The most powerful memory technique in the history of mankind is…
THE MEMORY PALACE
It’s also known as:
-The Method of Loci (Loci means locations in Latin)
-Journey Method (as I like to call it)
It became popular recently in the BBC show “Sherlock”
Memory champions (like myself) use the memory palace to achieve superhuman feats.
It’s how I can remember a 296 digit number in 5 mins or a deck of cards in 28 secs.
BUT it’s simple enough for anyone to use.
A QUICK HISTORY
The Greek poet, Simonides of Ceos, invented the method around 500 BC.
According to legend, Simonides was at a banquet of honored guests.
During dinner, he went outside to receive a message.
When he stepped out, the roof collapsed, crushing everyone inside beyond recognition.
Simonides was able to identify each of the mangled bodies for burial by mentally reconstructing the seating arrangement from memory.
He discovered that by using LOCATIONS to arrange MENTAL IMAGERY, the mind could remember incredible amounts of information…in order.
HOW TO CREATE AND USE YOUR OWN MEMORY PALACE
1) Pick a PLACE you know well:
-your home, where you work, a park,
2) Choose 20 specific LOCATIONS within this place:
-mailbox, fireplace, stove, sink, etc.
3) Number these 20 locations in a logical ORDER/path
1) mailbox, 2) front step, 3) front door…
4) To store information: Place mental images, that represent each piece of information, at a location.
For example, here’s how to remember the periodic table of elements in order:
At Location #1, imagine a fire hydrant.
Hydrant sounds like Hydrogen.
Location #2, imagine a helium balloon = Helium
Location #3, lithium battery = Lithium
Imagine these images interacting with the locations of your memory palace.
-Fire hydrant blasts water and knocks over your mailbox.
-Helium balloon popping on your front step.
-Giant lithium batteries inserted in your front door.
It’s believed that the phrases:
“In the first place, in the second place,…”
come from the memory palace technique.
You can create memory palaces with as many locations as you wish.
I have 100+ memory palaces (but this is extreme. I’m a memory athlete after all).
I recommend you create ONE and try it out. You will want to make more once you realize how powerful this is.
Use them to remember long lists in order (US presidents, bones of the body, 118 elements) or memorize a presentation/speech.
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