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The Art of Memory by Daniel Kilov at TEDxMacquarieUniversity

A TED Talk A Day, Day 6: Here’s something I’ve noticed in some successful people: they often absorb information at an accelerated pace compared to the average Joe. Now, it’s tempting to think that they were somehow born talented, but in fact they made deliberate efforts to increase their capacity to learn because they saw how much they had to get through to succeed.

Of the many skills in accelerated learning, having a good memory is fundamental — what’s the use of reading faster when we can’t store (and recall) the information we take in?

Here Daniel Kilov talks about the World Memory Championship (yep, geek mode ON), but also talks about why the art of memory should be reintroduced to classrooms.

  1. The secret of memory athletes is… there is no secret. They don’t have special innate abilities, they have simply mastered memory techniques.
  2. We normally associate memorisation as dull, boring, but it can actually be creative, highly personal and fun.
  3. Memory was seen as a counterpart to other intellectual skills like creativity and rhetoric. Many techniques actually originated from many ancient thinkers, and was passed down through monasteries and the Renaissance, but was eventually replaced with rote learning techniques.
  4. Some techniques used in his exercise:
    1. Using vivid imagery and sounds. These can be highly personal.
    2. Using a wild and imaginative story, to link elements together.
  5. The art of memory should return to classrooms. It makes learning fun again, and it is also be more effective than rote techniques.

Suggested action step: I will use wild imagination to remember things in every day life (and possibly in general).

15 things I wish I knew when I was 25

Sometimes we forget what we know is good and true, and instead fall into the trap of habit. So sometimes we need reminding.

I did this exercise for day 64 of Claudia Altucher’s Become an Idea Machine (which called for only 10 things!), and realised this was not a list to my younger self; it’s really a list to myself right now, so I wanted to keep it handy.

15 things I wish I knew when I was 25

  1. Brush it off. Yes, things didn’t work out the way you wanted. Now get up, decide what the fuck you want to do next, and go do it.
  2. Stop expecting people to be perfect. Including yourself.
  3. Stop wasting time on what doesn’t matter.
  4. Stop waiting for things to fall in place.
  5. Take care of your body. It will take time, so start learning now.
  6. Keep in touch with your friends.
  7. Have random fun. It will make you happy.
  8. Try things that seem difficult or “unlike” you.
  9. Take care of the ones you love.
  10. Don’t let your emotions get in the way of what’s important.
  11. Meditate.
  12. Listen to your gut. Explore the things your instincts tell you to.
  13. Following what you think you “should” do or what’s “safe” will only lead to pain.
  14. The only limitations are your thinking and your habits. You can change them.
  15. There is enough time in life. Stop wasting time thinking there isn’t.

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