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Artificial Intelligence is one of the hottest topics on the Internet, right now. And it’s clear that this technology is going to fundamentally change the way we interact and engage with the digital world in the future. This might raise some concerns and fears that as it progresses and develops, AI will begin replacing human intelligence. But rather than seeing AI as competition, you can embrace AI as a companion.

AI is a powerful technology, capable of doing amazing things, but there are limits to what it can do. But your mind is limitless. When you leverage the power of AI as a tool to augment your human capabilities and enhance your skills, there’s no challenge you can’t conquer and no goal you can’t achieve. Here are some exciting insights into how you can incorporate AI in your daily life to optimize learning, supercharge your work performance, and master the art of time management.

Embrace a Growth Mindset

AI is evolving at a rapid pace, and it’s essential to stay curious and open-minded. Embrace a growth mindset that embraces new technologies and approaches with enthusiasm. Be willing to explore and experiment, knowing that failure is merely a stepping stone towards success.

You can use AI to embrace a growth mindset by turning it into a personal learning assistant. These programs can analyze your learning patterns, preferences, and areas of strength and weakness to curate personalized learning strategies aimed at boosting your retention, comprehension, and overall learning efficiency.

Stay Informed

We live in the age of information. Data is being produced at an exponential rate. That can make staying up-to-date and knowledgeable about almost anything an overwhelming endeavor. That’s where AI comes in. You use AI to curate content for you that is relevant and high-quality based on your interests and needs.

AI algorithms can sift through vast amounts of data, extract key insights, and present you with precisely what you need. From recommending tailored articles and videos to identifying the most valuable books and research papers, AI-powered content curation ensures you spend your time absorbing the most impactful and meaningful information.

Assess, Adapt, and Optimize

If you want to increase your work performance and productivity, you have to optimize your time management skills. And AI-powered productivity tools can be your secret weapon. These tools can automate routine tasks, assess your schedule, prioritize your to-do lists, and provide insights into your daily work patterns. They can also find tools and resources to optimize your entire day. AI can help you reclaim your time and focus on the tasks that matter the most.

As you integrate AI into your learning, work, and time management practices, regularly assess its impact. Is it truly enhancing your performance and learning experience? Are there any adjustments or fine-tuning needed? Don’t get complacent with the same tools and programs. The more you can learn how to assess and adapt, the faster you’ll continue to see optimal results.


AI is a transformative force that holds immense potential to enhance your learning, work performance, and time management. By embracing AI-powered tools and approaches, you can tap into the full capacity of your mind, expand your horizon, and achieve remarkable feats.

If you’re curious about how you can AI to unlock your limitless potential, check out this special podcast giving you a sneak peek into our brand-new Limitless Mind course. In it, I share how to use this incredible technology to enhance your current capabilities and take them to the next level:


Who doesn’t want stronger willpower? It can be instrumental in learning new skills, help you adapt to a different environment, create new habits, and help kick the old habits that aren’t working for you anymore. In short, it can help you build the necessary qualities to help you get ahead in life. That’s why learning how to increase your willpower is essential to reaching your goals.

But contrary to popular belief, willpower is more than simply forcing yourself to do something. In our last article, we talked about being aware of those marshmallow moments. The unexpected craving for a cupcake when you’re on a diet, or the urge to binge Netflix instead of studying or cleaning. These moments when left unaddressed can create anxiety, fear, and sense of failure if you’re not careful.

Even knowing what willpower is, the idea of it can still feel elusive. Often it’s mistaken for stubbornness or an innate resistance to temptation. But willpower is simple the ability to exert self-control in difficult situations. And that’s something you can build on and improve. When you’re faced with a marshmallow moment, those distractions usually offer you one of two things: avoiding stress or feeling good. Your brain wants it, and sometimes, it needs it. But you want to identify when you genuinely need a rest, and when you might simply be looking for the easy path.

One of the best ways to cultivate and grow your willpower is by making the hard thing an easy habit. When you change your behaviors and mindsets around what you believe you are capable of, it’s much easier to listen to your body and brain to maximize your productive output. Here are six ways you can increase your willpower.

Fix your routines

The first thing to look at is to make sure that you are giving your body and brain all the resources it needs to function properly. Studies show that when you don’t get enough sleep, you crave processed and sugar-laden foods. It’s a lot harder to eat the nutrient rich foods when you can’t stop thinking about a donut. Make sure you create a nighttime routine that helps facilitate healthy sleep. And if you know you’re starting your day off tired, make sure you take steps to make healthy eating easier. Pack a nutritious lunch, avoid walking by your favorite grab-and-go meals, and increase your protein to help keep you fuller, longer.

Another part of your routine is staying hydrated. Your cognitive capabilities decrease significantly when you’re as little as 2% dehydrated. It impacts your memory, your ability to reason, your decision-making skills, and more.

Choosing a healthy morning routine is just as important as your nighttime routine. You set the tone for the day and start with a focus on what’s important. This gives you clarity on what your goals are and helps prompt your brain to stay focused on those outcomes. Take five minutes and assess your state, and then create a plan to help you stay on track. You’ll find that this goes miles in reducing the moments of indecision and will help you gain momentum that carries through your day.

Don’t follow good milestones with bad rewards

Who hasn’t celebrated sticking to their diet by indulging in a cheeseburger? While one meal won’t derail a diet, it’s a mindset you want to be aware of. If you’ve struggled with staying away and have thought of nothing but that cheeseburger, you’re actually rewarding the unhealthy thought patterns, and not the healthy new behavior.

This phenomenon is called moral licensing, in which we give ourselves permission to do something “bad” since we have done something “good”. But before long, the temptation to do the bad thing becomes the driving force, pushing the focus away from your goal, or the good. Doing the good thing becomes a way to achieve the bad thing, and before long you stop doing the good thing and go straight to the bad. It can also make it easier to give in to these thoughts in more private moments.

Instead, make sure that you are aware of the desire to give in to these moments. Try to find healthy alternatives to support your new habits, goals, and mindset. When you find yourself thinking about the cheeseburger, remind yourself of why you don’t want to eat it and what you do that will satisfy the craving right now. Replace the cheeseburger with an equally satisfying alternative. Eventually, you’ll think about the cheeseburger less and find the healthy habits come more naturally.

Practice mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness training are great exercises to strengthen your willpower. These practices gently train your mind to establish control over itself in a safe and relaxed way. But practicing mindfulness is possible outside of meditation exercises, in your everyday life. You can practice deep breathing exercises at traffic lights or subway stops. Choose the longest line at the grocery store or park as far as you can and walk. Being present and in the moment will help control your impatience and build the self-control muscle that makes doing the hard thing easier over time.

These practices also help reduce stress. Stress often pushes people back into old habits. Part of the reason is how habits are coded in the brain. Once the behavior is a habit, it stops producing the dopamine reward. But if you start the behavioral pattern after ending the habit, the reward is reactivated. Depending on how much stress you’re under, it can be very tempting to go after that dopamine burst. Which is why managing your stress is so important when trying to stay away from old bad habits.

Mindfulness allows the areas of your brain relating to attention and emotional regulation to function more efficiently. This is crucial when it comes to willpower. When your stress levels rise, these areas shut down. It’s harder to focus, which can derail you in terms of reaching your goals. And your emotions might take over, making that donut sound way better than it actually is.

Break down your goals

It can be easy to lose steam when working towards a goal. Particularly one on a long timeframe. Your brain wasn’t designed to power through obstacles with no rewards for long periods of time. Which is why breaking your goal down into small, simple steps is so vital in building your willpower.

Instead of only counting a diet as a success when you lose twenty pounds, celebrate every pound. Even better, add inches, muscle tone, exercise stamina, and healthy meals choices into the mix. Every milestone or win you celebrate, activates your reward center and gives you a new goal to anticipate. This builds momentum, which helps get you to the next step, and the next, and the next. Before you know it, you’ll reach your goal—maybe even surpass it.

And don’t forget to reframe your rewards in ways that further your goals. If you want to diet, buy new clothes when you reach a milestone. If you’re working towards a degree, perhaps ordering business cards or investing in supplies you’ll need for a new job can help keep you focused. Come up with rewards that promote your new habits and behaviors to help keep your brain engaged and entirely focused on your goals.

Don’t say “I won’t”, say “I will”

The language you use while thinking has a huge effect on your actions. Research suggests that positive reinforcement serves better in achieving goals than negative ones. One famous experiment highlights this. It’s known as the White Bear Analogy. Essentially, if someone tells you not to think about a white bear, you won’t be able to stop thinking about a white bear.

In terms of your life, instead of telling yourself what to not think about, create a list of new thoughts. When you think about the white bear, don’t force the thought away, simply think about a black bear instead. If French fries or cheeseburgers are your white bear, think about a new healthy snack you’ve been excited to try or the new outfit you want to buy.

You can’t force yourself not to think about things. But you can replace those thoughts with new ones. And by finding replacements for those thoughts, you will activate other areas of your brain and stimulate the reward centers at the same time. It can become a game and give you new experiences to look forward to. And that’s the best way to stay engaged and motivated.

Avoid decision-fatigue

A little bit of decision making every day is good exercise, but when it becomes your whole day it can deplete your cognitive resources. Decisions require willpower, but they also require attention, focus, and problem-solving. If you do this too much, it can tire your brain out.

This is known as decision fatigue. It’s essentially the term that encapsulates a few things we’ve talked about before. When you’re tired, hungry, stressed, and overwhelmed, decisions are harder. Eating the healthy foods, going for a run, not staying up late to watch a movie, all become harder.

You can offset this fatigue by making as many decisions as you can when you’re in a clear, focused state of mind. Meal prep on a day when you can come up with that week’s menu, buy the groceries, and prepare the ingredients for easy cooking. It’s much easier to go home and cook when you know everything is ready and waiting for you. Schedule your workouts and have your gym bag ready. Set your clothes out either the night before, or even the entire week in advance. Pre-plan your workouts or run routes.

The more you do to help make these smaller decisions easy, the more energy your brain will have to focus on the harder, more complicated tasks.


Willpower is not something you have, it’s something you build. It all comes down to habit. Instead of blaming yourself for failing, you can reframe your mindset, break down your goals, and change your language to ensure better outcomes. Before you know it, you’ll be smashing down goals and your willpower will become stronger with every milestone you reach.


People are successful for different reasons. But there is one trait that runs through all high achievers: willpower. The simple definition of willpower is “the ability to control one’s own actions, emotions, or urges” and “strong determination that allows one to do something difficult”.

No matter what your goal is, how hard you train, how detailed your plans, they will all hit roadblocks and obstacles. You’ll have days that feel overwhelming. Your emotions get the better of you. A you’ll frequently question if success is even possible. But if you want to achieve your goals, no matter how hard, audacious, and ambitious they may be, you have to develop the ability to persevere and overcome these difficulties. That’s where willpower comes in.

Decades of research on the science of willpower have created some interesting insights. And understanding them will help you learn how to increase willpower in your daily life. We’re going to explore the fascinating science of willpower. Once you understand the mechanisms behind willpower, you can learn to build your resistance and unlock your limitless goals.

Small instances of exercising willpower can help build perseverance for bigger ones

Walter Mitchel’s famous “Stanford Marshmallow Test” had children choose between eating some marshmallows now, or waiting 15 minutes and having a double-helping. He then tracked those children till they were roughly 32 years old. The children who were able to delay gratification for 15 minutes were more successful in their adult life. They achieved more and were able to reach their self-imposed goals more frequently than the children who ate the marshmallows first. The ability to delay gratification of a simple thing like a marshmallow prepared them for resisting bigger vulnerabilities and distractions later in life.

This can be exercised in your daily life. There’s always a marshmallow, so to speak. Instead of watching that Netflix show, spend thirty minutes cleaning, organizing, exercising, or reading before you allow yourself to sit down and zone out. You can work towards intermittent fasting, take more control of where you’re spending your time and focus, and so much more. Start noticing the marshmallow moments in your life and work towards delaying that instant gratification.

Willpower is a muscle

We all get muscle fatigue sometimes, right? Well, willpower gets fatigued too. And it can be just as debilitating. A study by scientist Roy Baumeister found that willpower acts just like your muscles. It tends to get fatigued when a lot of your tasks require self-control. If your willpower is exhausted, your performance will actually decrease when it comes to those specific tasks, which can lead to trying to exert more control and staying in that cycle.

This study led to two principles, that can help in training your mind to increase willpower:

  • To strengthen muscles, you need to exercise. That means you need to exercise your willpower frequently. As we mentioned above, find your marshmallow moments and practice delaying gratification.
  • But too much exercise leads to muscle fatigue. You need rest. Every moment of your day can’t be a battle of the internal wills, otherwise you deplete your ability to effectively delay gratification. In other words, sometimes it’s a good idea to put off Netflix, and sometimes you need to let yourself relax.

Make sure you find the balance between exercising and resting your self-control.

To increase willpower, you first have to believe that it is possible to change

2010 study by Veronica Job found that your beliefs about willpower can affect how much willpower you display while pursuing your real-life goals. The Stanford University team ran a series of experiments looking at individual beliefs when it comes to willpower. They found that if an individual believes that they a limited amount of willpower that decreases every time they use it, those same individuals displayed lower levels of willpower in their daily lives.

On the other hand, the people who believed willpower is not fixed and cannot be depleted, had much greater control over their selves. They displayed more willpower and were able to push through distractions and difficulties in order to achieve their goals.

Why willpower is crucial for learning

One thing will always encounter when learning something new is an obstacle. Usually, more than one. For every step forward, it’s common to experience one, two, sometimes five steps back. And that’s where building your willpower comes in. It doesn’t matter if you want to break a habit, build a new habit, learn a new skill, or manage your time more efficiently. There will always be a marshmallow waiting to derail you.

The one thing you need is strong willpower. It’s an essential quality to move forward in life. Learning a new skill or building a new habit requires the ability to know when to push forward, when to take a break, and how to analyze obstacles from different perspectives. Training your willpower will help you understand how to do exactly that.

Habits take anywhere from 28 to 66 days to truly solidify. And not every one of those days will be good. Willpower helps you stick to your new routine—even when you don’t want to. But the stronger your willpower gets, the easier it is to exert. And the same goes with learning. As you get better at sticking to your schedule, minimizing distractions, and doing the hard thing first, the more these behaviors will seep into your daily life. You’ll be able to learn more efficiently, which opens the door to learning more. And soon, you’ll be living the life you both desire and deserve.


Willpower is a complex subject. While researchers have worked hard to identify and measure it, it can still feel elusive in your daily life. But it is the key to unlocking your momentum so you can achieve your goals in life. Pay attention to your marshmallow moments, learn to listen to your body when you need to rest, and challenge yourself daily and you’ll be on your way to building this very important skill.

For more on how to develop willpower and self-discipline, watch this video:


Steven Bartlett believes that “self-awareness is realizing that there is no opponent – you’re fighting against yourself.” Yet, even with that belief, Steven admits that after talking to Jim on a recent episode of The Diary of a CEO podcast, he realized he still had limiting beliefs he was holding onto.

If you’re familiar with Steven or his podcast, that might be a surprise. After all, The Diary of a CEO is Europe’s most downloaded podcast. Success is not something that Steven appears to struggle with. He’s the co-founder of multiple companies, runs a successful podcast, and is the author of several books. And yet, even with all his success, all his accomplishments, Steven still experiences limiting beliefs.

It’s a powerful reminder that no one is immune to self-doubt. But it’s also a demonstration on how life-changing realization and self-empowerment can be. During their nearly two hour conversation, Jim and Steven covered so many amazing topics, including:

  • Jim talks about his mission, where he started, and why he’s so driven to fulfill it. [3:01]
  • When we have the two biggest cognitive dips in our lives, and how it relates to death. [11:24]
  • Why exercise is so important and the different types that are best for your brain. [14:25]
  • The four different cognitive brain types, how they influence your thinking, and where to find which type you are. [17:52]
  • Various tools to help you organize your thinking and make better decisions. [21:58]
  • How to find your dominant question and why it’s so important to help with your passion, purpose, and focus in life. [30:39]
  • Steven talks how his career has changed focus by utilizing these five buckets, but how they’ve also highlighted his own limiting beliefs. [39:43]
  • This is how Jim uses the the Feynman Technique to make learning accessible—and how you can to remember more information easier. [44:24]
  • The ten keys to upgrading your brain and unlocking your limitless memory. [51:50]
  • Why reading is so powerful and how you can learn to read faster with a few simple exercises. [1:04:26]
  • The first principles for finding flow and staying there. [1:14:00]
  • Is there an area of your life where you feel like you’re in a box? Here’s how to get out of it—and what Steven struggles with. [1:21:27]
  • In Steven’s last question tradition, Jim shares his most recent regret. [1:33:33]

As you can see, their conversation was incredibly in-depth with so many actionable tips that you can use to improve your learning and unlock your limitless potential. We can’t wait for you to listen and start applying the valuable information to your life today.

RESET Your Brain

We’ve officially reached the halfway point of 2023 and our monthly theme on the Kwik Brain Universe app is reset. If you haven’t joined yet, you can sign up, here. This is your one-stop-shop for all your courses. It’s also the best place to connect with other lifelong learners, along with being the first to find out about new events, groups, and programs.

When it comes to reaching your goals, it’s important to do a check-in, reset your brain, and make small changes to continue your forward momentum. Maybe the first six months of the year have been a struggle for you. If so, that’s okay. You can find your greatest strengths in your biggest struggles. All it takes is one step in a different direction to change your entire trajectory.


When you envision your goal, it might seem like a good idea to paint the perfect picture of that positive future. And while that’s sometimes a good place to start, it’s not always the case. If that vision feels too far away, it can actually trigger a stress response in your brain. Instead of feeling motivated, you’ll more likely end up in fight, flight, or freeze mode. And that can be extremely demotivating.

One of the best things you can do when faced with overwhelm is break things down into small, simple steps. They help your goal feel manageable and allow you to focus on smaller, more easily achievable goals. This helps you not only feel safe—which alleviates stress—it builds momentum and energy because you’re able to make progress.

To help you remember how to reset your brain, all you have to do is remember R.E.S.E.T.


I believe the treasure you seek is hidden in your daily routines. I’m a firm believer that how you start and end your day matters, which is why I have both a morning and an evening routine. I go over the four basic elements of both, here. And here’s a more detailed look at my ideal morning.

It’s important to remember that these episodes and lists aren’t meant to be absolutes every day. They’re meant to be your ideal goal. No one has a perfect morning—not even me. But I try to do as many of them as I can without adding stress to my already busy day. Some important areas to create routines around are sleep, meditation, healthy eating, exercise, and journaling. These all have tremendous benefits for your mental and physical health.

A routine doesn’t help if it’s overwhelming or stressful, so customize yours to fit your schedule and lifestyle. If you’re creating a new routine, start small. Remember, little by little, a little becomes a lot. Take one habit and build from there.


Your emotions are a barometer. They are meant to help you assess your mental state and warn you when you’re nearing overwhelm and burnout. It’s important to honor your emotions instead of resisting them.

That might be easier said than done. It can be tempting to try and bulldoze your way through a difficult day. But when you do that, you’re more likely to make mistakes, find yourself in conflict with others, or overlook important details. It might feel like you’re moving forward, but when you ignore your natural warning signs, you might actually be moving backwards.

What you resist persists. Whatever you’re avoiding is likely what you have to face in order to move forward. The obstacle is always the way. Take time to pause and really listen to what your emotions are trying to tell you. Maybe you need a break. Or help. Talking to someone might unlock a new approach you never considered before. You might need to take a step back and look at your previous steps. Did you miss an important lesson? Or take a shortcut that is now creating the obstacle?

Before your emotions take over, be sure to spend time acknowledging them. Journaling every day is a wonderful way to organize your thoughts and spend time with your emotions. It reduces anxiety and gives your brain the space it needs to process problems and analyze situations. Remember, your emotions are sign posts. Don’t forget to use them.


It can be hard in our modern world to actually disconnect, but it’s incredibly important for your mental health. You want to sever your connections to the digital world from time to time.

When was the last time you went out to dinner without your phone? Or turned off the internet and read a book or played a game with your family? Social media and streaming companies spend billions of dollars to find ways to keep you online. Their ultimate goal is to get you addicted to their products and services.

Technology is a wonderful tool. It connects you to people you love, can be used to learn and grow, and can even be a source of inspiration. But like any tool, it’s all about how you use it. Fire can cook your food or burn down your house. You want to be sure that you are using it—not it using you.

In my book, Limitless, I use the following quote from the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre: “Life is the C between B and D. B is birth; D is death; C is choice.” Ultimately, you have the choice to decide what to focus on and how to spend your time. Difficult times can define you, they can diminish you, or they can develop you. Make sure you spend your time focused on the things that matter and not endlessly scrolling or binging media.


Curiosity is one of the most important emotions to cultivate along with gratitude. When you’re curious, you’re less fearful—just like when you’re grateful. But curiosity extends past learning about new things. It can also help you overcome obstacles.

Think about a time someone was upset at you. Imagine how the situation could have changed if you had been curious instead of angry. Curiosity leads you to ask questions, prompts you to look at things from a different perspective, and go outside of your comfort zone. It’s been suggested that curiosity is one of the reasons positive emotions exist. It can enhance your connections, lead to higher levels of motivation, and give you a sense of purpose.

Don’t be afraid to try new things. Even something as simple as listening to a new playlist, trying a new exercise routine, or going to a new restaurant can spark new ideas and energize you in surprising and unexpected ways. You might feel stuck not because you’re doing too much. But because you’re not doing enough of the things that inspire and motivate you. Ask questions, say yes, and embrace curiosity in everything you do.


Part of pursuing a goal is stepping back and evaluating them. It can be too easy to lose sight of your goal in the drudgery of life. You want to remember why you had the dream in the first place. If you’re stuck, it might be because your goal isn’t aligned in your heart and mind.

One of the most important things to remember is that there’s a difference between goal-setting and goal-getting. You can listen to our numerous episodes on goals, here.

You want to make your goals S.M.A.R.T.:

  • Specific — Make your goal as specific as possible with well-defined steps and verifiable results. Instead of saying I want a raise, define what a good raise looks like and how you can go about getting it.
  • Measurable — You have to measure your progress so you can see how far you’ve come. If you can’t measure your goal, you can’t manage or track it.
  • Action-oriented — These are the steps that push you forward and give you direction. What actions can you take every day to make progress?
  • Realistic — Be realistic about your time frames, your outcomes, and dreams. If your company never goes above a 5% raise, a 15% goal isn’t realistic. Make sure you can actually achieve your goal.
  • Time-Bound — While you can stretch your goals out as long as you want, the longer it takes to reach it, the more likely you’ll lose motivation. Challenge keeps you engaged, so set a time frame and stick to it.

But you also want to make sure they have H.E.A.R.T.:

  • Healthy — If you get a promotion at the cost of your health or relationships, you haven’t gained—you’ve lost. Always make sure you’re balancing your goals with your mental, physical, and relationship health.
  • Enduring — Every goal will be hard at some point. Make sure your goal will get you through the hard times and difficult situations by attaching a strong emotional element that motivates and drives you.
  • Alluring — Imagine everything achieving that goal will bring. Maybe a promotion means more money for a bigger house, a dream vacation, or a new car. Don’t be afraid to dream.
  • Relevant — No matter what your goal is, tie it to your life. How will learning to play the ukulele make your life better? Will it bring you closer to someone? Create a link to an ancestral history? Personal goals drive you forward and give you purpose.
  • Truth — If you pursue a degree because your parents want you to, the odds of you sticking with it when things get hard are low. Find your truth. Know your truth. And stick with your truth.


When it comes to your goals, imagine what you want most. See it, feel it, believe in it, and then work daily for it. If you need to, break your goal down into smaller goals, and then break those down into small, simple steps.

Pursuing your goals isn’t about forcing an outcome. It’s about finding flow. You want to push and challenge yourself with stretch goals, but you also need to give yourself time and space to recover from setbacks so you can learn and grow along the way.

There is no goal too big if you are realistic about how to reach it. Never shrink what’s possible to fit your mind. Expand your mind to fit what’s possible by upgrading your mindset, motivation, and methods to give yourself the tools and resources to meet your biggest dreams.

If you’re struggling to stay on track, don’t beat yourself up. Often, a simple reset fixes the problem. Try rebooting your brain and realigning yourself with the HEART of your goal. Make sure to acknowledge your hard work and celebrate each success along the way—no matter how small. Remember, there’s a version of you that you haven’t met yet. Keep showing up and doing the work until you’re introduced.

As an added bonus, watch this video for four things you can change to maximize your results?


Here at Kwik Brain, we believe leaders are readers. When you read a book, you can take decades of knowledge and learn the same lessons in a matter of days. That’s why cultivating a daily reading habit is so important. And when you increase your reading speed, you not only improve your productivity, but will see important benefits to other areas of your daily life as well.

Reading improves your creativity and imagination

When you read, you use your imagination. When you’re immersed in new characters and worlds, you exercise your imagination. And using your imagination daily sparks creativity. This helps you see the world through a new lens, helping you become more open-minded.

Creativity and imagination help you look at problems differently, which then improves your problem-solving and decision-making abilities. And because reading is a whole brain exercise, it helps keep your cognitive processes working at optimal levels.

You expand your vocabulary

The more books you read, the more words you’re exposed to. By reading the context of these new vocabulary words, you learn where, when, and how to use them, so you’re able to apply them to more situations. This enables you to express yourself and your ideas in clear, concise ways. As you improve your ability to communicate with others, you build deeper and more meaningful relationships in all areas of your life.

Your knowledge increases

Reading broadens your understanding of history, economics, current events, cuisine, culture, politics, and more. Even fiction raises awareness and can teach you something new. Whenever you come across a new idea or perspective, you can research the areas you’re unfamiliar with. This expands your worldview, general knowledge, and can lead to surprising discoveries as you learn fascinating unknown facts and concepts. Novels, articles, newspapers, magazines, and even recipes, reading provides a wealth of information.

Your memory can improve 

As we mentioned, reading is a whole brain exercise. That means when you read, you engage multiple areas of your brain at the same time. This improves fluency, comprehension, awareness, visual and auditory processes, and more.

In addition, reading activates your working memory. As you read, you keep track of plots, dialogue, characters, and more. When you return to reading after taking a break, you exercise your memory as you recall what happened previously in the book. And when you put the book down, the story stays in your active in your brain until you’re finished with the book. You think about what happened and speculate on what might happen next, sharpening your deductive reasoning and logical thinking.

Consistency and self-discipline improve

The average attention span is getting shorter. Technology and media have decreased the average attention span to 47 seconds. That’s down almost an entire minute and a half in less than twenty years. But reading can increase your attention span, which then increases your ability to concentrate and focus on other tasks.

When you sit down to read a book, you’re committing to hundreds of pages. You know you will not get through the content in minutes, and by sitting down to read every day, you’re exercising your focus and concentration. To fully understand the story, you have to finish the book. Studies show reading strengthens the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. These are the areas of the brain where concentration, focus, planning, attention, and decision-making take place.

Stress Reduction

Reading novels for enjoyment is an excellent way to relax. Studies show that reading for thirty minutes can reduce stress significantly. In fact, it has the same effect on stress as doing yoga. Your heart-rate decreases, your muscles relax, and your breathing evens out while you read. This helps lower anxiety and can help you become more productive for the rest of your day.

Studies also show that reading increases your emotional intelligence and empathy. While this on its own may not reduce stress, it helps form deeper emotional bonds with people around you. One recent study showed how community bonds and social support helps instances of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress.

Increase your skills in any area of interest

In any specific field of interest, reading can help improve your success. Subject matter experts take their years of expertise and condense it into chapters, allowing you to learn from their experiences, acquired knowledge, and mistakes. That allows you to build on their foundation to come up with ideas on how you can best apply that knowledge to increase your capabilities successfully.

Become a better writer

Every time you read, you’re taking in sentence structure, word use, grammar, and vocabulary. Unconsciously, you’re gaining insight into how to create sentences, paragraphs, and chapters in your own writing. The more you read and the more you practice writing, the faster you’ll develop your own voice, style, and creative storytelling.

Improved problem-solving and cognitive processing

Reading helps you detect patterns, assimilate information, and solve problems. One study out of the Washington University in St. Louis showed reading activates seventeen different areas of the brain. But they aren’t active at the same time, and the level of activation changes as you develop.

Researchers at the Emory University in Atlanta found that reading novels changes your brain—even after you’re done reading. The neural networks that activate while reading stay active for up to five days after you finish a novel. This might not seem like a long time, but if you’re consistently reading, you’re constantly lighting up those networks. This enhances overall brain performance that extends into other tasks and, over time, develops into a wide range of cognitive capabilities.


The brain benefits of reading are truly limitless. You learn more about yourself and the world around you, often while visiting fantastical places that spark your imagination. It’s possible to build empathy, improve your concentration and focus, reduce your stress, and it’s one of the best whole brain exercises you can do. So what are you waiting for? Pick up a book today!

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And if you want to learn how to read a book a week, watch this video: