Book Summary — Unlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and be More Productive by Kevin Horsley
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The author Kevin Horsley is a well-known analyzer of the mind and memory and its capacity for brilliance. He is one of only a few people in the world to have received the title International Grandmaster of Memory. He’s a professional speaker on improving skills in learning, motivation, creativity, and thinking. This book acts as an extensive guideline into this world of memory-enhancing mindsets.
#1 – Learning and forgetting. Your memory is fine-tuned when it comes to retaining new information. We are essentially nothing without our memory holding the new information we learned in place. New information builds onto old information, so it’s essential to our intelligence to have the foundation that lies in stored away memory; this is the information that you learn yet forget does not progress your brain.
#2 – Like performing any habit; our skill of memorization can be tweaked with the right kind of training, practice, and consistency. If you want to see a change in your memory, you have to essentially alter the old thought process that let your memory fail you.
#3 – Focus your mind to look for value in the things you learn in your daily life, instead of berating the information. It’s a habit to search for common excuses that’ll cover up our why we don’t want to learn something new; if you look for an excuse, you will find one. This is often when our feelings tend to step in to sidetrack us from our goal, which we like to call our intuition, but it’s an important distinction to make between following your intuition in fight-or-flight moments and between something that you’re trying to include in your routine. This is where your newfound self can intervene by setting a clear goal, making the decision to do better, putting those excuses aside, and doing the daily actions that lead to actual productive change. Like, schedule a time in the day for memory training and practice – whether you feel like it or not. When it comes to following a discipline your feelings aren’t relevant; just do it.
#4 – Create a reality wherein you let yourself fully believe in your true potential. If your attention and concentration are flowing towards memory, let yourself zero in on the task ahead, learning as much as you can on the method by retaining a clear mindset on what it takes to succeed in that particular area. Unproductive actions lead back to unproductive thoughts. Try different empowering beliefs, through trial and error, till one feels right for you.
#5 – The main reason our concentration fails us when it comes to master these skills is that we haven’t trained it properly. Practice is key; use it daily until the skill becomes second nature.
#6 – Your life is made up from the day-to-day small choices consistently practiced, so if you want to go in a better direction you have to put in the work. It’s up to you to create change in those daily moments when inspiration strikes, instead of setting it aside for a “better time” because it won’t come unless you take action.
#7 – Multitasking is a myth! Instead of settling for continuous partial attention to details, dedicate your full level of focus to the task at hand. You can do achieve your goal by simply existing in the moment, and as a result, quiet the mind being pulled in a hundred different directions. Stay sharp and centered by dedicating your full attention to mastering one thing at a time.
#8 – Your imagination is where your memory thrives, so use this to visualize what you’re trying to commit to memory. By allowing yourself to unleash your creative imagination to picture a lively view in your mind that is the key to retaining a memory.
#9 – Hold onto information by turning abstract information into images and movies we create in our heads. This is where you can make a game out of what interesting pairing you can visualize with breaking up any word. For example, Calcium becomes Cal sees Yum. The more strong the association, the more it’ll stick. These connecting concepts are especially helpful when learning new vocabulary in a foreign language by establishing a link between a new word and a familiar terrain in your mind. For example, hand in French is “main”. So to remember this I will link this phrase to my dominant hand, “my MAIN hand is my right hand.”
#10 – Create a concrete picture in your consciousness that’ll effortlessly bring any abstract information to life. Ease into it by using a minimal amount of pictures per memory so as to not confuse the many things you’re already trying to store away. The clearer the image, the easier it’ll be to retain.
#11 – Creative thinking will go a long way. The more creative and original the idea, the more likely that it’ll stick; if you connect the two in a humorous way the easier it’ll stand out in your memory potential. The SEE Principle exists for this exact purpose:
S – Senses: Utilize your senses for a richer replay of the memory. It’s like getting a whiff of a particular scent and being taken back to a certain vacation from your childhood. So if you want to vividly remember something turn it into a multi-dimensional memory by using your sight, touch, smell, taste, and sound.
E – Exaggeration: This is where you get to be a bit silly with your imagination. Nobody thinks creatively on a whim. You have to push yourself with constant practice until it becomes a natural habit. For example, if I’m trying to remember a giraffe, imagining it in Hawaiian print shorts is easier than a simple stock-image of a giraffe. This is your chance to go wild with associating the two in a humorous way.
E – Energize: Make your mind-images come to life. Make them move by giving them action; talking, singing, or dancing. A talking giraffe is, once again, easier to picture and remember.
The SEE Principles exist to better your concentration when turning the information provided into something tangible to hold onto, something to really SEE. And it’ll make the process fun! Your imagination provides a deeper level into unleashing your creative subconscious, and it’s fortifying to experience within your memory power.
#12 – Repetition and forcing yourself to remember information word-for-word will only lead to further procrastination of said task. Instead, find the keywords in the text and visualize them so as to have them solidly rooted in your mind. Then when you’ve read through the text a second time, the knowledge will come to life within your mind and the syntax will flow with your knowledge of the English language. This is an avid method used for actors when memorizing their lines.
#13 – When it comes to name memory, it all comes down to your motivations. Say you meet someone with the same name as you; it’ll instantly become linked in your mind. So make it a goal of yours to invent a good strategy when meeting new people. The reason we tend to remember faces more clearly than names is because faces create images in our mind. Make the name mean something in your mind to make it more memorable.
Ask them to repeat the name and genuinely listen, spell it out in your head, repeat the name back to them. For example, I can retain the name Rachel by imagining a Rich L covered in money. The author introduces his own last name as Horsley, which you can pull apart into horse and Bruce lee… basically a horse doing kung fu!
#14 – We often enter a state of forgetfulness in our daily life routines and the root stems from being on autopilot mode; familiarity breeds forgetfulness. Thankfully the solution to this absent-mindedness is choosing to become actively present in your mind by asking yourself questions, telling yourself instructions, and simply being presently aware in the moment.
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