Improving Memory and Creativity

Storm001

The next five minutes of reading will improve your entire life. This isn’t a con to make you buy something. These are techniques that can literally help anybody who doesn’t practice them already. Of course, these methods aren’t going to work for everyone. Trialing different methods to boost your creativity could be fun. For example, some of my friends buy sativa online to help them focus on what they’re doing and to increase their creativity. Finding the technique that works for you is important. For now though, increase your memory, your creativity, and your life… Right now, in five minutes from this blog.

But first, I was actually speaking to one of my fellow bloggers just the other day about the many unique ways we find inspiration. He likes to smoke marijuana using a vape when he needs a creative boost. Technically you can’t smoke marijuana using a vape, you have to use a very similar device known as a dab pen, that uses cannabis concentrates. It can be difficult to tell the devices apart but you can simply ask a member of staff in vaping shop for help, as they are usually sold there. These pens are of course a great way to get high without smoking and damaging your lungs, but they can break. Not to worry! Next time you find your dab pen has broken, instead of giving up and finding a new one, check out the canada cannabis dispensary article on how to fix them. If you’ve spent good money on it, you definitely do not want it to go to waste, as well as spending even more on getting a new one! However, not everyone uses a vape as an alternative to smoking. He showed me an article that outlines some more of the different ways you can smoke weed no pipe necessary. It was a fascinating read and really got me thinking. It’s all about finding what motivates you I suppose.

That being said, shall we begin?

Got your attention? Okay, you are going to remember the number 52959. Instead of having you sit here and repeat it to yourself until you remember it, give it a glance. Don’t repeat it in your head. Just remember this story instead:

Picture a lush green meadow, in your living room. Resting in the tall grass in front of the TV is an enormous lion. He has something in his paws and he’s chewing on it. Picture yourself moving closer; he’s tame. The lion looks up at you, revealing a large light-bulb in his paws. He bites down on the bulb and it explodes, sending shards of glass everywhere. A few stick in your skin, a couple bounce off the TV, but most of them are causing some serious mouth pain for the lion.

Got it?

Okay you just memorized that number. In fact I doubt you’ll forget it anytime soon. You can’t access it yet, but I planted it in your brain with an easy story. The memory technique associated with that story is two-fold, so you’ll get two memory tutorials here for the price of one, and you probably did it in less than 30 seconds. We’ll come back to this, but first…

Memory Palace

Or memory cave. This is the fundamental key to remembering just about anything. It involves making a story up in your head that’s easy to remember because it is so vivid. For many people, the easiest setting to visualize is their own home. Any place you are intimately familiar with will work. You can use your office. If you spend a lot of time at a local park you can use that. This familiar place is your memory palace. It’s a spot that you can easily visualize and remember, you know where stuff is.

The actual technique is to take the thing you want to remember and weave it into a story. Watch the story unfold in your memory palace. The crazier the better. Say you wanted to remember that you need to pick up eggs, milk, and butter from the store. Close your eyes and imagine your familiar kitchen. Find your favorite pan and pull it out, and as you do, you discover that it’s filled with Easter Eggs. You put it on the cook top, and as it heats up the plastic eggs start to melt. Plastic pools up in the middle of the pan and transforms into a robot. The robot’s chest pops open and two pats of butter fall in the pan and start sizzling. Rockets on its legs fire up and it zooms around the kitchen, flying a figure eight circuit before smashing through the refrigerator door. Milk rushes out and floods the kitchen.

A bit wordy? Maybe, but in your head it’s easy to create fairly complex stories quickly. Try to use all five senses if you can, and make them crazy. When you get to the store, replay the story in your mind. When you see the Easter eggs you’ll remember your eggs. A plastic robot that drops butter and has rocket legs is pretty unforgettable. And then the kitchen flooded with milk. If you have other items you might put a boat in your new milk-lake-kitchen that’s either made of or carrying the next item. The more you practice this technique the better it you will become.

Do you still remember the story about the lion? Remember what he was chewing on? Just checking. Next we’ll look at the number trick.

The Number Memory Trick

I can’t recall the name of this one (no, not being funny, just never learned it). Basically, what I do is convert numbers into consonants using the following scheme. These are phonetic so keep that in mind, it’s a sound based system more than a letter based system, but the letters make it easy to remember.

  • 1 – ‘t’ or ‘d’ or ‘th’
  • 2 – ‘n’
  • 3 – ‘m’
  • 4 – ‘r’
  • 5 – ‘L’
  • 6 – ‘ch’ or ‘sh’ or ‘j’
  • 7 – ‘k’ or hard ‘g’
  • 8 – ‘v’ or ‘f’
  • 9 – ‘b’ or ‘p’
  • 0 – ‘s’ or ‘z’

Looks complicated right? The list can take a little effort. When I first learned this system, I wrote the table above in my pocket notebook and referenced it for the first few hours of “practice.” I was driving and making words and phrases for every number I saw. Bits of license plate work well, as do mile markers. I’ll pick a random number right now. The serial number on a gadget I just purchased is 2847. Break the number apart and figure out which sounds go with each letter. The ‘2’ matches up with ‘n’ on the chart. The 8 can be a ‘v’ or an ‘f.’ ‘4’ is an ‘r,’ and ‘7’ is a ‘k.’ I simply used the chart above to match each number to a letter. Next I build words with them.

Constructing words two letters at a time is an easy way to start. ’28’ makes the sounds ‘n-f’ or ‘n-v.’ Inject some random vowels to make these into words. Concentrating on SOUNDS, ‘n-f’ can spell out ‘knife.’ ‘n-v’ can spell ‘nova.’ I like explosions so I’m going with ‘nova.’ ’47’ uses ‘r’ and ‘k,’ so the word I make with those is rock. Now I have a ‘nova rock’ to remember, which I can decode into the serial number by picking out the consonant sounds.

The number was printed on the side of my vape gadget, and it’s a heavy one, so “rock” seems fitting. I picture in my mind the box ageing as I hold it, the copper turns green, staining my hand, and it weathers into a mossy rock, which consequently explodes, leaving a huge cloud of gas that looks like the Orion Nebula. That’s my “nova.” Now I have a “Nova Rock,” and exploding vaping device that’s heavy as a rock. If I want to remember the serial number, I play the scene in my mind. I picture myself holding the device while it turns into a rock and explodes in astronomical proportion, and recall the phrase “nova rock.” Then I return to my chart and decode the consonants: n,v,r, and k. I change them back into numbers and get 2847. Easy, right? It takes some practice and dedication, but it gets easier and more fun the more often you use it. Use it right now, pick a random number and change it into words, then make a story with them. To help you remember the list, t, th and d have strong vertical strokes, like a 1. 2 and 3 look kind of like n-backwards and m when turned on their side. Four ends with an ‘r.’ ‘L’ is the Roman numeral for 5. Etc. You can also try to memorize a picture for each number that will help you recall what letters it goes with.

I’m currently trying to make a list for all values from 0-99. I practice them with mile markers on long drives. I find myself memorizing any number I find just to do it. One of these day’s I’ll be bored and forced to sit still. I don’t play with my phone like most people, but I can pretend while I memorize all of my phone numbers. I did the very same thing in college over a decade ago, and I can still recall some of the numbers in that list without even using the decoding method. I believe I was using different letters at the time and skipping the story part, but it worked. Try to choose nouns. The brain remembers things better than abstract concepts, which is exactly why this system works. You are converting the abstract concept of numbers into more memorable things. Making a story out of them helps a lot. Think about it, how many movie scenes can you remember without even trying?

Remember the Lion?

There were two anchors in the story above. You should be able to recall a lion in your living room, and what he was chewing on. The anchors were “lion” and “bulb,” which decodes l,n,b,l,b, or 52959. So if you remembered there was a lion and a light-bulb, then you recalled enough to remember that complicated five digit number. I could have coded many more bits in there. For instance, grass and TV were included before the lion. In this case the “g” sounds more like a “j,” so this would be 6401852959. Remember to store the information by sound, and not necessarily spelling. As the story carries on and gets weirder, you can store longer and longer strings of numbers. The really awesome part is that each bit of number might give you a word that doesn’t fit with your story, so you have to make things wonky in order to make new pieces fit. Practice fuels the creative parts of your mind to create memorable experiences, that’s where the other edge of this blade sharpens. Once you get used to the idea, it takes less than 30 seconds to memorize a phone number, and that time drops with practice. Soon you will be crafting exciting stories to remember everything.

A New Brainstorming Technique

Sometimes, the best cure for writer’s block is to write random sentences on a piece of paper for ten to fifteen minutes. Take it a step further. Find a random string of numbers to memorize, the longer the better. Bar-codes, serial numbers, phone numbers, your credit card (and the phone number on the back), receipt slips, etc. Or just write a bunch of random numbers down on your paper and memorize those. 40-50 digits should be good practice and it’s sure to make a silly story and get those muses running for your desk to join in the fun.


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Author: spottedgeckgo

Writer. Making my living on my pen, and working to turn a raw chunk of land into a future homestead.