How Leaders Learn Faster With Ray Kelly, SVP at think2perform

by Ryan Goulart

Everyone agrees on the importance of learning, but we might not understand the best ways to learn or how to remember any of the information a few hours, days or months later. Ray Kelly, senior vice president and consultant at think2perform, has explored how to help leaders learn faster — and how they actually can put what they learn into action.

When employees absorb information but don’t get a chance to apply it, they’ll forget up to 75% of what they’ve learned. That can be frustrating for employees and their managers, not to mention costly in terms of time lost, money spent and opportunities missed. At the same time, our time and attention spans are finite. How can we make the most of our brain’s processing power while retaining more of what we learn?

“The thing about the brain, it’s a muscle. It can be developed, but it also could be weakened. … You could hurt and deplete this noggin of yours, this supercomputer, by lack of attention,” Kelly says.

On this episode of Making the Ideal Real, I sit down with Kelly to discuss how leaders can learn faster and integrate more of what they learn into their daily work. We also discuss techniques for taking notes; applying what you learn; and connecting learning to your mission, vision and values.

Rethinking How We Learn

Ray has been a student of leadership since early in his career, and he frequently teaches leadership classes. But even he is always looking to learn on this subject. He’s recently been influenced by such leaders as brain coach Jim Kwik and Johann Hari, an author, keynote speaker at our Evolve conference and guest on Making the Ideal Real.

As Kwik notes, the pace of learning and information has accelerated — we’ve learned more in the past 20 years than the previous 2,000. And so the most important skill might be, in Ray’s words, “the ability to learn skills and integrate those learned skills faster. That way, you’re actually multiplying that one skill.”

The first thing Ray learned from Kwik was not to take verbatim notes. Instead, draw a line down the middle of the page. On the left side, put “keywords, ideas and themes,” Kelly says. “It’s kind of like the right side of your brain, which is the logical part of your brain. On the left side of your piece of paper, you’re going to put the logical stuff.”

The right-hand side of the page is for creative applications — namely, how will you use what you’ve written down on the left? “Socrates had a quote that said, ‘Learning is remembering.’ Learning isn’t consumption, folks. It’s remembering. And the way you remember is through using, through creation,” Kelly says.

From Hari, Ray has learned about the dangers of “digital dementia.” When we don’t have to remember anything because the information is on a device, we risk weakening our brains. And if we scroll through our phones first thing in the morning and last thing at night, we create a bad habit for our brains that inhibits learning.

“Think about how you’re training your brain. You’re training your brain — again, it’s a muscle — for distraction, to react all of the time,” Ray says. Much like smoking, overusing your phone trains your brain to demand it habitually.

Aligning Our Learning With Our Values

Kwik’s advice extends to three questions. The first is “How can I use this?” The others are “Why must I use it?” and “When will I use it?”

These questions are natural segues to understanding our mission, vision, values and purpose. Ray reminds us that remembering information becomes more difficult when we feel no connection to it. “They basically say learning is state-dependent, and the state they’re talking about is an emotional state,” he says.

We must connect learning to our purpose and values — and help others do the same. At the pinnacle of the five levels of leadership, Level Five leaders “tie everything back to the bigger why — the vision, mission and values of the organization or the vision, mission, values of the individual,” Ray says.

Finally, because putting learning into action is so important for retention and mastery, we must begin quickly. The forgetting curve is real and unforgiving. “If you use it within 24 hours — you don’t have to have it mastered, just use it within 24 hours — it increases the likelihood you’re going to successfully integrate to 90%,” Ray says of new learnings. “But if you wait over 48 hours, it drops to 5%.”

Reinforce Learning By Teaching Others

Ray’s first reaction upon learning of Kwik’s lessons was, “I need to go use this and teach it to my clients.” That instinct is a powerful reminder of the impact we can create when we share our learnings.

Why is teaching so powerful? It not only helps others but also is a second opportunity to teach ourselves as we prepare to teach. Moreover, teaching is an intentional act, Ray says, and intentionality is essential for forming positive habits and advancing up the levels of leadership from one to two to three and so on.

In fact, you can start learning as you listen to this podcast episode. Pause and think about what you’ve learned. “There’s a nugget or two in there that can impact your ability to learn, to lead, influence someone in your family,” Ray says. “How can I use it? Why must I use it? When will I use it?”

People in This Episode

Ray Kelly: LinkedIn

Ryan Goulart: LinkedIn


Ray Kelly:

Socrates had a quote that said, “Learning is remembering.” Learning isn’t consumption, folks. It’s remembering. And the way you remember is through using, through creation. So asking that first question, “How can I use this?” And I was like, “I do that all of the time.” I’m always, I’d say, I look at it through a leadership lens. I’m going, “How can I go use this with my clients? How can I go use this with the people I lead?” I am always thinking about that.

Ryan Goulart:

That’s Ray Kelly, senior vice president at think2perform. We’re talking about how to become a faster learner to perform at your best. I’m Ryan Goulart, and you are Making the Ideal Real.

I have with me today Ray Kelly, a frequent guest here on think2perform’s Making the Ideal Real. Ray, welcome back to the program.

Ray Kelly:

I must be doing something right. You keep on inviting me back, so I feel honored to be back.

Ryan Goulart:

Well, we’re talking about a new topic that you’ve decided to enlighten us with, and this new topic has to do with attention and learning. So tell us a little bit about what your journey has been like as you have been learning more about learning and where to focus your attention.

Ray Kelly:

I’m a student of leadership. That’s the core of where I started. I probably was 24, 25 years old when I said I want to become a better leader. And one of the key elements of being a great leader is the ability to learn and integrate learnings. More importantly, not just the ability to learn but to integrate those learnings. And as you know, I do a lot of coaching. I teach a lot of classes around leadership, and one of my clients recently sent me a note, said, “Ray, you got to watch this podcast or webcast or YouTube video. This guy says a lot of the same things you teach. He just says it a little bit differently. You got to watch it.” So I watched it, and he was right. It was a YouTube video led by a guy named Jim Kwik, K-W-I-C-K. He was a guest on the show, and he’s an expert in optimal brain performance.

And I was flattered that my client thought I say a lot of the same things he does because this guy has forgotten more than I know. It was really enamoring. And I immediately said, “I need to go use this and teach it to my clients.” And I said something to you recently, and you said, “All right, why don’t you come on my show?” I said, “Sounds good, man. I’ve been teaching a lot of people this, including people in my family, so I’d love to talk about this optimal brain performance of how to increase this noggin that we have, how we increase our learning.” Because one of the things that Kwik said was what we’ve learned about the brain in the last 20 years: you could put the prior 2,000 years together, we’ve learned more in the last 20 years.

And it’s not just about the brain that we’re learning. It is all of our learning universally, and we continue to; it’s exponentially growing. We’re learning in every two days what we used to learn in 2,000 years. And one of the things that happens — and it’s not all of us that are doing that; it’s basically artificial intelligence, quantum computing — there’s so much stuff that’s going on. It’s collecting this information. But the most powerful supercomputer we have is this one on our head.

And if we can learn how to use that noggin of ours more effectively — because on average we spend four hours a day processing information, where we’re truly using our noggin to process information; most of that is through reading. And what he’s espousing is if we could help you learn faster, he talked about the genie moment. We all wish we had that genie moment where you get the lantern and you rub it, and all of a sudden genie pops up and says, “You’ve got one wish.” Of course, the really smart person says, “I want 10 more wishes.” But Ryan, I’ll ask you the question: If you genie pops up and says, “I can give you one skill,” what would that skill be that you’d want to improve? What’s that one skill?

Ryan Goulart:

Man, I should have been more prepared to be put on the spot. I’d call you on the show, and I know this is going to happen, and yet here I am. So maybe I could read people’s minds or something I’d like. That would be kind of cool.

Ray Kelly:

I saw a movie on that. That’s very dangerous. That drives you nuts if you can read everyone’s mind. But his whole point is if you could have one skill — and it’s kind of like the genie where you say, “I want unlimited wishes. OK, that would be my one wish, is I get unlimited wishes.” — his one skill is what if you had the ability to learn skills and integrate those learned skills faster? That way, you’re actually multiplying that one skill. And I was like, that’s fascinating when you really think about it.

So in his podcast, one of the things he described is some to-dos and some to-don’ts. I’ll start with to-dos: to increase your ability to learn and integrate learnings. And the first one, which I hope most of our listeners are doing today, is they’re taking notes, and he says there’s ineffective ways and ways that are much more effective in terms of increasing that capacity to take that four hours and only take you two hours and truly learn. So he said the worst way to take notes is verbatim. And of course I was writing verbatim at the time when he said it — I better stop writing.

Ryan Goulart:

I just had a flashback in college. I was like, “Oh my gosh, that’s exactly what I would do.” Yeah.

Ray Kelly:

Write as fast as you can and stuff like that. And I do that occasionally. Usually when people are saying stuff that’s really unique and smart, I do it occasionally. I don’t do it all the time, but his point is that’s the worst way. There’s just way too much stuff. You’re missing too many good elements or things that are worthless. So what he told you to do the effective way, the most effective way, is draw a line down the middle of your paper. And on the left side you just want to fill that with keywords, ideas, and themes — keywords, ideas and themes. It’s kind of like the right side of your brain, which is the logical part of your brain. On the left side of your piece of paper, you’re going to put the logical stuff.

Now on the right side of the paper, this is the thing that’s really, really important. This is where you’re being the creative side of your note-taking, asking yourself questions of how to apply this information, this logical information over here. I naturally do this, but he gave me a tool or model, which I can teach others how to do it effectively. I’m not sure what the whole audience, start with you, Ryan. The three questions you should be asking on that right side of the paper as you’re learning.

The first question is, “How can I use this? How can I use the information on the left side?” The human brain learns not by consumption. The human brain learns by creation, by doing, by using. You’ve heard me talk about this before, how humans learn. The 70, 20, 10. Seventy percent of adult learning is through doing, acting. Ten percent is from books, classes; this is one of those books, classes, podcasts. And then the 20% I call the multiplier as a coach or a mentor can help you while you’re doing it, give you feedback, lead you to the right classes, right podcast. But how can I use this? Because the brain learns by creation, by using it. If I were in my office — I’m not in my office right now — but I have hundreds of books, and I can look up on those bookshelves and look at and go, “I remember reading a book, but I don’t remember anything in it. I don’t remember anything.” You’re smiling because I know you.

Ryan Goulart:

Oh yeah.

Ray Kelly:

You’ve successfully read it.

Ryan Goulart:

I changed my wish now. That’s my wish: I can remember everything I read.

Ray Kelly:

But Socrates had a quote that said, “Learning is remembering.” Learning isn’t consumption, folks. It’s remembering. And the way you remember is through using, through creation. So asking that first question, “How can I use this?” And I was like, “I do that all of the time.” I’m always, I’d say, I look at it through a leadership lens. I’m going, “How can I go use this with my clients? How can I go use this with the people I lead?” I am always thinking about that.

Let’s go to the second question. This one’s even more important in my mind. How can I use it to … ? Why must I use it? Why must I use it? It’s connecting back to the emotional side of learning, OK? Because there’s a reason why we don’t remember anything about those books, because we didn’t connect to the emotional side. They basically say learning is state-dependent, and the state they’re talking about is an emotional state-dependent.

The reason why you take this, think about a math equation. So Ryan, if I was taking notes, I’d write this equation down. You got your information. You get a score of zero to 10 as multiplied times your emotional connection. Motivation, zero to 10, equals learning, zero to 100. If you have no emotion attached to the information, you don’t remember it. It has no connection. You’ve probably heard the statement, “When the student’s ready, the teacher appears”? When the student’s motivated, the teacher appears. Why must I use it? Safety tip. OK, what does a level five do again, Ryan?

Ryan Goulart:

They tie everything back to vision, mission and values.

Ray Kelly:

Either the personal vision, mission, values or the organizational vision and mission and values. Part of this “why” question, connect it back to your values. Connect it back to what we’re trying to accomplish here. Why? It’s amazing. If you can connect the “How can I use this?,” the “what” out there to that, you’re more apt to have that information. A high number multiplied times a high number. I’m going to learn more effectively. Holy smokes, this was a big one for me.

Let’s get to No. 3. So we got, “How can I use it? Why must I use it?” No. 3, “When will I use it? When will I use it?” You know the 24-hour rule that I teach all the time; he confirmed it. We have a learning curve, but we also have a forgetting curve. Up to 80% of what we learn we forget within 48 hours. Imagine how much we forget within a week, a month, when we look up at those books that we read years ago.

So that forgetting curve: if you want to integrate this, use it quickly. And I’d heard studies. Again, the 24-hour rule is if you use it within 24 hours — you don’t have to have it mastered, just use it within 24 hours — it increases the likelihood you’re going to successfully integrate to 90%. But if you wait over 48 hours, it drops to 5%. That’s a big difference, man. So as you’re taking notes, be conscious about “How can I use it? Why must I use it? And when am I going to go use it?”

The thing about the brain, it’s a muscle. It can be developed, but it also could be weakened. And that’s one of the things we picked up from our think2perform conference where Johann Hari, an expert in intention and focus, talked about that and how this can be, actually. You could hurt and deplete this noggin of yours, this supercomputer, by lack of attention.

So he also had some not-to-dos, and I’m going to share some of the not-to-dos with you as well because some of the things that he’s talking about, and Johann Hari was talking about, he actually had a term for it called “digital dementia.” Because we rely on this phone and the technology on it so much, we’re weakening our brains in a lot of places. And it’s not a bad thing if the things that are on here are helping us in a lot of places. But one of the things that could be weakened is our brain. So an example, Ryan: do you know your phone number from your childhood?

Ryan Goulart:


Ray Kelly:

So do I, and I’m 57 years old. I can tell you my best friend’s phone number from growing up. I can’t tell you my own personal phone right now. Most of the time, I have to think about it. My wife’s phone, 50/50; my children’s phone, no chance. That’s digital dementia. I’ve weakened my brain. I used to be able to know those numbers like that. Jim Kwik told a story about going to dinner with nine of his friends, and at the end of the dinner, the 10 of them were sitting there, and they all agreed to split the bill. He said three or four people had to pull out their calculators to figure out how to divide the bill by 10. That’s digital dementia. So some of these to-dos and some to-don’ts are really going to accelerate your learning and how to optimize that brain, which is a supercomputer if you use it right.

So here’s a not-to-do. A not-to-do — again, we’ll talk about this tool. My phone, I’m holding up one of the first pieces of advice. He says, “Do not use the first 30 to 60 minutes of the day, and do not use it 30, 60 minutes before you go to sleep.” Let’s talk about the first 30 to 60 minutes of the day. Part of the challenge with this tool is so much of the stuff on here is no good for you. Attention deficit disorder. It’s really bad. One of Kwik’s clients is a professor at Stanford University, and one of his students was the creator of Instagram. And this student told a professor that on average, how many times do you think people open Instagram in a given day? Any guesses?

Ryan Goulart:

I’m probably low-balling here, but probably like 50.

Ray Kelly:

Do you use Instagram?

Ryan Goulart:

I have an account. That’s the joke in my family, but I only have four pictures, so I’m worthless. I’m a bad candidate on this.

Ray Kelly:

Well, you got four more than me, but my wife has it, my daughter has it. Several of my kids that use it. Actually two of my kids tell me after I shared this information with them, they have stopped using it. On average, people open this thing 150 times a day. There’s people like you and me or people that have it. You probably open it maybe once or twice a day maximum. But 150, that basically means they’re opening and closing it every five minutes. They’re doing a ton of this because these social media companies are using artificial intelligence, and they make money by how? First getting you to open their app. And, No. 2, to scroll. And the more you scroll, the more advertising dollars, more money they can create from this.

So the artificial intelligence is seeing exactly where you stop so you get more of that stuff. More of that stuff. What catches your eye? I’m going to give you more of that stuff. Whatever it is, it’s coming hard, big time. All right? So if you open up every single day, and these people — I loved his quote, “This technology is a tool, but ask yourself a different question. Are you a tool for the technology?” If you’re using Instagram opening 150 times a day, you might be the tool.

I’ve done quite well in my life without ever using Instagram, and I’m not promoting or banging it, but I do know that I do not want to be a tool. I was recently waiting for my airplane, and I, whatever reason, I opened them up, Facebook, got time to wait. Next thing you know, seven, eight minutes went by, and I basically was looking at Facebook for seven, eight minutes, and that’s when I realized I had become a tool. I got nothing out of it. There I am. I couldn’t get those eight minutes back. So ask yourself that question. If you start your day, the first 30 to 60 minutes of the day, think about how you’re training your brain. You’re training your brain — again, it’s a muscle — for distraction, to react all of the time. It’s just like the people out there who smoke. I’ve asked this question. My parents were smokers; they get up in the morning, what’s the first thing they do? Light up a cigarette. They may start the coffee, but while they’re waiting for the coffee, they have a smoke.

This is what you’re training your brain to do when you use it when you get up in the morning. I can guarantee you nothing really important happened last night that you have to get to right away, but you’ve immediately started doing your first 150 of these little things to see what’s on Instagram. You’re killing your brain. And Johann Hari talked to us about the impact it’s having on people’s brains. It’s an addiction folks, and it’s really impacting people’s lives. 

And if you guys want to look up Johann Hari — H-A-R-I, British gentleman — check his TED Talk out where he talks about depression and some of the anxiety issues that people have. And usually they go to the doctor, and they give him some drugs. They tried some new studies, and what they did is give him in gardening classes with other people, and the next thing you know, their anxiety and depression goes away because they’re connecting with other people. 

Are you the tool? Are you using it as a tool? And again, the last 30 to 60 minutes of the day, this is trained to create stimulus. Stimulus. It’s like watching an exciting game. Ryan, I know you’re a big sports fan. Watch the Maverick game, go to overtime, win the game, and you’re revved up. It’s hard to go to sleep, isn’t it? This is built to create that stuff in your head to keep you scrolling. You will not sleep as well. Again, they have studies on the brain that is so much deeper than ever had before. So train yourself.

Ryan Goulart:

You heard Ray talk about Johann Hari and how he spoke at think2perform’s Evolve conference. We also have a podcast with him. Visit our podcast page at and find the episode.

Ray Kelly:

So let me do a little freeze game. I want everyone to freeze. I was listening to this YouTube video, watching YouTube video, and I stopped it at 24 and a half minutes. It’s an hour video. I stopped it at 24 and a half minutes, and I said “freeze” to myself. I had probably three pages of notes, and I stopped myself. I wanted to write down and ask myself the question, and I encourage all of you out there to do this right now: How can I use this, why must I use it, and when will I use it?

Take a couple of minutes right now to answer yourself the question. We’ve been on this podcast for about 20 minutes, 20 minutes now. There’s a nugget or two in there that can impact your ability to learn, to lead, influence someone in your family. How can I use it? Why must I use it? When will I use it? So Ryan, what’s popping in your head?

Ryan Goulart:

Well see, I came prepared this time. I love the, “When will you use it?” question. I like it because it is a commitment question to myself, and I noticed that through. I’m an avid note-taker, so that thing is something I’m definitely going to take away. So even in regards to this type of conversation about technology and its use in our home and in my life, I am aware of. We were having a conversation recently with my family, and we were comparing on, for those of you that use an Apple device, you get at nine o’clock on Sundays, well nine o’clock Central for us, get a ping that says how long you’ve been using your device.

It’s not quite this competitive yet, but if you are trying to achieve a low score, which you should, I use my phone — and this is going to sound crazy — and about on average 90 minutes a day. Family members were in the 10-hour range, and that’s probably average. I would get by with a flip phone. So, minus.

Ray Kelly:

That’s pretty good.

Ryan Goulart:

I know, I try. I love the internet, but it’s not something that I try to keep around. So that’s something that was resonating with me as you were talking.

Ray Kelly:

Good. And I think for me is my big a-ha was the “why” part. Connect back to the emotional side of why you must teach this. If you really want to read a book and not have it sit on the bookshelf a month from now or a year from now and you’re not remember anything, you better connect back to the emotional side of the learning. The impact it’ll have on your children, your family, your organization.

One of the things that Johann Hari talked about is if you were coaching a sports team and you found out that one of your players was getting only four or five hours of sleep, what would you do? You would address it with them. You need more rest. The brain, the body, needs more rest. What if you have an employee in your firm who’s getting four or five hours of sleep because they’re addicted to this thing? What would you do?

It’s happening all over the place. They’re spending all their time on their phone. They say up to 50% of boys between 16 and 18 are addicted to video games. That’s crazy. But you think about how much time they’re spending on video games. Young women between ages of 19 and 27, in terms of they’re addicted to social media, how much time they’re spending on it. I’m not picking on these groups because a lot of people want to go down these groups. I know a lot of older people sit around at a restaurant and watch a couple next to you not have a conversation, and they spend the whole time at a dinner on their phones. That’s addiction, folks. The brain needs to belong with other people. That’s what we learned from Vanessa Druskat a couple of years ago. You were wired to be social. 

So, let me go back to a couple other things that he shared in a little bit later. I stopped at the 24 and a half mark because there was so much good stuff that’s going to impact people in my life, including me, that I want to help them with. If I can help them become better learners, integrating learnings, their organization is going to crush it because everybody wins when the leader gets better. Everyone. If I can help people get better in their learning, accelerate the growth every single day, they’re going to get better. And as Doug likes to say — Doug Lennick — “There’s no end to better.” This is a great way to know when to get better, faster. Kind of like it.

Ryan Goulart:

Yeah, it does raise an interesting question that’s coming to mind because what you’re talking about here, learning, you’re getting into all of these different ways of note-taking, which means that at some point I’m going to have to stop doing something else. And I know you’re an avid card player. So I read this book, it’s awesome. It’s called “Quit.” It’s by Annie Duke, and she talks about what it’s like when you compare poker players. So, she was on the World Series of Poker. She is an amazing poker player. And this isn’t going to shock you, Ray — it shocked me because I’m terrible at card games — but amateur players play almost every hand. Experienced poker players fold the majority of their hands.

And the idea behind this was that, and in my perception of what folding meant within the poker game is that that’s failure. “You’re quitting a game. What are you doing? You got to play it. You got money in there.” I’m an amateur. Experienced players like you know to get after players like me, because if you’re folding hands, that you’re, “I don’t want these pair of twos. I’m going to increase the odds that my next hand’s going to be better.” So at some point we have to quit or stop doing things, technology being one of them. But there are all other things that people do every day that impede their performance. So as you kind of think about note-taking, learning, attention, this role of technology, what role does focusing and quitting things that aren’t productive anymore, how does that play a role in learning and attention from your opinion?

Ray Kelly:

Yeah, and safety tip for you. I’m not that professional a card player. I have a brother who’s a professional card player. I realized I was playing cards for the same reason you were. It’s the play. It’s all fun of you sitting there and watching the whole darn time, except for your money disappears a lot faster. So I realized I shouldn’t play cards because I do it for the wrong reason, which is entertainment, and he’s doing it to win. And I’m like, “He’s going to win because he’s sitting out and he’s watching all of our tendencies.” So I get this.

My big thing here, let’s go back to the last 30 to 60 minutes of the day. What could you replace that last 30 to 60 minutes with if you weren’t just scrolling? That’s what a lot of people do. It’s just like it’s dead time. It’s my personal time, it’s my relaxing time. “This is relaxing, Ray.” But it’s not good for your brain. What if you actually were reading, what if you were exercising, whatever it may be. So back to, I remember I was a young person in this business and we had to memorize a script, a nine-page script, and you did not get appointed. You didn’t start with the company until you had it verbatim, and it was hard to memorize a nine-page presentation, and they wanted it word for word.

But I had taken a theater class in college, and I remember the professor saying, “Hey, the first job of the actor, the actress, is to learn your lines, learn your lines. Once you learn your lines, you can start putting your performance on.” And he gave us some helpful hints in terms of how to learn your lines. And one of those hints — and again, they didn’t know this about the brain back in the eighties; they do now. There’s different states of how the brain or when it’s best activated for learning and remembering. But what he said: “Work on a page of the script right before bed, 30 minutes before bed. When you go to sleep, your brain will work on it. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll have it memorized.” 

So, I started doing that with this nine-page script because I was having challenges with it. I’m going to try this right before bed, 30 to 60 minutes before, I’m going to work on three paragraphs. Next thing you know, every day I’d go through three paragraphs, and I clicked that thing off fast, and I had it down pat, and I could focus on my acting, my delivery. That’s one of those examples where you replace an ineffective way of learning and integrating an impact on your brain with something that’s more effective.

You and Adam and I were talking about this earlier today, and I talked about one of the keys is the word “intentionality.” The key element here is if you were wanting to become a better leader — I just remember as a 24-, 25-year-old person, I just said that was part of my IDP (individual development plan). I wrote it. I want to become a better leader. Then I started intentionally thinking about, “I need to read books on this. I need to go get a mentor. I need to go talk to people that I view are good leaders and ask these types of questions.” And it became the beginning of a passion and a possession or progression along the five levels of leadership. I started becoming a better leader. But the key word is intentionality.

So let’s go back to — often if you’re in one of my classes, I give people homework, and the homework 90% of the time is “Go use this.” When? Typically, within the first 24 hours. And go teach it to someone else. And one of the things that Kwik made me aware of is one of the reasons why teaching works is because you learn it twice. You learn it the first time while you’re hearing it, but you reteach it to yourself as you prepare to teach. But what the second learning requires is intentionality. You have to go teach it to someone else. You have to become intentional — and this is one of the critical things as you go from want to become a level-two, level-three leader, three to four, four to a five — the critical element is becoming intentional.

Why? Habits. You know all about habits. The brain must bring you right back to the way we used to do it. We do what we do because we’ve done. If you want to create a new habit, you better be intentional about it. Otherwise, you can create bad habits without being conscious of it. One of the key things that I take away from this stuff is intentionality around this. How can I use it? Why must I use it? When will I use it? Become very intentional on asking those questions to yourself consistently. You’ll build the habit and explode your learning potential.

Ryan Goulart:

Love it. As we think about wrapping this up, I mean those are some awesome takeaways for people to think about how to better empower themselves as they even go into goal setting or finishing up goal setting or business planning. I guess, “Go use it, teach it,” is how we’re going to wrap this podcast up.

Ray Kelly:

Go use it, teach it. And again, exercise the freeze game more often in your life and use the freeze game instead of saying to yourself, “What am I thinking, feeling, doing?” Another form of the freeze game is I’m in the middle of reading a great article, watching a great podcast, listening to something. Play the freeze game and immediately go, “How can I use this? Why must I use it? When will I use it?”

When you write it down, twice as likely to achieve it versus keeping in your head when you share it with someone else. When I teach a class, Ryan, I typically go around the room and have everyone share those three questions. Don’t try to get all of this stuff. I didn’t get all the stuff that Kwik covered in 24 and a half minutes. Just the stuff that I said, “How can I use it? Why must I use it?” When I was like, “Here’s four things I’m going to go use. This is great stuff. If I can memorize these four things, I’m going to be glad I listened to the first 24 and a half minutes of that podcast.”

Ryan Goulart:

Awesome. Thank you so much, Ray. Always a pleasure.

Ray Kelly:

Hope you invite me back again. Thanks y’all.

Ryan Goulart:

As we wrap this episode, we’re committed to helping you make the ideal real. If you found this program helpful, share it and help someone else make their ideal real, too. Until next time for think2perform, I’m Ryan Goulart. Take care.

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