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Have you ever wanted a photographic memory?

You know the kind – every bit of information you come across you can recall again in the future at will.

But is this even possible? Let alone accessible to the average person?

While I can’t guarantee this kind of ability, I can definitely show you how you can drastically improve your capacity to store and retrieve information.

And with these techniques there’s no limit to what you can remember [1] – it’s up to you what you want to remember and how much you want to remember.

The thing is, there’s no such thing as good memory or a bad memory. This isn’t the best way to think about your memory.

Memory is more a matter of techniques and skills which can be learned, practiced, and mastered. Once acquired, these skills can be used to remember whatever you want. The cool thing is – this skill isn’t hard to learn and doesn’t take that long to master.

For some reason, these skills aren’t typically taught in school, or even well known in general. I was shocked at how effective they are when I learned them. With practice, these skills become automatic, and your memory gets better and better.

Using your imagination to remember

The most common memory technique uses visual imagery to form memories. This is because the mind can easily remember images. You may have noticed this before – remembering a phone number is difficult. Remembering how a character looks in a movie you enjoyed years ago is much easier.

You can take advantage of your brain’s ability to remember visual imagery to commit virtually unlimited amounts of information to memory.

Let’s start with physical objects. These are the easiest things to visualize and remember.

If you want to remember the word ‘bun’ just imagine a bun in your mind. Think of how it looks. How big is it? What color is it? Does it have seeds on it? Try and imagine as many details as you can.

And that’s the basis of this technique. I bet that next week, if you stop your mind on it, you will remember that ‘bun’ is the thing you were supposed to remember.

But this is just one thing. Above, I promised being able to remember practically unlimited number of things. This is how you remember more things.

For this example, remember a shoe. Again, using the same method as above, think of a shoe in as much detail as you can. What color is it? Where is it? Is it big or small?

Now I want you to link these two images together. You can think of the shoe stepping on a bun. Or a bun wearing a shoe. In fact, the more bizarre or unusual, the better.

Now take a few moments and use this technique to remember this list of ten words:

  1. Bun
  2. Shoe
  3. Tree
  4. Door
  5. Hive
  6. Sticks
  7. Heaven
  8. Gate
  9. Wine
  10. Hen

Now look away and recall the list of words, starting with bun. If you did the exercise as described, you should have recalled the words easily.

I bet that a week from now you will be able to easily recall these same words, in order.

A second memory technique

The technique above is great for remember lists of items, but you can only recall them in order. What if you want to recall them by position in a list? For example, what if you want to remember the 7th item on the list?

If you did the above exercise, you already have the foundation for this technique.

You probably noticed that each word above rhymes with its position in the list. You can use this list as a basis to remember other items. By associating words with the items in the list, you can recall by their position in the list.

For example, let’s say you wanted to remember a short grocery list: cheese, milk, lettuce, apples, and bread.

Using the visual techniques described above and the list of 10 items from above, make the following associations:

  1. cheese with bun
  2. milk with a shoe
  3. lettuce with tree
  4. apples with door
  5. bread with hive

To remember the fourth item from the list, just think of door (for four), then think of what you visualized with door – the apples.

Next steps

The techniques I gave above are simple and effective, but also limited to the kinds of things you can visualize.

There are different techniques and strategies which are all effective, though some are more effective for different tasks than others [2].

With practice, these techniques can become automatic so that when you want to commit something to memory, your brain just automatically stores it.

No more forgetting and no more forgetfulness.

I don’t have the space here to elaborate on all the different techniques possible, but I hope what I have shown you is useful. I also hope it helps you see what is possible.

There are people who master these techniques and compete with each other in various memory tasks. Like memorizing random numbers, or multiple decks of cards shuffled together.

The world record for memorizing a randomly shuffled deck of cards is 13.96 seconds [3]. This shows that these techniques are not only effective but also fast.

Memorizing cards isn’t very practical. The world record for the most names and faces memorized in 15 minutes is 218 [4].

I have to be honest. Before I learned these techniques, I would usually forget a person’s name immediately after being introduced to them. I can’t remember 218 names in 15 minutes, but now I can remember the names of people as I am introduced to them – even if I’m introduced to many people at once – like at a party or business meeting.

If you want to supercharge your memory, I recommend the following memory course. The techniques taught in this course are the real deal. They have drastically helped me improve my memory for all kinds of information – from concrete items to abstract ideas, numbers, and even speeches and presentations.

Click here to check it out.

Key Takeaways

Memory is a skill we can learn, not something fixed.

You can use visualization, imagination, and association to remember long lists of items.

Get started today:

If you want to master your memory, check out this memory course.

Works Cited

[1] A. L. Putnam, “Mnemonics in education: Current research and applications.,” PsycNet, 1 June 2015. [Online]. Available: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2015-26723-002.

[2] H. L. Roediger, “The effectiveness of four mnemonics in ordering recall.,” PsycNet, 1 September 1980. [Online]. Available: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1981-25043-001.

[3] “Fastest time to memorise and recall a deck of playing cards,” Guinness World Records, [Online]. Available: https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/67743-fastest-time-to-memorize-and-recall-a-deck-of-playing-cards.

[4] “Most names and faces memorized in 15 minutes,” Guinness World Records, [Online]. Available: https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/107482-most-names-and-faces-memorized-in-15-minutes.