How many times have you met someone and forgot their name right after they introduced themselves? How often do you forget to do one of the many tasks you wanted to complete in a day? If you are like me these type of things happen on occasion and although they aren’t the end of the world they are an inconvenience. These type of things along with the prospect of taking the P.E. exam to get my professional engineering license have pushed me to dig into how my memory works and what I can do to improve it.
I did some looking and found that a book called
Your Memory : How It Works and How to Improve It.
The reviews for this were high and oddly enough the author is from my home town of Spokane WA. Anyhow I picked up a copy and devoured it. Books like this can often times be difficult to read and touch on things I don’t really care about but the author, Kenneth L. Higbee, does a great job of explaining things in a way anyone could understand. He has also studied the memory enough to know which topics are worth addressing and which ones are hogwash. I don’t usually read books twice but this is one I think I will read again.
By focusing on the things you or I would care about and walking the reader through how to get results I found the read to be quite enjoyable. Mr. Higbee walks through how the filing system of the memory works, where things are lost, and why we have difficulty at times retrieving things we know we know. He builds a quick foundation and then expounds on how anyone can take advantage of the memory and become more efficient at learning. This is a book I wish I would have ready before going to college it would have saved me hours of study time.
He covers study methods such as SQ3R and its derivatives (you will have to look this up), the “Peg” system, the “Loci” system, and what he calls Phonetic mnemonics. Phonetic Mnemonics to me was one of the most impressive ways to learn long numbers. Using it one could quickly memorize the first 20 digits of pie(the ratio of a circles diameter to its circumference). A few of the systems take a little bit of study up front to familiarize yourself with how they work but once you have them nailed down you will be able to remember things you never thought you could.
The Loci system is also very impressive. I had heard about this before but until I read this book didn’t know exactly how it works. This isn’t proprietary to Higbee so I will expound a bit. The Loci system is a mnemonic that ties familiar physical locations to a list of things you want to remember. It works by mentally walking down the physical path and associating your list with the items you pass. To this day I can remember ( paper, tire, doctor, rose, ball) an arbitrary sample list Mr Higbee gave as an example. I may have missed an item or two but to I know he provided those five elements.
I would highly suggest everyone to take the time to go through this work; it is an easy read and can be picked up used for a few bucks. It has also been around a while so your local library may have a copy. I promise you anyone can learn a thing or two that they can take with them to improve their business and networking skills regardless of the industry. So, if you want to learn how to get better memory for business and networking, remember names, and get everything done on your schedules check this book out. If you do read it I would love to hear what you think.