OK, let’s start off by taking a look at where exactly did our memory go. Kids are not being taught how to use their memory in school. Hardly anyone uses their memory in the workplace. Most people have trouble remembering a simple phone number or website from a commercial without using a pen and paper. I guess the perfect example to demonstrate my point is a scene from the movie, ”Think Like a Man Too.” If you will remember, after wild night partying in Las Vegas, both the bachelor and bachelorette parties ended up in jail for the night. As customary, they each received their one phone call, but no one could remember a single phone number to call. Everyone programed their close friends and families phone numbers in their speed dial list. We are growing more and more attached to technology every day and very rarely are we relying on our brain and incredible memory we all possess to remember even simple things. We as an American society should never let that happen.
Let’s examine how we can use our memory to memorize a simple grocery list. Believe it or not, you can train your memory to memorize a grocery list from 5 items to 5000 items. Your brain is physically capable right now to perform such functions. And no, I’m not talking about taking NZT. For those of you who don’t know what NZT is, it’s from the movie and now a TV series: “Limitless.” We are going to try and unlock some of the amazing powers of your brain without using a mythical drug with horrible side effects.
Why don’t we start out with just a simple grocery list? But, you certainly can use this technique for memorizing anything. The easiest way to remember something new is to attach it to something you already know. There are so many different variations and possibilities, so free to experiment with what works best for you. I am going to memorize a short grocery list and link it to something I already know, which is the current house I live in. But first, a quick story about how I did this in high school that helped me pass some tests. If I had to memorize things, I would stay in class and link the upcoming test items to everything that I saw in the classroom. I would attach them to the back of the door, then the chalkboard, the clock on the wall, the teacher’s desk and so on. I would create a comical storyline that made it extremely easy to memorize anything I needed to ace that test. OK, grocery list time:
Captain Crunch cereal, milk, hamburger meat, cookies and cream ice cream, eggs, spinach, bacon, bottled water and tooth paste.
This might be difficult to understand because you can see the interior of my house, but basically I’m going to walk through my front door and imagine a storyline in mind, based on the furniture layout of my house. The more outlandish and comical the storyline is, the easier it is to remember. So here we go: I walk in the front door and immediately to my right is a red chair, sitting in that chair is none other than Captain Crunch himself. He is startled by me walking in the door and he jumps off the chair onto the white tile floor, but the white tile floor is actually a pool of milk. The captain finally pulls himself out of the milk using the couch the because there is a big cow sleeping on the couch. The cow wakes up and knocks over the glass display case which had hundreds of little figurines in the shape of cookies and cream. The display case falls and hits the ceiling fan switch on the way down. But, someone had placed eggs on top of the ceiling fan. Now, the eggs are being thrown all over the room. The only escape is into the kitchen. The refrigerator is the first thing we see on the right, but somebody is trapped inside the refrigerator, pounding and trying to get out. You open the refrigerator door and Popeye jumps out. He looks to his right and he sees a pig dancing on the stove because the stovetop was left on and the pig is burning his feet. Next to the stove is a pantry where you keep the bottle water. You know you need bottle water to help the pig, but when you open the bottle you realize toothpaste comes out when you try to squeeze it.
You get the idea. I literally just did that storyline in my head in less than a minute. Every person is unique. The cow representing hamburger meat, Popeye meaning spinach and a dancing pig on top of the stove meant bacon to me. There is no right or wrong. It’s whatever works for you! You have a bigger list? Use your entire house. Use the outside your house. Use your office. Basically, use anything that you already know and link anything you want to that to memorize large amounts of information in order.
All right, the next articles going to be about how to memorize a deck of cards in the exact random order they are shown to you. Yes, yes. This will impress your friends at parties!