So much of studying involves your memory. You need to remember content so that you are able to recall the details and answer questions for your assessments. However, many students and people in general are of the opinion that they have a so called “bad memory”. By this they mean that they find it difficult to recall information. If you are one of those people then this is for you.
What I’m about to share in this article is probably one of the biggest truths that helped me in learning how to remember what I studied and therefore achieve the high grades that I did for my masters.
Given that you need to remember and understand lots of information whilst you study, and the mind is where memories are stored, it would be wise to know how memories are actually stored in the mind so that you can prepare for study in the best possible way. Now this makes sense when you think about it, but how many of us actually know how memories are stored in the mind? How many students are taught this? I know that I certainly wasn’t.
In his book “The Disciplined Trader” Mark Douglas states that memories are stored in the brain as energy, and there are two types; positive and negative. He goes on to say that the degree to which we remember things depends on:
- The polarity of the charge – Is it positive or negative
- The intensity of the charge – Is there a lot of it, or a little bit.
Simply put, we have a much easier time remembering events and situations where there was a lot of positive or negatively charged energy associated with those memories.
Think about your last holiday, birthday, or special event you experienced. I’ll bet you’ll be able to recall a lot of information about it without even trying. You’re seeing it all come flooding back to your mind right now. You didn’t even know I was going to mention it, yet if I asked you, I’m sure you would be able to tell me all about it. Those were likely to be some fun times so those memories are stored in your mind with large amounts of positive energy.
That’s proof that your mind has the ability to easily recall large amounts of information with ease. Understanding this will help you to harness your innate ability and use it for success in your studies.
Whenever you are studying, whether you are in class, in the library or at home, focus on creating memories. You must also be aware that the greatest potential for creating great study memories is outside of the classroom because this is where you are in control of content delivery. Having said that, you still have a part to play in class to ensure you get the most from it.
Get creative! Most of what you know and remember wasn’t learnt by going over notes and reading books for hours. I’m sure you have read something once and it stuck. You watched something once and remembered it. You heard a story and told a friend about it a week later without writing notes about it beforehand. You are able to do these things because of how the memories were stored at the time of the event. They were interesting things. Make your study time more interesting and it will be more memorable.
How easily you remember information depends largely on how it went into your mind. I’m not saying it will always be easy, but with practice you will remember more of what you study.
In coming articles we’ll look at practical tips for creative studying.
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