How To Develop a Super Power Memory

by Steven Minnaar

Learning and Memory are all about associating something that you don’t know to something that you already do know – and then having a system for retrieving this information. The following methods will help you memorize, learn and recall the information that is important to you.

The Link Method

The Link Method of Memory makes it very easy and fun to remember each and every item in a list or sequence exactly as it is presented. Also, the level of retention is much higher as it is a more natural method of memory.

How it Works

Suppose you were given a list of items to memorize and write down on paper exactly as it is, in proper sequence only, then will you succeed initially? Not many people can claim to do so, and even if some of the students are able to do so then it is seen by experience that they will not retain it even for a few hours.

Let’s play a small game here; I will give you a small list of everyday items to memorize. You will have 5 minutes to look at the list and then reproduce it on paper, in proper sequence and spelling without referring to it while you do so.

Here is the list:

paper
lightbulb
door
apple pie
fork
car
brick
coffee mug
black board
room heater
pear
dog
window
remote control
radio
books
shoes
computer keyboard
trousers
motorbike
nail file
pizza

It is quite a long list and if you find it difficult at first then break the list into roughly three quarter of the items listed and then time yourself to find out exactly how many items you have written down correctly, in sequence.

If you use the usual rote method of memorization you will find it difficult to learn and retain the list of items for any length of time.

How the Link Method Works

The Link Method of memory overcomes both the drawbacks of our usual rote method of memorization. We can use it to quickly and easily remember even unrelated objects or concepts through conscious association of item in the list. The Link method also enables us to retain the information for as long as we like, with little or no revision at all! Although memory systems using the conscious way of association have been in vogue for long, they were first systemized and put on paper by a German memory expert in the year 1648. Later, in 1730, it was revised by Richard Grey of England and made a more scientific and accurate system.

You may think how is this possible? But it is both easy and possible for thousands of people around the world have used it to remember things far better and longer. Remember, earlier we talked about conscious association in the Link Method of Memory? It will be clear in a moment. Suppose I told you that I went to the local store on a bicycle. Would you be even mildly surprised? Or give it a second thought? Of course not, because it is a mundane task. But, suppose I told you that I went to the supermarket on a flying broomstick would you be surprised and confused? Yes, I think so, because it is a ridiculous, extra ordinary thing to be even considered.

Why it Works

Here is the secret of conscious association in the Link Method. If you consciously associate two objects in your mind, like a dish and a fork on the dining table, then you are not likely to remember it at all. Because it is too normal, logical, and obvious. It does not strike a chord in our mind. However, if you use a ridiculous, extra ordinary, illogical association in your imagination, like a huge dish chewing up many forks then you are far more likely to remember it.

The Link method uses our imagination to a great extent for making memorizing to be a fun and easy process. Use your imagination to link the first item to the second, second item to third and so on until you have reached the end of the list. Always imagine vivid, totally illogical, humorous pictures in your mind, linking the first item to the second one, second to third and likewise. There are few guidelines on how to do so successfully:

1. Imagine the objects in your picture to be huge, gigantic out of proportions. As if you are seeing everything right in front of you. Suppose a postage stamp and lighter is included in your list then imagine a gigantic stamp kicking out a huge cigarette lighter.

2. The objects or figures in you mental image should be in action. Like singing, dancing, fighting, swimming, skipping or running vigorously. Suppose there is a watch and car keys in your list, then you may imagine car keys chasing a huffing and puffing wristwatch.

3. Form your mental images very vividly, as if happening in real life, in color. Grossly exaggerate the amount of items present in the mental image. Suppose there are two items, like a pencil and drilling machine one after another, then you may imagine millions of pencils flying away and drilling machines riding on them.

4. Use substitution of one item with another. If a dish and TV set are included in your list then imagine that you are watching a gigantic dish showing TV programs and you are eating from a TV set while having dinner. Do not get stuck while trying to imagine these funny images. Form an image in your image in your mind in a second or two at first and then after some practice do it in a second’s time. Usually, the first funny and illogical image, which comes to mind about the two items, is the best one to utilize.

I hope these above guidelines will help you in utilizing the Link method of Memory. As in so many things in life, this will take some practice but once mastered it will stay with you lifelong and you will not even consider the old method of memorizing. Try it and you will be greatly surprised and feel rewarded.

Now go back to the list at the beginning of this article and try the same memory test using the Link Method within the same time frame. You will be surprised with the results if you do it correctly. Form lists of your own from everyday items and then practice the link method. Also, use it extensively for studying. Remember, the Link method of memory makes it almost like a game, fun activity to remember lists, new words, concepts. Children, in particular, are gifted with active, vivid imagination and tend to master the Link Method of Memory much faster and better than adults.

An Example

Want to improve your memory? Practice this easy technique using the Link Method. Let’s start practicing by using this list of everyday items to be memorized in proper sequence within five minutes.

Here is the list:

books
potato
car
eggplant
knife
loud speaker
spectacles
spinach
gloves
hammer
picture frame
tiles
guava
milk packet
folding cot
watch
newspaper
wineglass.

So you have a list of twenty items to memorize and write down on paper exactly as it is in five minutes. Link Method of memory to the rescue!

Create a Story

Now follow the instructions exactly as they are outlined below:

First form a mental image of a gigantic book spitting out huge flying potatoes by the dozen. Then visualize yourself driving a huge potato with wheels as if it where a car. Picture a huge eggplant lifting your car and throwing it down noisily. Next, picture a huge hungry eggplant chewing up your big kitchen knife. Your huge knife then starts juggling with two big loudspeakers at your home. The big loudspeaker starts tossing out your big black spectacles. Picture yourself putting on a big bunch of spinach with a frame instead of spectacles.

Then imagine a giant spectacle wrestling furiously with your gloves. Picture that the gloves are running as they are chased by big hammer and hit by it repeatedly. Imagine the large hammer on a picture frame and it flies away slowly. While making your new home, you are laying down dozens of picture frames instead of tiles on the floor. A big tile slicing a giant guava and the guava starts crying. A big guava stealing your milk packet and running away with it fast. Imagine a huge jug of milk jumping up and down on a folding cot. Many giant watches carrying the folding cot in a funeral with you sitting on it. Your big watch tearing up the newspaper and throwing paper balls at your face. Visualize that you are drinking from a huge cup made of newspaper instead of a wineglass.

There you have it! A link of the twenty items in the list in proper sequence! If you have followed the guidelines given above then you should have no trouble in remembering the list of 20 items, in proper sequence. What’s more, you will be able to write down the list both forward and backwards! Furthermore, you will be able to do so a few hours later or even a few days later.

Key Tips

Make the mental images as bizarre and extreme as possible.The color, the action, the gigantic or minuscule size of the objects in your image and moreover the funny, illogical association between the objects will cast a lasting impression on your mind. Infuse emotions into your associations – violence, pain, joy, pleasure, etc. The first, most extreme association is usually the best. Don’t worry how weird or wild they are because they (hopefully) will stay in your mind!
Whenever, time permits you can practice the link method of memory. As you do, you will find your true memory getting stronger and more accurate.

The Peg Method

The Peg Method of Memory enables to easily memorize numbers or lists in any order.
To master this skill you must first create an association to represent the numbers 1 through 10 (or 1 through 100 if you are more ambitious).

Using the association skills that you’ve already learned create associations for the following numbers and items:

1 – tie
2 – Noah
3 – Ma
4 – rye
5 – law
6 – shoe
7 – cow
8 – ivy
9 – bee
10 – toes
You will notice that each number/word association has a unique consonant sound:
0 – “s”
1 – “t” or “d”
2 – “n”
3 – “m”
4 – “r”
5 – “l”
6 – “sh”, “ch” or “j”
7 – “k” (hard “c”)
8 – “v” (soft) or “f” (hard)
9 – “b” (soft) or “p” (hard)
10 – “t” plus “s” for zero

By learning the consonant sound for the numbers 0 thru 9 you can create a word for any number that you wish to memorize. This word should represent a physical object or concrete idea that you can easily visualize and create a story using the Link Method of Memory described above.

Here are the numbers 11 thru 100 that you can now memorize (where you see two choices, pick only one and discard the other):

11 – tot
12 – tan or tin
13 – tomb
14 – tire
15 – tail or doll
16 – dish
17 – tack
18 – dove
19 – tub
20 – nose
21 – net
22 – nun
23 – name or numb
24 – Nero
25 – nail
26 – notch
27 – neck
28 – knife
29 – knob
30 – moss or mouse
31 – mat, Matt, mad
32 – moon
33 – mummy
34 – mower
35 – mail
36 – match
37 – mug
38 – movie
39 – mop
40 – rose
41 – rod
42 – rain
43 – room or ram
44 – rower
45 – rail
46 – roach
47 – rock
48 – roof
49 – rope, rob or Rob
50 – lace
51 – lead or lot
52 – lion
53 – lamb or loom
54 – lure
55 – lilly
56 – leech
57 – lock
58 – lava
59 – lip
60 – chess
61 – jet
62 – chain
63 – chum
64 – chair
65 – jail or jelly
66 – choo choo
67 – chalk or check or Jake
68 – chevy
69 – chip or chap
70 – case
71 – cat or cot
72 – coin or can
73 – comb
74 – car
75 – coal
76 – cage
77 – coke
78 – cave
79 – cop or cob
80 – vase
81 – vet
82 – van
83 – foam
84 – fire
85 – file
86 – fish or fudge
87 – fog
88 – fife
89 – fob or vape
90 – bus
91 – bat
92 – bone
93 – bum
94 – bear or beer
95 – bull or ball
96 – beach or peach
97 – book, bug, pig or poke
98 – puff
99 – pope or puppy
100 – disease

Once you’ve memorized the words/images that go with each number you can now use these images to memorize any list (or number) by associating the item to be memorized to the corresponding image of each number. For example, the phone number 675-3343 – belonging to your friend Jack – can be memorized by linking the following images:

Jack -> chalk -> lamb -> mower -> ma

Another Peg List for Everyday Needs and To Do Lists

I like to use this list for running “to do” lists. When I complete a task I visually destroy the item thereby “deleting” it from the list. Memorize the following words and notice that they follow the letters of the alphabet.

A – ape
B – bee
C – sea
D – dean
E – eel
F – fan
G – jeep
H – ache
I – eye
J – jail
K – cake
L – elephant
M – ember
N – end zone
O – owl
P – pea
Q – cube
R – ark
S – ass
T – tea
U – u-haul truck
V – vegan
W – winnebago
X – eggs
Y – wine
Z – zebra

Short-Term and Long-Term Memory

The Link and Peg methods are designed to commit things to memory quickly. To convert these items into long-term memory you should review the associations frequently in the beginning and the then only periodically later on. For example:
When creating a new association (memorizing something new) make sure to review and reinforce the associations repeatedly throughout the first day. On the second day review and reinforce several times. On the third day you may only need to review and reinforce just once or twice. After that, a once weekly review should be all you need until the information comes without having to think about it anymore.

Study smarter, not harder

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