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HOW TO REMEMBER A LIST
OF TEN ITEMS IN ANY ORDER METHOD 1

Before you do anything else look at the following list of words for no more than two minutes:

 Tomato

Birdcage

Chair

Pencil

Donkey

Soap

Telephone

Path

Bed

Doughnut

 Now look away and try and write down the complete list (no cheating now). When you have done that get a friend or member of your family to test you by asking you to recite the list either backwards or in any order that they choose for example the 4th followed by the 2nd followed by the 8th etc. Could you do it without a mistake? If you could not do it, read on and find out how you can. If you could do it, read on anyway and see if the method I am about to describe is the same one that you have used.

REVISION TIME

If you cast your minds back to April's article, I covered the secret principles of a super power memory which were: 

  1. Synaesthesia/Sensuality
  2. Movement
  3. Association
  4. Humour
  5. Imagination
  6. Number
  7. Symbolism
  8. Colour
  9. Order and/or sequence
  10. Positive images
  11. Exaggeration.

 Now if you take the first letter of each word in the list as Tony Buzan has done (adding an S between the "A" of Association and the "H" of Humour) you will have the following mnemonic to help you remember the principles of a super power memory:

 SMASHIN SCOPE

MENTAL PEGS

The "A" of SMASHIN SCOPE stands for Association and in April, I likened a mental peg system to the cloakroom at a theatre. When you take your ticket to the attendant after the performance, you expect to get your coat back because your ticket corresponds to the peg on which your coat has been placed. For a mental peg system to work we need to be able to take whatever item we wish to remember, put it on a peg and then recall that item by going back to the peg at a later time.

 One of the easiest types of peg systems to use is the NUMBER RHYME System.

THE NUMBER RHYME SYSTEM

The Number Rhyme System works by taking the numbers from 1 to 10, picking a word that rhymes with the number and then creating a vivid image of that word which then becomes representative of that number i.e. the mental peg. When we then think of that number the peg image will instantly spring to mind. So consider the following:
 

  1. One rhymes with wand - imagine an enormous magician's wand.
  2. Two rhymes with shoe - imagine a big multicoloured shoe that is as large as a house.
  3. Three rhymes with tree - imagine a large tree with bright green leaves.
  4. Four rhymes with door - visualise a big door, it might be your own front door.
  5. Five rhymes with dive - can you see a big blue and white diving board?
  6. Six rhymes with bricks - imagine a pile of red bricks.
  7. Seven rhymes with heaven - visualise a set of pearly gates surrounded by white fluffy clouds.
  8. Eight rhymes with gate - imagine a bright yellow wooden gate at the bottom of a garden path.
  9. Nine rhymes with wine - can you see a large bottle of red wine?
  10. Ten rhymes with hen - visualise a large brown clucking hen.

I have used the words that instantly spring to my mind when I think of each number and a rhyming word. You can use my suggestions or come up with your own. It really does not matter as long as every time you think of a number, the same rhyming word and its image springs to mind. The more you apply the principles of SMASHIN SCOPE, the more vivid and hence more memorable your images will be. Once you have chosen your words and created your mental image for each rhyming word, practice and test yourself until you are confident that the image for each number is firmly implanted in your memory.

HOW TO USE THE NUMBER RHYME PEG SYSTEM

 Let's consider the list that I gave you earlier:

1. Tomato

2. Birdcage

3. Chair

4. Pencil

5. Donkey

6. Soap

7. Telephone

8. Path

9. Bed

10. Doughnut

 To remember this list, use the principles of SMASHIN SCOPE and associate each number rhyming peg image with an image of the corresponding item on the list.

 For example you could imagine a donkey wearing a multicoloured bikini performing a beautiful swallow dive off a diving board (Number 5). Make the image as vivid as possible by exaggerating the motion, enhancing the colour of the scene, including the springing sound of the board as the donkey leaps into the air and the splash as it hits the water.

 Now do the same for the rest of the items on the list. It should take you no more than about two minutes to do the entire list. So with your own imagination, associate the following images together:

 A magician's wand (one) with a Tomato.

A big multicoloured shoe (two)with a birdcage.

A large tree (three) with bright green leaves, with a chair.

A big door (four) with a pencil.

A big blue and white diving board (five) with a donkey.

A pile of red bricks (six) with a bar of soap.

Heaven (seven) (pearly gates and white fluffy clouds) with a telephone.

A bright yellow wooden gate (eight) at the bottom of a garden path.

A large bottle of red wine (nine) with a bed.

A large brown clucking hen (ten) with a doughnut.

 Now get someone to test you as you did before.

I am quite sure that you will be able to remember the list in any order you want.

If you do make any mistakes it may be because some of your imagery is not vivid enough or your associations are not strong enough.

With a little practice you will overcome these problems and you will have no difficulty recalling any item on your list.

Use this system any time that you need to remember a list of 10 items. There are other techniques for remembering longer lists but they will be covered at a later date.







To ask about any aspect of Accelerated Learning, e-mail himself (at) michaeltipper.com . Due to Michael's hectic schedule, he may not be able to write back, but will do his best to cover the main issues raised, in future articles [more about Michael on the page here].




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Silver Medallist in the World Memory Championships.
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