Lazy as we Dare to be?
How much effort would you expend to permanently double your retrievable memory? Before you answer, would you be motivated to change your status- quo, your comfort-zone, if your peers, instructors and career-superiors began to think of you as their resident genius – the go-to individual who remembered it all?
Hold it – how many times in the past five-years have you thought you wanted something badly – lose 15 pounds of ugly fat – learn Spanish or Chinese – or become deliciously rich – and half-way there decided it was too much work?
Humans are as lazy as we dare to be – at home, in school, in our careers. What is the magic formula that produces success for the Vital Few, and just frustration for the Trivial Many? Google: Vilfredo Pareto, 80/20 rule.
1. The brain processes information differently in learning new knowledge, compared to retrieving that information (name, places and ideas) after it is filed in our long-term memory. Learning requires effort; accessing what we know is pushing the button using the proper information-processing strategy.
2. An intentional Mental Visualization that personifies the idea, name, or program in long-term memory, is a powerful visual metaphor that permits us to retrieve the memory later. What is worth a thousand words?
3. If your mental picture is constructed of an exciting, arousing emotion, the memory is produced by our Amygdala, located in our brains Limbic System. It remains as a permanent long-term brain fixture.
If it is an ordinary commonplace mental-movie, it is produced by our pre-frontal cortex, and makes no lasting impression.
Seeing a naked man or woman running down the courthouse steps is captured by our Amygdala; having breakfast at the diner and being served by the waitress is filed into our pre-frontal cortex and makes little impression, right? See: MIT, fMRI research, Elizabeth Kensinger, of the brain and cognitive science department. Rape, murder and mayhem rules, not images of sorrow and mourning. The former is based on our Stress hormones.
4. Ask yourself this question when attempting to concoct a mental image for long-term memory: Is this image exciting and arousing, and what does it remind me of?
See a mental image of one hundred musicians each chewing on a Bun. On their respective heads is a model of the Empire State Building. In the Peg System, the Bun represents the number one in a series; the group is the New York Symphony.
We link the group to the word, symphony, and the model on their heads to New York. The second element of associating the mental picture with the specific item to be recalled is called the Link System.
5. Our right hemisphere is more involved in creating mental pictures of faces, shapes and territories than our left. The left hemisphere generates words such as names, places and analyzes ideas. Remember that arousal is a general effect, while attention causes a specific focus.
Our Limbic Association cortex (emotions) activates motivation, memory and feeling, and is located in three areas: the parietal, temporal and frontal lobes of our brain.
6. The power of multi-media learning, using our major gross senses of seeing, hearing and touch together, improves memory retention up to 40%, and creates a shorter learning curve of 30%.
Compared to what? If you exclusive listen to a lecture, or read a chapter, it creates a weaker recall than using your multi-media of Seeing-Hearing-Interacting. If you summarize the ideas of lecturer or writer in your own words, and write or dictate them into a recorder for future review, you lock them into long-term memory.
Mental-Movies Improve Voting Patterns
Would you believe using simple creative imagery could raise the number of citizens who come to vote by up to 33%?
We care because motivating you to use the movie screen of your mind increases your learning skills. If you practice creative visualizing for five minutes daily for twenty-one days, your right brain will empower you with a memory that others will envy. Our experience is that memory and learning are synonymous, and manipulating images and symbols excites our imagination to produce genius-like ideas and long-term memory.
Ohio State University reports in the journal, Psychological Science, October 2006: if you create a simple mental image of voting in an election, there is a significant difference between the picture of you voting in the first-person (watching the activity through your own eyeballs), and imagining seeing a movie or video of you voting, (third-person imaging).
If you are an observer – watching your behavior in voting, as if you were a stranger, verses imagining yourself doing something as seen through your own eyes, the former is more powerful.
We have a different prospective (belief system) when judging others than ourselves. You will always cut yourself some slack for not accomplishing what you set as a goal. Oh, it was raining too hard and my car would not start. Wait, I had a headache and my eyes were watering, so I could not get out to vote.
We judge ourselves based on the specific situation and environment. But we judge other based on their character and personality. If someone gives their word and breaks it, unless they were run over by a Mack truck or an airplane crashed into their bedroom, we cut them no slack and expect their word to be their bond.
Now, if you mentally visualize yourself as others would see you, in the third person, you must keep your word and nonsense excuses do not cut it. It is all about our visual prospective, when we view ourselves as others see us, not through our own eyes, our belief system shifts into no-excuses-accepted.
Creating imagery is a powerful learning and memory tool used by those who are born brilliant, or others who are late bloomers in coming to their genius years, much later. If you start practicing the SpeedLearning memory system of the Peg and Link Systems for just five minutes daily, you will develop your creative imagination. The benefits change an average mind to one that can produce extraordinary learning and memory.
copyright © 2006
Author of Speed Reading for Professionals, published by Barron's; business partner of Evelyn Wood, creator or Speed Reading, graduating 2 million, including the White House staff of four U. S. Presidents.
Interviewed on speed reading by the Wall Street Journal and Fortune Magazine