All memory, whether trained or untrained, is based on association. But that’s stating it too simply. You will be taught many methods of association by doing your research on memory training, but it goes much deeper than that.
You see, when people say, “I forgot,” they didn’t, usually – what really happened was that they didn’t remember in the first place. How can you forget something that you didn’t remember, initially? Turn that around, and you have the answer to remembering – if you do remember something initially, how can you forget it?
One of the fundamentals of a trained memory is what we call Original Awareness. Anything of which you are Originally Aware cannot be forgotten. And, applying a method of association forced Original Awareness – Observation is necessary to Original Awareness – anything you wish to remember must first be observed. Using association will take care of that, too.
Something Which Is Insubstantial Or Abstract
But how in the world do you associate something that’s insubstantial or abstract? That question leads to another basic of trained memory. It is always easier to remember things that have meaning than it is to remember things that do not. You’ll see that nothing is abstract or insubstantial so far as the methods are concerned.
You will learn how to make any insubstantial thing, any abstract piece of information, substantial and meaningful in your mind. All remembering and therefore all learning will be easier for you for the rest of your life once you’ve mastered that simple technique.
Let’s begin with association. First of all, you should realize that you’ve used association all of your life. The problem is that you have associated subconsciously, without recognizing the association for what it was.
Anything you clearly associated, even if subconsciously, is sure to have been effortlessly remembered. But since you have no control over your subconscious, association has been a hit-or-miss kind of thing all your life.
Here’s A Basic Memory Rule
You Can Remember Any New Piece of Information if It Is Associated to Something You Already Know or Remember.
Teachers in the early grades have been telling their students for years that it’s easy to remember how to spell piece if you think of the phrase “a piece of pie.” Since most young students already know how to spell pie, associating that old knowledge to the newâ€”the spelling of “piece”â€”solves the problem. Again in this instance of association, the basic rule has been followed.
When you took music class in school do you remember the lines on the music staff, the treble clef, E, G, B, D, and F? If your teacher ever told you to think of the sentence â€œEvery Good Boy Does Fineâ€, then you do remember them.
Your teacher was following that basic memory rule, probably without realizing it. He or she was helping you to remember new abstract information, the letters E, G, B, D, and F, by associating them to something you previously knew, or at least understood – the simple sentence â€œEvery Good Boy Does Fine.â€ Obviously, it worked.