The graphic above says, ‘Sherlock Holmes Mind Palace Secrets Revealed’ and I like to have fun with that because he surely made the term Mind Palace more popular. The idea of Sherlock storing all kinds of data in his brain using a Mind Palace has intrigued the fans of Sherlock since it first debuted.
However, in reality Sherlock Holmes (or should be way Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) did not come up with the idea or term Mind Palace. It is a system that has been around at least 2500 years and dates back to at least 477 B.C. and a man named Simonedes.
As the story goes, Simonedes was in a room and the roof collapsed and crushed everyone except him. He then was able to identify the bodies based on where everyone was sitting. The light bulb went off in his head and he wondered, ‘Could I remember anything by mentally placing it in a location in the room as I remembered these people based on where they were in the room.’ Whether this story is true or not it does illustrate very well how the idea of the Mind Palace works.
How to build your own Memory Mind Palace:
- Stand in the doorway of every room in your home starting in a logical spot (front door, front of house, your bedroom, etc)
- In that room select 5 items. Select big items (not small) and spread them out around the room numbering them 1-5. For example, good items to select are: desk, bed, tv, picture, computer, stove, refrigerator, microwave, bookshelf, computer, chair, couch, stove, shower, closet, etc.
- Repeat in the next room numbering the 5 items 6-10. In the next room number the items 11-15, the next 16-20, the next 21-25 and so on.
- Once you have numbered the items close your eyes and say the furniture and number of each item. Do this 4-5 times until you are confident you know it. (More times if needed and say it backwards just to insure you REALLY know it)
- A common objection to the Mind Palace is that you have to memorize a map of your home and that is too much work but it’s not true! You already have your home memorized! You just don’t have it numbered and that is what you are doing here.
(to get my full ebook on this go here https://memorise.org/memory-training/sherlock-mind-palace
How to Use The Memory Mind Palace:
- Now whenever you want to memorize something you visualize it on your furniture that you have numbered.
- Let’s say you have 10 words you want to memorize and the 8th word is dog. If the 8th piece of furniture in your home is desk then you imagine your dog interacting with that desk with tons of action and emotion (the more action and emotion the better). Maybe not just barking but growling and biting too. You remember action/emotion. For example, have you ever been in a car accident? Was it day or night? Where did it occur? How? I bet you know because the action/emotion cemented it in your memory. But where did you drive last Tuesday? You don’t know. No action/emotion
- Important: If number 9 is water and your number 9 furniture is your computer imagine the water on your computer (because it is #9). Don’t put it on the furniture in your house where it makes sense (sink, refrigerator, etc). Instead, put it on the furniture in the number order it is on the list not where it makes sense in your home! :)
- Here is a 6 year old who used this method to memorize the presidents of the United States. Notice her looking at the furniture and saying the president. Check it out
Uses for the Memory Mind Palace:
- If you want to give a speech take the 10 things you want to talk about, create pictures for them and see them on your furniture. For example, you want to talk about ‘Time Management’ as your #3 point. See a clock on the #3 piece of furniture in your home. When giving your speech just think about your Mind Palace and give the speech without notes
- Study for a class. Maybe you want to memorize the Periodic Table of Elements. Here is how you could do that:
3. Or you wanted to memorize a poem or quote. Here is a video on that
4. How to Memorize a Deck of Cards with the Memory Mind Palace
I hope you see that the Mind Palace is a great tool and can be used for so many different things. It is an incredible skill and one that I am grateful to have learned in 1991. Since then I have used it to teach students to memorize information for school work and business professionals to become more productive.
I really do believe anyone can master these skills. Some have gotten really good and compete in national and worldwide memory tournaments.
If you would like more information on the Mind Palace method and a free ebook that explains it in more detail you can get that here https://memorycourse.brainathlete.com/memorytips