5 Unskippable Steps to Great Memory, Becoming a To-Go Expert and a Sought-After Speaker, that Celebrity Brain Coach Jim Kwik Never Told You About.

Angela Shurina
9 min readMay 10, 2023

Remember anything you want when you want it, never lose a train of thought, trying to impress your crush or an investor, come up with brilliant unique ideas to the world’s most pressing problems, become the life of any party, a charismatic leader.

Who needs memory in the era of “I can Google and ChatGPT anything”?

You do! If you care about your future.

But first, let me tell you my story.

I’m a digital nomad.

I’ve been a digital “slowmad” for about 13–14 years, having lived in 15 countries. I was a digital nomad before there was a word for it.

What’s digital nomad life all about, and what does it have to do with my memory ability and your unforgettable life?

The digital nomad lifestyle is about a lot of different things with one consistent variable.

A lot more change to routines and scenery, a lot more novelty than you’d find in a life of a non-digital-nomad person.


Definitely, a lot of novelty!

From unfamiliar foods to simply having to find new routes for absolutely everything, figuring out the intricacies of local language and culture.

If you want to prime your brain for focus and attention all day long — digital nomad life is the best hack for it!

And what novelty is good for?

Well, recent research showed that novelty is quite amazing for accelerated learning.

“Novelty Improves the Formation and Persistence of Memory in a Naturalistic School Scenario”


Novelty in small and big ways.

For me, novelty is in changing countries, and with that, just about every aspect of my routine.

For you, it might be choosing a different type of food for breakfast, or a different chair to sit in when doing studies or reading.

This is how I knew all this novelty was definitely working…

I listen to a lot of podcasts (here’s mine).

One day, while walking in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, I was listening to another episode of Tim Ferriss Show, and I realized, I remembered some related information I heard on Tim’s podcast several years ago, while walking along a beach road in Brazil, Rio De Janeiro.

I remembered the specific corner, around which, I heard the quote, that just came to me at that present moment several years into the future, in Playa Del Carmen, la Quinta.

I’ve just changed apartments in Cape Town, South Africa, and I realized all these changes can actually be the reason why I remember so much and so well.

And so what? You might ask.

Memory is the gate to creativity and the best opportunities of your life.

How so?

Have you ever met a person, or watched them speak, bringing up witty quotes and jokes at the perfect moment, which strengthens the points, adds flavor to the message, makes the message memorable?

Do you think the memory of this person has something to do with that?

With the fact, that you perceive this person as an authority, as a charismatic leader, as a to-go expert, that definitely knows what he’s talking about?


You don’t give that much credit to a person, who in response to your questions says, “Let me Google it for you”.

I’d go even further.

You can’t come up with brilliant ideas, combinations of facts, theories, and stories — when your brain has no material to mix!

Creativity experts all agree — creativity doesn’t work in a vacuum of experiences and memories.

It’s kind of like imagining a DJ, who has no music to start the mixing with!

Your best ideas depend on what’s in your head.

Not what’s in Google or AI engine!

Once you understand, that the competition in life for mates and investors depends on what you have in your head — you’ll start treating your memory with the respect it deserves.


And where would you start working on your memory? Your golden ticket to breakthrough opportunities of a lifetime?

Not with Jim Kwik’s techniques.

Why not?

Because before you can apply all of the finer methods like mnemonics, or adjusting subvocalization, or your eye movements for speed reading — you have to set up your biology and brain chemistry for learning ability.

Otherwise, it’s kind of like trying to learn advanced ballet dance routines without mastering basic positions or without developing an athletic body.

Never gonna work!

So where do you need to start?

You have to start with a question.

You have to ask yourself, WHY you want to learn.

Why is this important?

WHY defines your important and emotionally-charged reason to improve and memorize, without which the brain will NOT prioritize the information you are about to consume.

One ear in — out through the other.

Why is that?

Because your brain and body resources are limited.

And there’s constant monitoring of useful and useless data and processes — to be kept or to be thrown away.

Emotional reason is a label your brain uses to distinguish between useful and useless.

If it’s useless — it’s discarded like rubbish.

When it’s labeled with your personal, emotional reason as useful — you get dopamine release in your brain to get after “the reward” of knowledge.

Dopamine is the gateway to learning.

Dopamine conditions your focus.

Without focus, there’s no learning. (According to neuroscience research)

Dopamine is driven by rewards that you define by stating your WHY.

That’s why finding your internal and important reason to act is so fundamental to learning.

No WHY, no dopamine — no memories, no learnings, no extra opportunities in life.

After you got your dopamine released, you have to set up the distraction-free environment.

A distracted mind is an unfocused mind.

Your environment drives the distractability of your mind.

Rule #2.

No focus — No learning. (Based on research)

Building a distraction-proof environment for your learning bout is essential step #2.

After your motivation, your why and the environment set-up, the next thing is designing novelty.

And that’s where digital nomads have an unfair advantage — if they figure out the first 2, of course.

Novelty can be as simple as choosing a different workplace, or going for a short novel walk around the block, or trying some new food right before learning.

And then you can apply all the Jim Kwik’s finer strategies.


When it comes to learning it’s like going to the gym — what you do in the gym is as important as what you do after your gym session is over — sleep and nutrition being the primary drivers of results you seek.

But before we get to sleep and nutrition, there’s something you can do to accelerate your learning beyond basics.

What recent research has found, when you introduce stress chemicals after your learning bout (adrenaline, cortisol) — you burn the learning into your brain like a tattoo!

“Stressed Memories: How Acute Stress Affects Memory Formation in Humans”


And that makes sense.

During evolutionary times, running through the savannas of Africa, if something stressed you out it might have been life-threatening.

And what’s the best way to avoid threats to your life in the future? Remember what happened right before the danger found you to avoid it.

And that’s exactly what we are emulating when we introduce stress chemicals on purpose after our learning bout.

How can you do that though?

How can you stress yourself out on purpose and with benefits?

You can take a 30-sec cold shower.

You can drink some coffee (being mindful of the timing).

You can do some burpees, getting yourself out of breath, making your heartbeat rate spike.

You can do some hyperventilation aka Wim Hof type of breathwork.

I usually do the breathing or the burpees.

This is an extra-bonus hack you can use.

Now back to the foundation.

The vital, essential step to solidify all of your daily learnings is sleep!

Studies have shown when you skip good sleep on the night after your learning — you suck at any learning (by about 40%). Be that learning physical skills or some facts.

“Sleep, Learning, and Memory”


Napping, has also been shown to accelerate learning, the transfer of memories to long-term storage.

Take a power nap!

You deserve it and it works!

Stress after learning and napping aren’t that essential — sleep is!

If you are choosing 80/20 — sleep is the one to keep no matter what.


Let’s get back to that exercise metaphor we’ve been returning to.

You can train all you want in the gym — if you don’t eat your protein, you won’t build much of anything.

In fact, you might lose it.

When it comes to building your memories — you need building blocks in your brain just as much.

Studies have shown that people who don’t get enough dietary choline (the building block of acetylcholine, your memory neurotransmitter) — people lose their memory earlier in life, and they don’t learn and remember all that well, bringing “senior moments” of forgetfulness earlier into their life experience.

“The interplay of neurotransmitters in Alzheimer’s disease”


Most people, according to the data we have, and my personal decade-long nutrition-coaching practice, don’t get enough from foods, since you need to be a fan of eggs (2–4 a day) or liver, or/and eat a lot of fatty animal foods, and be on a consistent whole food diet.

Not appealing-to-you diet?

Not to most people!

That’s why when you read stuff, it flies out of your head like the reading never happened.

What is the best solution to get all your choline?

Eat 3–4 eggs a day and a whole food balanced diet daily.

Or/And supplement with things like Alpha-GPC (300 mg 2–4 times per day) or citicoline (same dosage).

The second essential ingredient in your learning after-workout — Omega 3s (specifically DHA) which are needed among other things to build new neural connections to accommodate learning.

Get at least 2g per day, ideally, 50% coming from DHA.

I personally eat a can of sardines every day, that supply 1g of DHA and EPA.

You can go for mackerel, herring, or salmon.

Not a fan of daily seafood?

Supplement with fish or algae oil with sufficient amounts of DHA and EPA. (Amount matters).

Choline and Omega 3s are your bread and butter of memory nutrition.

In addition to this, there’s good, consistent research on cacao and cinnamon, having a measurable and consistent effect on your memory and learning.

I eat 30g of dark (90–100%) chocolate every day. I add a couple of spoons of cacao to my daily yogurt bowl, where I also add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.

A delight that helps me to be a charismatic leader and an engaging educator and brain coach.

Heck, this helped me to write this article that just came together in my head!


What does success mean to you personally?

Finding a relationship, the love of your life, and building a family that inspires your work and motivates your achievements?

Becoming a thought leader, a sought-after expert?

Coming up with a breakthrough solution to the world’s most pressing issues?

Or just seizing your creative superpowers to imagine and bring to life something that others admire? Becoming a life of any party? Becoming the person everyone remembers and wants to be around? Making millions with your brain?

Whatever that is, your memory is the way there.

You have 2 choices right now.

Discard this information like it doesn’t matter, believing you are either born with it or not, aka having a fixed mindset.

Or, adjust your actions based on good evidence, developing your excellence, your expertise, your genius, giving yourself the best chance to succeed in life, whatever that success looks to you. AKA applying your growth mindset to life.

The choice is yours.

I’m not here to tell you what to do. I’m here to make you aware of the choice you have in front of you.

Red pill? Or blue pill?

PS Come train your brain with us this May — your memory, your genius, your potential. We are about to start a brand-new 6-Week Brain Mastermind Challenge. Apply for “🧠My Optimized Brainhere.

See you on the other side!

😃Thank you for reading! Brought to you by your brain’s coach — Angela Shurina — Executive Brain, Productivity Coach, committed to sustainable productivity and human potential.


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