8 Reasons You Need A Flexible Memory Method Not A Memory System

| Podcast

Bruce Lee statue to express memory method flexibility benefitsHave you been looking for a memory method you can use to learn and remember difficult information?

I’m talking about foreign language vocabulary.

Programming codes.

Charts and diagrams.


Names of people from around the world.

And do you keep running into promises about how someone’s “memory system” will help you achieve your learning goals?

Maybe they offer you some brain exercises.

Or maybe they promise the keys to the memory improvement kingdom with a mnemonic peg system or some other list of mnemonic devices.


The BIG Problem With The Memory Systems
Of The Memory Improvement Gurus


There’s nothing wrong about checking out mnemonic examples from memory experts you admire. Except this:

Anytime anyone tells you that their “memory system” will work for you…

Cartoon to express why you should run from memory improvement gurus selling memory systems

Run away screaming!


Because memory systems don’t work!

Instead, you work the systems. And you’ll do that a lot better if you create the systems yourself (with a little authentic help from your Magnetic Memory Method friends).

It’s kind of like singing and playing the guitar. Bringing the two together is a lot easier when you wrote the song.

And the results are much more powerful.


Why A “Magnetic” Memory Method Always Outperforms
The Other Guy’s Memory System


So here’s what’s up:

On this page, I’m going to explain exactly why what you really need is a memory method  (not some other dude’s system).

And not just any old method with memory exercises and memorization techniques.

What you need is a “Magnetic” Memory Method that lets you combine all of the memory techniques available into a streamlined approach.

You don’t need all kinds of confusing terms and mnemonic examples. You need to execute your moves in one swift blow each and every time you encounter information.

Magnetic Memory Method Free Memory Improvement Course

When you have this approach, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much your memory skills can grow.

Which means that the pain and frustration of forgetting information within seconds disappears.

If you’re ready, let’s dive into the 8 reasons having a memory method is the only approach that makes sense.


Reason #1:
Each Person’s Memory Is Unique And Needs A Unique Memory Method


Heart with fingerprint to show that you need a unique memory method because you are unique


Flexibility is what makes the teaching on this memory improvement blog unique.

Anyone can use the memory techniques I teach because you learn about yourself as you discover the methods so that everything fits into place quickly.

Why is figuring out how you stand so important?

A few reasons.

First, memory techniques rely upon association.

You’re taking information you don’t know and Magnetically weaving it together with things you already know.

For example, when learning some Chinese poetry, I wove the corner of a building together with some weird imagery that made it easy to recall the sound and the meaning of the phrase.

The images involved Lee jeans, a kite, E.T. (The Extraterrestrial), a burning cup of yen, Emil Zola, Che Guevara and sheep.


I Know That Sounds Like A Mouthful Of Mnemonic Examples!


But here’s the thing:

All of these images came to me freely and quickly because I have a memory method. It’s trained to be flexible, and that’s why it works so fast.

What exactly have I trained?

Speedy access to the same kinds of information each person has available to them now:


A Proper Memory Method Digs Deep Into Your Personal history


By using a flexible memory method, you can easily access a host of friends, family members, teachers, preachers and other members of your community.

I suggest listing them all out frequently. It’s a kind of memory improvement game you can play with your childhood anytime.


A Proper Memory Method Exploits Your Personal Culture


You also have your culture.

I often draw upon Canadian politicians. These are names that an international audience might not recognize, but that are deeply impressed upon in my memory. But I’m Canadian and so memorizing the Canadian Prime Ministers makes a lot of sense (maybe, lol).

Even if you’re not into politics, I’ll bet you have at least a couple local and regional figures you can bring to mind and use to make simple associations. Having them ready will help you improve your memory for studying a great deal.


Why Everything You Already Know Is Dying To Become A Memory Tool


Then there are musicians, actors and artists. These are all part of your culture. Only a flexible memory method will help you unpack them all.

Some other guy’s system? That’s probably the same guy who encourages you to memorize with a “Mind Palace” like Sherlock Holmes. (Yawn…)

Sorry, but the very suggestion that your memory can be like a fictional character’s is fraud.

How about you be you and use Sherlock Holmes as a Magnetic Bridging Figure in a well-formed Memory Palace instead?

Reality is far better than fantasy when you have a substantial memory method, that’s for sure.

You can go even deeper into your toy collection, video game collection and personal library if you wish. And I recommend that you do.

You are unique and the more you unpack all of the wealth of material already in your mind, the more you will succeed with memory improvement.

Reason #2:
A Proper Memory Method Helps You Avoid Learned Helplessness


Image of one person holding another down to illustrate learned helplessness


Perpetually on the hunt for shortcuts and memory hacks?

Totally normal.

The only problem with the perfectly understandable human desire to put the cart before the horse and succeed is that memory involves learning.

Learning takes place in time.

There is almost always a curve towards mastery that begins with initial exposure and leads to – not mastery – but the maintenance of mastery.

I don’t care if you’re Da Vinci or Jimmy Hendrix:

If you don’t maintain your skills in any area of talent, you’re going to lose them.


Why “Mastery” Is Just The Beginning Of The Memory Journey


In many ways, mastery is just the beginning of the journey.

You only truly start to understand your craft after you get good at it.

After the doors of perception open wide because you’re getting results using the memory techniques.

Because you’re creating your own mnemonic examples.

Using the real deal. Not memory techniques anyone else handed you. Techniques you crafted on your own using a method.


The Truth About Greedy Learners Hunting For “Hotel Dominic” 

Dominic O'Brien


Take Dominic O’Brien, for example.

He’s known for a lot of things. Hotel Dominic, the Dominic System, and winning multiple World Memory Championships and other competitions.

He may not agree with this assessment, but as I interpret what I’ve learned from him, he had a goal.

He learned the techniques.

He sat down and created all the figures he needed to remember numbers and cards with a highly personalized P.A.O.

How The Internet Creates Damaging Learned Helplessness


He shared some examples to get people started and serious students of memory improvement worked out the rest on their own.

Enter the Internet.

Next thing you know you’ve got thousands of people begging for his list, Ben Pridmore’s list, my lists, etc.

They want the fish, instead of learning how to fish for themselves.

Maybe I’m just jaded, but here’s the problem with giving too many mnemonic examples:

You can never create enough to solve the fundamental question of understanding the why and how we use these images based on our unique qualities and experiences.

Understanding how to tap into that rich pool of references in each person’s life (see point one above) is the ONLY thing that’s ever going to authentically help.


Use A Memory Method To Create Your Own Memory System Or Go H.O.M.E.


Otherwise, as longtime supporter Alex of this site (J.A. on YouTube) says, “Go H.O.M.E.”

It’s funny pun and paradox that mixes the acronym technique with an important message:

Huge Outcomes Means Exercising.

And to get the outcomes memory training can create for you, please exercise your mind with a proper memory method.

I know, I sound hardcore. Perhaps even dogmatic. But I’m sharing just one of several stoic secrets for using memory techniques that I know will help you faster.


How To Create Your Own 00-99 P.A.O In A Flash


Speaking of having a bunch of images for the digits 00-99, here’s all you have to do:

  1. Learn the Major Method to create your own system.
  2. Create a Magnetic Bridging Figure for each two digit number from 00-99.

Start small at first. Work from 01-10. Then 11-20 and so on. You don’t have to create them all in a single day.

  1. Use pen and paper. As Sharon did:

Sharon's 00-99 PAO for her card memory system mnemonic example


Notice that Sharon didn’t try to get it perfect the first time. Sharon just took action after taking my card memorization course in the Magnetic Memory Method Masterclass. (Like you should too if you want to experience incredible memory improvement fast).

Taking action is essential because:


Reason #3:
A Proper Memory Method Goes Beyond Method of Loci Training
By Creating Connection, Comprehension & Understanding


Image of a brain in a lightbulb to express having an integrated memory method


As Tony Buzan told us on this episode of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast, there are multiple intelligences.

A proper memory method helps you bring them together.

Magnetic Stations replace the Method of Loci and you can add a Major System 00-99 character to each if you wish.

And as you develop one aspect of the memory method you choose, you’ll quickly discover other levels you want to learn.

Music mnemonics may come to mind. Or languages. Or philosophy.

Nothing will be out of reach as you continue to grow your skills.


Tony Buzan’s Incredible Memory Improvement Formula


Tony Buzan portraitAnd growth can be constant. In Buzan’s classic, The Memory Book, he gives this formula:

E + M = C ∞

It breaks to the idea that Energy + Memory = Creativity Eternally.

And although each of us will eventually pass on, I think he’s right about the eternal part to a degree.

After all, as long as good people like us keep the mnemonic tradition alive, it will be passed down through the generations.

And that means you and your influence truly can be eternal.

Speaking of which:


Reason #4:
A Method Based On Multiple Memory Improvement Books Involves You In A Powerful Tradition


Henna hands to express the importance of the memory tradition


Not everyone knows this about Aristotle, but he wrote a book about memory.

I wrote a commentary on it which is available with the original text in English and my commentary. In this commentary, I connect Aristotle with Plato’s thoughts on memory before him.

And then I connect the Magnetic Memory Method to more and then more and then more.

Why did I do this?

Because there’s so much untapped knowledge about creating the best memory method on earth to be found in writings about memory from the past.

In fact, the more I read the tradition, the more my memory improves. And that’s important because it translates directly into the help I can give students of the Magnetic Memory Method.

And it’s not just Aristotle. Here are some other figures from history whom you may not have known used memory methods:

  • Simonides of Ceos
  • The unknown author of Ad Herrenium
  • St. Augustine
  • Matteo Ricci
  • Giordano Bruno

And that’s to mention some interesting contemporary figures. I’ve already mentioned Dominic O’Brien and Tony Buzan, but there’s also:

  • Doctor Yip
  • Florian Delle
  • Nelson Dellis
  • Jonathan Levi
  • Alex Mullen

… plus, all the exciting things going on with technology with people like Gabriel Wyner for memory and language learning through the Fluent Forever app.

The list goes on and on, and the direct benefit is that this tradition provides an endless wealth of inspiration and new ideas.

Reason #5:
Memorization Techniques Based On Methods Create Learning Flexibility


Bruce Lee Painting expressing flexibile memory method benefits

“Be water, my friend.”

Wise words from Bruce Lee.

This principle matters for your memory improvement journey with memory techniques because information is like the wind.

And your brain is often like a brick wall.

Ever seen how the wind can pick up a tree and toss it against a building?

Suddenly that big and tough brick wall doesn’t look so tough anymore, does it?

But if it had been water, it could move out of the way and possibly even used both the tree and the wind as a tool for its own purposes.

So when you’re looking for the right memory method to help you learn and remember the information that will pass the exam or scratch that language off your bucket list, make sure it’s flexible.

No difficult information ever has to break your mind again.


Reason #6:
Brain Health Starts As An Idea You Need To Remember


Memory Improvement course store image for the Magnetic Memory Method Masterclass


A lot of people are worried about Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

For good reason:

Memory loss is a severe and life-destroying pain in the butt.

It doesn’t have to be a serious disease or brain trauma that drags you life down either.

Lack of focus and concentration sucks too.

And when you’re worried about these problems and the memory loss from stress they cause at work, your sleep suffers.


How To Avoid The Punishing Hell Of Poor Memory


You probably don’t focus nearly as much attention to your diet, and physical fitness as you should. As a result, things spiral further down into the hell of poor memory.

Luckily, having the right memory method can help. Not only will you perform better in your studies and at work.

You’ll also remember your to-do lists. You’ll remember which foods that improve memory you should be eating. You’ll remember the exercises you should be doing at the gym.

When you can keep your focus on all of these matters and consistently follow through, your memory will naturally experience a boost.

Reason #7:
The Right Memory Method Creates Belonging


Tony Buzan with Anthony Metivier and Phil Chambers at a ThinkBuzan memory improvement and brain exercise event

Did you know there are entire communities of people who use memory techniques?

They have a special lingo. You’ve read some of the terms on this page already.

But there’s more to discuss:

Yeah, okay, it can get a bit nerdy from time to time.


But that’s what makes it fun!


You don’t have to know all the terms. Certainly, no one is going to exclude you from the club if you don’t understand.

Far from it!

Everyone who takes their memory methods seriously will help you understand everything from The Wardrobe to the Millennial P.A.O.

Once you’re in the club, you’ll find a host of friends who share your interest in learning and remembering without the hassle of forgetting.


Why Friendships With Mnemonists Improves Your Memory


These friendships will help you find inspiration and accountability.

They’ll help you experience a sense of belonging.

They even challenge you from time to time.

They’ll help you accomplish the ultimate benefit of having a reliable memory method of all.


Reason #8:
A Life Devoted To Learning How To Memorize Reveals The Truth


Giordano Bruno Statue of Mnemonist and Memory Palace Innovator With Anthony Metivier


The main reasons I use memory techniques and teach them so passionately come down to this:

Mnemonics saved my life.

I was depressed, about to drop out of university and intensely suicidal.

Being able to remember complex philosophical terms and make progress on learning a language gave me hope, confidence and courage.

It also enabled me to live the life of my dreams and travel the world.

It allowed me to visit the statue of Bruno in Rome many times pictured above. He was a man who died for the truth and you can hear all about in this interview with Scott Gosnell about Bruno’s powerful memory improvement book.

And as I learned about how meditation helps improve memory, I added this tool to my daily practice of mental improvement.


You Can Easily Memorize The Truthful Information
That Genuinely Improves Your Life


Later, I applied my ability to learn and remember my goals of optimizing my health (big thanks to Jonathan Levi for mentoring me on the specifics. Also on bitcoin and generally what I need to learn and remember about finances.)

And eventually, I started to use the memory techniques I’ve been honing for my personal practice and teaching to memorize Sanksrit.

There still exist ancient tomes of philosophy that contain special formulas for scrubbing the mind clean of fear, worry, doubt, and stress.

Sure, I still fall prey to these things once in awhile.

But thanks to memorizing lines from the Ribhu Gita provided by Gary Weber in Evolving Beyond Thought, I feel more aligned with reality than ever before.

The tradition is sometimes called Vedanta, or Advaita Vedanta. It’s deeply related to memory because to use the mind-cleansing tools well, you’ve got to memorize them.

I won’t go into what this philosophy helps one achieve just now.

But maybe you can relate to wanting to hold sacred knowledge in memory.

Be it religious scripture, a speech, a quote, or the entire vocabulary of a sacred language you want to commit to memory.


If You Can Remember More Things That Are True, You Can Live A Better Life


The best part of having a reliable memory method boils down to holding the truth in mind.

Holding it close.

And using the truth to live a better life.

The truth will also help you scrub out the false illusions that bind you down and keep you in ignorance.

So what do you say?

Do you think you could use a better memory method to help you reach your goals in life?

If the answer is a resounding yes, let me know in the discussion below and post your questions about making these extraordinary memory techniques work for you.

6 Responses to " 8 Reasons You Need A Flexible Memory Method Not A Memory System "

  1. Gabriel says:

    Anthony, you have been my memory coach for several years. I
    am retired as a civil engineer in 2007 and a university professor for
    31 years and I graduated in 2014 as a psychologist, thanks to the
    techniques you taught me. My thesis was about maintaining the memory
    of the elderly and practically I investigate the state of the art on
    that subject.

    About your last post, I can tell you that it is totally true,
    especially in the elderly. Throughout the years everyone has a
    different way of memorizing and that is why I, I do a personalized

    Some older adults can be lost home and this has its graduation, because I had a patient who was lost in his own bedroom and could not leave. Others when they go to the doctor forget the driver’s license, the medical exams and the wallet, all in the same morning.

    I am 67 years old and four years ago I used the techniques of the MMM system to be the best student of 400 psychology students in my last two years of career, surpassing people under 25 years of age.

    • Thanks for this post, Gabriel.

      Your thesis sounds fantastic and it’s an honor to meet someone who works with this segment of the public in this way.

      What would you say is their number one challenge when it comes to memory? What is their number one opportunity for improving memory?

      I’d love to learn more about your personalized therapy as well. Perhaps we can pick that up on a future MMM Podcast interview? That would be awesome.

      Also, stay tuned for an upcoming interview with Christine Till. She has some fascinating things to say about a related segment of the population.

      In the meantime, congrats on using the Magnetic Memory Method to outperform all of those younger people.

      I’d love your opinion on this, now that you raised the point:

      My feeling has always been that people in their older years are actually better positioned to use mnemonics more thoroughly. I think this is true because they have more experiences, more “memory reserve” to draw upon from pop culture and personal culture and perhaps a bit more discipline.

      It’s possible too that more mature people also have a greater sense of consequence when they spend their time on studying and using practical tools like memory techniques.

      I do not mean to say that younger people are at a disadvantage. They clearly aren’t and I know many who use these techniques at laser fast speeds and get great results. But I still feel that older generations have a distinct advantage.

      What do you think?

  2. This website is really helpful for those trying to improve their memory. I’ve been trying to find ways to memorise some lists and improve my overall memory but none seemed perfect for me. Thanks to this post, I’m now able to understand the root causes and make adjustments.
    Thanks Anthony.
    Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks for this comment. I’m glad that you’re finding help with memorizing lists through the Magnetic Memory Method blog posts.

      What kind of lists are you working with? Sometimes there are helpful tweaks we can make based on the target information.

      Please let me know and I’ll share any ideas that come to mind based on what you’re working with.

  3. Andrew says:

    Hi Anthony, since you mentioned advaita I thought you may be interested in this. It is about dvaita and the duality of memory. I’ve done a lot of Dr Demartini’s process. It’s rational, fact-based and very trippy.


    • Thanks, Andrew. I checked out the video and will have to look into it more. It seems like he’s talking about memory in ways very different than what we do with the MMM however.

      Also, Dvaita is less interesting to me than Advaita, though I will read further into it. It is looking likely I will fashion something like MMMadvaita in the future. It is increasingly clear that what I’m talking about for memory and self-inquiry are tied at the hip.

      Thanks for letting me know about this resource and look forward to another post from you soon!

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