How To Memorize ANYTHING!
Improve Your Memory!
How To Remember Anything Part I
Now where did I put my notes for this hub??? Just kidding. Our capacity for memory, and how to improve our memory, has been one of my hobbies since I was young. I have read books written by memory masters like by Tony Buzan and Henry Lorayne. I have researched memory championship challenges like those conducted by Memoriad. What I learned enabled me to get high grades through school and in college. But in spite of the incalculable benefits of memory improvement…it is rarely taught any more. This is a tragedy. Memory is such a foundational skill, relevant to virtually every field of study that no one can afford to leave this potential underdeveloped. And anyone can do it! I am going to write a series of hubs on memory improvement tricks, tips and techniques. What could you do with an improved memory? Anything you want!
- Remember names and faces with perfect accuracy.
- Know every single one of your friend’s phone numbers by heart.
- Recall all 50 States, with their Capitals, along with the appropriate State bird, flower, and slogan!
- Remember every U.S. President in order along with their dates of inauguration!
- Go to the store with a list of 30 things…all in your head…perfectly arranged and organized without a paper list!
- Recall with razor sharp accuracy the date of every significant annual event.
- Or simply remember where you parked your car or put your keys.
The possibilities are endless.
Memory By Linking or Association
And it is easy. Most of what you need to memorize anything…you already know! You just need someone to tell you how. That is what I intend to do. To prove to you how easy it is I am going to teach you how to memorize any list of 10 items. This is just the starting place, but it will lay down some of the fundamental principles. We could do much more than 10. What I tell you could enable you to learn 100 items just as easily. But we will start with just 10. And all you need to memorize these 10 things is your imagination.
Let’s say you need to get 10 things from Wal-Mart on the way home from work. Here are the 10 things on your shopping list:
1) Vacuum Cleaner bags
3) Motor oil
4) Computer Paper
5) Fish food
6) A birthday present
8) Toilet Paper
9) Cash from the ATM machine
10) Your prescription from the pharmacy
Now, what I am going to teach you is something called “association” or sometimes it is called “linking”. You are going to use your natural imagination to “link” one item to the next. We are going to create some absurd and silly pictures in your mind to bring them together. And when we are done, you will recall each and every one of these items in order…effortlessly.
The first 3 memory links:
Link #1: Let’s begin with the vacuum cleaner bags. We are going to “link” a mental picture of a vacuum bag with the next item, which happens to be shampoo. So, picture yourself in the shower. Don’t be bashful…we can’t see you! You are washing your hair, but with the content of a dirty vacuum bag! Gross! Can you see it? Your hairdresser will never forgive you. But this picture will most certainly bring you from remembering the vacuum bag to remembering shampoo. The image will stick! Now you have remembered the vacuum bags and shampoo.
Link #2: Next picture yourself dumping shampoo into the oil tank of your car. I only recommend doing this in your imagination! Squeeze that whole bottle of oil right into the tank. Yep, that will be one clean oil filter! But look…you have now linked the shampoo to oil for your car. You will remember this. The image is vivid…and memorable. You have moved from remembering shampoo to remembering motor oil
Link #3: Next, picture yourself pouring motor oil over the computer paper which is in your printer. What a mess! The oil is running all over the paper, dripping on the floor, soaking into everything! Disgusting! Better hope that you clean it up before your spouse gets home! But look! You have now moved mentally from the oil to computer paper! Can you recall the first 3 items? Can you picture yourself pouring the contents of the vacuum bag onto your hair…which reminds you of shampoo…which you are pouring into your car’s oil tank? Vacuum bags, shampoo, oil, and paper. Four items…simply and easily linked in your mind.
The next 3 memory links:
Link #4: Now, take a slice of that computer paper and tear off little bits to feed to your fish! Shred it almost like confetti and sprinkle it all over the top of the fish tank. Those hungry little fish are in for quite a treat! Ugghh. Definitely not the most appetizing meal for your wet little pet. However…the image of sprinkling shredded computer paper into their tank will surely remind you to get them some real food! From paper to fish food…another mental link has been made. Congratulations…you are half way there! You are discovering how to improve your memory with simple, albeit silly, mental pictures.
Link #5: Now you need to move from the fish food to a birthday present. Sorry, I can’t tell you what to get for your husband, wife, or child for their birthday. You know them better than I do anyway. But I CAN get you to picture an enormous can of fish food with a HUGE birthday bow wrapped around it. Make the image ridiculously big. The jar of fish food should be the size of a large outdoor trashcan. Now picture it all decorated up with a pretty bow like a gift. Bingo…you have just remembered to shop for a birthday present! Good luck. Don’t be cheap (I just saved you the money of buying a memory book…so you have more to spend on that gift!). Can you recall the pictures from these first 6 items? Can you see the images you imagined as we have moved from vacuum cleaner bags to shampoo to motor oil to computer paper to fish food to birthday present? Do you see how easy this is? Let’s keep going.
Link #6: Next picture “so and so” opening up their birthday present. Imagine their surprise when inside they see you got them a 2 Liter bottle of Pepsi! Just what they always wanted! How thoughtful of you! Not diamond earrings or a spa treatment or a 50 inch Plasma TV. Nope, you just got them a nice big bottle of genuine Pepsi Cola. Don’t expect anything much for Christmas this year! But that is okay. It is the thought that counts. And these thoughts are helping you link this list together. Keep it up!
The last 3 memory links:
Link #7: We need to get from Pepsi to Toilet paper now. Remember, the sillier these pictures are, the easier they are to remember. You don’t remember what you had from lunch 3 days ago. It was ordinary and thus not memorable. But you can probably recall something from “America’s Funniest Home Videos” that you saw a year ago! Why? It was silly, different, unusual or unexpected. That is how our memory works. So, picture a can of Pepsi on the roll where the toilet paper should be! You are spinning the Pepsi can around…but no paper is coming. In fact, it is spraying Pepsi everywhere! You keep spinning and it keeps spraying. This crazy image will move you from the Pepsi in the previous link to toilet paper…which is the next thing on your list.
Link #8: You are starting to get the idea by now. So I’ll make these last 2 short but sweet. Toilet paper is coming out of the ATM machine where the cash should come out. Tons of toilet paper! Pouring out onto the floor around your feet and filling the store! You are pushing buttons to try to stop it…but nothing works. Got the link? See the picture? Do a quick review. Think through the list and the pictures 1 more time: Vacuum cleaner bags…shampoo…motor oil…computer paper…fish food…birthday present…Pepsi…toilet paper…cash from the ATM. See every picture. Make the mental image vivid. It will stick.
Link #9: Finally, picture cash dropping from the ceiling of your local pharmacy. The pharmacist is running around trying to grab all the money because he didn’t get a raise this year and he isn’t making as much money on hubpages as he had hoped…yet! Cash to pharmacy. You now will remember to pick up that prescription. Please don’t forget! We put them back on the shelf after 10 days…and then it will have to be filled from scratch again.
You Did It! You have begun the road to memory improvement!
There you have it! You created 9 links which hold together 10 items. You can recall them with ease. In fact, if you have really pictured them and created these silly images…I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that you will remember them tomorrow too! I have taught you how to remember virtually anything! Try it with your own list. Are you going to the grocery store? Link your list. With some practice, the silly images will come faster and clearer. You will be able to recall any number of items no matter how long the list. This is just the first of several important memory techniques. Hope you have enjoyed it!
More by this Author
Remembering to take your medications, and how to take them safely, is the key to successful medication management. This article reviews important information for patients about taking medication.
I have worked for nearly 20 years in retail pharmacy as a pharmacist. Its a great job, but the high pressure working environment, frequent chaos, management pressure, and often irrational requests from patients are...
"I'm here to pick up my prescription" "I'm sorry sir, your presription is all out of refills" "What? What does that mean? I have to be on this medication the rest of my life you know....