For years I have been talking about how to “Think Like A US Navy Seal.” I have even designed a workshop around this idea because I have been lucky enough to see firsthand what the proper memory training can do in my life, and can do in yours. The biggest part of this training is learning how to focus in order to memorize better as well as achieve your goals in life.
I entered the U.S. Memory Championship three times. After I lost the first time I hired a friend and former Navy Seal, T.C. Cummings to help train me to think Like A US Navy Seal. T.C.’s guidance helped me to win the next two U.S. Memory Championships.
One of the first things T.C. taught me was to learn to maintain focus. He said I needed to create a goal and keep working toward it. Lack of focus leads to lost opportunities, stress, physical decline, a feeling of frustration and of being overwhelmed. Lack of focus causes you to stop working toward your dream and quit. Navy Seals fail all the time, but they don’t quit. They keep practicing until their moves and mindset comes as easily as breathing.
My goal was to improve my ability to memorize more material faster. In order to do that, I had to improve my memory training technique, and that included keeping my eye on my goal — which was to win the U.S.A. Memory Championship.
More and more studies indicate that taking on too many tasks (multi-tasking), as people do today, takes our attention away from what we are doing and hurts our ability to memorize or retain what we learn. Research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that multitasking can take a toll on our working memory, especially as people age because they find it harder to switch from one activity to another quickly.
“The research is consistent with existing studies and peoples’ everyday experiences,” said Gary Small, MD, a psychiatrist and the author of iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Man. “You say, I’ve got to go to the market to get eggs, but then you get home and you’ve got 20 other things and you forgot the eggs. As your brain ages, it’s harder to get back to the task at hand after an interruption.”
The study suggests that multitasking causes a bigger working memory disruption in older adults because of this inability to switch between tasks efficiently. Understanding the importance of attention skills, and focusing on one thing at a time — as well as the need to practicing these skills — will continue to grow as the population ages and more and more multitasking becomes part of the environment. We can now think of the classic senior moment as not necessarily a ‘memory’ problem, but as resulting from an interaction between attention and memory.
When we maintain focus on what we are doing, and don’t allow things around us to distract us, we are better able to process information. If you want to know the best way as to how to improve memory — stay focused. It worked for me!
This article was shared by memory speaker, Ron White