Becoming Heroik

At the core of Heroik Culture is our mantra: Mission Ready For Life. This is an attitude and dedication to growth personal and professional and it has many implications. One of the key practices boils down to this: cultivate that which serves you, and proudly hit the eject button that which does not.  Bruce Lee, the Martial Arts legend said “Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.”

empty your cup

So, you want to make like the lord of kung-fu, empty your cup and get trigger happy with the eject button? Read on.

It’s amazing to me how many ambitious upstarts have the passion for new endeavor, yet hate to read and learn to reach their goals. If reading is a barrier to improvement for you; perhaps because you find it slow-paced, difficult or uninteresting, then you’re in luck. With the help of some new technology, you can speed read your way at 2-4x your current speed. This is a real time saver.

How Speed Reading Works

Reading text in the traditional form (in print or on the screen screen from left to right) requires moving your eyes sequentially from word to word. For each word, the eye seeks a certain point within the word, which we call the “Optimal Recognition Point” or ORP. During a reading session, after your eyes find the ORP, your brain begins to process the meaning of the word that you’re viewing. With each new word, your eyes kind of wiggle rapidly (or “saccade”) between the words. Your eyes then seek out the ORP for that word. When your eyes run into punctuation, your brain goes back brings it all together to form a single thought.

80% of the time spent reading is spent physically moving eyes from word to word, scanning for the next Optimal Recognition Point. By reading in ways that limit eye movement, and making it easier to find the ORP, your brain can process and understand the words faster.

Traditional speed reading tactics involve intense brain training to get your eyes to stretch what they process (enlarging the peripheral vision), avoiding sub-vocalization (talking to yourself while reading) and reading a page at a time by mental snapshot.

I’ve used these methods on and off to increase my reading speed. One thing I can tell you is that it requires time, commitment and continuous training. If you’re like most people, that sounds like more work than reading itself. The good news is there’s some great technology out there to help you.

Enter Spritz

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Spritz offers a cool technology called “redicle” that helps you speed read by doing all of that mental math for you. Rather than requiring your eyes to move and scan a page of text, Spritz gathers all of the text and gives it to you one word at a time. It also quickly pinpoints and identifies the optimal recognition point (ORP) (think focus point) your brain looks for to make sense of each word and it highlights this letter in red. Red of course draws the eyes attention immediately. The technology also uses horizontal lines and hash marks that direct your eyes to the red letter to ensure your eye quickly goes to the right point. Since your eyes don’t need to wander the page and don’t need to wiggle as you scan for ORP’s, you can read much much faster.

And in case you’re wondering, Comprehension is about the same as regular reading.

spritz study

First time users were able to read up to 40% faster.

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To see more findings check out the full study here.

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Spritz works so well it’s integrated with many mobile apps and even wearable technology (Samsung Galaxy Gear) and more to come.

  1. If you want to use the pure Spritz on the web, simply add the Spritzlet (click here to get it) to your browser. Additionally, there are other apps taking advantage of the technology including items 2-6 below.
  2. ReadMe! ($1.99) is an E-Pub reader with Spritz. With ReadMe! you can enjoy e-pub format books from Project Gutenberg (45,000 books), Manybooks (29,000 titles), Feedbooks, OpenLibrary (1M+ books) and the Internet Archive (2.5M+ titles). That should keep you busy for awhile!
  3. Quickipedia – Spritz Wikipedia (the whole darn thing!) ($0.99) – A Spritz reader for Wikipedia.
  4. Rapid Reader ($2.99) Read all of your Pocket, Readability and InstaPaper articles that you’ve saved for later with Spritz!
  5. Sparker ($0.99) – SparkNotes (http://www.sparknotes.com) are condensed versions of some of your favorite literature meant to aid you in studying the material after you’ve read it. Now you can spritz all of your SparkNotes on iOS!
  6. BibleGist (Free) – Interested in spritzing the Bible? This is the iOS app for you!
  1. Spreed is a Google Chrome extension and Spritz knock-off with some added features. It allows you to control the number of words shown on the app. This is great for training your brain to speed read with or without an app. It’s great for say, quickly binge reading our book The Heroik Power of Headlines, and others you’ve been meaning to get through as well.

All of the these apps work well. This technology hopefully will bring people back the wonderful world of reading. Try them out and tell us which one is your favorite.

Bonus: Speed Reading Power Tip

let’s talk about subvocalization – sounding out the words in your head actually causes you to read slower. Most people can only speak at about 180wpm, max. In order to speed this up, you’ll need to stop saying every word to yourself. To do that, try lightly humming to yourself (quietly). Murmor and mumble. If you’re humming, you can’t be talking to yourself, freeing your brain to process the information faster.

There are many books out there disguised as how-to’s, prompting you to tell your story through social media, and to use it as a platform to build a more authentic brand. But let’s be real, most of these books are far removed of specifics with watered down recommendations to use social media to tell your story. Some of the better books on the subject show you how to sell-out your brand for mass appeal. These don’t pass the sniff test of building an authentic brand with great content. That’s where this book comes in.

Welcome to the No Bull Rodeo Tour. We’ll try to make this a recurring feature wherein we offer tips, tricks and truth bombs that are sure to shock, amaze, and hopefully save you some time, effort and energy. This one you’ll definitely want to read through to the end. And as always- we’ve bolded the good nuggets for your skimming pleasure. Feel free to ask questions and add feedback to the comments. On with the show.

A few lazy weekend recovery hours spent scouring the web produced a persistent question: How will businesses monetize 5 years from now? Thinking with a futuristic viewpoint of 5 years may realistically be like looking ahead the next 3 months when you consider the exponential pace of change in the Information Age, factor in a turbulent global economy, and various external pressures motivating businesses to innovate and evolve. So one way or another, we’re talking about the not so distant future and how it affects you. Let’s explore how the heck we’ll make money in the months and years to come.

So often we are asked to explore our identities and our purpose in life and work. So, what’s our story? What is Heroik Media? We put together a brief video teaser to share a little bit about our company, movement and culture. We’re excited about what is to come and we want you to get involved. Tell us what you think in the comments.

Military training teaches you self-discipline and focus that can give you an edge in a world of distracted procrastinators. Distraction, procrastination and  mission drift come easy to our brains in any environment, be it in business, in the wild or on the battlefield. On the show Man vs. Wild, survival expert, mountaineer and special forces soldier, Bear Grylls often talks about the distractions and the importance of having the right priorities. In particular, in tough situations, the ability to get mission focused is key.

In survival scenarios, when times are tough and energy is low, get focused on the mission.

The unavoidable truth about getting things done in any scenario, is that it takes discipline and will power to focus the mind on accomplishing a task. There is no secret work-around to cultivating self-discipline. Call attention to your tasks while recognizing the distractions, simply by entering a mission focused mindset.

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