The human mind has an amazing power of recall. People have been know to remember things for more than 90 years. Memory masters can recall entire decks of cards. However your memory always seems to fail at the worst moments. If you’re under pressure, and/or have nothing to take notes with, it might be worth having a strategy for remembering.
Enter the ‘Mind Palace:’ a mental construct that allows you to connect things you want to remember, to places/routes you already remember clearly. The most analogous way to do it is to imagine your route from your bed, getting ready and going out. A route you take nearly every day, in a place you know very well. For example:
Bed > Bathroom > Shower > Wardrobe > Kitchen > Table > Sink > Coats > Front Door > Garage
Now you have slots to put memorable things. The next step is to make your memory as vivid as possible.
Let’s say for example you want to remember the most populous countries of the world. Imagine as vivid a reminder as you can in your route through your mind palace:
1 Bed/China – your bed has broken pieces of china in it.
2 Bathroom/India – Tim curry is in there holding a bottle of Old Spice
3 Shower/USA – Captain America is under the shower, using his shield as an umbrella.
4 Wardrobe/Indonesia – Sia has just finished sorting your clothes (in-done-Sia)
5 Kitchen/Pakistan – Stan Lee is making you a packed lunch (Pak-o-Stan)
And so on! With memorable clues in place you might never forget this list.
The reason it works is because the human mind is designed to look for patterns and stories. Rather than random facts or tasks, you can use funny or striking situations to make a story in your head. Try it for yourself… If you remember!
Thanks for reading!