A 20-minute Investment and you read 100% faster for the rest of your life? Fuck Bitcoins, now this is what I call a return!
One of my favourites movies of all time is, The Matrix, and one scene, in particular, stands out for me—the scene where Neo fights Morpheus in a Test Program. In the scene before that epic fight, Neo gets plugged in with a wire, and one of the Techies onboard of the Nebuchadnezzar uploads kung fu data into Neo’s brain. Seconds later, the upload is completed, and Neo opens his eyes and is a master in kung fu and says, “I know Kung Fu“.
After watching that scene for the first time, I thought how badass and useful it would be if you could learn any skill that fasts. Too bad that it is impossible in real life. But is it really? What if we could 10 x or 100 x our reading speed? What would happen to our life if we could accelerate our learning exponentially? Is not the life that we are living right now a direct reflection of the things that we have learned up to this point.
I always enjoyed learning. What I did not enjoy, were the hours you had to put in to learn something complex.
Sometimes, reading a book took me forever. Being the lazy bastard that I am, I always look for shortcuts. Shortly after, I found myself fascinated with accelerated learning and speed reading in particular. If you have read my other articles then, you know that I have the superpower to fail spectacularly. I got kicked out of multiple schools, and I failed so many exams that at a certain point, I began to question my very self. Maybe school just was not for me. Maybe I was not smart enough. Luckily for me, I started studying psychology. I began to study the ways of how our brain processes information, how we store memory, and how we learn. I also learned that our school system was founded like 100 years ago, and during that time, we knew very little about how humans learn, and that the entire system sucks.
This, to me, was a revelation and the lifting of a burden. It was not that my brain was not capable enough; I was not too stupid; it was a combination of bad habits and a system that did not understand, really, how our brain learns. We get taught basically that intelligence is a fixed entity. When I learned how our brain really works, I also learned that I did not have to stay stupid. That I can get smart, and that I can get smarter fast.
In the following article, I describe an easy hack that allowed me to up my book total from 1-2 books a year to 200 plus. In my past, I had tons of learning disabilities and problems in general with my education. Eventually, I became tired of fucking up and really started to research what learning is about. I studied memory champions, speed readers, and read tons of books about accelerated learning. Have you ever started a book and it took you forever to finish it? Then this article might be something for you.
The Px Project —How To Improve Your Reading Speed By 300%
What is the Px Project?
The Px Project is a cognitive speed reading experiment. It is based on the human visual system and works with mechanisms that eliminate eye movement inefficiencies that we have while reading. The improvement rate of this experiment is bananas. In a 3- hour cognitive experiment, the average increase in reading speed was 386%. I tried the method for myself, and within 20 minutes, I doubled my reading speed. A 20-minute investment and you read 100% faster for the rest of your life? Fuck Bitcoins, now this is what I call a return! Tim wrote an amazing article on the topic, and I highly recommend that you check his blog out. Click here.
Who is Tim Ferris
Tim Ferris is a bestselling American author, entrepreneur, and self-proclaimed “human guinea pig”. He is most famous for his self-help books. You might have heard of his book, “The 4- Hour Workweek. But, what he is most famous for is his Podcast, The Tim Ferris Show, which has over 80 million downloads. In his podcast, Tim interviews world experts and masters of any field imaginable. Guests like Peter Diamandis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Fox, Dave Asprey, and other incredible high achievers.
How Do We Read?
We read in saccadic movements. That means, we read in jumps. I always thought for example, that we read in a straight line, but what is wrong is our eye jumps to a certain point and stays there for a millisecond. Imagine your eye like a camera rather than a video recorder. Your eye camera takes different, separated pictures, and your brains binds them together in a holistic picture.
So What Are The 3 Bullet Points Of Speed Reading?
We must minimise the number of jumps and the duration of the fixations per line.
- We do not read in a straight line.
- We must eliminate jumping in the wrong direction.
- If we increase our vision (think of it as getting a better and wider camera objective), we can increase the number of words in our focus.
So, speed reading is not about skipping content; it is about implementing information of how our visual system actually works. Think of your eyes as your car, and the word lines in a book as your streets. So far, you always took the long route. Implementing knowledge about how our eyes move is basically taking a shortcut or the most efficient way to your goal.
Call to Action
Hold your hand in front of your left eye, and now read the last sentence again. Now you can see how your eyes jump from fixation point to fixation point.
So, what is the technique to double my reading speed?!
It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it — Oscar Wilde
3 Steps Of The Habit Of Speed Reading–Self-Experiment!
Have you watched the Tim Ferris video? No? Here is a short summary.
First, take out a book, a fairly standardised book. Meaning, a book that has mostly text in it and not many bullet lists, for example.
Step 1 Determine Your Reading Speed
First, we need to look at how we can measure reading.
- Take out a book.
- Now count all of the words in 5 lines of your choice.
- Now divide this number by 5. This is your average number of words per line. In my case, I was reading a Tony Robbins book, and I had 58 words/5 lines = my average number of words per line for this book is 11.6 (round it up to 12).
- Next, count the number of text lines on 5 pages and divide them also by 5. This is your average number of lines per page.
- Now, read with a timer for 1 minute. After 1 minute, multiply the number of lines you have read by your average words-per-line. This is your reading speed. Your words-per-minute. Your WPM. Now, write down your WPM!
Step 2 — Pacers!
Awesome, you have determined your reading speed. Now it is time for the second hack, and it could not be simpler.
Now grab a pen. Take the pen and slide along the lines, and focus your eyes on the tip.
The second enemy of reading fast is regression and back skipping. Have you ever caught yourself reading and then your mind wandered off, and you had to read the line again? When you use a pen or your finger or a pacer, you solve this issue.
It is super hard for our eyes to focus without a focus point. It is impossible for us to see words and not read them. By artificially creating a focal point with a pen, we create the tempo of how fast we want to read, and also we minimise back skipping, therefore, saving tons of time. Imagine you are taking a bike to school and you have to cycle the way 3 times instead of one time only.
Speed Reading Exercise 1 – Tracer
You already know how to measure your reading speed. Now, do it again but this time use a pen. Underline each sentence with your pen, focusing your eyes right above the tip. Take no longer than 1 second for each line! DO NOT CONCERN YOURSELF WITH COMPREHENSION AND RETENTION. This exercise is for your eyes to get used to reading faster. Do this for 2 minutes.
Speed Reading Exercise 2 – MORE SPEED
Repeat the technique, but double the speed. Now, you have half a second for one line. So 2 lines per second. Do not worry if you do not comprehend anything, this is expected. You are training your eyes to become faster.
Our eyes can be trained very quickly, and we want to focus our eyes to adapt and make our visual system more powerful
Focus on this exercise and try not to daydream while reading. Do this for 2 minutes.
Step 3 – Expand Your Vision (9 Mins)
The third step is about expanding your perceptual expansion, meaning how big your focus point is. Focus on the middle of your computer screen, or smartphone, you can still see the sides of your screen, right? You can train your eye to have a bigger focal point. Imagine that you are, at the moment, needing 5 jumps with your eye to read a sentence. If you train your perceptual expansion, you only need 3 jumps to read a sentence; hence you read faster.
Let us illustrate this with a joke from Woody Allen: “I took a speed reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes; it involves Russia”.
If you can start with your eyes at the beginning and end in minutes, you will eliminate 7/17 Words. Almost doubling your reading speed. Combine this hack of starting at the 3rd word, with using a pen for speed, and you really accelerate your reading speed. Let us put that to the test.
Speed Reading Exercise 3 – Combine
- “Use the pen to track and pace at a consistent speed of one line per second. Begin 1 word in from the first word of each line, and end 1 word in from the last word.
DO NOT CONCERN YOURSELF WITH COMPREHENSION. Keep each line to a maximum of 1 second, and increase the speed with each subsequent page. Read, but under no circumstances should you take longer than 1 second per line”. 1
- Begin at least 3 words in from the first word of each line, and end 3 words in from the last word. Repeat the technique, keeping each line to no more than ½ second (2 lines for a single “one-one-thousand”). 1
- Begin at least 3 words in from the first word of each line, and end 3 words in from the last word. Repeat the technique, keeping each line to no more than ½ second (2 lines for a single “one-one-thousand”). Some will comprehend nothing, which is to be expected. Maintain speed and technique – you are conditioning your perceptual reflexes, and this is a speed exercise designed to facilitate adaptations in your system. Do not decrease speed. ½ second per line for 3 minutes; focus above the pen and concentrate on technique with speed. Focus on the exercise, and do not daydream.1
Now Calculate Your New Reading Speed!
Congratulations, you have just found a gold nugget. If done correctly, your reading speed has improved drastically, and all this without money or gadgets! All you need is a pen and a book.