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Home » Mastery – How to Learn Anything Fast by Nishant Kasibhatla (Transcript)

Mastery – How to Learn Anything Fast by Nishant Kasibhatla (Transcript)

In this presentation, Nishant Kasibhatla, Guinness World Recorder Holder in Memory speaks about four tips to help anyone to learn faster as they journey to success. He shares his reality with his ability to memorize vast amounts of information. How these four tips helped him achieve his goals.

Listen to the MP3 Audio:


Nishant Kasibhatla:

Raise your hand if you think you have a fantastic memory. OK, I can see a couple of hands raising. So let me make it easy for you.

I am going to ask you an easy question: raise your hands if you think you have a bad memory. Oh, a lot more hands going up right now. And what about the rest of you who did not raise the hands? You forget to raise your hand?

Well, here’s the good news. It really doesn’t matter whether you think you have a good memory or not. Because it’s a fact that you can train your brain to remember better, to learn faster and to achieve mastery in anything you want in your life.

And I would like to show you something interesting here, which actually demonstrates to you what you can do if you train your brain.

Now I would request any five of you, any five people to volunteer to please come here and write something on the flip chart. Here we got two volunteers right from here. So 1,2,3. Thank you… 4. Thank you.

OK, I promise you, you don’t have to remember anything. So that’s a good thing. Yeah.

OK, so we got one more person, one more person. Come on. Just one more person. I want one more person to come up. Yes, sir, please come. OK. Anyone.

All right, so we got five, so big round of applause for all of them here. Thank you very much for volunteering.

This is what is going to happen. So I think you can start, you the nearest to the flip chart. So all you need to do is just open it for you.

So all you need to do is to write a six-digit number on this flip chart, write it a little bigger, so everyone in the audience can see so one line, a six-digit number. And after you’ve done this, please pass the marker to the next person you read the six digits, six digits, six digits. Sir is it OK if you stay back after you have written on your digits? Because I need a little bit more help from you. OK, good? OK, perfect.

So I’m going to go behind the flip chart. Because I’m not going to look at these numbers for the next few minutes.

All good so far.

OK, good. So, you also need to write a six-digit. Random number.

All right, so if everything went well, you should have a 30 digit number on the flip chart. Is that correct?

OK, big round of applause for everyone; thank you very much and please have a seat; except you. Can I know your name, please?

Angelo? So Angelo is here, a big round of applause for Angelo because you’re going to help a little with one more thing.

[read more]

OK, now what’s going to happen is I’m going to stand behind the flip chart. Angelo, if you don’t mind, can you please call these numbers to me out loud to me one by one? Go ahead.

Angelo: 7


Angelo: 7


Angelo: 7


Angelo:  1


Angelo:  2


Angelo:  0


Angelo: 4


Angelo: 8


Angelo:  6


Angelo: 7


Angelo:  3


Angelo:  2


Angelo:  0

Sorry, I think I just messed up a little thing here. So after you said 2 0, what are the next number

Angelo:  4, 8

OK, next six. OK, go ahead.

Angelo: 7,


Angelo:  7,


Angelo:  3,


Angelo:  1


Angelo:  9


Angelo:  8


Angelo:  2


Angelo:  9


Angelo:  5


Angelo:  1


Angelo:  6


Angelo:  2


Angelo:  5


Angelo:  3


Angelo: 4

Right. So thank you very much, a big round of applause for Angelo here. Perfect, thank you.

All right, so of course you’re expecting me to do something, which is true? So what’s going to happen is I’ll try to recall these numbers from my memory and just see how it goes.

The numbers are, 7717

Audience:  No

OK, I messed up. Let’s start again.

So it’s 7771204867320-307-73198225

Audience:  Stop

OK, wait, it’s 8, 2… After that should be it’s 95162534.

OK, so what’s the time right now? So what’s the time right now?

Audience:  8:45

Sometimes 8:45 is not the right time for me. I missed one or two digits.

All right, so what you’re seeing is a demonstration of what anyone can do. Now that’s just a thirty digit number. We’ll come back to that. Some of you are wondering, you know how I memorize these numbers, I’ll go back to explain to you how I did it.

Now one of my records is I memorized a number consisting of 1944 digits; it looks something like that.

I memorized a deck of playing cards in less than two minutes. I also memorized a deck of seven decks of playing cards in 60 minutes. So for those of you who are thinking of taking me to the casino, I’m available. Or you can talk about the negotiation later on.

And also I became a grandmaster of memory many years ago and also broke a Guinness record in memorizing the longest sequence of colours.

Now, it is true that I broke a Guinness record in memory. It’s also true that many years ago, I used to hold a world record in forgetting. It’s not official; if you ask my mom and dad, they’ll tell you I had a lousy memory.

In fact, I still remember one of those days when I was 15 years old, my mom asked me to buy something from the shop. I got onto my bicycle, went to the shop, parked to my bicycle, went into the shop, and as I was going into the shop, I totally forgot I went there on a bicycle.

I walked out of the shop and started walking back home. The most embarrassing thing was I realized I left my bicycle only the next day. For those of you wondering what happened to the bicycle, well, you guessed it, I lost it.

So I had a lousy memory. I went from a person with a lousy memory to breaking a Guinness record. And the good news is, anyone can train their memory. Anyone can become a fast learner because today, I’m going to show you my formula of how you can learn anything and master anything in a fun, easy manner.

So I want to show you some pictures on the screen as… and these are some famous people.

So who is this?

Audience: Bill Gates

OK, thank you.

Who’s that?

Audience:  Warren Buffett

Thank you very much, and who’s this?

Audience: Elon Musk

And then who is this?

Audience:  Oprah

Oprah Winfrey. Let’s have a quick interaction here. Can you please find a partner? The person sitting next to you by default becomes a partner; groups of two or three is fine. I’ll give you 10 seconds and your exercise is very simple. Can you please turn to your partner and tell him or her, what is common among all these people? Your 10 seconds starts now. Go ahead.

OK, thank you very much. That’s about 10 seconds time. Thank you very much. Can I have some answers please? Shout out loud. What is common?

Audience:  Billionaires

Billionaires. Thank you for that.

Audience: Rich.

Of course they’re rich, they’re billionaires. What else? Come on.

Audience: Americans

Americans, are they? Oh, so next time I should change that. Thanks for pointing it, next.

Audience: Celebrities

Celebrities. What else?

Audience:  Inspiration

Inspiration That’s true.

Now, can I also say that all these people are masters at their game? Do you agree with that? Well, that they’re masters at their game.

When I was a teenager growing up, when I used to read or hear about successful people and their extraordinary achievements, I always used to be fascinated by their stories, and I always used to wonder, you know, what is it that makes these people very, very successful?

Now I’m talking about way back 1990s. And those days there was no internet. And if you wanted to do research in 1990, what do you do? You go to the library, that’s exactly what I did.

I went to the library, I fell in love with reading books, and I used to read hours and hours. And finally, when I started reading a lot of these books, I found out the secret of success. Like most of you, say they’re all rich and billionaires.

But then most of the common things like you know, they’re passionate. All successful people, they are passionate, they have clear goals. They have a good purpose. They are hardworking. They’re committed. They’re confident.

But one thing that many people miss out is they all have committed to lifelong learning. You name any person who has achieved extraordinary levels of success, I can tell you that that person has committed to lifelong learning. They keep on learning new things on a regular basis.

Like Oliver Wendell Holmes said a long time ago:

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

And that is the reason I say that your learning ability decides your earning capacity. And that’s also the reason why if you learn faster, you will stand out from everyone else. If you learn faster, you can go from underpaid to being overpaid. And if you learn faster, you can have an unfair advantage over others.

So the question is: HOW DO YOU LEARN?

So it all starts with input and what I mean by input. Now, most people just focus way too much on input. What I mean by input is they go to seminars, they read books, they watch videos, they listen to podcasts, they follow blogs, it’s input, input, input, input and more input.

But there’s nothing wrong with learning. The problem is if you have too much of input with no output, what happens is you have shallow learning; that’s not good. What we want is not shallow learning.

For example, how many of you had this experience where, you know, some of your friends come to you and say, Hey, read this book? And then you go, yeah. Would you learn from this book? And then they go, Oh, it’s a good book. It’s a good book. It’s a very good book, you know?

And then you go, OK, like, I understand what you’re saying, but what’s the take away from this book for you? I’d say? I tell you, you must read this book.

Well, what is the point of learning something if you can’t implement it and benefit from this, that is pure intellectual entertainment, nothing else? We don’t want shallow learning. We want deep learning. And how do you do that? We do it. It’s very simple.

For true mastery, you need to focus more on the output rather than the input. You need to focus more on the output rather than the input.

So raise your hand if you’ve heard this thing before. Yeah, thank you very much. So use it. This is so true with learning. When you learn something, if you don’t use it, if you don’t output it, you lose it. So that’s the reason why we should become more of an output person than input.

Here’s my formula of how you can be a master at anything.

The first thing is, of course, learn, which is what you already are doing. But the interesting thing is, when you are learning, you must ensure that the quality of input is really, really high. You must be paying 100% attention. But the problem is when people are learning these days, what do they do? They do MULTITASKING, because of the devices that you’re actually holding right now. Because of the phones that we have, people do multitasking.

Just imagine you, and you’re reading a book when you’re watching a video, you have your phone nearby. And while you’re reading, while you’re learning, while you’re understanding and the phone message goes off, there’s the notification goes off. What do you do? Of course, you attend to it. When you attend to it. What happened? What you just did? You killed your momentum. You messed up with the quality of input.

Now, here’s the thing, your quality of input determines the quality of retention. How well and how long can you remember information, it also affects the quality of recall. That’s the reason why my suggestion is, if you are learning something, at least for the time you’re learning, you should be doing not multitasking but the exact opposite of it, which is a single task.

Do one thing at one time, especially when it comes to learning. Stay away from distractions, pay 100% attention, and then you’ll be well on your way to mastering. That’s the first thing.

The second thing is, of course, is REFLECT. Now many people are in a rush to learn new things, which is good. But the problem is you also need to do reflect, what I mean by that. After you learn something, pause for a while and ask yourself: hey, what’s the takeaway from this thing? And how can I use this information in my life? How can I use information in my work, in my family?

When you pause, when you reflect when you ask these questions, that’s how learning solidifies. Otherwise, it’s all just wasted.

After reflect, the next step is IMPLEMENT. And this is where the magic happens. Unfortunately, many people miss out on this. What they do, is they go on learning new things, they get excited, and they feel good, they feel inspired, and they go on to learn something new. You just mess up.

But the problem is, if you get into the habit of just learning without implementation, you know what you get, you get the illusion of competence. You feel you’ve learned it, you feel you’re competent, but it’s not competence at all, because you haven’t implemented.

So my suggestion is when you are learning something, stop, write down what are the few things I can take action on, schedule it in the calendar and take some action because this is what one of my mentors told me:

“Nishant, a lousy action is better than no action.”

Do you agree with that? Thank you very much.

Of course, the last step is SHARE. Raise your hand, if you heard this thing before, the best way to learn something is to teach it. Thank you, you all heard that. And that is so true.

When you learn something, just output it, just share it with other people. Now, if you don’t know, if you don’t want to teach, you could just share it, you could just discuss it.

But what happens is when you share things with other people, what you’re doing is you’re helping your brain to pay more attention. And then you will be on your path to mastery.

So I have not seen anyone who became a master at something just by doing the input. They all became masters by doing the input and more of the output.

So I have a question for you. When you are learning something new, how much time do you spend on learning? And how much time do you spend on reflecting, on implementing, and on sharing?

And if you’re not spending more time on input than output, that’s not a good thing.

Now, coming back to the numbers I memorized. I know you’re wondering how I memorized these numbers. Now for that, I have a simple system. It’s called visualization and association.

How many of you believe that the brain remembers pictures better? Yes. That’s the reason why we always say I’ve seen you somewhere. Sorry, what’s your name? Do you ever say I know your name? What’s your face? Doesn’t happen, because that’s the way the human brain works.

So what I do is I have pre-assigned visuals for every two-digit number. So, as Angelo was calling these numbers to me, what I did was, I tried to, you know, convert those into the visuals that I already have. And I use association to link them up together.

Now if you’re wondering, Nishant, how did you so fast, that is where implementation comes. When you practice, and you implement it. That’s how you become a true master.

When I do these workshops, people can do this at the end of one day or two days. It’s not that easy if you know the right technique.

Now, coming back to this thing. I have a simple solution for you before I close, and this is this. If you’re spending X amount of time on input, my suggestion is at least spend 2X amount of time on output. And when you do that you are well on your way to be a master at achieving anything you want.

Because I messed up a couple of digits, I want to challenge myself. I got inspired after Manoj speech; I’m going to challenge myself and turn out my fear and face my fear. And what I’m going to do is just take one more minute.

I’ll try to recall this number one more time after speaking for 20 minutes. OK, No, if it doesn’t go well just cut this out from the YouTube.

So, I’ll recall these numbers, in the backward sequence, challenging myself. Who knows?

4352615928913770… not yet…30237684… it’s 021777

Thank you very much.

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