Why Do You Want To Improve Your Memory/Use Memory Techniques?

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#1 27 May, 2017 - 23:19
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Joined: 5 years 5 months ago

Why Do You Want To Improve Your Memory/Use Memory Techniques?


Everyone should learn to improve his/her memory because there is no downside! But people have their own reasons to why they want to use memory techniques. I would love to hear why you want a better memory and started to use memory techniques. Some people want to use memory techniques so they can compete, people want to be able to do better in school, keep their mind fit, and so on. Share why you started the journey on improving your memory!

29 May, 2017 - 11:40
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I love answering this question!

I was frustrated by my bad memory. At some point I thought it was cheating to use my visual capacity to remember things. I thought it was only right to memorize the data "raw," or I didn't truly know it. That was the perfect way to hamper my memory. I had been frustrated in college--but especially since beginning my career--at my inability to remember things, because it caused me to progress and develop too slowly. I was desperate enough to try the memory techniques when I learned about them, and when I experienced success, I never looked back.

Why do I continue to use them? Broadly speaking, I am aiming to increase my usefulness in practical matters.

Being in Christ, I believe it's a good stewardship before God to use my mind to its fullest capacity, so I see it as responsible improvement of something He has given me; so no small part of my efforts have been toward Scripture memorization and learning the original languages, and I have received blessings worth all the world from it.

I do it to better myself at work (which is an extension of my first reason). The more that I know, the better work I can crank out, the more I can help tax clients, the more profitable I can be to my company, and the more happiness I find. My current memory projects include financial statement compilation law updates and accounting/tax related vocabulary.

I do it so I can help others. I live in Texas (one of the deep south United States, for those not in America), and I'm trying to better my Spanish because there are some who are close to me, with whom I interact regularly, who speak little English. It's easier for me to come into the realm of Spanish than it is for them to come into the world of English.

I do it for personal self-development, because I get a thrill out of continuous self-improvement.

I do it to increase the mental tools at my disposal, like having a belt from which I can quickly pull out whatever I need at the moment.

I do it to prevent/mitigate any potential mental degeneration down the road (Alzheimers/dementia).

And I do it because I enjoy it!

29 May, 2017 - 13:34
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@Capriccio

That is all amazing! It is so cool to see how much memory techniques are helping you out! How long have you been using memory techniques for?

I find it interesting that you thought using your visual capability was cheating in some way. Why did you think you could cheat when it comes to memory? If you can use something in your mind to help you remember, why not use it! Seems fair to me!

29 May, 2017 - 15:51
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Joined: 4 years 3 months ago

I had been using them for nearly five years. I was a dabbler for about half that time, and a consistent user for the last half. I began to use them more aggressively when I was trying to master material for the CPA exam (Certified Public Accountant for those who don't live in the US).

Ten years older and wiser I agree that it was illogical, but I thought that using some kind of mnemonic meant that you did not truly know the material. I did not understand that visual perception could even be used to embed logical connections in the mind. The silver lining is that the struggle prompted me to improve my memory. A second prompt was that at some point in my college years I was tutoring the son of a good friend of mine, and he had a book on poems and passages to be committed to memory. In the foreword was a quote from one of the philosophers, I think Seneca (would anyone know the exact quote?), said, "You do not know what you have not memorized." It made perfect sense. I may have also been wowed by some of the legends of ancient figures renowned for what seemed like superhuman capacities to remember. I suppose that, besides seeing how insufficient my own memory was I also needed to be provoked to jealousy. It worked.

Can you give us your own account?

30 May, 2017 - 00:06
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Joined: 6 months 1 week ago

I don't have the same story as everyone else about how I wasn't satisfied with my memory ala Mullen. I actually considered my memory to be pretty good. The reason I got into it is indirectly because of the Foer talk, I watched it probably 2012 and while it didn't really explain any memory techniques it prompted me to google and find them. Although I wasn't that interested at the time, the important part is that I became aware of the possibility of achieving a seemingly superhuman level of memory with the right techniques and practice.

Fast forward to early 2017 when I wanted to memorize a vast amount of words for a foreign language, I suddenly had the thought to google this stuff and most surprisingly to me, the community is very niche with only a single forum for English speakers. Additionally, the US only has one major annual tournament (maybe two if you count xmt/ml but I don't know about that) and it isn't recorded or streamed. Despite that I spent several hours over several days figuring out the main systems for memorizing and how to apply them. ML was the only real way to start seeing what I could do and now I'm addicted to one minute words.

I'm still interested in using the techniques for the foreign language, but I'm still thinking about the method I'll use and I figure my ability to memorizing foreign words will go up as the ability to memorize in competition disciplines goes up.

31 May, 2017 - 08:01
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Best or worst argument against memorizing is that it hinders understanding. I am in education and it there are a lot of non-scientific fads going around. Memorizing off course helps your understanding. I memorized the presidents of the US and when they came into office. Will this hinder my understanding of US history. Off course not. Amazing how little educators know about learning.

31 May, 2017 - 20:31
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Joined: 6 months 1 week ago

Quote:
Best or worst argument against memorizing is that it hinders understanding. I am in education and it there are a lot of non-scientific fads going around. Memorizing off course helps your understanding. I memorized the presidents of the US and when they came into office. Will this hinder my understanding of US history. Off course not. Amazing how little educators know about learning.

What does that have to do with this thread?

1 June, 2017 - 01:38
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Joined: 6 months 3 weeks ago

Quote:
What does that have to do with this thread?

I know it is exactly the opposite. But when I talk with my collegues about memorizing this often comes up. They want to focus on understaning. And a focus on understanding is not bad. But a few years ago it became a fad that students of foreign languages should not memorize words. Students of history should not memorize dates. In economics (my proffesion) students should not learn terms and definitions.

So I wanted to know whether this was realy true. Off course it is not, but to prove that is not easy. I am in favor of memorizing because I thinks it goes hand in hand with understanding. Better understanding makes of a subject it easier to memorize. If you memorize definitions formula's etc. than that will aid your understanding. It goes both ways. And that is my motivation to learn more about memory.

4 June, 2017 - 14:25
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Joined: 5 years 8 months ago

One day, with a memory book in hands, I realized I had deceived myself for years into truly believing that my memory was somehow deficient. It had been a self-injurious delusion comparable to how some people believe that they love animals and still continue to eat them.

So for me it was an epiphany that put me on the road to being a sub 2 minute card deck memory athlete; it was a feeling of having to clean-off this imbecile thought from my mental landscape once and for all.

Interestingly, my progress has been so prodigiously slow (when compared to everyone else here) that I have to wonder if I wasn't right to begin with. So I have to keep going until I leave everyone behind.

6 June, 2017 - 00:15
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Joined: 2 years 4 months ago

Quote:
It had been a self-injurious delusion comparable to how some people believe that they love animals and still continue to eat them.

But what if you love animals because they taste good?

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