The 100 List

The 100 List is possibly the most important memory list you’ll ever construct in your quest to master your memory (if you decide to use it as a mainstay of your memory work, as I have). Everything depends on it! Using The 100 List you will be able to handle every one of the four-digit numbers, of which there are 10,000 (from 0000 to 9999).

Does the prospect of memorising 10,000 number-images daunt you? It should! That would be a monumental task. Don’t worry, you won’t have to actually memorise them. All you’ll have to do is know what goes to make each number, in terms you’ll learn to understand as you get acquainted with the 100 List. Then use that information to make a series of ridiculous images to complete your memory list.

The Dominic System – an amazing memory list

Dominic O'Brien uses a cleverly designed memory list

Dominic O’Brien, memory champion and creator of the Dominic System

Incidentally, I’m indebted to Dominic O’Brien for the basic idea behind the 100 List. I read his take on this years ago in one of his books, and I’ve altered it somewhat to suit my own ideas. Without his work on constructing the list I would have been struggling in my attempt to get a handle on memory work in general – that’s how important it is! If you really want to master your memory, I urge you to acquaint yourself with his work.

The 100 List is a cast of unique characters that will help give some ‘body’ to numbers, which are, in themselves, vague and indistinct. To most of us, numbers mean nothing. What I mean by that is that a number, by itself, it too vague and faceless to mean anything. If someone tells you he has sixteen, what does that mean? Does he have sixteen million pounds/dollars in an offshore account? Does he have sixteen followers on Twitter? Does he have only sixteen days to live? Does he still have sixteen inches to lose from his massive waistline? It’s anybody’s guess!

Without a ‘subject’, a reference point, the numbers themselves mean virtually nothing. To most of us anyway, as I said. There are exceptions, though very few. Daniel Tammett sees numbers as colourful, lively, well-rounded individuals, and somehow manages to do astonishing calculations by watching them merge into new and fascinating shapes right before his (mind’s) eye. That kind of astonishing mental skill is beyond mere mortals like us, so we need to look elsewhere for a more workable system.

Enter, the 100 List. This memory list gives each two-digit number a face, and a character, all its own. Because the characters are of our own choosing, we can be sure they are well-rounded, fully-formed and familiar. And together with each character’s unique action, this is the basis of an amazing memory system.

What this memory list can be used for

Once you have your memory list, you can apply it to all kinds of things. You can link characters and actions to form memorable images that will help you remember numbers of all kinds, ranging from two-digit numbers to very long numbers. This is incredibly useful when it comes to remembering phone numbers, membership numbers, account numbers, passwords, and more.

Another use for the 100 List is when it comes to remembering dates. Appointments become much easier to commit to memory when you can actually ‘see’ them in your mind, using a memory list. And if you want to take it a step further, you can, in effect, memorise the entire calendar. That is to say, you will be able to put the day of the week to any date you come across, in a matter of seconds.

By any standards, this is an astonishing feat of memory, but with your 100 List, your own personal memory list, you will be well equipped to do it, and without much trouble at all. The more vividly you see your number characters, and the more inventive and creative you are when it comes to combining them into little mental ‘videos’, the easier it will become.

To learn more about the 100 List, take a look at these pages:

Using the 100 List | Creating It | Learning It | The 100 List, complete

100 List, 00-19 | 20-39 | 40-59 | 60-79 | 80-99


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