OYM John Kennedy | Brain Hack


The brain is already a powerful thing. But what if you can make it work even better? In this episode, #1 International Bestselling author, Executive Brain Coach, consultant, and trainer, John Kennedy, talks about how his passion for helping save lives led him to Neuroplasticity and how he created a customized program to improve memory and intuition and make the brain more efficient. He shares how this program can help you focus better, process information faster, and change habits in less than an hour. John also discusses the program’s positive results with ADHD, Amnesia, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia. Tune in to find out more about how you can hack your brain and take your performance to greater heights.

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Brain Hack: Rewiring Your Brain For Optimum Performance With John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a number one International Bestselling Author. He’s an Executive Brain Coach, a consultant and a trainer and has helped organizations, leaders in business and the military exceed performance expectations for many years. John’s innovative insights have been featured in numerous publications. He has been interviewed in a wide range of radio, internet and TV broadcasts. John has delivered keynotes and workshops all over the world for a variety of industries and branches of service.

John’s unique approach to improving operational and mental agility has helped thousands of people with his Combat Brain Training Program. One hundred percent of participants report significant improvements in performance in all areas of their lives. Clients include Marines, snipers, Special Operations Forces and their instructors, pilots, professional athletes, business leaders, students, children with learning disabilities and those suffering from brain trauma, including traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and concussions. All of these participants have had their lives positively changed by the program.

John, thanks so much for joining us here. It’s delightful to meet you face to face. I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about how you got to be a neuroplastician and what drives your passion for that?

It’s a little bit of a longer answer to most people. It’s interesting. When I speak at conferences, one of the topics is called Your Future Is Behind You. If we look back at how we got to where we are now, it’s often a very secure route, which mine was. My career had nothing to do with the brain when I started. I was a process re-engineering consultant and did a lot of projects. I worked for the C-level of Motorola, EON and AJ Gallagher. It was all about defining processes critical to success and aligning the business around those processes. We made some pretty amazing accomplishments very quickly. It was based on a very fast approach. Back in 2006, my younger brother David came back from Iraq. He’s one of my heroes with two bronze stars and a Purple Heart.

He said that the critical factor over there to our success was surviving IEDs, which are Improvised Explosive Devices. Those are the ones that killed so many of our guys and caused so many casualties. I thought, “If there’s some way that I could help in that, maybe I could do something, save wise instead of helping businesses make more money.” Through some friends, I was able to talk myself into an event that the Marines held every year out of Twentynine Palms, California, which is their largest training base.

Marines like training bases with lots of deserts so they can blow stuff up and not hurt anybody. That was the location but the whole purpose of this event, called IED Awareness Day, was to invite any contractor who might be interested in helping to a long weekend where they exposed us to everything they possibly could in a very short amount of time about IED.

We looked at thousands of different detonating devices. They scared the crap out. I was blowing something up. We had us go through simulated Iraqi villages so we could understand some of the stress the Marines render. Honeywell, Boeing and a lot of big guys were there. They came up with better armor and radio jammer, which were all good things. I kept racking my brain on how I could help.

On the very last day, I was shaking hands with the base commander, General Doug Stone, one of the smartest guys I’ve ever met. He had already been a CEO several times. He was the Marine Corps’ highest reserve officer at the time. As I was shaking hands with him, I kept thinking about the guides who had led us through the simulator villages. All of them had survived the IED blast and their consistent story was, “I started going down this one alley. Somebody told me something was wrong and I wanted a different way but the guys behind me kept going and they got attacked.”

I’m trying to think,” Why do we have two Marines with similar demographics, training and ages?” One is better than what we would call intuition than the other. As I shook hands with Doug Stone, I had this image, vision, whatever you call it. “What if I could make the brain more efficient like I do in operations? Could we improve intuition? Could we anticipate something happening because our brains are more efficient?” I explained my idea to Doug. With his background, any other general probably wouldn’t have gotten it. He said, “Let’s try and make this happen.” He got a contract with Marines to see if we could make a difference.

I want to learn about the brain. Two very influential books helped me. One was Norman Doidge’s The Brain That Changes Itself, which I highly recommend to anybody. He goes all in to the history of neuroplasticity, which is an incredible capability. God has given our brains to change from stimulation everything we do. Everything we repeat and think physically changes our brain to lean that way. It starts to form ruts. That’s where the name neuroplastician came from because Norm coined that phrase as people outside of traditional medical fields develop ways to change the brain positively.

I’ve met some others that were in his book and done some amazing things around the brain. To me, I needed to find a way to stimulate the brain in the areas critical to executive function. Those are the processes. I’m a process guy. We want them to improve. At the same time, there was a book that came out called How God Changes Your Brain. The critical piece in that book was research out of MIT found that what they call robust stimulation will start to change the brain immediately. I defined robust and relational differently than they did. To me, robust stimulation stimulates those processes critical to executive function.

At the same time, we stimulate the connections of the brain to the real world. That’s why digital programs like Lumosity and CogniFit get better at the games because of practice but very minimal real world or far effective. I knew we needed to engage with the real world and that also makes the brain work harder. Wherever the brain works harder, that’s where the connections become faster and stronger. Embedded with the Marines for 3 months, in which we had 2 or 3 months of engagements, my approach to process improvement was assessment, development and empowerment.

Wherever the brain works harder, that's where the connections become faster and stronger. Share on X We have to assess what the processes exist and what the situation is. We need to develop the most efficient processes to accomplish what we want. A final piece of empowerment is to allow my clients to continue to get the benefits after I’ve already left. At the time, I needed a framework of cognitive skills that would be useful. At the time, they were all psychology based, which was pretty useless to a process guy.

They’re very good for psychology but reasoning ability is not something that can be broken down. There was a brilliant educator out of Australia, Denis Jenkins. He had developed a framework of cognitive skills that I could very easily translate into processes. The very first contract was with two platoons of Marines. It was the big test to see if we could make an improvement at all.

It was a complete government overseeing experiment. We had psychologists and services all over the place. A platoon is 40 guys out of 1,000, which is a battalion. We had a control platoon that was randomly chosen. In the training platoon, our experiment, I asked for the worst platoon in the battalion because if we could do anything, I wanted to try to help these guys. These guys had experienced a lot of traumas. I lost sixteen guys a cycle before. There were a lot of post-traumatic stress disorder and concussions.

Three guys had tried to commit suicide and were failing most of their pre-deployment objectives, which were critical for them to be able to deploy again. We didn’t use Denis’ assessment but all these different cognitive skills started to develop the exercises. I knew one that couldn’t be digital. They had to be analog. We want to engage the real world. They had to be portable and simple to use. With those requirements, we started working through different types of exercises to see if we could make a difference but always got back to the critical process of executive function.

Three months later, the results go away. The second iteration for both groups of the assessment of the cognitive skills, the trainee group, was significantly higher. It’s most important to the Marines and me as a consultant, not as a researcher. Research can go on forever. The Marines in business, if you aren’t successful, you get fired. We were so successful. The Marines were the best performing platoon in the battalion and went to their final pre-deployment training back at Twentynine Palms. The instructor said, “It’s the best reform you’ve ever seen.”

One of the IED-specific courses was so successful. They found the IED, the dead cord and we were about to capture the trigger man when the instructor said, “Nobody ever gets that far. Go back to patrol.” When they went to Iraq, they were given four times the normal size area of operations and captured the most insurgents. From then, I realized I didn’t need the assessments anymore because we already had what we were trying to develop. I also worked on the empowerment piece.

My goal always was to leave the Marines with the exercises and the instructions so they could continue to use them without me. We created Brand Games Olympics. We had a lot of fun with it but there were tremendous results from there by reputation. I spread to Marine Special Operations Command. From there, we went to Special Operations Command. I’ve been able to train snipers, Navy SEALs, pilots and anyone that you can think of on the military side. What was very rewarding to me was almost any unit I worked with that had already deployed a couple of times. There was rampant post-traumatic stress disorder there. Marines didn’t want to leave their guys to get help.

When I trained in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group, for example, in San Diego, afterward, this sailor came up to me and said, “John, I got to tell you how grateful I am. Before this, I have post-traumatic stress disorder. I’ve seen some terrible things in war. I did not want to lose my guys but I was so angry all the time. I thought I was going to tear my unit apart. Now it’s all gone. We get along. We hum along as a team. I make better decisions. I’m not angry anymore. I could not have done it without you.”

I still hear from Marines, sailors and soldiers over the years. They’ll send an email years later saying how they still use it. The cool thing for me is when we improve the brain, it doesn’t matter what the does. You put a faster process through your computer. It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing games or using the browser. They’re going to work better.


OYM John Kennedy | Brain Hack

Brain Hack: When you anticipate something might be a little difficult, but you go for it anyway, endorphin is released, which is helpful for people with depression and anxiety.


I’m very fortunate to be able to work with anybody who is willing to go through the program and that extends to dementia and Alzheimer’s. One of my clients has severe amnesia after three weeks. Her doctor couldn’t believe the improvements. At the same time, I work with very high performers like professional athletes and business people. I do a lot of work with families. I’m very blessed in how it’s changed but every single person I’ve ever worked with has gotten better and improved. It’s very complimentary to all the other excellent psychological and physical training programs out there. I don’t compete with anybody but it reinforces whatever they’re trying to do as well.

How do people get access to this program and your tools? Do you have a clinic? Do you do this all on consultation? What’s the format?

Over the years, because of COVID but even before that, most of the clients I work with are all on this program so I have clients all over the world. The proprietary exercises, I could email them or send them to go through it. I don’t have a clinic. Part of the problem is most of my biggest pushback has been from the medical community. I’ve had several people that make tremendous improvements than a neurologist will talk. That’s fine because they’re all research-based. I talked to someone who has a cousin who has some serious brain issues. According to all the scans, you should not be able to do things and nothing is wrong with that but they’re all based on research.

The neuroscientists that helped me from Northwestern said that this could never have come from traditional research because research-based interventions are reductionist. They’re trying to find one thing that might make a difference, whereas mine is very holistic. About once or twice a year, I get to speak at medical conferences. It always amazes me because people will say, “In ten more years, we think we might be able to tweak this one enzyme to make a difference.” I present the results. From the consulting background, it’s all about results.

I work with people in teams, families and individuals all via Zoom. I speak at conferences and do large groups. One of the areas that I’ve been starting to get some demand for is people who are returning to the office from the whole COVID deal. There’s a lot of tension because some people are working in person and some people are working remotely. When we did these exercises together, there was a powerful team building and bonding that happened. I love to meet with people in person but most of it is all remote via Zoom.

When you talk about the exercises, you email the exercises to people. Are you watching them do it while you’re on Zoom? How long is a session or treatment?

The first ones I’ve used because I want to get started with people right away are symbols on a piece of paper so I can email them to them. They print it out and go through it. The key always in any prevention, as you know, is not the scientist. It’s the art. Science is the exercise that targets executive function. Each iteration is a little bit harder because that’s what makes our brains change faster and work harder. Once we level out, the performance levels out. We engage all parts of the brain, eyes, ears, mouth, hands and feet. We want those connections to be faster. The art part, though, is when I work with people, even in teams, it’s always about making each iteration a little bit harder but never so hard to get discouraged.

A lot of things happen in the brain when that happens. One of the things that happen is when you anticipate that something might be a little difficult but you go for it anyway. There’s the dopamine release. This has been very helpful for people with depression and anxiety. The endorphin is released after you accomplish it. When you do this together with someone else, family, team or a partner, you start to sync up your thinking so that becomes great and powerful as well. Probably the most powerful benefit is what this neuroscientist said and I don’t know if your readers are familiar with Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow but he described two types of thinking.

System one is fast and unconscious. System two is slow and conscious. I have a little different take on that but it’s good for an illustration. A neuroscientist said that when we do these exercises, we’re optimizing system 1 and system 2 thinking and creating a flow state. Some of your readers may be familiar with flow states, big in athletics and music but it’s what we would call being in the zone.

When we improve the brain, it doesn't matter what the brain does; it will work better. Share on X We’re doing things and all of a sudden, we look back. They’re all done, no stress. We’re in that magic area of the zone. We can create that with these exercises. Typically, for the people I work with, the empowering piece of what I do is after our session, I encourage them to practice on their own. One, in particular, it’s a 1 or 2-minute neural primer. Before a meeting, sports or anything, they run through this and they can get into a nice flow state. They’re ready for who else is coming.

In one of my markets, I work with our traders. They’ve got all this data coming up from the screen and they’ll always run through this exercise before they start trading. If they have trouble getting through the exercise fast and smooth, they know that I rate a trade. We’ll go through it again. Once they’re in the right mental state, I’ll start their training and they all say they make more money with less time. That’s a good thing for them.

What’s the length of time that you recommend people spend on either a session with you and/or the training between sessions and what frequency?

It’s customizable but typically, I meet with my clients in 50-minute sessions. I always like lecture time at the end of fifteen minutes, where we do the intense brainwork and build on the one before. We always bring in whatever’s going on in their world to make sure we address it. Typically, most sessions are spaced once a week, although I have some people that’ll do it twice a week. The critical time for the spacing is for them to have enough time to practice on their own. It’s like going to the gym. If you want your trainer at the gym to do all the work for you, you go with him all the time but if you want better benefits, you practice what he tells you to do in between. The best is at least 3 or 4 days in between.

They can get in the habit of practicing because when they’re participating, it’s all about repetition. If they repeat what they go through in training with me on their own, that means the next time we meet, we can step it up another notch. They’ve already lifted their baseline. One of the things we do, which is fun is the speed of processing is a very important metric in our life, how fast we can process data.

Every session, I always start with the speed of processing tasks or drills. It’s amazing to see how quickly people’s processing time gets faster. That’s another thing that I have them practice between our sessions to make sure we call it a speed drill. Makes you run through a speed drill anytime during the day. You’ve done a few before we meet again.

What’s the typical course of either training or treatment for somebody who comes to work with you?

It varies on the need of the people that I’m working with. For high-performers, we use more of a coaching model. For people that are trying to recover from brain trauma, I like to break the sets up into five. We met once a week for five sessions and there was a set program that I followed but at the same time, I customized it for where their needs were. Most people, after the first session I hear back from right away, they’re already noticeably thinking faster and more focused. After that, we then step it up to some harder exercises for the next five. It depends.

The young woman I mentioned with severe amnesia, when I started productive thought, she would never be able to be functional again. After three sessions, she changed his prognosis. You wouldn’t know that she ever had an issue. For her, we meet once a week. We then went once every other week. I probably meet with her for about six months. We always have a goal. With high performance, they reach their goals much faster. For other people, it can take longer but as long as we’re improving, we continue to work. That’s why I try to get people to that first five sessions and assess whether they want to go from there.


OYM John Kennedy | Brain Hack

Brain Hack: There are areas of our lives where we’re being held back. And we’re not even aware of them until we remove those roadblocks.


One of the fun things for me is people will notice things in their life way beyond what they’re trying to accomplish with the training. Most people have a goal for the meeting. One of my favorites is the financial analyst that I was working with. He’s very overwhelmed at work and has gotten a promotion. We had our first session on a Friday and I expected to hear from him the following week that things were going better at work, which I did.

What blew me away was he sent me an email Monday morning and said, “John, I got to tell you what happened. I did your exercises Saturday morning. I got more done around the house by noon. I would all weekend. My wife says that when she speaks to me, I’m focused on her. My whole life is awesome. I can’t wait to get into work.” Those are the effects we have. There are areas of our life where we’re being held back. We’re not even aware of them until we remove those roadblocks.

Is this scalable? Are there people other than you that are working with these tools and coaching people?

I just started. A good friend of mine, Tim Stewart, I met when I worked with his girls’ soccer team a few years ago. He was a very accomplished coach. My goal is to certify him so that he can go out and do this as well. That’s why I want people to have hope and encouragement because anybody who’s struggling can help. Now, it’s just me. My goal is to certify other people so they can add it to their existing practice or go out and do the same thing I do.

What’s the time that you would imagine it would take you to train, let’s say, a social worker or a psychologist that wanted to learn this from you? What length of time would you say they would need to dedicate to training to be able to do what you do?

The first requirement is they go through those five sessions set. Not only do they experience how it works but also, they get the benefits themselves that will make them better therapists or whatever else they’re doing. We work out a customized program for the clients that they work with. It’s not always necessary to go through those five if someone wants to add it to something else.

Let’s say there’s a therapist that meets with their clients once a week. If they were to add 5 to 10 minutes of the exercises at the beginning of their sessions, their clients would be more focused, have fun and be relaxed. They would probably have a much better session going by. That’s the thing I can certify someone to do. That’s much easier than going all the work to be full. If someone wants to do this specifically, this training will be much more involved. If they’re adding it to help where theirs are already helping their clients, that’s something that can be trained pretty quickly.

How long have you been working on this program?

That first engagement with the Marines back in 2007. Anyone you can think of in any area of life, I’ve been able to work with. Fortunately, every single person that I’ve worked with has benefited. Here’s an example of that. I have two people I’m working with. Some of your readers might remember what Coach Dave once said. He was the Bears coach a couple of years ago. He was in a Bible study with me. He said, “John, my mentor, Steve is starting to get dementia.” He referred me. I started working with Steve.

If you want your trainer at the gym to do all the work for you, go to him all the time. But if you want better benefits, you practice what he tells you to do in between. Share on X When you get to the point of dementia, it’s very difficult to reverse. We can slowly decline and make some inroads back. There are a couple of reasons for that. One, the training doesn’t try to fix anything. That’s why it’s so universally beneficial. All we’re doing is training the brain to rewire around any damage to do what we’re asking it to do. There’s another reason that’s so beneficial, especially for people aging.

One of my friends, who’s a neuroscientist with the Martinos Center at Harvard, said, “When you do these exercises, you’re massively increasing the blood flow to the brain. There’s been a lot of research that one of the reasons we lose memories is because the capillaries that feed our neurons start to dry up and the neurons die. If we are increasing that blood flow to all the capillaries and neurons, we can create some neurogenesis.” It’s very helpful for that. We’re working with Steve. I love working with Steve and his wife but they referred me to one of the people they mentor. Cat Perez is the goalie for the Columbia Woman’s National team. She’s saying even at her level that she noticed them qubits your focus or reaction time and so forth.

The encouragement is for anybody, wherever they are, wherever they’re struggling, that we can improve their performance. Probably another one that might relate is ADHD. I did phenomenal work with a young ten-year-old boy whose parents didn’t want him to take medication. The dad was skeptical. Everybody’s always skeptical. It sounds too good to be true. I understand that. We had our first session with the whole family.

The dad and the mom also got benefits. He’s a banker. She’s a salesperson. The very next day, his dad emailed me right away and said, “You would not believe the difference. At baseball practice, if you listened to the coach, he did every right. When he got home that night, he was bored. I told him to go read a book and he read a book for an hour, even though his brother was bugging him. This is a young man who never would read for ten minutes.”

What we’re doing is that even though the exercises aren’t designed to improve focus, to do that, you have to focus. You’re constantly training your selective focus, which is more important why you go through the program. For people with ADHD, what we’re doing is we’re giving them the power to decide what they want to focus on. That’s another area we’ve had a lot of success.

What’s the recommended time for working with the exercises between sessions? How often and how long?

In the beginning, it’s five minutes a day. As we get more complex, people can do more. A lot of my clients will work for 20 minutes or 30 minutes a day on them. The more you do it, the better. The hardest thing is to practice. I encouraged them to stick it on the wall by their desk and put it in the bag, wherever it needs so they could see it in practice. Mentally, 5 to 10 minutes a day is all it takes to reinforce what we do in the lessons.

It’s not a whole lot of time to lock in those benefits. I would imagine, like most things, if you do it multiple times a day for five minutes, it’s even better.

Yes. That’s where that speed drill comes in so handy. I’ve had people start 2.5 minutes when we started and they get down under 1 minute pretty quickly. You’re talking about 1 or 2 minutes and that’s the one they can do anytime during the day when they need a little quick mental refocused speed up. Typically, most people will go through the harder exercises in the morning, free time to start their day.


OYM John Kennedy | Brain Hack

Brain Hack: When you repeat something over and over again, eventually, your brain doesn’t have to think about it. You will have that intuition because your brain already knows what it needs to do.


In the big picture, if you look over it at the conversation we’ve had and you think, “Here’s a whole segment of what we do,” what would that be?

I alluded to the family a little bit. A lot of times, when people are trying to recover, they find professional caregiver support. The nice thing about this is it’s something they can do with their family at home. Their therapist is doing it. We found that it was very effective when the Marines came back from deployment. That’s always a hard adjustment to go from combat to normalcy again. When they would do these exercises with their family, they enjoyed it. Whenever I work with a military unit, which it’s been a while in the military, I would always donate a family night so the guys could do it with their families and everybody benefits.

Is it therapy? Is it a performance improvement? It’s hard to button all of it but over the last several years, any way you can think of it being delivered, sitting out in a desert with the Marines or in a big conference, it doesn’t matter the format or even the person. I have the saying, “I don’t work with comfortable people.” If someone is happy where they are, I’m happy for them. If someone’s struggling, that could be someone with a concussion or a stales guy, someone who is suffering and is willing to work hard to get that edge.

People who are already high performers like professional athletes, like Cat looking for an edge above and they’re willing to do the practice, I love helping people like that. I’ve had people wondering once in a while and say, “This looks pretty cool what you’re doing. Let’s start working together.” After a session, they’re not interested. They said they were happy. They make a lot of money or whatever makes them happy. I’d rather spend my time with someone else.

I hadn’t heard it put that way before. “I don’t work with comfortable people.” That’s interesting. Most psychologists could say the same. How do people reach you? What’s the best way for them to reach out to you?

One of the things we’ve developed and tried out at a conference is that robust stimulation approach is not part of the mental efficiency piece but we found a way that we can help people change their habits in less than an hour. Typically, there are all kinds of wonderful books about changing habits like The Power of Habit and all those different things. If we apply the same process we use to make the brain faster, defining what we want to do, applying robust stimulation, which engages all parts of the body and brain and an agile approach to adjust it as you go forward, it’s amazing.

When I speak at conferences, I ask, “Anybody have a habit they want to change?” We walk through the process and I get an email afterward saying, “You’re right. I was able to choose my habit in less than an hour.” I worked through that as well. We started to add that to the program because it’s become so helpful for people.

You’re going to slip that in. If anybody has a habit that they don’t like, we can fix that but a little afterthought.

I suddenly realized that’s a big area we’re starting to add.

Speed of processing, or how fast we can actually process data, is a very important metric in our life. Share on X Is that a separate thing from Combat Brain Training?

It’s integrated with Combat Brain Training. We always start with the brain first, faster, more focused and better decisions under stress. People give me feedback in different areas because we always want to customize the brain training to areas you’re struggling with. For athletes like basketball players, tennis players or golfers, we’ll integrate the motions they use in their sport into brain training. We’re making the connections from the brain to the parts of their body they need to be successful unconscious. A lot of times, I always ask people as we progress about the habits and so I’m adding that to the whole brain training piece as well. It’s been a lot of fun.

Is it a separate module that you apply?

Yes and no. There’s a book I’m working on called Blow Your Mind: An Agile Approach to Hacking Your Brain in 30 days. We have a cognitive piece, which is brain training. We have the habitude piece for the habits. We’re applying that same approach to attitude, which is mindset. We’re going to integrate all three of those into an extremely powerful program. In one sentence, the habitude might be a separate module in the overall program but it’s such a useful thing for people. I’ve been adding it to the brain training as well. The way we are training our brain and everything we do repeat a habit we’ve been because we’re changing our brain to repeat that action.

In college, I had a professor who said, “Do you want to get a good score on the recorded exam?” I said, “Sure.” He said, “You come in here 3 nights a week and give me 2 hours of your time. Do whatever I tell you to do. Don’t take it lightly. We’re going to shake hands on this. If you don’t come here, I’m flunking you in the two courses that you’re taking from me. It was hardcore.” I said, “I’m a man of my word. That’s fine.” I went there as a senior in college, thinking I’m going to be taking the graduate record exam so I’m going to be doing all these high-level things.

He gives me a grade school math book, simple addition, 1 digit to 1 digit. I worked through this book. I went to protest and he said, “You agreed?” I spent several weeks, 6 hours a week, 2 hours, 3 nights a week working through those math books, simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. I thought he was crazy. When that was done, he interspersed that with, “Here, read this intro psych book. This was on top of all the other classes I was taking and all the other.”

He had me read three intro psych books, cover to cover and answer the questions in the back. They were all covering the same material. I noticed my intuition went up. I would get popped into these creative ideas like never before. I noticed one time I was driving with my car. It made a funny noise and I instantly knew a spark plug was off. I wasn’t a mechanic. It popped into my head and I went, “I wonder what could that be?” Sure enough, the idea of making the brain do things increases the brain’s capacity.

Speaking of math, a simple thing parents could get their kids to do to help them in all school is to go back and memorize times tables. We don’t do that anymore. I remember in sixth grade, my teacher, over Easter break, we had to do the full set of times tables and write them out every day. I waited until the last minute for Pasadena. For the rest of my schooling, I knew my multiplication and it made everything easier by repetition of something. I didn’t mention this concept. I use it a lot in my work. Neuroscientists call the shifting of conscious thought to unconscious thought a zombie system. I can’t remember those parts but maybe they watch horror movies when they’re kids.

Zombies are out to get you but they’re not thinking about it. If you think about the first time you learned to drive a car, all that mental effort, keeping the car on the road, not killing anybody, not going to grab a car, not thinking about it, it’s the same amount of effort because our brains are lazy offloads. In a zombie system, you start repeating this stuff over and over again. Your brain doesn’t have to think about it. You had that intuition because your brain knew what it needed to do. What we’re trying to create with this is to make the thinking process the zombie system.


OYM John Kennedy | Brain Hack

Brain Hack: One of the reasons we lose memories is because the capillaries that feed our neurons start to dry up, and then the neurons die.


How do people reach you if they want to connect?

I have two websites. I have one, MentalPerformanceInstitute.org. The only reason I put that out there was for the medical conferences they wanted me to speak at. It’s got some background and so forth but most of my work is by referral. If people go into CombatBrainTraining.com, it’s a placeholder. There’s my email and a QR code where they can set up a meeting with me. If they go there and they’re not comfortable but they want to get better, tell me what they’re struggling with and we can set up a free face-to-face meeting. I can discuss their situation with them and how I can help them.

Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us. It’s a fabulous set of work. I look forward to following your work and making some connections between you and several people we’ve done episodes with already.

You got some fascinating people on there. Thanks for this opportunity. It’s been great to spend time with you, Tim.

Thanks. Take care.


Important Links


About John Kennedy

OYM John Kennedy | Brain HackJohn Kennedy is a#1 International Bestselling author, Executive Brain Coach, consultant, and trainer and has helped organizations and leaders in business and the military exceed performance expectations for over 35 years.

His innovative insights have been featured in numerous publications and he has been interviewed in a wide range of radio, internet, and TV broadcasts. John has delivered keynotes and workshops all over the world for a wide variety of industries and branches of service.

His unique approach to improving operational and mental agility has helped thousands of people with his Combat Brain Training program and 100% report significant improvements in performance in all areas of their lives.

Clients include Marines, Snipers, Special Operations forces and their instructors, pilots, professional athletes, business leaders, students, children with learning disabilities and those suffering from brain trauma including TBI, PTSD and concussions. All have had their lives positively changed by the program.


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One Comment

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