The average man does not use above ten percent of his actual inherited capacity for memory. He wastes the ninety percent by violating the natural laws of remembering.
If you are one of the average persons, you are struggling under a handicap bath, socially and commercially. The natural laws of remembering shows how to use them in business and social conversation in addition as in public speaking.
These “natural laws of remembering” are very simple. They are only three. Briefly, they are impression, repetition and association. The first mandate of memory is this; get a thorough, vivid and lasting impression of the thing you wish to retain and to do. And to do that you must concentrate.
Five minutes of vivid, vigorous concentration will produce greater results than days of mooning about in a mental haze. “One intense hour will do more than dreamy years”.
If there is any one thing which is more important than anything else, it is “concentration in the particular job you have in hand”.
The average person’s brain does not observe a thousandth part of what the eye observes. It is almost incredible how poor our powers of observation are. Introduce the average person to two or three of your friends and the chances are that two minutes after ward he cannot ingemination the name of a single one of them. And why? Because he never paid sufficient attention to them ion the first place. He will likely tell you he has poor memory. No, he has a poor observation. He will not condemn a camera because it failed to take pictures in a fog, but he expects his mind to retain impression that are hazy and foggy to a degree.
Hear the man’s name precisely insist on it. Ask him to repeat it. Inquire how it is spelled. He will be flattered by your interest, and you will be able to remember his name because you have concentrated on it. You have got a clear, accurate impression. Above all else, we are visual minded, eye impressions stick. We can often remember a man’s confront, already though we cannot ingemination his name. The nerves that rule from the eye to the brain are twenty-five times as large as those leading from ear to the brain. The Chinese have a proverb that says “one time seeing is worth a thousand time hearing”.
By “repetition” the second natural law of remembering, you can memorise an almost endless amount of materials if you will repeat it often enough. Intelligent repetition, repetition done in accordance with certain well-established traits of the mind, that is what we must have. Here is a very helpful discovery about the way in which we forget.
Psychological experiments have repeatedly shown that we forget more during the first eight hours than during the next thirty days. An amazing ratio. So closest before you go into a business conference or P.T.A meeting or closest before you make a speech, look over your data, think over your facts, refresh your memory. The third law of memory “association” is however the indispensable component in recalling. In fact, it is the explanation of memory itself.
The laws of association govern all trains of our thinking which are not interrupted by sensations breaking on us from without. in any case appears in the mind must be introduced, and when introduced, it is as the associate of something already there. An educated memory depends upon an organized system of association. The secret of a good memory is consequently the secret of forming different and multiple associations with every fact we care to retain.
The person who thinks over his experiments most, and weaves them into the most methodic relations with each other, will be the one with the best memory.
This course of action will help to weave it into methodic relation with other facts:
(a) Why is it so?
(b) How is it so?
(c) When is it so?
(d) Where is it so?
(e) Who said it is so?