You might think you have a terrible memory because you forget someone’s name five seconds after they tell you, lose your car keys, and miss birthdays.
This idea gets compounded as you go through school and find it difficult to get good grades and into the workplace as half your time is spent on administrative tasks ensuring you complete your actual tasks.
In school the only memory techniques you are familiar with are flashcards, rote memorization, and re-reading material. There’s no emphasis on how to study only what to study.
This guide was specifically designed to show you the power of visual memory techniques and how to apply them to any subject, so you can instantly improve your memory.
How Visual Memory Techniques Work
Visual memory techniques work by a well-documented and researched mechanism called elaborative encoding.
Elaborative encoding is a mnemonic in which information that is going to be remembered is associated to pre-existing memories and knowledge.
These connections can be made visually, spatially, semantically or acoustically.
Elaborative encoding is illustrated beautifully by a paradox called the Baker-baker paradox, wherein you are more likely to remember someone’s profession than their name.
A name means nothing to you, no context, no association.
It’s just a piece of information, entirely untethered from all of the other memories in your brain just floating around.
A profession like a doctor, however, means a lot.
Doctors wear a white lab coat, doctors have a stethoscope around their neck, doctors heal you, you may even have a doctor in your family.
When you here the word doctor, you immediately put these associational hooks into it that make it easier to retrieve at some later date.
The entire art of remembering everything is to figure out ways to take information lacking in context and to transform it in a way in which it becomes unforgettable.
At some intuitive level I’m sure you already know this is true.
You already know you forget someone’s name five minutes after you meet them and if someone gives you their phone number you have to repeat it in your head ten times or you will forget it before you write it down.
If I asked you to remember the first ten words of the paragraph you literally just read, chances are you would have a hard time with it.
Compare that number to the number of details you can recreate in your mind about your apartment and the difference is astounding.
We often talk about people with great memories as if they are savants, as though they possess some innate gift.
But that’s simply not the case.
Great memories are learned.
We remember when we take a piece of information and make it meaningful, colorful, and significant to us and we do this through visual memory techniques.
There are a number of techniques that serve different purposes.
There are techniques for memorizing numbers, lists, and names and each technique has its own strength, weakness and purpose.
But, they all have one thing in common, they are infinitely more powerful than verbal memorization techniques because they allow you to associate memories together.
The Best at Visual Memory Techniques
There was a time in history where individuals placed value on having trained memories.
In today’s society we have externalized or memories into technology and the value of a trained memory isn’t necessary any longer.
There are a subset of individuals, however, that spend an extraordinary amount of time training and fine-tuning their memories.
I bring up statistics like these simply to explain the power of these visual memory techniques and their potential if practiced like a basketball player practices free throws.
Now, there’s obviously no practical application in memorizing 5040 random binary digits in an hour, but what if we applied the same techniques to medical school or law school?
Instead of spending 10 weeks learning the anatomy of the human body, how long do you think it would take?
The best aren’t the best at memorizing because they are geniuses or savants.
They are the best because they have trained their memories to take advantage of elaborative encoding through visual memory techniques.
The best part is that you don’t need to be a world memory champion to take advantage of these techniques.
You can be a student, stay at home mom, or a fortune 500 executive.
It all works the same.
You just finished Chapter 1. Congratulations! Now it’s time to take the first step in learning the visual memory techniques that will allow you to remember anything. I’m going to show you the best tips and tricks to make images stick so you never forget them. The first step is learning how to visualize.