Jim Kwik

 Jim Kwik is one of these rare people whose name reflects what he does. Imagine a librarian named Mrs. Books or a doctor named James Needle. Despite the coincidental name, Jim Kwik is a an expert coach and advisor on how to improve your thinking and learn faster. Having suffered brain trauma as a child, Jim made it his lifelong mission to study the brain and how we learn.

Jim Kwik is also the king of the acronym. He uses them constantly and one that struck a cord with me on a recent podcast was TIP: Turn Into Picture.

The idea is that if you want to remember vocabulary words faster, make a mental picture of them and you’ll remember them much faster. Jim claims that using this method you can learn up to ten words a day.

For example, if I want to remember a word like Bulwark what comes to mind? Maybe a bull. And what is he doing? He’s working! And what is he working on? He’s making a protective barrier, a bulwark.

Each of these sound connections is great if you are going from English to English. But how about in another language? In my case, I study Japanese. Let’s say I want to study the word retirement which is 退職 (taishoku). So what do I think of? A tie? And now I’m shocked. After all, that is a really ugly tie. Who’s wearing that ugly tie? It’s an old retired guy! This takes a bit of practice and making a clear image is a big help. 

If you haven’t heard the podcast before this is a great episode to start with and for anyone swamped with too many podcasts and to enough time, don’t sweat it. Fortunately, Jim’s podcasts are all incredibly quick, clocking in at about fifteen minutes a piece. So even if you are a busy person on the go, you’ll find these podcasts easy to digest.

Check out his podcast here.