Updated: Feb 28, 2021
How to remember past events and make present events memorable.
I’m currently taking the Recall Masterclass from Kwik Learning right now, and as part of the homework, I am to teach what I learned each class to other people. The class is taught by Jim Kwik, a renowned brain coach. Since I’m a blogger, I’d like to share my notes with all of you. I hope you can use the knowledge and practice the methods to improve your memory as well.
Class 12: Remembering Your Past
Remembering our past is important for two reasons. First, our lives are really just our memories, so we want to be able to remember all the amazing events in life. second, people repeat mistakes over and over again, that a big reason for that is because they don’t remember past mistakes. This lesson is all about how to improve our memory of our past and also how to remember past memories.
There are studies done where they take people through a form of hypnosis, and people are able to remember things from way back in their past. There are other studies where doctors stimulate different parts of a patient’s brain, and the patient will suddenly remember clear details about a past event. From these studies, we can know that the memory is in your brain somewhere, we just have to be able to bring it out.
How to remember past events
How to make an event memorable
Key Idea 1: How to Remember Past Events
The key to remembering past events is having memory triggers. Jim gives the follow advice to help remember past memories:
Bring out that same context and environment
Use photos and objects
Talk to people who were there at that past event
Do that past activity
1: Bring out that same context and environment
When we encode an event into our memory, we also encode the contextual details, such as the environment, the sights, the sounds, the smells. If you want to remember things from your old high school, go visit that old high school.
2: Use photos and objects
For example, a souvenir can bring back memories of a vacation. You can also bring out an old photograph to bring back memories.
3: Talk to people who were there at that past event
Doing this will likely bring out lots of memory triggers and help re-establish the context of past events. You can also look at old newspapers from that time period to see if any memory triggers come up.
4: Do that past activity
For example, if you played frisbee a lot as a kid, and you haven’t played in a long time, then picking up a frisbee and playing again can bring back childhood memories.
Key Idea 2: How to Make an Event Memorable
Jim gives the following advice to make an event memorable
Encode it well
Be motivated to remember it
Tell yourself you will remember it
Tell others about the event
1: Encode it well
As mentioned in the previous class, there’s three steps to memory: encoding, storage, and retrieval. The key to making a memory stick is to make the encoding process strong. To do that, we have to be fully present and not distracted. Pay attention to all the details using your five senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, and touch.
For example, if you’re having a magical moment that you want to remember, you can look around and go through the five senses and your environment.
You can also purposely choose a certain scent or music to accompany an event you want to remember. For example, if you’re a student studying for a test, you can use a specific fragrance or listen to a specific song. These cues serve as triggers to bring back memories.
2: Be motivated to remember it
Motivation is key to encoding because when you’re motivated, you have emotion, and emotion is energy for your memory. For example, it’s easy for us to remember the name or phone number of someone we want to do business with or that we are attracted to. Why? Because we have high motivation.
So if you want to remember something, ask yourself how much you want to remember this event from 0 to 10. Then ask yourself how you can increase that motivation.
3: Tell yourself you will remember it
Jim emphasizes that all behavior is belief driven. When he really wants to remember something, he will put his hand on his heart and maybe another hand on his head, and then he says out loud, “I will remember this.”
4: Tell others about the event
In order to remember something, you have to be able to explain it. If you want to remember a specific event, talk about it a lot to others. Another way is to keep a journal.
People who are always telling stories about their past remember their past for eloquently. Research on childhood memory also shows that remembering is a social process.
Live a life worth remembering!