When I first started learning about memory techniques, I always assumed they were tricks. After 25 years of putting Creative Memorisation into practice, early on I came to realize they were way more than this!
When you understand how mnemonics or memory techniques work and more importantly figure out how to use them in your life, it's clear that they are in fact a skill. Like any other skill, you have to practice and rehearse to become good enough to use that skill in your life.
Simple is as simple does...
Here's an example of one of my daily memory training videos, see how many words you can remember in sequence (there are 10 altogether):
Using the chain method this is relatively easy to remember, doing it fast and accurately takes some practice.
If you watched the video and found it a challenge try this...
Imagine a locket being held by a tiger toy, who runs along the road and falls into a toaster. The toaster is crushed by a shopping cart, inside the cart is the sun. It leaves a building site in destruction. All that's left is a stopwatch. You hide it under a pillow. Inside the pillow is a cell phone charger.
The Chain Method is a basic building block in
The thing is to get to the level where you can use it in these scenarios is a skill.
Back in 1995, I had to learn how to build this skill rapidly. I already knew how memory techniques worked, in fact, I'd been using them for the previous few years and I thought I was pretty good at it. That was until Tony Buzan asked me to compete in the 1995 World Memory Championships, "the World Memory what!?". I had no idea such a thing even existed. Tony proceeded to explain how they worked and the type of thing I would have to do.
Here's a pic after the event (I'm the one in the middle)
At the time this was way out of my league, I had never memorized a pack of cards in under 3 minutes or attempted to remember 100s of digits in an hour or a poem in 15 minutes.
It just so happened this was the same year I had created a game show for the BBC, Monkhouses Memory Masters. In Memory Masters, I trained people from all walks of life how they could improve their memory and had them play various memory games against each other - here's a clip of the pilot
The last game was crazy, they had 2 weeks to remember a large amount of information using mnemonics, memory techniques.
The filming was complete and I had some time, so I decided to take Tony up on the challenge, with daily memory training for 3 months I ramped up my memory skill.
Here are some of my scores from the 1995 World Memory Championship:
Having gone through this process, it was clear that to improve your memory, you should take the same approach to improving any skill.
Try it for yourself! Take the 5 Day Chain Challenge (it takes less than 3 minutes a day). If you know how to create Tiny Habits, then this one is perfect.
By taking this small daily action you'll begin building this memory skill for yourself.
Give it a go and let me know how you get on :)
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