#1183 Learned Limitlessness

Baby Elephants and You

Jim Kwik is one of the world’s leading peak performance gurus.

His specialty is memory improvement, brain optimization and accelerated learning and he’s “served as the brain coach to a who’s who of Hollywood’s elite, professional athletes, political leaders, and business magnates.”

He’s also a brilliant writer.

His book Limitless is FANTASTIC. Highly recommend it. (It falls into the same “Wow. That was REALLY (!!!) life-changing good!” category of other recent books like James Clear’s Atomic Habits, Marie Forleo’s Everything Is Figureoutable and Mel Robbins’s 5 Second Rule.)

The book is packed with great stories and Big Ideas. I imagine we’ll spend a fair amount of time chatting about some of my favorites.

Today I want to chat about you and baby elephants.

Jim tells us: “All behavior is driven by belief, so before we address how to learn, we must first address the underlying beliefs we hold about what is possible.

We’re not born with pre-installed mindsets about what we’re capable of achieving—we learn these fixed and limited ways of thinking from the people in our lives and the culture we experience growing up.

Think of a young elephant tied to a stake in the ground. When it’s a baby, the elephant isn’t strong enough to pull the stake up so it eventually stops trying because it learns the effort is futile. As that elephant grows, it gains more than enough power and strength to pull out the stake, but it remains tied up by something as inconsequential as a rope and a flimsy piece of metal because of what it learned as a baby. In psychology, it’s called learned helplessness.

Most us behave like that elephant. At some point, we had an experience that gave us an impression of what we’re capable of, and our belief about our potential has been set ever since. But just as helplessness is learned, it’s just as possible to learn to be limitless. In this section, you’re going to learn about the seven lies we’ve been taught about our potential and how to replace them with new beliefs.”


Imagine that cute little (200 lb) baby elephant tied up to a little stake. It yanks at it a few times and realizes it can’t do anything about it so it gives up.

Fast-forward a few years.

It’s put on over 10,000 (!!!) pounds and is now THE strongest land animal. It can carry nearly 20,000 pounds—the equivalent of 130 adults.

It can EASILY yank that stake out of the ground and cruise around wherever it pleases.


It doesn’t even try.


It’s learned helplessness.

Good news: Just like we can learn optimism, we can learn LIMITLESSness.


Well, in our next +1, we’ll talk about some of the LIEs we tell ourselves.

For Today, got any obvious limiting beliefs you’re entertaining these days?

Is it, perhaps, time to pull REALLY hard on that limiting-belief stake and yank it out of the ground and carry on with the work of giving us all you’ve got it?


High fives and let’s do this.


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