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I’m a pretty calm and relaxed guy.
But if there’s one word related to memory improvement that drives me bonkers, it’s “system.”
And you’ve probably heard me talk all about why I don’t teach a comprehensive memory system like some of the others on the market.
Nothing about my refusal to offer a memory improvement system is ever going to change.
The truth, reality and scientifically demonstrated fact about your memory is this:
No One On Planet Earth Can Give You A
Memory Improvement System!
Oh, but they’ll promise, which is exactly why I created this Memory Training Consumer Awareness Guide.
(Side note: Can you believe that’s way back to Episode 9 of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast! Thanks to your support, you can click the audio above to listen to this post as episode 180!)
Here’s The Bloody Truth No One Else Will Tell You
Although you do need memory systems of a sort, YOU need to learn how to create them.
And then you need to follow through and actually create them.
That’s right. YOU.
And if you do it right, you’ll discover that you, like me, will also think about the word “system” very differently.
And here’s the very good news:
Right Thinking About Memory Systems Will Solve
All Your Memory Problems And Pains – FAST!
And once you’ve come to share my admittedly biased (but always Magnetic) opinion that the only memory systems that matter are the ones you create yourself …
You’ll be a master of your memory.
The only question is …
What are these memory systems that you need so badly?
I’m glad you asked.
There are just 4.
They’re simple to understand, fast to get in place for yourself and super-easy to use.
It all begins with …
#1: A Location-based Mnemonic System
Not such a sexy term, is it?
Well, don’t fret. It has many other names.
Looked at from the top, there are oodles of mnemonics out there, ranging from rhyming to creating crazy images that you let float in the void of your mind.
Many people experience all kinds of success with the different kinds of mnemonics to choose from.
But most people can’t just create a mnemonic and then toss it out into the void of their mind.
They need to connect their Magnetic Associations to something in the world.
Like a location.
There are other kinds of locations that are more abstract, like Virtual Memory Palaces, but here’s the truth:
Keeping It Concrete And Real Works Best For
The Vast Majority Of People
And that’s why having a system for creating Memory Palaces is so powerful.
You can create them strategically by building up a storehouse in advance.
Or you can create Impromptu Memory Palaces anywhere, at any time, completely on the fly.
The trick is to know how to create them.
And know how to create them well.
If you haven’t taken the Magnetic Memory Method free video course, it’ll walk you through everything you need to know.
(Hint: Just click that big subway image above or subscribe above and I’ll send you this course for FREE.)
And then, Bang Presto!
You’ll be a Master of the first memory system you need to succeed! Just make sure you ground it on a memory method.
#2: You Need An Encoding System
Once you’ve got a reliable way of creating the Memory Palaces you need, you next need a systematic way to encode the information you want to learn.
It helps if you’ve got that information organized. That way you can quickly “map” it onto any Memory Palace.
Luckily, a lot of information comes pre-organized for us, so you can easily use the How to Memorize A Textbook training to tap into that raw power.
And have a goal. An outcome. A realistic target that you actually want to hit.
From there, you just need to be able to look at a piece of information and associate it with something else.
Ideally that “something else” should hit a number of characteristics.
It should be:
- Deeply familiar
- Capable of interaction
And don’t worry if you’re not a visual person (#noexcuses). Here’s the final word on that strange objection to using memory techniques:
Example of an image that fits all the characteristics defined above?
Well, let’s take Homer Simpson.
Are you deeply familiar with him?
I sure am. He’s got the world’s worst memory, after all:
But if you’re not familiar with Homer, you can probably name some other cartoon character. Bugs Bunny, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Fred Flinstone …
The options are endless.
And if that character, actor, politician, musician or even your least favorite aunt can move around in space (such as within a Memory Palace) …
You can create a system for pumping out oodles of characters like these to help you encode information you don’t know with information you already do.
You see, it’s association that makes things more memorable.
And you can develop a system for making associations very fast.
You’ve just get to set aside any fear that you can’t do it and get started doing it.
That’s the secret of success.
#3: A Decoding System
You know, there are people out there willing to argue about whether students who use memory techniques spend too little time on encoding or decoding.
The argument is a waste of time!
What matters is how much time YOU spend on it relative to the results YOU want to experience.
And so once you’ve started using the encoding system I’d love to teach you to create for yourself, you can then create a decoding system.
As you work with these two systems, you’ll soon learn about your precise needs.
You’ll discover where our strengths lie and what you can do to “bulk up” any memory muscles that might need a bit more grit.
And that comes from just showing up mentally in one of your Memory Palaces.
Looking around at the images you encoded there and then decoding them.
In other words, if Homer Simpson is pounding the snot out of Bugs Bunny …
Why on earth did you choose those images to associate with what information?
Ask the right questions like Sherlock Holmes and you’ll become so good at decoding the little mysteries you’ve left in your own head …
You’ll soon be in danger of never forgetting any information again!
But don’t worry. That won’t amount to photographic memory.
There’s no such thing and because you created these memory systems, YOU will always be in control.
Unless, of course, you don’t have …
#4: A System For Maintaining A Healthy Brain
Far too many people abuse their brains.
Couch potato lifestyle.
Ironically, even with all that negative abuse of your brain and body going on … mnemonics will still help.
But you know, the beauty of memory techniques working under adverse conditions aside …
The real glory comes from how great it feels to live in an optimized brain and body.
The kind of place that the human being truly can grow and thrive.
And so the success of the other three systems truly does rest on what you do to take care of your brain.
Because those other systems you create?
They LIVE in your brain.
And you have the choice to create them on shaky ground or steadfast bedrock.
If you want to get started helping your brain right away, here’s my go-to list of Foods That Improve Memory.
They’re all super-tasty.
And your brain will love you for eating them.
No Use Hoping, Wishing And Praying
I sometimes hear from people who say they “hope” these memory techniques I teach will work for them.
That’s not the way this game works.
That’s like buying a piano and saying, “I hope one day this piano will play me.”
The way memory techniques work is that you learn how to create your own memory systems.
Then you fuel those systems with information you want to remember.
Along the way, you learn to become a great master of those systems.
And because you’re the one who built them, you own them.
That means all the profit of knowledge, fluency in languages and time-saved because you know all your passwords and bank account numbers goes directly to you.
The Boss. Of Your Own Head.
What do you think?
Could you possibly learn to create and maintain 4 simple systems?
To put it another way … If I were the Morpheus of Memory …
Could you be the One?
Why would you need a memory palace to memorize foreign words? I use memory techniuqes but NOT memory palaces to memorize them, and it works perfectly.
What is the purpose of using a memory palace in this context?
Thanks for this, Mikael. And congratulations on your ability to use mnemonics without Memory Palaces. It’s not unusual to find people doing this.
But how perfect is perfect? How fast can you memorize a vocabulary list of 20 new words and what is your rate of retention both short term and long term?
In addition to being able to answer questions like that with scientific certainty, a system of Memory Palaces for vocabulary learning lets you:
1) Rapidly memorize words
2) Encode meaning and sound in an organized manner into long term memory with measurable accuracy
3) Increases recall because in addition to a Magnetic Image to help you recall the word, you have additional associations, such as location and the memorized words before and after.
4) Ability to Magnetically Compound new words and entire phrases onto the core word without fishing around in the vortex because the mnemonic one has created has no location.
5) All memory techniques rely on association. Location is the ultimate association.
Some people don’t need these things, but even experienced polyglots will go to Memory Palaces for what they call the “Stubborn Quintile.” This is the 5-10% of words that they can’t learn or memorize any other way.
Everyone has their preferences, but if you like speed, accuracy and the ability to reliably track your progress with scientific certainty, the Memory Palace is the way to go.
Hope this answers your question and look forward to hearing from you again soon! 🙂
The Spanish word perro sounds like the word pear, and means dog. I see a 3 foot pear and a dog eating from it. I remember the picture without placing it in any special place like a memory palace. It is also very fast and simple. I do not have to go through the enormous and stressful work of creating a memory palace. People already think it’s hard work to create even my simple picture, imagine how hard they would think it is to create a memory palace. Memory techniques shold be simple and fast, not hard and slow.
Great image, Mikael, and thanks for your thoughts. How about the other “pero”? That one is a bit more abstract, but with a bit of thought, you can easily use Magnetic compounding to let your pear and dog zap it into place.
“People” is a dangerous word to throw around as a generalization. There exist millions of learners around the world who respond quickly and deeply to the Memory Palace technique and do find it simple and fast – even if you don’t. For one time-based example, check out Noel van Vliet’s Judgment Day article about the Magnetic Memory Method, for example.
At the end of the day, if Memory Palaces aren’t for you, ¡no hay ningún problema!
But your preference for mnemonics without Memory Palaces is no reason to spoil the fun for others. Using a Memory Palace network need never be hard or slow. If anyone finds it to be so, that’s happening by choice, not Memory Palace science.
Thanks kindly for your thoughts and let me know if you ever try the technique. As I talk about here, your skepticism is a powerful tool. Use it wisely and you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised! 🙂