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Anthony Metivier's Magnetic Memory Method Podcast

Learn, Memorize And Recall Anything Using Memory Techniques, Mnemonics And A Memory Palace Fast

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Stop Smoking And Boost Memory With These Step-By-Step Addiction Breakers

You know all about the dangers of smoking, right? Bronchitis, emphysema, vascular disease … Heck, the Demon Nicotine has even been linked to cancer. But did you know that smoking also poses risks to your intelligence and memory? Some experts disagree, but common sense in combination with evidence tells us that … Smoking Murders Your Memory! Never fear. If this post doesn’t spook smokers out of lighting up ever again (it probably won’t), it’ll at least educate them. Plus, I’ll give you some ideas for how to quit with minimum suffering in record time. If you’re not a smoker yourself, you can at least pass the tactics on. But if you’re one of those who prefer cocktails of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and hydrogen cyanide, abandon this post right away because it’s basically a rant from a guy who cares for both you as a person AND for your mental abilities. So buckle up if you’re going to stick around, because here comes some tough love from your friendly neighborhood Warrior of the Mind. A Brief History Of The World’s Stupidest And Stinkiest Habit There may be earlier accounts, but history tells us that Columbus witnessed Native Americans huffing and puffing on rolled dried leaves starting in 1492. They “drank the smoke” as he put it. Later, ships brought some of those Natives with them to Europe, leading to tobacco seeds being left at each and every port of call. The Dutch brought tobacco home from the Hottentots, the Portuguese introduced it to the Polynesians and people soon planted nicotine anywhere and everywhere it would grow. Even Kings Failed To Stop The Spread Of Smoking Across Their Kingdoms We often think of royalty from the 1600s as slovenly pigs stuffing their faces with mutton and mead, but not King James. When he wasn’t busy developing the Bible, he was writing hate mail to smokers. Check out this rant in which he says smoking is … “… A custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and the black stinking fume thereof nearest resembling the horrible stygian of the pit that is bottomless.” King James wrote those words in 1604, but his rage was nothing compared to the Russian czar who banned smoking and said that “offenders will be sentenced to slitting of nostrils.” Ouch! Nonetheless, demand exceeded supply all over Europe, and tobacco prices soared. As a result, some people got mighty wealthy. How Smoking Formed A Global Superpower … Almost Overnight! By the 17th Century, smokers had become aware of nicotine’s addictive powers. But it was already too late, and, much worse, tobacco had become central to the development of an emerging economic and political powerhouse. For example, the tobacco industry bolstered the success of the Virginia Settlement. Farming the plant became the backbone of slavery and the southern plantation practices overall. The weed stood behind the Louisiana Purchase and is still considered America’s oldest industry (not to be mistaken with prostitution, which belongs to the entire world). By the 1930s, smoking had entered the world of advertising. Printed images of sexy women and dapper men enticed people around the world, not to mention Hollywood movies, which were entering the era of sound. Now you could even hear the sounds of beloved celebrities puffing their way into early graves. If You Think Trump Is An Idiot, Get A Load Of This Some people admire Theodore Roosevelt and perhaps for good reason. But he’s the same dude who classified tobacco as an essential crop and had the stuff shipped overseas to America’s servicemen. Thanks to him, they could get their limbs blown off and memory-destroying pulmonary diseases too. Not only that, but in 1945 alone over 267 BILLION cigarettes were sold domestically in the US. The military draft legislation was changed so that enough people could stay home to work on the tobacco farms to supply the domestic and overseas markets. Science Fails To Come To The Rescue Although people had long been aware of tobacco’s addictive properties, medical research didn’t pick up the issue in earnest until the 1940s. But it wouldn’t be until 1957 that a Public Health Service report called for sales restrictions, health warnings and advertising regulations. Those not afraid to speak out against smoking gained some traction, but the tobacco industry retaliated by introducing filtered cigarettes to allay the fears of current and future smokers. Congress continued to favor the industry and to this day, celebrities romanticize the disgusting habit by either smoking themselves or pretending too. (Some actors even pick up the habit after playing the role of smokers!) Smoking Destroys Your Body And Mind At The Same Time Despite different conclusions, most studies link smoking to diseases that involve the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. Tamper with these and your ability to concentrate and remember plummets. Why? It’s because smoking: Causes peripheral blood vessels to restrict Reduces capillary flow Deposits toxic fat in blood vessels Prevents oxygen from reaching the heart and brain Decreases lung capacity and elasticity Lessens the amount of carbon dioxide your body needs to expel Lowers the ability of your macrophage cells to kill invading microbes … and much, much more! And if all that wasn’t bad enough enough, these effects of smoking … Utterly Smash Verbal Intelligence And Intellectual Functioning! Okay, I’m probably exaggerating, but a lot of evidence supports this claim. Sure, smoking tricks your adrenal medulla into blasting out a bit of dopamine and epinephrine, but for the average smoker who sucks in nearly half a cup of tar a year … Smoking Is Suffocating Your Cognitive Functioning To Death! At this point, you might be asking … So what? What’s so great about being intelligent and mentally capable anyway? I’m glad you asked because intelligence and memory work together to form your entire personality. In short, you need memory and intelligence to: Act with purpose Think rationally Deal effectively with your circumstances and environment I think you have to agree that ruining your memory with smoking is complete madness. The Biggest Lie Smokers Tell Themselves About Concentration And Memory Of course, smokers love to claim that smoking helps them in each of these areas. But in reality, even just a few hours without nicotine has been shown to severely damage verbal and visuospatial memory. This state is called withdrawal and many nicotine addicts may need nine weeks or more without smoking to sail beyond the torrid waters of depleted intelligence. Of course, the extent to which any individual experiences these pains depends on a lot of factors, including baseline indicators of intelligence, including: How much they educate themselves formally or informally The amount of social and cultural experiences they pursue Diet and other lifestyle choices The amount smoked The style of smoking (quick puffing, deep inhaling or not drawing smoke into the lungs at all) Other factors such as genetics, gender and even how much a person engages in random acts of generosity All this means that … It Only Seems Like Smoking Helps Improve Your Memory In reality, smoking stops withdrawal from messing with your concentration and memory, specifically working memory. By working memory, I’m referring to Alan Baddeley and Graham Hitch‘s model. They described memory as a Central Executive System with three structures: 1. Phonological loop 2. Visuospatial sketchpad 3. Episodic buffer When nicotine withdrawal gets rolling, it interferes, it messes with each of these bigtime. So even though some evidence shows that using mnemonics may combat the effects of withdrawal, you’re better off not smoking at all. 7 Super-Difficult Ways To Quit Smoking I’m not going to sugar coat this or make elaborate promises. Getting off the Demon Nicotine ain’t easy. But as a former working hypnotists, I think these tips can help you if you want to quit. 1. Hypnosis Hypnosis, as Kreskin once defined it, is nothing more than the acceptance of a suggestion. If you take this definition to heart, then you instantly realize that we are all hypnotizing ourselves and others all the time. The real question is … How do you get yourself to accept the suggestion not to smoke. The answer is: You Don’t! Instead, the hypnotist or self-hypnotist helps raise the ego to overcome the effects of withdrawal and resist the temptations of addiction. Hypnotists harness the power of the imagination to achieve this feat by eliciting the language of their clients, adopting their body language to create rapport and using relaxation inductions to increase trust and the acceptance of suggestions. A hypnotist might hear that you hate spending money on cigarettes above all and then have you imagine setting stacks of cash on fire after feeling the weight of your hard-earned wealth in your hands. Or if you mention disliking wheezing and coughing, the hypnotist might help you exaggerate that suffering in your mind and then replace that experience with the bliss of physical reaction. The hypnotists then compliments these states with ego boosting statements that help the client keep feeling empowered over the next 72 hours, which tend to be the hardest when a person quits. 2. Drink Tons Of Water And Devour Acres Of Fruit It helps to detoxify during those first 72 hours, so many hypnotists will send you home with the instructions to keep hydrated and get your sugars from natural sources instead of candy and pastries. You might gain a bit of weight from the fructose, but not as much as you would from refined sugars. And chocolate bars and other sweets will only make you antsy, impulsive and thereby more likely to pop a cigarette in your mouth and light up. 3. Rest It might be hard sitting still, let alone getting to sleep, but with The Ultimate Sleep Remedy, you at least have a fighting chance. I can’t reproduce the entire book here, but one technique you can try is Shavasana. In its simplest form, this practice involves nothing more than laying on your back and practicing total stillness for as long as you can. 4. Fitness Go for a walk. Do pushups. Even just working at a standing desk provides beneficial exercise. You can also hang out with non-smokers and visit smoke-free places like art galleries and museums. These activities follow the powerful “don’t go where it’s slippery” principle. If you make it impossible to spark a cherry, you won’t wind up inhaling junk that ruins your body and mind. It’s that simple. 5. Breathing Exercises Lately, I’ve been using the Wim Hof Method and a few other techniques. These exercises fall under physical fitness, but belong to their own category because they strengthen your lungs, improve oxygen circulation and develop your concentration while hopefully distracting your mind from nicotine cravings. https://youtu.be/VaMjhwFE1Zw 6. Meditation Sit just to sit and also combine meditation with breathing exercises and even do both while walking. 7. Practice memory techniques Although you might feel too fidgety to memorize playing cards or foreign language vocabulary (LINK 15 reasons), this technique pays off. Why? Because the more you experience success with mnemonics while distracted, the more successful you’ll be when using them post-addiction. That’s just a hypothesis of mine, but I think it’ll prove true. When I’ve practiced card memorization in noisy places, for example, I wind up getting crazy better results later when I do the same drills at home. https://youtu.be/osNyCmrUz4I Are You Ready To Serve Your Memory By Quitting Smoking? In sum, you can stop smoking. When you do, you’ll not only improve your physical health, but also the strength of your mind. Even better, you can use the art of memory and mnemonics to help you get through it in combination with self-hypnosis or with the guidance of a good hypnotist who doesn’t BS you about what’s really going on. No matter how you quit, I know this general information and these tips will serve you and I look forward to hearing about your success. In the meantime, stomp this habit out of your life and get busy using memory techniques to help keep the cravings at bay using my FREE Memory Improvement Kit starting right now. Further Resources The Surprising Truth About Hypnosis And Memory Improvement Foods That Improve Memory You Can Pig Out On


12 May 2016

Rank #1

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How To Teach Your Kids Memory Techniques

You want your children to remember what they learn, right? You’ve probably even hoped that they’d learn enough to succeed in life. Maybe even change the world. It’s a great aspiration. And an important one. And yet … Yours Free: A Private Course With Cheat Sheets For Becoming A Memory Master, Starting From Scratch. >>> Click Here For This Special Free Offer. Here’s Why So Few Children Fail To Make A Mark As Grownups Memory. Think about it. Every test your child will ever take relies on memory. And every gatekeeper your child will ever pass on the way to fulfilling their dreams hinges on the ability to recall details. Thoroughly and accurately. And since we know that the ability to succeed has everything to do with what you know (and who you remember that you know), the question is … How do you get your children started towards a superior memory so that they can succeed? I’m glad you asked because you’re about to find out. The Simple Way To Use Rhymes And Your Family Home To Learn, Memorize And Recall Anything The best memory techniques all use buildings and other fixed locations. Why? Because the human mind has the unusual ability to remember the layout out buildings. For this reason, location-based mnemonics has lasted thousands of years. Go ahead and try it. Have everyone in your family draw a map of your home. You’ll be amazed by the accuracy each of you brings to the game. Here’s an image of a simple drawing from a young person who did precisely this activity to give you ideas and inspire you. She took the layout of her home from the drawing stage to rebuilding this floor plan in her mind so she could memorize a poem. The Special Structure Anyone Can Use To Learn, Memorize And Recall Anything Anyone of any age can build one and use it to memorize anything. But please don’t use Memory Palaces to memorize any old thing. The trick is to use these wonderful mental structures for memorizing important information. Not just any information. I’m talking about the kind of information that makes a direct impact on the quality of your child’s life. In the present and the future. So location is the first power of memory. The second power of memory is association. To use this power, you associate information with a location. And to make the information really magnetic, you create crazy images that makes it easier to recall. Usually these images will come from visual sources you already know, such as movies, paintings, famous figures and the like. You can also turbocharge the images you create by using stock images placed in the Memory Palace. Here’s An Easy Way To See The Second Power Of Memory In Action Imagine that your house has five rooms. Kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom and playroom. You’ve already drawn them out and can walk in your imagination from room to room. And your child can do this too. Next, use the following rhymes to place an imaginary object in each room. 1 is a bun 2 is a shoe 3 is a bee 4 is a door 5 is a hive You don’t have to use these rhymes. It’s great fun to come up with your own as a family activity. But these are standard and you can find a full list of these mnemonic examples and a full explanation of this mnemonic peg system here. But keep in mind that we’re going to take things one step further than rhyming. We’re going to combine this technique with a familiar building like your home. Now pretend that your son or daughter needs to learn the names of the first five vertical entries on the Periodic Table of Elements. The following suggestions are examples only. The method will work best when young people come up with the images on their own. Hydrogen goes in the first room. They see a bun saying “Hi” to a drone reading Genesis. In the second room, they see a shoe with a huge L on it. It’s drinking tea and saying “um.” Lithium, The third room has a bee. He’s also saying “um” while drinking soda. Sodium. The fourth room has an enormous potato with a door from which donkeys are entering the room with small potatoes in their mouths. Potassium. In the fifth room, we have rubidium. Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz is knocking on the hive. You can help everyone in your family use this location and rhyme-based memory technique to learn and memorize anything. From facts and mathematical figures to foreign language vocabulary and artifacts from Ancient Egypt. Being able to recall these in a snap make a huge difference for kids in school. And bilingualism is very health for young brains. The Minimalist Guide To Making Memory Improvement A Family Event If your young person is struggling to learn, retain and reproduce information, here’s how you can help. If you’ve already used your home as a Memory Palace, visit a relative or friend. Make a Memory Palace based on their home. You can literally walk the journey between the actual rooms with them, encouraging them to come up with the memorable images on their own. You can also use a walk through a simple park, a movie theater, a church or a library. But please do start with simple structures before introducing anything more complex. Mastering simple buildings makes mastering multi-detailed environments much easier. Teach Your Kids How To Paint Like Picasso In Their Minds If your child struggles with creating images to associate information with, help them to become more visual by looking at art together. If you can visit art galleries, all the better. These buildings can become Memory Palaces too. You can also help your children become more visual by encouraging drawing more than just Memory Palaces. Characters from movies they’ve enjoyed and especially representations of people from books they’ve read about but never seen work well. They will get the visual imagination flowing. It’s also useful to look at an image and then have your child “remake” the image in their imagination. Seeing in the mind is a skill you can develop over time and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Mentally “copying” the great masters is perfectly fine. Great and original artists do it all the time. Use World Class Examples To Inspire Your Child To Memorize One way to make these memory skills more interesting to young people is to tell them the story of their origin in Ancient Greece. Simonides of Ceos was giving a speech at a banquet when the building collapsed. Because he had memorized where everyone was using the location principle, he could help families identify their loved ones. The Simonides story also perfectly demonstrates the principles of exaggerated imagery along with location. The vibrant image of a building collapsing is just of the reasons the story has lasted the centuries. The image is as hard to forget as is the promise of near-miraculous memory ability. Your kids will also find Matteo Ricci‘s life as an international mnemonist inspiring. He sailed from Italy to China and could memorize books forwards and backward. His life included a great deal of drama and even tragedy. You can also share with them the stories of how ordinary people have learned memory techniques and used them to accomplish extraordinary feats. Read Joshua Foer’s Moonwalking with Einstein for a particularly compelling story to pass on. You can also listen to the Magnetic Memory Method interviews with Dave Farrow, Mark Channon and Alex Mullen for many inspiring stories of ordinary people learning memory techniques and accomplishing great things for themselves and others. Nelson Dellis, for example, has done a lot for Alzheimer’s research and you can contribute to it by taking his Extreme Memory Challenge. Show All Children The True Path To Memory Mastery With One Simple Tool We double what we’ve learned every time we teach. Teaching is the simplest tool for learning something better ever invented. All you need to do is learn something and then share what you’ve learned. Merely by doing this you will have learned it better yourself. It’s also great memory exercise. Encourage your child to share what they’ve learned with others so that they absorb the skills with greater depth. Teaching others also follows the principle of contribution. Your child feels like she or he has given something great and also made the world a better place. Reciprocity will be a natural result. You can also ask your child to teach you what they’ve learned directly from their memory. Ask them to “decode” the images they’ve created without revealing them. Focus on the core information first and then share the weird images if you wish. At the end of the day, these images are nothing more than training wheels on a bike. They prompt or trigger the target information. But it’s the memorized information they should reproduce first. Having your child repeat what they’ve memorized at home also gives them practice in a low-stress environment. (Your home is low-stress, isn’t it?) That way, when the time to take a test arrives, they can access those comfortable feelings about memory created at home. This certainty will help them cope with the pressure of performance at school. Imagination and memory abilities soar much higher when we’re relaxed. Are Memory Techniques The Ultimate Learning Solution? Yes and no. Memory techniques are a supplement to how schools teach, not a replacement. Some kids take to it more than others and for some, taking pleasure in the technique is necessary. But if the images are sufficiently funny and fascinating, it’s hard to imagine the Magnetic Memory Method as boring. As a final tip, avoid perfection. Just have fun with the art of memory and let go of the outcome. At its core, all we’re doing is looking at information that needs to be learned and retained in a new and likely more interesting way. But it’s important not to associate this technique with the same pain and frustration given to rote learning. Your child will always be learning the information, but if something truly won’t stick, move on and come back to it. You increase the pleasure and chances of success by not forcing it. And if you as a parent would like more information about using Memory Palaces to learn and memorize information that can make a positive difference in your life, I’ve got a Free Memory Improvement kit for you. It comes with four free videos and will teach you everything you need to know about improving the memory of everyone in your family. So what do you say? Are you ready to start changing the world? All it takes is teaching memory skills to one young mind at a time. Yours Free: A Private Course With Cheat Sheets For Becoming A Memory Master, Starting From Scratch. >>> Click Here For This Special Free Offer. Further Resources Tap The Mind Of A Ten Year Old Memory Palace Master Memory Improvement Techniques For Kids


9 Mar 2016

Rank #2

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3 Powerful Memory Training Techniques From Around The World (Part 1)

Memory training techniques involve more than just training. The use of mnemonics is an ancient art, craft and science practiced around the world. And it’s not new. People have been training their memory for thousands of years. The best part? They’ve left many wonderful tips we can use to learn, memorize and recall more information in ways that are fast, easy and fun. Whether we’re talking about Matteo Ricci’s recipe to overcome forgetfulness or French scholar Aimé Paris’ Mnemonic Major System, strengthening the cerebral muscles of memory has mattered to people across time and around the world. In fact, there are numerous techniques used worldwide by memory champions as well as amateurs to train their brain. Yours Free: A Private Course With Cheat Sheets For Becoming A Memory Master, Starting From Scratch. >>> Click Here For This Special Free Offer. The Most Common Question About Memory Training Techniques In The World The question is: Is Ricci’s method better than Paris’ or would you be more interested in Alex Mullen’s PAO system that helps him memorize a deck of cards in less than 17 seconds? These are good questions and I believe everyone should expose themselves to as many memory experts as possible. But here’s the deal… Like honing any other skill or strengthening your body’s core muscles, hacking your brain to remember anything takes time and practice. It is not difficult to build a better brain, but you must be sure which memory workouts will train it better to help you achieve particular learning outcomes. Before you start reading and executing different memory training techniques practiced around the world, take a quick look at this video. It will introduce you to some powerful prehistoric memory techniques you can use now that Lynne Kelly put together for us in her book, The Memory Code. https://youtu.be/u2Z3SW8s0dg?t=8s Why Anyone Can Be A Memory Champ, Even If They Have Never Had Formal Memory Training     According to a study published in March 2017, anyone can reshape their brain’s networks by using the same tricks as the world’s top memory champions. To understand how memory athletes remember huge strings of information, researchers recruited 23 of the world’s top-ranked memory champions.  They compared the brain scans of these memory champions with those of people who had never practiced memory techniques at all. The scans revealed that memory athletes’ brains were not built differently from yours or mine. Far from it. But… These scientists did find something distinctive. The champions’ brain showed unique patterns activity in regions that involved memory and cognition. The researchers then put some of the rookies through a memory training program and observed how their brains changed with exercise. The more the newcomers practiced the memory training techniques, the more their brain activity started to resemble the brains of memory athletes. Six Weeks Or Less To A Measurable Increase In Brain Power? You bet. In fact: It took only six weeks for the rookies who had never used memory techniques before to show an increase in brain power. “These really incredible memory feats … are not some form of inborn talent. It’s really just training”. This is from Martin Dresler, a neuroscientist at Radboud University in the Netherlands and the lead author of the study. And what these findings mean is that anything these people can accomplish in terms of brain fitness, you can do too. Travel Back In Time: Important People In the History of The Major Memory Method Let’s start with some history. Remember Monsieur Paris? He’s the French scholar we talked about earlier. (If you had to scroll up to check out what we had said about Paris, maybe you need a quick boost of these vitamins for memory improvement.) Paris was the first person to publish a version of the mnemonic Major Method in its modern form that is used by memory experts. However, French mathematician and astronomer Pierre Hérigone is said to have devised the earliest known version of the major system. Herigone apparently used both consonants and vowels in Latin and French. What’s the real story? Watch this video for more and a free memory improvement exercise: https://youtu.be/Y4KdSva1fH0 As complex as the history of memory techniques may be, here’s something about which most memory historians agree: The Major Method for memorizing numbers has its roots in the ancient Greek memory tradition. This is a tradition that combined strategic, systematic thinking with strong guidance from the larger guiding principles of memory. And using the Major Method, numbers are converted into consonant sounds and then developed into Magnetic words by adding vowels. Oh, you can make any kind of words if you wish, but it’s attention to involving as many of the Magnetic Modes as possible that will make these words impossible to forget. What Are The Magnetic Modes Of Memory? The Magnetic Modes come into play whenever you combine a dedicated Memory Palace with associative, Magnetic Imagery. You use both of these tools to create links between information you already know, with new information you’d like to remember. Your Magnetic Modes are based in brain science, and easily tapped when the Magnetic Images you create in your Memory Palaces are: Bright Vibrant Dynamic Big Colorful Crazy Strange Emotional Physical Animated Forceful Loud Rhyming Punning For more information on how all this works, please take my free course: Why The Major Method Is The Most Popular Memory Technique The answer is simple: This memory training system, once you’ve practiced it, will help you remember short sequences of digits like telephone numbers or historic dates. You can also use it to remember long sequences of numbers like Pi, or to help you memorize a deck of cards as an alternative memory improvement exercises based on annoying apps. Plus, the Major Method is just plain easy. Why? Because, like most memory techniques, the Major Method works on the principle that the human brain remembers images far more easily than plain numerals. So now that you know the most popular memory athlete technique, let’s start our two part series on different memory techniques used around the world and the people who use them. Yours Free: A Private Course With Cheat Sheets For Becoming A Memory Master, Starting From Scratch. >>> Click Here For This Special Free Offer. Memory Techniques Around The World (Part 1) Different countries hold different kinds of memory championships. Sure, they might use different rules and offer different prizes. But at the end of the day, these are the competitive meetings where mind athletes of every stripe compete with each other to prove the superiority of their cognitive prowess. Now: While there are no memory athlete techniques unique to any given country, several mnemonists from various regions have modified ancient mnemonic techniques to perfect memory training exercises for professionals and amateurs alike. Ready to take a look? Let’s go! 1. China: Ming Mnemonics To Memorize Reams Of Classical Poetry   In the 16th Century an Italian Jesuit priest became the first westerner to pass China’s highest civil service exams. Why is this relevant? The exam involved memorizing reams of classical poetry – a task that only 1% of people who took the test were able to perform successfully. Yet, Ricci passed these exams after only 10 years, despite not having spoken any Chinese before. How did he do that? Ricci did it with the help of the Memory Palace technique. But more than just use the techniques personally, get this: As Jonathan D. Spence writes in The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci: “…Ricci taught the Chinese how to build a Memory Palace”. Why The Memory Palace Is Better Than Rote Learning During that time, the Chinese had their own diligent study methods that used repetition and recitation as memory aides. This was coupled with mnemonic poems and rhyming jingles that were part of the traditional Chinese memory practice. “To everything that we wish to remember, we should give an image; and to every one of these images we should assign a position where it can repose peacefully until we are ready to reclaim it by an act of memory,” wrote Ricci in his Treatise on Mnemonic Arts. Ricci suggested 3 locations for these “mental” buildings – they could be based on real buildings one has seen, they could be imaginary locations or a mix of both. Ricci’s memory training techniques helps with memorizing entire books and large volumes of vocabulary. What’s more? He also developed a means for memorizing how to write in Chinese. Memory champions who participate in China’s popular reality and talent show – The Brain – have used Memory Palaces (probably evolved versions of Ricci’s system) to memorize decks of cards or information about airline flights. In each episode, seven contestants must perform mental challenges like memorizing the names and birthdays of over 900 infants or solving a series of Rubik’s Cube completely blindfolded in under five minutes. For more, check out this video of the first episode of Season 1 of The Brain: https://youtu.be/oNF4kgw4YEE?t=1 How To Memorize A Deck Of Cards Chinese Style – Fast! Want to know what system Chinese mnemonist Wang Feng uses to memorize a deck of cards? Feng, who is two-time winner of the World Memory Championships, uses a technique similar to Ricci’s to exploit the brain’s natural ability to memorize images and locations. To memorize the order of a deck of cards, Feng first gives each card a two digit number. Next he turns that number into an image and then puts that image in familiar location – from where he can retrieve it easily when needed. Notice the similarity with Ricci’s Memory Palace system? Now that you know it, you toocan modify Ricci’s system to build your own memory training course (like making a gym in your own mind for mental fitness). Or you can create Memory Palaces the Magnetic Memory Method way. Ultimately, I believe the Magnetic Memory Method approach is better for most learners. Why? Because it not only helps you remember the information faster, but also helps you get predictable and reliable permanence that grows in strength with practice. But more about that later. Let’s turn now to: 2. Mongolia: The Genghis Khan Way To Brain Strength The founder of the Mongol Empire – Genghis Khan – would probably be delighted to know that in some of the most recent world memory statistics, ten of the top 50 people are his descendants! Mongolia – home to one of the world’s last nomadic cultures – wants to be a titan in the obscure world of mental athletics and is using mental athletics as a nation building exercise. At the Mongolian Intellectual Academy, students are taught to flawlessly remember the Periodic Table of Elements and other brain feats by using the same principles that govern the Memory Palace technique – linking unfamiliar words and numbers to familiar mental images or stories that can be ingrained in a person’s long-term memory. The teacher points to the periodic table and moves through the first column turning letters and numbers into vivid and outrageous images. The visuals are accompanied by an engaging story that offers a way to remember the name of the element, its atomic number and its atomic mass. When asked to recall the period table memorized using this mnemonic technique, there are virtually no errors! Impressive accuracy aside, the Mongolian team still faced tough competition in the 2015 Extreme Memory Tournament. The opponents were: Simon Reinhard, the world’s fastest card memorizer and the reigning XMT Champion; and Alex Mullen, the 2015 World Memory Champion. Despite the steep competition, using memory palace training exercises paid off for 17-year-old first-time competitor Enhkjin Tumur, who set a tournament record by recalling 30 images in 14.4 seconds. 3. Canada: A Hunter-Gatherer Memory Technique Two time Guinness World Record holder for being able to memorize 59 decks of cards in order, Dave Farrow, is a Canadian who has either invented or improved some memory training techniques to remember information and recall them with ease. One method that Farrow uses is the Peg System –  where you memorize a list of information by linking or pegging them with words or numbers you already know. You literally hang information on a number. This is what Farrow says about his memory technique: “Memory techniques work by taking advantage of a natural mechanism in the brain that we all have that allows us to memorize information without any repetition. It’s a hunter-gatherer fight or flight mechanism—if you needed repetition to remember where you saw that predator, you would not be alive anymore. What I do and what I teach people how to do is trick the brain into triggering that mechanism at will.” How To Use Colors To Remember Numbers Another method I’ve heard Farrow talk about is sometimes called the Alpha Numeric Spectrum system.  This approach uses numerical and phonetic codes to memorize numbers and recall them with ease. It uses an arrangement like this (you can create your own version): 1 = red 2 = orange 3 = yellow 4 = green 5 = blue 6 = purple 7 = brown 8 = silver 9 = gold 0 = black Why Are There So Many Memory Training Techniques?  As we come to the end of this first part of a two part series on memory training techniques around the world, you might be wondering… How on earth did so many memory techniques proliferate. Well, the truth is that there really aren’t that many differences between how memory techniques have been used around the world. Rather, there exists a limited set of varied approaches that different people use according to their learning styles. Remember when we talked about the Magnetic Modes above? Well, it turns out that the precise approach a person using memory training techniques chooses has a lot to do with how the Magnetic Modes match up with their learning style. But if one important aspect binds them all together, it is the use of spatial memory to create Memory Palaces. So come back next week for the second part to see how memory training techniques work in Germany, Japan, the UK and the USA. There are more tips and surprises that you can use to help guide your practice. Stay tuned! Yours Free: A Private Course With Cheat Sheets For Becoming A Memory Master, Starting From Scratch. >>> Click Here For This Special Free Offer.


4 Jan 2018

Rank #3

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How To Combine Mind Mapping And Memory Palaces With Phil Chambers

You’ve heard about Mind Mapping and Memory Palaces, right? Well, if you’re anything like the hundreds of people who have emailed me about it, you’ve probably wondered … “Can I bring Mind Mapping and the Memory Palace together?” To help me answer the question, I asked the reigning World Mind Mapping champion Phil Chambers to talk about Mind Mapping and how to bring this creativity, memory and learning tool together with a Memory Palace. Turns out that we had a lot more than just that to talk about. Tune in to this episode of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast and learn all about. How To Combine Mind Mapping And Memory Palaces With Phil Chambers ⊕ The techniques Phil uses in his personal daily memory practice. ⊕ How to capture and store ideas using memory techniques – even when you’re driving. ⊕ The number-rhyme technique to take action on to-do list items. (Not to be mistaken for the Major Method/Major System.) ⊕ The perfect Mind Mapping definition and where to learn more about mind mapping techniques ⊕ Why there are always new things to explore in the world of memory techniques. Once you start using them, you will never cap out on new angles to explore and increase your skills. ⊕ The difference between semantic memory and episode memory and how using the journey method capitalizes on the power of both. This is the most “natural” way to use your memory. Hanging out with Phil Chambers and Tony Buzan ⊕ The reasons why memory competition skills translate directly into every day memory needs we all face. ⊕ Why the principles behind Mind Mapping never changes, but Mind Mapping software continues bring new enhancements to the art and craft of this thinking, learning and planning tool. ⊕ Details on how to bring Mind Mapping together with the Memory Palace technique. ⊕ Why and how Mind Mapping uses all of the classic memory techniques. ⊕ The major criticism about memory techniques as regurgitation of knowledge and not learning – and why it’s misguided. ⊕ Why Phil’s title as a World Mind Mapping champion is up for grabs and exactly how to take his title. ⊕ The exact criteria by which world class Mind Mapping is judged. ⊕ Why you should never worry about your artistic ability when creating Mind Maps. ⊕ Phil’s Mind Mapping examples of how to schedule your week and get more done. ⊕ How Mind Mapping your daily schedule gives you many more details than a to-do list. Not only that, but you’ll often be able to double your efforts in ways you wouldn’t have otherwise seen on a page with linear notes. Further Resources https://youtu.be/VW6O2okqmO4 Phil Chamber’s website (where you can subscribe to his newsletter!) Phil Chambers on Twitter Phil Chambers on YouTube Phil Chambers Talks About The Outer Limits Of Memory Skills https://youtu.be/LOKi8pe7C8M


8 Dec 2016

Rank #4

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The Only 4 Memory Improvement Systems You Need

I’m a pretty calm and relaxed guy. But if there’s one word related to memory improvement that drives me bonkers, it’s “system.” And you’ve probably heard me talk all about why I don’t teach a comprehensive memory system like some of the others on the market. Nothing about my refusal to offer a memory improvement system is ever going to change. The truth, reality and scientifically demonstrated fact about your memory is this: No One On Planet Earth Can Give You A Memory Improvement System!  Oh, but they’ll promise, which is exactly why I created this Memory Training Consumer Awareness Guide. (Side note: Can you believe that’s way back to Episode 9 of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast! Thanks to your support, you can click the audio above to listen to this post as episode 180!) Here’s The Bloody Truth No One Else Will Tell You Although you do need memory systems of a sort, YOU need to learn how to create them. And then you need to follow through and actually create them. That’s right. YOU. And if you do it right, you’ll discover that you, like me, will also think about the word “system” very differently. And here’s the very good news: Right Thinking About Memory Systems Will Solve All Your Memory Problems And Pains – FAST! And once you’ve come to share my admittedly biased (but always Magnetic) opinion that the only memory systems that matter are the ones you create yourself … You’ll be a master of your memory. The only question is … What are these memory systems that you need so badly? I’m glad you asked. There are just 4. They’re simple to understand, fast to get in place for yourself and super-easy to use. It all begins with … #1: A Location-based Mnemonic System Not such a sexy term, is it? Well, don’t fret. It has many other names. Looked at from the top, there are oodles of mnemonics out there, ranging from rhyming to creating crazy images that you let float in the void of your mind. Many people experience all kinds of success with the different kinds of mnemonics to choose from. But most people can’t just create a mnemonic and then toss it out into the void of their mind. They need to connect their Magnetic Associations to something in the world. Like a location. There are other kinds of locations that are more abstract, like Virtual Memory Palaces, but here’s the truth: Keeping It Concrete And Real Works Best For The Vast Majority Of People And that’s why having a system for creating Memory Palaces is so powerful. You can create them strategically by building up a storehouse in advance. Or you can create Impromptu Memory Palaces anywhere, at any time, completely on the fly. The trick is to know how to create them. And know how to create them well. If you haven’t taken the Magnetic Memory Method free video course, it’ll walk you through everything you need to know. (Hint: Just click that big subway image above or subscribe above and I’ll send you this course for FREE.) And then, Bang Presto! You’ll be a Master of the first memory system you need to succeed! Just make sure you ground it on a memory method. #2: You Need An Encoding System Once you’ve got a reliable way of creating the Memory Palaces you need, you next need a systematic way to encode the information you want to learn. It helps if you’ve got that information organized. That way you can quickly “map” it onto any Memory Palace. Luckily, a lot of information comes pre-organized for us, so you can easily use the How to Memorize A Textbook training to tap into that raw power. And have a goal. An outcome. A realistic target that you actually want to hit. From there, you just need to be able to look at a piece of information and associate it with something else. Ideally that “something else” should hit a number of characteristics. It should be: Deeply familiar Colorful Big Bright Dynamic Capable of interaction And don’t worry if you’re not a visual person (#noexcuses). Here’s the final word on that strange objection to using memory techniques: https://youtu.be/2l1DJXZyHmM Example of an image that fits all the characteristics defined above? Well, let’s take Homer Simpson. Are you deeply familiar with him? I sure am. He’s got the world’s worst memory, after all: https://youtu.be/KVyr-39IhNM But if you’re not familiar with Homer, you can probably name some other cartoon character. Bugs Bunny, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Fred Flinstone … The options are endless. And if that character, actor, politician, musician or even your least favorite aunt can move around in space (such as within a Memory Palace) … You can create a system for pumping out oodles of characters like these to help you encode information you don’t know with information you already do. You see, it’s association that makes things more memorable. And you can develop a system for making associations very fast. You’ve just get to set aside any fear that you can’t do it and get started doing it. That’s the secret of success. #3: A Decoding System You know, there are people out there willing to argue about whether students who use memory techniques spend too little time on encoding or decoding. The argument is a waste of time! What matters is how much time YOU spend on it relative to the results YOU want to experience. And so once you’ve started using the encoding system I’d love to teach you to create for yourself, you can then create a decoding system. As you work with these two systems, you’ll soon learn about your precise needs. You’ll discover where our strengths lie and what you can do to “bulk up” any memory muscles that might need a bit more grit. And that comes from just showing up mentally in one of your Memory Palaces. Looking around at the images you encoded there and then decoding them. In other words, if Homer Simpson is pounding the snot out of Bugs Bunny … Why on earth did you choose those images to associate with what information? Ask the right questions like Sherlock Holmes and you’ll become so good at decoding the little mysteries you’ve left in your own head … You’ll soon be in danger of never forgetting any information again! But don’t worry. That won’t amount to photographic memory. There’s no such thing and because you created these memory systems, YOU will always be in control. Unless, of course, you don’t have … #4: A System For Maintaining A Healthy Brain Far too many people abuse their brains. Sugar. Dehydration. Inadequate sleep. Couch potato lifestyle. Ironically, even with all that negative abuse of your brain and body going on … mnemonics will still help. But you know, the beauty of memory techniques working under adverse conditions aside … The real glory comes from how great it feels to live in an optimized brain and body. The kind of place that the human being truly can grow and thrive. And so the success of the other three systems truly does rest on what you do to take care of your brain. Because those other systems you create? They LIVE in your brain. And you have the choice to create them on shaky ground or steadfast bedrock. If you want to get started helping your brain right away, here’s my go-to list of Foods That Improve Memory. They’re all super-tasty. Inexpensive. And your brain will love you for eating them. No Use Hoping, Wishing And Praying I sometimes hear from people who say they “hope” these memory techniques I teach will work for them. Sorry. No. That’s not the way this game works. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa_ArlEoDTs That’s like buying a piano and saying, “I hope one day this piano will play me.” The way memory techniques work is that you learn how to create your own memory systems. Then you fuel those systems with information you want to remember. Along the way, you learn to become a great master of those systems. And because you’re the one who built them, you own them. That means all the profit of knowledge, fluency in languages and time-saved because you know all your passwords and bank account numbers goes directly to you. The Boss. Of Your Own Head. What do you think? Could you possibly learn to create and maintain 4 simple systems? To put it another way … If I were the Morpheus of Memory … Could you be the One? https://youtu.be/RhlXqYiTz2Q


6 Jul 2017

Rank #5

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Extreme Memory Improvement With Memory Champion Nelson Dellis

This Man Shows You How To Unlock The Extreme Power Of Your Memory https://youtu.be/ESGEW_uK1Jg Interested? I thought you might be. The man in question is Nelson Dellis. He climbs mountains,memorizes playing cards underwater and works to solve Alzheimer’s by collecting data through the Extreme Memory Challenge. Take it now. https://youtu.be/cLER4epHBlM Not only does Nelson use his memory talents to create good in the world, he’s also on a mission to help and inspire you to do the same. Because the fact of the matter is, when you have improved memory skills, you won’t be able to stop yourself from contributing to the world at a higher level. Just remember … With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility Please enjoy this episode of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast by downloading the MP3 and listening to it. You’ll find the full transcript down below with some links throughout to help continue your education into the world of Extreme Memory Improvement. Let’s get started and feel free to download the entire transcript as a PDF to your desktop for future reference. Anthony: Nelson, it’s great to be able to speak with you. I’ve been following some of the things you’ve been doing for quite some time. Maybe, just for people who don’t know you, give a brief overview of what got you interested in memory and how you came to achieve what you’ve done and take it to the level of basically bringing social good out of the achievements you’ve had with memory. Nelson: Yeah, you know this all started back when my grandmother was struggling with Alzheimer’s as she lived in Europe. I wouldn’t see her all the time but I think that made a bigger  impression on me because I would go visit every six months to a year and she had drastically changed, deteriorated immensely. That made a big imprint on me. Then she passed away the summer of 2009. At that point, I had kind of dabbled in memory. I decided to take what I had read about and really drive it home and see if I could, at a young build a strong memory, a healthy brain, and I set the goal of myself winning the memory championship. That seemed like a good milestone to try to get to and to judge, test, and base all of my training scores on. I did, and I got very good at it and all motivated by my progress and eventually I ended up winning the U.S. Memory Championship four times. That’s now what I do. I teach people how to unlock their memories. Anthony: That’s very cool and you know one of the things that is so extraordinary is that you also turn it into social good, which we’ll talk about. Talk a little bit about the book that you’re working on and who it is for and why developing memory abilities is so important for the audience that you’re creating it for. What If Memorizing Could Be The Most Exciting Activity In The World? Nelson: You know I still get a lot of people who approach me and talk about their father, their mother, or grandmother has early onset or has Alzheimer’s, and they ask me if it’s something that I can train their parents to improve their memory. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about that. In my opinion, I think learning these memory techniques is a habit thing. You’ve got to learn it, I think, at an early age. That is something that just sticks with you. When you go into your higher education, you already know how to memorize. It is a skill that you were given in school. Right now, obviously, you see if you have a class or a teacher who gives you tips on how to improve your memory you just do it. Memorize this song. You go home. You struggle with it. You repeat it over and over and then you come back and you’re excited and it’s the most frustrating process. What if you lived in an age where your teachers actually had a class or spent some time teaching you memory techniques at a young age? When it would come to that poem or med school textbook that you’ve got memorize, you would have some toolbox in your brain to figure that out faster and more efficiently. I’ve been working on a book. I actually wrote a book, it’s not published yet for normal people of normal age. The one I’m really excited about is this one I’ve been working on for kids which is teaching them memory techniques at a very young age. It’s geared towards a first grader in a picture book style. Because I feel like if you can get that in the head of a kid who already has a fantastic imagination and memory, that those things could stick with them and help them be successful throughout life. Anthony: I think that’s fundamental because often adults feel that they have lost their creativity somehow. It’s pounded out of them through work or whatever the case may be. How do you think the people could resuscitate creativity if they felt that they have lost it? The Truth About Memory Techniques And Creativity Nelson: I know that feeling. I have felt it myself over the years. A lot of people tell me creativity is hard for me. It is hard for me to do these techniques, for example, which take a lot of creativity and imagination, but I honestly believe that anybody can do this. If you’re not good at, or if you think you’re not good at being creative, I think it’s one of those things it is practice. I was always pretty good. I was very artistic, but I would still say I’m not the most creative person. I knew a lot of people who were a lot more creative than me. When I first heard about these techniques, a little bit skeptical and maybe thought okay this might not be up my alley or something that I might be good at, but with all the practice I’ve done, yeah, I’m practicing memory techniques, but for sure I’m also practicing creativity techniques. My mind is, I feel now, way more creative than it was six or seven years ago when I started this. Anthony: I’m curious about your process if we can talk shop a little bit. One of those issues really is being creative. I’ve always thought that, and I encountered this in Harry Lorayne is you’re just doing associations. At so many levels, creativity really isn’t the issue. It’s more of being able to pool associations together so like famous actors or politicians or football players or whatever. I’m just curious to what extent you rely on information that you already know like pop culture images, or whatever the case may be, as opposed to things you invent on the fly or fantasy images that are not really reality so to speak. Nelson: Well, when I train for these memory competitions there’s a few events. One of them is the deck of cards. How fast can you memorize them? They give you a massive number and you’ve got five minutes to memorize as much of it as you can. For things like that, I have systems where they are already set out. I sat down one day and decided to give each three-digit number 000 to 999 a specific person. When I came up with that list and when I use it, it’s all celebrities, fictional cartoon characters from books, shows, people, friends that I know. They’re all associations to things that I already know. There are other events where you have to kind of make stuff up on the fly, for example, a list of words or names. Most of that is where you have to be very creative because you don’t know what you’re going to get. You’ve got to come up with the pictures, but what I do is I’ll look at a pair of words or a name and a last name, and I’ll come up with that association to something I know but on the fly. If I can’t, then I break it down into something smaller that is recognizable. That’s always the process  is to break it into something I know. It’s still a creative process whether you already have associations to things or not because you still have to interweave those images with, for example, a Memory Palace or some narrative that is totally make believe. Why You Should Go Climb A Mountain If You Want To Find More Memory Palaces Anthony: To what extent do you prefer Memory Palaces based on real locations you’ve actually visited to just made up Memory Palaces, or even based on places that exist but you’ve never been to. Nelson: Right. I know some people who do all those that you mentioned. I’m more of the real places that I’ve been to and had a memorable experience there. To me, I love going to these places. I climbed Everest a few years ago, and I have a Memory Palace where I’m on the mountain going through base camp and the higher camps and all that. I love the fact that when I train I get to go to that place. I think that’s very important at least for me to make my memories, when I memorize stuff, that much more memorable. I do know some people who use video game settings or even fictional rooms. They maybe design them on their computer or draw it or whatever. It is not a real place but it works. Anthony: One question a lot of people have is can you reuse a Memory Palace and what’s your experience with that? Nelson: When I’m training, I do multiple decks a day so I’ve got to have a large collection of Memory Palaces. If I were to have just one and I use it over and over and over again, I’m going to get some echoes and some confusion. I’m sure if you practice, you could probably eliminate some of that. I like to have fresh Memory Palaces come competition time. I’ll use a few and then leave those alone for a few days while I use other ones and then cycle back to them so that they empty themselves out. That being said, if I have something that I want to memorize forever  so this is what I’m talking about for training is temporary. I’m memorize a deck of cards, I recite it and then I don’t really care to keep that particular deck of cards any longer. It’s meaningless almost. That’s why I cycle through them. If it is some trivia set or something for school or something really important that I want to keep forever, then I typically take or design or find a Memory Palace specifically for that information and I use it only for that. I would never tape over it. I’ll just use it as this hard drive, external hard drive, if you will, to store that piece of information. Anthony: How often do you feel you need to revisit or rehearse that information or to keep it fresh and overcome the forgetting curve? Nelson: You know, probably when you start out review is essential frequently, but over time it’s something I – maybe every six months I’ll go back and check it out. If there are gaps in it, I can go back and kind of relearn it just to solidify it. Why The Real Magic Of Memory Is In Keeping It Real Anthony: Do you ever experiment with adding a condition to a Memory Palace so you can reuse it? I’m sure you are familiar with the procedure of taking an original Memory Palace and then having a version made out of ice, a version made out of wood, grass, or maybe there would be a blue version, a red version and a yellow version. You ever mess around with that stuff? Nelson: Yeah, I’ve heard of that. More like you make it big or you imagine yourself miniature inside of it or something. I’ve heard of that. I’ve never actually tried it. I don’t know. I just like to do it as real as the place is. Anthony: Right, that’s exactly how I like to work as well. One thing too, just if we can be nerdy about this a little bit more, I’m curious do you see yourself walking through the Memory Palace? Do you have a first person viewpoint or is it like a bird’s eye view of a blueprint? How is it working for you, or do you do all three in different situations? Nelson: I’m not there. I guess its first person but looking at a location in this Memory Palace and something is happening there. It’s not like it’s me seeing it. It’s just like a security camera. Anthony: Yeah, that’s cool. I mean that is just one question that I get again and again is how that people are supposed to navigate it and how they’re supposed to see it. I often try to encourage them to not see it at all but rather think of it as a star in a constellation that you’ve carefully crafted and reduce the reconstruction of the Memory Palace to the bare minimum so you can focus on those weird and crazy images that you’ve put there. Nelson: Yeah, it’s an interesting thing. I don’t really think about whether I see it or who is seeing it or what angle it is. It’s just I just think of that slot, I create the image, and I move along. How To Snag Anything You Want To Memorize By Associating It With Feelings Anthony: That must be important for speed since you’re often engaging in speed drills. Nelson: Yeah, when you first start out you linger and you make sure you have it in your head, but as you try to cut down your times to get faster at this process you really have to, like you said, cut these images down to their bare minimum where it’s almost just a fleeting part of that image. We were talking about it last week. There was a UK Championship and some of us were saying that it’s almost a feeling. When you get fast at it, and that’s honestly, we go really fast and sometimes we forget things. When you have a really good run through say a deck of cards and it’s fast, what you’ll find is like the images that you were picturing were just all feeling. There’s my dad at this location. It’s not him per se at this point. It’s the essence of him or I guess how he makes me feel when he’s in my presence. Whatever, but he’s there. Which is interesting because when I first tell somebody how to do this technique, I tell them to sit there, close their eyes, really imagine your dad, if that’s what you’re picturing, his hair, how he smells, how he talks, all these little details to make that image memorable. Once you get faster at it, you’ve got to cut some of that out and really just cling on to the things that are what make it stick. Anthony: One of the things that I think pushes people away from these extraordinary techniques is the element of let’s call it rigorous cartoon violence. To what extent do you find that’s necessary or are you able to use softer, gentler imagery to trigger the target information. How To Safely Use Your Taboos For Extreme Memory Boosts Nelson: Yeah, it’s funny. I did a talk once, and I feel like a lot of my images are violent/sexual. I’m not a violent person by nature but my images they tend to be. I was leading an audience through an example and one woman just couldn’t get it, and she was like I just can’t picture gruesome things. I just can’t do it. What she did from then on, she was a very spiritual person, she kind of related it all back to religion and that seemed to work for her. What I pull from that is that everybody’s minds are different. I often encourage that you should go for pictures that are bizarre and silly, over the top and if you can, sexual or gruesome, grotesque in nature just because those stick because of them being so out there and loud. For me, I think that’s an important part. For numbers and cards, I have actions that are violent or sexual for sure. Anthony: But you still manage to be a good citizen of the planet? Nelson: Yeah, I’ve heard people say I don’t want to do that because I feel like it will take over my mind and I’m going to become a bad person, but that never happens. Is Every School In The World Evil For Not Teaching Memory Techniques To Children?  Anthony: Going back to the book for young people and the issue of getting them young to at least have exposure to these techniques, a lot of people ask me and have probably asked you. It’s one of the biggest questions. Why aren’t these memory techniques taught in school? It’s really easy to fall back on the idea, and there’s probably a truth to the idea, that we are stuck in a Victorian education system that was designed to create obedient factory workers and so forth. What’s you’re take on it? Nelson: It’s interesting because on the flip side every time I go up to a school or university and I demonstrate or I talk to someone who has seen what I can do and they want me to come talk about it at the school, there’s always an excitement for it. They can’t believe it’s not in their school, that kids don’t know about. But then what happens is, we get down the road, conversations, I do a few little talks and there’s times maybe working together involving these techniques into the curriculum and then it falls flat. I don’t understand it. It recurs a lot. It’s just a funny thing. I guess memory because it’s so abstract I guess in a way and it’s not as tangible as say math. You can write your solutions on the board and then the work can stepped out. Whereas memory is very – everybody like I was talking about before is very different. You can’t really see how another student is memorizing. You guide them and hope that they’re following along. I don’t know if that’s the reason why it still hasn’t caught on. I’ve been at this for a number of years and I’ve had so many people interested and promises and ideas and they just – some have gone through of course but not as many as I would like. You know at first I did this just because it was a personal thing. I wanted to improve my memory and my brain health. Then I realized it’s a bit hard to train when you don’t have kind of the end goal. With memory improvement, if I want to have a competition what am I really training for? Yeah to improve my mind, fine, but I’m a very quantities person so how do you measure that. When is it good enough? To be honest, I don’t know actually have the answer. But at least with the memory championships I knew numbers and times that I had to achieve in order to be competitive for the title. That kept me very motivated in terms of driving me to compete. Why Advanced Memory Skills Are The Best Addiction You’ll Never Want To Kick The thing is this stuff is so addicting. Once you realize you have this power to memorize more than you ever thought you could, and then you train and get even faster it, it’s a hard thing to let go of and then when you see other people in your circle, your memory circle improving you want to stay up with them especially when you are already at the top. That’s my problem right now. I won it four times, and I keep saying I’m going to stop because I don’t want to end up losing. I always wrestled with that problem. Do I keep training? And if I do, I’ve got to train harder because the competitive levels keep rising versus just calling it quits. I’m just doing it for myself. Anthony: Have you ever plateued? Nelson: Oh yeah, I’m at a pretty big plateau or I have been this past two years. I think a lot of it has to do with difference in motivation from previous years. Whereas before I never won, I wanted to win, and then I won. I wanted to win again and then I lost the next year so I wanted to come and win that time. Now it’s like okay four is a good number. Why would five be any better? Do I really have to train that hard anymore? When you have that feeling that’s when you plateau. You’re not really trying to find new avenues to get better because where you’re at has been good enough. I don’t know how I won the U.S. Championship this year because – well I did very well in the names, but something I used to be the best at which is numbers and cards I was okay. Lance Tschirhart, another American, he broke the U.S. record 29 seconds in cards which is crazy. I’ve done that once in training. Then 360 digits, I’ve done that in training but never in competition. I need to push forward to break this plateau. I’m kind of where I was  around 300, around 30 seconds for cards. I need to change some things, which I’ve started to do and I’m seeing improvements now. It’s been a lot of work to break this particular plateau. Anthony: What does a typical training session look like? Is there a fixed daily routine or how do you drill yourself to reach something like the 30-second area for 52 cards? The Best Memory Routine Advice You’ll Ever Get Nelson: It depends on where I am in terms of what’s coming up. Is there a memory competition down the road or is it off-season so to speak. I used to just train always. Like four to five hours a day, I’d do sets of numbers, cards, names, words, just every day. Then I pulled back a bit. I think after I won in 2014 it was the first time I took break and I didn’t touch anything for like six months, which made it really had to get back into. Now that I’m training for The World Memory Championships, which has more different or varying disciplines, I have a lot more to train. I’ll kind of split up my weeks by Monday/Wednesday, Tuesday/Thursday and then Friday and one of the weekend days I kind of leave for experimenting and working on systems. All the days I will usually do speed numbers and speed cards, just memorizing cards and numbers. Then on the Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’ll work on the longer disciplines. In the World Championships, they test you for an hour on how many numbers you can memorize and how many packs of cards you can memorize. I work on that. It just ends up being, when I’m really down to it, a five-hour training day. Anthony: Wow! That sounds intense. Given that amount of investment, do you think memory competitions should be included in the Olympics, or do you have any ideas why it isn’t already in the Olympics? Nelson: Yeah, I think so. I think the reason why it’s not though is because it’s horribly boring to watch. That’s not to say that you can’t make it exciting. I’m working on that, but the World Championships is extremely boring to watch. I love to compete in it of course, but compared to staring at someone for three days straight for eight hours a day watching them stare at a piece of paper taking tests. How To Make Dudes And Dudettes Memorizing Stuff Look Sexy, Stimulating And Exciting As All Hell That’s not the most exciting sport to watch but there’s a memory tournament that I created two years ago called the Extreme Memory Tournament and we try to make it somewhat of a spectator sport. I think we’re doing a good job so far. The XMT, as we call it, is a two-day competition and everything is digital first of all. It’s all one-on-one matches. Everybody who is competing is split up into groups kind of like the World Cup. On Day 1, you play everybody in your group in each of the disciplines. There are cards, numbers, words, names and pictures. They are all short disciplines like one-minute memorization. The cool thing is – so I’m going up against you for example. Let’s say we’re memorizing a deck of cards. Here we are on our laptops racing through this deck of cards as fast as possible and on the screen it’s broadcasted to the audience so people can see exactly how fast I’m going through my deck of cards versus you. Who finishes first and then during recall while constructing those decks, trying to remember their correct order, it’s who can get the most right. If we both got it right, who did it faster? It makes it very visual. It’s short. It’s exciting. It’s this battle. It’s not so much test taking anymore versus  there’s a little bit of strategy involved and it’s a lot more exciting that way. Anthony: That sounds like it would be very exciting. Like speed chess basically. Nelson: Yeah. Anthony: Cool, well speaking of the word extreme, and your predilection for names talk about the Extreme Memory Challenge and the research that’s going on that you’re involved in. Are There Genetically Superior Memorizers Roaming The Planet? Nelson: Going back to this tournament, we started it because this company called Dart Neuroscience, they’re in San Diego. They were doing some research with Washington University in St. Louis, and I was part of that study amongst other memory experts. What they’re trying to do is to try to find and create a drug that improves memory and brain health and cognition. Not an easy task, but they have a lot of their funds going into a lot of universities for research and they’re doing their own research as well. I’ve worked with them obviously to help put together the tournament. They were the key sponsor those two years we ran it. They are also working, and I’m helping them with this because I totally want it to succeed, is they developed a memory test. It is long-term memory test, and they’re just trying to get a million at least, honestly as many people to take the test as possible. The idea being we’re trying to locate or identify people who have naturally good long-term memories. That’s a very rare thing to find. Maybe not even somebody who we’ll find, but you will only know if you get enough people. Once we find those people, we’ll be able to do a lot of DNA testing to figure out what separates these people from the norm. That’s the idea. It’s called Extreme Memory Challenge. It’s a pretty easy fun test. It doesn’t hurt. It’s easy. You’re helping research and if anybody is listening to this, I would love for you to just take the test and share it. The more people that take it the better and you can actually see how you compare to me. I’ve taken the test as well. Anthony: We know that there are people who are extraordinarily good with mnemonics, mnemonists, and are you split testing them so that you have results from people who aren’t using mnemonics compared to those who are to take the test. Nelson: At this point, we’re just honestly getting as many people to take the test. Once we have people who have scored highly, we’ll be more careful in how we weed those people out. That’s when we’ll investigate further whether they were using memory techniques or not. The goal is to find the people who were not using memory techniques. Right now, we’re just trying to get people to do well on the test. Anthony: What do you think about the claims and the studies that say technology is now doing so much of our memory work that we’re going in the opposite direction where our memories are degrading? Have you found that for yourself and had that observation? The Most Outrageously Powerful Definition About Memory Is Just One Word Long Nelson: Definitely. The one thing I’ve learned about memory through this whole journey is that it’s attention. That’s all it is. When you talk about techniques, Memory Palaces and number systems all you’re doing at the very basis of it all is paying a lot of attention to something. You’re building this elaborate system for one specific thing. You’re sitting there thinking about it really hard. That’s paying attention to something and that’s what memory is. If you’re not paying attention to something, somebody says something that you should remember you’re not going to remember it. This era is all distractions. Just think of when you’re out having a conversation with a friend. You usually have your phone out, whether it’s on the table or in your hand or in your pocket. It’s going off, it’s lighting up. Maybe theirs is lighting up to, versus when you would actually go out with someone back in the day, and you maybe didn’t have text messages awhile back. You’d have to say we’ll meet here at this time. You did and then actually paid attention to that person. That exchange was probably more memorable or easier to remember than ones you have these days because of that technology. I definitely believe that this day and age it is so hard to pay attention to things. We’re constantly being bombarded. It’s just making memory that much more difficult. We don’t have to use it as much as well, so all that together just kind of makes our memories so along this journey as well I try to figure out a way to give back and to educate people on all the things I have kind of figured out. As we talked about before, it’s shocking that this stuff isn’t in schools and that people don’t know about it. We all can do it. It’s all latent within us, the skill. I tried to figure out a way. How can I share this with people? I thought okay maybe I can create a blog/website where I post all these kind of tips and talk about memory and how do I make it a little more exciting. I tied it to another passion of mine which mountain climbing. How To Memorize Safely – With Almost No Oxygen In Your Brain! That’s where Climb for Memory came from. I started climbing mountains and updating my blogs about my trips and photos. I was trying to get people to be drawn to the site. Climbing Mt. Everest, things like that, things that people are kind of fascinated by and don’t always get the opportunity to learn about. It’s kind of a diversion. It’s like hey look here, but what you’re really looking at is this cause I’m climbing for, which I also happen to know a great deal about it. Here’s how you memorize this and that and keep your brain healthy. It was an effort to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s and also funds as well. Anthony: If I understand correctly, you’re also doing some experiments and as you climb with different altitudes and how your memory responds or is that something you’re starting in the future. Nelson: Yeah, I’ve done that on some of my higher altitude climbs. Since I train all the time. I kept doing it on these long expeditions. For example, Mt. Everest, not many people know but it’s a two-month expedition, so you’re at high altitude, 17,000 feet or higher for about six weeks there. Your body goes through some serious changes and near the top of the mountain, you’re getting a third of the oxygen you would at sea level. You need oxygen. Your body needs oxygen to function properly and to think straight. If you ever see these videos online of pilots, they simulate oxygen just dropping. They test them and they just become idiots within seconds. It’s crazy. They can’t put a square peg through a square hole. They put it through the triangle you know something like that. They can’t do basic arithmetic. https://youtu.be/_hlnLIwuSEw For climbers, we spend a lot of time acclimatizing so that when we do get to the top we’re not like that. That’s not to say we’re not stupid but we can think a little better. I’ve have been testing that with memory. What’s surprising to me is I’ve actually done as good or better as I went up in altitude. I have no idea why, but I just love to test that kind of stuff to see how these techniques fair with the elements. Anthony: They say that norepinephrine is produced in novel situations, which is thought to be an aid to memory, that chemical in the brain. Nelson: Yeah, I’ve had some thoughts about it, and that’s the one that’s come up. It’s the most extraordinary experience being up there. You put yourself in some really memorable hairy, scary situations constantly for six to eight weeks. You walk away with an experience that is super memorable because of how novel it is, and I’m sure that plays into all your thoughts while you’re up there including when I would do my memory training. How Big Is Your Memory? Anthony: Now you know personally the size and the dimension of Mt. Everest, do you have a sense or a feeling of the size of your memory? Nelson: No, I don’t think so. Obviously, it’s contained to that thing that’s inside my head which has a finite size. But in terms of how many Memory Palaces I can have and how many bits of information I can store there, I have no idea. I mean there can always be some way that I can press information into bigger chunks and Memory Palaces that, like you said, you know you alter things in your Memory Palace and you can memorize something totally new inside of it. Where is the limit? These memory competitions are a great example because when they first started in the early 1990s the records there were, at the time, very impressive, but now they are a joke. At the time, you thought okay you can’t really go that much faster with a deck of cards and then somebody broke a minute. Now people are getting under 30 seconds like it’s the easiest thing in the world and people are approaching the 20second, people even in training getting 19, 18 seconds.  Breaking The Speed Limit Of Memory One Card At A Time Now you’re like, okay I don’t think you can get much faster than that. Who knows, at some point somebody is going to come up with something that allows you memorize a deck of cards in 10 seconds, which is crazy. When does it end? Obviously, you’ve got to look at the cards so there is a limit to that, but in terms of how much you can store and how limitless the memory is, it’s crazy to think about. Anthony: I have an interview on the podcast with Phil Chambers who is chief arbiter of the World Memory Championships … Nelson: Sure, yeah. Anthony: He said that they’re working on an app (I guess it would be) that’s going to be able to show the cards faster than the human hands can move, which it sounds like you already have some version of that if you’re doing a digital read of the cards in your competitions. Nelson: Yeah, I mean that’s what that would be, right. It’s a digital version that you could just click through. There another couple of training sites online that people use, and when we talk about personal bests, who has been able to do this a lot of them are doing faster times on the digital format because you don’t have to like thumb through the deck. You’re just moving an arrow, clicking an arrow to go to the right and you can go a lot faster. Anthony: I think what he was talking about is that they would set a speed so you would not have any manual control over when or for how long the cards were displayed. Do you think you would be able to handle someone else controlling or an automatic process controlling the duration of the exposure? It’s All A Matter Of Training Nelson: It’s all a matter of training. If you tell me you’re going to show me a deck of cards, one every quarter second, okay, I’m going to train that. Maybe I can’t do it immediately. Maybe I’ll train with – well I can do it in about 30 seconds, so maybe that’s approaching a half second per card. I would start there and cut it down. When you put these boundaries and these limitations is when people suddenly improve. You see somebody run the 4minute mile for the first time and then suddenly you can do it as well because it’s possible or it’s a barrier and now people have something to work towards. I don’t think it’s too hard unless you just don’t practice. That’s it. I do a lot of cross training and some of these guys that end up winning, there’s a guy named Rich who won four times in a row. I mean these guys just work day in and day out lifting, working out crazy. I love watching videos of him  just how he trains and his mentality through it. I think that’s the only way to get better is practice with anything, honestly and that’s the biggest thing with memory. People think it’s a natural thing or I have some talent for it naturally. Honestly, I don’t think so. I think it’s training. Yeah, maybe some people need less training to get to where I am or to get even better than me. If you train and you are gung ho and so motivated to do a certain thing, you can do anything. Anthony: Do you have a favorite quote? Nelson: Favorite quote? Yeah, I think every year before the memory championship I always Tweet and stuff. Let me see if I can say it right. It’s dumb, it’s so dumb, but it’s from, what movie is that? It’s one of those movies that came out in the 1990s. It’s a spoof. Anyways, this guy is going out on the football field and he’s kind of down on himself. He doesn’t believe in himself, whatever. He sits on the bench and Mr. T comes up to him who is this high school janitor and he says before he goes out, he like “Believe in the ball and throw yourself.” Which you hear it and it’s like he’s just saying it backwards. https://youtu.be/af_J2e4r328 The guy looks at him kind of confused, but I always loved that because it’s kind of true. I think usually you’re supposed to say believe in yourself and throw the ball, or whatever it is, and that’s how you succeed. I think when you want to succeed you’ve got to train a lot. You’ve got to practice properly. You’ve got to really make this your life if you really want to achieve it. When it comes down to performing in a competition, it’s not about believing in yourself, it’s believing in the thing that you know instinctively. You just believe in the ball and you just throw yourself into it. That’s what I was saying before. When I memorize and I get a really good time, it’s when I thought or memorized the least. It’s like I didn’t even feel like I was memorizing. It was just so natural. That’s what you strive for through your training. That you’ve done it so many times that it’s just a matter of throwing yourself out there and doing what you know. Anthony: Something really interesting came up when you were searching in your mind for the quote and even the movie that it came from, and I was interviewed myself last night and there’s slips of the mind that come. Well, it some book I read at some time at some point, but people seem to expect that people using mnemonics wouldn’t have these same lapses. There’s No Such Thing As A Bullet Proof Memory Champ Do you ever prepare yourself for social situations? Like I presented about language learning and memory techniques at the polyglot conference in Berlin, and I went there prepared because I knew people were going to come up to me and give me some crazy phrase and I would be put on the spot. Of course, I want to demonstrate the validity of these techniques so I was really on the ball. It was successful the whole weekend, but there’s this pressure of performance. Do you ever have that or people throw you curve balls to see where you’re at? They somehow like in an example where you can’t quite recall the name of movie they say come on. What’s your experience with that kind of stuff? Nelson: Yeah, over the years I’ve been caught off guard and kind of made a fool of. I’m not a tape recorder. A lot of these things and you can attest to this, is you’ve got to turn it off. It’s to me a memorizing machine. You’ve got to be actively doing it. Sometimes I just don’t want to do it. I’m tired and don’t want to focus and pay attention. I just want to veg out. When I have these talks I have to be on because I want to practice what I preach and I have little tricks that help me. You know people catch me off guard. Most of all it’s just I turn it off. I really focus on being on point. If somebody comes up where they’re like hey what was your favorite movie and I’m like oh the one with the memory and I can’t remember. It’s just I feel like a situation like that kinds of make me seem human and normal which is what people want to see as well. It’s nice to see someone who seems superhuman, but on some level if there’s too much of that then you almost feel like I can’t do that. I think that’s actually maybe good to motivate someone. It’s like okay. I can do that. It doesn’t seem like he’s 100 percent but it’s still very impressive. Anthony: Speaking about that, a lot of people they doubt themselves, they doubt that it’s possible for them. What do you think is just one little thing that a person could do that would give them a quick victory so they have a taste of what’s possible? Two Ways To Turn Your Memory On And Keep It Humming Nelson: I’ll give you two things. The first one is pay attention. It’s the most elementary thing of course but if I’m telling you that most of memory is paying attention, and you go out and say you have a meeting or a party you’re going to, and you tell yourself I’m going to pay attention and remember ten people’s names. That’s my goal. Make it a game or something. You will. You will just from the fact that you’re telling yourself to do that. You’re wired, you’re turning it on to complete that particular task. You will perform 100 times better than if you just hoped to remember people’s names and you didn’t really think about it. The second thing is the Memory Palace. Think of your house. It’s a quick thing. Think of your house. Start at your front door and whenever you want to memorize a list of things just picture each item along a path of your house. Then when you want to recall it, you just imagine yourself through that house and like you said, you can’t forget how to get from your front door to your bedroom or whatever. You will remember what was there. It’s surprisingly simple and surprisingly powerful as well. Anthony: What’s the one question you wish that someone would ask you about memory that no one ever seems to narrow in on? Nelson: Oh, that’s good. Another question that people should stop asking me and that’s do you play in Vegas? I don’t. I don’t think it would be much of a help to have a good memory there. What’s the one that I hope they would ask me is when can we start training? Anthony: Very good. This has been a wonderful experience getting to speak with you and I know the people who listen to this podcast are going to love it and find it very inspiring. How can people who want to learn more about you, about Climb for Memory, about the Extreme Memory Challenge and your upcoming book, how can they find you online and get in touch with you and maybe there will be some people who love to ask you about hiring your help as a personal trainer. Nelson: Yeah, the easiest way is to Climb for Memory. You can contact me through there. There’s a lot of information on there about memory and my climbs and stuff like that. Then I have my YouTube channel where there are a lot of videos of my climbs and little snippets of memory talks that I’ve done. There’s a lot if you just Google memory. You can throw my name in there too if you want to look at something specifically for me. Otherwise, there’s a lot of memory resources out there these days, there’s no shortage of it. Further Resources Nelson Dellis on Twitter Man With The World’s Strongest Memory Crusades Against Alzheimer’s USA Memory Champion Nelson Dellis On Memory, Tenacity & Conquering Anything on Jonathan Levi’s Becoming Superhuman Podcast Nelson Dellis Interview On The Jeff Rubin Show


24 Sep 2015

Rank #6

Podcast cover

17 Student Fails That Destroy Memory (And What To Do Instead)

It’s no secret that students want to succeed. They really do. Even a former dropout like myself dreamed of getting all A’s during all those years goofing off took precedent over serious study. I just didn’t have the guidance and strategies talented young people need to get the most out of their education. So pay attention, because whether you’re in high school, college, university or taking training for certification … Every Student In The World Can Be The BEST Student In The World! But first, you need to overcome a few problems, such as … The Failure To Make A Cozy Little Study Nest Far too often, students all over the map. They try to read The Canterbury Tales in cafeterias, do math at the mall and even work on programming logo-rhythms in the loo. With rare exceptions, none of these places support extended concentration (more on that topic in a bit). But even if you do study well in a variety of noisy places, having a dedicated and protected area can work miracles for your memory. Why? Humans are creatures of habit, and none of us are stronger than our habits. But when we consistently engage in powerful practices, they guide us to amazing places. How To Find Your Comfort Zone In truth, I don’t know. You’ll need to experiment. And you may need more than one, For me, one of my best study places was Joanne’s closet. She was my main squeeze during my BA years, but for a long time, I was her best-kept secret. One day I didn’t leave her place in time to miss the people who weren’t supposed to see me, however. The only solution in our intellectually intelligent but emotionally immature minds was to hide me in her closet. And that’s where I stayed for a very long time after she threw in my backpack, a blanket and a few pillows. Later, she brought me a flashlight so at least I could read. Over the course of the day, Joanne kept me fed and watered and facilitated the odd trip to the washroom. (Very unusual trips these were indeed!) The Most Unusual Productivity Hack In The World Anyhow, the whole ordeal turned out well because not only was I very comfortable, but I wound up reading a challenging book from cover to cover and getting key points down on index cards. I didn’t know how to memorize a textbook (infographic) back then, but getting that work done in a focused place was such a boon, I’ve been reading in and even writing in closets ever since. Heck, when I was in Gran Canaria, I even recorded two episodes of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast in the closet of my hotel! The point is, you can find a perfect place to snuggle in and get stuff done. If that means hiding from the family of your lover in a dark place, by all means do it. You’ll be pleased by the results that your regular homework, writing and study space brings. Next, don’t fail to … Rack Your Study Schedule Shotgun I know. That’s a slightly violent image. But the reality is that we as students and lifelong learners often fail to follow a planned schedule. And went that happens, it’s impossible to set ’em up and knock ’em down. I’m talking about writing essays with enough time left over to edit them. I’m talking about giving yourself enough time to take a warm up exam before sitting for the one that counts. I’m talking about planning time for fun, relaxation and rest so your brain consolidates all you’re learning. The problem is, so few know … How To Create A Bulletproof Action Plan And Consistently Implement The best tip I know to help you with this one involves two simple sentences. Conquer the Morning. Win the day. Remember when I told you about my Mandarin Chinese Mnemonics And Morning Memory Secrets? Well, I didn’t invent that strategy just for studying Chinese. I’ve been using morning routines for years to get the most important tasks out of the way first. But You’ve Got To Know What Your Most Important Tasks Are! To do that means identifying and setting priorities. If your teacher is any good, you’ll have these loud and clear. For example, with the Magnetic Memory Method, it’s simple: organize the target info, create Memory Palaces or select existing Memory Palaces, encode the info and then use Recall Rehearsal to place it in long term memory. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. But not all teachers know how to help you understand your priorities, so you must make sure you … Stop Failing To Communicate With Your Instructors I know, I know. They’re the teachers and it’s their responsibility to guide you. But in reality, that’s only 50% correct. Every top-notch student needs to meet their instructors halfway. You need to observe where they are failing you and get what you need. Avoid This Student Plague … Like The Plague! Have you ever sat in class with a burning question and yet … you didn’t raise your hand? If so, you’re in the majority. Don’t feel bad. It’s part of the human condition not to want to stand out, or feel stupid or be the first to say something. You might also be wrongly assuming that the teacher will get to what you want to know later anyway. Or maybe you fear that the teacher might be annoyed. Maybe the teacher will show some agitation, but who cares? Their position obligates them to serve you and if you’re worried about the opinions of other students, stop. They’re worried about your opinion of them too. It’s a vicious circle and will get you nowhere. If nothing else, talk to the teacher after class or by email. This low-profile tactic was my favorite and always served me well. It made sure that I never suffered … The Failure To Ask For Special Treatment It’s a little-known fact that you can influence the course of your education and tailor much of it to your needs. For example, one of the most exciting third-year courses I ever took was also … dreadfully dull! It was called Shakespeare’s Contemporaries and the professor taught with such passion, that I couldn’t wait to hear him speak about weirdo playwrights like John Webster and Thomas Kyd. I admired him so much that I asked him to serve on my doctoral defence committee many years later. To my honor, he did. The only problem during that seminar course was … the other students. I’m sorry to say this, but many were duds. They showed up unprepared and didn’t interact with this most excellent professor. As a seminar course, there were no lectures as such and the purpose was to have student-driven discussion. Anyhow, as much as I loved listening to the professor, it also pained me to see him wrestle with my unprepared peers. One day after class, I approached him with trembling hands and asked him one of the most important and powerful questions of my academic life: May I Have Alternative Assignments? Instead of showing up for class to get my participation grade, I wanted to write extra essays to make up for the missing marks. Otherwise, I would need either to skip class or drop the course altogether. Well, the professor seemed to understand exactly my needs and I wound up completing most of that course on my own. I even passed with an A+. I went on to ask that question of professors again and again, ultimately customizing my entire undergraduate and graduate programs entirely to suit my needs – such as spending hours of study time in dark closets. 😉 Speaking of talking with your instructors, you also need to avoid … The Failure To Speak With Other Students About Your Studies Yes, I know. Most of the time, the last thing you want is more of the same after a long session in class. But if you do it right, you can learn more by revisiting your topic with others in some pleasant and exciting ways. For example, after I dropped out of high school and returned, I had my first study partner. We took the advanced literature course instead of normal English 12 and it had so much reading, we split it between us. Leslie would read, for example, John Donne and unpack it for me. I would read the extract from Paradise Lost and lay out all the cool things Satan says when he first lands in the pit. https://youtu.be/GINzUBvQ5nw That way, when I finally got around to reading her half of the load and she to mine, we knew exactly what we were looking for. It was kind of like seeing a movie again for the first time after many years. Plus, we had notes from class to round out our studies and guide our discussions. When it came time to take the tests and write the in-class essays, we were both in top form. We knew the material inside and out. In the years since, I have done this with study groups large and small and we teach each other the key points from books we read. Heck, it even happens in a certain way through the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast, such as when people tell me about the best parts of books they’ve read and I zip out my own study notes. You have heard The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci episode, right? Without Study Groups, Students Fail To Encourage And Motivate Each Other Look, you don’t need to exaggerate it. But if you’re not meeting with other students outside of class, it’s impossible for you to notice when they’ve explained something really well in a relaxed environment. Of course, you can pat each other on the back for things said in class, but it’s not the same thing. Plus, there’s power in generating ideas together. You also get to frame time by meeting on a predetermined schedule and using something like Roberts Rules to control the flow. Study groups can also help you avoid … The Failure To Be Clear And Realistic Yes, it sucks cold beans, but when you’re a student, you’re being measured. And whether you pass or fail, the metrics make a mark and condition your confidence. In this world, you need all the confidence you can get! But by studying together, you’ll also be talking about deadlines and the conditions of the game. This process will keep your eye on the ball and guide you to the target. You just need to avoid … The Failure Of Letting Worry And Stress Rule Your Mind If you’ve been following along, you’re already way ahead on this one. You’ve got a cozy study place, the shotgun of your schedule racked, your teachers in the palm of your hand and a powerful study group. These conditions themselves will reduce stress to a bare minimum. You probably won’t even feel it. But why not take preemptive measures to make sure stress can’t rise up unnoticed? It’s easy if you’ll just meditate, sleep and eat a memory friendly diet. Speaking of diets, to help you sleep, eat better and have way more time, don’t fall prey to the … Failure To Hit The Kill Switch Do you want to choose how to live your life? Or would you prefer to have it chosen for you? Keep watching TV and farting around on social media and you’re giving up your right to be free. I know that sounds harsh, but all appearances suggest that TV, social media and other digital delights like video games and instant messaging create dopamine spikes in the brain. Unfortunately, we get addicted to these, which can reduce concentration and create impulsivity that makes it difficult to get things done. The best way around this? Put Borders Around Your Mind Candy Binges Here’s a simple trick: Just as you should get all the most important activities finished before you switch on the computer and get tossed by the sea of email messages and social media, vow to stop all of it by a set hour. My preference is 9 pm with 10 pm as the absolute maximum outer limit. Sure, I break this rule once in awhile of something needs to get done, but rarely by more than 30 minutes. The rule itself helps to contain any attempts at breaking it. Plus, I watch programs with limits and check Facebook only once a day. Email gets a bit more attention, but even that I try to limit to three sessions per day. Not only that, but my iPhone doesn’t receive calls, receive or send texts or have roaming Internet. It is simply for writing, reading and language study. It truly is a smartphone and I have a tiny old Motorola for handling the rest. You may not want or need to be that extreme, but please, above all, avoid … The Failure To Realize That Focus Is Your Number One Asset As A Student And Lifelong Learner More than that, focus is the future. As more and more things compete for our attention, those who can avoid all the failures discussed in this post will rule the world. Those who sink in the mire of unproductive lives and disorganized confusion will be their slaves. That’s why the penultimate failure is so important to avoid. The Failure To Be Mentored Most students chase after tutors – or get forced into having them by well-meaning parents. Sorry to break it to you, bit most tutoring is a waste of time, money and energy. Why? Because most tutors look at your work and explain it to you. Or they babysit you while you complete tasks you should be able to do on your own. A mentor, on the other hand, doesn’t bother with any of that. A mentor shows you how not to need a tutor at all by modeling effective study skills, lifestyle habits and teacher management. A mentor lives the way you want to be and will never be caught dead lapping up a pay check to tutor others. A mentor is too busy modeling others higher up the ladder and helping those a few rungs down. How do you find a mentor? Well, that’s a topic all on its own, but I recommend taking (Jimmy’s course with Martin). That’ll put you in good stead, and if you execute, you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams with the help of a carefully identified individual who has the qualities and accomplishments to which you aspire. All these things said, above all you need to avoid the most tragic failure of all: The Failure To Develop Your Memory Abilities The most shocking thing in the world is that the simple memory skills that help students the most are taught in schools the least. One can go on and on about why, and perhaps it really is a capitalist conspiracy. But at the end of the day, what matters is that memory improvement help exists. And you can get it right, right now and right here from this website with my FREE Memory Improvement Kit. So what do you say? Are you ready to take action and stop failing as a student? Of course you are. Start using the tips you’ve just learned and achieve the success you deserve. I’m rooting for you! 🙂 Further Resource What If I Wanted To Memorize Entire Chapters From A Textbook https://youtu.be/h0nRcFFn680


8 Apr 2016

Rank #7

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Want Unlimited Memory? Get This Book!

In this episode of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast, we’re looking in depth at the new book Unlimited Memory by Kevin Horsley. The pros, the cons and everything in-between. Program Notes Kevin Horsley’s recent book, Unlimited Memory is worth your time. If you’re a student and user of memory techniques, this written version of the podcast will tell you why. There Are No New Memory Techniques Under the Sun … Or Are There? As most people interested in the art of memory techniques know, there’s nothing new under the sun. The memory improvement methods were invented thousands of years ago and refinements have been slim. But that doesn’t mean that innovations haven’t occurred. Not only that, but memory techniques improve every time someone takes up using them and feels the power of empowered recall. And that’s why no matter where you are in your journey as a memorizer, Horsley’s book merits your full attention. Why? Because if you’ve never learned memory techniques before, his straightforward and energetic manner will serve as a great introduction to memory improvement. And if you’re already an old hat with using mnemonics but have lapsed, Horsley will inspire you to get back in the saddle. New Ways To Think About Old Techniques Plus, you’ll find new ways to think about the techniques. Fresh perspectives can be more valuable than the techniques themselves in some cases if they inspire you to keep going. And the book is filled with great quotes that place memory techniques in interesting new contexts. In fact, every single one is worth committing to memory. Horsley’s quotable too. “Conflict,” he points out, “is the opposite of concentration,” and much of the book talks about removing everything that gets in the way of your progress so that you can focus on. Horsley’s point about conflict in this context should be confused with having conflict in your associative-imagery, however. Although I’m not interested in being critical of the book, it is slim on how to include rigorous to help you a) memorize information and … b) recall it. Mnemonic Examples On Almost Every Page For those who feel the need for examples, you couldn’t find more to choose from. For each principle, you get tonnes of written illustration to imagine along with. From a pedagogical standpoint, this may be overkill and the book lacks some guidance on how to be creative and “see” those images in your mind. In terms of visuals, there are a couple throughout the book, with the illustrations limited mostly to explaining number memorization using the Major Method. I personally like the limited number of illustrations because it is important to recreate what you see in your mind, not what others see. This is why the overkill on text-based images can help you so long as you work at recreating them in your mind. http://youtu.be/lmbpCUrCWdI Use These Powerful Visualization Exercises If you would like some fast and easy exercises for developing your visual imagination, try looking at paintings and then recreating them in your mind. You can also verbally express them on paper in a short paragraph and use what you’ve written as the basis for recreating the imagery in your imagination. And please realize that you don’t need to literally “see” the images in your mind in order to increase your memory power when using this memory technique. It doesn’t have to be high-definition television. Verbal expression in your mind (even without writing the words down) can be just as powerful. But please do work on visualizing. And to develop the skill further, think about what being visual in your mind actually means to you. If you struggle in this area, you might be pleasantly surprised at how simply thinking through this issue and defining what imaginative visuality means to you can give you the basis for truly creating improvement. How To Take Your Brain To The Gym Think of this defining process as laser targeting what’s really going on. It’s kind of like the difference between going to the gym to reduce general flabbiness and getting no results and going to the gym with a trainer who knows exactly which muscles to develop so that you burn the most calories. And of course you need to eat the right foods to support this process, which in the case of developing your visual imagination means looking at art on a regular basis and mentally recreating it. Horsely uses the gym metaphor himself when he talks about memory training. He points out that no one is born ripped out with big muscles. They must be trained. The same goes for memory power. Your mind is a muscle and you can develop it. Even just reading about memory techniques can help, but nothing beats getting into the gym and pumping the iron of actually memorizing information that can help improve your life. The Most Interesting Practice  Items You’ll Ever Find In A Memory Improvement Book And that’s a cool feature of Unlimited Memory. Unlike so many memory training books that guide you through memorizing lists of objects and food items for your next grocery item, Horsely is a bit more creative in his suggested practice items. You’ll have to check him out to see what I mean. You’ll be pleasantly surprised and Unlimited Memory is one of the strongest books you’ll find in the department of giving you great practice material that serves more than one purpose. If you’re looking for in-depth training on Memory Palace construction, you may be a little disappointed, however. The Method Loci is covered, but the instruction lacks the nitty-gritty matters of making sure the path is linear and not crossing your own path. Following these principles will limit confusing yourself and spending unnecessary mental energy while maximizing your attention on decoding the associative-imagery you have no problems finding. Criticisms completed, let’s return to the good stuff – but please don’t let my nitpicking dissuade you from reading Horsely’s Unlimited Memory. It is a powerful resource and I intend these comments to supplement the book rather than poke a stick at it. You can, in truth, never read enough books about memory improvement even if not all of them are created equal. Learn How To Eliminate All Your Negative Memory Beliefs And Unlimited Memory excels in teaching the cost of negative beliefs and replacing them with constructive ideas that propel you into positivity. For example, Horsley encourages you to keep your mind open while showing you all of the little thoughts that are constantly working to shut your open mindedness down. This will help keep you on the path towards experimenting with memory techniques and getting results. Unlimited Memory Is Also An Amazing Research Memory Resource Horsely is also tremendously generous in sharing the books he’s read and the fruits of his research. Not just what he’s read about memory, but self-development books too. You’ll want to supplement your reading of these as well. And this such a powerful area that really makes the difference in a memory book. Without pointing you to other resources, so many books on memory development rob you of the chance to take the next steps in this field of specialization, which will always involve reading one more book. After all, the best books on memory are always yet to come. As Phil Chambers says in this podcast interview, the limits of memory improvement have yet to be reached. And as we push forward into new frontiers, new books documenting and teaching the processes will emerge. I hope Horsely will be there to write again. In sum, Horsely’s Unlimited Memory is a powerful introduction to memory techniques and you cannot go wrong because he points you to other reading and gives you much more interesting examples to start off with. And if you’re already on the path, you’ll find a good review and interesting perspectives. You simply cannot lose by reading Unlimited Memory. Further Reading & Listening Kevin Horsley’s website Remembering the Presidents by Kevin Horsley Moonwalking with Einstein on Amazon The Art of Memory on Wikipedia


9 Jan 2015

Rank #8

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5 Memory Palace Examples To Improve Your Memory Training Practice

Have you been looking for Memory Palace examples? If so, they can be tough to find. And some of the details in a classic text like The Art of Memory by Frances Yates make it all the more so. As she admits, she never actually used the techniques she spent so much time describing. And good visual examples are marred because many come to the memory tradition through Sherlock Holmes, which badly misrepresents it with the term, “Mind Palace.” Plus, people use terms like “peg word system” and “Method of Loci” when looking for Memory Palace training, and it can all get a bit confusing. Although we can’t cover every type of Memory Palace, get this: On this page I’ll give you 5 powerful Memory Palace examples you can use to improve your memory training practice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWd1KaWFBm0 Now that you have enjoyed that broad overview of Memory Palace Training Exercises and know what to expect, let’s properly define the Memory Palace technique. Yours Free: A Private Course With Cheat Sheets For Becoming A Memory Master, Starting From Scratch. >>> Click Here For This Special Free Offer. Why Nearly Every Memory Technique Serves As A Method Of Loci Example This point might be hard to grasp at first, but this is important: The Memory Palace, sometimes called the Method of Loci, is based on the same core principle that governs all information. This principle is space. You see, your brain encodes information chemically in the brain. Each neuron and neural network in your brain exists in space - the space of your brain.Click To Tweet And according to Stephen Kosslyn, there’s a kind of one-to-one correspondence between information out in the world and where your brain stores it in the brain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkhU7i8hRK4 In other words: Your Brain Is A Memory Palace Book Hear me out: Imagine that your brain really was a book. And each page of that book is covered in words. Now imagine that each page in that book is a neural network that binds all of its words. Likewise, the neural networks in your brain bind the neuronal chemicals that store you memories. Of course, the brain and memory are much more complex than any metaphor or analogy can express. And when you see historical examples like this… …it can be extremely frustrating! But never fear. We’re going to make the process much, much simpler for you today. Because all of this leads to the same conclusion: If Your Brain Is Like A Computer… It’s More Like A Fancy, Streamlined Kindle Than A Laptop! Think about it: If a book is an information storage and retrieval device that uses the space of pages, then the computer version of books do pretty much the same thing. This fact means that your Kindle app also stores each word in space on a hard drive and a screen. And so if you think about how books and apps relate to your memory… The Ultimate Mind Palace App Is Your Brain! Isn’t that exciting? I sure think so. And that’s why I produce so much Memory Palace training for the world. It’s also why I help people simplify the process so it doesn’t look so freakin’ complex like the Camillo example. So let me ask you… Do You Have A Memory Palace Sherlock Would Admire? We’re going to get back to the all-important point about space in a moment. But first: To create a proper Memory Palace in the space of your brain, it’s important to move beyond fictional characters like Sherlock Holmes and get the right Memory Palace training: Next, turn your brain into a Memory Palace app by studying from the best types of Memory Palaces. 1. The Bird’s-eye/3rd Person Memory Palace This kind of Memory Palace involves looking down through the roof on a building. It’s as if you’re looking down at a floor plan. As you can see, I’ve drawn this image by hand. This step is important because it trains your brain to think about the space a little bit differently – from a new perspective that helps develop your mental rotation skills. This drawing refers to this space in Berlin: As you can see, it looks very different. Yet, with practice, you can use this simple technique to memorize anything, including vocabulary, or an entire speech. In fact, my friend and fellow memory expert Jonathan Levi did just that after I showed him how to do so for his TEDx presentation: I recently gave a TEDx presentation myself from memory, so please check back here soon for the video. Basically, the process is simple: Select a location suited to creating a Memory Palace (usually a familiar building, but parks and other locations will do) Get out a sheet of paper, ideally in a Memory Journal devoted to Memory Palace creation. Draw the Memory Palace. Strategically structure your course through the Memory Palace. Practice it mentally. Use it to memorize something by drawing upon the tools of Magnetic Association If you’re stuck on what locations to use, How to Find Memory Palaces will help. If you need help with creating the imagery, these elaborative encoding exercises should be useful to you. The cool thing about that TEDx picture above is that I’ve already used the process I just described to turn the theatre into a Memory Palace. And it works great! 2. The 2nd Person Memory Palace
 In this kind of Memory Palace, you look at yourself or a Bridging Figure move through your Memory Palace as if through the lens of an external camera. This is not a replacement for drawing the Memory Palaces, but a different way of thinking and experiencing the navigation process. 3. The 1st Person Memory Palace
 Using this kind of Memory Palace, here’s what happens: You imagine yourself in the Memory Palace. You then imagine yourself seeing the journey you are following through your own eyes. You can also pretend to be a character in a video game, series or movie and see through the eyes of that character. For example, using an outdoor Memory Palace, I could imagine being this Giordano Bruno statue and see parts of Rome I’ve created as Memory Palace as if through his eyes: Anthony Metivier with the Giordano Bruno statue in Rome. 4. The Virtual Memory Palace At some level, all Memory Palaces are Virtual Memory Palaces. Why? You are creating an imaginary construct. This construct is based on a building or area you’ve seen in real life. You are navigating it “virtually” in your imagination. That said, when you’re basing a Memory Palace on a location you’ve seen with your own eyes, you seriously reduce cognitive load. Think about it this way: When you last moved into a new home, did you have to work hard to memorize the layout? Probably not. That’s what makes calling it to mind so easy. But if you’re using a video game as a Memory Palace, not only do you have learn the layout in a completely different way. You also have to re-create that layout using more mental resources because you’ve never really been there. Caution: This not may not be true for all people. But I think for most us, Virtual Memory Palaces will cost more time and energy than they are worth. That said, Idriz Zogaj shares some wisdom on the practice that you might find useful. 5. The Magnetic Memory Palace
 This kind of Memory Palace lets you fuse all the first four approaches together into one seamless Memory Palace strategy. Recall Rehearsal also makes memory practice feel a lot like a Memory Palace game! In fact, when you use the Magnetic Memory Method tools of… Sea shelling The Pillar Technique Ample use of Magnetic Bridging Figures Recall Rehearsal The Big 5 of Learning (Also called the levels of processing) Everything gets much easier. That’s because it becomes more fun. Not only that, but the Magnetic Memory Palace, when used as part of a full Memory Palace Network, makes Recall Rehearsal faster and easier as well. (Recall Rehearsal is a fast and fun “memory game” way to get any information into long-term memory quickly.) As a bonus, there’s also a way to turn your Memory Palaces into Mind Maps and vice versa. These mind mapping examples show you how. It all makes for great Memory Palace training exercise don’t you agree? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px1O-j3BIHo The Best Memory Palace For Studying For School Or Large Learning Projects? Now, you might wonder, which of these Memory Palace approaches are best for studying for learning. There’s no perfect answer, but here’s the very good news: Memory techniques are best learned through experimentation and activities like completed these sensory memory exercises. And I would suggest that you learn to use a Magnetic Memory Palace as quickly as possible. Then learn How To Renovate A Memory Palace. The first three options require too much time and energy. You’ll spend more time visualizing your Memory Palace and your journey through it than necessary. The Ultimate Truth About Memory Palace Examples & Exercises Always remember that memory champions simply don’t have time to visualize their Memory Palaces. They might “see” glimpses, but there’s something quite different going on. Memory athlete Alex Mullen For example, memory expert and memory athlete Alex Mullen can memorize a deck of cards fast. He’s also very good with medical terminology. But there’s no time for adding undue cognitive load to the process. And anyone can learn to reduce the need to visualize their Memory Palaces and journeys with just a bit of practice. Practice Using Your Brain And You’ll Be The Best Memory Palace App On The Planet There are a lot of Memory Palace software programs available. Memory Filer is one of the more interesting ones. But, even as the creator of this app admits, all memory apps present a deviation from developing true memory skills. What kind of skills? The Giordano Bruno memory skills of legend. For thousands of years people managed to memorize a textbook without apps or programs. In fact, it might be precisely because computers have created Digital Amnesia that people no longer pick up these high level memory skills more often. Why Real Memory Palace Training Is Always Organic For research purposes, I’ve spent a lot of time in Memory Palace training with apps. This activity has always been interesting, but ultimately always a waste of time. Here’s why: When you train your memory to use a Memory Palace with an app, you’re training in a digital environment. And if you want to remember names at events, that will give you a bit of an advantage. Just remember: The only examples that matter involve the practice memorizing names at real events – unassisted by technology. And I have found that training for names using a Memory Palace reduces my skills instead of increasing them. And little wonder: Real-life events do not take place on apps - they happen in the world!Click To Tweet Just ask Jesse Villalobos about how he got a promotion, featured on this Magnetic Memory Method Review. The Best Memory Palace Examples For Language Learning? If you want to learn a language, you might like to use a Memory Palace strategy. There are many ways to proceed, but I’ve found the best involves creating a Magnetic Memory Palace Network around the alphabet. The alphabet is an interesting mental tool that exists in space. The letter B falls to the right of the letter A, R falls to the left of S and so on. In other words, the alphabet is a fixed linking system that everyone knows by default – exactly like you know the layout of your home. This understanding makes memory training far more powerful than the old fashioned “method of loci” will ever be. And that’s why it’s so easy for each letter of the alphabet can serve as a kind of mnemonic peg system you attach to a building. How To Practice The Memory Palace Technique I suggest that you start with just one Magnetic Memory Palace Network first. Then create another one until you fully feel the effects of spatial memory working its magic in your mind. You’ll begin to sense exactly why the Memory Palace is the most powerful technique and why all the other techniques, including the Major Method, are all spatial in nature. If you don’t know how much information to memorize, roll a dice. Magnetic Memory Method student Adolfo Artigas has a 100-sided die he uses, and it makes it fast and easy to practice the Memory Palaces you create without having to think about how much information you’re going to focus on. We’ve got a video about how he does that for mental relief while attending university classes in our detailed training on note taking using memory techniques. That’s all for now, but I hope that these Memory Palace examples have given you some food for thought and ideas to model for your own memory improvement practice. For more examples, see Improve My Memory: 3 Memory Palace Success Stories. Then let me know in the comments below if you have thoughts or questions. You got this! Yours Free: A Private Course With Cheat Sheets For Becoming A Memory Master, Starting From Scratch. >>> Click Here For This Special Free Offer.


16 Aug 2018

Rank #9

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Why They Don’t Teach Learning And Memory Techniques In Schools

No question about learning and memory enters my inbox more often than than “why aren’t these memory techniques taught in schools?” The question reeks of conspiracy. It creates pictures of entire nations hoping to keep their children in ignorance so they will become mindless slaves working for the state. But worse than all of that paranoia … The question is … Completely Irrelevant! First off, memory techniques are taught in schools. I recognize this simple fact even if once upon a time I dropped out without a high school degree (part one of this three-part series) and mercifully figured out what to go back to school for (part two). How are memory techniques already used in schools? How about the song we teach children to help them remember the alphabet? Its melody is a memory technique, loud and clear. Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge for music is a memory technique. We have simple mnemonics for astronomy, art, math, biology, geography and chemistry. Heck, just search Wikipedia for “list of mnemonics” and you’ll find more than you can shake a stick at. But Are Simple Mnemonics Enough? That’s the real question at hand. Because the problem is that a lot of the images and word play you’ll find on that Wikipedia page are useless. Worse than useless, they create a ton of overwhelm. Why? Because they don’t come with any understanding. They’re not loaded with strategy … They Have No Method … And that’s why the Magnetic Memory Method is such a roaring success. No, not for everyone. Not everyone wants to learn how to think about memory. Many people want formulas, gimmicks and “systems.” I’m sorry, but that’s not reality. And it’s not what we do in the Magnetic Memory Method Family. Far from it. Instead of pretending that there’s some kind of fix all system that will magically improve your memory for all things forever and ever amen … We Break Memory Techniques Down To The Basics And once that’s done, we understand the how, the why and the what. So that it doesn’t hurt so much to learn. Here’s why you feel pain with learning, by the way (thanks to Miklós in the SuperLearner community for bringing it to our attention): https://youtu.be/UBVV8pch1dM It’s even easier to stop the pain than the video suggests. How so? By making sure that you understand how to really get results from the techniques by aligning them with your real reasons for learning, remembering and recalling information. It’s often not what it seems. Because here’s the deal … At the Magnetic Memory Method Headquarters, I strive to achieve just one thing: Mastery. Mastery over your memory. Mastery over your concentration. Mastery over the rate at which you learn. Mastery over the pain of forgetfulness. So That You Never Have To Feel That Pain Again! But it’s not going to happen without study. It’s not going to happen without effort. It’s not going to happen without creating and using Memory Palaces. Above all, it’s not going to happen without consistency of effort (which your Wise Advocate can help you with). And that’s what’s so cool about the Magnetic Memory Method. If you’ve been following the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast, you’ve heard the stories of success. Just one for today: https://youtu.be/Y4eZcFNc9sU These success stories with learning and memory techniques all boil down to one thing: Learning the techniques. Using the techniques. Analyzing your results and then improving your abilities using them. The best part? I’ve had the chance to teach the Magnetic Memory Method to some of the finest students on the planet. And guess what? Success Leaves Clues All of the most successful students share one thing in common. They don’t wait around waiting for success to happen! They invest in themselves. They study the material they’ve invested in. They take action. They experiment, explore and when they’re done, they experiment and explore some more. USA memory champion and memory expert John Graham can help in this area with his ideas about challenge-stacking too. Having The Humility To Learn Is A Skill What I’ve learned from all of the Magnetic Memory Method success stories is that everything begins with a decision. It’s a decision to set aside time to learn. To really learn. I’ve done it myself. After years of success with my own memory and as a memory trainer, I went to learn from one of the best on the planet. Not just to collect data and “spy” on the competition. To Truly Learn As a result, I’m better for it. In fact, I still buy books and courses from people. Some are from authors who help only a fraction of the audience the Magnetic Memory Method has gathered. Some are from towering figures who practically rule the memory world. I’m talking about taking some courses that cost 4x the amount of the Magnetic Memory Method Masterclass and Mastermind combined. Yes! Memory improvement courses that expensive really do exist! The Best Always Invest In Themselves Here’s the thing: Even when you get to the top – which is incredibly rare – you still have to keep learning. And let’s not beat around the bush: The ones who sail past the obstacles in life are the ones who are in motion to begin with. Wouldn’t you like to be in motion? Of course you would. You just need to get started with learning and memory techniques. And the best part about them is that learning can be fun. Especially with these 21 study tips under your belt. Seriously. Learning how to learn doesn’t have to be the horrid and depressing playground of the school system where everyone winds up asking, “Why don’t they teach the most important skills in the world in school?” Again, that isn’t the real question. Let’s Ask The Really Important Questions About Learning And Memory The really important questions have to do with the quality of the memory techniques you study and the quality of the action YOU take. And let’s face it: The quality of your action comes down to the quality of the philosophy behind the education. And my philosophy of learning and memory is that you need someone to teach you how to fish, not someone to do the fishing for you. Are you in?


2 Mar 2017

Rank #10

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How to Memorize a Textbook: A 10-Step Cheatsheet

Post updated 12/30/19 Picture this: Exams loom on the horizon and you’re staring at a stack of unread textbooks so large it would make any sane student shake in their boots. Maybe you got behind in your reading over the course of the semester… Or maybe your professor assigned additional reading you haven’t gotten around to yet… Whatever the case, you have a ton of information to memorize before your exams roll around, and you’re feeling the pressure. Well, guess what? You are not alone! In fact, almost every student ends up feeling like this as the end of the semester approaches. And hardly a week goes by that I’m not asked about how to memorize a textbook and textbook memorization. The good news is: memorizing a textbook is not as difficult as it may seem.  At the end of the day, it’s not just about memorizing — that would be an utter waste of time! Instead, the real goal is to understand the books you read. And more than just understanding the content, you want to use the textbooks you place in memory to create new knowledge. In this post, you’ll learn how to: Correctly set your expectations of what the book will contain Understand why you need to read the book (or if you actually need to!) Quickly determine how much of the book you really need to read Make a dedicated Memory Palace system to memorize the parts you really need Learn how to take notes from a textbook onto index cards or flashcards, and  Determine how much time you’ll need to practice the information you’ve memorized Yours Free: A Private Course With Cheat Sheets For Becoming A Memory Master, Starting From Scratch. >>> Click Here For This Special Free Offer. If you want to jump to a particular section, you can do that here: How to Memorize a Textbook vs a Book Do You Really Need to Memorize a Book Verbatim? Set Yourself Up For Success How to Memorize a Textbook (Realistically) Examine the book Make an equation Get index cards Find the big points and jot them down Make use of your Memory Palace Create crazy imagery to help you recall the info Stick each crazy image onto a Memory Palace station for recall Test yourself before the teacher does Let the info grow into knowledge Bonus! Save your knowledge for later Example: How to Memorize Verbatim Bonus Example: How to Memorize a Formula How to Study a Textbook for Maximum Retention Want this post in infographic form? You can download this infographic, just like Aldolfo: Aldolfo Artigas printed AND laminated this “How to Memorize a Textbook” infographic and now his sons are using the technique too! So are you ready to learn how to memorize a textbook, the right way? Let’s get started. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIQRiqQFKQY The Question That Inspired This Post So you may be wondering: Hey Anthony, if people have been asking you about this topic for so long, what finally made you decide to write about it? Well, the truth is, I’ve written about textbook (and book) memorization before, just never in the context of memorizing an entire textbook.  You can check out my post about how to memorize a chapter out of a textbook. And you might also be interested in another post I wrote, about how students with dyslexia can still ace their exams. In the end, the reason is simple: I decided to write this post and record a podcast to help out one of my audience members. Here’s what this struggling student wrote: “Hi Anthony. I want to memorize some physics, chemistry, and math formulas, and also some texts that I have to memorize verbatim, but it needs a lot of Memory Palaces and too much time. Plus, I don’t know how to memorize formulas.  For instance, memorizing sin(A+B)=AcosB+cos.  Do I need just one Loci, and how do I memorize this? Of course, this is a very simple formula, but exams are coming! I need your help.” Now that we know why this student needs help, let’s quickly talk about the differences between a textbook and other kinds of books. How to Memorize a Textbook vs a Book For the purposes of this post, we’ll use the words “book” and “textbook” interchangeably.  When it comes right down to it, the only real difference is that someone has called a textbook a textbook. Other than that, they’re remarkably similar — pages stuck between two covers with a spine. Very little else differentiates them, except for some signature that has been applied to them by the author or publisher. Mind you, textbooks often come out in multiple editions, and a quick win is to be aware of how recently the edition you’re reading appeared on the market. You can sometimes find a nearly identical (and much cheaper) version from the year before. But overall, a book is a book, by any other name. And whether it’s a book or a textbook (even boring books), the first question you should always ask is: do I actually have to memorize this entire textbook verbatim? Do You Really Need to Memorize a Book Verbatim? One of the things I always ask people when they come to me with this question is: why? Why do you need to memorize the textbook verbatim? Are you certain you need to memorize the whole thing – or even long passages – verbatim? What will memorizing the whole textbook get you? If it’s just speed that you’re after, think again about how to study fast with this guide to high volume learning at speed. There are certainly ways to memorize long passages of text word-for-word that are 100% effective. There are people who are known to have done it.  But, if you don’t absolutely have to put in the time and effort to memorize verbatim, why would you? Instead, what if you could learn something deeply enough to be able to discuss it, to connect it, and to frame it in a certain context? Chances are, memorizing in this way will not only be easier, but also more effective. Memorizing verbatim is rarely necessary and the mind will fill in the blanks if you structure your approach correctly. So in this post, what I really want to teach you is the power of memorizing select material from a textbook. Your first step, as with any task that’s worth doing, is to lay a strong foundation. Set Yourself Up For Success Now, let’s be honest for a minute. If your exams are coming up tomorrow or the next day, this approach probably isn’t going to work for you. In an ideal situation, you would take the time to dig your wells before you’re thirsty. What that means in this context is that you want to know what Memory Palaces are, and have yours set up and comfortable before you start to study for your exams. You could build a ladder to the moon with all the different memorization techniques out there, but I teach a very particular approach called the Magnetic Memory Method. You may have heard of it, especially if you’re a regular reader. And because I teach this specific approach, I would recommend that you get yourself set up before crunch time — before exams are staring you down, making your palms sweaty and giving you nightmares! My approach uses location-based memorization strategies, all based around Memory Palaces. You’ll need more than one Memory Palace, and you’ll need to do some self-exploration. But the good news is… it’s super simple to do, and the process is a lot of fun! The first step in the process is to have a carefully defined Memory Palace. Before you ever pick up a book, even if it’s scriptural, you’ll determine how much material you want to memorize from it. And then you’ll create a Memory Palace in advance so you can recall that information with ease when you need it. But what if you’re new here, and you’ve never created a Memory Palace before? I’ve got you covered — grab my free 4-video memory course below, and the series will get you up to speed. We’ll talk more about how to use your Memory Palaces later in this post.  Second, you will get in the right mindset for studying. Setting a good mental attitude is key, before you even pick up the book. This allows you to mentally take away the most essential information.  And part of getting into the proper mindset has to do with relaxation. Before diving into any memory technique, I always take a moment to chill out and relax. Chillax, if you prefer. I do this by using traditional meditation techniques.  Now, some people have a very specific vision of meditation and what it means, but for our purposes, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Meditation, in my mind, is as simple as sitting with your back and neck straight, imagining there’s a hook in the top of your head attached to a string that’s pulling you straight up. Then, you just sit there and breathe. Some people believe that meditation is about emptying your mind — here are two of my favorite metaphors: You’re sitting on the bank of a river. Your thoughts are the river, and you just watch them go by. Then, any time you find yourself being sucked away by the river you just bring yourself back to the shore and watch the river again. Imagine an elephant that’s tied to a chain on the ground. The elephant – your mind – is romping around like crazy. You tie it to the ground with a stake, and then a couple of seconds later, you have to go get it and tie it down again. And with enough training, you can get the elephant to sit down and go to sleep. That second metaphor – the mind as an elephant – is a bit more appropriate for memory techniques.  Alan Watts said that meditation should have no goal whatsoever — it should be sitting just to sit. And in this Tim Ferriss podcast, Sam Harris says, “all you’re doing is paying exquisitely close and non-judgmental attention to whatever you’re experiencing.” So even if you can’t get your metaphorical elephant to stop running off, still take a moment to sit and breathe. Take the time to chillax before you start memorizing. This allows you to approach memorization with the right attitude: still, gentle, not fighting for or clamoring after anything. You’re just being… and absorbing information. You might even think about it like this: you are a being, and the information is also like a being. You get to absorb that other being into you, something you can bring into yourself! And if meditation isn’t your thing, you can also do some progressive muscle relaxation exercises or pendulum breathing — this combines physical processes with a particular way of breathing. Or maybe you can listen to some music to get you ready to study. Now that you’re relaxed and ready to become a metaphorical knowledge sponge, let’s break down the memorization process step by step. How to Memorize a Textbook (Realistically) When I was studying for my doctoral exams – and later for my dissertation defense – I needed to read a total of 500 books to be able to sit for the exams and write my dissertation. 500 books. No exaggeration and I’m not kidding.  (In fact, if you read my post about how to memorize a chapter in a textbook, you’ll see photographic evidence of me carrying a stack of 20 or 30 of those books. I carried many, many piles like that from the library stacks to the private office I had access to in the Robarts Library in Toronto.) The good news for you is that you get to learn from my extensive studying experience — how I operate when I’m conducting research or want to memorize the contents of a book. (You can also use this same method to memorize a novel, if you’re reading between the lines…) Quick note: looking back at the question from our intrepid reader, you’ll notice that they use the word “loci”. I don’t use that word myself, because the Magnetic Memory Method is much more specific.  There are operational factors in the 10-step method I teach that may not seem to involve memorization. But trust me, each step is essential to the Magnetic Memory Method of textbook memorization. Remember: before you do anything else, have a carefully defined Memory Palace that involves a location you’re intimately familiar with. I usually chart out at least 10 – but sometimes up to 50 – stations. Sometimes I even use an entire room or spots within a room. Let’s call that step zero: create your Memory Palace. A Memory Palace is a mental construct, based on a real location. You use different spots inside the Memory Palace to store information along a very well-constructed journey. Those spots are called “stations” — an entire room is a macro station, and a spot within that room is a micro station (like a bed, desk, or chair). You can leave associative imagery in those locations, so you can then go back along the journey in your mental construct, decode the images, and recall the information you left there. Now that you have step “zero” behind you, let’s dive in to the 10 steps to help you memorize a textbook. 1. Examine the book Now we get to the good stuff! Take your textbook, and take a good look at it: Look at the front cover.  Look at the back cover.  Look over the introduction. Read the conclusion, and Be sure to scan through the index, if your book has one.  And read the colophon page — that’s the place where they include information about the book’s publication, like the place of publication, the publisher, and the publication date. If you didn’t know what a colophon page is, look it up. It’s fascinating. I also find the table of contents of a book to be very interesting. These parts of the book are what Gerard Genette called the “paratext.” This means the text beside the text. This step takes about five minutes and effectively trains your brain to understand the scope and the dimension of the book with respect to the topic. Not included in that five-minute estimate is the time it takes to read the conclusion, which could be a much longer process. So why should you take the extra time to read the conclusion? Partially, so you can judge whether or not the author’s conclusion about their subject was profound enough to warrant reading the book in the first place! Sometimes when you read a conclusion, you’ll realize that the author hasn’t arrived at any conclusion that makes it worth reading the process or the argument that substantiates what the author concluded. Okay. So maybe that’s a little judgmental. It’s certainly not a foolproof way to decide what to read. But, when you have 500 books on your plate it’s worth taking the time to determine whether or not the book warrants all that reading. You only have so many hours before your exam, after all. The conclusion (and introduction) will also give you clues as to where the information is in the book — or at least the important information. And this location data is often included in the context of the concluding remarks, which can be quite helpful. For example, the author might say, “In chapter one I do this, in chapter two I talk about this, and in chapter three I cover that.” Next, you’ll make some foundational decisions. 2. Make an equation When I take a look at a textbook, I decide in advance how many pieces of information I want to retain from it. This is what the Magnetic Memory Method calls the “principle of predetermination.” It’s not an arbitrary or random decision. Instead, you will consider the length of the book and the purpose of your studying. Is this for an oral exam or an essay? Using this method creates an understanding of what your goal is, and what the outcome would be. It creates a border or frame of sorts, to keep you focused.  Usually, 3 to 5 pieces of information per chapter is enough. And for today’s post, we’ll use 3 pieces of information per chapter as our number. Before we move along to the next step, let’s examine two reasons why choosing a specific number is important. Failing to plan is planning to fail. It might sound a bit cliché, but it’s true — especially when it comes to structured reading. When you’re reading for a particular purpose, then it’s vital to plan how you’re going to read. Books are filled with details, pages full of information, and you can easily become overwhelmed if you don’t plan appropriately. You can avoid getting overwhelmed When you predetermine how to approach a book and structure your reading process, you prevent overwhelm. You end up denying it from existing in the first place, because you know you are only going to memorize three pieces of information from each chapter. Of course, you can always add information later if necessary, but containing and maintaining the information before you even get to it is a good strategy. Plus, less is always more. Focusing on just a few key points will allow a lot of the surrounding information to stick to your specifically memorized points. Go ahead and try it! Next, you’ll take out a stack of index cards and start organizing. 3. Get index cards For regular readers here at Magnetic Memory Method, you might want to sit down for what I’m about to say. I know that I’m usually scowling and calling for the death of index cards… but in this case, they have a different value, other than rote learning. (As you may or may not know yet, rote learning is a no-no in the Magnetic Memory Method.) However! When we’re talking about how to memorize a textbook, we do have a certain mania for index cards. In fact, it’s part of what I call “Magnetic Bibliomancy.” To join in the fun, grab an index card and let’s get started.  First, write down the name of the author, the title of the book, and the bibliographic information.  Please note: there is certain bibliographical (or paratextual) information that doesn’t need to take up space in your Memory Palace. And if you regularly use memory techniques, you’ll find yourself absorbing that information anyway. But I don’t tend to offer Memory Palace space to it, since index cards are something you can hold onto. Now you’ll have one index card that has all the bibliographic information of the book. Number this card in the top left corner — number 1. (I always label my index cards in the top left corner.) Next, you’ll begin to fill out your other index cards. Yours Free: A Private Course With Cheat Sheets For Becoming A Memory Master, Starting From Scratch. >>> Click Here For This Special Free Offer. 4. Find the big points and jot them down Now that you’re all organized and have your plan, it’s time to get down to business.  Because you read the introduction, paratextual materials, and the conclusion, you should already have an idea which chapters you want to read first. You don’t have to start with the first chapter! There’s a high likelihood that your mind already decided how to prioritize your reading efforts. Remember, for the purposes of this blog post, we’re looking for three primary pieces of information out of each chapter. So, there are 3 pieces of information you’re going to walk away with from whichever chapter you read first.  You have your index cards ready to go, and you’re ready to start writing down the key pieces of information on each card, numbering them the same way (in the top left corner). You will want to have some sort of indication on each card about where you are in the book. This has to do with what I call the “ownership mindset” for textbook memorization. You’ve already adopted the attitude that you’re going to succeed. You literally want to feel like you own the key information in your textbook. One way you can take on this mindset is to pretend you’re a talk show host on a popular show or podcast, and later this evening you get to interview the author of the textbook. Millions of people will be watching or listening, so you really need to know your stuff. And you need to be able to read the book fast. When you use this mindset, it allows you to ask questions while you’re reading. You get really curious about the topic, and instead of passively reading you end up engaging with the text. There’s pressure: time pressure, the fact that you’re going to interview the author. You could even imagine that the author is sitting there with you as you read, and pretend like you can read their mind about the answers to your questions. Studying is a numbers game. I’ve touched on this, but I want you to categorize everything using a kind of numbers game. So when you come across a gem of a detail, write it down on your index card along with the page number where you found the information, and sometimes the chapter name or number.  This kind of information always goes in the bottom right corner. And if you have secondary ideas, you can use the back of the index card to jot them down. I always do this regardless of whether I’ve copied down a quote from a book or just a note or observation.  Here’s why I diligently complete this step: if I ever need the information again, I’ll know where to find it.  At this point, you’re not doing any kind of memorizing whatsoever. Instead, you’re: Familiarizing yourself with the material,  Connecting details with already-known information,  Learning new information, and Gathering new facts and details.  That’s it — but memorization is not ready yet. You aren’t memorizing the book as you go along, but rather focusing on the book and marinating yourself in it. Next, you’ll take the information from your index cards and transfer it into your Memory Palace. 5. Make use of your Memory Palace Once you’ve finished reading the book and filling out your index cards, it’s time to place the information into the correct spot in your Memory Palace. Let’s pretend for a moment that our example textbook had ten chapters. Since we wrote down three pieces of information per chapter, we now have 30 index cards. And because we prepared our Memory Palace ahead of time, we have 30 stations ready to go. Now it’s time to memorize, magnetically. In the next step, you’ll make your information visually appealing. 6. Create crazy imagery to help you recall the info Take each index card and think of an image that relates to the information on your card. Make the images bright, zany, and exploding with action. I’ll walk you through a few examples so you can see this step in action. Example 1: Imagery based on the author’s appearance Let’s take Gerard Genette, the author of Paratext, as an example. If I wanted to memorize material from the book Paratext, I would use Gerard as a lexical bridge or Magnetic Bridging Figure, helping me move from station to station. Genette reminds me of Gillette razor blades. Not exactly a one-to-one correlation, but I can nonetheless see him shaving in that first room, if I needed to memorize that he was the author of Paratext. He would be shaving away a beard with wild ends growing out of his face. For the context of “Paratext” I could picture a pear bouncing up and down on a textbook, or a can or Para Paint splashing over a book. Example 2: Imagery based on concepts from the index card In this example, index card 2 says, “A text does not exist outside of the text itself.” It may sound pretty obvious, but we don’t often think about the fact that until someone comes along and reads the book, it essentially doesn’t do anything. There are millions of books standing unread on bookshelves around the world that only exist when someone is reading them or talking about them.  So our minds are kind of texts, and when we read, the two texts intermingle. The second station will feature the book Paratext itself, and words are trying to escape from the pages. And poor Genette is standing there, trying to beat the words back in — because according to him there is no text outside the text itself. Example 3: Imagery of the author throughout the Memory Palace To get some of the other concepts in Genette’s thinking, I might see him giving up the battle and then opening up a lid in his head, which is also filled with words. I could use Genette for each and every station, doing something related to the key phrase on the index card. I’ve done this with Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics. I’ve done it with Plato’s The Republic. I’ve done it with novels. Done it with all kinds of things. Once you get used to it, it’s very easy.  And when using this approach for Ulysses by James Joyce it’s very easy to see Joyce moving through my Memory Palace, not through Dublin, as he does in the novel. If I knew Dublin, then I might be able to use Dublin, but I don’t. So I was able to use a Memory Palace based on a familiar location and I see Joyce going from place to place so I can remember the different things that are happening in the plot in order to recall them later. Now you’ve seen three different examples of how you might use wildly exaggerated information to help you populate your Memory Palace stations. Remember, these images should always be big, bright, colorful, and filled with lots of action. Next, you’ll assign each crazy image to its own station. 7. Stick each crazy image onto a Memory Palace station for recall This step is the most straightforward of the ten. You will begin with card number 1, and memorize the biographical information at station number one in the Memory Palace. Then continue on with index card two and station two, index card three and station three… you get the idea. If you already know the author and title by heart, you might not need to use that first station for biographical information. Use your judgment, so you don’t waste valuable memory real estate. Since it only takes a second or two to create a really action-packed image for each station, be sure to take the time to really see them in your mind’s eye. Next, you’ll test your recall. 8. Test yourself before the teacher does This is the step many people won’t take: practice recalling the info by going from station to station. After you’ve gone through and used your Memory Palace to put every bit of information on those 30 cards into the proper station, you can make sure the information sticks. Pretend like you’re testing yourself in a real test situation. Take the details, facts, concepts, and plot points that you memorized, and write a summary from memory. Your index cards should be somewhere else during this exercise — in a box, on a shelf, or somewhere else you can’t cheat. And you can’t look back and forth the whole time to make sure you get things right as you go along.  Then, check your summary against the index cards. Did you remember all the points from your cards? Did you remember things in the correct order? Finally, it’s time to let the information grow into something bigger. 9. Let the info grow into knowledge One of the most important stages of this process is to turn the information you memorized into knowledge that you can use over and over — not just for this single test or exam. This is one place where the related information that wasn’t on your index cards will come out to shine, as well. You get to see which pieces of information are “magnetic” and stick to your brain. And you can start to apply the things you learned in other situations, perhaps even bringing some of the information into everyday conversations. Plus, once you make the switch from information and data points into knowledge, you’re much more likely to pass every exam with flying colors! And speaking of transforming information into knowledge, you can also pull that knowledge out of your brain banks down the line. Let’s take a look at the 10th and final (bonus) step in your memorization process. 10. Bonus! Save your knowledge for later When you’re done with your index cards, don’t throw them away! Once you don’t need the information for your exam anymore, you also don’t need to hold the information in your Memory Palace. You can empty out and reuse your Memory Palace for something else, and let the index cards hold the information for a rainy day. For example, let’s say you memorized the James Joyce novel Ulysses for a literature class. Once you took your exam, you didn’t need the information rattling around in your brain, so you put the index cards in a box and shelved them away for later. Five years later, you’re asked to give a talk about the novel. You can simply find the box with your index cards, reconstruct your Memory Palace, and save time in putting together and memorizing your talk.  There’s a high likelihood some of the information will still be in your brain, tucked away in a corner somewhere. And maybe it’s there in the form of paleness, or there are some ghosts or fossils of other information you’ve stored in the Memory Palace since then. But anything that’s still in your memory will become doubly magnetic after working with it again. One of my university supervisors required me to submit summaries to prove I was reading the books on my reading list. This is what got me into the habit of writing out summaries, and I learned very quickly that writing summaries out of Memory Palaces was just golden. This is material that – if you use it – will change your ability to study and your understanding of how to take notes from a textbook. You can also use your summaries again later. Save them, and you might find a way to use them for essays, pieces of a publication, or even a Ph.D. dissertation. By using your recall abilities, you’re becoming an expert on your subject matter.  You put stuff in your mind, filter it, and then reproduce it — all without the benefit of looking back and forth at your textbooks or index cards. And through the process, you become a master of information. Now, I know I said you may not need to memorize your textbooks verbatim, but what about the situations where you do actually need to remember things word-for-word? Before we wrap up, let’s take a look at a couple of examples of how to do just that. Example: How to Memorize Verbatim We’ll use the first line of Homer’s epic poem The Iliad for this example. Now imagine this — I used to work (more like play) at Hadey Windey’s school in Burnaby, Vancouver. It was called ELIT or English Language Intensive Training. She’s got a vibrant, brilliant set of students who come to this after-school program for extra training so they can be superstar students, and I was able to develop a lot of teaching around memory skills for them. I also taught the students other things like interpretative abilities and essay writing skills, all of which are connected to memory.  And I also was able to build, from this place, an amazing Memory Palace. I never really thought of using it as a Memory Palace until I was training Hadey in using mnemonic techniques and Memory Palaces, and she really didn’t believe it was possible.  I just happened to have an old translation of The Iliad in my iPhone as we were sitting in a park. And I was explaining Memory Palaces to her, and drawing a map of ELIT, showing her how she could use a Memory Palace based on the school. I said, “Here’s the kitchen, and the office that I have, and here is classroom number 3, and the computer room,” and other things, and I showed how you could make a linear mental journey through this area. Starting in the kitchen, I said, “Imagine I’m limping, and I kick a pail from the kitchen to the door where the Statue of Liberty is standing. In response, she digs with her shovel into the ground and throws the dirt at my office door where I’m standing, writing numbers, and then rubbing the numbers away while I’m coughing.” Well, the first thing I want to point out is that all of these images are laid out along a journey. It starts in the kitchen and then goes to the door of the kitchen. Then an action goes through the hallway to the door of my office. And other parts carry on through classroom number 3 and the computer lab and so forth. But I’m limping, which reminds me of Achilles, because of Achilles’ heel. I kick a pail. Moving on to the pail, Achilles’ father is Peleus. Now, I don’t need to have the whole Peleus, just pail is enough to remind me of Peleus. So, “Of Peleus’ son, Achilles,” the pail is now kicked at the Statue of Liberty. “Sing, O Muse.” Now that’s personal to me. The Statue of Liberty means muse to me. It’s just because it’s a woman in a gown, I guess — it works for me.  The hardest thing to teach about Memory Palaces and associative imagery is that you need to use what works for you. You need to draw from your own personal pool of images based on other things that you know. You’re creating associations. So it might not make sense to you, but, to me, it makes a great deal of sense.  “Of Peleus’ son, Achilles, sing, O Muse.” Me, limping, kicking a pail at the Statue of Liberty, that brings back “Of Peleus’ son, Achilles, sing, O Muse. The vengeance, deep and deadly” which is the next line — so the Statue of Liberty is really angry about this, but instead of attacking back at me, she digs into the earth with vengeance — “The vengeance, deep and deadly; whence to Greece unnumbered ills arose.”  So she’s throwing this dirt at my office door, and I didn’t really need to think about the fact that it was taking place in Greece. Any time that you don’t need to memorize something, don’t worry about putting it in the verbatim, because verbatim is a weird thing. Basically, if you don’t need it and it comes back naturally, don’t create an image for it. So, “Whence to Greece unnumbered ills arose,” well, what am I doing as this dirt comes at me? I’m writing numbers, and then I’m wiping them away. Unnumbered. And I’m coughing, I’m sick — ills. “Whence to Greece unnumbered ills arose.” That’s a very simple example. I created a vignette since it’s not really a single image or a set of images. And I did this on and on and on for as much of The Iliad as I wanted to memorize to create this example for Hadey. And she was blown away. After that, she came back two days later and had memorized 100 words of English vocabulary. (English is not her first language.) She was really skeptical at first, but that’s how I finally convinced her to give this a try. Now she’s part of Toastmasters, and she’s giving speeches left, right, and center, right from her mind, directly from using the Magnetic Memory Method. Now, it’s important to remember that this example was how to memorize a poem verbatim, and you may not need to memorize your entire textbook word-for-word. And in additional good news, you can use this method for anything you want to remember — it doesn’t matter whether it’s a formula, poetry, a quote, phrase in a foreign language, or a textbook.  Memorization is memorization, when you get right down to it. The reality is that you can take a spoon or a bucket — the ocean of information doesn’t care. The memory techniques and your brain treat all information equally well. It’s only the ego that sees a difference, and lack of preparation with the memory tools makes it more difficult.  And finally, since our intrepid reader asked specifically about how to memorize a formula, I’m adding a bonus example to help anyone who needs to memorize them. Yours Free: A Private Course With Cheat Sheets For Becoming A Memory Master, Starting From Scratch. >>> Click Here For This Special Free Offer. Bonus Example: How to Memorize a Formula Let’s also break down an example of how verbatim memorization works when you need to remember a formula. We’ll use the example our reader asked about: sin(A+B)=AcosB+cos As always, we want to start with a well-formed Memory Palace first.  I think of my friend Shannon because her name starts with ‘S’. I was only in her apartment once to watch a James Bond movie, but that’s all I need to get a good Memory Palace rolling.  Next, I start creating Magnetic Imagery to encode the first part of the formula. Since the devil is the boss of “sin,” I put him on Shannon’s couch (a micro-station). To memorize the character “(“ I make it a bulldozer. It drives over an Apple computer, which draws upon another technique entirely, called the pegword method. From this A for Apple computer, an arm emerges and tosses a crucifix at Batman. Why? Because a crucifix is a good memory tool for remember, and Batman helps me remember “b.”  Now all I have to do is have Batman raise his shield — thus closing this part of the formula with the “)” symbol. But this shield is special because it has two guns to represent the = sign. Then Al Pacino “accosts” Batman throwing a crucifix at Cookie monster wearing Batman “cosplay.” I know that this process might sound like a lot if you’re a beginner, but you’ll pick it up quickly. And you should — it’s powerful! So there you have it. Your 10-step cheat sheet for how to memorize a textbook or formula… or any other book you want to remember. How to Study a Textbook for Maximum Retention Remember that scenario at the beginning of the post? The one where exams were on the horizon, and you were feeling woefully unprepared? Now you know how to determine how much reading you actually need to do, how much memorization is on your plate, and the best way to memorize your textbooks so you retain as much information as possible. Most importantly, you understand that memorizing a textbook isn’t as hard as it might seem! You’re on the right track to ace your exams and create a whole new set of knowledge that you can use now and into the future. And if you feel like you could use a little bit more of a memory boost before your exams, check out my free memory improvement kit. Supplementary Viewing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=er-k8Ecgdfo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Umt-innA-u8 https://youtu.be/h0nRcFFn680 https://youtu.be/G1VNjzx31BI


30 Dec 2019

Rank #11

Podcast cover

3 Blazing Fast Ways To Increase Memory Retention

Memory retention… what the heck is it? Is it worth worrying about? If so, can it be improved? We’re going to cover memory retention on this page and give you three blazing fast ways you can increase your ability to retain information. The Simplest Definition Of Memory Retention Overall, this term from the world of memory science is simply defined: It is the ability to keep any information for different periods of time for the purpose of using it in the future. And so if someone gives you their name, but you can’t use their name in a conversation, you haven’t retained it. Why exactly we retain some things and not others is the subject for another post, but basically, we don’t really need a more robust definition for memory training purposes. Nonetheless, you might be wondering about the differences between short term memory and long term memory when it comes to memory retention. You might even be wondering about how working memory plays into the mix when it comes to learning faster and remembering more. These are all great questions that we’ll be covering in the future, so make sure you have this so you’ll be notified: Now, another question people ask is… Why Is Memory Retention Important? In addition to practical matters like remembering names, passing exams and learning new languages, memory retention helps you connect with yourself. Think about it: Every time you can’t recall information about your own life… it feels kind of weird, if not outright painful. Self-punishment ensues and usually that only exacerbates the memory problems you might be facing. So with an eye to helping you feel more connected with yourself, let’s dive into three rapid ways you can increase memory retention. How to Increase Memory Retention in 3 Steps 1. Take Better Care Of Your Brain Look, I know everyone wants memory techniques that are easy and fun to use. However, it only makes sense to care for the engine that makes memory possible in the first place. For example, many people who complain of brain fog don’t need memory techniques on their own. They simply aren’t eating well. Although diet is a tricky matter, you’ll find certain foods help improve memory better than others. Diet has been a huge problem for me throughout my life, but I’ve one a lot to fix it and experienced much better memory as a result. In my case, chronic pain has been the most mentally taxing and distracting problem. Pain makes paying attention difficult. When you can’t pay attention to information, memory retention goes out the window. Reduce the pain, and your ability to pay attention and retain information in memory automatically goes up. (And no, in case you’re wondering, these memory improvement vitamins are unlikely to help.) Sleep Secrets for Better Memory Few People Consider Next, we have sleep. Although you might not normally think of it this way, not having enough sleep also creates pain the interrupts the ability to pay attention. Being groggy and irritated, for example, is a kind of pain. Plus, the brain simply cannot perform as well unrested as it can when you’re getting enough sleep. What are the secrets? Computer curfew Journaling by hand, including gratitude journaling Planning the next day’s activities Bedtime rituals Morning memory fitness activities, such as dream recall Just by attending to diet and sleep (and stopping smoking), you can improve your memory retention, and it will happen faster than you might think. 2. Get Regular Memory Exercise One of the easiest ways to improve memory retention is to regularly use your memory. There are at least two kinds of memory exercise: Active and passive. I’ve got a wide variety of brain exercises you can play with, and here’s a condensed version of my favorite from the passive category. It’s called The Four Details Exercise. All you do is notice 4 details about a person. Don’t use any memory techniques. Just observe. Later in the day, ask yourself to recall those details. No Need To Give Yourself A Grade It’s not a right or wrong memory retention test. It’s just a quick jog to make sure that you’re giving your memory regular exercise. Active memory exercises for increasing retention might include using memory techniques. Here’s where “right and wrong” comes into play, and that’s all part of the fun. For example, you can memorize a deck of cards and work on increasing either your speed of encoding, or the volume you can encode. Test yourself for accuracy of retention over different stretches of time (5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days, etc). You can increase speed and volume with names, vocabulary, abstract shapes, numbers and even verbatim texts like song lyrics or poems. Likewise, you can actively memorize vocabulary, historical dates, or the names of everyone in a company you want to work for (or already do). 3. Have A Long Term Learning Project Okay, I know this doesn’t sound like a “blazing fast” tactic. But in reality, it is. Here’s why: Learning a language or memorizing large texts that you focus on over the long term produces incredible short term benefits when it comes to memory retention. Improvements will happen for you because, as you use memory techniques consistently, you’ll build up something called “memory reserve.” This term means that the more you know, the more you can know. Why You Should Learn A Language To Increase Your Ability To Retain Information Take language learning, for example. As soon as you know about 850 words, you have all the building blocks you need to snap on more and more vocabulary and phrases. Each new word and phrase you add builds up your memory reserve. And this memory reserve helps explain why many people find it easier to pick up their next language. They’ve become good at the skill of building their memory reserve. When it comes to memorizing large texts, I’ve been doing this with some scriptures written in Sanskrit. The more I memorize, the easier it becomes to memorize even more due to this effect of memory reserve. For example, the pool of Magnetic Imagery grows. Having more to draw upon means fewer Magnetic Images are fired off with less effort. You’ll find this is also true when memorizing texts in your mother tongue. The more you do it, the greater ease with which you can move through words, expressions, ideas and more. And again, you don’t have to wait forever for the memory retention benefits to kick in. How To Start Investing In Your Brain (And Keep Consistent) Just get started. I know that sounds simplistic, but how else would you do it? Next, be consistent. That means showing up at least a little. Ideally, you’ll train your brain every day, but four times a week is a bare minimum. Before you know it, you’ll feel like you have a completely revived brain that can conquer the world of information overwhelm with ease. Again, we’ll talk in the future more about things like short term, long term and working memory, but the reality is that all these aspects of memory work together. By following the 3 simple tips in the following video companion to this post, you’ll be working them comprehensively, holistically, and, dare I say, Magnetically. Yours Free: A Private Course With Cheat Sheets For Becoming A Memory Master, Starting From Scratch. >>> Click Here For This Special Free Offer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJk7tumRzM4


6 Jun 2019

Rank #12

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How To Enhance Memory And Pass Any Test Or Exam

Ever Felt That Skull Melting Stress When Preparing For An Exam? If so, this may be the most important information you ever hear and read. Download the episode and keep reading this post all the way to the end so that you never struggle with passing an exam again. And if your schools days are over and you’re the parent of a student, be their hero and pass this information onto them. These techniques work for everything you need to learn, even difficult topics like memorizing human anatomy. How The Regeneration Of Your Cells Can Set The Stage For Making Your Memory Razor Sharp Wanna know why you forget so much of the information you read? It’s because we miss so much detail when we only listen or read a book once. Not only that, but you’re a different person the second time around. I learned this from my Uncle Walter. Unfortunately, he died in a train wreck, but he told me something I’ve never forgotten: Read the most important books you’ve encountered at least once every seven years. Every cell in your body will have been replaced, and you’ll be coming to it as a completely new human being. Of course, if you’re re-reading memory improvement books, be careful. Even the best memory improvement books are sometimes wrong. No amount of rereading will fix that. In any case, I’ve taken Walter’s advice to heart, but when it comes to podcasts and audiobooks and learning how to enhance memory, it’s possible to revisit them much sooner. And I love using Audiobook Builder by Splasm in conjunction with my iPhone so that I can get in all that info super-fast without affecting the sound quality. And today’s Q&A gives us the opportunity to talk about how to use this software in combination with the regeneration of your cells to learn and memorize everything you need to pass any exam: Schoolwork Can Be A Ball ———- Dear Anthony, When memorizing textbooks, is there a good general guideline as to what key points to place in memory palaces? Only focusing on the most relevant information is a great way to save time when studying, and I am curious if you have a strategy as to what information is placed in a memory palace using your index card method. Are these key ideas derived from what is taught in lectures, or are they based on what is most interesting to you? I have downloaded your video course Memory Secrets of an A+ student as well as read many books on memory, and your methods make learning and memorizing more fun and effective. I discovered that schoolwork can be a ball no matter what the subject is, all thanks to me stumbling upon you website. ———- This question is great. And there are a lot of ways to answer it. For example, How To Memorize A Textbook remains the most popular episode of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast. But for now, the first thing I would say is that … A Good Lecturer Will Make It Clear To You What Key Ideas Are Coming For example, I used to write down all the “keywords” on the side of the chalkboard in a column. Students could literally “read” what I was saying and match them against the keywords. It seemed really effective because when the final quiz arrived, hardly anyone had trouble getting 98% or higher. Not all lecturers do things like this, or even present structured talks. Sometimes I don’t follow a plan myself because I like to use tangents and ask questions in the middle of a lecture. In cases like these, it’s a matter of listening for what jumps out at you. I also recommend taking no notes and recording the lecture. Some nice professors will even allow you to place your recording device on the podium. If not, you can still get a decent recording if you sit in the first row. And what are you going to do instead of taking notes? Harness The Secret Power Of Doodling Seriously. Give it a try. Your mind will “scan” what’s being heard, and when something strikes you as a key point, write down one or two words in the middle of your doodle. You can mindmap too if you want, but I like doodling. Or sketching. I find that I can listen intently and deeply when doing this. In fact, I’d hazard a guess that I’m paying far more attention than anyone else in the room precisely because I’ve got more than one representation center of my brain operating. At least, that’s my speculation. And that speculation is a key part of learning how to enhance memory in many respects. Here’s What To Do Next Go home and listen to the lecture again with a Memory Palace prepared, and a stack of index cards as described in the How to Memorize a Textbook episode of the podcast. And remember, there are only 4 Memory Improvement Systems You Need to be successful every time you study. If you’ve been given additional reading as part of the lecture, you might want to do that reading first before returning to the lecture. Again, the most important information is going to be the stuff that leaps out at you as the most interesting first. Why? Because you’re more likely to remember this information without the assistance of mnemonics and Memory Palaces. You won’t have to go to the Method of Loci for this stuff – though later you can if you want. And it’s just good practice to do so. But the point is that you go to your Memory Palaces primed with interest. That will make your memory Magnetic. And that way, the not so interesting stuff will stick with greater ease because you’ll be using the power of familiar locations and well-constructed Memory Palace principles. And you’ll be connecting it to what interests you. But of course … A Lot Depends On What The Instructor Is Looking For So if you want to be a cutting edge student, here’s what you’ve got to do: Go to the instructor. Make an appointment if you have to. Then ask the instructor to make the evaluation criteria clear to you. He or she may have a specific rubric. And if you can – record this talk! Why? Because when you hand in your work or answer questions on an exam that don’t give you the results you were expecting, you have a record of this conversation. Of course, you don’t want your teachers to feel like they’re under observation in a totalitarian state, but the fact of the matter is that you (or your parents) are paying their wages. You deserve to have the requirements made available to you in crisp, clear and sparkling detail. And That’s How You Know What To Focus On In Your Studies It doesn’t get any simpler than that. To review: 1) Pay attention to the things that jump out at you. If you’re interested in these details, they’ll be much more Magnetic. You’ll be memorizing them more for detail and ordered recall than anything else. They’ll also be a great “connecting” device for incorporating the information that you don’t find so interesting. 2) Know what the instructor wants and make sure you’ve memorized that information. When learning how to enhance memory for your studies, it only makes sense to focus on the information they want you to know. The rest is icing on the cake. 3) Come prepared with a well-formed Memory Palace. If you don’t know how, scroll up to the top of the page and register for my free Memory Palace Mastery course. 4) Perform proper Recall Rehearsal 5) Listen to this podcast with Scott Gosnell. He talks about a very special way to build a Memory Palace for prepping for exams. I hope this guidance helps you out. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Further Resources https://youtu.be/kbB2iN6gX1k Note: The program mentioned at the end of this presentation is no longer available. A modified version of Memory Secrets of an A+ Student (now called The Masterplan) can be found in the Magnetic Memory Method Masterclass. If you’re interested in taking that memory training, here’s where to go next: Magnetic Memory Method Masterclass


26 Mar 2015

Rank #13

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Memory Improvement Tips From Dr. Gary Small

Have you ever wanted simple memory improvement tips that you can use straight out of the box? If so, then you’re in full a real treat. On this episode of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast, Dr. Gary Small offers you some of the best ideas from his book, 2 Weeks to a Younger Brain. It was such a pleasure speaking with memory training and brain health fitness expert Dr. Small that I’ve had the interview transcribed. You can read it below or download a PDF version of the interview using the link at the bottom of the transcription. Enjoy! Why Even The Young Can’t Avoid Memory Loss Anthony: Dr. Small, what is your first memory of being interested in the subject of memory? Dr. Small: Well, I think I got interested in it when I started studying Alzheimer’s disease and geriatrics. When I got into the field of gerontology, I realized that one of the biggest problems we face is cognitive decline as we age. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of that decline. It turns out, before people get Alzheimer’s disease, they have milder memory complaints. There is just so much worry and concern among millions of people about these age-related memory slips and what we can do about them. That’s really how I got started. Anthony: You mentioned in the book that memory can start decaying or getting worse even younger than we think. What is one of the typical ages that memory loss can start to occur? Dr. Small: Usually people begin to notice it in their 40s and studies of neuropsychological testing, pencil and paper tests done on many, many research subjects, has found that for the average 40‑year-old a decline in memory performance can be detected. However, we have done some recent studies, collaborating with Gallop Poll, where we find that people even in their early 20s begin to start complaining about their memory. Now, their complaints are probably different from those of somebody who is in their 70s, but still the methods we’ve developed for the book apply to people of all ages. Anthony: Given this wide age range, is there a common so to speak anti-memory activity that people are engaging in every day and if so what are those things and how can they be treated or how can people go about their daily activities differently so that they are honoring their memories and their brains? Dr. Small: That is really what the book is about and it takes the latest science of the brain and explains it in a way that people can understand. It then translates that science into practical strategies that people can begin using. In the 2-week program, we introduce them to these exercises, strategies and they gradually build up their mental strength, and memory power over that 2-week period and it is just long enough for those exercises to become habit-forming. It involves physical exercise, it involves mental stimulation, stress management, nutrition and learning techniques to compensate for any age-related memory challenges people are experiencing. Can We Really Trust Memory Exercises To Ward Off Alzheimer’s? Anthony: You mentioned a lot of different memory exercises in the book. I am wondering if you have a personal favorite out of them all that addresses some of the prevention of Alzheimer’s and just longevity in general that you enjoy the most that you do yourself? Dr. Small: Let me just clarify. I do not know that the memory exercises will prevent Alzheimer’s, but I think that physical exercise very well may delay the onset of symptoms as will general mental stimulation and proper diet. What the memory exercises will do is to compensate for the decline so people can have a stronger memory longer even as their brains age. If you look at all of these different exercises, it really boils down to two methods that we now call focus and frame. We need to focus our attention because the biggest reason people do not remember is they are simply not paying attention, they are not getting the information into their brains. Frame is shorthand for trying to frame the information, providing a framework so that it has meaning. If something is meaningful, it will become memorable and we do that by using visual images. Our brains are hardwired to remember visually very effectively. We can take a very common memory complaint like names and faces, forgetting names and faces, and teach people how to create visual images to link the name to the face. Therefore, if you meet Mr. Foreman, you might notice that he has a prominent forehead. You notice that distinguishing figure and that links it up with the name in a visual way. The Shocking Truth About Visual Skills And Memory Anthony: Many of the memory exercises do involve some sort of visual imagination, and one thing I hear from a lot of people is that they are just not visual. They are maybe more auditory or kinesthetic or conceptual. Is there any advice you would have who would feel they do not have the visual capacities that many of these exercises seem to call for? Dr. Small: That gets down to a common principle that we want to train and not strain our brains and try to cross-train the brain. Everybody has innate strengths and weaknesses. In areas that are weak, it may be visual skills. Those can be built up gradually. In areas that are strong, we can leverage those strengths to help us compensate better. People who are better with auditory skills can say the name or word to themselves or think up a musical jingle that might help them remember something better. The Minimalist Guide To Einstein’s Brain Anthony: You mentioned in 2 Weeks to a Younger Brain a few times Einstein’s brain and maybe you can describe that a little bit. Why does not everyone have a brain automatically like Einstein’s brain? Dr. Small: I think, to a certain degree, it is genetics. Let us face it some people are Einstein’s at birth and others are not. When they looked at Einstein’s brain remarkably, it looked very much like the average person’s brain except for this area called the corpus callosum, which is the connecting point between the right brain and the left brain. What we might theorize is that Professor Einstein was better able to process information quickly compared to the average person. Another point we make in the book is that genetics is only part of the story. In fact, the MacArthur study on successful aging taught us for the average person nongenetic factors are more important to keeping your brain young. That is why we emphasize all the simple things that people can do every day to get their brains to function better and their memory to be sharper. What Video Games Can Teach You About Strengthening Or Harming Your Brain Anthony: One of the interesting stories in the book is you talk about chiding your son for playing video games and there is a bit of a surprising twist at the end of the story. What is going on with video games and memory? Dr. Small: It is complicated, but we do devote a whole chapter to brain games and what people can do to use them effectively. That was an incident where I was annoyed by my son playing some kind of a violent videogame. Knowing that this kind of repetitive videogame playing may not be great for his developing brain, I shouted to him, “Harry, get off of that video game and come downstairs and watch television with me.” Of course, I thought how ridiculous that sounded, but in my mind, I was thinking we are watching a public television program, it is educational, we will have a conversation, but what I did not realize was that my son was playing the videogame with his friends. There was a conversation going on. It was a social interaction. I think our relationship with this new technology is very complex. In some ways, it can cause wear and tear on our brains when we are spending too much time doing email or searching online doing repetitive tasks. On the other hand, the technology actually augments our biological memory. We could pick and choose what we try to remember like names and faces and socially that is very important, but we do not need to remember birthdates and appointments. We can use programs for that and we can look at a lot of stuff up. In addition, there are new video games that actually train our brains. They can boost IQ or improve multitasking skills. I am very excited about the technology we use it wisely and do not overuse it. How Classy Is The Neighborhood Of Your Brain? Anthony: Speaking of technology, there is something really interesting that you talk about. The brain has kind of a relationship to memory and information where the age of a memory somehow determines where it is located in the brain, and that memories travel from one lobe to the next. I have this picture of sorting files through my computer and they move according to date and rearrange themselves. What is happening in this idea that memories age and then that determines where they are found in the brain? Dr. Small: The brain is very complex organ and there is a lot of neuroscience research understanding how memories are consolidated. We describe how there are very fleeting momentary memories we call sensory memories that we all experience from moment to moment and we do not notice them. If we pay attention, or if there is an emotional component to the memory, it is more likely to be consolidated in an area that is called the hippocampus underneath the temples. Once that happens, it is like an information highway as the memory becomes stronger as it becomes more long-term it moves towards the front part of the brain very gradually. They also reside throughout the brain depending on the type of memory. If it is a visual memory, it will be in the back of the brain because that is where the visual cortex is. It is quite an interesting phenomenon. These memories, in a sense, live in neighborhoods, which explain why it is often difficult to remember some information, but when you are reminded of a neighboring memory, then the memory you are looking for comes back to you. Is There A Way To End Your Struggle With “Senior Moments”? Anthony: That is a very interesting metaphor. Given this neighborhood image where do memories go when people are having “senior moments?” Dr. Small: Senior Moments are not going anywhere. Memory is very much like a filing cabinet. You have to file the information in the proper place and know where to look to pull it out. When we cannot find those memories, we are distracted by other memories so we are a little bit mixed up in our filing system, and we need some help in how to locate those files, which many of the memory techniques we teach help us do. Anthony: Well heaven forbid that you were to lose your memory, but if that were to happen, is there one memory in particular that you would never want to lose if all else was to disappear? Dr. Small: Those are such tough questions, and I think to me the memory I would not want to lose is the memory of the emotion of love because I think that is so important to all of us. It is such a strong compelling feeling. It really draws people together and it defines who we are as a species. Humans are very social animals and those positive emotions that we experience really make life so worthwhile. Anthony: Speaking of love I really loved 2 Weeks to a Younger Brain. I am grateful and honored that you gave us the time to speak about your book for the audience of this podcast. What is coming up for you next? Dr. Small: In the short term, I am doing a public lecture on the book this afternoon. I am continuing my research on memory and brain aging. My wife and I are continuing to work on a monthly newsletter, Dr. Gary Small’s Mind Health Report. We are putting our heads together for the next book. We have not quite decided what we are going to do but it will probably be in the general area where our interests lie and we are looking forward to continuing our work together. Anthony: Great. Well again thank you so much and 2 Weeks to a Younger Brain is such an excellent book. I hope everybody listening goes out and gets it. Dr. Small: Thank you and I appreciate it. Further Resources PDF transcript of this exclusive Magnetic Memory Method Interview with Dr. Gary Small Dr. Small talking about his book, The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program. https://youtu.be/r-VQChEQp5w More books by Dr. Small Tony Buzan On The Paradise Of Multiple Intelligences


30 Apr 2015

Rank #14

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How to Learn Faster and Remember More: 4 Easy Techniques

Have you ever sat down to learn faster with some new accelerated learning technique and thrown your hands up in the air? No, not to catch a balloon or give a salute. But because you were furious and frustrated? And have you felt that a learning process was so hard that you just wanted to give up? I hear you! After all, I’ve put some of the toughest learning challenges in front of myself all the time. Languages like Biblical Hebrew, German, Chinese, over 100 verses of Sanskrit. Then there are the musical instruments I’ve learned like trombone, sitar and bass. Plus I’ve used my ability to learn something at laser-fast speeds to help me run the memory website you’re reading now: Hands-on mechanical tasks like figuring out how to spread the good news about memory techniques with videos, blogs and podcasts. And in all cases, it takes grit and mental strength. It takes tenacity. Above all, success with learning quickly takes these… Yours Free: A Private Course With Cheat Sheets For Becoming A Memory Master, Starting From Scratch. >>> Click Here For This Special Free Offer. 4 Secret Ways To Make It So Easy You Can Run Circles Around Everyone Else! If you’re interested, I’d like to share these 4 secrets with you, plus another 4 in this video: https://youtu.be/Z3XmgggSDsY All I ask is that you read everything carefully and give at least ONE of these insights from my experience a serious try. But let’s be clear: Trying just one would be good. But … 50% would be great. 100%? … Why that would be downright Magnetic! 1. The Most Powerful Question Any Learner Can Ask One of the reasons some people find the learning process so painful is that they don’t ask a simple question. It’s a question that, when applied often, can unlock the nuclear power needed to drive you through some of the hardest missions in life. It’s a question almost no learner asks. Probably because it’s a bit tough for most people to wrap their heads around. It sounds kind of selfish, after all. The question is: “What’s in it for me?” But even if it has a selfish angle to it, this question is so important. Why? Because So Many Learners Are Trying To Accomplish Outcomes For Everyone But Themselves! Think about it: You go to school and learn things to please the machine … You get a medical degree to appease your family … You study a language because it’s part of a degree … Nothing wrong with any of that, unless … None Of It Has To Do With What You Authentically Want In Life! And so it’s little wonder learning feels hard. If you’re the last person who gets a kick-back for all that effort, it’s always going to feel like you’re trying to chew through a brick wall. Make it easier on yourself by learning something that has a definite payoff for the number one person that matters: You. Because here’s the plain truth: You’re a good person. You want to serve others. And you can change the world. But it will never happen if you secretly hate the learning process because it just doesn’t serve your needs first. Want a fast and easy way live authentically? Practice gratitude: https://youtu.be/xc4_W7nrb2Q 2. Why Comatose Zombies Can Outlearn The Flash Any Day Okay, that sub-headline might be a bit misleading. What I mean to say is that you need to relax to learn. Because here’s a fundamental truth: Information flees from tension. But it’s Magnetically attracted to relaxation. Let me say that again: Information flees from tension. But it’s Magnetically attracted to relaxation.Click To Tweet And the more you know how to relax your brain, the more information will want to stick around. You’ll be able to slosh it around the mouth of your mind like fine wine and actually enjoy it for a change. And what you enjoy… ? Pleasure Is Instantly Easier To Remember! The trick you need to understand when it comes to relaxing your mind is this: Your mind is produced by your brain. Your brain is a physical entity. And that’s what makes the Memory Palace technique so powerful: It’s something physical out in the world being used physically inside your material brain. Don’t know how to make a Memory Palace? No problem… And to get the most of the training, relax your mind each time before you use your memory. That said, never try to relax your mind without relaxing your body first. In fact, it’s very likely that the only way to truly relax your mind is by relaxing the body first. So the next time you sit down to study, stretch a little first. One way I like to do that is by mind mapping. My friend Joseph Rodrigues is a great source for learning how to use the technique to get into a state of flow. Meditate. Focus on your breathing. Just 5 minutes a day, 4 times a week is scientifically proven to create better memory. Attention paid to breathing will lower most of your resistances to learning and make everything easier. You can also use your meditation time to walk through the Memory Palace Networks you create. As memory expert Boris Konrad has explained, active recall is essential for memory formation. What better way to practice it than when you’re already using meditation to stack the chips in your favor? 3. Understand That The Map Is Never The Territory – But Maps Sure Do Help! When I created this Infographic and Podcast episode teaching you how to realistically memorize a textbook, I had no idea people would find it so practical and useful. After all, everybody asks me for “tips and tricks” that will let them memorize entire books. But the truth is that this feat is rarely necessary. In fact, it’s probably never necessary. But if you use the techniques I teach in that podcast to get a global overview of the book you need to read, you’ll have a map. This map will set the stage for your experience of the territory. And that will give you laser-targeted tools for remembering the parts that matter. Proof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIQRiqQFKQY When you can do that, you do better than just learn and remember. You also create knowledge. And when you create knowledge, the speed at which you can learn grows exponentially. It feels good, creates energy and encouragement and keeps you on the path of continual growth. Nothing difficult or painful about that. 4. The Magnetic Magnifying Glass Method Have you ever heard the phrase, “you don’t know what you don’t know”? Tony Buzan mentioned it during our conversation some time ago on the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast. If you want to make learning faster and easier, make sure to get yourself in orbit with that concept. Why? Because when you hold a magnifying glass to your own ignorance, you get real clear on what it is you need to learn. Without that clarity, it’s nearly impossible to make progress as a self-directed learner. In other words, learning truly is hard and slow when you’re stumbling around blind in a cloud of unknowing. But when you ask questions about what you know and don’t know about a topic, suddenly a lot of that fog is whisked away. Want a simple exercise you can use for each and every learning project you ever undertake? I promise: It’s easy, fun and speeds up everything. It’s called: Writing summaries. Every time you take a class, attend a lecture, read a chapter, watch a video or even use an app, take a quick second to jot down everything you can remember. Then beneath that, start asking questions about what it is you think was covered … but mysteriously can’t remember. This will help train your selective attention abilities. Then make two plans: One plan for how you’re going to continue to remember what you remembered. Another plan for what you’re going to do to fill in the gaps so that you can remember the information you think flew over your head. Simple. Elegant. Easy and effective. Why Most People Prefer A Life Based On Excuses A lot of people will go through a post like this, nod yes to each and every point and then carry on with their lives of learning desperation. The reason why this happens, beyond just a bad way of drawing from their episodic memory, is simple: It’s all contained in point number one. If you missed it and care about the life of your memory and your mind, go over it again. And if you feel like you’re resistant to any of the wisdom contained in this post, review the second point I’ve made. If anything on the planet raises your hackles, a few simple brain exercises that take just a few minutes of your time could be a game changer for you. And if you’d like a realistic way to remember everything of importance in any book or posts like these you encounter in the world, here are 7 more powerful tips that show you how to improve memory for studying. For the true Magnetic Knight, point four will be the most precious of all. There’s a little comment section below where you can complete this part of the exercise. I’ll be around to help you fill in any gaps I may have missed. I look forward to hearing from you, and until next time, keep learning and keep yourself Magnetic! 🙂 Yours Free: A Private Course With Cheat Sheets For Becoming A Memory Master, Starting From Scratch. >>> Click Here For This Special Free Offer.


7 Jun 2017

Rank #15

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What Are Cognitive Maps & Do They Work With Memory Palaces?

When James called me this morning from the cafe, I was able to give him exact directions to my pad thanks to having strong cognitive maps. I did not have to think about the route. I did not have to look it up on Google Maps. The path from my favorite cafe to my apartment is laid out clearly in my brain. Every turn, every lane is distinctly mapped in my memory. How can I do this? It is my superpower. Voila! Okay, that’s not correct. It’s not my superpower. We all have this superpower.  We all use cognitive maps or mental maps every day to navigate unfamiliar territory, give directions, learn or recall information. In this post, I’ll explain what are cognitive maps, how do they work and how to use them in memory strengthening exercises like memory palaces. Here’s what I’ll cover: What are Cognitive Maps? Importance of Cognitive Maps How do Cognitive Maps Work? Are Cognitive Maps Accurate?  Are Cognitive Maps Different from a Mind Map? How to Build Memory Palaces with Cognitive Maps? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjn0ndC5h6Q Yours Free: A Private Course With Cheat Sheets For Becoming A Memory Master, Starting From Scratch. >>> Click Here For This Special Free Offer. What are Cognitive Maps?  In brief, they are mental representations or images of the layout of one’s physical environment. That spatial representation can include the exact specifics of a location and the general area of a location.  As we interact with our surroundings, we interpret and encode them into mental maps or nodes of knowledge. We then use these mental maps or spatial information to travel to our favourite restaurant, nearest hospital or just get to the office. We can also use mental maps to form powerful memory palaces and memorize anything. I’ll tell you more about this later. Edward Tolman coined the term “cognitive maps” in 1948. Coined in the 1940s by American psychologist Edward Tolman, cognitive maps are an internal spatial representation or mental model of the landscape in which we travel. The term and the concept were introduced by Tolman in an article in the journal Psychological Review in 1948.  Cognitive maps are also known as mental maps, mind maps, schemata, and frames of reference. They are a small part of a person’s spatial cognition.  The branch of cognitive psychology that studies how you gain and utilize knowledge about your environment to identify where you are, how to obtain resources, and how to find your way home is known as spatial cognition. According to D.R. Montello, in the International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001:  “The cognitive (or mental) map includes knowledge of landmarks, route connections, and distance and direction relations; nonspatial attributes and emotional associations are stored as well. However, in many ways, the cognitive map is not like a cartographic ‘map in the head.’ It is not a unitary integrated representation, but consists of stored discrete pieces including landmarks, route segments, and regions. The separate pieces are partially linked or associated frequently so as to represent hierarchies such as the location of a place inside of a larger region.”  Importance of Cognitive Maps   Cognitive mapping has a definite function. It is an essential skill for many living organisms, and it is the reason we do not get lost in places we have been in before. Tolman believed cognitive mapping to be a type of latent learning where individuals acquire large numbers of signals or cues from the environment and use these to build a mental image of their environment or a cognitive map. The fun part? When you drive or walk the same route every day, you learn the locations of various objects and buildings and build mental models of these routes. The cognitive processes take place automatically. You are usually not cognizant of this latent learning. Now when you need to find a building or object on that particular route, your cognitive mapping of that route comes into play. Your cognitive processes use existing knowledge of the environment to generate new knowledge or pathways to find the building or object. You usually do not have a problem locating a familiar place, even if you have access to a wide range of mental models.  Cognitive Maps & Mazes Edward Tolman’s experiments involving rats and mazes was how he was able to visualize the importance of cognitive mapping in the human brain. Tolman placed a rat in a cross-shaped maze and allowed it to explore the maze.  After the rat had explored the maze for a bit, it was placed at one arm of the cross, and food was kept at the next arm to the immediate right.  Since the rat was familiar with the layout, it learned to turn right at the intersection to get to the food.  Next, the rat was placed at a different arm of the cross maze. Tolman was interested to see if there was a change in behavior. Did it get lost? No, the rat was still able to move in the direction of the food no matter where in the maze it was placed. Differences in the position of the rat did not matter. Tolman stated that this was because of the initial cognitive map it had created of the maze.  Tolman’s experiments with rats ingrained the idea of the cognitive map in cognitive psychology. How do Cognitive Maps Work?  What is the process to design cognitive maps in your brain? Your brain creates a cognitive map using a number of sources. It uses visual stimulus and other cues like olfaction and hearing to deduce your location within an environment as you move through it. Using these cues, a vector is created that represents your position and direction within an environment. The vector is then passed to the hippocampal place cells where it is interpreted, and the brain gets more information about the environment and your relative locations within the context of the cognitive map. The entire activity may seem complex, but it happens almost automatically. The Hippocampus As A Cognitive Map Interestingly, both birds and mammals form cognitive maps using the brain’s hippocampus.  In The Hippocampus as a Cognitive Map (1978), neuroscientist John O’Keefe and neuropsychologist Lynn Nadel, say that neurons in the hippocampus form a memory of the animal’s environment. Then when the animal goes to that particular place, these neurons are reminded of that place, as if they were reading from a map.  The book provided a more allocentric interpretation of the cognitive map. Other studies by Torkel Hafting and Marianne Fyhn – part of a team headed by Edvard and May-Britt Moser at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology – discovered the existence of grid cells in the brain. They used techniques mastered by O’Keefe to study inputs to the hippocampus.  The researchers found a new type of spatial cells in the entorhinal cortex. The entorhinal cortex is the part of the brain that sends more information to the hippocampus than almost anywhere else. Surprisingly, the researchers found that these cells fired only when the rat went into specific places in the environment and that they fired in many places.  More interesting still, these cells formed a hexagonal pattern in which each firing place was the same distance from all its neighbouring ones.  The study led researchers to the discovery that metric information is inherent in the brain, wired into the grid cells, regardless of its prior experience.  The discovery proved to be both surprising and dramatic discovery. Scientists drew an important inference. They now understood that the hippocampus is both a map and a memory system. Does Cognitive Mapping Use Memory? Cognitive mapping uses spatial memory, but it is more than that.  Spatial memory records information about one’s environment and spatial orientation. Now, here’s the most important point to understand: The fact that you can retain the sequence of streets in the directions to your house is spatial memory. However, when you see these streets in your “mind’s eye” as you give directions – that is cognitive mapping.  Yours Free: A Private Course With Cheat Sheets For Becoming A Memory Master, Starting From Scratch. >>> Click Here For This Special Free Offer. Are Cognitive Maps Accurate?  Cognitive maps are not completely accurate. When you create a cognitive map, your brain will omit information that is irrelevant to the task at hand.  For example, you and your colleague, who lives in the same apartment block, take the same route to drive home daily. However, while you are in the driving seat, your colleague has a driver.  So, while you may be able to describe the route from the office to home accurately, your colleague may have a more basic idea of the road and objects en route. Why? Because he does not have to concentrate on the road during the drive, whereas you must.  Therefore, both of you sketch maps of the same route differently. The example also shows that travel modes can impact cognitive mapping. The way people travel has a huge impact on your cognitive mapping – especially if they regularly use neurobics. Understanding how the brain processes and sketches cognitive maps has important implications for transportation planners and accessibility planning in cities. What this also means is that a cognitive map can be different from the actual environment that a person is mapping due to the relationships of an individual with the environmental stimuli.  Furthermore, the way spatial knowledge is represented in your mind leads to certain patterns of distortions. Spatial knowledge in the human brain is not as well modeled as the Euclidean geometry of high school math. For example, people often think the distance to go from A to B is different than from B to A.  Moreover, cognitive maps generally get distorted by simplifying assumptions, beliefs and preconceptions. For instance, in your cognitive maps, all roads may join at right angles or straight lines even if they do not do so in the real-world.  Are Cognitive Maps Different From a Mind Map? When it comes to the real of ideas, mind maps do relate. You can think of them as the most simplistic and straightforward type of cognitive maps.  They are quick to create and have a clear hierarchy and structure. A mind map is akin to a tree with branches, where the bark represents a central topic, and the branches denote the subtopics.  A quick Mind Map for learning German vocabulary related to cooking (hence the fish). In mind-mapping, the map represents information and ideas that are connected to each other. Such connections enable you to retain and learn new things quickly and easily.  Mind map “links” are usually “dynamically passive” – they don’t represent anything more than connectivity used for creativity and enhanced memory. To get really good, I suggest you check out Tony Buzan’s Mind Map Mastery. In cognitive mapping, a model of the world is created using links as well as concepts. Moreover, cognitive mapping also uses links more actively than mind mapping. But the larger point involves strategy, which is what we’ll cover next.  How to Build Memory Palaces with Cognitive Maps? Can these special maps in your brain enable you to find and build memory palaces? Absolutely! Here’s how: As you form new cognitive maps of places you visit or recall your childhood home, college dormitory, a beloved first apartment, or your current residence, try to use them as multiple Memory Palaces. Seen a new movie or read a new novel? Use the layout of the fictional character’s home or environment to create your own mind palace. Think the tiny home of Frodo Baggins from Lord of the Rings or Monica’s iconic New York apartment on Friends. In sum: Just use your natural ability to form mental maps to build strong memory palaces and you can remember anything that you want. Ready to get started? If not, let me know your questions and let’s get you more clarity so you can!


18 Dec 2019

Rank #16

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Nir Eyal On Creating An Indistractable Life And Techno Panic-Free Focus

Writer and philosopher Paul Virilio famously said “The invention of the ship was also the invention of the shipwreck.” In this day and age, how true, how fitting… With every success comes unforeseen consequences. Just look at Facebook. Once touted as a revolutionary social networking giant, and undoubtedly the forerunner of modern digital communication, it is now more famous for its “scandals” in the 2016 US Presidential election and data breeches (i.e. selling your private data). Do you think Mark Zuckerberg could ever have imagined this level of influence and power could be his when he dreamed up the platform in his dorm room? Or the consequences and downfall that comes with it? And that’s just the “big stuff.” What about the role of tech and social media in our everyday lives? Don’t we enjoy a rush of adrenaline or a bit of a dopamine spike when our device lights up and sounds that familiar ping, or we see our phone buzz on our desk? We are, without a doubt, under a spell. And it’s not just Facebook. I’m looking at you Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Tiktok (and whatever the hot new app is coming down the pipeline next). The notifications call. We answer. And just like the Titanic, we unwittingly are steering our ship towards an iceberg, all due to distraction. But what if our lives weren’t ruled by the hefty priced device in our pocket? Today I sit down with bestselling writer, Nir Eyal, author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life. Nir is a former Stanford Graduate School professor and accomplished and successful angel investor, consultant, and teacher. We discuss Indistractable and how you can break the cycle of “ding, glance (or in reality 30 minutes later), return to task/conversation/work/sleep, repeat.” You don’t have to live as a slave to technology. You are not a slave of your own making. You are the captain of your ship. Curious and want to know more? All you have to do is press play (above) now and you’ll discover: Why “indistractable” is a noun, and not an adjective How a moniker can set you up for success The reason we can look to religion as an example of healthy habits…even if we’re “nonbelievers” The benefit of teaching others to form your own identity The tactful way you can encourage those around you to be “indistractable” How we define social antibodies, and how they can help culture, as a whole Why we should lead by example where technology dependence is concerned… but, at the same time, need to push back on the techno panics (I agree to large extent with Nir on this point, but still feel Digital Amnesia is a pressing issue and we’re too early in the game to say much either way) Where blame really lies for technology addiction (and it’s not what you think) Why detoxes, “30 day plans,” and other extremist responses aren’t the solution to calm a distracted mind and life The reason distraction doesn’t always look like what we think (it’s not all Instagram and Candy Crush folks!) The real cause of our distraction and the greatest source of distraction (hint: it’s not an outside source and Evernote is probably okay to use) Why a five year plan approach isn’t the most effective measure of your values…and what is The three key areas to consider when dividing and prioritizing your time Do I Recommend Indistractable? As a matter of fact, I do. Even though I’m goofing around in this photo, the fact is that without the techniques Nir shares, I’d be a nutcase. No kidding. Without knowing how to deal with distractions, I’d never be able to keep up the pace of releasing: A nearly-weekly podcast Weekly YouTube videos Weekly blog posts Quarterly new memory training products Reading 2-3 books weekly So yes, learned new concepts from this book. Very importantly, reading it reinforced old ideas that were well worth revisiting too. Even if you think you’ve heard it all before, I promise you this book will give you some surprises, compelling new research findings and unexpected help. To wit, you even get a precious analog device that could be worth millions to you one day. (No exaggeration.) And if you are that rare cat who really has heard it all before, then you already know the wisdom of reinforcement. You have already used the speed of implementation rule to order your copy. Congrats! In case you don’t know that rule, watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=386LzJmXWHE Further Resources on the Web, this podcast, and the MMM Blog: Nir And Far (Nir’s official website) Special link for ordering Indistractable Nir’s scheduling tool Nir’s distraction guide Nir’s article on habits vs. routines Nir on Twitter Nir Eyal’s Morning Routine on Business Insider Indistractable’s feature on Forbes.com Timothy Moser Talks About Memory Skills and Productivity (MMM Podcast) 3 Shocking Ways Smartphone Addiction Erodes Your Brain and Memory


12 Dec 2019

Rank #17

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From Mnemonics Beginner To Memory Palace Mastery with Sunil Khatri

Do you find memory techniques like the Memory Palace daunting? Not sure where to begin with your Magnetic Imagery? And are you having a hard time getting creative and wish you could just leave the “heavy lifting” to the experts? Believe me, it’s not just you. I receive so many emails from students of memory and lifelong learners just like you. People searching for help… Asking for mnemonic examples… Guidance that will make creating and using their Memory Palaces easier… Tips that will turn the average imagination into a fast-acting mnemonics dictionary. Need A “Hand Up” With Memory Palace Creation While I still believe you learn the most by doing it yourself by creating your own Memory Palaces and “00-99 P.A.O.” from “scratch,” I understand that people sometimes need a “hand up” to get started. In fact, I’ve learned over the years that for some people, personal guidance is a key element. That’s why I created the MMM Memory Dojo.  It’s a weekly option for MMM Masterclass members who need additional help with priming their minds for committing information to memory using memory techniques. And since this option only has the value its members bring, I’m delighted to have some of the best and brightest thinkers about memory techniques participating in the Memory Dojo week after week. On today’s episode of the Magnetic Memory Method podcast, my long-time student, Sunil Khatri, shares his experiences of progressing from a beginner memory pupil with a desire to learn Korean and Japanese, to a visionary app-builder, seeking to help students more easily develop and visualize spatial memory. Just check out his concept for a Memory Palace memory training app that will help you memorize the Periodic Table of Elements: https://youtu.be/qLXqzcqG7N4 Now, you may remember Sunil’s name, as he has guest-hosted the podcast before, detailing his Speech Success Story. And if you are searching for an inspirational success story to motivate you to start creating your own victories in memory improvement, or perhaps need a bit of guidance, Sunil’s experience is brimming with answers. Press play above now to hear Sunil and I share: How to make a great first (and lasting) impression on others by remembering their names How to use everyday surroundings in new ways to create memory palace networks The potential of apps as legitimate memory training tools All the most important details of Sunil’s massive success with learning Japanese using mnemonics Why you need a flexible memory method The truth about Using Remembering the Kanji by James Heisig for language learning How to develop memory reserve with memory techniques and language learning Writing as a study technique to commit terms to memory The importance of group discussions in experiencing success with mnemonics How virtual reality may be the future of memory techniques EPISODE BONUS: Exciting Bridging Figure Mnemonic Example It turns out that Sunil is also a pretty adventurous guy. When he sent me this image I instantly realized he is now a great Bridging Figure: Any time you can use images like these of people you know, you’re already using memory techniques better. Why? Because this image of Sunil skydiving is naturally exaggerated. It’s also colorful, large in the frame, and indicates a lot of speed. Keep an eye out for images of your friends and actors like these! And as if this bonus from Sunil wasn’t enough, check out these… Further Resources on the Web, This Podcast, and the MMM Blog: How to Enhance Your Memory with Virtual Memory Palaces Remembering the Kanji on Amazon How to memorize hiragana How to Learn and Memorize the Vocabulary of Any Language Course Teach Yourself Using the Best Language Learning Books by Olly Richards How Kevin Richardson Turned His Memory Palace Network Into The Best Japanese Learning App Why Bilingualism Makes For A Healthier Brain


7 Feb 2019

Rank #18

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11 Empowering Things About Memory You Probably Do Not Know

Ever hear that crazy phrase, “knowledge is power”? Sounds kind of cool, right? But have you ever asked yourself … What The Heck Does That Silly Cliche Mean? Well, “power,” it turns out, is an interesting concept. Especially when it comes to memory and memory improvement. To begin, understand this: People have defined it thousands of different ways throughout history. Ever since I discovered it in university, I’ve always liked Michel Foucault’s definition. He’s a philosopher who you should check out sometime. Don’t worry if you think philosophy is boring. Foucault didn’t dally around. He gets right down to defining it in many books. For Foucault, power amounts to “the ability to conduct the conduct of others.” Now, let’s be honest: Who In Their Right Mind Wouldn’t Want A Taste Of That? And let’s be clear: When it comes to memory improvement and using memory techniques as a way of life, that’s what we going for: Power. Exactly as Michel Foucault defined. Why? Because if you’re using memory techniques to help you learn a language, guess what? Speaking a language “controls” what others think. Just like my words are controlling what you think now. Controlling what you’re thinking, feeling, deciding to do next. And more than that … Power Is Productive It produces the next action in line. When it comes to the power that using memory techniques creates, think of it this way: If you’re using memory techniques for numbers so that you can quote SKU numbers at work or cite aspects of the law, you’re instantly better at controlling how your colleagues work with you. Pretty neat, huh? Well, hold on now, because it gets even better. Because there are a lot of things about memory you probably don’t know. And all of them will give you more power. Which equals more control. Particularly over the most important person in your life you need better control over. You. So with all that in mind, let’s get started: 1. Memory Loss Starts At A Much Younger Age Than Most People Think Sad, but true. We have this image that memory loss starts when you’re forty or older. Worse, we project the idea that struggles with memory belong to the elderly or people with Alzheimer’s. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Long before the age of digital amnesia, scientists knew that memory struggles begin already in our mid-20s, if not earlier. And the more people relegate their memory activities to smartphones and computers, the more younger people start experiencing memory problems. Don’t Blame The Machines For Everything! Of course, we can’t just blame the machines or the questionable fact that they don’t teach learning and memory techniques in schools. (They do.) This is what’s more important: We’re exposing young people to information they don’t care about. Want to help the young person in your life learn how to discover exactly what they care about to help guide their studies? Make sure you listen to the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast for the link to the listener only audiobook, The Ultimate Memory Improvement Secret. I promise. That book will help. And then giddy up on improving your memory. No matter how young and spry you think you are now, memory loss is always around the corner. 2. You Change Your Memories Every Time You Remember Them https://youtu.be/5xIKG3lG4Ok?t=1m I love that scene from Lost Highway. For two reasons: A) It exposes a fundamental truth about human behavior. B) The whole movie is about how memories change merely by recalling them. And it’s true. Every time you remember something, you’re engaging in an exchange of chemicals. You know this, right? Your mind is produced by your brain: soft, squishy material made up of all kinds of nutrients and acids. The kind of stuff that aliens probably love to eat. 😉 And in that pool of chemical substances, sit your memories. Your memories are part of that stuff, not different from it. Every time you access one of them, it’s like putting bread into a toaster. Chemical change. And, as you know, bread that has been toasted ain’t never going back to being bread again. It’s different now, and different it shall remain. 3. Your Memory Is More Like A Neighborhood Than A Computer Not only are your memories made of physical material, they are also dispersed like multiple spheres in a pinball machine. Think of it the way Gary Small suggested when I interviewed him on the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast. He explains that the computer metaphor for the human brain and memory is false. Instead, your brain is like a series of neighborhoods, bigger and more complex than the biggest cities of the world. And every time new information enters your “memory city,” it doesn’t book a room in a hotel someplace and wait patiently to be called for a business meeting when you need it. Instead, the information is broken up and sent into many different homes in many different neighborhoods. The Businessmen Your Memory Slices And Dices Everyday Think of it like this: Say that you learn a German phrase like, “Ich möchte mir etwas kaufen, aber ich weiß nicht was.” (I want to buy myself something, but I don’t know what.) If that phrase was a businessman, your memory wouldn’t store him altogether in the same place. Instead, it would take his hat and put it in one home in one neighborhood of your memory. Then, in an entirely different neighborhood, your memory would deposit his briefcase. And that neighborhood might be just around the bend, or it might be hundreds of thousands of miles away. And the division keeps going, taking each arm of the businessman to a unique location. It might even be the case that each individual toe goes to its own home in a variety of different neighborhoods. Sounds Complex, Doesn’t It? Well, that’s the miracle and challenge of memory. Next time you struggle to recall something because you’re missing a part (like a last name when you have the first name), understand that this is why: Your memory stored the first and last name, just not necessarily in the same neighborhood of your “memory city.” And this is why memory techniques are so fantastic, especially for remembering a lot of names at events: When you use a Memory Palace, and particularly the Magnetic Memory Method, you’re rigging the game in your favor. You are literally requesting that your mind store the information in a more compact way. You are creating connections that put you in control of information storage in ways that no computer can beat. 4. You Cash In On Your Memories Overnight I know, I know, you’re tired of hearing about how important SLEEP DEFICIT page is for your memory. I’m sorry. Get used to it. Nothing could be more important for your memory. I’ve experienced a lot of sleep deficit over the past few years due to traveling the world in search of new Memory Palaces. I can tell you one thing: Nothing hurts your memory more than exhaustion. Why? Because even with the most powerful memory techniques in the world, memory “consolidates” during sleep. It seems to be related to the same way that we experience muscle growth during sleep. Work out all you want in the gym, but if you’re not putting in the snooze time, you’ll never see anything like the results you want. Does Memory Consolidation Work If You’re Old? Recent research shows that sleep consolidation might not be nearly as important for memory as an adult as it is for a younger person. But in my own experiences as someone now in his forties, I can tell you that I still feel a huge difference. I’ve also done experiments with changing when I memorize Chinese vocabulary, and I do seem to have much stronger recall when I use the Magnetic Memory Method at night, rather than the morning. Here’s the real kicker, though: Practicing your memory first thing and before you go to bed. WINNING! 5. Technology Can Augment Human Memory, But Also Harm It Some of my friends think I’m a Luddite. After all, I didn’t update my iPhone 4s until 2017. And even then I never used it as a phone anyway. It’s a computer for reading and writing. All things told, all my devices are good for memory in certain contexts and I appreciate having them. But we’re killing our memory abilities in so many ways. I talk about this a lot on my post about digital amnesia, so I’ll step off my soapbox for now. Just please understand that we need balance in our life and that’s why vinyl records are so popular, not to mention physical journals (I recommend The Freedom Journal). 6. Repetition Can Be Fun Most people don’t know this, but rote learning does have a fun button written into its code. No, that’s a lie. Rote learning is always a crime against humanity. If you have to repeat anything a zillion times or you’re bombing through flash cards without at least the assistance of some mnemonics, you’re doing it wrong. No exposure to information should be without excitement. And every memory activity you engage in should CREATE energy, not CONSUME it. Think of that the next time you repeat something mindlessly with the hope and the wish and the prayer that it will stick in your memory. Remember: power is productive. If rote learning and spaced-repetition software give you your jollies, rock on. But if you’re sick of hammering your brain with same information and having it drain you of enthusiasm, get out into the real world and use a Memory Palace and the rest of the Magnetic Memory Method instead. 7. Human Memory (Probably) Has No Limits People often think that their memory is like a sponge. If they bring in new information, they ask, won’t it squeeze the old stuff out? The answer is no. Memory is nothing like a sponge and there is no metaphor of “storage” or “absorption” that fits the bill. It’s also important to understand that when we use the word “memory” we are mushing together all kinds of different memory? There’s no way we can use them all up. And if you have a good Memory Palace technique by your side, here’s the thing: You can ALWAYS find a building you’ve never been in before. Get out your Memory Journal, make a quick sketch. Chart out your Magnetic Stations. And then use them to memorize some information. Bang Presto. It’s easy, fun and you don’t have to be a world traveler to do it. I’ll bet there are at least ten cafes and restaurants you haven’t been to in your city or town that would make glorious Memory Palaces. You don’t even have to spend money in them to create your Memory Palaces. You could just go during off hours and tell them what you’re doing. Most will be okay with that. If Not, Just Move On … And if you don’t like restaurants or cafes, go to movie theaters. Go to libraries. Museums. Churches. Even well-structured parks can serve if you’re into outdoor Memory Palaces. The point is to not trick yourself into thinking that you’re running out of Memory Palaces. That can’t and won’t happen. That’s called “Memory Palace Scarcity, ” and sadly it stops many people cold in their tracks. Don’t let it happen to you. 8. You Probably Remember Less From Ebooks Than Physical Books I’ll bet you love Ebooks. I know I sure do. The problem is … You’re much less likely to remember information you read digitally than from physical books. Why is this? Well, you can check out the research for yourself, but I have a pet theory. And the theory is more than the obvious points that information is “located” inside of books in a way that it cannot be inside a computer. In other words, it is probably useful to your memory that you know on a conscious or subconscious level that a piece of information was 1/4 or 3/4 of the way into a book. The location of the information within the physical space of the book is a kind of memory hook. You don’t get that feeling in an Ebook, even though devices like Kindle will show you a percentage to give you a sense of progress. I also don’t think it’s just about the physical differences between holding a book and holding a digital reader. Those elements are important too, but far more critical it seems to me is this: Your Brain Is Chemical Your brain is chemical. Books are chemical. And computers are chemical too … And yet somehow … I don’t know how to explain it. And I’m happy to be dead wrong, but I just think we are at a strange remove from “digital ink” that doesn’t exist when you’ve got a book in your hand. It may have to do with presence. The best way I can think of to explain it is to relate books to vinyl records. Check out this cool video from Vinyl Eyezz to expand your thinking on the matter. Then go buy something physical. https://youtu.be/qkdA5sG6rDg 9. Memories Can Be Manufactured Just as each memory transforms every time you recall it, you can be compelled to create memories that never happened. There are a lot of angles to this problem, some of which fall under the title of false memory syndrome. But I think it’s more complex than that – and quite possibly sinister. For example, look at this seemingly innocent manufacturing of memory regarding a hot air balloon experience: https://youtu.be/zcjYB1hLzLg Then imagine that the cops have accused you of committing a murder. Scary stuff, right? Well, now that you know about this problem, you can fend off any threats that might emerge around it in your life. And the best thing for it is to train your memory so that you’re starting off strong in the first place if trouble ever arises. 10. The First Memory Palace Probably Comes From The Buddha, Not Ancient Greece I love the story of Simonides of Ceos. It not only demonstrates just how easy it is to remember stories, but the story itself contains all the traits of what makes a story memorable. But here’s the thing: The idea of “location-based mnemonics,” (the sexier, but more accurate term for the Memory Palace technique) predates Simonides by a long time. For example, many yogic and Buddhist rituals involved using parts of temples to recall passages of rituals. You might imagine a bridge in one corner of the temple, for example, and a black dog in another. Then, during your meditation, you would mentally “visit” these Magnetic stations in the temple Memory Palace and decode them as part of completing the meditation. Sure, they didn’t call it a Memory Palace and probably didn’t think of it as a memory technique. But that’s what’s going on beyond a doubt. And the best part is that when you understand this relationship between space and memory, the role of churches of all stripes throughout history becomes much clearer. Stations of the Cross, anyone? 11. Stories Filled With Emotion Are The Easiest Information To Remember Yesterday I ate a sandwich. It was good. … not very memorable, is it? Of course not. But what if I told you that yesterday at 11:49 p.m., I was so ravenously hungry that a furious rage overtook me. I hopped into a tank I stole from the local military and drove it through the wall of the nearest McDonald’s. Then, with a wave of my magic wand, I made my mouth so big that I could fit all the food in the restaurant into my mouth. I’m talking EVERYTHING. I vacuumed it in like I was the Hoover Vacuum King of Fast Food. Then I burped a strawberry vanilla-scented wind that put the police in a relaxed state so that they turned around and went to the nearest Buddhist temple to meditate about bridges and dogs. Stupid story, I know, but it’s a heck of a lot more memorable. Why? Because it’s got emotions in it: The NEED of hunger. The ANGER of irrational aggression. The EXCITEMENT of magic. The WEIRDNESS of dream logic. And all those elements mixed together make bland information much more memorable. Go ahead and try it. Pump a reminder into your phone for later today: What was Anthony’s story at the end of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast? Take a moment to jot it down. Then come back and compare notes. I’ll bet your 85-99% accurate in your recall. Here’s What’s Even Better: You can apply that same, emotion-based zaniness to even the most deadly boring information in the world. And so long as you know how to create a Memory Palace and use Magnetic Imagery to encode and decode the information through the Recall Rehearsal process … Power! Sheer power! And power in the positive senses we’ve been talking about. So listen … There’s no need to struggle with bad memory anymore. In fact, no one has a bad memory. People who suffer from forgetfulness just don’t know enough about the miracle of memory. But now you do and the future is wide open and bright for more discovery about your memory and your mind. Get out there and have fun and until next time … Keep yourself Magnetic! 🙂


15 Mar 2017

Rank #19

Podcast cover

Insights to Remember Before Starting Over

Have you ever gone through a phase that forced you into starting over from scratch? Don’t worry. It happens to everyone. Luckily, we can learn from those who have gone before us. In this guest post from Jeffrey Pickett, you’ll learn how to minimize the suffering that comes from rebooting your life and how to get back on your feet in the best possible manner. Three Reasons Why Starting Over Is So Painful Starting over can be painful. You’d love to blame others, but after close analysis, you realize it all points back to the person looking at you in the mirror. Our careers, like cars, were meant to go forward most if not all of the time. No one likes to go in reverse. It takes more attention, more focus and more detail. Starting over means you need to back up before you can go forward. Finally, starting over sucks because self-doubts creep in the back door, playing with your mind. The sky is no longer blue, the chirping birds are dead, and someone pulled the chain, diminishing the once bright sunlight. Take heart, my friends, because it just so happens I am the self-proclaimed big deal in the world of starting over. Allow me to prove it to you… Why You Should Forgive But Don’t Forget In a previous relationship, well perhaps several, the occasion to try and make things work occurred a few times too many. The bottom eventually fell out and I beat myself up for letting things go on as long as I did. That guy on the street with the “The End is Near” sign was right all along. I just wouldn’t listen. When you make mistakes, learn from the event, forgive yourself and move on. Looking in the rearview mirror only serves to cause pain. Learn the lesson and move forward. Forgive while you’re at it. Holding anger or resentment towards another only sets you up for failure. Let go of the attachment to anger. Wouldn’t It Be Cool If You Could Be Superman? I think I’d ditch the cape myself, but having superpowers and flying around would be awesome, right? Well, back in reality-world, that doesn’t work. You can only be yourself. That’s not totally correct. Humans have this unique ability to recognize who they are and change. We can go back to school, join a gym or even seek therapy if necessary. With effort, we can become a better version of ourselves. An important facet to starting over means you have to be willing to change any aspect of your life that no longer works. Ultimately, you can only change yourself; you have no power to change anyone else. That common definition of insanity (dare I repeat it?) is accurate – to avoid more mistakes, change that which is in you versus what you have no control over. What To Do When The World Turns Upside Down Whenever your world upside down, forcing you to start over, a vital lesson should be at the forefront of your brain. The way we see things may not be the best perspective. You can’t mold the world to your point of view, but you can shift your perspective. Recently I went hiking with my wife. Just when the trail appeared to dead-end, I’d take one more step, and my perspective changed. The opening was there all along; I just needed a few more steps. How To Get More Done With Less Effort I love running. I used to train five to six days a week, running up to 15 miles on some days. But I could never improve my race times. One day, a friend of mine introduced me to running sprints instead of running long distances. I did as he suggested and my race times came down even though I ran shorter training distances. Another example involves my garage that needed some fix-up. A friend offered to help, someone with a lot more experience than I. But my pride got the best of me. I thought I’d do it myself. You can guess what happened. I ripped up most of my work, I cut my thumb open, and my kids learned a new curse word from my repeated frustrations. If only I would have invited the help and pushed away my pride… See the difference? I just needed to change my approach. I Lied – You CAN Be Superman! You just have to do one thing before you begin starting over. You have to learn a new skill. Maybe you need a better memorization technique… A potential reason you are in need of starting over is that as hard as it may sound, you may lack the resources to get the job done. Before starting over, research your topic of interest or situation, gain the extra knowledge and get back into the fight. The Real Reason It’s Better to Give And Not Deceive The world operates differently these days. You used to be able to ask for favors. But now it’s all about, “What Have You Done For Me Lately?” That’s not all bad. Instead of looking out for good ol’ #1, start over with an effort to provide value. Do things for others. Show the world you want to add versus subtract. Don’t provide something with the apparent reason you just want something in return. Give with the intention of helping. If you’re lucky (and genuine), then the gifts will come back. Give your work away. Giving is good for the soul. It’s good for your health, too. Speaking of giving, I have a self-titled website where I give as much of my experiences as I can write down. I’m focusing on health these days, so if you’d like to improve your health and lose some weight in the process, check out my free guide. Well, now you know of my experiences in starting over. I’d love to hear yours. I’ll bet they are the type of stories Jimmy Fallon/Kimmel would feature! Share what happened and what you did to get over it and I’ll see you in the comments. Further Reading How To Live An Interesting Life


31 Mar 2016

Rank #20