This month we’re exploring what it means to be Limitless! The power of limitless thinking is something anyone can tap into, but so often we are constricted by the labels we put on ourselves. I find this so interesting because theSQUAD do our best to challenge the norm and not limit our thinking. When answering a client brief we go above and beyond and try not to constrict our thinking. So it’s difficult to put a label on theSQUAD – and that’s a good thing!
During September we’re going to be asking some deep questions, like: When was the last time you challenged your limitations and achieved something extraordinary? This can start by making small changes which make a big impact over time (see Atomic Habits below) and then we can set the bar higher!
Part of successful “neuro-hacking” to unleash your Limitless is practicing gratitude, which is not only good for the soul and the people around you, it is also good for the brain. Studies have shown that grateful people tend to be happier, more fulfilled, and inspired. So, crack open that gratitude journal and give thanks!
PS. It’s been 25 years since Jamiroquai released Virtual Insanity. I was getting onto a plane to come home from the UK - with my Jay Kay hat on…
One - What Does It Mean to Have a Limitless Mind?
When something is limitless, there's an unending amount or supply of it. If you truly believe there are limitless possibilities in life, you see no limit to what you can achieve. Jo Boaler's Limitless Mind looks at ways to disrupt the myth that learning new things is impossible, and she approaching learning differently, showing how to embrace things you thought you couldn’t do.
- Brain Growth - Understand that your brain is a complex organ that continues to grow throughout your life and offers limitless potential
- Mindset - Approach learning with a growth mindset. That alone can overcome certain obstacles and enable learning
- Struggle - Learning doesn’t take place when things are easy; it requires difficulty. Embrace mistakes as prime learning opportunities
- Multiplicity - Learning is not about memorising facts and procedures. It requires being creative and approaching the same problem through multiple paths
- Flexibility and Depth - Learning is not about speed, it’s about being able to engage with the concept in multiple contexts and in a deep way
- Collaboration - You cannot do it alone. It is vital to listen to other people’s perspectives and build upon other people’s ideas
Two: Imagine, but ground yourself in the comfort of belonging
Eco-psychologist Christyl Rivers asks: How does one soar to the stars when we’re all stuck on the ground? Have you ever found yourself asking, how did this person steal my ideas for their book?! Dr Rivers says that it’s because we can all imagine the meteor and sparks flying but we just don’t always see the actual grind of that artist’s real world.
What’s really important are the many connections and ties you have to your reality, your world, actually matter. Your family, your community, your history and your life. The trees that make your oxygen, the animals that provide your food, the enthralling and maddening complexity that we all depend upon is needed. None of that which is you — your belonging— can exist without the structure of belonging. So when you accept, even embrace your physical life, and you will see how high you can soar with a solid platform, people, and planet from which to launch your dreams.
Three: Upgrade your brain, learn anything faster, and unlock your exceptional life
Jim Kwik is the author of the book Limitless which tells the story of how he overcame a childhood brain injury and learned how to learn. He was known as the “boy with the broken brain”, having difficulty focusing and is memory was terrible. He sought refuge in comic books, especially the X-Men because they were also misunderstood and didn’t fit in.
When a mentor introduced him to the idea that he could learn how to learn his life changed Jim became obsessed with books on adult learning theory, neuroscience, brain performance, speed reading, and even ancient mnemonics. His life’s mission was born: to teach people the mindset, motivation, and methods that could move them from feeling disempowered to limitless.
Jim even found his super-hero tribe, spending a week with the cast of The X-Men movies, sharing brain tips, speed reading, and memory techniques with the extraordinary cast and crew. You’ll find more great info on his website: https://www.limitlessbook.com
Four: Tiny changes, remarkable results
If all the blue sky thinking is a bit overwhelming, James Clear’s remarkable best seller Atomic Habits is for you! It is considered a breakthrough book and is a seriously comprehensive guide on how to change your habits and get 1% better every day.
Don’t miss gems like this –
The power of synaptic pruning – This is a phenomenon that happens as we age called synaptic pruning. Synapses are connections between the neurons in your brain. The basic idea is that your brain prunes away connections between neurons that don't get used and builds up connections that get used more frequently. This explains the difference between newborn brains and adult brains. Babies are born with brains that are like a blank canvas. Everything is a possibility, but they don't have strong connections anywhere. The adults, however, have pruned away a good deal of their neurons, but they have very strong connections that support certain skills.
The habit loop and habit stacking - The key to choosing a successful cue to create a positive habit is to pick a trigger that is very specific and immediately actionable. For example, let’s say you want to build a new habit of doing 10 pushups each day at lunch time. You might start by choosing a time-based cue and saying something like, “During my lunch break each day, I’ll do 10 pushups.” This might work, but it's not very specific. Do you do your pushups at the beginning of your lunch break? At the end? Any time? Alternatively, you could create a cue around a very specific preceding event that happens right around your lunch break. For example, “When I close my laptop to leave for lunch, I’ll do 10 pushups.” In this case, the very specific action of “closing the laptop” is a perfect trigger for what to do next (your 10 pushups). There is no mistaking when you should do the new habit and kick off the habit loop.
Five: The mind must be wide open in order to function freely in thought
This last point is dedicated to the master Bruce Lee who really took Limitless to the next level, and martial arts to the mainstream. His daily workout included 5000 punches, 2000 kicks, 200 frog kicks, 100 leg raises, and 200 leaning twists! This is some of the philosophy he lived by:
“A mind that has no dwelling continues to flow ceaselessly and ignores our limitations and our distinctions. Do not localise the mind anywhere but let it fill up the whole body; let if low freely throughout the totality of your being.”
You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water into a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”
Have a look at mind blowing martial arts from the Temple, London at America's Got Talent 2021.
Kelly McGillivray, Squadron Leader