Creativity + Imagination = Memory

After watching a video about some guys memorizing the decimals of pi (I don’t understand totally why, but it’s not the problem), I searched a little bit about the techniques these guys use. The world record is at 100 000 decimals and the guy spent 24 hours to enumerate them. Quite impressive right ? But every brain is able to do that and we will see some techniques.

Some definitions

Before to be able to understand the few techniques I will introduce we all need to be clear on the definitions of the three words used in the title. Here are the meanings (Thank you Cambridge dictionary !) :

Creativity : It’s the ability to produce original and unusual ideas, or to make something new or imaginative.

Imagination : The ability to form pictures in the mind.

Memory : The ability to remember information, experiences, and people.

Now, as you begin to see the steps we will need in order to be able to retrieve the informations, let’s talk about some tips about producing original ideas and making pictures in our mind.

Creativity

I’m not creative ! I can’t produce unusual ideas ! This is what is in the mind of most of you now. I know that because I thought like you before to try some different methods. But now, let’s remember some parts of our childhood. Wasn’t you able to make a goat fly or make a tent with two chairs and a blanket ? It is creativity if you consider the limits of knowledge you have at that age. You consider yourself as not creative because your current level of knowledge is higher and also because you’re not impressed about things as you did when you were a child. So, the first step for you is to become more aware of what’s new in your life but also to be aware of how it’s different from what you know.

The important thing is to focus (I wrote about focus in one of my previous article) and to not be in self-driven life. Here’s one of the examples I’m the most proud of. I’m learning Chinese characters and before now I just learned to differentiate them by simple overall shape. The problem is that some characters are really similar in term of big picture. So, sometimes I was just confused about the meaning of some sentences or just about the pronunciation. Take the example of : 便 and 更. Of course you noticed the left difference between them but they are pretty similar right ? Now, here is my solution :

  • 更 means more/even more
  • 便 means convenient
  • ⺅ means people
  • So, 便 means convenient because it’s convenient when people have more choices.

In one simple sentence I can recognize two characters from each other. I have a lot of this kind of sentences in my head, either to differentiate them of write them. Now it’s your turn, find a simple way (like mine) to fit your needs.

Imagination

Two fires speaking together. Do you have the image in mind ? I’m sure you can see it. It’s a little bit special but you can imagine stupid situations. This is what you need to do for that part : create an uncommon image. During the creativity part I talked about your childhood. It’s time to see how imaginative you were during that period. Wasn’t you able to think you’re in a plane by just closing the eyes and sitting in a box ? Wasn’t you able to feel like in a castle when you were in your “tent” ? This skill is not gone and you are still able to do it, you just need to practice because if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. Let’s see another example in my process of leaning Chinese. And let’s take the example of the two fires speaking together. Here it is:

  • 谈 means to chat, to discuss
  • 火 means fire
  • 讠means speaking So, I close the eyes and I see two fires speaking together.

Simple, effective and time saving. I’m now able to write a lot of characters with these little stories and it feels good to achieve something with your own imagination. It’s you’r ideas, you’r interpretations ! Now It’s your turn, find a simple way (like mine) to fit your needs.

Conclusion

It looks simple with these examples and it is simple in a lot of cases but sometimes trust me it’s not that easy. However, I seriously think it applies for every cases and so we can remember everything we want. You’ll just need more creativity and imagination sometimes. The most important point in this article is to understand that you’ll be so proud to achieve this on your own that you’ll want to practice it again and again. You’ll also see major improvements in your memory skills (it’s the goal) because you associated events or images with a concept. Your brain will be able to retrieve quickly the informations and you’ll be able to show off in front your friends, feeling less frustrated about memory gaps or win the world record of memorizing the decimals of pi. Good luck !

If you have some examples like the one I gave in this article or reactions about this article please contact me, you can find a way to reach me at the bottom of the page.

Written on December 30, 2017