You have two memories: your natural memory and your trained memory.
Up until now, your focus has probably been on improving your natural memory. You may have heard these suggestions: take more vitamins, get better nutrition, get more exercise, get more sleep, quit smoking, drink less alcohol, lower your stress, gingko biloba, omega 3.
These may help with your natural memory, but they are not the most direct and immediate way to get better at remembering.
Improving your trained memory is.
A trained memory is what the ancient Greeks used in order to remember huge amounts of knowledge before there was a printed page. They learned and cultivated a specific method for remembering, which they called Memoria or The Art of Memory.
You too can learn to memorize using this ancient memory method. It works with anything that contains words, letters or numbers, which is almost everything.
How does it work? Our visual memory is much better than our verbal memory. Pictures are much easier to remember than words. For example, the name “Marsha” is not a picture. But “marshmallow” is. It’s a reminder image for Marsha. What if everything you want to remember had a reminder image? Everything does. Even numbers have reminder images.
Memory training teaches you how to choose reminder images and how to link them together. It’s easy to learn to link pictures and memory is all about linking.
DO WHAT YOU’VE DONE. GET WHAT YOU’VE GOTTEN.
Your memory won’t improve just by memorizing the same old way. Otherwise, it would have gotten better every time you memorized anything, and you would now have a fabulous memory.
Online brain games, such as those at Lumosity.com, don’t improve your memory. They may sharpen your mind a bit, but all you’re doing is memorizing the same way you always have. On the other hand, when you use a memory method, as you get the hang of the method, your ability to remember improves dramatically
If you’ve always relied on rote repetition to memorize, you know it’s uncertain and monotonous. Memoria eliminates using repetition. That’s right. There is no need for repetition, so no memory task will be arduous and out of reach.
Focus on improving your trained memory, not your natural one, and you’ll be surprised at how much easier it will be to remember—anything.
Neil Kutzen has a BA and MA in Clinical Psychology. In his long and distinguished career as a trainer to businesses, he has helped thousands of people improve their productivity and personal effectiveness. He is an actor, award-winning storyteller and expert memory trainer.