The 2016 MMM State Of Your Memory Address

Was 2016 as amazing for you as it was for me?

If you did anything to experience memory improvement, I’ll bet it was great.

Maybe even … Magnetic.

My top highlight?

Getting interviewed on my own show by none other than SuperLearner Jonathan Levi.

So even there though’s a lot of groovy things to read on this page and year end links to explore …

Scroll up and hit that play button. Jonathan helps me dig deep into the Mind of a Memorizer.

And it’s all kind of fascinating, because when you think about it …


Who Knew You Could Still Improve
The Ancient Art Of Memory Improvement?


Hard to believe, but totally true.

And you can do it even if you were a “delinquent youth,” which is just one of the topics we touch upon in the interview.

We also talk about dealing with Manic Depression without medication …

The nature of truth and memory …

And my top book and movie recommendations, including:


The Republic

The Nichomachean Ethics

Better Never To Have Been: The Harm Of Coming Into Existence


Lost Highway (best memory quote in cinema history)


The Matrix

And while you’re jamming your way through those great movies, I have to say that my all time favorite video course from 2016 has been SuperLearner 2.0:


Thanks to my friendship with Jonathan, you can now take a free trial of the SuperLearner Academy. Thanks for that, Jonathan! 🙂

Speaking of friendship …


The Magnetic Memory Method
2017 Predictions For Your Memory


A lot of people are making 2017 predictions about a lot of things.

As far as I know, none of them involve the state of memory improvement.

Here are my top predictions for how things will go with some tips about how to make memory improvement part of your 2017 adventure.


Why Friendships Improve Your Memory


Friendship and memory, you ask?

You bet. And as more and more social groups form online, the more “real life” friendships will matter.

For example, a recent memory improvement book demonstrates that we just don’t remember a lot of what we experience online all that well.

Of course, you can develop techniques that help (check out Jonathan’s course!), but my bigger concern is that you get the memory benefits of spending time with real people.

In the world.

Some ways to make sure you get your memory-friendly time with people in the world include:

  • Daily walks with a friend
  • Weekly lunches or dinners
  • Meeting to memorize cards together
  • Shared language learning challenges
  • Just getting together to shoot the breeze

I know you heard me talk a lot about him in 2016, and that’s because the favorite new friend I made in 2016 is Tony Buzan.

I have a prediction that there will be even more amazing stuff coming out from him in 2016, and I’m going to suggest to him a quarterly feature on the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast called Buzan².

He reads so fast … I wouldn’t be surprised if he already knows about it before I’ve had a chance to ask him. 😉

For now, my favorite pic of the year:


Why The Pen Will Remain
Mightier Than The Sword in 2017


Penmanship used to be a preoccupation of mine. I predict I’ll be returning to it in 2017.

Maybe I’m old school. Or maybe I just like Da Vinci.

Either way, there’s no arguing that there’s a thing called penmanship and developing it is good for your brain.

It’s tempting to say to hell with it. People type, tap and swipe now.

But in watching April wrangle pinyin and hanzi out of my iPad on the same day I watched some of the beautiful Chinese calligraphy in Devils on the Doorstep:

As I study Chinese calligraphy a bit myself, it seems clear to me that it’s not just the multiple intelligences and muscular activity we’re losing.

It’s a kind of art.

And I predict that individuals and nations that hang onto it will outpace those who do not.


Journaling Will Improve Your Memory
Even Better Than In The Victorian Era


John Lee Dumas is an entrepreneur on fire.

And The Freedom Journal is just one aspect of his genius.

I’m not ready to share yet how it helped me on a massive project in 2016, but I can tell you that the The Freedom Journal has streamlined my daily journaling down to the essentials.

Even better:

The Freedom Journal has given me the means of tying those essentials to making huge strides toward an ambitious goal I had left dangling.

Here I am using The Freedom Journal in Zürich. I carried it with me all around Europe while working on a project I predict I will tell you about in 2017.

My favorite part is that The Freedom Journal is also a memory tool. So I also predict that in 2017 you’ll hear me sharing more about this exciting tool in relation to memory techniques.

Oh, okay, one more prediction about this:

I predict that if you join me in being a Freedom Journal user, you’ll massively upgrade your life while contributing to a great cause.


Language Learning Will Increase In Importance


It doesn’t require any psychic powers to predict that knowing more than one language will be even more important in 2017 than it was in 2016.

The question is …

Will it be any easier in 2017?

The answer is easy, but …

The ease of that answer depends.

It depends on the decisions you make and the tools you use.

My 2016 recommendations won’t change:

1. Know and use The Big Five of Language Learning

  • Use your memory
  • Read
  • Write
  • Speak
  • Listen

Every day.

2. If you’re going to use apps, use them intelligently.

Olly Richards is definitely your man for figuring out how to do that. Make Words Stick gives you some cool insights and I predict there will be many more interesting language learning and memory insights coming from Olly in 2017.



3. Speak with native speakers.

My biggest recommendations for finding great speaking partners boil down to italki and Skill Silo. I’m expecting great things from both, but liked Skill Silo the best in 2016 thanks to a streamlined process that puts only one core language learning text on the screen with your teacher.

But you still need to teach your teacher. Olly again has lots of ideas to help you get the most from that.


N=1 Experiments And Competition


Alex Mullen continues proving that human memory moves at least as fast as the human hand and eye.

I’ve spoken with him and his results clearly come from the same processes all memory athletes and experts use.

The real difference is in how you apply the techniques to your memory improvement goals.

It could be winning the World Memory Championships.

Or it could be learning a massive topic related to science, computing, philosophy or some interesting combination you make in a course of study of your own.


How To Design A Learning Project That Works In 2017


To get the most out of any learning project, four elements will be key:

1. Use Magnetic Memory Method Memory Palaces.

This is kind of a no-brainer, but if your Memory Palace strategy isn’t bulletproof, you risk wasting time and energy.

2. Dive in and go all the way.

The map is never the territory, so action is key. (Note: Getting yourself into the picture can and most likely will involve making changes to the map as you go along.)

3. Track your results.

Stay tuned for some more information about tracking your results in 2017, particularly in combination with The Freedom Journal.

4. Refine Your Approach

Once you have data on what’s working and what isn’t, I predict that all people serious about using memory techniques will be capable of learning faster, remembering more and having an amazing 2017.


2017 Will Be The Year Of
Memory And Sleep Research


My biggest memory improvement surprises in 2016 came from experiencing great memory wins despite way too much sleep deprivation.

As the author of The Ultimate Sleep Remedy, I still stand behind everything I taught in that book.

However, I also wrote the book during a period of time when I took lamictal every day. I had also done a huge course of research in sleeping 12 hour days and dream recall.

But since becoming an entrepreneur and giving up the pretty pink pills as part of “Project Wolverine” …

Things Have Been Different!


I don’t think the pretty pink pill ever helped me sleep any better. But I think it did give my like a machinic quality.

And that consistency has been replaced with something more akin to the classic and cliche Bipolar Rollercoaster described in psychology textbooks.

To combat the suffering that comes from Manic Depression, I’ve been experimenting with raw cacao and coffee, sometimes Bulletproof Coffee. There is no doubt in my mind that the swapping of these substances in for lamictal has changed the nature of my sleep.

But overall, despite tons of exhaustion, my mnemonic memory has never been better. I find this amazing, especially since recent research has shown that the older you get, the less likely you are to get memory consolidation during sleep.


My Mnemonic Calendar Will Come Back Into Use


That said, the tasks to which I direct my mnemonic memory need refinement. I have a mnemonic calendar, for example, but need to use it more often so that I don’t forget appointments.

Or even better, remember when appointments have been cancelled. Sometimes the ghost impression of an appointment made can override the attempt to remember that it has been canceled. This is The Ugly Sister Effect in full force as too much competes for your attention.

There is also the pressure of absentmindedness on memory. For this reason, it is important to place as many things on autopilot as possible so that remembering is unnecessary.

Funny, right?

But it’s important to note that a great way to improve your memory is to remove things from it that stress it out.


HumanCharger Light Therapy And Memory?


Light is an increasingly important topic to me.

In fact, light exposure has become a way of life. Since February of 2016, I’ve been using a unique light-therapy device to explore the topic.

The benefits of using the HumanCharger have been clear, measurable and amazing.

Basically, the device addresses a simple reality:

The human brain is sensitive and receptive to light.

There’s a lot to that statement. Especially if you can find a way to let light reach more of your brain.

Of course, your eyes have a means of doing that.

But what if your ears were a pathway light could use to reach your brain too.

I predict that I’ll be part of spreading the good news about exactly how you can use the HumanCharger to bring light to your brain.

I’m also excited to explore the relationship between memory and light as well. My initial n=1 conclusions are that feeling more alert and in a brighter mood definitely adds to the arsenal when you’re living the art of memory improvement.


The Magnetic Memory Method
Will Be Enshrined As The Martial Art
Of Memory Improvement


I predict that I will continue extending my feeling that mnemonics are a kind of Martial Art.

I’ve long felt that my background with Systema has helped my memory. Apart from meditation techniques derived from Alan Watts and Eckart Tolle, Systema continues to provide the basis for how I connect relaxation to memory.

Ego-depletion will also remain important.

Yet, ego is so crucial to memory techniques because you draw on what you know based on what you know about yourself. You tap into what you like, what makes you emotional, sometimes even what makes you mad.

Case in point:

I was filming myself learning some Chinese in a bank when I got some attitude from a guy. He basically told me I shouldn’t get him on camera (a camera that was in no way pointing at him). But he did it so indirectly that I wasn’t sure if he worked for the bank, was representing the bank’s interest or … trying to audition for my YouTube channel …

Anyhow, I was trying to remember how to say, “I am lost” using memory techniques in real time.

But in the moment of conflict, I not only had to maintain calm to avoid getting into a fistfight. I needed calm to make sure I could create Magnetic Imagery to attach to the Magnetic Station I’d created on the fly in the impromptu Memory Palace.

My images were Mini-me from Austin Powers and Jennifer Lopez.

No, the phrase isn’t epic in length. No is it particularly difficult.

But neither is it extraordinary. And in a field of Chinese words and phrases, I needed to make it stand out. So while I’m managing my ego in the face of a potential attacker, running the camera and thinking about how I’ll edit it, AND memorizing this useful Chinese phrase so I can get it into long term memory …

It really does require Martial Arts-level memory to manage all of these elements and not forget the core information.


Physical Fitness And Memory Will
Remain Mutually Supportive


In 2016, I dropped a lot of weight and built a lot of muscle. My trainer, Lars at Ignite.Fit, taught me a lot about my body, discipline and the nature of life. We also became friends and talked a lot about education, technology, business and how all three intersect.

As I worked to heal my body in the gym, I started drafting “Project Wolverine.” I can’t say much about it now, but I predict that memory and physical fitness will remain important to me and all who care about the quality of their memory.

Brad Zupp agrees on the connection between health and memory in this episode of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast. I can’t wait to speak with him again on the matter and predict that I will.


My Year Two Of Chinese Prediction


It’s one year since I started learning Chinese.



And I know for a fact that I’ve got a long way to go.

But it raises the question of how exactly I define fluency.

Context decides.

When I asked my father-in-law permission to marry his daughter, he understood my request. I was fluent.

When I sang her a Chinese love song I’d memorized on our wedding day, I was fluent.

When I got an email from one of her friends expressing his amazement with my Chinese and memory techniques, I was fluent.

But …

… When I went to make dumplings during the 冬至 Dongzhi Festival …

I was in the limbo every language learner knows so well.

It feels like you must have been studying all the wrong things. Although you recognize dozens of words … It’s still hard to penetrate even 10% of what’s going on around you.

But I am fluent in memory. I zone in on what I do recognize. I isolate what I want to memorize. Then, provided I follow the MMM to the letter …

I’m on the road to fluency, which is the present moment, the only place anything is to be found.


The Toughest 2017 Prediction To Uphold … 


Tough, but I still predict that I will maintain my love affair with German. It’s actually kind of easy.

All it will take is dedication to The Big Five of language learning to maintain my current level.

Yes, even as an upper-level student of German, maximum attention must be paid to reading, writing, speaking, hearing and continuing to memorize German.

I know, because I remember just how quickly it faded the last time I left Germany. I don’t want to feel the fade of disuse ever again.


What Are Your Predictions For Your
2017 State Of Memory Address?


So that’s my 2016 in a nutshell.

I’m grateful to everyone who contributed comments here, left reviews on the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast or joined the Magnetic Memory Method Masterclass. It’s been an honor and delight to improve the ability of people around the world to learn, remember and recall anything with greater ease, fun, passion and high levels of accuracy in their recall.

Like how about this amazing win from Magnetic Memory Method Masterclass member James Gerwing:

And you know what’s really great?

James Gerwing is now the 2019 Canadian Memory Champion!

That huge win for James inspires me to keep helping action-takers like Daniel use the Magnetic Memory Method:

And then there’s this short note from a great MMM Masterclasser:


I received hundreds of emails and messages just like these in 2016.

So when it comes to 2017 predictions and the state of your memory, tell me …

Are you in?

Have a great New Year and talk soon! 🙂






P.S. If you think you don’t have time for memory improvement in 2017, here’s how to memorize things fast from my friend Tor.

Have fun!

8 Responses to " The 2016 MMM State Of Your Memory Address "

  1. Wow, what a great article Anthony! Thanks for the mention of The Freedom Journal, it’s an honor 🙂

  2. Josh says:

    A cheers to the 2016 year! Thanks so much for mentioning Skill Silo Anthony – hope you never “forget” us 🙂

  3. Bjoern says:

    Hey Anthony,

    One thing I rediscovered was reading good books. I did it in the past and got my Bachelor degree and then stopped. This year I bought some books about memory and read them. You can listen to videos, creating amazing HTML 5 web sites and doing all the fancy stuff, but learning and comprehension is best in the ‘old school’ way. I solved difficult puzzles at work using mind maps on paper and improved my reading ability with the book from Tony Buzan and so on.
    The technology then helps us recalling it.. Would be interesting to have a memory palace approach on it, wouldn’t it?

    I was always struggling reading German for a long time, but thanks to my reading improvements it’s gone and I can let my brain run faster. People always say : ‘Read slowly and carefully’ and my brain get crazy.. It’s the past.

    Frohes neues Jahr und bis dann

  4. Alex says:

    Happy New Year Anthony and Jonathan. Excellent Q & A from two fascinating thinkers on memory and learning.

    Your breadth and depth of knowledge and wisdom on so many subjects is very inspiring. I liked Jonathan’s gentle and practical guidance and your erudite riffing replies.

    Your generosity of spirit and sharing shows some essential Canadian values. Canadians tend to want to help neighbours find water and food sources, then let them live in peace in the way of their choosing. But they’re always there to lend a hand or a piece of advice if asked. Happy 150th Canada; I hope you’ll have another 150 prosperous years of growth. I hope you’ll have many historians and other memorizers to tell your stories. Men and women like Margaret Atwood, Pierre Berton, Joni Mitchell, Peter Gzowski, Leonard Cohen, Farley Mowat: and the list could go on and on.

    For me 2016, has been largely positive. I have learned and thought about topics such as meaning, knowledge, ethics and morality and, of course, mind and memory. I have learned to appreciate art and creation more.

    I have learned to be freer and less constricted with regard to location-based memory stations.

    I have learned to use more signs and symbols and to appreciate the works of mnemonists from the past.

    I have explored and enjoyed philosophy of memory and imagery and thought about Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Bruno, Bergson, Saussure. It seems rather reductionist merely to confine memory to Psychology when so many great writers, cineastes, poets, animators and other explorers have so much to offer. Neuroscience is helping us to arrive at other levels and embark on new journeys in exploring limitless inner mental space.

    I like your equation of mental acuity with martial artistry. Both have to do with struggle. Perhaps the writings of Lao Tsu, Sun Tsu, Mushasi, Bruce Lee and others will prove beneficial. Mental martial art games like Go and Chess will provide good training, as will jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku and card games.

    Best wishes for a happy and memorable 2017.

    • Thanks for this, Alex. Always great to hear from you and this list of Canadian names is a delight to read. I’m sure the next 150 years will bring its own set of interesting cultural icons.

      Great that you’re reading all these folk. I’ve been meaning to return to Saussure. Bergson, is of course, classic, and perhaps some of this thoughts on time should be tapped for a new philosophy of memory.

      I will definitely have to look into some of the mind activities you suggest. I may start studying general computer science and a language like Python. That is an interesting way to bring a lot of things together, especially since my stand against software constantly brings me into contact with it. I’m making no promises, but I do have the inkling to not just project manage, but actually figure out how to code something that would truly be my own.

      Kind of like making a Memory Palace, just with more levels of regress, since this would be Memory Palace-making software.

      Let’s see what happens! 🙂

      • Alex says:

        Python is an excellent choice Anthony. It is a very powerful and hugely practical language that lends itself very well to mnemonic conceptualization: both in the learning of the language and in the coding of projects.

        The fact that many code libraries and a vast body of knowledge exist, and that a very active and generous community of Pythonistas is on hand to assist, make the learning curve much less steep.

        Moreover, your experience with learning natural languages like Chinese and your experience with dedicated memory palaces will help.

        Perhaps you will revisit some of the memorable sketches and movies of the Monty Python crew for memory palaces. Their zaniness makes for excellent mnemonic fodder.

        • Good call on using Monty Python to help learn Python. That’s just one of the things I love about mnemonics so much: These happy little accidents of association. Almost makes me consider the idea that there might be a watchmaker up there after all … almost … 😉

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