Do you have difficulty remembering the names of people you’ve just met, or a concept that you’ve just learned?
Many people do; including me. You see, your brain is very good at visualising pictures, remembering places, and building associations. It’s not very good at remembering abstract bits of knowledge though.
So, this week I’d like to share a very quick and effective method for remembering abstract names, concepts, definitions, rules, etc.
Let me explain what I mean . . .
How well do you know the layout of your home?
The room arrangements, the placement of furniture, and even the locations of ornaments. How well can you recall these details?
If someone woke you up in the middle of the night, would you be able to instantly recall every detail? I believe you would, especially now, after a full year of lockdown and living indoors.
After all, you have spent so much of your time and energy there that you automatically know every corner of it extremely well. I bet you could even walk from the front door to the back door, via your bedroom, with your eyes closed.
Now, you may be wondering, what’s the point of that?
How can knowing every corner of your home benefit your memory?
Well, here’s the thing . . .
The human brain is exceptionally good at remembering places.
It comes from our prehistoric survival instincts when we had to be very familiar with our environment in order to survive.
If you were surrounded by wild animals in a forest, you would have to know every corner of it if you were going to live to talk about it.
Besides our natural ability to remember important places, our brain is also exceptionally good at “Connecting the Dots”. At making associations.
We make associations all the time, even unconsciously – between ideas, concepts and various chunks of information.
However, when learning definitions, rules, names, or anything like that, our brain doesn’t work that well. It doesn’t come naturally to us.
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So, the next time you need to memorise something, try this. . .
Choose the path of least resistance and play to your strengths.
Combine the two components that your brain is naturally very good at and use them to your advantage.
Let’s say you need to remember the list of names.
Instead of repeating them over and over, you can associate each name with a room in your house.
For example, associate
- Name #1 with the lounge.
- Name #2 with the kitchen.
- Name #3 with a bathroom, and so on.
If it’s a bigger list, associate each one with a piece of furniture or a specific ornament – going from one room to the next in the most logical sequence.
With a little practice, this method works very well.
Also, the concept isn’t limited only to your home.
You can associate abstract concepts, names, and other data with your office layout, the street layout around your home, or any other locations you’re very familiar with.
The details of the location not so important.
The important thing is to associate the new knowledge with familiar locations.
And you can put these methods into practice right now so you can get immediate benefits.
You see, learning is a skill like any other. It doesn’t depend on your natural abilities as much as it depends on your technique and practice.
I hope the process works as well for you as it has for me.
Have a prosperous week, and stay safe out there.
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