Mind exercising for better memory and success

One of the best tools for improving your success rate in personal life or in your business life is a good memory. There is no one who doesn’t appreciate being called by name and asked about some minor detail of his or her life. For example, to remember that you met John Parker at a trade show a week ago and found out he lives in Detroit. John is a potential customer, imagine your rating with him if you not only remember his name, but the fact that he lives in Detroit. There are memory tricks which will allow you to remember facts like this and they are easily learned. The point is that whether or not John Parker becomes your customer, he will remember you because you took the time to personalize your comments to him.

There are many memory tricks you can use to remember facts, but underlying them all is a commitment to exercise your mind. Just like your biceps, if you exercise the brain, it gets stronger and responds more quickly. A recent study found that if you exercise vigorously you will have a better memory as well. Some scientists believe this is because of the increased blood flow through the circulatory system which carries oxygen to the brain as well as the muscles.

While the tricks are helpful in learning things like lists, and they exercise your brain, the underlying aid to mind exercise is to focus on what you’re looking at or thinking about.

A good overall memory strengthening exercise is crossword puzzles. These force you to focus and to look at things in different ways, both spatially and linguistically. Logic puzzles are also fun to do and strengthen memory.

Some easy ways to remember lists, even if it is a list of names include link, number shapes or rhyme systems.

With the link system, you tell yourself a story using the items or names on the list. The story doesn’t have to be rational, in fact, the sillier it is, and the more likely you are to remember the items on your list. The number shapes system also involves making up a story using the items you’ve memorized to stand for the numbers from zero through nine. Again, the more unique the story is the more likely you are to remember the numbers associated with it. The number rhyme system uses words that rhyme with the numbers to make up the story. For instance, you may decide that ‘four’ rhymes with ‘poor’ and picture the little man turning his pockets out in the classic Monopoly game.

Using John Parker in the example above you could consider this a kind of list. You need to remember ‘John’ ‘Parker’ and ‘Detroit.’ If you make up a story about a uniformed valet with a name badge in a valet parking lot with a Lion chasing him around the car, it should provide enough information to get his name right.

Two important things to remember when using the link, number shapes or number rhymes systems is to memorize your keywords ahead of time so that you are comfortable with them and they come automatically into your head when you see the items on a list. Second, focus your attention on the list and exercise your abilities each day. You can even ask someone to check your work.

Being aware of your surroundings all the time is a good idea not just for the memory training, but for your participation in life.


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