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How to Have A Good Memory

Oct 31, 2007
Memory is of course important in one's professional and business life, but it is of more immediate interest in its effect on our daily, personal life. How many times a day do you rack your brain for the name of a person which "is just on the tip of your tongue" or find yourself in the embarrassing position of introducing your best friend and finding his name has slipped your mind?

A poor memory is more than a mere annoyance. It is a serious handicap, but one which, with perseverance and intelligent effort, can be overcome.

Have You A Good Memory For Places?

Can you find your way in a strange city with the help of a map, or retrace your steps over a particular route which you have been over only once? If you cannot, I recommend this method.

If you live in a large city, go to some part of town into which you seldom if ever venture. If you live in a small town or in the country, you can practice this exercise with best results when you are making a trip or go to another town. In any case, select a route, preferably irregular and circuitous, which will take you some twenty or thirty minutes to walk. As you go along, pay particular attention to landmarks, especially those on corners where you turn to right or to left.

For instance, notice any striking house fronts, monuments, store windows, and the like. When you reach the end of your walk, try to recall every detail that you noticed on the way and retrace your steps in memory. If you can do so, make a little sketch showing the important landmarks on the way.

Then try to retrace your steps in the opposite direction, mentally of course, using your landmarks as guides. If you cannot find your way back to your starting point, in spite of your memorized landmarks, repeat the exercise again and again until you know the way perfectly.

This exercise in orientation may seem difficult to you at first, but if you try it often, in different localities, you will ultimately succeed. Your eye and brain gradually accustom themselves to watching automatically for landmarks. After you have mastered this exercise you will find that even in a strange city you will not lose your sense of direction when following a route on a map. Your practiced and sharpened sense of direction will not fail you, no matter how long a route you choose.

Have You A Good Memory For Colors?

Go to a picture gallery, look at any painting, and then, at home or in another part of the gallery, try to visualize all the details and colors of the picture. Again a rough sketch will be of aid to you. You need not have any artistic talent whatsoever to do this exercise. It isn't necessary to make a beautiful sketch. The essential thing is to discover how much your memory has retained of the details and, above all, of the colors of the painting which you selected.

Now, go back for another view of the painting, compare your sketch with the original, correct your mistakes, and repeat the process until your visualization and memory of color and details are absolutely correct.

You will doubtless meet with difficulties the first time you try this exercise. But it will encourage you to find that these difficulties will gradually disappear with practice and that your memory for colors, forms, and the like grows.

These two simple exercises will help you to a better memory in no time.
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