My first day of memory training


I’d say my first day of memory training was a success. The metrics I base that on are:

  • The amount of time I spent on memory training. I spent about twenty minutes in the morning memorizing, and sporadically two minutes or so of testing my memory throughout the day.
  • What I memorized. I memorized my credit card number, debit card number, driver’s license number, and the first 21 digits of pi. For both my credit and debit card, I also memorized the expiration date and the three digit security code. I memorized pi for two reasons, (1) there was a time in third grade I was obsessed with pi, but I’d never been able to memorize more than eight digits, (2) it’s not a number I see often, so it would validate the memory tricks more so than my driver’s license, for example.

It was all thanks to some tips I read in Josh Foer’s book, Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything. The trick I used for today’s trick was the Mnemonic major system. While reading about it on Wikipedia will give you a good sense of how it works, Moonwalking with Einstein, written in the form of a story will not only engage you but the content will stick better to your memory*.

The book was so engaging, I practically finished it in two sittings. It’s astonishing to me that I still remember the names and expertise of people mentioned in the book like K Anders Ericsson, Tony Buzan, and George Miller. It’s only because I curiously decided to apply the techniques in the book to the contents of the book itself.

*If you want to know why story’s stick better, read the book, Made to Stick. The formula is Simple Unexpected Credible Concrete Emotional Story (SUCCESS).


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