Unlimited Memory by Kevin Horsley [Book Summary – Review]

Everyone has experienced this before: we spot somebody at an event or gathering, somebody we’ve become acquainted with several times previously, in fact, chatted with them for a couple of minutes. But the issue is, our mind fails us and we fail to recall their name.

Maybe you have a plan to make her say her name that doesn’t include you specifically asking for it. Or perhaps you’ll stumble upon an acquaintance and you introduce the two of them, in hopes of learning her name when it is her turn to introduce herself.

Wouldn’t it be good that the forgetfulness comes to an end at last? This is where this summary steps in.

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Chapter 1 – If you want to concentrate better, you have to empty your mind and live in the moment.

A perfect memory is what everyone wishes for, right? But keeping in mind the number of people who find it hard to pay attention to the details, remembering details seem almost impossible.

Still, there are ways of doing it. Here are a few important tips to help you concentrate better:

First of all, get rid of your conflicts – in other words, everything that pushes your thoughts in other directions and keeps you from focusing. Going back and forth between checking your email and sending some text messages sounds like something you waste your time on? Well, that makes you just like the majority of people.

But is it possible to get rid of these internal conflicts without some drastic measures like becoming a monk? Avoiding multitasking is a great way to start. Multitasking significantly decelerates you by 50 percent and raises the risk of an error by 50 percent, according to neuroscience researchers.

For instance, if you are talking on your phone while you are driving, you are likely to hit the brakes 0.5 seconds later than you normally would. That means if you are driving at 112 kilometers per hour, your car needs an extra 15.5 meters to fully stop – and with that kind of speed, many things can happen in that distance. 

Another brilliant move would be providing yourself with a purpose, thus making it impossible for your mind to roam around. In this way, it is easy to recall the reason why you wanted to concentrate on things at first.

The PIC rule may be useful in such cases: (P)urpose provides you with a cause for learning. Let’s say that you are currently learning a programming language. You might want to create a website for your family and this could be your purpose.

Pose yourself questions when you find a purpose so you get (i)nterested and (c)urious about what you chose to learn. “Is this something I can use at work?” or “Is this applicable to my life at the moment?” are good questions to start off with.

It is time to find out how to store information, now that you’ve found out about the things you can do to concentrate better.

Chapter 2 – Take advantage of your creativity to vivify information in an enjoyable way to help you recall it.

Sometimes you read an entire page of a book only to realize that you don’t remember what you have just read at all. You don’t have to go through this yet again.

Bringing information to life is a way of remembering them easily and in order to do that, you have to take advantage of your creativity to create a movie or a photo that is unforgettable.

You have a lot of options with words. It can be easier to memorize them by finding ridiculous or funny sounds when they are divided into smaller words that sound close to them.

This comes in handy especially when you are trying to memorize words from another language or a city from various countries.

Let’s assume that you are trying to memorize the Spanish word “pollo” which means chicken. Imagine yourself on a big chicken while you are playing polo and you will remember that word forever! Or, think about the capital of Australia, Canberra. One way to memorize it is by thinking of a KANgaroo eating BERRies to help visualize it in your mind. Thinking in this manner requires some exercise but remembering things requires less effort this way.

If you want to make your imaginations super thrilling so that they are even more unforgettable, the SEE method is made for it.

Our (s)enses are the gateway to our brains for information to enter. Let’s say you are trying to memorize the word “horse”. It is crucial that you create a multisensory image that includes its scent, feel, skin, and even its taste. This image will be easier to remember compared to five letters.

Next in line is (e)xaggeration. Which do you think is easier to remember: a normal-sized horse or an enormous neon purple horse wearing a costume? The images don’t have to be logical, they have to be ridiculous and fantastical.

And finally, (e)nergize. You need to make the image more vivid by imagining it in action. Rather than imagining a horse standing still, imagine it running so it is easier to remember.

The trick to remembering information is to make use of the imagination to vivify it.

Chapter 3 – Classify information into divisions that are already in your long-term memory.

Since you have found out about how to create images in an unforgettable way, it is crucial to know how to classify them. The loci method, aka the route method, is a great way to do it. You simply associate the new information with something you are accustomed to.

Human beings are very good at remembering certain courses or locations (consider your trip to work), so loci is already used by the majority of the memory systems. Placing things you wish to remember at certain places alongside a course that is vibrant and acquainted in your mind is how loci works.

Let’s assume you have a speech to give and you are trying to memorize parts of it. You would picture yourself strolling around your building alongside a certain path. The thought is to form a series of places to visit as you’re strolling.

Therefore, in every room you imagine, choose three certain locations within the room and position them in a precise sequence. By doing that, you integrate each part of the conversation with the places you choose while walking around your house.

Let’s presume you begin in the kitchen and you pick the purple plate as your first loci. The horse in a purple costume from the past chapter would cross your mind and you’d know that “horse” is in the first part of your speech. If you want to take it up a notch, you could think of the plate twisting on its head.

Now, assume the second part of your speech contains the words “summer camp”. You may have a picture of your family on a summer camp in your fridge and you can think of that.

The reason why this method works well is that you can use any place you are familiar with. Doesn’t matter if it’s your car, your workplace, you can use the path to remember the list. If the path is designed to contain, let’s assume, six things per room, you will recall your list and the sequence of it.

If this method still failed to convince you, remember that the author memorized the first 10,000 digits of the number π using this method!

Chapter 4 – Use sounds to recall specific dates and numbers.

It is impressive when someone easily talks about mathematical problems or historic event dates without hesitation. There is an easy way to recall numbers that need only three steps if you want to do the same.

The trick is to change numbers to images that’ll stay in your mind.

There is a system you’ll have to learn about which transforms numbers into letters or changes the sound of them. Let’s give an example of the number zero, it can be symbolized by the letters s, z, and c. Hard to recall? Just imagine a hissing wheel since zero already resembles a wheel.

A set of similar-sounding consonants can be appointed to every number. For example, the sounds j, sh/ch, or a soft g can be assigned to the number six. Shapes of the numbers can also be used when appointing sounds to them to make them easy to recall. For example numbers two and three resemble the letters N and M when looked from the side and number 9 resembles a p or a b when turned around horizontally. Vowels are excluded at the time being but will be used later on.

What comes next in memorizing a date or number is writing the letters that symbolize them and form a word.

1969 is the year when humans walked the moon for the first time and let’s assume you want to remember it. Most of the dates you would want to remember occurred in the last millennium so you only need to memorize the 969 part. The sounds b, sh, and p are the sounds we should be thinking of, and together they may form the word BiSHoP.

The final step is to create a picture you won’t forget. Combine the word and the date or number you selected utilizing the SEE principle. For the previous example, you can think of a bishop dancing with Neil Armstrong on the moon!

Since you’ve figured out how the system can turn numbers into words, it is easy to remember dates or numbers by creating unforgettable images.

Chapter 5 – Recall names using the four C method

There are a few things that are more embarrassing than not being able to remember a coworkers’ name. While memorizing information like this, always recall the four Cs: connect, create, concentrate, and continuous use. Using this method, you won’t have to worry about embarrassing moments like this.

Concentration on the name of the person is the first thing to do if you are memorizing it. Say the name over and over again. If you are struggling with pronunciation, ask them to spell.

To make it even more memorable, divide the word and use the smaller words to create an image. For instance; to remember the author’s surname Horsley you can imagine a HORSe and Bruce LEE having a fight.

When you’ve created an image, attach it to the face of the person. By doing this, you will remember their name right away once you see them.

The connection method is a good way to connect a face and a name. Find the most remarkable feature of a person and match it with their name. For example, if your coworker has eyes as blue as ice, think of icicles flying out of their eyes!

The comparison method comes in handy if you already know someone with the exact name. The important part of this method is to compare the faces of these people. If you know two people, both named John, you can think of them talking to each other on the same body.

Regardless of the method you use, go over the names you’ve learned and try to use them repeatedly. Making a list of the names or adding them on social media would be useful too.

You’re now ready to recall whatever information you like. The last chapter is about making sure all the information stays in your mind.

Chapter 6 – Avoid forgetting information by revising.

How much do you remember from the things you’ve learned from school? Within two years of leaving education, people can only recall what is equal to roughly three weeks’ lessons from 12 years of regular classes, according to the study of the author.

It is no wonder that you will forget the majority of your knowledge without proper training for your mind.

In other words, if you don’t know how to make information stay in your mind, prior training is useless. What is the most efficient way to do so?

Any time you recall what you’ve memorized, the knowledge that you’ve learned has more of an effect in your mind than ever. Thus, in order to ensure your mind never forgets them, you should slowly increase the time between your reviews.

Once you learn new information, you should repeat it after a day,  and then three, then seven, and so on and so forth. You should come back to it two last times after a two-month break and then finally a three-month break.

Another thing to note is to use the memory techniques you’ve learned while revising. The SEE principle must have given you plain, vibrant pictures to make information come alive. Does the bishop still dance on the moon? Don’t forget to use the techniques you’ve learned or you will risk what you’re striving to maintain.

Concentration on the primary goal is also a great idea. Assume that you’re learning a new language, a vacation in that country could motivate you to work harder.

The key to memorizing the thing you’ve learned is revisiting them to avoid forgetting them.

Unlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and be More Productive by Kevin Horsley Book Review

You ought to put the information in life to make it unforgettable. The ideal way is to associate what you discover with your existing knowledge, take advantage of your imagination to construct unforgettable pictures, and keep your senses engaged. At last, you can make sure you never forget them by revisiting what you’ve kept in your brain.

Stay off social media!

Be in the moment by reducing your screen time – you’ll realize that you can concentrate better and learn new things easier. In a short while, using the techniques you’ve learned, you will be able to memorize your shopping list for the week!

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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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