The brain learns more easily when it’s having fun. So if you’ve got ‘texts for comprehension’ or texts which give you information about a subject, there are numerous things you can do in a home-schooling environment other than ‘read the text and answer the questions’.* The following work for all texts and all ages. Start by photocopying the text – and making sure you keep the original for checking.
Chop it up
Chop the text into chunks (cutting between lines of text) for children to put in the right order. They have to understand the content in order to make sense of it, and also understand a bit about how sentences are constructed. The more pieces, the more difficult the task. So if the text is worth more than a glance, start with fewer pieces, then cut those in half – and then in half again, until it’s every line (or until it stops being fun).
Antiquarian booksellers are part scholar, part detective and part businessperson, and their personalities and knowledge are as broad as the material they handle. They also play an underappreciated yet essential role in preserving history. THE BOOKSELLERS takes viewers inside their small but fascinating world, populated by an assortment of obsessives, intellects, eccentrics and dreamers.
Watch The Booksellers movie at home https://www.booksellersmovie.com/
Children’s reading and how to teach a child to read faster and speed reading
We are frequently asked the questions: ‘Do the spd rdng techniques apply to children? And ‘At what age should they start?’ The answers depend on the mental rather than chronological age of each child, but generally we recommend the following.
Start spd rdng techniques aged 15+ The spd rdng system explained in this book is designed for adults. We recommend that young people start using the techniques after they’ve had some experience of reading conventionally and when they need to be more efficient. This is probably aged about 15+, at a time when they need to read more for self-directed study rather than (or as well as) for pleasure.
Aged 5-15 Read a lot, for pleasure. Before that the age of 15, there is much to be gained from reading more slowly – you build up vocabulary, learn how sentences are structured, understand how stories develop. So the best thing children can do is to read as much as possible – of anything which interests them. It doesn’t matter whether that’s stories, football, factual information or comics. The parents’ main job is to offer them books by authors they might not otherwise come across by themselves. But the worst thing you can do is turn children off reading by making it a boring chore. Foster a love of reading in any way you can – read yourself (this is especially important for boys: they need to see men – their father or other relatives – getting pleasure from reading), talk about books you’ve read, and keep books available for them to ‘discover’ by themselves.
Some time ago (2009), Tom O’Connor (of NLP TIMES) did an NLP meta-program modelling on my speed reading strategies. You can read it here: NLP Meta-Programs and Speed Reading / Spd Rdng Part 1
Obviously, I’ve been fine-tuning my speed reading skills to a much higher level since then. Hence this blog where we’re going to crack it for you so you don’t have to. This time, Tom asked me a few, high voltage questions to get his speed reading skills to my super-duper speed reading level.
Firstly, if you’re new to speed reading, since 2009, I’ve probably speed read at least 12 000 books and texts. I’m not saying that to impress you (not at all) – but to impress upon you – that you can too with some basic speed reading skills, strategies and skills (that you can learn from our speed reading books and speed reading courses). It might seem a lot – 1000+ books/year (not for me), if you’re an average reader (who reads less than 55 books/year ie one book/week, which should be the minimum – you should aim at, at least 1 book/day in 20-minute speed reading session = 365 books/year). Actually, research suggests that in the UK, only 41% of the population reads more than 15 books/year.
Here are the general principles to Tom’s NLP modelling questions… (all his questions are at the end of the blog with my specific answers)
Top super-duper speed reading tips (mostly for factual books)
• Read more – anything
And most people do read more now, without realising it – any reading counts, even signs, cornflake packaging and restaurants’ menus. The more you read, the bigger your schema (your total knowledge, wisdom, etc) in your mind/brain. For the record, I don’t read lots of novels – probably half a dozen/year. I used to though, and I highly recommend reading novels, ‘slowly’ for pleasure and fun or to kill time, which research confirms will help you build your emotional intelligence, resilience and survival skills. Books are tools of recognition – a way of recognising where you are as a human being. The word ‘reading’ is an interesting one – you read to understand the text and you’re doing ‘reading’ on the text ie through your own interpretive modes of perception. Read more is speed reading technique #36 in our Spd Rdng System.
Also, recognise that you already have some speed reading skills such as speed-reading newspapers, using a dictionary and searching the Internet.
The term ‘Speed Reading’ means ‘reading fast’, and it can encompass various techniques people use in order to read faster than traditional slow reading. We (Susan and Jan) have developed a system which includes many additional strategies and techniques, specifically for focusing on getting the information you need from a text. Often the person who knows all the shortcuts will reach the destination before the person who has the fastest car. We call our system SpdRdng, and that’s what we’re sharing with you in this book. For ease of reading, however, we refer to ‘speed reading’ throughout.
This book gives you lots of speed reading techniques, strategies, and tips, and shows you how to use them individually – and in combination – for stress-free, successful studies. If you follow the instructions, you should at least double your reading speed and be getting 10 times more information from your reading, thereby saving lots of time which you can use for relaxing, or for working more to get higher grades. The speed reading techniques will help you remember more too – so you’ll be learning quickly and easily.
You’ll learn the techniques more quickly if you try them out as soon as possible – with either digital or paper texts. We show you immediately how to apply them to study more effectively (because the techniques work) and more efficiently (so you save time).
We’d like you to put our first tip into practice right away. The tip is:
Overview before detail – see the big picture
“Great study guide for students and anyone who needs to pass exams, etc
I am a student mentor and I’ve used successfully the workbook The Speed Reading Bible by the same authors. Speed Reading for Study is a shorter ebook and therefore quicker to use. It took me less than 15 minutes to go through this ebook and get lots of very useful and practical tips for studying faster, writing essays, preparing for lectures, background reading and preparing for exams and passing them successfully. (actually, you can get through this ebook in 5 minutes just by reading the top tips). The syntopic processing technique for gathering info for essays is just brilliant. Highly recommended and very good value for money.” Bozena Latek, Five star review from Amazon Kindle
How many self-help books have you read? How much of their advice have you actually put into practice? Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer have just saved us the price of at least 50 self-help books by publishing their own book How to Be fine: What We Learned from Living by the Rules of 50 Self-Help Books (pub William Morrow).
We recommend that wherever possible you read summaries to get a good overview of what the text or subject is about. So we were attracted by what is effectively a summary.
And here’s a summary of their summary:
- ignore the books that tell you to want the life the author has – it’s about them, not you
- ignore books that make you feel bad or implies you’re to blame
- ignore books that give you ‘the secret to being happy all the time’ – life is way more complex and interesting than a single emotion
- be open to finding out new things about yourself – lots of books can be helpful, even if not in the way the author planned
- you are the judge of what’s best for you – choose the books you want to read
Our message about self-help books is that previewing a book (flicking through it for 2-5 minutes to find out what it’s about) can make sure you choose the right book according to those (or your own) criteria (and that it could also have given you the summary above). Once you’ve found the right book then the best way of getting the information is to give yourself 20 minutes to find and write down 6 things from the book you will actually put into practice.
Self-help is much easier and more effective if you speed read with a clear purpose.
EasyReading font, designed by Federico Alfonsetti, from Turin, is the font explicitly “dedicated” to dyslexic readers. Independent scientific researches confirmed positive results. 10% of the population has some form of dyslexia which can affect their ability to decipher written information. My guess is, if EasyReading font helps people with dyslexia then it might be good for the rest of the population.
Other font designers tired to help people make reading easy on the eye. For example, on Kindle, you can choose OpenDyslexic font to speed read your ebooks. My criticism of OpenDyslexic font is that they got the bold emphasis on the bottom part of the font wrong since we know that the upper parts of the font have more visual cues, so the bolding would work better on the upper part of the font for legibility and readability.
“The results, which appear significant from both the statistical as well as clinical point of view, allow us to affirm that EasyReading can be considered a valid compensatory tool for readers with dyslexia and a facilitating font for all categories of readers”. The research was published in the scientific journal “Dyslexia. Italian Journal of clinical and applied research” (no. 2/2013), Published by Centro Studi Erickson, Trento
Times of radical uncertainty require a book
From John Kay (an economic professor) and Marvin King (the governor of the Bank of England), the authors of the classic handbook, The British Tax System comes an interesting and timely book with useful reminders mostly about the financial domain which can be generalised to other domains. If you might get overwhelmed by the page count (544 pages = 10 hours and 53 minutes of non-speed-reading reading) I’ve boiled it down for you to this short and practical summary on how to make decisions (their simple strategy might surprise you so if you’re already a speed reader, you know where to start getting the key message of this summary ie at the end).
What is radical uncertainty?
Firstly, what’s ‘radical uncertainty’? The authors make a distinction between ‘reservable uncertainty’ and ‘radical uncertainty’. For ‘reservable uncertainty’ there is usually a simple solution that exists somewhere ie you can look it up. For example, if you’re uncertain what’s the capital of Estonia, you can check it easily. Or you can use known probability distribution outcome for the spin of a roulette wheel.
For ‘radical uncertainty’ there is no way of resolving the problem. In short, there, the correct answer is ‘don’t know’. There are many aspects of ‘radical uncertainty’ such as vagueness, ambiguity, ignorance, obscurity, ill-defined issues and most of all the lack of information. It’s classical, “unknown unknowns” coined by Donald Rumsfeld, the United States Secretary of Defense who famously said, “there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
Another example of radical uncertainty is ‘black swans’ coined by Nicholas Taleb in his book with the same title.
“We see, but through a glass, darkly.”
Basically, what they mean by the above statement is that forecasting is difficult, even with all the available knowledge of probabilistic reasoning because of the state of being uncertain which is “not able to be relied on, not known or definite” (the Oxford Dictionary definition). When it comes to decision-making strategies, there is no general theory on how to do it best. The existing literature on decision-making frames it in terms of a puzzle-solving which is fine for puzzle-type decisions but when it comes to mystery-type questions there is little research. They suggest that a good place to start for mystery-type decisions is creativity which is inseparable from uncertainty. Examples of that approach include Sumerians who invented the wheel, Einstein who imagined riding on a beam of light, Steve Jobs thinking differently, Frank Knight and John Maynard Keynes emphasising the significance of radical uncertainty in the financial domain.
Bill Gates reads about 50 books a year, which comes to about one book a week. That makes him a very good reader compared to other readers (but not speed readers). People in the UK read an average of 10 books/year (with women reading about 12 books/year, and men reading an average of 8 books/year).
With spd rdng you can easily speed read a book a day which will amount to 365 books a year – and will make you a good speed reader.
Watch Bill Gates talking about his four (speed) reading strategies. Most of his reading tips are good and speed reading-compliant.
#1 Take notes in the margins
Top speed readers work actively with books or texts by taking notes, highlighting and making mindmaps or rhizomaps (spd rdng technique #17). If it’s not your book, post-it notes where invented for this reason.
#2 Don’t start what you can’t finish
This one is not exactly a good reading or speed reading strategy. It sounds (I hope I’m not right) like ‘all-or-nothing’ perfectionist mindset, where if he can’t dedicate enough time to make it perfect, he’s not interested. Top speed readers follow 80/20, Pareto principle (spd rdng technique #5). If you can extract 80% of good quality info from 20% of keywords, you don’t have to read everything and definitely you don’t have to finish a book that is not good. And of course, preview books for about 2-5 minutes (spd rdng technique #2) before you commit to working with them (I think, that’s what Bill Gates had in mind). Speed reading is like eating. Sometimes, it’s like having a snack, sometimes like a meal and sometimes like a banquet. And sometimes it’s like eating a slice of cake (thin-slicing principle/technique).
#2 Paper books vs ebooks
It’s up to you and whatever preferences you have. There are pros and cons for paperbacks and ebooks (read about digital speed reading techniques). Three advantages of ebooks are: 1) search function, 2) popular highlights which give you good overviews and key insights and 3) portability – as a speed reader you don’t want to carry 5-10 books per train journey.
#4 Block out an hour
Top speed readers actually work in 20-minutes work sessions (spd rdng technique #18). Most adults can focus easily for 20-minutes and having frequent breaks (spd rdng technique #27) boosts dopamine levels which are important for memory, motivation and concentration as well as success. Parkinson’s law states “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion” so setting timeframes and sticking to them (spd rdng technique #23) is highly productive.
Sun Tzu’s The Art of War has been adapted to many disciplines, apart of military strategy, obviously such as business, management, politics, marketing, logistics planning, strategy, sport, negotiations and conflict resolution, problem-solving and so on and this classic still inspires people with its timeless wisdom.
The Art of War is a classic text attributed to the Chinese general Sun Tzu, who lived about 2,500 years ago.
If war, fighting or military strategy is not your value or metaphor for strategy, reframe it as the art of speed reading or a strategy for solving problems. Replace ‘war’ as the stand-in noun for …. (For the record, I’m against war and war machine).
A good example of how to read this classic is: The Art of War Visualized: The Sun Tzu Classic in Charts and Graph by Jessica Hagy
Let’s see how we can read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War for speed reading purposes.
“Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted.”
Speed reading: preview books – spend time looking over the book/text to get a general idea of the text; speed read reviews and look for summaries. Do you focus on details before you’ve understood the big picture?
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
Speed reading: use thin-slicing principle – speed read books so you don’t feel overwhelmed by the information overload
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Speed reading: read more, learn more, know more and you can speed read hundreds of books every year
“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity”
Speed reading: even the worst book can teach you something, for example, how to choose a better book next time and avoid ‘bad’ books
“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”
Speed reading: use summaries to get through books with easy and speed. According to research, people who read summaries remember more for longer. Summaries are a valid way to get overviews and details.
“To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.”
Speed reading: use downloading/photoreading technique to download books into your ‘non-conscious’ mind and prime yourself with the info
A timely study on how contagions spread in the world
A timely book on why things, including viruses, spread in the world and how to stop them. Although Adam Kucharski, a mathematician and an associate professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, doesn’t address specifically the coronavirus COVID-19, you’ll learn how to think about pandemics and spread of diseases. And if you’re worried about what modern life has in stock for you, including the coronavirus COVID-19, this books has lots of insights and answers. In short, the book explains how things including ideas, diseases, viral news, folks stories, financial crises, loneliness, crime, obesity, social media and misinformation spread in the world.
The spread of things is influenced by four factors such as
or DOTS for short, says Kucharski. These factors affect the reproduction number or R and allow us to calculate how fast a disease or other things could spread and be stopped from spreading. Reducing one or all four factors will reduce the spread of a virus, for example. So quarantine and self-isolation work because they reduce the ‘opportunities’ factor. But with social media or viral marketing/content or desire to “own the internet” (the title of one of the chapters), you want to push the R factors, not reduce them. Please like this blog via twitter and Facebook below.
What about the coronavirus COVID-19?
The book was written before the outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 but published at the critical time (he cracks masterfully chance, risk, decision-making, luck and gambling or watch Adam’s talk below) when we need to know as much as possible how to deal with possible pandemics. In an interview for The Sunday Times paper, he suggests a few things that might minimise your exposure to the virus. Think twice before visiting A&E because “the transmission data shows similarities with the Sars epidemic: there were a lot of super-spreading events around healthcare and hospitals, and we’re seeing that the Covid-19 too. We’re also seeing early indications of a lot of transmission in household settings and gatherings. We’ve found nine or 10 examples, barbecue and that kind of thing, where a large proportion of people there get infected.” In the book, he quotes that on average in the UK, people have five contacts a day (but in Italy, the number is 10/day), so perhaps go for elbow-bumps instead of handshakes and keep buttoned-up British reserve to save us.
Capital and Ideology by Thomas Piketty is going to be published in March 2020 (it was published in French in September 2019) but you can get a good overview and summary of the main points by watching Thomas Piketty’s talk about it at LSE in London in February 2020 (he studied at LSE). Speed reading tip: whenever a book is not published yet, search online for talks or video presentations of that book.
Thomas Piketty, the ‘rock star’ of economics, suggests that Capital and Ideology is much better than his previous bestselling book (2.5 million copies) Capital in the Twenty-First Century and it offers lessons from the history as the struggle of ideologies and the quest of justice in inequality. In his previous book, he suggests a historical mechanism of why inequality increases over time: R>G ie return is greater than growth, therefore wealth grows faster than income resulting in more inequality. In Capital and Ideology, he argues that inequality is a moral and illegitimate issue and asks if inequality isn’t justified, why not change it. “Every human society must justify its inequalities; unless reasons for them are found, the whole political and social edifice stands in danger of collapse.” he writes and continues “A just society organises socioeconomic relations, property rights and the distribution of income and wealth in such a way as to allow its least advantaged members to enjoy the highest possible life conditions”.
From our accelerated learning perspective, the most interesting aspect is his take on education which is key for any national growth. We believe that speed reading is everyone’s right but unfortunately it is not taught at schools at an early age. Piketty suggests that societal inequality stems from lack of education or highly unequal access to education. Educational equality is the biggest factor in economic development, more than property rights, etc he suggests in Capital and Ideology by Thomas Piketty. (Unfortunately, Thomas Piketty ‘predicts’ that there will be more inequality post-Brexit in the UK.)
The book has four parts. Part One: Inequality Regimes in History, Part Two: Slave and Colonial Societies, Part Three: The Great Transformation of the Twentieth Century, and Part Four: Rethinking the Dimensions of Political Conflict
We are now LIVE with LSE alumnus Professor Thomas Piketty and LSE Director Minouche Shafik discussing his new book ‘Capital and Ideology’.
Posted by The London School of Economics and Political Science – LSE on Thursday, February 6, 2020
336 pages and Kindle suggests that it would take you 6 hours and 43 minutes to read it in a traditional way (or 20 minutes if you speed read it). Don’t have 7 hours – just watch this 60-minute talk by Daniel Susskind summarising his book A World Without Work: Technology, Automation and How We Should Respond.
If you’re worried that you’ll be out of work in the near future – relax – it might take some time to be free of work (at best, a decade or so at least). But it’s certain that a world without work is already approaching, gradually (you’ll be pleased to know), whether you like it or nor, or understand it or not. Automation, AI, quantum computing and master algorithms will make all work obsolete in the future.
The new AI machines no longer need to reason like us or be modelled on human behaviour in order to outperform us. Already, AI is better at diagnosing illnesses, drafting legal contracts, writing PhDs, navigation and driving cars, etc. For example, AI can spot loopholes in contracts in just 26 seconds and with 94% accuracy compared to humans who take 93 minutes with 85% accuracy. There goes the whole profession. So if you’ve got a meaningful job/career/vocation – enjoy it while it lasts.
• In times of radical uncertainty – flexibility and career adaptation are key.
• You have to evolve and educate yourself. You won’t be able to leave education – ever (learn how to learn and speed reading now). It’s not only what and how you learn but also, when. Skills to compete and build things (systems and machines) will be in high demand.
• Technology will surpass humans with AI, patterns recognition, etc.
• In the world without work, work as the source of money and meaning will have to be redefined. If you define yourself by what you do – stop. What you do is NOT who you are.
• It’s going to be more about leisure, not about the world with less work since most people won’t be working. Leisure (virtual or onsite) is going to be the biggest business.
• It will be a better world, more prosperous thanks to technology with the increasing capacity of machines to do amazing things, such as write beautiful music or poetry or design wonderful buildings (which AI already can perform). And it will be a world with more complex challenges such as the distribution of wealth, meaning without work, inequality, basic income (universal or conditional), social-political power, etc, as well as surveillance and privacy issues.
• When? To quote William Gibson (who coined the term ‘cyberspace’), “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.”
A World Without Work: Technology, Automation and How We Should Respond by Daniel Susskind is a natural continuation of his previous book The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind which suggests the same idea ie whatever your profession is – it is not safe – because it will be automated, done by an algorithm, AI or computers much better in the near future.
Women are not only great readers, speed readers but also keener buyers of fiction – accounting for 80% of sales of fiction in the UK, US and Canadian. Surveys show that more women than men are literary festivalgoers, library members, audiobook readers, literary bloggers and members of literary societies and evening reading classes. And women teach children to read, both at school and at home and women who set up book clubs. In our speed reading courses though, on average, the ratio is about 50-50.
“When women stop reading, the novel will be dead.” said Ian McEwan when in 2005, he conducted an experiment in parks where he handed out books to strangers. Men rejected them while women gratefully accepted the novels.
“Questionnaire about Women’s Fiction Reading” at the end of the book offers useful insights about your reading preferences, habits and why you read and how.
1. When did you learn to read, who taught you, and what is your earliest memory of reading?
2. Do you recall the children’s books you read, and which remain in your heart?
3. Were you encouraged or taught to read by parents, siblings, teachers, friends? Was your earliest reading teacher male or female?
4. Have your parents, partner(s), children, and friends encouraged and supported your reading habit? Has it sometimes been a secret or illicit pleasure?
5. Did/do you read religious/sacred texts, e.g. the Koran, the Bible? How important are these to you?
6. Do you read poetry, and if so which poets and poems are most special to you?
7. Have you read all your life, or have you had periods when you read little or nothing (perhaps in hard or challenging times)—or just newspapers, comics, magazines, etc.?
8. How has your education formed and influenced your reading—at school, further education college, evening class, university, etc.?
9. Did you read ‘set books’ at school and/or college and do you recall and cherish (or now hate) them? Please give examples.
10. Do you read every day, and if so at what time? Do you read at bedtime, and is that choice of reading matter different from other times of day?
11. Do you buy fiction regularly? At a bookshop or online?
A very tiny book written by Charlotte Bronte at the age of 14, a miniature work, called The Young Men’s Magazine, is returning to the UK after being bought by the Bronte Society at auction in Paris. Experts at her museum suggest this section of the story is “a clear precursor” of a famous scene between Bertha and Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre, which Charlotte would publish 17 years later. A part of the Young Men’s Magazine paints a picture of a murderer driven to insanity after being haunted by his victim’s ghost and how “an immense fire” burning in his head causes the bed curtains to catch fire.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855)
Type of work Psychological romance
Setting Northern England; 1800s
Jane Eyre, an orphan girl
Mrs Reed, Jane’s aunt, and mistress of Gateshead Hall
Edward Rochester, once-handsome owner of Thornfield Manor
St John Rivers, a young clergyman
Orphaned at birth, Jane Eyre was left to live at Gateshead Hall Manor with her aunt-in-law, Mrs Reed. Jane remained at the estate for ten years, subjected to hard work, mistreatment and fixed hatred.
After a difficult childhood, the shy, petite Jane was sent to Lowood School, a semi-charitable institution for girls. She excelled at Lowood and over the years advanced from pupil to teacher. Then she left Lowood to become the governess of a little girl, Adele, the ward of one Mr Edward Rochester, the stern, middle-aged master of Thornfield Manor.
At Thornfield, Jane was comfortable with life – what with the grand old house, its well-stocked and silent library, her private room, the garden with its many chestnut, oak and thorn trees, it was a veritable palace. Mr Rochester was a princely and heroic master, and, despite his ireful frown and brusque, moody manner, Jane felt at ease in his presence. Rochester confided that Adele was not his own child but the daughter of a Parisian dancer who had deserted her in his care. Still, even with this forthright confession, Jane sensed that there was something Rochester was hiding.
Off and on, Jane heard bizarre, mysterious sounds at Thornfield. She finally discovered that Rochester kept a strange tenant on the third floor of the mansion. This hermit-like woman, once employed by Rochester – or so he said – often laughed maniacally in the night. And other disturbances soon followed.
One evening, after the household had gone to sleep, Jane was roused by the smell of smoke – to find Mr Rochester’s bed on fire. Only with a great deal of exertion did she manage to extinguish the flames and revive her employer.
At first, it looks like Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell lacks a single zeitgeist-defining idea but nevertheless the key discussion is about communications and interactions among strangers at the individual, collective and ideological levels. “Any element which disrupts the equilibrium between two strangers, whether it is alcohol or power or place, become problematic. The book is really about those disruptive influences,” says Malcolm Gladwell.
The underlining concept is taken from Timothy Levine, the US academic who specialises in deception – the truth default theory. Levine suggests that our fundamental instinct to any new information is to believe it because we simply couldn’t function without the default to the truth (belief comes easily; doubt takes effort and time). No communication can proceed without the default to truth. On the other hand, the well-known phenomenon is that far from defaulting to the truth, we tend to believe only the information that fits our preconceived unconscious biases.
Self-help tip from the book: don’t judge people too early; delay your conclusions about other people, especially strangers who can be most likely untypical in their behaviour and difficult to read.
In sum, it looks like people aren’t totally transparent to us. Liars seem honest, spies seem loyal and nervous people can look guilty. Face reading doesn’t seem to be a reliable tool for reading people, as Hamlet put it: one may smile and smile and be a villain: “There is no art / To find the mind’s construction in the face.” This psychological phenomenon is called ‘the illusion of asymmetric insight’ where we tend to consider ourselves opaque to others while thinking that other people are easy to read. The book reminds us that strangers are not easy to read.
Spd Rdng – The Speed Reading Bible translated into Polish now
BIBLIA SZYBKIEGO CZYTANIA: niesamowicie łatwa umiejętność szybkiego czytania z potwierdzonym rezultatem do natychmiastowego zastosowania do jakichkolwiek materiałów pisanych (książek, raportów, czasopism, pism fachowych, podręczników, poczty elektronicznej itp.), co pozwoli Ci czytać szybciej i efektywniej bez względu na to, kim jesteś: profesjonalistą, przedsiębiorcą, studentem, nauczycielem, czy osobą zainteresowaną swoim rozwojem intelektualnym w jakiejkolwiek dziedzinie (wliczając biznes, medycynę, prawo, IT, języki). Biblia jednocześnie uczy cię, jak używać skuteczniej narządu wzroku, pamiętać więcej, wykorzystywać lepiej swoją inteligencję minimalnym kosztem, skupiać się na celu, znajdować gorące punkty informacji, a przede wszystkim zastosować zdobytą wiedzę w praktyce, co sprawi, że w rezultacie zaoszczędzisz czas i pieniądze, a także odniesiesz sukces w biznesie i w życiu.
The average adult in the UK will get through 11 books a year (696 over a lifetime) suggests a poll (OnePoll for eBay UK). But why not 365 books a year. It’s only one book a day. It sounds a lot of books, doesn’t it? Not really, if you apply speed reading techniques. Here’s how to get through 365 books a year – starting from super easy and quick speed reading techniques to more advanced ones.
Warren Buffett was asked about his secret to success. Buffett pointed to a stack of books and said, “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will…”
Easy and fast speed reading techniques
1) Read summaries of the books. Yes, it’s a valid way of getting through books. According to research, people who read summaries remember more for longer. Summaries are a valid way to get overviews and specific details. Most people who read a book from cover to cover, forget 90% after two days! Forgetting rate is huge is you don’t use speed reading techniques. Reading summaries you’ll remember more and for longer. It takes usually a few minutes to read a summary of a book or less than 10 seconds if you’re reading only micro-summaries. Check for collections of summaries here
Spd Rdng – The Speed Reading Bible translated into Dutch now
Dé Bijbel voor snellezen: eenvoudige snelleesvaardigheden met bewezen resultaten die je direct kunt toepassen op elk leesmateriaal (boeken, rapporten, tijdschriften, handleidingen, leerboeken, tekstboeken, online teksten, e-boeken, enz.) zodat je meer, sneller en effectiever kunt lezen, of je nu een professional, een ondernemer, een student of leraar, of gewoon geïnteresseerd bent in jouw eigen leren en persoonlijke ontwikkeling, in elk onderwerp (inclusief zaken, geneeskunde, de wet, IT, acteren en talen), door jou onder andere te laten zien hoe je jouw ogen efficiënter kunt gebruiken, meer kunt onthouden, toegang hebt tot jouw leerintelligentie, betekenis kunt ontlenen aan een minimum aan input, zich op jouw doel kunt focussen, de hotspots van de informatie die je nodig hebt kunt vinden en het allemaal in de praktijk kunt brengen, met als resultaat dat je tijd vrijmaakt en geld bespaart naarmate je succesvoller word in het bedrijfsleven en in het leven algemeen.
Finding the right books for getting skills for problem-solving, innovation, creativity, design and decision making can be a daunting task – in the sea of books on these topics. Over the years speed readers coming to my speed reading course have brought hundreds of books that they’ve picked from bookshops and libraries. Here’s a selection of the top books that I and they found useful. The good thing about speed reading is that you can decide very quickly how useful the book is – just by looking at the cover, title, subtitle, TOC (table of contents), index, design of the book and layout as well as just by reading a bit of text to get the style and the depth of the information (this technique for choosing the best books is called ‘Preview‘).
Top books for problems solving and innovation
TRIZ (the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) is a systemic approach for understanding and solving problems and is based on 40 principles of innovation. Most books on TRIZ are good and cover the same 40 principles. Start with
Become an Inventor: Idea-Generating and Problem-Solving Techniques with Element of TRIZ, SIT, SCAMPER, and More Kindle Edition by
40 TRIZ principles are Segmentation, Taking out, Local quality, Asymmetry, Merging, Universality, ‘Nested doll’, Anti-weight, Preliminary anti-action, Preliminary action, Beforehand cushioning, Equipotentiality, ‘The other way around’, Spheroidality, Dynamics, Partial or excessive actions, Another dimension, Mechanical vibration, Periodic action, Continuity of useful action, Skipping, ‘Blessing in disguise’, Feedback, ‘Intermediary’, Self-service, Copying, Cheap short-living, Mechanics substitution, Pneumatics and hydraulics, Flexible shells and thin films, Porous materials, Colour changes, Homogeneity, Discarding and recovering, Parameter changes, Phase transitions, Thermal expansion, Strong oxidants, Inert atmosphere, Composite material
The complete history of human imagination and the book (Out of Our Minds: What We Think and How We Came to Think It by Felipe Fernández-Armesto) summarised in ONE WORD…
The acclaimed historian, Felipe Fernández-Armesto, takes us on a journey through the history of the human imagination, from the dawn of civilization to the advent of social media in his new book Summary of Out of Our Minds: What We Think and How We Came to Think It
To imagine – to see that which is not there – is the startling ability that has fuelled human development and innovation through the centuries. As a species, we stand alone in our remarkable capacity to refashion the world after the pictures in our minds.
Traversing the realms of science, politics, religion, culture, philosophy and history, Felipe Fernández-Armesto in his latest book, Out of Our Minds: What We Think and How We Came to Think It reveals the thrilling and disquieting tales of our imaginative leaps – from the first Homo sapiens to the pioneers of the digital age. Through ground-breaking insights into cognitive science, he explores how and why we have ideas in the first place, providing a tantalising glimpse into who we are and what we might yet accomplish.
So the micro-summary of Out of Our Minds: What We Think and How We Came to Think It by Felipe Fernández-Armesto in ONE WORD… is divergence (with an additional word to give a complete picture – keep speed reading…). It takes a genius to capture the history of humanity and where we are going with just one word+. This is the ultimate thin-slicing.
1984 by George Orwell (1903-1950)
Micro-summary: Nineteen Eighty-Four is George Orwell’s’ terrific and terrifying vision of a totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is a slave to a tyrannical regime under a constant lockdown.
“More relevant to today than almost any other book that you can think of.” Jo Brand, an English comedian, writer, presenter and actress
“Right up there among my favourite books … I read it again and again.” Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale
Published 70 years ago, this seminal classic has every generation captivated, especially in the times of any political, social and global turmoil. Big Brother’s long shadows and the vital defence of truth as well as newspeak, doublethink and thought police – refresh your memory of the past and future with the summary of 1984 by George Orwell. Nineteen Eighty-Four popularised the adjective ‘Orwellian’, connoting things such as official government deception and propaganda, secret surveillance, censorship, lockdown or soft martial law, wartime mythology and nostalgia, fact-free leadership, harmful narratives, myths and frames of social control, creative reading and misreadings, repurposing forces of repression for apparent liberation, hijacking and politicising any crisis and manipulation of statistics by a totalitarian or authoritarian state.
Type of work Futuristic, cautionary novel
Setting London, in the mythical country of Oceania; 1984 (in the future)
Principal characters Winston Smith, a rebel against society, Julia, his lover, Mr Charrington, an elderly antique shop owner, O’Brien, the only member of the Inner Party Winston trusts
As Winston Smith entered his apartment building, he passed a familiar poster. “It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.” Then Winston opened the door to his flat to be greeted by a voice on his “telescreen” – a device he could dim, but never shut off completely. Telescreens broadcasted government propaganda and served as the eyes and ears of the Thought Police, who scrutinized everyone for any possible deviation from acceptable thought or action.
In the flat was a tiny alcove just out of sight from the telescreen’s vision. Winston sat down to write in his diary, an act that was not officially illegal, “but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death. …” While he sat writing, a recent memory stirred in his mind; that day’s “Two Minutes Hate,” a government-sponsored work break in which every worker at the Ministry of Truth was required to participate, had consisted of an interlude when everyone raged and screamed as the telescreen alternately flashed images of enemy Eurasian soldiers and Golstein, an abhorred traitor. That morning, Winston had noticed a “bold-looking girl of about twenty-six” who worked in the Fiction Department. This particular girl – wearing the bright scarlet sash of the official anti-sex league – gave him “the impression of being more dangerous than most,” and Winston had the unnerving feeling that she was watching him.
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME by Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
Type of work Gothic Romance
Setting Paris, France; 1842
16-year-old gypsy girl
Pierre Gringoire, a poet and writer
Claude Frollo, an archdeacon who desires Esmerelda for his own
Phoebus, captain of the guard, loved by Esmeralda
It was the Festival of Fools day in Paris. A boisterous crowd had gathered to witness the performance of a play written by poet Pierre Gringoire – and to choose the Prince of Fools, the title bestowed on the ugliest person in all Paris. Several acts into the play, however, the Parisians grew restless and demanded that the “Prince of Fools” be elected immediately.
To Gringoire’s consternation, the crowd turned its attention from his production to the contestAfter several hideous contestants had shown their faces, one particularly grotesque figure appeared before the judges. His huge head was “covered with red bristles [and] between his shoulders rose an enormous hump.” This candidate had a forked chin and lip from which protruded a tusk, and one eye was covered by a wart. In spite of his deformities, he was surprisingly strong and agile. This hideous creature was unanimously acclaimed Prince of Fools.
“It’s Quasimodo,” the crowd roared, “the bell ringer of Notre Dame.” Placing a jester’s hat on his head, a miter in his hand, and a robe on his rounded back, they paraded him through the streets of the city, singing and playing instruments. Quasimodo was overcome; this was the first time he had ever felt “the gratification of self-love.” Deaf from long years of ringing Notre Dame’s massive bells, he grinned in dignified muteness at the spectacle around him.
The procession paused when the crowd reached a spot where a trained goat danced gracefully to the enchanting sounds of a beautiful young gypsy girl’s tambourine. The girl was named Esmerelda. Suddenly, the Archdeacon Claude Frollo barged through the crowd, snatched the scepter from Quasimodo’s hand, and ripped off the hat and robe. The gathering stood aghast at the Archdeacon’s harsh treatment – yet they knew Quasimodo would submit himself to the master who, many years earlier, had taken in a deformed, unwanted baby left in the foundling box at the gates of the cathedral.
Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M. Schwartz is a 1966 advertising classic and since it’s out of print, the price for this very detailed marketing manual is quite steep, starting from $125 upwards.
“The greatest mistake marketers make is trying to create demand.” writes Eugene M. Schwartz
One of the core messages of the book is to capture the attention of the existing audience that is already interested in your product or service. So the market research is key. So not much point wasting time to convince people who don’t want your product/service. Position your product/service to sell it only to those who do want it already.
A scattergun approach is a common mistake of general advertising where advertisers try to appeal and resonate with a broad audience, “so that we get the most interest.” Market research should be focused on understanding and articulating the audience’s “hopes, dreams, fears and desires,” which are emotional hot buttons responsible for purchasing decisions instead of guessing about them all. So exploiting and channelling people’s needs and desires is the purpose of marketing according to Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M. Schwartz.
The key message of the book is contained in this quote:
“Let’s get to the heart of the matter. The power, the force, the overwhelming urge to own that makes advertising work, comes from the market itself, and not from the copy. Copy cannot create desire for a product. It can only take the hopes, dreams, fears and desires that already exists in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already existing desires onto a particular product. This is the copy writer’s task: not to create this mass desire – but to channel and direct it. Actually, it would be impossible for any one advertiser to spend enough money to actually create this mass desire. He can only exploit it. And he dies when he tried to run against it.”
Eugene M. Schwartz in Breakthrough Advertising
Our speed reading course has built-in techniques to improve memory.
Here is the list of the best books we’ve found helpful for improving memory.
Although I (Jan) purchase most of my books as ebooks, I still visit bookshops and buy p-books (paper books) from time to time. My favourite bookshop in London is Waterstones in Piccadilly which is the biggest bookshop in Europe. It has a restaurant on the fifth floor with a great view of London.
Over the years of travelling, I also visited many bookshops all over the world and these are my favourites.
How to speed read Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, 14 November 2018
Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, published on 14 November 2018 has 106, 836 words, 585 pages (PDF, 1.37MB) so it shouldn’t be difficult to just read it in a traditional way and easy to speed read it, compared to speed reading the full Chilcot report which consists of 12 volumes and contains 2.6 million words.
106, 836 words only
To put it context, it’s about six times smaller than War and Peace (587,00 words) and about seven times smaller than the Bible (775,00 words) and the complete works of Shakespeare (885,000 words) but it’s much more complex than any of these books.
Speed reading is information extraction so there is no point of reading Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, from cover to cover – just for the sake of it because it’s a historic document. Even though it wouldn’t take a long time. If an average, educated person reads about 240-300wpm (word per minute) – it would take about 10 hours to read it from cover to cover with the regular, traditional, slow reading. If you’re a lawyer, barrister or solicitor and you read this kind of documents on regular bases every day – it would take you about 2-3 hours of very detailed speed reading. On average, each page has about 150-300 words so one minute per page is a very conservative estimate for just regular reading this whole document. 600 pages = 0.5 min/page = 5 hours of speed reading and 2-3 hours of super-duper speed reading.
Reading for the message
Just reading or speed reading this document is one thing but understanding the implications and legal ramifications is a completely another matter and only lawyers and experts will be able to unravel it all.
Any physical challenges similar to those below (rubbing your tummy while patting your head, etc) help wake you up by stimulating both hemispheres of the brain, but certain bilateral exercises, known as Brain Gym, have additional positive effects (by working on the body’s energy system). The ultimate bilateral brain gym exercise is juggling which helps with speed reading.
During breaks, challenge yourself by trying (and perfecting) one or more of the following Brain Gym fun exercises
Breaks are a very important part of speed reading and any learning. They help to relax, refocus and boost dopamine levels which is important for motivation and focus. Resting and exercising your eyes is also important for optimum speed reading.
Read the alphabet aloud as written on the chart. As you do so, raise your Right hand if the letter below is R, raise your Left hand if the letter below is L, and raise both hands Together if the letter below is T.
It’s harder than it looks, but if you can do it easily, then read the alphabet backwards – or read up and down the columns – or additionally lift your opposite knee (ie R = raise your right hand and left knee, L = raise your left hand and right knee, T = raise both hands and both legs/jump).
Lift your left leg and touch your left knee with your right hand (arm crosses the body). Then lift your right leg and touch your right knee with your left hand. Keep going, touching alternate knees – as slowly as possible. (A more energetic variation is to touch elbows to the opposite knee.)
Cook’s hook ups
Put both hands out in front of you, backs of your hands together, thumbs facing down. Place one hand over the other so palms are facing, then interlace your fingers. Swivel your interlocked hands together towards you, and bring them up under your chin. Cross one leg over the other. Relax shoulders, tummy and face. Put the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth and take several deep breaths. This is a particularly calming and focusing exercise to end with before going back to work.
Reseach suggests that juggling is one of the best (fun) ways to boost your brain power and learning. Learn more about the power of juggling and what it can do for your brain and learning
How the mind makes new ideas: Bending, breaking, blending
David Eagleman: So what humans do that is special is we absorb all of these ideas, all these inputs, and we smoosh them up in various ways and come up with new things.
And so there are essentially three main ways that the brain does this, and we’ve summarized this as bending, breaking and blending.
So let’s start with bending. So bending is where you take something and you change it, you make it smaller, you make it bigger, you change something about it. When you look at statues across human culture you find that people bend the human form any which way, making it taller or skinnier or emphasizing certain portions over the other. They do that with all animal paintings and sculptures and so on.
You can bend lots of aspects of things. So the artist JR made a statue of the high jumper Mohammad Idris for the Olympics and he put that super huge and had him jumping over a building. And you have other sculptures that make extremely tiny little figurines.
And one of the arguments we make is that the exact same thing that’s happening in art, the same cognitive processes are happening in the sciences also.
Micro-summary: the ultimate master algorithm is an algorithm (or machine learning algorithm) that can learn anything (in minutes or seconds) given enough data, especially non-linear models or phenomenon.
Everyone a coder
Currently, machine learning algorithms do two things: one, where they improve the existing processes in order to do them more accurately and faster and two, where machine learning can do entirely new things that never have been done before. For example, if you give a computer enough date about a particular health condition, it will learn in less than a minute how to diagnose a patient for that condition much better than any top doctor can do. In the future machine learning algorithms will be embedded in everything from day one, in the same way as your subconscious mind with its neural network, which works in a similar way, learns all the time. At the moment, in order to programme a computer, you need to know how to code or be a computer scientist. In the near future, anyone will be able to programme a computer without any knowledge of coding – because the machine learning is learning the natural language and will be able to understand your English or whatever language you choose to speak. You’ll just need to explain in plain English what you want your computer to do.
Build your neuroplasticity with juggling and boost your speed reading
Juggling builds neuroplasticity
A study on structural neuroplasticity suggests that adults who juggled three balls for three months (15-30min/day) increased gray matter (GM) in the mid-temporal area and left posterior intraparietal sulcus. 3 months of little or no juggling and the grey matter decreased and approached baseline values (Cassandra Sampaio-Baptista, et al, 2014; download the pdf of the paper). Juggling is a workout for your brain – a kind of brain gym.
Juggling helps with reading
Learning to track objects with your eyes improves your reading and ultimately speed reading. Juggling improves hand-eye coordination (so it’s useful for super-duper reading), peripheral vision (for the optimum state for speed reading) and a host of other motor skills and reflexes (Rosenberger, 2011).
Juggling is a bilateral exercise: brain gym
Juggling is a bilateral exercise like brain gym exercises which are good for waking up the brain, focusing and dopamine stimulation which is responsible for motivation.
Juggling builds multiple intelligences and self-esteem
Juggling exercises multiple intelligences and uses both sides of the brain. While you’re learning to juggle, you’re using the left side of the brain. When you’re juggling you’re using the right side and after a while, both sides of the brain are active. Kid’s self-esteem gets a boost from learning a new skill while they’re having fun.
It is also a good physical exercise – which this video suggests.
Summary of 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari – the third book by the acclaimed author of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow and Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. This time he focuses on the present time and the problems and issues we’re facing (terrorism, fake news and immigration) and offers some solutions. 21 chapters/lessons are organised into five categories/parts: Part I: The Technological Challenge, Part I: The Political Challenge, Part III: Despair and Hope, Part IV: Truth and, finally and Part V: Resilience — and has tips on how to navigate the future we face – with the power of clarity. Some critics may argue that we’ve heard all this before but hopefully this time we’ll listen to the present-day voice of Cassandra.
368 pages and Kindle typical time of non-speed reading of it is 7 hours and 6 minutes but with this in-depth summary, you’ll be up to speed on it in minutes (especially if you just read the micro-summary of this summary at the end of the blog or watch Harari talk about his new book).
On your future career prospect: soon you might not have one
“No remaining human job will ever be safe from the threat of future automation.” Critics or sceptics will say to this, that there has always been a talk of amazing futuristic innovations that haven’t really actualised yet. Say that to all candle makers who missed the memo that electricity was going to disrupt their business. The revolution of automation and AI will make humans redundant from all sorts of fields from truck-drivers to lawyers to accountants to teachers and so on.
“Once AI makes better decisions than us about careers and perhaps even relationships, our concept of humanity and of life will have to change.”
On future education: change is the only constant and learning to learn is the top skill to master
“The now century-old model of production-line school education is bankrupt.” AI the ultimate master machine learning algorithm will be able to do everything. Forget teaching kids programming, the best skill you can teach them is reinvention. “So what else should we be teaching? Many pedagogical experts argue that school should be switched to teaching ‘the four Cs’ – critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.” And how to deal with constant change in the constantly changing world. “To survive and flourish in such a world, you will need a lot of mental flexibility and a great reserves of emotional balance.”
“In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power.”
This chapter on education is most interesting to me because of my interest in accelerated learning and education. In it, Harari charts the past and future of the education and what we should be doing now to ensure that the quality of education, information and knowledge is enhanced as opposed to degraded. The advice he gives to a 15-year old is: “don’t rely on the adults too much. Most of them mean well, but they just don’t understand the world.” What should you rely on then? Technology? Not really. Biotechnology, machine learning and algorithms? No. Should you rely on yourself then? If you know yourself, maybe – by most people don’t know themselves and are products of external influences because we’re living in the era of hacking humans. “To succeed in such a daunting task, you need to work hard on getting to know your operating system better.” But hurry, because your competition (Google, Amazon, Coca-cola, Facebook, Baidu, Netflix, Match or eHarmony, governments, religions, etc) is racing to hack you first.
Learning to learn or self-learning is the most important skill you’ll be relying on in order to reinvent yourself and face uncertainty and unknown leading to 2040.
Speed reading is a part of the accelerated learning methodology. Speed reading courses for kids as young as nine are available.
Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy by Robert H Frank can be summarised that talent, hard work and skills are important but luck plays a huge role too. Interesting insights are that people who feel they’re lucky or have good fortune are more generous in charitable donations and being grateful makes people healthier, happier and more generous again. So start counting your blessings and good fortune. Can you think of a few examples of your good fortune or luck that you’ve experienced over the course of your life? Do it now and notice how you’ll feel.
Watch Robert H Frank summarising his book Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy
‘I increasingly suspect that the key to success isn’t talent, luck, nepotism or even showing up. It’s getting enough sleep.” Simon Kuper, FT
Top books on branding, naming, design, logo design, marketing, creativity, presentation skills and entrepreneurship
(my absolute favourites in bold)
Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team by Alina Wheeleer
Good and practical approaches to branding as well as all key branding concepts. The one to start with, and probably the best intro book into branding.
Brand Hijack: Marketing without Marketing by Alex Wipperfurth
Practical and less traditional – where branding is/was going.
Kellogg on Branding: The Marketing Faculty of the Kellogg School of Management by Philip Kotler
More academic but still practical with good summaries of different well-tested branding processes – this one I would buy later if you still need more info on branding.
Why deep sleep is the most important aspect for learning, memory, speed reading and success.
We spend a lot of time in our bedrooms or sleeping
An average a person sleeps for about 8 hours a day, which means that one sleeps for one-third of one’s life.
Sleep is recognised as the most important aspect of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health
There are tons of research on the importance of sleep for our health, wellness, relationships, learning and memory, as well as performance and success at work.
How a nap can boost your brain power
‘I’ll sleep on it’, common sense suggests and now researchers discovered that this old adage really works. In a study, at the University of Bristol, 16 participants were presented with a word recognition test on a computer screen. A word was shown at the subliminal level, beneath consciousness awareness for the human mind to register – just 50 milliseconds followed by a second word flashed up very quickly. Some groups of words where associated. The control group then had a 90-minute nap before they all repeated the assignment. The researchers used EEG equipment to measure the changes in participants’ brain activity throughout the study and found that the task was processed much more quickly in participants who had a nap. Significant results were found in the instances where the words were associated. The study suggests that information taken in during wakefulness is been processed in some deeper, qualitative way during sleep. Researcher Dr Liz Coulthard says that the findings showed our minds are capable to work on cues presented ‘beneath our conscious awareness’.
Watch these six short videos below about the importance of sleep for health, learning, memory, speed reading, decision-making and success.
The benefits of deep sleep and how to get more of it
There’s nothing quite like a good night’s sleep. What if technology could help us get more out of it? Dan Gartenberg is working on tech that stimulates deep sleep, the most regenerative stage which (among other wonderful things) might help us consolidate our memories and form our personalities. Find out more about how playing sounds that mirror brain waves during this stage might lead to deeper sleep — and its potential benefits on our health, memory and ability to learn.
Sleep is the best medicine
It looks like sleep is the panacea that can solve most of your problems. Health-wise, sleep will protect you from flu and infections, heart disease, mental health problems, dementia, and accidents among other things as well as help you lose weight and make you look younger (beauty sleep). Sleep will boost your overall performance and make you more productive, creative and socially adept. When learning is concerned, sleep will boost your memory. One of the key functions of sleep is to process and consolidate your memory.
“Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night demolishes your immune system, more than doubling your risk of cancer.”
Interestingly enough, the 108th Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for 2017, has been awarded to a trio of American scientists, Jeffrey C Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W Young, for their discoveries on the molecular mechanisms controlling circadian rhythms – in other words, the 24-hour body biological clock, that helps to regulate sleep patterns, feeding behaviour, hormone release and blood pressure. Their discoveries have explained, “how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronised with the Earth’s revolutions.”
“Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day. Sleep is the best medicine.” Professor Matthew Walker
Prosperity, money and wealth creation or financial freedom – mean different things to different people. Whatever it means to you and if you want to have more of it, there is plenty of advice from people who have mastered the art of wealth creation. And what’s the best, easiest and cheapest way to learn how to do it – speed read their books or at least read the summaries of the books which counts as speed reading (we’ve summarised some of them for you). In an interview with Bill Gates, he was asked, “If you could have one superpower what would it be?” He responded with, “The ability to read super fast.”
Getting the information on how to become financially free or independent is the first step. Applying the principles of wealth creation is another. There are a few important aspects that people who have mastered the art of prosperity have in common: values (top prosperity tip: make sure that money/prosperity/wealth is one of your top values in life), beliefs, mindsets, thinking about money and prosperity as well as actual skills of investing, creating and managing wealth. And there is luck which most wealthy people value as well. You need a variety of books to cover these essential aspects to give you a solid foundation for your prosperity and financial freedom. Best of luck 🙂
Our personal choice for the top 8 books on prosperity, wealth creation and financial freedom
- Richard Wiseman The Luck Factor: The Scientific Study of the Lucky Mind (2004) – Read the summary
- 50 Prosperity Classics (summarised below)
- Anthony Robbins Unshakeable: Your Guide to Financial Freedom
- Paul McKenna I can make you rich (2007)
- Deepak Chopra Creating Affluence (1998)
- Shakti Gawain Creating True Prosperity (1997)
- Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer Creating Money: Attracting Abundance (2008)
- Anthony Robbins book Money: Master the Game – 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom (2014) – Read the summary
Top speed reading tip for prosperity
Download (prime yourself with) the top books on prosperity into your (unconscious/non-conscious) mind with intention of getting results – it’s called the direct/implicit learning technique.
From: 50 Prosperity Classics by Tom Butler-Bowdon
Master the inner game/mindset of wealth and abundance with books such as
James Allen The Path of Prosperity (1905) In short: You will only become truly prosperous when you have disciplined your mind. Paradoxically, wealth (and happiness) comes most easily to those who forget themselves in their service to others.
Genevieve Behrend Your Invisible Power (1921)
Rhonda Byrne The Secret (2006)
T. Harv Eker Secrets of the Millionaire Mind (2005)
Charles Fillmore Prosperity (1936)
Esther Hicks & Jerry Hicks Ask and It Is Given (2004)
Napoleon Hill The Master-Key to Riches (1965)
Catherine Ponder Open Your Mind to Prosperity (1971)
John Randolph Price The Abundance Book (1987)
Sanaya Roman & Duane Packer Creating Money (1988) In short: If you know the universe to be an abundant place, you won’t fear not having the resources to pursue your purpose or mission in life.
Marsha Sinetar Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow (1987)
Max Weber The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904–5)
No profession can survive or outperform AI
Whatever your profession is – teaching, engineering, medicine, law, etc – it may not be safe – it can be automated, done by an algorithm, robots or computers much better in the future. Dr Yuval Noah Harari, the author of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (a must speed-read) explains how revolutions in technology and society will transform not only our bodies and minds but also our work. If you’re a student, watch Harari’s talk which charts what might happen to your chosen profession in not distant future.
In the age of automation and AI, two most important skills are how to adapt and learning to learn (and speed reading), as you don’t know if your job/a portfolio career/vocation is going to be made redundant next year.
Most doctors will be out of work
Yuval Noah Harari gives a very good example of how most doctors will be out of work in the future because AI will do their jobs much better ie will diagnose illnesses better and offer better treatments and cures – cheaper, with 24/7 access anywhere in the world. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it.
Lighting is important for reading. And it can also be fun.
The late Zaha Hadid who was crowed as the Queen of Curves for her amazing, curvilinear designs, designed these simple and yet powerful book-shaped lamps for a shopping mall in Seoul. I want one.