Major benefits if you organise your memory!
If there’s one particular aspect of your life that will benefit from being well organised more than most, it’s your memory. Real memory improvement results in a well organised memory, which ultimately is a reliable memory. You store things in it and they’re there, precisely where you left them, next time you look. It’s the cornerstone of everything in your life. That’s a big statement, but it’s true; if you can’t remember things you’ve done, or things you’ve learned, or places you’ve been, or people you’ve met, then you’re living in a mental wilderness. You’re only a few short steps away from needing 24-hour care.
You owe it to yourself to organise your memory and finally achieve some real memory improvement. Even if you’re starting from the low end of the scale (can barely remember your own name!), there’s hope. With the right memory improvement techniques, and a bit of regular practice, you can see real memory improvement within a very short time.
Here’s a few pointers and ideas to get your new, improved memory kick-started into action.
Harness your imagination and really organise your memory!
Albert Einstein famously said “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. He knew what he was talking about! He knew that knowledge, which is always limited, is inferior to imagination, which knows no bounds. As a lowly patents clerk, he came up with world-changing theories of how the Universe operates while allowing his imagination to run free, and indulging in creative visualisation. He would ask himself fundamental questions about life, the Universe, and everything, and then visualise the possible answers in the most vivid, outrageous and creative ways he could manage. His creative visualisation opened up new vistas for him to explore.
We’re not all Einsteins, but we all have the same amazing faculty of imagination. There is literally nothing we cannot imagine, whether it exists or not, or even whether it could exist or not. And the brain feeds off imagination. If we see something in our mind’s eye, and that something is interesting, or better still, fascinating, then the brain stores that image and idea away for future reference. It simply loves novelty and oddness. The stranger and more ridiculous an image, the more eager the brain is to memorise it.
Keep this in mind when you’re working on memory improvement. Unleash the full power of your creative imagination by vividly imagining scenes that might or might not exist, in all their strange and fascinating weirdness. This is one of the most important memory improvement tips that Harry Lorayne mentions repeatedly in The Memory Book and his other works. The more ridiculous the image, and the wilder the scene, the better. You don’t easily remember boring things, so make sure you focus on the totally weird and fantastical!
Steady improvement works best
You’ll probably achieve real memory improvement more successfully if you go about it slowly and steadily. Gradual improvements build up bit by bit, till you realise you’ve finally made some real progress.
Spend just a few minutes a day, every day, working on your memory improvement techniques. Make use of them and start to really organise your memory. Those few minutes will consolidate what you already know and combine it with what you’ve just learned. Slowly and steadily your memory will become more trustworthy, more dependable and more reliable. And the more you trust your memory, the more efficiently it will work.
Trust yourself, trust your memory
A big aspect of memory is trust. If you constantly distrust your memory and expect that it will fail you, you’re laying the foundation for the very failure you don’t want to see. It’s like in any relationship – if you constantly distrust your partner and accuse him or her of various transgressions, sooner or later that partner will stray. You will have brought about the very disaster you were trying so very hard to avoid.
A relationship built on a sounder footing will thrive. Trust brings its own reward. Have a little more faith in your memory and it will work with you, not against you.
Find what works for you
There are numerous memory improvement techniques, but you don’t need to know them all, or use them all. All you need do is find out what works for you and stick with that. If you’ve studied the Major System, and you like the way it works, apply it in as many situations as possible. If you find the 100 List suits you better, go with that. On the other hand, you might find the Journey Method lends itself to various situations, and if that’s the case you should make full use of it.
There are no rules for using your memory, apart from making full use of your imagination and using whichever methods work for you. Don’t feel obliged to do things in a certain way. As long as something is working, and your memory is benefiting from it, that’s all you need to know. If you just want a simple, easy-to-learn memory technique that will enable you to memorise lists, then take a look at the Alphabet List. It might be all you need.
Believe in yourself!
Your subconscious mind is constantly working to bring about you whatever you want. It works ceaselessly to help you, but it can only work with what it knows. If you constantly feed it negative thoughts and images, then it will tend to make them come true. Most of us, most of the time, feed our imaginations with negative thoughts and images about ourselves, which is why things often go wrong, or we don’t achieve the things we want. We might want a certain thing, but if all we can ‘see’ is failure, then the subconscious mind will do whatever it can to bring about what it perceives as the desired result – failure.
To get your memory organised and working efficiently, it’s not enough to want it, you must also enlist the help of your subconscious mind. Put a stop to all the negative self-talk (“I can’t remember”, “I’ve got a memory like a sieve“, “It’s gone right out of my head!”, “I’ve got no memory for names at all”, and all the rest), and instead start to make it a habit of engage in positive self-talk.
Tell yourself that you’re already seeing real memory improvement. See yourself showing off your newly improved memory skills to your friends. Imagine what it will feel like to get the award for achieving the highest marks in that examination you’ve been working towards. Whisk yourself forward through time to the point where things are going really well, and you do indeed have an amazing memory. Feel how wonderful it is to be in control of an outstanding memory, and to have thousands of facts at your fingertips.
Like I said, it’s not enough to just want it, you have to believe in yourself, and imagine the positive outcome you desire. What’s stopping you believing in yourself right now? What’s stopping you??
Instead of berating yourself for having a poor memory, why not just face facts for a change. Think of all the things you’ve already achieved that memory played a part in. Did you learn to understand and speak your native language? I know, silly question! But just think what an achievement of memory that was. Did you learn to drive? Could you have done that without learning and understanding and memorising everything to do with driving? If you’re employed, do you have to have certain facts and figures at your fingertips all day long? How do you think you manage to do that, if it’s not thanks to your memory?
Map your memories!
If you’re studying something and you want to have a physical representation of what you’re memorising, why not create a mind map. A mind map is a simple, bright, intuitive, visual guide to anything you want. They’re easy to create, and they help you organise your thoughts pictorially. When you come to review and revise what you’ve learned, it’s all laid out for you in a brain-friendly format.
Remember, when you look at an artwork you don’t start at the top left and work through it methodically, trying to make sense of it. You take it all in at a glance, your eyes roaming all over it and your brain drinking in all the details and their relationships with each other. Mind maps work the same way – you easily absorb them and all their information, with barely any effort.
Mind mapping employs imagery, colours, symbols, keywords, shapes, icons, and a range of other devices that appeal to the creative part of your brain. Instead of ploughing through pages of miserably dull notes, you could be skimming over colourful mind maps. Try them for just a few weeks and see how easily they can encapsulate your ideas.
Sleep on it!
It pays to get enough sleep. I know, we live in a very busy world these days and there’s hardly enough hours in the day … blah, blah, blah. But you’ve got to stop making excuses and just give your sleep the respect it deserves. Research shows again and again that not only is sleep a very active and necessary part of life, it’s the time when memories are reinforced and new links with existing knowledge are formed. When people took memory tests after a good night’s sleep, they did better than when they didn’t get the chance to rest up.
It’s a trap we all fall into from time to time. We think we have much more important things to do than sleep. The truth, though, is that there’s very little that’s more important to us that getting a good night’s sleep. Never underestimate its value. And don’t short-change yourself when it comes to sleep.
Learn something new
Most of us are quite happy that schooldays are in the past, but that needn’t mean we’ve stopped learning. One of the finest ways to get your memory wheels in motion is to set yourself a new target and just go for it. It could be a new hobby (there’ll be new techniques to learn, and new rules), or a new language (we’d all like to know more languages, and now is always a good time to learn!), or it could be something entirely different. The number of things you could learn is vast, and all you need do is take a look at a site like Quizlet for ideas.
Create your own memory folder
If you’re studying a subject and making notes or mind maps, why not store all the details in a folder kept specifically for the purpose. It’s so much easier to revise your work if it’s kept neatly and in order. And don’t just keep records of the subjects you’re studying, record all your memory work.
If you use the Major System , for example, you could make a list of all your memory peg words, with pictures (if they’re different peg words to the ones on this site). You could also keep a record of the Alphabet List, with pictures, and any other memory lists that you find useful. If you use the Journey Method, keep records of all your own personally constructed memory journeys. You’ll be able to review and revisit them easily once they’re down on paper.
Every time you find something else with which to exercise your memory, print the list or the details and add it to your personal memory folder. Pretty soon, you will have accumulated numerous lists of fascinating facts and information. Remember though, it’s not just the facts that matter, or even the fact that you’re memorising them, it’s the fact that you’re continually developing your imagination and memory further and further as you progress.
That’s the important thing. In fact, it’s invaluable!
There are other pages devoted to helping you get organised, and they’re not scattered haphazardly all over the site. The links to them are all conveniently organised in the sidebar!
>> Get Organised! links in the sidebar >>