Brain Building – Man Who Never Forgets
Someone who demonstrates the astonishing power of a properly trained memory is eight times world memory champion Dominic O’Brien. Among his many accomplishments is recalling a 1,780-digit number and memorising 20 decks of cards!
On my DVD Memory Master Class, he demonstrates his photographic like ability and reveals how, with sufficient motivation and practice, you could achieve the same spectacular results.
In my interview with him at the University of Brighton he describes how the secret of his achievements lies in developing a powerful visual imagination.
So, is Dominic, and those relatively few other men and women capable of achieving similar extraordinary feats of memory, a genius or a freak? Is his brain somehow different and special? My research, as well as the brain scans which Dominic has undergone in the name of science, suggests virtually everyone has the potential to attain the same level of ability – provided they are prepared to master some fairly basic techniques for enhancing retention and recall.
Mastering Your Memory
Human brain connections between different areas. The better, stronger and faster the connections the more efficient is your memory. Learn how to create such connections on this page.
Testing Your Memory
Before I describe ways to significantly improve your memory, I suggest you take this test. It comprises 20 unconnected nouns, presented at 3 second intervals. When it comes to an end, write down as many as you can.
How did you get on?
If you are like most people, you probably found it easiest to recall the words you read first, such as APPLE, TELESOPE and MONKEY and those you read last, for example TRAIN, LOBSTER, and PUMPKIN.
Sadly, after just a few items things are likely to have become blurred as memory started to fail you. If this is what happened to you, you may have blamed your failure on having a bad memory. But you were wrong.
Not only is it possible to remember every item in this list after a single reading, you will also be able to recall them perfectly not only going from first to last, but when starting anywhere in the list and working up or down the items.
You can learn precisely how to do this in Mastering Your Memory, a recording of a series of lectures I gave at the University of Brighton.
In these lectures, I describe a new approach to mastering memory which I have named IMPACT.
This involves three key elements – Imagery, Mental Preparation and Active Concentration. Studies suggest that this way of using your memory can boost the retention and recall by as much as 85%. How does my method work?
Vision is the most powerful of all our five senses with more areas of the brain dedicated to this activity than for hearing, tasting, smelling or touching combined. By developing your powers of visual imagery, you will also significantly enhance your memory.
Apart from training your visual imagination, the IMPACT approach involves breathing in a special way that causes the brain to enter a state of relaxed alertness in which it is especially receptive to retaining new information.
Actively concentrating is the first step in remembering. A failure to attend is often the main reason why, for example, many people struggle to remember someone’s name after being introduced for the first time. The problem arises because, as introductions were being made and names exchanged, their mind was focused on other things. Such as is this somebody I like, trust, admire, fear, fancy or would rather avoid. With these distracting thoughts buzzing around our brain, we failed to take the name into their memory in the first place! Active Concentration is a crucial element of self-hypnosis and something you can learn on our Mind Enhancement page.
With IMPACT in mind, I suggest you return to the test and, this time, convert the nouns into vivid, colourful, images in your head. Having done so, mentally link each picture to create a ‘mind movie.’
For example, you might have imagined a giant APPLE floating in the sky like a moon and picture it being viewed through a big, brass TELESCOPE by a MONKEY who is excitedly describing what he is seeing on his MOBILE PHONE to someone in an AEROPLANE circling overhead. This person is boiling a KETTLE and pouring the hot water into a PAPER CUP which is wearing a pair of SPECTACLES…and so on.
Make each image as vivid as possible.
Really try and ‘see’ them in your mind’s eye. When you reach the final word PUMPKIN link this back to the first APPLE in some way, perhaps by picturing it as a second ‘moon’ orbiting the first fruit.
Make each image as bizarre and detailed as possible. In this way you should, with a little practice, find it reasonably easy not only to bring to mind all twenty nouns but to do so when starting at any point on the list, beginning, middle or end.
I know it sounds crazy, but as Dominic explained in my interview with him, this approach to remembering and recalling vast amounts of information really does work for a wide range of subjects.
While this may slow you down slightly, at first, with only a little practice you should be able to form a powerful mental picture of each in no more time than it takes to read the word. If you would like more help in developing your visualisation skills Click to learn more …
Try it now and, when the list is finished, write down as many as you can recall. Even after a single further run through, you should find your total of right answers has significantly increased compared to your first attempt.
A two DVD recording of lectures I gave at the University of Brighton plus a tutorial in which you will discover powerful new techniques for learning, remembering and recalling.