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ABOUT YOUR MEMORY – Getting Brain Friendly with Your Memory


Getting Brain Friendly with Your Memory

By HERMINE HILTON                           


Memory cannot live by repetition alone. Although I know many of you think so. If just repeating anything was enough to get you to remember it, then why do you often have to look up the same number, the same name, the same word, the same fact, the same anything that you’ve already looked up before… probably more than once. In fact, if repeating something was all that was necessary to put your memory in gear, then right now you’d be able to tell me for sure (from having repeatedly seen it) which profile of Lincoln’s  – right or left- is on the Lincoln penny. Do you know? Would you bet money on it?

Well: It’s the RIGHT one.

Don’t be surprised if you weren’t sure. The eye and the ear don’t do the learning. The eye does the seeing, the ear does the hearing, but neither does the thinking. Only the mind can do that. So it doesn’t matter how many times you’d seen that penny. If you never focused on, and consciously connected that fact to your thinking (the mind is a connecting machine), then you never once locked it in. In case you care to remember it now (maybe you’ll play “Trivial Pursuit”) ask yourself that basic question “What does that make me think of?” then connect Lincoln’s ’right ‘ profile on that penny to the fact (which you already know) that Lincoln always tried to do ’right’ by the people.

The connection is called a MNEMONIC- (Ne-Mon-Ik; a Greek word meaning ‘of the mind’)- connecting a new fact with a known fact, in order to recall it. (See my ‘About Your Memory’ column titled “COLLECT/CONNECT/RECOLLECT” (3 Basic Steps to remembering) under Features in The Malibu Chronicle)   Not connecting new memory to known memory is like trying to read and write without using the ABCs.


 Now I don’t want to hear you say “ BUT doesn’t that mean now I’ll have to remember two things in order to remember one?”

Don’t even think about it. The answer is NO! You already knew Lincoln was a ’right’ guy. Using what you already knew, you’re able to lock in the new piece of info regarding his ‘right’ profile on that penny.

That’s called taking control of your memory.

Here are a few other miscellaneous facts …{with connectors}… to wrap around your brain:

(You never know when “Jeopardy” might call.)

Benjamin Franklin invented bi-focals.

{‘B.F.’ invented ‘b-f.’}

Occasion is spelled with two C’s and one S.

{‘CC Senor!’ I’ll be there.}

Nefarious means evil.

{‘No fair on us’ to be evil.}

Seismology is the science of earthquakes.

{What is the ‘SIZE’ of an earthquake?}

Harding was the 29th President.

{‘29 was a ’HARD’ year.}

Did you know that without your making mental connections, that merely roted or mechanically repeated information doesn’t usually last past seven seconds? I call it The Seven Second Syndrome. But you can avoid it by hitting the ‘SAVE’ key (The Remember Button) on that computer attached to your neck. When’s the last time you forgot the name of the person you just met by the time you offered your own?

Well that’s the Seven Second Syndrome…….See what I mean.

And you don’t have to suffer it anymore. Just use your MIND’S EAR (your thinking) to work your memory so that your memory works.

And your age has nothing to do with it. It’s all in knowing how to collect info and then mentally connect with it so that you can recall it.

I wanted to remember that Thursday was specialty Margarita night at a really fun restaurant in Malibu. So I made the connection that ‘I’m thirsty on Thursday’. It’s a sound-a-like. To remember the address on PCH was 22821, I told myself  ‘It’s 2-2 bad if you never 8 there where they can make you feel like 21’. That restaurant isn’t there anymore but the connection is still stuck in my memory.

If you are mentally well, your maturity affecting your memory adversely is a myth. In fact a stimulated brain, at any age, will continue to sprout connections; so don’t let an idea that doesn’t hold water anymore drown you. Just make those connections and get brain friendly with your memory.

So which profile is on the Lincoln penny?

And why do you know that?

See, it’s working already!


The Lady On The Mountain

[Hermine Hilton, one of America’s most popular speakers, is the author of several books on memory including “The Executive Memory Guide” (Simon&Schuster), “50 Ways To A Better Memory”, and her latest book titled “Fuhhgeddaboutit!” (How To Stop Worrying About Your Memory). You may have heard her on radio or seen her on Television with David Letterman; Charlie Rose; Matt Lauer; Bryant Gumbel or a host of others. She is the creator of Sonik Memory and the memory motivator for the Fortune 500 companies from Nordstrom to NASA, and is known internationally from the Netherlands to Nigeria, Turkey to Thailand, Italy to Israel, and almost all other points on the planet. (She is also known as ‘The Lady On The Mountain’ to those of you in Malibu who drive Corral Canyon).]


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