Your mind is the most powerful tool you possess, and with it you can create wonders with proper training. They say that the older you get, there are two things that go in life. First is your memory… second… I forgot! Only kidding!
Have you ever forgotten someone’s name, or an appointment in your diary?
Do you find yourself carrying your personal organizer with you wherever you go – so that you don’t forget anything?
Most people answer, “Yes” to the above. Yet it is so simple to train your mind not to forget.
Of course, they say that the quickest way to improve your memory, is to lend someone money!
Try the following, and follow my instructions exactly. Read the line below which contains some words. Read it through once only and do not look at it again. It is important that you do not cheat yourself by looking at the words once you have read them. Only then can you see the effectiveness of the system I am going to describe.
Flagpole; Twins; Tricycle; Car; Hand; Eggs; Heaven; Hour Glass; Cat; Bowling Ball.
Without referring back to the above, take a sheet of paper and write down all the words which you can remember… BUT, in the exact order in which they appeared, i.e. what was the 6th word, the 3rd word, etc.
Naturally in my workshops I used far bigger and more complex methods which cannot be described here in a short article. Hence I want to supply you with a simple taster of how easy it is to train your mind.
Back to the above exercise… remembering some of the words is not too difficult, but remembering them in the exact order is another story.
Firstly, you need to understand that human beings do not think in abstracts, or numbers, but in pictures. Think about your loved ones. How do you see them in your mind’s eye? As “x²y(a=b-1)” or do you actually visualize this person? Hence the most important lesson here is to realize that we all think in pictures.
To store information in your brain is the easiest thing on earth to do. The problem lies in the recall. With memory training I need to teach you how to create an effective filing system within your mind where you can store information in a logical order and also retrieve it immediately. In effect you need to create ‘Mind Files’ into which you place the necessary info.
Simply put, think of a computer. To find any info on a computer, one usually clicks on the “My Computer” folder, then on the “My Documents” folder. Inside this folder one usually finds all the work related folders on the hard disk. In other words, you follow a logical pattern to find certain information.
Imagine your mind to be the, “My Documents” folder. Inside it you are now going to create specific folders, into which you will store information. For the purposes of this article I am going to teach you a basic association method which will let you remember 10 bits of info.
You are now going to create 10 “Mind Files” in your mind, numbered from 1 to 10. Associated with each number is a picture word which you can visualize. To make the 10 words easy to remember – they logically associate with the corresponding number.
1 = Flag Pole (It is in the shape of the number 1)
2 = Twins (Duh – because there are 2 of them)
3 = Tricycle (3 Wheels?)
4 = Car (4 doors, 4 wheels, 4 wheel-drive)
5 = Hand (5 Fingers)
6 = Eggs (They are mostly packed in a half-dozen container)
7 = Heaven (Ever heard of the saying, “In 7th heaven?”)
8 = Hour Glass (It is in the shape of the figure 8 – a bigger version of an egg timer)
9 = Cat (Hello… 9 Lives! )
10 = Bowling Ball (Ever been Ten Pin Bowling?)
Now you want to kick yourself that you didn’t get all ten right earlier on! It was so easy. These ten words will now be your ten mind files. Visualize each one coupled with the number in your mind. It shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to memorize these, due to their logical associations with the numerical numbers.
As you read through the next ten examples, many of you may think this article to be a hoax, because of the crazy associations. Please bear with me and go through all ten, before you make a judgment and stop reading. I promise you it will all make sense and be worth your while later on.
Now let us look at a real life example. Imagine your daily “To Do” list. Firstly you need to buy a fax paper roll. As this is the 1st thing on your list, it goes into your mind file No. 1. The picture for this file is “Flag Pole”.
Now comes the fun part. You now have to take the item/event you have to do and associate it with the picture in the corresponding file, BUT in a ludicrous, mad, crazy impossible way which involves action and as many of your 5 senses as possible. Hence imagine you are pulling this huge flag pole out of the ground and bashing the fax roll with it. Crazy enough for you? The important thing is to imagine yourself in that situation and experience it to the fullest. Make it as mad as possible.
Secondly you need to “Make a Cup Of Coffee” to get that energy boost for the day. Place the “Making Coffee” scenario into file 2 which is, “Twins.” Again imagine a crazy scenario. You are pouring yourself the coffee from two identical kettles which look like baby twins, and as you pour it, they scream and shout! Yes, I know this sound silly, but the more absurd the better. Imagine this with all your senses – taste the coffee and hear the twins screaming!
Thirdly you need to make a phone call to Bob. File 3 is the, “Tricycle”. See yourself riding this tiny bicycle in peak hour traffic with your cell phone glued to your ear. Visualize yourself yelling loudly, “I can’t hear you over this traffic Bob!”
Fourthly you need to get some groceries from the supermarket. You need toilet paper which you now know, goes into File 4 which is the “Car”. Crazy association… the supermarket is closed and you see yourself driving through the glass entrance door, but with a toilet rolls as your 4 wheels. Or imagine yourself driving in your car down the aisle of the supermarket, stopping in front of the toilet rolls and filling the car with the entire stock, so that toilet rolls are falling out of the car everywhere. Get the idea?
You also need a new toothbrush. File 5 is the “Hand.” Pain is always a good emotion to add – it makes the association stick even more. Crazy association… peel your finger nails back and pull out toothbrushes from under them. Feel the pain!
You also need cigarettes. File 6 is “Eggs.” Crazy association… you are standing in the shop cracking open all the eggs and removing cigarettes from within. Or picture yourself buying a tray of 20 eggs, arriving home and every time you feel like a smoke, you break one open and out comes a cigarette.
You need to buy the newspaper to check the latest stock prices. File 7 is “Heaven”. Crazy association… you are crawling around the clouds in heaven cleaning the clouds with newspaper. See yourself tearing sheets off the newspaper and rolling them to clean the clouds. Alternatively, imagine yourself as an angelic newspaper vendor selling the Financial Times to a group of angels with their halos. They are all excitedly reading it and discussing stock prices
Your car needs a service and you must take it in. File 8 is the “Hour Glass.” Crazy association… see yourself jumping on top of your car roof, which is inside the top section of the hour glass. You are trying to push it through the narrow middle section so that it falls to the bottom where the service station is situated.
Next you need to arrange flowers as a ‘Thank You’ gift for your boss. Mind file 9 is a “Cat.” Crazy Association… your cat has a bunch of flowers in its mouth and is purring while rubbing up against your bosses leg. But instead of a purr sound, the cat is saying, “Thank You, Thank You.”
Lastly, you need to book a flight to London for a business trip. Mind file 10 is a “Bowling Ball.” Crazy association… see yourself rolling a plane (instead of a bowling ball) towards the pins which all like mini Big Ben’s.
At this point you are no doubt wondering what on earth is going on with all the crazy stories. Now comes the big revelation.
Think back to Mind File 1 – what is the file’s picture? A Flag Pole – what were you doing with it? See how vividly the fax rolls come to mind? How about Mind File 2 and the Twins? See that coffee coming out of the two twin shape coffee kettles. Think back to each mind file and you will see how the crazy stories just pop back into you mind and make it so easy to remember the list of 10 items you had to do.
One tip though – your associations must be as mad and crazy as you can imagine. The more outrageous, the better the chance of remembering the association. After trying this for 3 weeks it should be imbedded in your subconscious and you should be doing it without thinking. That’s all there is to it!