Building a Memory Palace

I want to show you how you can build a memory palace, but first you need to know that “memory palace” is simply the “method of loci” memory training — but a whole lot cooler to say!

The method of loci, or memory palace, is being used by all the world class memory athletes. This is the core technique to memorizing anything. I have a short video here that explains the memory palace to you:

The book, “The Art of Memory” by Frances Yates discusses the Memory Palace. The concept is that you build a structure in your brain — it can be a palace, a street or a map route, you place rooms in the buildings, or stops along the route where you will place your memories. The route you take will be called a “journey,” and the stops will be your files.

I suggest you begin by writing your route down or make a drawing of your building and lay out the rooms or route you plan to follow, use whichever method of structure you want to place your files in.   At each stop (file) you place whatever you wish to recall.

Say you want to memorize U.S. Presidents. You will place 44 stops on a journey in this memory palace. And on each stop or file you turn the name of the president into a picture and visualizing it on your file. For example, Washington may be a ‘washing machine,’ and John Adams may be ‘A Dam.’ You will then visualize a washing machine on your first stop, and a dam on your second. This is the method of loci, using the memory palace, to learn how to memorize anything and improve your memory.

I like to start with a building and place five pieces of furniture in each room. Why 5? It’s much easier to recall something if you keep a standard number of 5 or 10 in each room. Then if you want to know the 8th president, and you use the number 5 in each room, you know to go to the second file (room 2) to retrieve that information. Iyou select 6in one room, 8 in the next 12 in the next then when you want to retrieve the 15th president it would take a bit of thought. Keep it simple, and 5 or 10 in a room is managable.

All world memory champions and athletes us this memorizing technique to improve their memory, and learn how to memorize anything. The more you practice going over your memory palace, the quicker you will remember and it will become second nature to you.

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