Your memory is your asset and there is no such thing as being born either with a good or bad memory. What you possess is a powerful brain that has the ability to remember and recall whatever information you want and when you want it.  However, to achieve this, you need to train your brain to readily absorb information and recall it at leisure.

Synergy – the way you perceive information

You can develop a razor-sharp memory by training your brain to perceive and process information effectively and proficiently. Your brain’s ability to perceive information is known as synergy. Everybody perceives the world with their five senses. These are the visual (sight), auditory (hearing), kinaesthetic (feeling), olfactory (scent) and gustatory (taste). These senses act like a trigger mechanism to help you remember information. 

For instance, have you ever listened to the radio and a song from the past like an old hit from the pop group Beatles or Bee Gees is played? Suddenly, you find yourself relating the song to an event that occurred in the past. Or it could be an aroma or a scent that triggers a memory of a special person or specific past event.

The reason for this is that people sub-consciously relate the intangible things they sense with the events of their lives. That is why you experience bouts of random recall of past events.

Therefore, by making an effort to harness this synergy, you can sharpen your memory. However, to do this you also need to know how your brain processes the information that you perceive. This is called synthesis.

Synthesis — the way your brain processes information

Your brain processes information based on the way in which it perceives.

Try this: I want you to imagine an “elephant”. You will probably see a huge creature with a trunk, large ears and grey in colour. Naturally this is how an elephant looks like.  Now imagine the elephant to be to be pink instead. This imagery of a pink elephant certainly will look ludicrous and you will find it difficult to get it out of your mind. Ever wondered why you never can seem to forget all the cartoons and fairy tale characters that you were exposed to as a child?

To sharpen your memory, you need to sharpen your synergy and synthesis. This can be done in three steps: observation, exaggeration and connection.

Observation

Too many times, you see but fail to observe carefully. A good example would be when you can’t quite recall where you parked your car in the multi-story car park. This is not bad memory; it is simply bad observation. You can learn to improve your power of observation by visualising the information you want to remember and to help you do this you need exaggeration.

Exaggeration

When you exaggerate something, your brain registers the information effectively. Think of how advertisements in the media are featured.  Many advertisements make exaggerated claims of the product or service. Catchy phrases, tunes or celebrities are used to promote the product such that these attach itself within the realms of your subconscious mind and acts like a trigger mechanism to make you remember the product or service.

Connection

Let’s say you make a list of things to buy at the supermarket: bread, carrot, tuna, broom, yogurt and toothpaste. However, at the supermarket, you realise you forgot to bring the list.

Instead of a list, you can exercise your brain to remember the items you need. You can do this by connecting the items one to another in an exaggerated way.

Imagine this: you entered the supermarket and you were attacked by a huge loaf of bread. You defended yourself with a large carrot. Next, a ginormous tuna was trying to eat you and you shoved a broom into its mouth. You then took the broom and dipped it in some yogurt. You realised that the yogurt tasted like toothpaste. Now, see whether you can remember this list.

Highly effective individuals

Having a razor-sharp memory will make you a highly effective individual and an invaluable asset to your organisation. The only two things that you have to keep in mind to develop a razor-sharp memory is commitment to the process and a positive mental attitude that you can do it.