Memory Training: Unlock Your Memory Recall By Thinking About Yourself

By Lachlan Haynes

The ability to remember a vast amount of data and information is vital to students and can truly be the difference between passing and failing a subject. So it's no wonder that there is so much focus on maximizing our memory ability!

But how many students actually take the time to understand how their memory works? We'd all love a brilliant memory but we spend very little time (if any) using the techniques that make this possible. Don't you ever wonder why you can remember lots of seemingly useless information but when it comes time to recall all that information you learnt in science class during the year you can't remember a thing?

The truth is, our memory works in precisely the manner that it is supposed to work. The real issue is that we have very little understanding (or no understanding at all) of the way it operates and how we can manipulate it to our advantage.

The approach that most students take to memorization (re-reading information or repeating information many times over) is not consistent with the way that the mind creates memory recall. Nonetheless, we just keep on using this technique desperately hoping that something will stick! Unfortunately, while you may retain some small amounts of data this way, it's a really silly approach when you understand how your memory really works.

So let's spend some time getting to know our memory. The ability to access our powerful memory recall and make certain that we can remember everything we need to remember truly is the difference between getting an A or getting a C.

In this article we are going to look at one of many possible approaches you can use to improve your memory recall. It's called the "What's in it for me" approach. This approach tells us that the more you can tie something to yourself, the better you will be able to remember it.

It's a simple idea with a simple execution. Your memory will create more memory traces, which in turn increases your memory recall, when it knows that what you are trying to remember is important to you in some way. And how does it know that? Well, it's when it's all about you.

The fact is, if something seems important to you personally, you will be more likely to remember it - and you'll also remember it more vividly and in far greater detail.

Don't believe me? Think about it. What things do you remember? Those things that have some direct impact on your life (like what time you need to meet your friends at the movies this weekend) or those things that have zero impact on your life (like your mom's favorite ice cream flavor?) You remember those things, people, places, prices, products and details of anything that is going to impact your life in some way.

This recall doesn't happen consciously - it all occurs without thought. You didn't have to do anything special to remember the information. The information was already there wasn't it? You just remembered it without any effort. So, given that we now know this method works, the real question is what do you need to do to apply this method to your studies? Let's look at some basic examples.

In economics you learn about trends. Trends impact purchase power of individuals. Purchase power impacts your ability to go and that new pair of shoes you really want. So, does it make it easier to understand economic trends when you understand how it impacts you?

If you are learning about other countries with different religions, beliefs and customs, think about those ideals differ from your own and also how those ideals could also be common to you.

If you are trying to remember names and dates just focus on how do these names and dates relate to you. Ask yourself, "Do I know anyone by those or similar names? Do I like the name for some reason or do I think it's a weird name? Why is that? Did the people or dates that I have to remember ever impact my life in any way? Did anything happen on those dates that relates to me personally?"

Remember, it's all about you! The more you tie something to yourself and make it about you the easier it will be for your memory to create the traces needed to make memory recall a breeze. Try it for a week. You will be glad you did!

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