Monday, January 23, 2012

Improving Memory

Are you an active user of your memory?   Do you rely on it to remember a name a phone or a street number?  Do you learn a new skill or a new subject or a new language occasionally?                                                                                Do you engage in cross word puzzles, brain games and puzzles?  Do you try to recall things accurately from your past-childhood events, tourist spots, the names of your friends in say grade X or V?  Do you try remembering some of the outstanding sentences from the books you read? Are you fit physically and mentally?  Do you want to live long and happy?                                        Are you careful in your appearance  always?    
An intense desire to live a healthy and long is a strong motivation to tap your memory fully.  Even the best memory will not function properly if the individual has lost his quest for life. Memory can be retained in a top condition if your mind and body are fit. Personal beliefs have a lot to do with the way memory functions. If you say, ‘my memory is poor ‘it is, in effect, a small command to your brain to function poorly. If the ‘commands’ are repeated often enough, the brain will oblige and make your memory function poorly. 
In my seminars on memory I ask the participants: ‘how do you feel about your memory?’                                          20-25% would say my memory is good.   35-40 % would declare their memory is poor. About 40% feel they have an average memory.  Stop mentioning to anyone your  memory is poor. No memory is poor. It may function relatively better in a particular field and not as good in another. But it is never poor or bad; it is always good. The moment you start feeling that your memory is good, it starts to function better. Your feeling or positive expressions are indirect commands to the brain, and if repeated often, it will produce some positive ripples and make you memorize and recall better.  Whatever you believe becomes the truth.                       
Memory has a habit of suppressing what you do not like or what the subconscious mind has painful association with. We always recall the names of the people we liked very much and forget the names of those we disliked. Mothers do not remember the details of the pain and labor but vividly recall seeing and holding the baby with every detail. The latter made her happy and the former sad. Impression is a major factor helping memorizing and recall.  How deeply is the event or stimuli impressed upon the cells? Out of the millions of sight signals that reach our retina as we walk along a new road, a skyscraper is retained vividly. It sheer size and height must have surprised you making you look again and again at different angles. The impression or image of the object gets thus indelibly marked. Whereas ordinary sights along the way is seen in a passing way and does not get impressed at all. Similarly, thousands of sound stimuli reach your brain but a few of them only gets recorded for recall. The shrill cries of a baby reverberate in your brain whenever you remember that journey. It caught your attention due to the high pitch, longer duration and the motions it evoked in you. Its impression was stronger than that of a passing sound.    
Children remember and recall better what they studied repeatedly. Repetitions make a better impression than reading once. Recalling something learnt at frequent intervals makes it indelibly marked in the memory centers. Interest is again a memory booster. Emotional interest helps well. Normally learning a foreign language is difficult. Iif you are told you are included In a trip to china and the people of the village you are going to visit speaks only Chinese, you will be immediately motivated to learn the foreign tongue.  Without interest nothing can be studied for retention, recall or later application. Interest can be evoked though motivation or excitement. Motivation is apt in the case of employees and excitement in the case of children.  A worthwhile goal and an intense desire to go up will help sharpen one’s memory. In the absence of goals people are drifting and they do not employ their mind or its attention on the topic and things just come and go without leaving any mark. One who has fixed his goal and walks up there or is on the move will assimilate anything he finds useful on the way with full mind and emotional involvement and he will try to recall or apply it later on thus leaving a deep impression in the memory cells.         

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