. They're very good at pattern recognition. And finally, the E in code are your elephants. And your elephants dominant trait is actually empathy. They're very empathetic. Their collaborative souls, they're the glue that holds a team together. They leverage their strengths by encouraging collaboration, open communication, feedback loops. Now when you understand these models, like all these people they read different where a dolphin would visualize more of what they read or an elephant would try to see it from the author's point of view or different perspectives. We had our team, for example, take this quiz and a hundred percent of our customer service team are elephants because why? They're very naturally and we didn't sort for that upfront.

Dr. Jim Kwik: Yeah, interesting. It almost kind of do this as a job interview. Well now it's part of so many different companies. They put this on the front end to kind of filter through. Because the thing about it, empathy is elephants, right? They're community builders. They want to serve. They want people to feel seen and heard and valued. Our CFO, our financial officer is an owl, and you want that person to be an owl. Very logical numbers driven. My business partner, our CEO, she's a dolphin. She has this vision of the future. So it's interesting when you have a brain type and even if you take jobs, people find jobs in careers, your owls would be your data analyst. You're going to fall into your strengths and what sir Ken Robinson called your element, they'd be your engineers, your accountants, your research scientists, your cheetahs would be your entrepreneurs. They would be potentially EMTs, they would be professional athletes, emergency doctors. Yeah, very much so.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I love working in the emergency room.

Dr. Jim Kwik: Yeah, very fast paced. You have to adapt very quickly, go with your instincts. Dolphins would gravitate towards graphic design or they'd be, maybe they're writing fiction or they're film directors and elephants would be maybe in HR or social workers or PR or project managers, teachers. And then you can think about famous people that just give you, when you're carving out the world, I want people to start seeing it. It's not that the menu is not the meal, right? The map is not the territory, but it's to give you distinctions. Like your owls are going to be your Einsteins, your Marie Curies, your Cheetos are going to be your Richard Bransons, your Steve Jobs, your Serena Williams, your dolphins would be your Leonardo da Vinci's, your JK Rawlings, your Walt Disney's, your elephants would be your Maha Medis, your Martin Luther King Jr's mother. And so it's interesting, even if you look at friends like a popular television show, you would say Joey would be the cheetah, just fast acting, adapting, going with his intuition. You would say Ross was a scientist, professor, researcher would be the owl. Monica always hosted everything, would always be the elephant, bringing people together. Phoebe was the song. The creativity would be a dolphin, right? So we could see this in pop culture also as well. But the point in bringing this up is once you understand your brain type, you could apply it and be within your strengths to lead to learn, even for hiring

Dr. Mark Hyman: Five. So for me, just selfishly, okay, I'm at Cheah, what would you share with me as a coach that would help optimize my health, right?

Dr. Jim Kwik: Yeah. Or my wellbeing

Dr. Mark Hyman: Or my learning style.

Dr. Jim Kwik: So cheetahs are interesting even from their communication style. When you look at communication styles. So cheetahs would be very direct. They're more decisive in more and more straight to the point. Their speech is concise, they focus on action, they use action oriented word. They dislike beating around the bush. They trust their gut instinct. And while they could collaborate, they prefer clear directives, autonomy, and decision making. And their great problem solvers like an owl in their communication style, and I'll go through strategies, would prefer details. They could communicate in logical sequences. They would present facts and figures and data. And even as you and I as teachers, we could present in a way that appeals to the four brain animal types also as well. So people feel like we're talking to them in their language. Dolphins would be, the visionaries would speak in the bigger pictures, future plans, innovative ideas. They would be very and passionate elephants would have a keen understanding of validating other people's feelings, their perspectives. They would use inclusive language instead of things like an elephant when use I or me. They would use more words like we and us emphasizing group, group unity. I feel like even exercise, I feel like even, and again it doesn't map up perfectly, but cheetahs with high intensity, fast paced, physical activities align with their energetic goal

Dr. Mark Hyman: Oriented nature. God, I love that. I love that. I want to to go for a long bike ride or

Dr. Jim Kwik: Exactly, exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Tight tennis quality out.

Dr. Jim Kwik: Exactly just like that. And owls might prefer the physicality would be more precision, more yoga, Pilates activities that require strategic thinking. So the physicality would be more related to their analytical methodical movements. More precise dolphins though would maybe prefer they're more creative activities, more like dance or social sports or swimming aerobics classes. Elephants would certainly, they want, I think that's team oriented, group fitness classes, hiking with friends, they would be allow them opportunity to connect. But even understanding not only can you learn better, once you understand the way that you learn, you could sell better. Also, even if you want to influence and persuade a cheetah, like if they're in business development or they're an entrepreneur, they want to influence somebody to invest or to buy, they would adapt or to get

Dr. Mark Hyman: Healthy

Dr. Jim Kwik: Or to get healthy. As you're coaching somebody, you're naturally agile as a cheetah, you would swiftly adapt to the pace of the client. You should harness this by providing quick solutions. You close deals without letting them drag. If you're selling to someone like you, like to another cheetah, they appreciate directness, value, efficiency. You could skip the small talk and present the key benefits and demonstrate how your product or service can create immediate results. Yeah,

Dr. Mark Hyman: I definitely get to the point, tell me what do you want?

Dr. Jim Kwik: Exactly. And that's what a cheetah would feel. And too,

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's kind of embarrassing to be so stereotyped. But I guess

Dr. Jim Kwik: Here's the thing, and we're not limited over time. Sometimes based on life conditions, our values could change. And because of neuroplasticity, we could, even when you're taking the quiz, you probably oscillated between two answers. It could be this or it could be this, but cheetah's just going to kind of pick the one. But yeah, even if you look at owls, they're more analytical. So to influence and persuade or to teach, they would be more detail oriented. They could really understand their product or their service and foresee clients' needs, present them tailored solutions. Now, if you're selling to an owl, let's say, or you're coaching an owl, they would respect evidence. They would appreciate well research presentations, the research case studies, they would be prepared to, with an owl, be prepared to answer in-depth questions and give them time to ponder their decisions. A dolphin as the salesperson or as a coach or the teacher could use their strengths of building a vivid picture of that person's future in terms of their path forward.

Dr. Jim Kwik: They should leverage their natural charisma and their passion evoking emotions and create a compelling future for what's possible with their product or service or their idea, their diet, whatever. And if you're selling to a dolphin, this person you speak to their vision of themselves, show how your offering can fit into their larger picture or how it could pave the way for future creativity or innovation. Engage them with possibility, engage them with big ideas. And then finally, an elephant, if that's the person that's the coach or the salesperson, the entrepreneur, the elephant, it's all about relationships for them. That's the model they should focus on creating trust to understanding client's needs at a profound level, positioning themselves as more of a partner rather than a vendor. And if you're selling to an elephant, you want to influence an elephant or coach an elephant on a new idea, they value the facts are great and speed's great, but it's the relationships they want feel like there's trust there. So

Dr. Mark Hyman: Kind of knowing your strengths and weaknesses and where you,

Dr. Jim Kwik: Yeah, you spend time understanding, make them feel seen and heard and all of that. But you can see this model in parenting. It's something that I'm looking at where there's certain strengths and challenges that each animal would have in parenting or learning or anything else. But the main idea behind this mark is that when people understand their brain, they can work their brain better. And it takes the way the judgment that you have, that you have to be good at everything. And it also allows you to create a team around you of people that could be supportive and represent different perspectives and points of views.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Fascinating. So this is super helpful. So you created a framework of why we get into trouble, all the distractions and the dimension, the deductions and so forth. And you talk about these types, brain types which help understand our learning style and our way of actually engaging with the world that can help us sort of maximize those strengths. But I think in terms of the take homes, I'm curious about what you've learned over the decades of doing this that is so effective in helping to boost our productivity, our focus, our learning. How do we manage the things now we understand there's digital distraction, nobody kind of has a problem understanding that they're all sort of victims of it and they all have trouble concentrating. I mean, I think a DD has become almost like not a clinical diagnosis for everybody, but certainly we all feel like we have a d, d because we're just pulled in a million directions.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So how do we focus in? And I think what I found in my life, and I'm sure you found this too and probably people listening, is that when you are in a deep connected zone learning and focus, it's actually when you're most happy, it's like when you're able to actually be and in an experience fully present and in learn, whether it's being rapture in a book or it can be a movie or anything that's engaging to you, it actually takes you out of the world that we normally live in, which is all this brain chatter and distraction. And what I think you're offering people is a pathway, a roadmap for how to navigate this part of their brain that tends to be all over the place and to give them specific tools. So can you talk about what those tips are for our productivity focus, how we manage this digital distraction and improve our focus in concentration?

Dr. Jim Kwik: What can we do if we could focus? And when we flex our distraction muscles, it's really hard to get things done. I'll walk in the book, we talk about morning routines and evening routines. I'll give you a little bit of a piece of that. I think first you create your habits, then your habits create you. But I think a lot of people, if you want to win the day, you have to win that first hour of the day. And most people, they lean into distraction and then they wonder why they can't focus and get things done later in the day. It's a simple example. We've all heard that you shouldn't touch your phone to maybe the first 30 minutes of the day, right? The whole idea here is that when you wake up, you're very relaxed, you're very suggestible. And if the first thing you do is pick up your doomed device, scrolling

Dr. Mark Hyman: Device,

Dr. Jim Kwik: Then you wire your brain for two things that hurt your focus and your productivity. Number one, you wire your brain for distraction. Every like, share, comment, cat video, that dopamine flood, it's driving you to distraction and whatever. How you do anything is how you do everything. You wonder why you can't focus later in the day because the first thing you started your day with is with distraction. But the other thing you wire your brain for not only distraction, that hurts your productivity and your peace of mind, but also reaction, meaning that you get one message in the morning on a social media or voicemail, a text message, WhatsApp, whatever email. It could hijack your whole mood for hours. And what it does is puts you in a reactive state, a defensive state where you're fighting fires first thing as opposed to being proactive. And actually, for example, instead of touching my phone, I'll do this simple two minute exercise before I get to bed and I will thought experiment.

Dr. Jim Kwik: I'll say, okay, I will lie in bed with my eyes closed. And I'll fast forward to the end of the day and everyone can imagine doing this the next morning and just say, Hey, when I come back and I finish the day and I'm going back into this same bed and maybe my wife me, how was your day? And I say, wow, today was amazing. We crushed it today. Today it was such an amazing day. Then I ask what had to happen in order for me to feel that way to say those words? And I come up with three things personally and three things professionally. And I did that this morning. And one of the things that was on my list was having this conversation with you. And what it does is it's not just about time management for productivity, it's about mind management. It's about priority management.

Dr. Jim Kwik: The most important thing is to keep the most important thing, the most important thing. And so the idea here is I have three things I need to thrive personally and then professionally. And they don't have to be really big things. Even personally was doing my coal plunge this morning, it's just something I did for three minutes. It didn't take up a lot of time. And it was just like that would put me in a great state. And then three things professionally and those are six things. Nobody's going to get through a 200 thing A to-do list. And so that's the opposite of being distracted. It's being proactive, setting up your champagne moments in sports when it's time to celebrate. I got this from my friend Clay Bear, and he's like In sports, you break open the champagne, you can see the scoreboard, but we don't create that scoreboard on a daily for ourselves.

Dr. Jim Kwik: What's a win look like? And then work backwards from that. So it's minimizing technology and I think one of the best ways is just keeping your phone in another room personally. Because when it comes to your habits, and we have a whole chapter on habit design is master your environment. You want to make the things that are not good for you hard, why have all those snacks and that bread at the table and all that stuff. And you have to say no 50 times during a meal as opposed to saying no once upfront or not having the sweets or even, and you want to make the things that are good for you, easy to do, right? Have that if you journaling is good for you, then have that journal by your nightstand. Or I have a kettlebell right by my office doorway. So I use it more because it's convenient and it's a constant reminder.

Dr. Jim Kwik: But little things like that, remember you don't have focus, you do it. There's a process for focusing. A big part of limitless is a core principle is taking the nouns in our life and turning 'em into verbs. What I mean by that is sometimes we hypnotize ourself into submission by saying, oh, I hope I have motivation to write today or I have creativity to write my book today. You don't have creativity, you don't have motivation, you do it. There's a process for, it's a verb rather than a noun. And when you take those verbs, what does it do? It gives you agency back. It gives you your power back. You don't have to hope to wake up and say, I hope I have energy and creativity to write. There's a process for energizing yourself and there's a process for being creative and you have power.

Dr. Jim Kwik: So I would focus on when it comes to focus, you don't have to just hope. You focus as a process for focusing simple thing, directing the questions you have. A simple thing is your brain is mostly a deletion device. There's a billion stimuli we could focus on, but what we let in are the things that are important to us because we let everything in, we would go insane. And so this gatekeeper, this reticular activating system is kind of like a spotlight that you shine on things and what captures that really are the things we're interested in that are driven by the questions we have. So even a better way of harnessing our focus is to ask a question, what's the best use of this moment? Or how can I finish this and enjoy the process? Or what is the tiniest action I could take right now that will give me progress towards this goal where I can't fail? These are questions that will direct your RAS, your reticular activating system, that spotlight on the things that are important and constantly that would be a reality more.

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's great. So the other thing that you talked about is this sort of not to-do list. And I was always joking when I was just overwhelmed. I said, I'm going to create a to don't list, not a to-do list, A to don't list. And there's a lot of things that my to don't, which is actually growing. As I begin to realize that my most precious commodity is time. My most precious value is time because money is, you can expand or contract, but time is the same for all of us. And so where I pay my attention to what I focus on, the relationships I build, what I learn all really matter and are more consequential than we think. And I think we've kind of flitter away or fritter away time flitter is an word. I think flitter is a word, but it's refer to what I'm talking about fritter away time. And we don't think about it. And as I've gotten older, I just realized, wow, this is very precious and we should think about what we're choosing. And I think I'm imagining that your not to-do list is really about that. And I'd love to hear what your not to-do list is to,

Dr. Jim Kwik: Yeah, let's do it. Okay. So if you look at this logically, so there's a quote in limit list that says life is a letter C. Between B and D, life is C between letters B and D, where B is birth, D is death, life C is choice. So our lives are the sum total of other choices. And there's only if you want to make something better, there's only four choices we can make. It's either you start something, you stop something, you do more of something or you do less of something. Those are literally the only four choices. The fifth choice is not to do anything. And that's insanity. Expecting different results and doing the same thing. So we either start something, our lives change, when we start something new, we stop something we're doing, we do more of something. And so I'm always looking for those four things. What can you start? What can you stop? What can you do more of? What can you do less of? And so for me on my to stop list or to do less of is checking my phone first thing in the morning at

Dr. Mark Hyman: Time.

Dr. Jim Kwik: Don't

Dr. Mark Hyman: Keep it in your bedroom. How about that?

Dr. Jim Kwik: Yes, even better. That would stop that right up front. That would be a lead domino. And I'm always focused on, everybody has, right? That's the one thing that we can't get back because there time and we all have, that's the one thing that's equal. Not everybody has equal income or education or a Rolodex, but everybody has the same 24 hours in a day and it's how we're utilizing that time. And so I would say is on my not to-do list, I would say let's first not touch our phone first thing in the morning and then late at night. That's a simple, not necessarily easy, but a simple one for me. The device also is just creates so much stress. It's not that I'm so enlightened or have such amazing willpower and discipline, it's just something that I've just associated. It's wonderful to use it to connect and to learn, but it's also can really hurt your peace of mind. And peace of mind is high currency. It's

Dr. Mark Hyman: True. I remember recently I forgot my phone and I went out for the evening and I was like, wow, I feel so free. And I actually had a flashback to what it was like before there were cell phones or

Dr. Jim Kwik: Even not having the phone at tables. We've done, we have our own podcast and you've been on a number of times and just, we know that the stress that's caused anxiety, the impetus, having the phone on the dinner table makes you want to check it and it starts every X amount of seconds. You have that impulse to do it even if you don't touch your phone. And so I feel like especially because dinners and meals with family members or friends is kind of a lost, very precious, it's kind of a lost time that we're spending less and less time doing that. I think it allows us higher quality of life and enjoyment help us to live longer. Also, not just what we eat, it's who we're eating with and how we're eating and when we're eating and why we're eating that stuff to begin with. So many people eat in a stress state, they're still working or something and they never again, that parasympathetic rest and digest. So even things on my not to-do list is when I'm eating something, I don't work.

Dr. Jim Kwik: Meditation's not limited. To be mindful is not to limit to your meditation time. You could take mindfulness into brushing your teeth into eating a meal and really tasting what you're eating and connecting, using that opportunity to connect with other people. So I don't work, for example, on my, not to-dos, I don't work in bed, something simple because we also, part of our learning journey is when we associate unconsciously the environment to the state that we're in. And if you tend to work in sitting in your bed or on your phone, then that's the place where you should be doing only a couple activities. And one of 'em is sleep. And it's hard sometimes for people to turn it off if they're conditioned every single time. Even having a device, let's say they binge watch, they use their device, their laptop for work, but if they're also using it to binge watch Netflix, you're training your nervous system. Like, hey, these are two different activities, two different states that you're anchoring to it. So I would think that not working in bed or not working when you're eating it could be very important. And even things

Dr. Mark Hyman: Like, so it sounds like very zen when you eat, eat when you sleep. Sleep when you walk, when you breathe, breathe.

Dr. Jim Kwik: It's so profound.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Basically the budha taught this a long time ago.

Dr. Jim Kwik: Yeah, I take absolutely no credit for this, definitely didn't initiate this, but sometimes also a coach reminds you of what you're doing when you're doing it well. And sometimes it's hard because we're addicted to work or addicted to social media or something like that. I would also say even simple things like just not, I would say on the top of the list also is not complaining. I mean it sounds, if I was to say a, not to-do list, okay, here's what would be on the list. It would be not caring what other people think. And I know it's easier said than done, but if you feel your life with the opinions of those around you, both positive and negative, you're going to run out a gas. Nobody has a right to define who you are, the only opinion that matters about you and your dream is yours. And we do ourselves a disservice when we let the noise of other people's opinions distort our reality and subvert our own thoughts and values. I think also on our list not to do, and this is again easier said than done because so many people are addicted to it, and I know I've been in these places is complaining, right?

Dr. Jim Kwik: We're talking about mental

Dr. Mark Hyman: Health. That's

Dr. Jim Kwik: A good one. Mental health. You can't make excuses. You can make excuses or you can make progress, but you can't make both. And complaining wastes valuable, time, energy and achieves nothing. And so I would say you can't be upset by the results you didn't get from the work you didn't do. So I would just say that nothing happens. Great. I would also say after

Dr. Mark Hyman: Complaining, you mean? Yeah, after

Dr. Jim Kwik: Complaining, no complaining, no overthinking. Also, I think thinking is good, but overthinking and wanting everything to be perfect can end things before they even have a chance to develop. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Well it's true. I think we can go through the world with looking at what's right or looking at what's wrong. And I think some of what's wrong with the world now is we're on looking at what's wrong instead of what's right. And there's so much beauty in magic. I just came back from Africa like I mentioned, and I went to the most horrific slum. It was the biggest slum in Africa, children living literally next to six foot piles of garbage and sewage outside their little tin check door, no sanitation, no running water or living on $3 a day and easy to look what's wrong with that. And then in that, there was this beautiful light of this little school that was formed by a friend of mine called Little Lions and how he really helped these kids emerge from the slums and become something and give them food and nutrition and how he cut these guys who were basically criminals in the neighborhood and got them cleaning up the garbage and paying them, getting rid of all the, and now they're like, it's really quite amazing.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So it's like so much to look at what's right. And I had a business coach once who talked to me about an employee of mine who was always complaining about everything. And he said, some people are just make wrong machines. And I was like, wow. It's a great phrase. And I think I really pay attention to my own inner narrative about looking at what's right or wrong, and it can really color your whole life. And the good news from a scientific perspective as a doctor and some who are now focused on longevity is that optimists live longer, even if they're wrong.

Dr. Jim Kwik: Very true. I think they enjoy the process a little bit more also, and we're willing to take risks where a pessimist is going to be right more often because they're not going to do much because they're get out of that. And I think the other thing to stop besides complaining and overthinking and caring what other people think is judgment, especially for ourselves, self-judgment. People think that if they're hard on themselves, they didn't, I don't know, exercise that day or eat properly that day that they're more likely to follow through. But studies done on self-compassion show that when you're actually kind to yourself that you say, Hey, I'm human. I had a kind of hard day. You're more likely to follow through. So I think self-judgment, meaning we should lighten up a little bit, it's not about being perfect, it's about personal progress. So we can release. I'm not saying again, it's easy, but those moments when you start criticizing yourself, you could take a pause and a breath and just observe yourself instead. Right?

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's hard to tame your interaction. Doubt doubt, but doubt. But it's possible. It's definitely possible

Dr. Jim Kwik: Because the former leads to self-doubt. But the latter leads to self-awareness and self-improvement. So we could be so more, and I would say this busy because I think that's something else we should stop being, but we should be so busy growing ourself that we have no time for that self-judgment that in those moments we start judging ourselves. We just get curious and we replace judgment with curiosity. So overthinking, comparison, compare, stop comparing ourselves. Because another, if you're going to add a fifth digital horse villain, I would say it's digital depression. Don't compare yourself to anyone but your best self. It's not about being perfect, it's about the consistent action every day that leads to small incremental improvements. That little by little, little becomes a lot, but when we compare ourselves to the highlight trail of everybody on social media, it can make us feel like we're not enough.

Dr. Jim Kwik: And there's a lot of artificial turf. It's greener. The grass is greener where we water it, but it tends to look greener online of the filter. People use a lot of artificial, there's a lot of artificial turf online. So I would say yeah. And then if people are going through a hard time right now, I just want to remind people that there are some things we can only learn in a storm and we have to just control the controllables. We focus on what could do, and we know that the clouds will eventually part and the sun will shine, and then not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some storms come to clear a path and some people create their own storms and they get upset when it starts to rain. So it's lots of times we have to recognize how we contribute to the, so those are some of the things that might not to do.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So that's great. That's a great list, a great list to start. I encourage everybody to think about what is their to don't list list. It's hard to write that down

Dr. Jim Kwik: List.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Next, before we close, I want to talk about two topics. And there are things that obvious, some of which I've written about nutrition. And the other is this whole emerging field of what we call nootropics. So food in the brain is clearly an emerging field. It's quite exciting to me as a physician to understand more and more about how food is affecting our cognitive function, our memory, our mood, our behavior, learning memory, attention, all of it. And secondly, this whole field of nootropics, which is this basic category of compounds, both natural and pharmaceutical that can optimize your brain function to help with focus, attention and memory learning. So can you start with your view of nutrition in the brain and then dive into this field of nootropics and give us some guide about what that is and the framework for thinking about it?

Dr. Jim Kwik: Yeah, absolutely. And I would always suggest talk to someone like Mark Hyman, talk about functional medicine, doctor, this is my disclaimer, intended to diagnose or treat anything. And also, again, everybody's individual and find out what nutrients you could be lacking. So you could do full spectrum. And the nutrient profile would always, we have a whole chapter in the book on Neuronutrition that your brain is only 2% of your body mass, but it requires 20% of the nutrients. And some of those nutrients are more important than the rest of the body. Obviously your brain's part of your body. And I would say from my personal preference, I've always wanted to get as much from whole foods as possible, like whole organic, natural, local foods as possible. And if I can't get that, then I'll consider supplementation. For example, choline is a nutrient found in foods like eggs or soybeans, and it plays a vital role in brain health. And it's a critical component of acetylcholine, which neurotransmitter supports memory and cognitive function.

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's what goes down Alzheimer's, right?

Dr. Jim Kwik: But if you're not getting that from your eggs or your other foods, and that might look into supplementation, I mean probably one of the most important are your omega fatty acids, particularly DHA critical for brain health. But if they're not getting that from their sardines or fatty fishes or flax, then supplementation. So again, I would rather get it from foods. Even things like, we talk about brain foods and I talk about turmeric, but it's the curcumin that's the active ingredient that could be very beneficial. It has antioxidant neuroprotective. It could potentially could cross the blood brainin barrier and been shown to curry,

Dr. Mark Hyman: Make curry, right?

Dr. Jim Kwik: Yeah, exactly. And with foods. And it could help improve cognitive function, particularly in patients with Alzheimer's. And so that's one of the things that you could get with your foods. But obviously you want to have your vitamin D levels checked, your B vitamins, especially B six, B12, they're vital for brain health. Magnesium, I mean, we're talking about supplements, not nootropics yet, but magnesium is vital for brain health, promotes learning and memory and mood. Magnesium, L three for sleep.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I just have a podcast on magnesium, actually just a solo podcast. It's such a big problem and it's so underdiagnosed. And I'm feeling really good about my breakfast gym because I had pasture raised omega eggs with locks and onions, which I love it. One my favorite childhood breakfasts, I used to go to the diner and the Jewish deli and eggs, locks, onions,

Dr. Jim Kwik: Eggs are like, nature is multivitamin. I mean, they're incredibly dense with nutrients. And then for the nootropic, I mean, I don't know, again, it varies, but

Dr. Mark Hyman: Lemme just go back up for this. I mean, in terms of diet, when you think in terms of versus being a vegan versus keto versus paleo versus, do you have any sense of what works best for the brain from your perspective? Or leave me answer that question.

Dr. Jim Kwik: Yeah, you could answer this question

Dr. Mark Hyman: Than curious about your perspective.

Dr. Jim Kwik: Yeah, I mean, for me, I've tried all the diets. I wasn't even vegan for many, many years. I was a raw vegan for a full year. It didn't work for me. I really did it and I feel like I did it as well as I could, but I had a lot of health issues because of it. So it's not just, I also, again, what you eat, it's also when you eat. For me, I happen to still intermittent fast, not because of, it says I never grew up eating a lot of breakfast, so it wasn't a big change for me. And I also don't desire it so much. So I do do that, and I feel a mental lift for me personally, but for me also, it's not just what you eat is the order you eat in where if I do have my carbs, I'll do it last. I'll do my steamed vegetables, my salads first, and then I'll do my proteins and then my fats, and then if I have some sweet potato or something else. My thing also, when it comes to it, it's not just what you eat, it's how you eat. It's when you eat, it's who you're eating with. It's why you're eating in the first place. Some people are so stressed about the diet, diet, what's

Dr. Mark Hyman: Eating you. It's

Dr. Jim Kwik: Not what you're eating, it's eating. I really feel like it negates a lot of the potential benefits that come from what they're eating because of they're eating that stress state and they're not even properly digesting and absorbing it just because they're in that kind of sympathetic kind of state. But food could also be nutritious. And it could be delicious, though. We know that from your work and cookbooks and just so much out there.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So let's dive into nootropics because that's a topic most people probably never heard about, don't know about, but it's actually an emerging field that I find very fascinating, which is how do we, for example, if we want to be a weightlifter and body build, we know we need to take branch gene amino acids or creatine or whey protein. We have kind of tricks, but if we want to get our brain to be more fit and strong and perform better, what are the things that are out there? And can you go over that research with us? For

Dr. Jim Kwik: Me, what's in as my resource? And we have a few dozen here. I put my latest stuff that I'm recommending it in terms of the human studies and people could get it. This is the chapter of the book@brainnutrition.com, so I can keep that current. But like you mentioned, working out, creatine is an incredible substance, naturally produced, predominant in meat and fish, and it plays a crucial role in energy metabolism, especially cognitive function. And so that's something that I do five grams per day and I use it for my workouts, but I also, I notice mentally when I don't do it, there's been shown that even when you have bad night's sleep, it could help you recover and compensate for that also as well. Lion's mane, it's unique nootropic. It has neuroprotective effects. Research has shown that it helps stimulate the synthesis of nerve growth factor, which is enhanced cognitive function by reducing inflammation, promoting overall brain health.

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's a mushroom that looks like a brain. It's kind of weird.

Dr. Jim Kwik: Very, very much so. There's a little mnemonic device to help you remember it. Caffeine is interesting because while it's a stimulant, I get very sensitive with caffeine. But if I pair it with l-theanine, maybe as a green tea, I get the benefits without the jitters. But that's me. I to don't do caffeine past usually 12 o'clock just for my sleep, but I find that that combination leads for me to a calm alertness. It improves a reaction, time, memory, mental endurance. Ginkgo biloba has been around for ages. Chinese medicine helps to treat various ailments, especially cognitive decline, helps promote good blood flow circulation. And the name of the game when it comes to your brain is really getting up blood flow and oxygen. Even for my recovery from my head injuries, which I've had a few and have various scans, hyperbaric oxygen has been very, very helpful with my personal recovery. I know it's outside of the realm of nootropics, but not lion's, mane, altheine, ginkgo, creatine. If we're going into this is an herb an A.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. Vedic,

Dr. Jim Kwik: Yeah. It's been shown to improve cognitive function and memory. Rhodiola also as well as a Scandinavian herb. And that potentially can be beneficial in reducing mental fatigue for those who struggle with it and improving cognitive function.

Dr. Mark Hyman: The astronauts used when they went in, the Russian cosmonauts used when they went out the space. Yeah,

Dr. Jim Kwik: It's amazing. There's even this whole coffee fruit extract. It's a whole fruit that from the coffee plan, it's usually a byproduct that's discarded, but it's been shown to be a strong antioxidant and have positive effects on cognitive function. One of my favorites is phosphatidyl sine, which is a phospholipid, which it's an integral part of your brain cell membranes. It's been shown to improve memory learning, cognitive function also as well. So we put three dozen brain supplements and nootropics in the book, and we reference all the human studies that are there. Obviously, again, talk to your health practitioner and do it intelligently. I say this not just to protect us, but also to protect the person who's listening. Also as well, be intelligent with this. Don't just down, don't go to a store and just buy everything and just take it.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, no, that's true. And these are very common things, like whether it's green tea or creatine, very safe, bacopa, rhodiola, choline, theanine. These are things that we can actually incorporate. And I actually, I realize I take most of these things every day, but there's another category of nootropics that are pharmaceutical, and I dunno if you can speak to that, but the raam and also the prescription ones that are related to narcolepsy like Modafinil or Provigil or n vigil. Did you have a chance to have any perspective on those or using those?

Dr. Jim Kwik: I've read about a number of them. Don't personally, it's not part of my protocol, but I've seen some pretty amazing things with clients and coaches. We're working with people have you also as well?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, for sure. I mean, and the right person. It can be really a game changer. So I think there's a whole army of tools out there from foods to nutrients to herbs to even prescription drugs that can help you if your brain's not working. But often the key, and I think Jim and I chatted about this before we started the podcast, is the reason I wrote the book UltraMind Solution, which is how we first bonded actually before

Dr. Jim Kwik: That was in that was 2010,

Dr. Mark Hyman: Probably a little while ago. And it is really that there are all these tools for learning and enhancement and so forth. And Jim's book is chock full of I'm, and I encourage you to get a copy and have a look. I think it's really practical. We just touched on the surface of a few of these things. But what's really important to understand is also you have to deal with the biology of your brain because your brain is an organ just like every other organ. And if you're drinking alcohol and you got a fatty liver or your liver's not going to work, right? Or if you're eating the wrong food, you're going to get plaque in your arteries, your heart's not going to work, right? Well, your brain is very similar. And so the body has huge influence over the brain. We have to fix, I always say we have to fix our broken brains by fixing our body first, and then we see what's left over.

Dr. Mark Hyman: If you're thyroid's not working, you can do all the memory tricks you want, but you're probably not going to do very well. Or if you're mercury poisoned, or if you're B12 deficient, or if your vitamin D is super low, or if your microbiome is off, your brain's not going to work. So all these things are really important to consider. It's not one or the other, but it's both. And I think Jim's book is really takes the work that I do around optimizing your brain from a biological perspective and takes it into then, okay, now we've got the machine working. What do we do to optimize it? And I think your work is so important, Jim, and you've been really acclaimed all over the world. You've done some amazing work. I've watched you grow and evolve with last 13, 14 years, and it's been such a joy.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You're very humble and you also are so giving of your skills and knowledge in ways that help enhance people's lives. So I really appreciate you as a friend, as a mentor, and I learned a lot from you. So you're the best chairman. Everybody's got to go get a copy right now of Jim's new book. It's incredible book. I wrote the foreword to it if I do say it to myself, but that's not why it's an incredible book. It's called Limitless Expanded Edition. Upgrade your Brain Learning Anything Faster and Unlock Your Exceptional Life. And I think,

Dr. Jim Kwik: Can I challenge everyone, mark, to do something really, really quick? Yeah,

Dr. Mark Hyman: Sure.

Dr. Jim Kwik: Go ahead. I feel like that the most important thing people could do after they listen to something is to take one simple small step just to create some momentum. And so whether it's getting the book that's great or teaching something that they just learned here, but I would love for people to maybe post their big takeaway and then tag both Mark and myself so we get to see it. And I'll repost some of my favorites. Or maybe you went to my brain animal.com and you could post the Animal and you'll get a detailed report on how to read faster, improve your memory, focus flow based on your animal type or something else. But tag us, but we get to see it. I'll repost some of my favorites because I'll get to see it because you tagged us and we'll gift out a few copies of Limitless, expanded just randomly to people, just as thank you for listening to this podcast.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Okay. All right. Thanks, Jim. Thanks for listening today. If you love this podcast, please share it with your friends and family. Leave a comment on your own best practices on how you upgrade your health, and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. And follow me on all social media channels at Dr. Mark Hyman, and we'll see you next time on The Doctor's Pharmacy. This podcast is separate from my clinical practice at the Ultra Wellness Center, my work at Cleveland Clinic and Function Health, where I'm the Chief Medical Officer. This podcast represents my opinions and my guest opinions. Neither myself nor the podcast endorses the views or statements of my guests. This podcast is for educational purposes only. It's not a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. If you're looking for help in your journey, seek out a qualified medical practitioner. Now, if you're looking for a functional medicine practitioner, you can visit ifm.org and search to find a practitioner database. It's important that you have someone in your corner who is trained, who's a licensed healthcare practitioner, and can help you make changes, especially when it comes to your health.