Need some memory tricks?

Want to impress your friends with your stunning memory?

Mr. Cab DriverCreative Commons License Thomas Leuthard via Compfight

How about simply needing to remember certain things. Do you carry around in your lab coat a beaten up copy of the Washington Manual, and several slips of paper with normal levels of electrolytes, etc? (Sorry, this is the computer age. I guess it’s all on google. But do you need to remember stuff, and find yourself looking it up over and over?)

I remember seeing the great Kreskin on TV when I was a kid over 40 years ago. These were the days of variety shows: Ed Sullivan, Laugh in, the Tommy Hunter Show. Well, Kreskin was (and is, he’s still around, you can Google him), a mentalist. He would bend spoons, (which is a scam), do card tricks, and remember every name of the people sitting in the back row of his audience. Not kidding. During the first few minutes of the show, he’d just quickly go person to person, asking their first names, taking only a few seconds, and then, in the last minutes of this live TV show done before the miracles of electronics, would fire off all their names. Just mind boggling for me, who’s always had trouble with names.

I still do. You see, in order to remember a name, you have to imprint it on your mind. You need to actively do something. Apparently the Kreskin trick is to use some thing in the auditorium environment to link up the name with the person. If a person’s name is Kurt, and he’s sitting near the curtain, that would be easy. He had this down to a science.

So, when I met my wife, Shelley, I imagined sea shells on her head (where her ears are). Get the idea? If you meet someone with the same name as one of your known contacts, imagine them shaking hands, visualize it.

I have a great memory for faces, yet I must confess I don’t use these techniques enough. I’ve had patients for years, and whose medical history I can actually naturally remember, that I would struggle with for a name if met out on the street.

Want to build a big practice, and be socially successful? Remembering a name is a big part of it. Practise this so it becomes natural.

Remembering numbers requires a different strategy. I need to turn numbers into pictures. In order to do this, you need to turn a number into a sound, so you can get a word.

0= “S”

1= “T”

2= “N”

3= “M”

4= “R”

5= “L”

6= “Sh” or “J”

7= “K”

8= “F” or “V”

9= “P” or “B”

So, 10 becomes “toes”. I’ve developed all my own standard mental pictures for numbers up to 20. Developing your own imprints it on your brain better. Vowels are silent.

Okay, for an example, “0” becomes ice, “1” becomes “tie”, “3” becomes “ma”, “4” becomes “rye”, “5” becomes “law” ( I think of a badge), “6” is “shoe”, “7” is “cow”, “8” is “ivy”, “9” is “bee”, etc.

To link numbers up, like in a phone number, remember the first image, then visually transform the first number / image into your second image. Let’s look at BP for example. A BP of 120/80 would become tins vice (I see in my head tins in a vice). 144/90 would be 2 rowers in a bus. Nice picture, right?

Many people have little pictures memorized up to 100, or more. I’d use Gretzky for 99!