Okay so despite both the usual and unusual Christmas distractions (including sickness, cross country traveling, food comas and a brief trip to hospital after a small house fire) I’m determined to carry on with this, although my personal deadline for completion looms ever closer. By now most of the things that I’m learning are repetitions, what I’m giving you is the heavily edited basics minus as many incidental stories and tall claims as possible. As the course suggests, in order for that to sink in then it helps to explore the subject yourself in more depth. This next part deals mostly with memory, something that I’ve struggled with for many years and I have attributed my poor recall skills to various reasons. However this course maintains that as long as you continue to train your brain then your capacity to recall memory can be greatly increased and the potential of your memory and brain power is unlimited. We never actually lost the memories we just don’t always transfer it properly from short term to long term memory, most of the exercises already discussed are aimed at helping the memory more than anything else.
As always the course has various lists. I shall keep these fairly faithfully as I think they’re great for helping to keep things concise and for reviewing back afterwards.
5 logical stages of learning
1st: unconscious and incompetent: unaware that you don’t know.
2nd: conscious incompetent: aware of your own ignorance.
3rd: conscious competent – aware of your ability.
4th: unconscious competent: naturally competent so you don’t even notice it.
5th: when you can teach someone else and have them perform it competently.
Four R’s of memory
Review: An active attempt to remember a fact or piece of information.
Registration: Get it into long term memory using any number of tricks covered.
Retention: Keeping it in your long term memory in order for it to become permanent
Recall – Accessing facts from your long term memory when you need them.
3 tricks of learning
1. As you listen and read imagine that your boss or superior has asked for a review of the key points.
2. Imagine you are going to be teaching the information. Lay out the information in such a way for this to be possible.
3. Imagine you are going to be writing a book from a brand new view point. Reorganise the information to make it more accessible.
Basically the trick is to observe what you wish to commit to memory more carefully. I remember once when running a music and video store many moons ago, being able to tell what was in the store and having a pretty sure idea of what each CD and Video was like. Now in the digital age with a massive influx of new music each day I can barely tell you who my favourite tracks of the moment are by (something I’m trying to change). What helps is being able to relate it to information you already know. If you can create links between old and new information then you help to give that information meaning, which in turn helps your memory to digest it properly. Learning maps are a good way to do this, as has been mentioned.
Our minds also take more notice of the beginnings and endings, slumping somewhat in the middle. Rather like watching a film, falling asleep and waking up at the end credits (how many other people does this happen to regularly?). For this reason it is wise to have plenty of breaks, this helps to keep the mind focussed but also creates plenty of beginnings and endings. The mind also remembers odd, rude, bizarre. comical or sexual images so it’s good to attach some kind of suitable imagery to what it is you are trying to learn. It doesn’t have to be as vivid as a TV broadcast, I have a massive problem visualising things clearly but I still have a general picture in mind of what things look like. This is all you need.