Of Memory Palaces And Barbells

memory palace fitnessDear Memorizers,

Here’s some reader mail from Matthew that I found quite interesting:

“I started using your system last January and love it. My fluency has gone way up. But most importantly, my confidence has risen because of what you talk about in your newsletters. I have your daily emails to thank.”

I’m always pleased when I receive positive feedback. As readers of the Magnetic Memory series and newsletter who actually use these mnemonic skills know, the results are dramatic.

But I don’t always receive positive messages like these. Sometimes I get emails or reviews filled with complaints that the system doesn’t work.

You know what?

They’re right.

The system doesn’t work.

It’s we who work the system.

There’s nothing that can be done for people who don’t try things out and experiment with the methods in a consistent manner. Only in this way can a person get results.

This is one reason why I talk about memorizing at least one new vocabulary word per day. It’s even better if you also memorize a phrase to go along with that word, but at the very minimum, one word per day.

If you do nothing more than that, you’ll have 365 new words every year.

That ain’t no slim pickens, and neither is 29-31 new words a month. You can configure a lot of sentences with 31 words. You can understand a lot more with 31 new words. You can enjoy your target language a lot more with just 31 new words.

If you’re really going for gold, then you’ll also rehearse at least one of your alphabetized Memory Palaces every day as well. This can take a bit more time, but the value of the process is manifold and compounding.

Let’s say you learn one new word and rehearse ten. This means that you have the opportunity to see that one new word in the context of 10 others. No, the new word won’t always go together, but chances are that you will normally be able to make some kind of sentence using the new word with each and every other, which in many cases would total 10 new sentences.

Even if the sentences are partially nonsense, you’re playing with the language, seeing how it works, how it can work. And if you’re working with a tandem partner as I suggested in Volume 2 of the Magnetic Memory newsletter, then you have the perfect playground in which to experiment and ask for corrections.

Trust me, the benefits are huge and the rewards are quick to arrive, especially when you practice daily.

So remember: just like a barbell, doesn’t lift your arm, the system doesn’t do the work for you. Rather, we work the system. And I’m here to offer any additional help that you need.

Until next time, work out and make sure to teach someone else what you’ve learned about memorization. Helping people improve their memory skills is one of the best ways we can make the world a better place. And the more we remember, the more we can remember. And the more we learn, the more we can learn.

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