The Memory Palace Technique | How I Hacked My Brain

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It was when Derren Brown memorized the A-Z map book or the bus timetables (ironically, I can’t remember) on one of his live shows that I instantly knew I wanted to try it.

I scoured the internet with terms like, “how to do that Derren Brown trick” and eventually, after digging myself out of a few dark places, found memory athletes. These are people who can memorize the random order of a deck of cards, a lot of numbers in a row, and other stuff that isn’t useful but I found fascinating.

After a little more searching, I found some books that a few memory athletes had written about the memory techniques that they use. How to Develop a Perfect Memory by Dominic O’Brien was the first one I read, and the only one I needed to. I did, however, soon find the ‘Memory’ section of Derren Brown’s Tricks of the Mind – that would have been helpful to have started there…!

Dominic O’Brien’s book shows you how to do anything with your memory, whether that be remembering lists of facts or numbers, learning languages, memorizing speeches, and even just remembering what you are doing tomorrow. There is so much in this book that I often go back and skim through it again, and always find something more I can use.

So, the memory palace. This is by far my favourite technique for memorizing things. I learnt all of Shakespeare’s plays, memorized Serenade by Edgar Allan Poe, and all of the Greek Olympians using this technique. Each one of these ranged in difficulty, the poem certainly being the hardest to remember – that was my first attempt at storing that form of information however.

If you’ve ever watched BBC’s Sherlock or watched/read The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, then you will know what a memory palace is, or at least will have heard of it. If you don’t know what I am talking about, I will compile many of the definitions in a future post, but for now just search it on YouTube and Google.

I won’t lie and say that my life has completely changed because of this one technique. It is not a shortcut to knowing everything, but it is a method of learning things efficiently, and after a good amount of practice, memorizing things will become easier and quicker.

This technique is amazing so if you liked this post and find this sort of content interesting, please let me know in the comments! I would love to do some more in depth posts on the applications of the memory palace technique, as well as other memory techniques I like to use.


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