Memory Techniques and Telling the Future: Is It Possible?

Memory Techniques and the futureCan memory techniques help us tell the future?

Oddly enough… it’s an interesting question.

In fact, memory techniques inspire so many great questions. And here’s one we haven’t seen before on this site:

Dear Anthony,

I’m an Italian student and my purpose is to develop my English learning as fast as I can. I tell you, it’s difficult but challenging.

My worst problem is figuring out places for every letter of the alphabet. I have let my mind go through its/my memories for picking out something useful….

I still have some holes here and there and I need to fill in every gap left.

Can I take other places that don’t begin with a specific letter as you suggest to create more Memory Paalces? For example shall take my house for the letter W?

If you let me know what you think I’ll be delighted to improve my knowledge.

Thank you for your work.

The simple, direct and 100% reliable answer to the question of whether or not we can assign a Memory Palace to a location that does not start with the letter we design it to represent is an unabashed …


In fact, I do this quite often without any trouble. For example, for one of my alphabets, I use Kane Xavier Faucher’s house because I actually know someone with this name.

For another alphabet linked to another language, I use a movie theater where I watched X-Men 2.

Are these useful?

Much more useful than using memory techniques for the zodiac.

And believe it or not, there are over 300 words in French that begin with the letter X!

Here’s a third example:

For yet another alphabet, I use the elementary school where I attended grade six for X.

There’s a slight association in that Memory Palace, however, because I start that Memory Palace journey in the band room.

We didn’t have a Xylophone in our school band, but somehow, that imaginary-logical association works really well for me (namely that xylophones are musical instruments that could be found in the band room).

To get really microscopic with this example, we can notice that “grade six” ends with X. There’s madness to the method lurking in every corner, and I’ll bet that the more you practice, you’ll be able to make use of these little coincidences to make all the words you want to memorize so much more magnetic.

But these coincidences and imaginary associations don’t have to be logical. For example, for A in my German palace, I use a place my mother used to live. This was on Brown Road, which would suggest that it would be better for B, but somehow it is the natural association that my mind came up with and it works gangbusters.

A key point is that, so long as you are relaxed, your mind will come up with exactly the perfect Palace for each letter.

You can also use “virtual” Memory Palaces. We’ve talked a lot about how that can be done in Volumes I, II, III and IV of the Magnetic Memory newsletter, so you might want to check those out.

Ultimately, whether or not your Memory Palaces cohere with the alphabet, this process of associating Palace-to-letter and letter-to-Palace is not something to be forced.

Nor is this memory technique something to be argued with.

Been there, done that.

In my years of experimentation, I have sometimes forced A Palaces to start with the letter A (i.e. A = Aberdeen Mall), but it’s not nearly effective.

However, if I sit down looking for an A Palace and my mind comes up with the Vancouver Aquarium, I’ve learned to go with it.

Every time.

It’s a simple mnemonic equation:

The more relaxed you are when memorizing (or preparing your personalized memorization system based on the Magnetic Memory ideas), the more natural and perfect the associations will be.

And the more naturally and perfectly these associations arise in your mind, the more memorable they will be.

In fact, they’ll be utterly magnetic.

By the way, my favorite X word in French is Xylomancie, which would by Xylomancy in English. It basically means to divine the future using twigs.

But I don’t need sticks to tell the future. I can predict that for each and every one of you, dear Memorizers, you have profound memorization skills to look forward to, the more you practice using the natural abilities of your brain in combination with Ars Memorativa and the Magnetic Memory Memory approach.

Until next time, leave divination behind and teach someone else what you’ve learned about Memory Palaces. 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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