Before launching The Bowery Common I taught Speed Reading and Memorization workshops to companies throughout the US. I taught over 1000 people and had the opportunity to work with leaders from all types of industries. I taught workshops to investment bankers, hedge fund managers, lawyers, professors, MBA students, and founders.
Along the way I also started doing some work in High Schools with programs such as Upward Bound which helps to prepare first generation college-bound students for academic success. Now that I was teaching workshops to Corporate Leaders, Ivy League Grad Students, and High School students I started to see patterns emerging.
All of these people - regardless of their education, wealth, or experience were missing the same thing. They did not know how anything about cognitive skills.
They wanted more from themselves. They wanted to learn faster, read more books, retain what they were learning, work with focus, avoid procrastination, do a better job at explaining their ideas, and find a sense of joy and purpose in their work. They all wanted this. But they were never taught the tools and skills of how to achieve it.
What are Cognitive Skills? It’s a fair question as they are not often spoken about.
Cognitive Skills are the core skills that we use for learning, reading, remembering, paying attention, and solving problems. We use them all day every day. They are the bedrock that our productivity sits upon. We have been using our cognitive skills for our whole life and because of that we think of these skills as part of our identity.
‘I am a slow reader’
‘I can’t focus’
‘I can’t finish a book or a movie, or anything’
‘Im very good at understanding something but very bad at explaining it’
The list goes on and on…
These are not character traits as we like to think. They are skills and they can be mastered.