Memory as a Personal Success Tool

Can you look up to someone who has seen you every weekday morning for five years and still can’t get your name right? How about the person who goes to meetings unprepared because he left his briefcase in the car? When you attend a business conference and the featured speaker is looking at his notes and not his audience, how confident are you in what he has to say? Or, what about the financial planner who has had your account for years and still has to be reminded of whom you are and what business you do with them? If that were I, I’d be shopping around for another place to take my business.

Successful people are always organized, and have good memories.  Do you think any of these people have achieved real success? Although our society measures success by income and possessions, money does not always mean success (they could have inherited, be putting up a false front and are overextended, or have won the lottery). It certainly can’t be their charm or good business sense that got these people where they are today. If you were a business owner and saw these qualities shown above in an employee, what do you think the odds of one of these people getting promoted would be?

What could make the difference for these people? Some memory training! Every one of them would stand out if they could remember names and faces, and give a speech without notes. A good memory builds confidence. With just a little training in memory techniques they can become much more successful.

Memory training involves three important functions:

  • Focus
  • Bank the memory
  • Recall

If you want to build your memory training bank you need to learn to focus your attention on the subject at hand, find a way to convert what you have learned to long-term memory; and be able to file the information where you can retrieve it when needed.

  1. When trying to recall information, always make sure you get it right first. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to repeat his or her name again. A person’s name is their prized possession, and having you ask for them to say it again shows you are genuinely interested in getting it right. If you get bad information, and then have to substitute it, chances of your remembering what you want are lessened.
  2. Focus your attention on what you want to remember. If it’s a person, look at the person directly and take in their features. Listen to what they have to say and ask questions. When you develop a personal rapport with them you are more apt to remember more about them later.
  3. Associate what you are trying to learn with something you already know. For example: If you want to learn a person’s name – such as a woman named Ruth Nile, associate the word “Ruth” with baseball (Babe Ruth), and the word “Nile” as the river in Egypt. Then picture in your mind Babe Ruth floating down the Nile.
  4. Practice chunking. If you feel you are getting too much information at once, take notes or break the information down into smaller chunks that you can remember. The less you have to remember at once the easier it is. Most people don’t remember more than 7-9 items at a time, but if they break it down into 3-3-4 it is a lot easier to remember (a phone number for example: the number 5557864532 is a lot harder to remember than 555-786-4532).
  5. Take a memory training course. There is nothing wrong with getting a little more education. Memory training will give you quite a few tools that will help you to be able to make a speech without notes, or know the names of all your clients (and prospective ones). It can help you to organize your life so you don’t forget the little things that can turn into big things, and you will build confidence because you are prepared – and can knock ‘em dead!

As a memory expert I have seen first-hand how much a good memory can build confidence and make a person successful. I have built a career around just that, and seen hundreds of people change their lives because they improved their memory.

From the desk of Ron White

 

 

Sources:

Ask.com – 10 Ways Psychology Can Improve Your Life: http://psychology.about.com/od/psychology101/tp/applying-psychology.htm

The PhantomWriters.com – Good Memory Equals Greater Success: http://thephantomwriters.com/free_content/db/j/good-memory-equals-success.shtml

The Memory Book, by Harry Lorayne & Jerry Lucas

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