Remember & Recall

When I was in school, I was able remember almost everything including english vocab, poems, theoretical material, facts & figures even the arabic poems i did not know the meaning of by the time. This ability of mine definitely helped me secure positions whenever I used it in my educational career. I call it “ability” because I was never trained on how to remember all sorts of stuff and recall it successfully, it was there by birth or by nature. I believe almost all kids do possess this ability, it is only that they do not utilize (subconsciously) it at that time because of a number of reasons like not taking that much interest in studies or feeling uncomfortable at school, etc.

As the science of mind tells, kids have “strong observation” which results in perfect storing of stuff in their minds but with the passage of the time, “strong observation” fades away gradually. This simply means that we can still remember at any age unless we are able to maintain the “strong observation”. The way to maintain the “strong observation” is by keeping your mind in some sort of practice like riddles, mental math calculations, etc.

Another reason why I was able to remember it all and recall it was that I subconsciously used the mnemonics ! When I was in university, I used the mnemonics again but this time consciously and it helped me secure position. In fact, mnemonics come in extremely handy when you need to remember foreign vocab, facts as well as figures, this is especially really useful for lawyers as well as medical students who have to come across a lot of Latin words, etc.

Here I share with you a very handy  trick that you can use to remember headings of an essay, your daily errands if any, topics of the speech/debate, or any other relevant or sequential piece of information.

So here it is:

I want to show you now that you can start immediately to remember as you’ve never remembered before. I don’t believe anyone with an untrained memory can possibly remember twenty unassociated items, in sequence, after hearing or seeing them only once. Even though you don’t believe it either, you will accomplish just that if you read following some paragraphs.

Here are the twenty items you will be able to remember.

carpet, paper, bottle, bed, fish, chair, window, telephone, cigarette, nail, typewriter, shoe, microphone, pen, television, plate, doughnut, car, coffee pot, brick.

Can you recall the twenty items in order now?

The link method of memory is based on the combination of mental images. The images must be as ridiculous as possible. Let’s learn by doing. I shall explain no more about the method rather let’s try it out by creating twenty ridiculous images for these items.

The first thing you have to do is get a picture of the first item, “carpet”, in your mind. Don’t see the word carpet but see a carpet, any carpet, perhaps own from your home. In order to remember the objects we are going to associate them with things you already know. Here the other items.

To remember the second item, “paper”, you must associate or link it with paper. The association must be as ridiculous as possible. For example you might picture a carpet in your home made out of paper. See yourself walking on it and hear the paper crinkle underfoot. Alternatively you could picture yourself writing on a piece of carpet. Either of these will do. A piece of paper lying on a carpet, though, is not ridiculous enough and you will not remember it. You must see this ridiculous picture in you mind. Close your eyes for a fraction of a second, as soon as you have seen the picture you can move on. Do not see the words.

So now the thing you already know or remember is “paper”, the next step then is to link paper to the next item, “bottle”. You can stop thinking about carpet entirely know. Make an entirely new ridiculous link between bottle and paper. You might see yourself reading an enormous bottle or writing on a gigantic bottle instead of paper. You could see a bottle pouring paper not liquid. Pick whichever seems most ridiculous to you and see it in your mind’s eye. You must see the picture. Don’t think long about which picture, the first idea is usually the best one.

We have linked carpet to paper, and then paper to bottle. We now come to the next item, which is “bed”. Make a ridiculous association between bottle and bed. A bottle lying on bed would be too logical. So picture yourself yourself sleeping in a large bottle instead of a bed, or perhaps taking a drink from a bed instead of a bottle. See either of these pictures and then stop thinking of it.

You realize that we are linking one object to the next of course. The next item is fish. See a giant fish sleeping in your bed or a bed made out of a giant fish. See the picture you think is most ridiculous.

Now “fish” and “chair”. See a gigantic fish sitting on a chair. Or you are catching chairs instead of fish while fishing.

Chair and window – see yourself sitting on a pane of glass, which is painful, instead of a chair or see yourself throwing chairs through a closed window. See the picture and move on.

Window and Telephone – see yourself answering the phone, but when you put it to your ear, it’s not a phone you’re holding but a window. Or, you might see your window as a large telephone dial. See the one you think is most ridiculous and move on.

Telephone and Cigarette – you’re smoking a telephone instead of a cigarette; or you’re holding a large cigarette to your ear and talking to it instead of a phone. Alternatively you might see yourself picking up the phone and cigarettes flying out of the ear-piece.

Cigarette and nail – you’re smoking a nail; or hammering a lit cigarette into the wall instead of a nail.

Nail and Typewriter – you’re hammering a gigantic nail through your typewriter, or all the keys are nails, pricking your fingers as you type.

Typewriter and shoe – see yourself wearing typewriters instead of shoes or see a large shoe with keys on that you’re typing on.

Shoe and microphone – you’re wearing microphones instead of shoes or you’re broadcasting into a large shoe.

Microphone and pen – you’re writing with a microphone or you’re talking into a giant pen.

Pen and TV – see a million pens gushing out of the TV or there’s a screen in an enormous pen you’re watching TV on it.

TV and plate – picture your TV as one of your kitchen plates or see yourself eating out of the TV instead of a plate, or you’re watching a TV show on your plate as you eat.

Plate and doughnut – see yourself biting into a doughnut, but it cracks in your mouth because it’s a plate. Or, picture being served dinner in a doughnut instead of on a plate.

Doughnut and car – you might see a large doughnut driving a car or you are driving a doughnut instead of a car.

Car and coffee pot – a large coffee pot is driving a car or you’re driving a coffee pot instead of a car. Alternatively picture a car on your sideboard with coffee percolating in it.

Coffee pot and brick – see yourself pouring coffee from a brick or see bricks pouring out of the spout of the coffee pot.

That’s it. If you have actually “seen” these mental pictures in your mind’s eye then you will have no trouble remembering the twenty items in sequence, from “carpet” to “brick”.

Of course it takes much longer to explain this than to do it – each picture

Now starting with carpet go through the list without the help of the book.

Unbelievable? Yes but it works as you can see. Try making your own list and memorizing them in the same way.

Of course we are brought up to think logically and I am asking you to think illogically which may be a problem at first, however after just a little practice you will have no problem at all in creating ridiculous pictures. Until then here are some simple rules to help……

1. Picture items out of proportion. In other words too large. This is why I used the word “gigantic” often above – to get you to imagine the items out of proportion.

2. Picture you items in action whenever possible. Unfortunately it is the violent and embarrassing things we all remember rather than the pleasant ones. Anyone who has been in an accident or been acutely embarrassed doesn’t need memory training to recall it so try to get violent action into you images.

3. Exaggerate the amount of items. For example above I talked about “millions” of cigarettes flying out of the telephone. If you had also seen them lit and burning your face you would have had action and exaggeration.

4. Substitute your items. This is the one I use most often. It is simply picturing one item instead of another i.e. smoking a nail instead of a cigarette.

That’s it. The link method boils down to this:

associate the first item with the second, the second to the third, the third to the fourth and so on.

Make your association as ridiculous and/or as illogical as possible and most important SEE the pictures in your mind’s eye.

You can now try out the technique on friends or with shopping lists. If you have trouble recalling the first item then associate with the friend testing your skills, if you have trouble recalling other items then the link was not illogical enough.

What you have memorized will be easily retrievable for hours or days. Also you will be able to recall the list backwards with no extra effort.

Looking for your feedback on how did you find this method of memorizing! :)