Fearless is a bold word, one that I’ve used to describe a few guests on IQ. It’s a necessary skill for any entrepreneur to learn. Laird Hamilton’s business is riding big waves (and it’s on a comparatively tiny board). He cheats death on a fairly regular basis, and has done so from an early age. At 52 and still riding high, I’d say he’s got fearlessness pretty well figured out.
Laird wouldn’t call himself fearless, though. To him, that’s another word for “reckless.” He approaches the craft of big wave riding with the same respect and humility he brings to IQ. Despite breaking countless bones over the course of his career, Laird is living proof of a connection one can find that transcends science, but not sense.
You might notice an ever-so-slight stiffness in Laird’s step as he takes the stage, because he just had hip replacement surgery. You won’t see him wince, though, despite the fact he’s rejecting pain medication. His reasoning to tough it out is simple: anti-inflmmatories slow down healing. He wants to get back out there and surf! If there’s anything tougher than that mindset, it’s the fact that he was AWAKE during surgery… even making phone calls! When was the last time a friend hit you up with a bone-saw cutting through their side?! Emoji texts surely would not do that one justice.
I asked Laird to clarify just how high some of these waves he’s ridden have been (some supposedly reached 100ft). He confirmed and responded with “we’re limited by what the ocean produces.” Yes… he used the term “limited” to describe his unprecedented feats of defying nature. If anyone can show you just how unlimited our potential is, it’s this man.
If I were to say to you, “you need to learn how to learn” I assume you’d think I was misquoting Yoda. But I want you to think about that for a moment. Can you remember a time in your life where you focused on the act of learning and how your brain translates visual and auditory stimuli into knowledge? What if learning wasn’t something you could take for granted? That’s the life of Jim Kwik. The world-renowned speaker and teacher suffered a brain injury as a child that impaired his ability to learn. What would take the typical student minutes to comprehend would take Jim hours, months or even years. When faced with the circumstance life dealt him, he drew inspiration from an unlikely source, comic books.
While the world slept, Jim read comic books — tales of ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary deeds. His heroes pushed their mental and physical limits against all odds to succeed in the end. How appropriate that a man named Jim Kwik at birth became the world’s leading memory and speed-reading expert. It’s not uncommon for Jim to speak to a room of hundreds and remember the names of everyone he called on at the end of his presentation. Or to ask the audience for a string of 100 numbers only to recite them perfectly from memory. These are tools that Jim developed over time, just like the super heroes that inspired him as a kid, Jim now inspires thousands through his learning and empowerment programs.
Kwik Learning and SuperheroYou are educational programs built to help you unlock the potential of your brain and discover your super powers. Jim puts it best, “If knowledge is power, then learning is a superpower.” After spending an hour with him on the stage, I left hungrier than ever to continue my quest for acquiring knowledge and skills. I hope you feel the same way.