The importance of detail in your memory images
Another twenty-five memory images, each one representing a two-digit number. But there’s more to it than just pictures – the pictures are a great way to help you learn the Major System, but you really need to get to know the links better than just what the memory images show.
For the lock (57), you should imagine kneeling in front of the safe and twiddling the combination dial from side to side. You should ‘hear’ the delicate clicking of the mechanism as the knob turns this way and that. It’s details like this that make your memory images become more vivid and useful.
For the cheese (60) you should be able to smell the richness of it as you cut into it, and see the bits of it falling away as it crumbles. When you hear “62” you should immediately feel the weight of those huge, heavy links as you try to lift the rusty chain. Hear “64” and feel the relief as you settle into that comfortable leather armchair. For “59” you should imagine … well, I’ll leave you to imagine what you want for 59, but I guess the memory images that come to mind might be quite detailed and memorable!
Your memory images need to come alive!
To really make the Major System come alive, you need to get to know these words and memory images far more than just linking them to their numbers. You want to make them as real as you possibly can.
I’ve started to do this, since I’ve taken a renewed interest in the Major System. I think the reason I found the system awkward was probably because I didn’t take the the time to explore the memory images in detail, so it wasn’t easy to really learn the memory links. It’s only when you really make them your own that the Major System becomes such a powerful memory technique.
Time to move on with the Major System. Here’s the next 25 memory images:
Use all your senses when you create your memory images
It’s important to use all your senses when you’re creating memory images to memorise anything. If you do so, you’ll literally be engaging more of your brain. You’ll actually be ‘switching on‘ more neurones. The more neurones you ‘fire’ while trying to memorise anything, the richer and more rounded the memory will be, and consequently the more likely it is that you’ll be able to recall it later. In short, your memory strategies will be more successful.
So, when you think “52” and see the lion in your mind, you should take a moment to enrich your memory images. You should also hear its throaty, rumbling growl, and imagine it standing next to you, or brushing past you. You should ‘feel’ the immensity and weight of its body as it pushes past and shoves you aside. You should feel that you could reach out and grab a handful of its thick, coarse mane. Imagine doing that, and it slowly turns toward you and you see its eyes flash amber as it focuses on you … now you can almost feel the terror you’d feel if it was actually happening.
Take care to create vivid memory images
Don’t be shy to imagine stuff like this – obviously it’s perfectly safe and not really scary at all, in any real sense (even if you’ve got a totally wild imagination!), but more importantly, it really makes a difference if you can begin to feel the emotion you would feel in the real situation (or even just a trace of it).
Let’s say you’re linking the lion (52) to something important … imagine them both in the room with you, and interacting somehow … and also imagine you’re interacting with the lion. Imagine stroking it, or trying to wrench the item from its jaws, or raising your hand in front of the lion and it starts backing off. Whatever it is you want to imagine, don’t just ‘see’ the action in the memory images you create, instead ‘feel’ the feelings you’d be experiencing if it happened for real. So feel really confident the lion will back off when you raise your hand … or frightened that it will advance toward you … or feel its hot breath on your neck as it nuzzles up against you … or just feel the immense size and presence of it near you in that room, which suddenly feels very small and claustrophobic.
This is what makes memory images come to life! Embellish them with detail and imbue them with emotion and your memory images will indeed be memorable.
Make it the ride of your life!
The point is, if you start to stack up various sensations and emotions with your memory images it will make the whole experience more ‘real’. And the more detailed those memory images the more real the experience, and the stronger the memory. It’s a bit like one of those ultra-realistic theme park rides, where you’re sitting in a seat that holds you safely in place, but the seat, and in fact the entire room, rocks as though there’s an earthquake happening. The sound system booms out the sounds of cracking and falling masonry and lights flashing on and off give the impression the power is failing as the building crumbles around you.
Now, if they advertised it as a ‘realistic’ experience and then, when you got there, all you got was a blurred, black and white video of an earthquake playing on a small screen in front of you, you’d feel cheated, and rightly so. And you wouldn’t have any strong, clear memories of the experience to look back on either! The entire thing becomes something special because of all the added sensations.
Richer memory images mean easier memorisation!
If you take the time (a few seconds at most) to add all these detailed sensations to your memory images, you really will find it’s a lot easier to memorise anything.
To learn more about the Major System, take a look at these other pages: learn the Major System peg words (these will help you to master this amazing system), and learn how to use the Major System as a Mental Notebook.
All the links you need are also in the sidebar >>