Sometimes I run wacky experiments with the daily HabitLift calls that enrich my life! I wanted to see if I could use HabitLift to improve my memory to superhuman levels! My eventual goal is to be able to remember the names of 200 people I’ve just met, so that when I go to networking events I can just rattle off people’s names and give off the illusion that I’m beloved by the entire group. It’s the perfect scheme!
The memory palace technique is where you craft a mental story out of all the things. Usually you anchor it to a place or a sequence of places.
This is the trick people use to memorize decks of playing cards. With cards, a 5 of hearts might be a worm, and a king of spades might be a construction worker. To memorize both of those cards in a row, one can imagine a worm being pulled out of the ground by a construction worker.
Storing information as spatial relationships and stories is a great way to be able to remember it forever! You’re actually training your brain to store related information in a really efficient cluster of neurons. You’re training your brain software to make better use of your brain hardware to store memories.
I have my own bastardized training version of the memory palace. It’s kind of like a game to play on the telephone. I have my habit helper list out words and I have to create a story within my own mind and recall the list the next day. The trick is that I’ll have to remember all of the previous days, as well. We’ll see how the experiment turns out.
The words for this first day are: Octopus, Puppy, Christmas Tree, Laptop, Skeleton
The Octopus unwrapped the Puppy, after taking it out from under the Christmas Tree. From beyond the glow of the Laptop, on the lap of a nearby Skeleton, an adoptive father saw his adopted son smile.
On the second day, I made one mistake with recall. I mistook Newspaper for Laptop.
There were 9 words for the second day.
The new list of words made this story in my mind: The Fork stirred the Cup of Orange Juice in a circular motion, guided by Santa. A Guru nodded in approval, sitting crosslegged on the bed of a Truck, which belonged to a Designer. (There were decals were on the side, advertising his business) Atop the truck also sat a Demon, with a pipe in his mouth and an egg in his hand.
12 words for the third day, I’ll let you know how many I manage to recall.
My mind spun forth this tale from the 12 new words: The Cat knocked over Wine onto some formerly clean Sheets, a Police Officer saw this and was about to get mad, but then just took a hit from his Bong. The Bong must have been cursed, because it released an Angry Ghost. The ghost floated into space where it encountered a Space Shuttle. The crew of the shuttle went Bananas! (visually recognized as them throwing Bananas everywhere) Way below, on a beach on Earth, there are Flip Flops on a Blanket, And a Dog walked over to an Astronaut but when it got closer it turned out to be an Astronaut Zombie.
These stories are getting pretty surreal, but they stick in my mind like a ketchup stain left out in the sun. Imagine a ketchup stain in the sun. What would it smell like? Does it get hot? A part of the memory palace technique is to use as many of your senses as possible to remember any given piece of information.
I found the act of remembering to be great fun! The habit helper appeared to be super impressed, and that made me feel really good!