F.A.S.T. learning is the key concept for improving your brain performance.
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Only 1/3 of our brain performance is determined. That means: 2/3 is in your control. There is nothing like a good or bad mind, only a trained and a not trained one. Learning how to learn is the most important thing in life. Unfortunately we are not really taught in school, how to do that properly. So we need catch up!
Quick recall can be trained with the MOM-method: Motivation, Observation, Mechanics. Motivation: If someone gives your 100.000 $ to just remember a name, you would do that, right? So recall is a matter of whether you want it or not. Check your motivation by asking WIIFN: Whats in it for me? Reasons reap results!
To read 4-5 books per month like CEOs you don't even need to speed read (which is good anyway). Do the math: An average person reads 200 words per minute. An average book has 64000 words. Hence, you only need to read 45 minutes a day to complete that task. Just imagine whats possible if you are able to read faster ...
Subvocalization slows you down. Your brain can think faster than you can speak. 3 Hacks: 1. Strech yourself with getting used to shortcuts while reading. 2. Listen to music, because it may distract you from subvocalization (e.g. barock with 60 b/s). 3. Break patterns with humming, chewing gum or counting.
Method: Capture and create Take a blank sheet and draw a line in the middle. On the left side you capture all the info (imagine the left, logic part of the brain). On the right side you work with this info on your own, creating something important for you (imagine the right, creative part of the brain).
I don't think of my characters as bumbling. I think that trouble is what drives a novel, both big troubles and small troubles, and whatever people try to do in life, there are a series of stumbling-blocks in the way, and I think that makes for interesting reading. I think of them as doing their best with the roadblocks that they're given.