Create your own personal Memory Palace!
The memory palace is your private domain where you can create and store memories, relax, be creative, and do various other constructive things. The memory palace is an old idea, but like lots of old ideas it’s absolutely priceless! Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have a place to go where you could store all your favourite things, your most precious things, and where you could also relax in wonderful, peaceful, restful surroundings, where the weather is always just the way you like it? Sounds like a millionaire’s paradise hideaway, but it’s a place we can all have access to if we want to, and if we take the time to construct it. Because this place won’t require planning permission, it won’t have to abide by local by-laws, it won’t cost a fortune (won’t cost a penny, actually!), and it won’t take years for construction to be completed.
How to improve your memory? Build a memory palace!
If you want a memory palace of your own all you have to do is build it … in your mind! It can be anything you like. It can be any place you like as well, and as big as you like (or as small and cosy as you like, if that suits you better). It can be situated in an actual palace (though that might be a bit of a strain, unless you’ve had free access to palaces in reality), or it can be in any building you like … or not in a building at all. It can be a place you know well. Or one you remember fondly, such as a hotel you spent a pleasant holiday in some time ago. Or it could be entirely imaginary (possibly more difficult, since you’re ‘building’ it from scratch).
Remember, it can be anything you want. Literally. For example, an entry point might be walking up a grand flight of steps, like the steps of a great hall or a stately home, but once inside you may be faced with many splendid, wide doors leading off a beautiful, stately, chandelier-lit corridor. Each door might lead to a different place (not just a room), such as a town square, or the interior of a submarine, or a spacecraft, or the interior of a doll’s house.
The laws of physics need not apply here – you can fit in a tiny place, or survive in an alien environment. You’re creating a place where you can practise your study techniques, and that’s really all that matters. Remember, this palace is literally without boundaries. This is totally in your imagination, and only you have any say what goes on in there. This is one of the oldest ways to increase memory power, and it relies very largely on your ability to give free rein to your imagination.
Improve your memory by being inventive!
One room might be a grand hall in a museum that you’re familiar with (that would certainly give you plenty of detail to work with, and places in which to site innumerable memory ‘objects’). Another might open onto a sports stadium, where the weather’s always wonderful and the grass is always freshly mown. Another one might take you aboard a luxury cruise ship, with all the things you loved about being on board a ship in reality – the layout of the decks and the cabins, the sea air, the ocean all round, stretching to the far horizon. Obviously, since this is in your imagination, you could always immediately ‘beam up’ to the corridor again, or wherever you want to be, in a flash.
The memory palace need never be small or limited in any way. You can add entire sections any time you want to to (remember, no planning permission needed!), and no limits on how many floors or rooms or anything else! You can have one section that’s literally out-of-this-world – you can step into it and be on the Moon if you like, or on an alien world of your own design.
Relax and enjoy your own private Memory Palace
Not that you’ll be short of options on this planet, of course. One ‘room’ in your palace, so to speak, could be a South Sea island, where you have a fabulous tree house (if that’s what you want) designed to your exact specifications, plus a beach hut, a bar, a sun-dappled rock pool, and anything else you can dream up. You could choose to have a sparkling waterfall, for example, and make this a favourite place to visit for relaxation.
Find an image of an enchanting waterfall on the Web and keep it on your computer so you can have a good look at it till it’s easy to visualise the entire place in detail, the sparkling, splashing waterfall cascading onto wide, flat rocks, the sunlight glistening in the water, the lush vegetation, and anything else you can think of. Design it any way you want, and know that you can visit it at any time, whether for memory purposes or just to relax. Imagine stepping under that cool, rushing waterfall, and the feeling it gives you of washing away all your cares and worries. You could mentally step under that waterfall any time of day, at a moment’s notice, and be immediately refreshed.
Build your Memory Palace just the way you dream it!
Prefer something more structured? Why not make the Pentagon your private office building, and all the offices your very own memory store in which to allocate certain places to specific things. Look up the Pentagon online and see what it’s like. Or maybe you’d like something a little more ‘secret’ … how about the underground lair of NORAD deep inside Cheyenne Mountain. Again, look it up online and see what it’s all about. This is the kind of place that James Bond would feel at home in, and it can be yours, if that’s what you want.
In each of these places, you can imagine precisely what you want. If you need to commit a list to memory, you can devote a whole town square to the job (maybe one you’re familiar with), or a section of NORAD, or an entire floor of a grand hotel.
What’s that? You’d have trouble imagining just how grand a grand hotel can be? Look it up online – go to Google and click on ‘images’, then put in ‘grand hotel’ and see what pictures come up. Or play around with the words – put in ‘top hotel’ or ‘top hotel interior’, or ‘exclusive hotel design’. You’ll find more ideas in a few minutes than your imagination could come up with on its own if you gave it a week to work on it! And each and every one of these amazing places can be yours!
These may be places you could never afford, unless you’re a multi-millionaire or a billionaire, but in your imagination you can have free run of the place. In fact, you can be the sole occupant if you like, or one of a select, invited few. It’s all up to you. Use your memory palace as a storehouse for memories, linking each one to a particular part of the palace, or to a particular ‘thing’ in the palace (e.g. to a spot in a display case in a museum, or on a desk in an office, or a comfortable spot in your tree house, or whatever).
Your Memory Palace is about more than just memory
Use your memory palace for other things too. Anytime you need to relax for a few minutes, just close your eyes and you’re there, instantly. Once you’ve visited your private place a few times and got the feel of it, it’ll be like coming home. You’ll immediately feel the weight of the world lift off you and feel surrounded by a warm glow. You can take a deep breath and enjoy the waterfall, if you like, as a mental shower, or imagine bathing in your exclusive hotel pool, or your luxurious sunken bath. Your sauna is open 24/7 as well, just for you, so if that’s what relaxes you best, it’s always available.
Another great benefit of your private memory palace, apart from enhancing your study techniques, is that you can use it for mental rehearsal, an important tool in enhancing your self image. If you need to get better at something, whether it’s preparing for an interview, or feeling more at ease in your job, or maybe learning a foreign language, or even just being generally more confident in various situations … whatever it is, you can mentally ‘be there’ in your memory palace, practising doing what you need to do, and doing it perfectly.
It’s been shown in numerous experiments that mental rehearsal is virtually the same as physical rehearsal, in terms of results. So see yourself in your favourite surroundings, performing at your very best, faultlessly, even if only for a couple of minutes a day, and be confident that you’re installing in yourself those very abilities that you desire.
Spend some time deciding what kind of memory palace would be ideal for you, and get busy. Build it any way you like, secure in the knowledge that the construction will be easy, painless and virtually instant. And know also that you can change it just as quickly. Your memory palace can be one of the most useful tools in your memory toolbox, and it can help you improve your memory in fun and effective ways. Additionally, it can be the most relaxing place in the world, and the place you most like to visit if you feel the need to improve yourself in some way, or just take a refreshing break for a few minutes.
What does your Memory Palace look like?
What does your Memory Palace look like? Is it detailed and elaborate, or did you go for the minimalist look? Is it based on a real place or is it entirely imaginary?
You can store memories long-term, in the form of items and artifacts, in specific ‘rooms’ (maybe that part, where you keep these long-term memories, is best called a Memory Museum?).
Maybe you have sections connected by futuristic see-through tunnels that you traverse at high speed, safely and comfortably seated in a little travel pod, like in a sci-fi movie. Or you can flip from one part to another instantly, faster than Scotty beaming you up. Hey, it’s whatever your imagination finds interesting! There really is no limit to what a Memory Palace can be like, except limits created by your imagination.
So, what’s your Memory Palace like? If it’s something that you’ve taken lots of time and care to construct, share the details with us. If it’s some ethereal and vague place, but still functional, tell us about that too. As long as it works, it’s fine.
Or have you tried to construct a Memory Palace and failed (poor planning, insufficient funds, union trouble!?) … share your problem, and maybe someone can chip in with ideas to get you over the ‘hump’ you’ve encountered 🙂
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