Categories: Studying Techniques

No such thing as a bad memory 

By  Lysette Offley

No such thing as a bad memory - photo of Jack of clubs

I bet you have a high expectation of your car starting when you turn the key in the ignition! And that you have a strong belief that your car will get you from A to B with little incident. Is that because you do what you have to do, to keep the car working for you?

I bet you do.

But what about your brain?

Do you have a high expectation of it doing a good job for you? Is that high expectation justified? Do you do what you need to, to have it remember what you intend to remember?

Or do you not pay attention to how you go about studying and then complain when you’ve forgotten something important? (Like all the learning you’ve done over the last weeks and months?)

Why is it that we’re perfectly happy to accept that in order for the car to perform reliably, there are certain things we need to do; but don’t apply the same sort of thinking when we revise?

It’s a funny thing that most of the time, when what we’re doing isn’t working, our automatic response it to do it even harder! Unfortunately this is rarely a recipe for success, and instead leads to disappointment and negative beliefs.

So instead, how about we take a moment to discover what it actually takes to get information into our head and then keep it there for the exam and beyond?

There are 3 simple keys to learning, and you need to tend to all three to achieve the success you want. And in doing so, not only will you remember what you’ve learnt for the exam, you’ll remember it for as long as you want afterwards – a much better result for your hard work.

The Three Keys to Learning

  1. Spend enough time with the information for your brain to make a pattern of it and send it to your long-term memory.
  2. Make brain-friendly notes. Make them highly visual, using just the key words.
  3. Revisit the information on a regular basis to keep it current and important to your unconscious mind, which will otherwise prune away the connections you no longer use.

Moaning about your memory just doesn’t cut it any more! Follow this procedure and your brain will work just fine!

Because, it’s not true that we get more forgetful as we get older. We can actually get smarter and develop better memories. We can grow new brain cells!


Only if you give your brain the need to!

What happens in your brain will be determined by how you use it. Ask the Memory Champions, able to memorise, in just two minutes, the order of cards in a shuffled deck, and they’ll tell you that the brain is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the better it’ll perform.

Research tells us that people who keep their minds actively engaged with, for example, crossword puzzles and chess, or by learning a new language, can stave off Alzheimer’s. So if you’re afraid you’re losing your marbles, get that brain busy and check your revision strategy!

There’s no such thing as a bad memory – only an untrained one!

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Lysette Offley

Genius Maker & Founder of Genius Material and The Genius Principles. Working with professionals who need exceptional academic & professional development.

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