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Get A Better Memory

Updated on November 27, 2009

Memory and Memorization

 

How does the human brain work?  Scientists have pondered that question for centuries.  I don’t know if they discovered how it thinks and grows, or if they learned every little detail about the sections of brain.  I think I have discovered a method for memorization that will work every time you use it.

Memory

Courtesy of Flickr
Courtesy of Flickr

The Method

 

The method for memory and memorization that I discovered is based on keywords.  That’s right I said keywords.  Think about how your computer remembers where files are and what is in the file.  You may have a document in a folder called text.  The text file probably holds 100 or more words in it, yet the computer brings up all that information.  Your brain works in much the same way.  If you remember things by associating them with an acronym (keyword) then you can remember most everything else that is linked to that acronym. 

For example I want to remember what the Army values are.  I remember the acronym (keyword) LDRSHIP.  From this keyword I can then recall what each letter is or means.  Loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage; but wait, I am not done yet.  This file still has information in it.  Now I may want to know what each one means.  I start with the L—loyalty means to bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S government, the Army, the unit, and my fellow soldiers.  The same applies for all the other letters in the acronym.

The major difference between the human brain and a computer is how the information is stored.  With a computer you input all the data first (the 100 or more words), then you name the file (key phrase), and then you put a keyword on a file for quick and easy access.  With the human brain you have to reverse the order.  The first part of memorization is the repeating of a keyword, I.E. LDRSHIP.  Once you can remember the keyword with ease then you can expand on that by adding in the first layer of content.  For example, what each letter in the acronym represent.  Finally, when you remember the keyword and the key phrase you can expand that once more.  Before you know it you’ll be the smartest person you know.

Hubchallenge

Hubchallenge number 19
Hubchallenge number 19

Numbers

 

What about numbers?  Since numbers cannot be associated (as far as I know) you need to find a new method of memorization.  I always find that remembering numbers simply requires repetition.  It is often best to memorize numbers by repetition but also by making the number bigger.  For example, say I want you to remember the number 12903467.  Obviously you will have a hard time memorizing that number if you break it all the way down to the smallest digital 1-2-9-0-3-4-6-7.  Instead try 12-90-34-67.  This is easier because now all you have to do is remember four numbers instead of eight.  You could also try to go further with 1290-3467, but this is harder because of the four digits per set of numbers.

Dates are more difficult but you can associate a little with them.  December 25th 2009, can be easily remembered because it is Christmas, and you can associate that date very easily.  Any date in December can be associated with Christmas.  For example, the 15th of December 1989; the year you need to associate with your age.  The day is a little more complicated but when you remember how old you were and in what month you should be able to pick out the day by reflecting on what you were doing.

The most important thing to remember about memory is that the brain is a muscle that needs to be exercised.  If you start off with easy and small things to remember like your phone number, your address and so on you can eventually work up to harder memorization.  Pictures are very helpful memory prodders but the greatest sense for memory is smell.  I know, that’s weird but the smell of something can take you back ten, fifteen, twenty years or more in an instant.  If I smell coconut I am instantly transported back to when I was 13 and playing concentration on our old Macintosh computer, and that was 17 years ago.  I vividly remember everything about that point in time too all because of a smell.

In conclusion, the more you memorize things the easier it becomes.  Don’t allow yourself to get frustrated because you’ll lose the ability to concentrate.  Stay calm and focused and everything will fall into place.

Copyright 2009 by Wesley Cox

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    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Sounds good advice. Someone once said to me that we forget things as we grow older because, just like a computer hardrive, our memory gets full. We need to be able to shed information no longer needed. Of course stuff you no longer need, like a long extinct phone number, stays fresh in your memory.Hope that makes sense

    • wesleycox profile image
      Author

      wesleycox 8 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012

      Dohn, you are right. I suck at names to and it usually takes me three months of knowing someone to remember their name. I have recently been able to remember names, dates, facts, and numbers like a superman. It is cool and I thought about how I was doing it and out came this hub.

      Shamelabboush: I had an awful memory when I was a kid, but I have been working on memorization for awhile now. It is so much better when the information is something I care about.

    • shamelabboush profile image

      shamelabboush 8 years ago

      Very nice information. I trained myself since I was so young to memorize things thru images. I try print everything as a painting then when I need to recall that memory, i just remember the picture. This works for me so far. Thanks wesley.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Making associations with things that we want to remember certainly is a very good way to remember things. For instance, in an effort to remember someone I just met, I try to lock onto three properties about that person and associate it with their name, as I'm horrible with names. Thanks, Wesley. You came up with another great idea for a hub.

    • wesleycox profile image
      Author

      wesleycox 8 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012

      Thank you Brenda, I am glad you enjoyed it.

    • profile image

      \Brenda Scully 8 years ago

      hope i can remember that...... interesting topic for a hub, well written.....

    • wesleycox profile image
      Author

      wesleycox 8 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012

      Maggs: Um you were going to try this method out. Definately try it, it works for me and I have a very good memory now.

      Hmrjmr: I'm sorry hmrjmr, I thought the Army values were common knowledge and public domain. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Good one lad but you're giving away all our military secrets (LOL)!!

    • maggs224 profile image

      maggs224 8 years ago from Sunny Spain

      Nice hub I think I will try some of this out, oops now what was it I was going to try out? lol