Unlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and be More Productiveby Kevin Horsley
Unlimited Memory debunks the preconceived notion that our memory is a fixed trait and that we can’t do anything to strengthen it. With the right and simple strategies presented in this book, we can now harness our memory’s natural ability to remember things faster and more easily. By improving our memory capacity, we can also improve several areas of our lives!
Break the Cycle of Limiting Beliefs
“Take responsibility; it is as simple as having a reason and making a decision that you want to change your beliefs.”
Most of us tend to assume that our memory is a fixed trait, like our height or eye color. We think that having either a great or faulty memory is something we are born with, and there’s nothing we can do to change it.
The truth is that our memory is flexible and not fixed. This means we can strengthen our memory capacity depending on our beliefs and how we choose to remember things.
We may not realize it, but our beliefs are crucial in incorporating different techniques to enhance our memories. If you think your memory is horrible, for example, you’re more likely to give up trying out various techniques. What’s more, this negative belief will also most likely be instilled in you as you grow up, preventing you from actually enhancing your memory.
To avoid this, you have to change these limiting beliefs and accept that change is possible for you. When you change your beliefs for the better, you’re also changing your ability and mindset, allowing you to succeed in the face of difficulties and challenges.
Actions to take
See It in Your Mind’s Eye
“The greatest secret of a powerful memory is to bring information to life with your endless imagination.”
When we think of great memory, we immediately associate it with having a photographic memory, which is a memory that takes snapshots of a scene, much like a camera does. In reality, however, this photographic memory is similar to how we naturally remember things: it requires attention, concentration, and effort.
All of us are visual creatures, and our memory works in pictures and videos it constructs. This explains why, when we read a book or listen to music, we begin to imagine what is being said from it. The problem is that most people rely only on their memory as a reflexive or passive process, not one that can be enhanced and shaped by creativity.
To enhance our ability to remember things, we can use these mental images and videos to our advantage, especially when remembering information that is harder to imagine, such as facts or lists. This can be done by using the SEE method, which stands for Senses, Exaggeration, and Energize. When used correctly, this method can help bring more images to mind, making them stickier than ever.
Actions to take
Use Common Anchors in Your Life
“I always think it is amazing how people want to improve their memory and concentration, but they do more of the same thing and expect a different result.”
Our minds have an incredible ability to remember pictures and locations. In fact, we can even create folders by combining pictures in certain locations. Instead of brainstorming new places, we can use locations we know very well, such as our cars or body parts.
For example, suppose you want to remember a list of groceries. Although you can picture the items on the list, such as apples, milk, butter, and other groceries, you’d like to put them in a folder so they won’t escape your memory.
To do this, start by imagining a familiar place—your car, for example. Then, place each item on specific anchors of the car. You can use a car’s front, back, passenger seat, and trunk while attaching the image of your grocery list.
To make the most out of your memory, make sure to still use the Senses, Exaggeration, and Energize (SEE) method. Embellish the mental image with your five senses to make them wacky or outrageous and to give them movement.
If you want to remember to pick up apples, for example, you can picture your windshield wipers cleaning apple bits off the window. Continue to make wacky images or scenes that correspond to spaces in your car that you can easily remember. This anchoring can also be done by attaching mental images to familiar location paths or body parts, such as your head to your toes or your mailbox to your door.
Actions to take
Use Rhymes and Associations to Connect Memories
“Remember you always need your long-term memory to assist your short-term memory.”
The key to remembering abstract information is by using nouns that rhyme. Suppose you want to remember the number sequence, “one, two, three,” for example. In this case, it’s best to think of the nouns that rhyme with each number. For “one,” it could be “bun,” while “shoe” for “two.” But what about three? You can simply think of what three sounds like—a tree.
Using rhyming words and associations to things that sound like a particular number can help us remember the sequence more easily. But we can still go a step further by creating a story using these associations. Using the number sequence sample above, you can imagine someone stepping on a bun with their shoes, and as a result, a tree grew out of it.
By using your imagination, you can easily remember the odd visual and the numbers that seem abstract.
Actions to take
“There is no such thing as a good or bad memory for names. There is only a good or a bad strategy.”
When we first meet someone, it can be embarrassing to forget their name as soon as they say it. Or worse, after they repeat it several times! This can make someone feel unimportant and leave a bad impression. While forgetting names is a common occurrence, it shouldn’t be understated.
To remember new people’s names, we should incorporate strategies already proven to work. These include repeating a name right after someone introduces themselves and making the right associations, such as picking a vibrant facial feature cue or associations with celebrity names.