Memory Palace Starvation Defeated

Old Dictionary Perfect for Memory Palace workDear Memorizers,

First up, you gotta check out this cool page our Magnetic Memory friend Joshua Smith posted on Facebook:

http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/195348/18-obsolete-words-which-should-have-never-gone-out-of-style/

“Englishable” is certainly my favorite word of the lot, but “snoutfair” comes in as a close second.

It’s really interesting to think about lost weird words like this because it points out the very simple fact that so many of the words we say our artificial constructions. Well, all words are built, but some words show mores signs of deliberate invention than others. Take “Bromance,” for example, a word invented to express the feelings generated by a flock of new films about friendships between men, while “frenemy” evolved to express the dissolution of friendships between women.

“Crowdfunding” is another interesting portmanteau word, as is “chillax” and “Weblish” (closely related to “Netspeak” and “Internetese.”)

Oh yes, dear Memorizers, English is alive and well … and living online.

But we’re in the business of memorizing foreign language words and obscure terminology, so let’s have a look at a follow-up letter I received from the “location starvation” theme we visited a few days back:

Could I ask you opinion on this?

Lets say I have a goal to memorize 1000 words in french,german and dutch.

If I used the loci system, i don’t see how i could have enough locations and stations to be able to use the system in memorizing the vocabulary. 

Right now i am using a poor system of looking at the foreign word i want to memorize.  Listening to the pronunciation.  Then using the pronunciation to find a word in English that sounds like that piece of the word or the entire word.  Then I imagine that pronunciation of the foreign word with the association of the English word that I know that sounds similar.

I am having trouble because i am not linking one vocabulary word to another. Nor am i currently using the loci system.

I don’t think the LOCI system will work for me because , I don’t think I can come up with enough places for me to use with my vocabulary word association.

Let me use an example of my house.  i have 4 bedrooms, a stairway. one kitchen, a front yard a backyard, a garage, a front and back door. 

Even if I used all the houses of the friends combined with mine, it would not get me to 1000 stations.

And, I need 3000 stations.

Any suggestions?

Here’s my answer:

Not having enough locations and stations is indeed a barrier.

Nonetheless, I’m confident that with some preparatory work you can come up with 3000 stations.

For starters, you can expand upon what you’ve already got. With practice, instead of using one of your rooms for just one word, you can use it for 5-6 words by placing them on the window sill, the bedside table, the bed, the dresser, the bookshelf, etc.

You can subdivide the other rooms in the same way, and you can use every step on the stair case, divide the front and the back lawn into quadrants, divvy up the garage, etc.

How many houses have you lived in throughout your life? How many offices have you worked in? How many neighborhoods and stores do you know well?

Have you tried filling out the Magnetic Memory worksheets? (I’ve attached them for you in case they are lost in an email that will take too long to find).

First off, in the Magnetic Memory system, you don’t have to link the words to one another. If you follow the journey principles laid out in the system, then the journey itself will be your link.

And when everything is working really well for you, the journey will be used for rehearsal alone. When you are called upon to access or use a word, your mind will magnetically fly to that location without needing to start at the beginning of that particular Memory Palace and walk through from station to station.

You’ll be pulled there.

That said, let me suggest that you temporarily modify your goal.

Use the Magnetic Memory worksheets to identify 10 stations per letter for just ten letters of the alphabet. Here’s the letters I recommend starting with for these languages:

A

B

D

E

F

G

K

L

M

N

You can use shopping malls, libraries, movie theatres, parks – any place that you know reasonably well and can chart a journey through.

Remember, you want to use locations that you are familiar with because this reduces the amount of thought you need to exert as you add new words at the stations you’ve identified along your journey.

I’m confident that once you get started, you’re going to not only feel the power of how all of this works, but you’ll also find it much easier to discover the perfect Memory Palace locations and stations too.

And if you still feel like you have a case of “location starvation,” that is simple to solve:

* Take a walk down the street

* Visit a movie theatre

* Go to the grocery store

* Drop in on a friend

* Take a trip and stay in a hotel

There are countless ways to gather new locations for Memory Palaces. It’s just a matter of paying attention to the surroundings.

Your brain is naturally wired to remember the layouts of locations, especially interior locations. I don’t know exactly why this should be the case, but it is for nearly everyone, and we should capitalize on it. Simply by practicing awareness as you move about your every day life, you can create literally dozens of new Memory Palaces each and every week.

And if you start up your very own “Mission Memory Palace,” you’ll find yourself visiting new places too.

That’s pretty cool. It keeps you active and healthy and exercises dormant parts of the brain – parts that will help you reach your memorization goals.

Above all, relax while you are working on every stage. The more relaxed you are, the more receptive your mind will be. There are some tips on relaxation in the book that you can use and I highly recommend that you do.

I really enjoy helping you with understanding the Magnetic Memory system and applying it to your situation, so let me know if ever you have any further questions.

And that goes for everyone. Feel free to ask me your questions any time.

So until next time, go out on a Memory Palace Mission and then teach someone else what you’ve learned about memorization. Teaching a skill is one of the best ways to learn it and helping people improve their memory is one of the best ways we can make the world a better place. The more we remember, the more we can remember. And the more we learn, the more we can learn.

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