Only four hours after studying you will forget over 40% of what you learn. Over 40%. As the world’s fastest reader, I’ve learned the importance of accelerated memory skills for retaining information. The same memory skills that enable me to retain details at even 80 pages per minute, will also help you retain essential school information. Let’s see what makes things more memorable.
Centuries ago the Greeks discovered one of the major secrets of memory. They found that powerful emotions glue information into the permanent memory. Just how do powerful emotions glue information into permanent memory? Information already stored in your permanent memory is similar to hangers in a closet. In the same way that hangers enable the storage of clothing in a closet, mental hangers in your permanent memory empower your brain to store new information. An emotional glue instantly links your new information with stored information already in your brain. Your ability to remember is directly proportional to the powerful emotional responses the image elicits. In short, effective linking requires you to create a unique image that produces extremely powerful emotions. Let’s see exactly how this works with the following simple drill.
Using your traditional memory technique, memorize the following 5 items in less than one minute: (1) screw, (2) two by four, (3) sneakers, (4) tomato soup, and (5) window cleaner. In less than a minute, using your traditional memory tool this list can be difficult to permanently remember. Using the emotional anchors discovered by the Greeks you will remember this list in a flash. Furthermore, you will be able to remember it backwards, forwards, or perfectly in any other sequence. Additionally, you will effortlessly be able to accomplish this more difficult task. Hard to believe? Let’s do it together.
The first step is to use a list of objects already familiar to you. Objects previously stored in your permanent memory. These objects will become your memory hangers. The parts of your body meet all the necessary criteria. Your body parts are highly familiar to you and are already stored in your permanent memory. Let’s use the feet, shin, knees, thighs, and stomach which are in a convenient order for remembering new information.
Our next step is to create a highly emotional image that links the objects in your list to your familiar body parts. The first object is a screw, and the first body part is your feet. Imagine a sharp, rusty screw, going through your feet and out the top. Ouch! This is certainly a powerful emotional image. When you think of your feet what object immediately is recalled? The screw. Congratulations, you have just memorized the first object on your list.
A two by four is the second object on your list, and it must be linked to your shins. Picture your shin’s being shattered by a two by four. Thinking about your shins, instantly makes you remember the two by four.
Next you need to link sneakers to your knees. To create this emotional image requires a bit of imagination. Picture Dirty Harry wearing a pair of sneakers, kicking and shattering your knees. Imagining your knees instantly helps you remember a pair of sneakers.
The fourth object in your list is tomato soup, and your next familiar object is your lap. This is an easy image. Think about a boiling pot of tomato soup spilling onto your lap. Contemplating your lap, you instantly remember tomato soup.
Your last object is window cleaner, and it must be linked to your stomach. Think about drinking a bottle of window cleaner and having it drain into your stomach. Pondering your stomach immediately makes you think about window cleaner.
Now you are ready to instantly remember the five objects on your list by recalling the emotional images linking them to your five body parts. I’ll give you the name of a body part and you picture the object linked to it. Ready? Begin: (1) feet, (2) shins, (3) knees, (4) lap, and (5) stomach. See how easy it is to remember items when using emotional anchors. You can use this same technique for memorizing information for school. Incidentally I used painful images because every agrees on what is painful, while our concept of pleasure can vary. Nevertheless, strong positive emotions are also effective in anchoring information into memory.