There has to be a purpose, aim or a goal. The brain should know why it should remember what it is trying to remember.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Steven Depolo/Creative Commons
Memory is a powerful tool in humans. Without memories, life is empty.
According to memory champion and life coach Jayasimha, you can trick your mind to organise information so you can remember everything you see and read in your daily.
In his book The Ultimate Guide to Master Your Memory, the author presents simple, fun ways to improve your brain's ability and become a mental champ.
Presenting an excerpt from the book's chapter 'Principles of Memory.'
Everyone wants to learn ways to enhance memory, but they do not know how to go about it.
Hence, one needs to start from the basics. Fundamentally, memory is a skill, it follows a process, and there are a few underlying principles.
One needs to have an 'interest' in the matter that he or she wants to remember.
No matter where our interests lie, the brain automatically remembers things related to them.
Imagine a scenario where you love cricket and you are a big fan of Virat Kohli.
The brain will remember all the details related to the number of centuries made by the cricketer, including the details of his wedding.
Similarly, if you want to remember academics, you should take interest in that particular field of study and your brain will automatically remember the required information.
Most importantly, there has to be a purpose, aim or a goal.
The brain should know why it should remember what it is trying to remember.
What are the benefits of remembering a particular data or information?
If the brain knows 'why' the information is essential, it will automatically try to remember it.
That is because the memory function of the brain is based on three fundamental principles of memory.
If these are put to work together, they can be used to generate powerful memories with techniques inclusive of these principles.
Memory is nothing but learning something new and connecting it to something that we already know.
As a baby first remembers his or her mother's face, then her voice, her touch and so on, we too form the base of our memory in the same manner.
Once we form the base memory, whatever we learn hereafter is connected to what we already know. This is called Association.
Association is the method by which you link what is to be remembered with something personal.
The association will automatically remind us about the memorized object if we can place it on top of the associated object, wrap them around each other, link them together, merge them, rotate them around each other or make them dance together.
For example, remember the following objects in relation to each other.
Elephant – Telephone
Butterfly – School
Peanut – Bird
Aeroplane – Refrigerator
Bike – Fire
Tiger – Kite
Fan – River
Apple – Tree
Pen – Chair
Whenever you need to remember objects with respect to each other, you could associate them in the following manner -- an elephant is speaking over the telephone, a butterfly is going to school, peanuts are being eaten by a bird, an aeroplane is carrying a refrigerator, and so on.
We need to visualize these scenarios in our brain, magnify them and conjure their presence.
You may do the same exercise for the remaining objects to associate them to each other.
Imagination plays a very important role in Memory.
The more vivid and funny the imagination is, the better and easier will be the chances to recall them.
The whole mechanism of Memory revolves around imagination. We can make up one funny story.
Take for instance these objects below:
butterfly, cow, tree, bike, fish, film, dog, towel, mountain, doctor, tennis
Let us imagine that a colourful butterfly is sitting on a white cow.
The cow is climbing a big banyan tree.
A white Duke bike is mounted atop the tree and a fish is riding the bike to watch the film Sholay. In the film, you see a dog running in a pink towel.
The dog falls over a big mountain. It injures itself and calls for a doctor who instead of treating it is busy playing tennis.
Once we imagine the sequence of events in this funny way and connect one to the other, it will enable us to remember the objects in sequence easily.
This is a very powerful memory method.
By using this method, besides Memory, we enhance our creativity, which is the basic essence of life's success.
Location technique is a little different from the imagination technique.
In the imagination method, we have been connecting one object to the other by some vivid imagination.
Contrarily, the location technique works independently, i.e., we don't connect two objects with each other.
In this method, we will have some permanent locations. Thereafter, we will connect the objects to be remembered with the permanent location.
First, we should have different locations in a house or an office that we visit frequently or any other place that is familiar.
Imagine, I have my house and in it there are a few locations that I am familiar with in a sequence.
bed, ceiling fan, cupboard, television, foot mat, washroom, bedroom door, the fencing, tree, treadmill, washing machine, stairs, puja room, kitchen, refrigerator, dining table, sofa set, exit door.
First, I have fixed these locations in a proper order.
I go through the locations many times so that I am able to recall the sequence easily.
Now, I need you to remember the following list of objects: laptop, apple, cockroach, mobile, spectacles, tube light, Rahul Gandhi, Jurassic Park, ice cream, Marina beach, Ayyappan, Tihar jail, etc.
To remember these objects in sequence, what we need to do is associate them with the permanent locations that we already have. Such as, the bed has laptops spread all over it.
From the ceiling fans, apples are falling. The cupboard is full of cockroaches.
On the television, an ad for mobiles is being shown. A foot mat is wearing spectacles.
In the washroom, Rahul Gandhi is taking a bath.
As we open the bedroom door, it is leading us to the Jurassic Park.
On the fencing, ice creams are placed.
Climbing the tree, you will be able to see the Marina Beach.
On the treadmill, Ayyappan is running.
Washing machines are being provided to every inmate of Tihar Jail, etc.
You may create a list of words to remember and then it practise yourself.
In this way, we keep associating the objects or the words to be remembered with the fixed locations.
The moment we see the fixed locations, we will be able to recall the associated object with it.
The advantage of this method over the imagination method is that in the latter, if we miss one object or the story link breaks, it is difficult to recollect the next one.
In the location method, however, the objects are easier to recall since it is only the locations that are connected to the objects.
In case we forget one association, we will still remember the next location and object. Hence this is slightly easier and more powerful a method than the imagination method.
Excerpted and published from Ultimate Guide to Master Your Memory by Jayasimha with the kind permission of publishers, Rupa Publications India Pvt Ltd.