The Lost Art Of Memorization

These days any question can be answered with a google search typed into the mobile device in your pocket.  The argument can be made that the combination of the internet and mobile devices frees up your brain for other types of thought.  Many people make say one of the problems with modern education is that standardized testing is a measure of memorization and regurgitation.  While I agree it's amazing to have such a vast knowledge base sitting in my pocket, I have a theory it's accelerating our short term memory loss!  There is also something impressive to be said about memorization and how it can put forth a good impression when networking and other business relations.

Nelson Dellis,  4x USA Memory Champion, has a fascinating interview on Lewis Howes podcast "The School of Greatness".  He says memorization is a sort of lost art in that back in the old days being able to memorize and recall information was part of being intelligent; there wasn't internet and books readily available everywhere.  One question that Nelson is asked most frequently, and the one thing that is probably most applicable to the average person, is how to remember names.  He offered three points:

  1.  Have intent - mentally tell yourself you want to remember their names, primes you to focus on it
  2.  Choose a feature - pick something you notice instantly.. their face or a mannerism
  3.  Come up with picture for their name, something it reminds you of

For more involved memorization, he explains the idea of a Memory Palace. A Memory Palace is a place you know extremely well.  It's a place that is pre-memorized and somewhere not hard for you to remember.  You then associate certain things with pictures, but even still there are a lot of pictures.  The trick is while your are trying to remember, navigate through your memory palace placing the images in the space as you go.  Putting crazy images in a familiar place helps you remember and recall.  Listen to the podcast below to hear him describe it in his own words!

Nelson has three final thoughts to leave us with:

  1.   Work Hard
  2.   Climb A Mountain
  3.   Accept Love & Be Passionate


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