Advanced Memory Techniques

System 5 – Story

Stories have captured our imagination since time began, it is part of who we are. We can probably all remember our favourite story and recall many of the details. But even if you are not the most creative person in the world you can use the power of story to help you to remember lists. It actually brings together two ideas, one of the story and one of linking images.

To link images you simply take your first image and link it in a humorous way to the second image, the second to the third, the third to the fourth and so on. It’s important as it was in the other systems that you focus on the link each time and just the two images rather than trying to concentrate on the whole picture.

Here’s another list of 10 – a shopping list this time.
Orange juice
Washing up liquid
Shoe polish

Before I make my suggestion, why not take a moment to look through the list and link each item in a funny way. One extra note, link the last item ( the lemonade ) back to the first ( the carrots ) as this will create a memory loop which is a fantastic memory reinforcer. It means that you can start anywhere in the circle, even if you forget the first one, and still be able to cover all the items.

My suggestion, which I will write as a story!

There is a field of carrots and there is one great big carrot in the middle. Walking out of a door in the carrot is a banana, one in pajamas. It's coming out of the door with a couple of milk churns. But just as it comes out a giant mouse comes hopping over the hill and jumps on the banana thinking that it was a piece of cheese. The banana squishes and outflows a river of orange juice – reach out and taste it. The river grows and flows around you. Oh no its getting dangerous! Just as your feet lift of the orange juice river bed, the slab of butter floats past. It’s greasy but you just about manage to scramble on. As you float down the river, you see bubbles ahead, at first, it looks like rapids but then you see it is in actual fact washing up liquid, very strange! And on one bank there is a shoe, and there is an old woman polishing it. You make your way to the bank and to the old woman - she is using a duster. She sees that you are thirsty and offers you a drink of lemonade. It tastes really good. As you look around you see on the table a basket of fresh carrots, which came from the field just behind the shoe- house, in which there is a giant carrot ….

Just one thing to point out – the use of the old woman. You will probably know the rhyme of ‘There was an old woman who lived in a shoe’. Whenever you are able to use existing information in an image scene then do so. This has two effects.

Firstly, you are using strong memories already which saves time in reconstructing images.

Secondly, and in some ways, more importantly, it enables you to cross-reference information from other areas of interest, and this as has already been mentioned is really how to think in the ways of a genius! Shopping lists are one thing, but there are many more areas of life which will complement each other! Once you are aware of this fact and put the techniques into practice, you will begin to see things around you that you had never noticed before.

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