Next time you want to memorize anything from your book or notes, make sure you connect it to something you already know well. The glue that binds the information perfectly to your existing knowledge is called emotion.
Recalling that new piece of information is easy from then. You simply have to go back to your familiar anchor point.
In this article, I want to share with you how you can create a lasting memory from your study information. Oh… and I will also share how you will never have to lose your car keys ever again…
The Key to Memorizing Information
A good memory has three components.
- Information, telling you WHAT you want to remember
- Location, WHERE you store what you want to remember
- Glue or emotion, to create a bond between the location and the information. This could also show you WHY you want to remember
Here is how you do this. First, you take something you want to remember (information). Next, you connect what you want to remember, to something you already know (location). This way you can find it back when you need it. You glue the two together using emotion. When you use enough emotion, you are able to create a strong bond.
So you create a good memory by combining these three: information + emotion + location
Example time: Do you remember where you were when you heard about the 9-11 attacks? I am sure you do, because this information is connected to a lot of emotion. But you probably did not talk before about where you were on 9-11 when you heard that news. I do think that you can recall where you were (location). That is because the emotional impact was really high and this created a strong bond to that location.
Do you always forget your car keys? If so… this is probably because you either change the location often, or you carelessly throw your keys away without thinking.
By the way… the trick with car keys or other things you often need is simple. Don’t make it about emotion. Have a clear storage location. Use ONE location. One where you ALWAYS put your keys. This way you don’t have to think about it anymore.
Now that you know the key to memorizing information, I will share how you can do this quickly…
How can I memorize things quickly?
As you now know, one of the important factors in memorizing information is emotion. To memorize something really fast, you add a lot of emotion to it.
When people are reading in their book, they see the words. Only when they are focused enough, they will see the words form into sentences. When you are a smart student, you not only see the sentences. You will start to see the images the sentences create.
This is key in memorizing information that you read. You have to see the information, ideas, and concepts come to life. Seeing helps you to create a feeling and an emotion.
So next time you want to memorize something quickly, make sure you really see the information come to life.
Now I can understand that in some cases this is easier than in others. Seeing scenes from your history books in your mind is easier than an equation from quantum physics. Still, it is possible to create images and little movies in your head from anything you study.
Want to know a secret?
You only have to combine pieces of information to create a strong memory. You create an image or a short video in your head on a topic you want to remember. This is your information.
Pick a location for storing the information. This can be a real location, a digital location (like in a game), or an idea you have in your head. Just make sure you vividly see where you store your information.
Use emotion to connect your information to your location.
For example, I read a strange fact that said: the first person who was fined for speeding was going 8 miles per hour. When I read this, I thought it is funny. Can you imagine a horseless car going 8 miles per hour?
When you want to remember this, you take for example your own car, and you take this “speeding” English man from 1896 driving in front of you holding up 8 fingers. Then bump into him for pushing him (do you see his face change???).
This combined information (8 mph ticket) + emotion (see his face) + location (your car).
You can do the same with all your information!
Solved: Why Can’t I retain information when I study?
This question is really easy to answer. The reason you can’t retain information is that you don’t use the memory formula. You may see the information, but you don’t connect it with emotion to a location.
Or you find it really emotional, but you mindlessly wonder about not connecting it to a familiar location. This way you can’t get it back.
The memory formula works when you use all 3 parts of it. When you don’t, you can’t retain the information.
I am sure you had this happen many times before. You were reading in your book, but after a page or so, you could not remember what you read. So you had to start over again. This may have been because you didn’t even see the information!
Reading smarter, to remember more: Many people read in their book without seeing the images the book creates. When that happens, you should stop more often and try to recall what you are reading. Just read one paragraph, and tell yourself what you read. Write down a quick note, and then move on.
When you work like this, things will change, and you will remember what you read.
ACTION POINTS: How to use this when studying?
As you now know, you can memorize anything when you combine the information with a (strong) emotion and store it at a familiar location.
This 3 part formula works every time. You simply have to transform your book knowledge into images and information you understand.
Next, pick a location to store your information. Create a strong bond between your information (the image or movie you created when reading) and that location.
The bond between information and location is strengthened by adding lots of emotion. You can use positive and negative emotions. Interestingly enough, pain is a very powerful emotion that helps you remember many things easily (why pain you may ask? That is something for a different article 🙂 )
If you have any questions, let me know. I enjoy sharing this information with you and helping you study smarter. Talking about that… here is the link to the online training for “Studying Made Easy”.
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