Articles from
Ed Caldwell.

Speed Reading Tips: 3 Mind Traps That Will Hold You Back From Your Speed Reading Success

Whether you are beginning your search for a program that can actually help you achieve speed reading success, or, whether you have already tried and failed to master speed reading, you should know that it all starts with examining your mind. Your mind is the place where reading takes place.

Yet the mind is filled with “thinking traps” which filters and shapes how you process new information. Most of the time these traps work “behind the scenes,” of our conscious awareness. Yet, because of their work, our well-intentioned behavior fails.

The first trap is probably where the largest group of people falls into. This first mistaken type of thinking is a belief in magic. Unfortunately the people that believe in magic respond to marketing gimmicks like “Double, triple, quadruple your speed in 15 minutes – Guaranteed!” Anyone who falls for that type of marketing ploy is plainly immature and does not understand a thing about how complex the skill of reading really is. An alternate description is wishful thinking. “Please, can’t I just take a pill?”

Reading is perhaps the most complex and awesome set of cognitive skills the human mind can achieve. To keep it simple, the brain has to do thousands of interconnected firings of various biochemicals and neurons in extremely sophisticated ways for you to be able to understand the sentence you are reading right now. If that is the case, then consider, if it has taken you a lifetime to develop your skills to the unconscious level of habit where they are right now, does it really make sense that you can permanently change those habits in 15 minutes? What kind of magical thinker are you?

So, if you’re looking for a quick fix, the magic pill approach to learning how to speed read – forget it! Be aware that is a false claim. Before you throw any money down to learn to master speed reading, ask yourself if you are willing to put consistent effort into it. If you are, speed reading can change your life.

The second biggest type of thinking mistake is low self-esteem. Self-esteem means you believe in yourself and believe that you have the power to learn new things and get things accomplished. If you suffer from low self-esteem, you will not learn how to speed read because if you don’t believe in your ability to learn, you will unconsciously do everything in your power to prove to yourself, once again, what a loser you are! Beliefs drive all of your thinking, and your thinking drives all of your behaviors and decisions.

As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you’re right!” The mind rallies to keep the belief system in place.

For many years, as people started a speed reading program I gave them a short questionnaire asking them: What do you believe about your ability to learn? What do you believe about your ability to learn in an accelerated fashion? Invariably, if someone was struggling with the skills, I looked at what they wrote, and of course, those questions were answered with negative beliefs. They were creating the results they believed to be true before they started their training.

Forget about learning to speed read if you don’t believe in your own ability to learn. However, I do need to put a note of caution on this one. Many times people do struggle to learn in academic or school situations, not because of their ability, but because of poor instruction. So look outside of your school experience to validate your learning ability. Most educational systems teach with one style of learning. We now know from educational psychology that there are at least 8 different learning styles. Your school experience may not have been geared to your learning preference, or style.

The last type of flawed thinking trap is the skeptic. The skeptic type of thinking is a mind-trap habit of viewing every situation through the lens of looking for what is wrong, or flawed in the situation. If a situation is absolutely not perfect, the skeptic discounts everything in the experience. Also, the skeptic looks at things as unproven until “I’m convinced.” The truth is: no one will ever change your basic beliefs (see above discussion about beliefs) but you. Entering into a learning situation with this frame of mind is doomed from the outset.

The skeptic type of thinking is also immature in that it fails to understand the true nature of learning. Most “genius” inventors will state they accomplished their creation through a process of trial and errors. The human mind learns best by failure! Expecting great things to be perfect with one first try is just plain dumb.

When learning to master speed reading, I clearly tell people, they will have lots of struggles and mistakes initially. However, if you take a look at your behavior and compare it to the model of the ideal behavior, you can learn to adjust. That’s the path to mastery of any worthwhile skill.

Another problem with skeptical thinking is that it pulls the skeptic out of the process of direct learning and into an “observer” status. That is all left-brain dominant thinking. Learning is experiential. You have to jump into the “mosh pit” in order to truly understand the experience. Watching from a distance will not bring understanding. Neuro-science has demonstrated the fact that tactile experience involves more parts of the brain and thus learning takes hold better. This engages both left and right hemispheres. From that, I suppose one could say that the skeptic is a half brain!

The strength of experiential learning is another good reason why almost no one learns to master speed reading by reading a book. If you want to master speed reading, destroy your skeptic hat. Jump into the mosh pit!

If any of these types of thinking are true for you, you will be disappointed in the results you will create with your flawed attempts to learn a very complicated set of skills. What you hold to be true in your mind, will be manifested in your life. The good news about flawed thinking is that it can be changed. So I tell these types of thinkers, “Pretend it is possible” From that perspective, you can freely experiment without the mind-traps and then achieve the outcome of mastering speed reading.

When someone enrolls in our Masters Online program, they are assigned a personal coach. The coach understands these mind traps and can help the new learner overcome them. This kind of support is crucial to succeeding in mastering speed reaing as a lifelong skill.

Get the help you need to succeed. Enroll in the Dynamic Speed Reading Masters Online Program

Ed Caldwell.

Speed Reading Tips: Where Is Your Mind While You Read?

Speed reading is a vastly popular keyword internet search term with several million searches per month. Many people want to discover how to do this vital information management skill today. However, before someone learns to speed read, it might be helpful to take a step back and observe something that is taken for granted.

When you read, whether it is speedy or not, what does your mind do? If you take it for granted, you might be able to move through print quickly, but then you probably won’t comprehend well.

There is no such thing as speed reading without comprehension. This has to be stated boldly. A common complaint I get when people have tried speed reading in the past is that they are able to speed up their pass through the material, but their comprehension suffers. There are various reasons for this to happen, but the fact is, if you don’t understand anything in the material, then reading is not taking place.

Reading, whether it is done with speed or not, is comprehension, or understanding the material. In order to understand the material, you have to consider your mind’s experience. As a brain trainer, I have come to understand that being aware of our thoughts is generally taken for granted. Either we’re fantasizing the future, or we are reliving the past. True conscious awareness escapes most of us most of the time.

Let’s forget about speed reading for a moment and just consider what does your mind do when you read? If you are like most people your mind is probably not present to what the print symbolizes. Your mind races ahead. Or, it wanders off into some other task that you should be considering. Or, perhaps you are remembering some pleasurable event that you’d like to be reliving, rather than paying attention to the task at hand. Or, any number of things could be occupying that mental space other than considering the print in front of you.

So, from now on, practice watching your mind as you read. What are you thinking about?

Ed Caldwell.

Speed Reading Tips: Going Beyond Individual Words to Comprehension

In many studies of the reading process and the nature of linguistics, it has been established that the reader knows well over 90 percent of the words. It is therefore unnecessary to have to pronounce each of the words to oneself as you have already learned them.

Before comprehension can be understood we must understand the relative importance and unimportance of words. Words are signals that call forth a response in the deep-well “storage banks” of the minds. If the words stand alone, the response may be incomplete or erroneous. Words only stand for things we know. The larger the “word meaning group,” the more accurate and complete comprehension may become. As it is not possible to see large meaning groups at slow rates, the advantage of faster rates for building comprehension becomes apparent. You never have totally accurate comprehension until you have seen all the words. The idea, or the concept, gives the meaning to each word and delegates the relative significance of each word.

The Master Dynamic Speed Reader must also understand the function of the eye in reading. The eye is an extension of the brain. The delicate tissues of the brain must have some protection. The eye offers that protection. The eye makes it possible for the mind to receive image impressions from external sources. The eyes are to the mind what feelers are to an insect. The eyes are to the brain what antenna is to radar. The mind constantly tells you what is in front of you. Sight, in the sense of understanding, is in the brain. When you have mastered the Dynamic Reading method, your mind moves your eyes down the page searching for meaning.

There can be no comprehension if there is nothing in the mind with which to associate the words viewed. Thus, as we generate our thinking, comprehension begins.

Thousands of words must have been placed in the storehouse of the mind before it can be of much value to you. Meaning is in people, not in words. Reading is seeing it with the eye and knowing it with the brain. Reading is thinking with an aid; the aid is the printed page.

This is a good place to again ask the question, “How fast should I read?” You should only read as fast as your mind can respond. Pre-Reading is the best way to develop high efficiency.

You should therefore be able to read anything as fast as you can think it!!!

The critical questions for a beginning speed reading student is: “How fast can
I think?” Also, “How do I get my mind to think/respond faster in relationship
to the print?”

The answers are in the training you do.