A Successful Formula For Memory Improvement
And that success formula is a memory Mantra
Mantra (man·tra) (n.)
A sacred formula containing mystical potentialities.
If you want to improve your memory, you have to use the Memory Mantras. There are three Memory Mantras. Every time you want to memorise something, make sure that you use these Mantras. By using the Memory Mantras, not only learning becomes easy, it also becomes fun!
I have deliberately used the word “Mantra” to describe the methods of memorising because these can change the way you memorise information forever.
The three Memory Mantras are:
V – Visualisation
A – Association
P – Pleasure
To remember these three steps, you have to remember only one word – VAP – each of the alphabet representing one of the steps. V stands for Visualisation, A stands for Association and P stands for Pleasure.
Now let us go a little further and analyse, why we should use VAP in order to enhance our memory.
Do you agree, that you will remember a commercial advertisement if you see it on a TV better than if you hear the same on a radio?
It is a well-known fact that pictures are understood, appreciated and remembered for a long time by the human brain.
It is also a very natural habit of the human brain to try and create pictures of whatever information is presented to it. Everyone has the habit of creating pictures when they hear some narrations.
For example, if a friend of you is giving a description of a place which she visited recently, you will tend to create mental pictures of the description in your own mind, whether or not you have visited the place previously. If you have visited the place previously, you will be recalling mentally the pictures with which you are already familiar.
If you have not visited the place earlier, you will be creating your own mental pictures.
While we are hearing narrations, we are even aware of the mind’s efforts to convert the data into pictures. The essence of this discussion is that, the human brain likes whatever is presented to it in pictorial form, and also, it has a natural tendency to convert data of other forms into pictorial form.
Visualisation simply means, capturing the picture of any thing on your mental screen.
When we know that the brain remembers pictures better, why not we present any data in the form of pictures to the brain, so that it remembers the data better and for a longer time?
“Mnemonics” is the science and art of enhancing memory through techniques. Mnemonics has, at its core, ways and means of converting any kind of data into pictures.
Mnemonics is a Greek term derived from the name of “Mnemosyne”, the Greek Goddess of memory. Mnemonics is a very ancient science dating back to about 500 BC.
Association is a very powerful tool of memory. A Chinese proverb states that “all memory is association”, which means, if you have remembered anything, it is because you have associated that fact to another one which you already knew. This association may be voluntary or involuntary.
All memory is association.
To bring out the power of association, try to answer the question:
What did you do on September 11, 2001?
This is the day on which the famous twin towers of the United States of America were destroyed. This incident will immediately give you memories of what exactly you were doing when you first heard the news, where did you watch the TV coverage of the incident, and so on. This is because the 9/11 incident has made a very big impact on you, and what ever you did in association with the incident is remembered effectively. That is the power of association.
Association is the mental glue.
As you will see later, the Association Mantra is vital for a good memory. This can be called as the “mental glue” with which you can stick any kind of information in your brain forever!
When learning is fun, learning is easy.
Isn’t it? But, how many times you had pleasure while learning. It is very true that if you associate pressure with learning, the learning process becomes very complex.
You need to know ways in which you can make studying a pleasure-oriented exercise rather than a pressureoriented exercise.
If you use the Memory Mantras along with the Tools to create impact (next chapter), learning will be absolute fun. If you can make a habit of using the techniques mentioned, you will “look forward” for the next learning opportunity!