In this episode of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast, we’re looking in depth at the new book Unlimited Memory by Kevin Horsley. The pros, the cons and everything in-between.
Kevin Horsley’s recent book, Unlimited Memory is worth your time. If you’re a student and user of memory techniques, this written version of the podcast will tell you why.
There Are No New Memory Techniques Under the Sun … Or Are There?
As most people interested in the art of memory techniques know, there’s nothing new under the sun. The memory improvement methods were invented thousands of years ago and refinements have been slim.
But that doesn’t mean that innovations haven’t occurred. Not only that, but memory techniques improve every time someone takes up using them and feels the power of empowered recall. And that’s why no matter where you are in your journey as a memorizer, Horsley’s book merits your full attention.
Because if you’ve never learned memory techniques before, his straightforward and energetic manner will serve as a great introduction to memory improvement.
And if you’re already an old hat with using mnemonics but have lapsed, Horsley will inspire you to get back in the saddle.
New Ways To Think About Old Techniques
Plus, you’ll find new ways to think about the techniques. Fresh perspectives can be more valuable than the techniques themselves in some cases if they inspire you to keep going. And the book is filled with great quotes that place memory techniques in interesting new contexts. In fact, every single one is worth committing to memory.
Horsley’s quotable too. “Conflict,” he points out, “is the opposite of concentration,” and much of the book talks about removing everything that gets in the way of your progress so that you can focus on.
Horsley’s point about conflict in this context should be confused with having conflict in your associative-imagery, however. Although I’m not interested in being critical of the book, it is slim on how to include rigorous to help you
a) memorize information and …
b) recall it.
Mnemonic Examples On Almost Every Page
For those who feel the need for examples, you couldn’t find more to choose from. For each principle, you get tonnes of written illustration to imagine along with. From a pedagogical standpoint, this may be overkill and the book lacks some guidance on how to be creative and “see” those images in your mind.
In terms of visuals, there are a couple throughout the book, with the illustrations limited mostly to explaining number memorization using the Major Method. I personally like the limited number of illustrations because it is important to recreate what you see in your mind, not what others see. This is why the overkill on text-based images can help you so long as you work at recreating them in your mind.
Use These Powerful Visualization Exercises
If you would like some fast and easy exercises for developing your visual imagination, try looking at paintings and then recreating them in your mind. You can also verbally express them on paper in a short paragraph and use what you’ve written as the basis for recreating the imagery in your imagination.
And please realize that you don’t need to literally “see” the images in your mind in order to increase your memory power when using this memory technique. It doesn’t have to be high-definition television. Verbal expression in your mind (even without writing the words down) can be just as powerful.
But please do work on visualizing. And to develop the skill further, think about what being visual in your mind actually means to you. If you struggle in this area, you might be pleasantly surprised at how simply thinking through this issue and defining what imaginative visuality means to you can give you the basis for truly creating improvement.
How To Take Your Brain To The Gym
Think of this defining process as laser targeting what’s really going on. It’s kind of like the difference between going to the gym to reduce general flabbiness and getting no results and going to the gym with a trainer who knows exactly which muscles to develop so that you burn the most calories. And of course you need to eat the right foods to support this process, which in the case of developing your visual imagination means looking at art on a regular basis and mentally recreating it.
Horsely uses the gym metaphor himself when he talks about memory training. He points out that no one is born ripped out with big muscles. They must be trained. The same goes for memory power. Your mind is a muscle and you can develop it. Even just reading about memory techniques can help, but nothing beats getting into the gym and pumping the iron of actually memorizing information that can help improve your life.
The Most Interesting Practice Items You’ll Ever Find In A Memory Improvement Book
And that’s a cool feature of Unlimited Memory. Unlike so many memory training books that guide you through memorizing lists of objects and food items for your next grocery item, Horsely is a bit more creative in his suggested practice items. You’ll have to check him out to see what I mean. You’ll be pleasantly surprised and Unlimited Memory is one of the strongest books you’ll find in the department of giving you great practice material that serves more than one purpose.
If you’re looking for in-depth training on Memory Palace construction, you may be a little disappointed, however. The Method Loci is covered, but the instruction lacks the nitty-gritty matters of making sure the path is linear and not crossing your own path. Following these principles will limit confusing yourself and spending unnecessary mental energy while maximizing your attention on decoding the associative-imagery you have no problems finding.
Criticisms completed, let’s return to the good stuff – but please don’t let my nitpicking dissuade you from reading Horsely’s Unlimited Memory. It is a powerful resource and I intend these comments to supplement the book rather than poke a stick at it. You can, in truth, never read enough books about memory improvement even if not all of them are created equal.
Learn How To Eliminate All Your Negative Memory Beliefs
And Unlimited Memory excels in teaching the cost of negative beliefs and replacing them with constructive ideas that propel you into positivity. For example, Horsley encourages you to keep your mind open while showing you all of the little thoughts that are constantly working to shut your open mindedness down. This will help keep you on the path towards experimenting with memory techniques and getting results.
Unlimited Memory Is Also An Amazing Research Memory Resource
Horsely is also tremendously generous in sharing the books he’s read and the fruits of his research. Not just what he’s read about memory, but self-development books too. You’ll want to supplement your reading of these as well.
And this such a powerful area that really makes the difference in a memory book. Without pointing you to other resources, so many books on memory development rob you of the chance to take the next steps in this field of specialization, which will always involve reading one more book. After all, the best books on memory are always yet to come.
As Phil Chambers says in this podcast interview, the limits of memory improvement have yet to be reached. And as we push forward into new frontiers, new books documenting and teaching the processes will emerge. I hope Horsely will be there to write again.
In sum, Horsely’s Unlimited Memory is a powerful introduction to memory techniques and you cannot go wrong because he points you to other reading and gives you much more interesting examples to start off with. And if you’re already on the path, you’ll find a good review and interesting perspectives. You simply cannot lose by reading Unlimited Memory.
Further Reading & Listening
Remembering the Presidents by Kevin Horsley
Moonwalking with Einstein on Amazon
The Art of Memory on Wikipedia