You have a wonderful memory. How did you react to this’ introductory statement? Perhaps, your reaction was one of disbelief. A majority of us (as per studies), are convinced that we have a poor or average memory. The truth is something else. Your brain is capable of storing a quadrillion (1 followed by 15 zeros!) and more memory impulses. So there, you do have a wonderful memory. Let us put it differently, there is no such thing as a poor bad memory .The aforesaid bit of information may irritate you, especially if, for years, you have been using the ‘bad memory’ myth as a golden excuse for various purposes. Any expert in the realm of memory empowerment is likely to assert, “There are only trained and untrained memories. There is no such thing as a bad memory.”Moreover, whatever may be your age, you can always train your memory to retain and recall whatever you would like to – facts and figures, names and faces, or numbers and dates.
Eight times world memory champion, Dominic O’Brien testifies, “l typically memoires a 200-digit number spoken at the rate of one digit per second which I hear only once. I regularly give presentations where I am introduced to 80, 90 or 100 or more people just once, after which I am able to reel off not only their first names, but also their surnames. People think that because I can remember so many facts and figures, I must have a photographic memory. This is not the case. Years ago, before training my memory I could recall only seven or eight digits, about the length of a phone number – which is the average human memory span for numbers. I did not just wake up one morning with the ability to remember. I simply studied the techniques for making my mind more supple and put them in to practice.”
Well, by now, if there is a stirring within you to enhance your memory power and you are wondering whether you can train your memory for better performance… the answer is an emphatic ‘Yes’. Let us explore a couple of memory techniques along with some rules that ensure super memory performance. But before that, take the following simple memory test. It will help you compare your own memory performance before and after you have learnt and applied the memory tips explained in this article.
Do any one of the following:
Select and memories a speech you need to make at a forthcoming presentation, seminar or meeting.
Go through the first 15 pages of this issue of Femina and memories the pictures/headlines on each page. (Take four to five minutes to do so.)
Read this list of 15 objects just once. You may take about four minutes to do so and memories them in their proper sequence – chocolate, book, refrigerator, Shah Rukh Khan, Tarot, roses, boss, potato, interview, pen, fish, bed, cat, mother & children. Now, try to write the speech, photographs/headlines or the list of objects in exactly the same order. ‘When scoring yourself, remember that if you leave out one object (concept/thought in case of the speech), that will make the remaining ones incorrect for they will be out of sequence. Give yourself five points for each correct entry. If the objects are out of sequence, you do not score.
OPEN SESAME TO GOOD MEMORY
Any memory trainer worth his,/her
Mnemonic will vouch for the fact that the foundation of a trained memory is association. Consider this: You know what a line is. You form a square by connecting four lines of equal length together. You make a cube by putting six squares together. You could understand the concept of the cube because you know what a line and a square is. Likewise, you learn and remember a thing that is new to you, only by associating it with something you already know Think about it. You will be able to recall many conscious associations you have made to remember some new piece of information. For instance, the spellings of the words ‘believe’, ‘piece’ and’ cemetery’ were made easy to remember and recall when associated with simpler words learnt earlier – lie, pie and the exclamation eee! You associated the words in a phrase- ‘Never believe a lie, “Have a piece of pie,’ and ‘Eee there is a cemetery!’ Now that you have become aware of how association is crucial to memory training, let us qualify association with an adjective – ridiculous. Yes. Ridiculous association is the magic mantra for empowering your memory. Using your imagination and creativity if you can link a new piece of information to something you already know in a ridiculous/silly / illogical, way and actually see that silly image in your mind eye, you can perform memory magic.
Check it out right away with our list of 15 words. Presuming you already know and remember chocolate, the new piece of information you wish t remember is book. Go ahead; make a crazy association between chocolate and book. (No, it’s not being childish. It’s being childlike and it’ll give you results). Perhaps you may see your toddler eating your favourite book instead of the chocolate. (lt is mandatory that you see the picture in your mind for a moment.) Next, you must associate refrigerator with book, again in a ridiculous manner and see the mental image. Maybe you picture your spouse finishing a novel and keeping it in the deep freezer. Then associate Shah Rukh Khan with refrigerator. Perhaps you see yourself opening the fridge door and Shah Rukh Khan leaping out at you! Thus, associating the current piece of information with the preceding piece of information in a ridiculous way, you complete your list of 15 items.
Think of chocolate. –What does chocolate make you think of your toddler chewing a book of course! ‘Book ‘brings the silly image of your spouse putting the novel in the refrigerator. ‘Refrigerator ‘brings to mind the picture of Shah Rukh Khan leaping out at you. So on and so forth. If all your associations were ridiculous and you actually saw them in your mind’s eye for a moment, then you will definitely remember and recall all the items in correct sequence after having read through the list just once! The same aforementioned steps need to be applied to memorizing list of errands, to-dos, short notes, speeches, sales talk… just about anything you wish to remember in a sequence. After all, speeches or long answers are ideas/concepts/ thoughts in a sequence. Read the speech/note once or Twice. Pick out the key words. A key word is a word that will bring
the entire sentence/ thought,/ concept to mind. Make a list of key words in proper sequence. Make ridiculous associations and see the image in your mind’s eye. If you have linked the key words, you are ready to deliver the speech. Think of the first item and say what you want about it. ‘When you are through with it, the next key word will come to mind. Making a list of key words will cause each thought to automatically lead you to the next thought and so on, right through to the end of your sales talk, speech or article.
REMEMBERING NAMES AND FACES
Try the ‘Feature Link’ technique to help you remember and recall names. The first step is to hear the name clearly. If the name is meaningful and you can picture it in your mind, it helps. If possible, ask what the name means. People love talking about their names and Indian names have beautiful meanings which aid visualization Arti, Pooja, Kiran… If the name is meaningless and intangible, then simply think of word/s that sounds close to it, are meaningful and can be visualized. For Jasbir, you think
Of Jazz and beer.
The next step is to observe the person. One particular feature may strike you – a mole, dimple, scar, beautiful eyes, a colorful turban… Now you have to link the name to the feature in a ridiculous manner. Perhaps you may visualize a mini acure Jazzb and playing on and beer flowing from Jasbir’s colorful turban. Next time you meet Jasbir, the silly image will come to your mind and your trained memory will help you recall the name Jasbir. Guaranteed!
Mnemonics is an ancient Greek technique for remembering numbers and dates. The method uses words to make numbers more meaningful and thereby easy to memories. For example, you may memories your savings account number 2557 by constructing a phrase comprising words that have the same number of letters as each digit – my  money  keeps  growing .
THE NUMBER RHYME SYSTEM
In this technique, you think of a word, preferably a noun that rhymes with each number. For example, 1 sun, 2 1oo, 3 tree, 4 door,5 dive,6 bricks, T heaven, S gate, 9 wine, 0 hero, 10 pen. If you can see the mental image of your parents who dive into the loo to cast their votes, you will never forget that in 1″952 [5 dive, 2 loo] Indians began exercising their adult franchise! Know for sure that the more you practice the art of association, the more natural it will become. Once you become adept at creatively imagining ridiculous associations. You will memories with ease and efficiency just about any fact and figure.