Bonus exercises

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Bonus exercises

  1. 1. Bonus Exercises The following exercises should help you become a Major Pro. Plus, they’re fun and you can do them right from where you’re sitting now.
  2. 2. Bonus Exercises The Wallet Exercise This one will require you to stand up (okay, so I may have fibbed a bit about the sitting). It is a great introduction to a couple of concepts. It’s also very easy. The great thing about this exercise is that it will help you create your first long-lasting mini-memory palace with only about 30 seconds worth of effort. A lot of people feel insecure about their ability to visualize imagery. They think they might not be very good at it. It’s actually not hard or scary at all. If you can remember what Mickey Mouse or Sponge Bob Square Pants looks like after reading this sentence, then you have all it takes.
  3. 3. Bonus Exercises The Wallet Exercise Open up your wallet and pull out your Driver’s License or bank card – something with a string of digits you think worth storing in your permanent memory.
  4. 4. Bonus Exercises The Wallet Exercise Now step away from your desk and face the nearest wall you can find. A blank wall is best, but it really doesn’t matter if there is a window or door in the middle of it or pictures hanging on it or a couch covering the bottom half.
  5. 5. Bonus Exercises The Wall(et) Exercise
  6. 6. Bonus Exercises The Wall(et) Exercise All that really matters is that you have a clear beginning and end, starting at your left.
  7. 7. Bonus Exercises The Wallet Exercise “Chunking” the information is a key component of this exercise. If your card has 9 digits try to break it up into images made from 1-3 digits at a time, depending on how easy it is for you to remember. We’ll use the example ID number C34094885.
  8. 8. Bonus Exercises The Wallet Exercise C34094885 Whenever there’s a letter at the beginning of the sequence I try to lay a little mental groundwork and just remember it as it is – the letter C. I can attach the first image directly to it.
  9. 9. Bonus Exercises The Wallet Exercise C34094885 At the far left end of the wall I picture the Virgin Mary, a very iconic figure even for the non-religious. Perhaps she is hugging the letter C or she is submerged beneath a wave.
  10. 10. Bonus Exercises The Wallet Exercise C34094885 FINGER DRAWING – Whenever I need to quickly remember an image using this method I find that if I draw it with my finger in the air, creating imaginary graffiti on the wall, it will most definitely stick in my mind. To complete this exercise, you will need to do this as well.
  11. 11. Bonus Exercises The Wallet Exercise C34094885 Continue the sequence. Perhaps to the right of Mary you see a cage representing “zoo” and then from that emerges “Gary” the snail from SpongeBob Squarepants crawling out toward a judge with a hive growing from his head.
  12. 12. Bonus Exercises The Wallet Exercise I might even just quickly draw the outline of the gavel and have the hive grow out of that.
  13. 13. Bonus Exercises The Wallet Exercise C34094885 Of course, you could break up the sequence above however you see fit. Perhaps instead of “Mary-Zoo-Gary…” you see “Ham-Rose-Goo-Roach…”
  14. 14. Bonus Exercises The Wallet Exercise Now you’re turn! Go up to your wall, card in hand and start drawing. It might help if you pretend you’re molding the items out of clay. Make these items 3-Dimensional! Mime them! Make them a part of your space. Show a physical reaction to them. Are they pretty? Admire them! Are they gross? Wrinkle your nose. Are they silly? Laugh at them. And when you’re done. Come back here and we can go on to the next exercise.
  15. 15. Bonus Exercises Multiplication tables Hey there! You’ve made something akin to a memory palace already. Now let’s make something a little bigger in the same room.
  16. 16. Bonus Exercises Multiplication tables In the final conclusion video we ended with a challenge to memorize the multiple of 15 up to 15. Some of you may still have been confused as to how to do that, so I’ll go into detail here. To make it shorter (by one) and because the pattern isn’t as easy to figure out as 15’s (which are all multiples of 5 anyway), we’re going to work on our 14’s instead.
  17. 17. Bonus Exercises Multiplication tables The first step is to take a walk around your room and pick out 14 spots to designate as loci. In order to truly “mark” them I want you to imagine an image representing “1” somewhere near the first loci, an image for “2” near the second and so on up to 14.
  18. 18. Bonus Exercises Multiplication tables Start at the entrance to your room. Then work your way clock-wise around its perimeter, picking out spaces and objects. You might try it counter-clockwise if it feels more natural, or start elsewhere in the room. But given that we read English from left to right, I’d wager your doing this the same.
  19. 19. Bonus Exercises Go ahead and do it now.
  20. 20. Bonus Exercises Multiplication tables Got it? Good. Now you know where your 14 loci are. You’ve chosen the spot and you’ve anchored it down with your numerical image.
  21. 21. Bonus Exercises Multiplication tables Derren Brown, in creating a memory palace, usually only anchors every fifth loci, but our way is important when dealing with number facts (multiplications). You’ll see why.
  22. 22. Bonus Exercises Multiplication tables Okay, now if I were to ask you what your eight spot is, you’d be able to answer immediately without hesitation, right? And your third? You twelfth? Your fourteenth?
  23. 23. Bonus Exercises Good.
  24. 24. Bonus Exercises Multiplication tables Ok, now from where you’re sitting at your computer you should be able to see every spot. Even if you can’t, you should still be able to see them in your mind’s eye. In fact, try taking a quick little trip through your palace in your mind’s eye. Might as well practice. You can even hold down the “run” button.
  25. 25. Bonus Exercises Multiplication tables Now I’m going to give you some operations. e.g. 14x1=14 So in the place of your first loci labeled “1” you will place an image for the product “14”. Connect the two somehow. Perhaps it’s a bottle of ale being drunk by the Lorax. Try to place him creatively within the loci. Put him in a vase. On a plant. In a frame. Hanging from the wall. Whatever the loci allows.
  26. 26. Bonus Exercises Multiplication tables So now if I ask you what 14X1 is, assuming the entire room represents 14, you are multiplying the room times the first loci and up pops the answer.
  27. 27. Bonus Exercises Multiplication tables Yes. I understand this is completely unnecessary for the first few multiples, but it works pretty well when you get to the larger numbers. Besides – it’s a great way just to practice using the Major System and building Memory Palaces quickly and efficiently. Remember, this is like a new language. At one point we all had to practice with “The cat sat on the hat.”
  28. 28. Bonus Exercises Multiplication tables So here goes: 14x1=14 14x2=28 14x3=42 14x4=56 14x5=70 14x6=84 14x7=98 14x8=112 14x9=126 14x10=140 14x11=154 14x12=168 14x13=182 14x14=196
  29. 29. Bonus Exercises Multiplication tables Of course, you could learn any set of multiples this way. 15x15’s 18x18’s 23x23’s 99x99’s Just put the necessary amount of loci and you can do anything!
  30. 30. Bonus Exercises Multiplication tables For those of you groaning at the thought of having to conjure up images every time you’re asked what 15x17 is, don’t worry. These are just like training wheels on a bicycle. The more you practice them the less you will rely on having to see the pictures in your head until the information you retrieve comes automatically without looking at the “cheat sheet” in your head. This holds true for anything you’re trying to memorize using these techniques. Just lay the groundwork.
  31. 31. Bonus Exercises Long Numbers The following is an excerpt from Derren Brown’s book: “… take the following random string: 876498474505773498724. It’s fairly impossible to learn by rote, but quite fun to use with this system. I look at the number as a story, alternating as feels easiest [between the major system and other systems described in the book - ed]. He I would look at the numbers as follows: I hear a countdown from eight, but the counter realizes she’s missed five, and stops (8764) Fair enough, she’s nearly a hundred years old (98) and even gets planes muddled up (474 instead of 747). The aeroplanes fly over her beehives… she had three beehives in a row but the middle one is missing (505), so she put a ToTeM (773) pole in its place. She did this FOR* her 98th (498) birthday. I only gave her a TeNneR (724) as a gift.” – D.B. Tricks of the Mind, page 98
  32. 32. Bonus Exercises Long Numbers That was a nice little story and if you repeated it to yourself a couple of times, really picturing all the of the key imagery, I’m pretty sure you memorized the number yourself by now. I hadn’t looked at that passage in about a year and I remembered the long string of numbers exactly. Now just because it’s Derren’s story doesn’t mean you can’t tweak it to your own convenience. For instance, I wanted to remember a few things: 1) the page it was found in the book. 2) the number that started the entire sequence. 3) I also kept forgetting the number penultimate 4 listed there (before that final 98)
  33. 33. Bonus Exercises Long Numbers Three problems – three solutions: 1) I pictured myself in an airport in Tokyo. The old lady in the story happens to be a very old Geisha (98). Not only did this help me remember the page number, but the number 98 pops up at the beginning and end of the sequence, so it helps me remember now not only that she is very old (pushing 100!) but exactly HOW old! 2) She is shining a pair of brown shoes and throws one away when making her announcement (8 – which starts the sequence). 3) For some reason, just really emphasizing the word FOR in “for her 98th birthday” was enough for me to remember to include it. Perhaps you might need an additional image for the number 4. Or none at all.
  34. 34. Bonus Exercises Studying The Major System is really only useful for numbers. I won’t pretend that it will be enough to make you a virtual memory sponge any more than teaching you how to draw with a charcoal pencil will make you a fantastic watercolorist. So I can’t really give you any more hacks or tips that you couldn’t find elsewhere on the internet or in some really good books. But here’s something that fascinates me: Suppose you wanted to memorize the names and dates of some famous paintings for an art history class or, hopefully, for your own amusement. You might go to a museum and lo and behold they’ve pretty much built a memory palace for you. And a nice looking one at that.
  35. 35. Bonus Exercises Now aside from possibly serving as a future palace for other information, you might wish to learn about the works on display. Some people might be tempted to start filling the space in front of and around and even in a painting with new imagery translating the necessary image. Thus the following work:
  36. 36. Bonus Exercises Ends up like this:
  37. 37. Bonus Exercises The painting is one of three (hence the ham) Van Gogh painted in 1898, titled Wheat Field with Cypresses. See the problem here? Now imagine walking through a gallery or an imaginary memory palace and defacing all theses works of art like that. You would be seriously missing the point. And you wouldn’t really be “getting” the art.
  38. 38. Bonus Exercises A far better course of action would be to spend time appreciating every painting or other work of art until you are familiar with how it looks, what it communicates, the feelings it evokes. Make the scene depicted therein an actual place. This applies not only to art, but to anything else you might be studying. If it is historical figures, ask yourself, who are they? What were they like? Why were they important? Likewise historical events – who was affected by them? What was it like to live through this? In science you can ask yourself what the relationships are between various scientific phenomena – what does the discovery of such and such an element mean for us and our understanding of nature? How does this relate to what I already know?
  39. 39. Bonus Exercises Once you’ve settled on this, then you won’t need so many images to distract you from what you really need to know. You might learn what a cypress tree looks like, recognize Van Gogh’s style and know that he operated during the 19th century. Then perhaps all you would need was to picture a Geisha standing near the painting to complete the circle, making you seem like an expert or at the very least a dedicated admirer. And who knows? You might be on the way to becoming either one.
  40. 40. Bonus Exercises That’s about all I can say regarding memory techniques and studying. Know your material and know it well. No “trick” or technique can ever replace familiarizing yourself with your subject. They can only aid you like any good tool can. Using a memory palace and a method of loci along with the major system can help you categorize information, maybe recall historical events or eras in a particular order. But of course you have to have information to place there and the more you relate to that information on a personal perhaps even emotional level (history does that for me, I know) the easier it is and the less crutches you need to prop them up. As a result, you’ll really know what you’re talking about and it will show.
  41. 41. Bonus Exercises Incidentally, that’s also why it can help make you a better public speaker. Delivering a public speech or address or leading a meeting will be much easier and seem far more impressive when you shift effortlessly from one point to another in an orderly, constructed way.
  42. 42. Bonus Exercises Lists – Impress your friends Do you remember the items in the lists provided in previous lessons? Go back and see if you still can. If not, then perhaps you can use some of these new tools to really get them down.
  43. 43. Bonus Exercises Remember, practice is key. Wow your friends by memorizing all their phone numbers at a party. Of course it might help if you already have some of them on your cell phone so you can practice them. Do the old magician’s trick where you ask everyone aloud to say their number, then write it on a piece of paper. Perhaps throw in a few people who you just met. The key to making it impressive is to try to memorize them while they say them aloud and as you write them down. After you’ve completed your list pretend to look at it with extreme concentration, perhaps running your fingers quickly down the list as if scanning. Your audience will think you are memorizing them now when in reality you’ve already done the work and are just perhaps making sure. Do this for about 5 or 6 seconds, then hand the list to a friend and have them call people’s names out.
  44. 44. Bonus Exercises Now if all this with phone numbers seems a bit advanced, you might want to do as Derren Brown suggests in his book and try the trick by having people shout out random objects. Anywhere from 20 to 50. You’re likely to be even quicker with this than with phone numbers. You could link them all (he goes into detail in the book on how to link items even better than I show you here) or you could number them and anchor them to the numbers. I like this way because you can have people shout out a number later and you’ll tell them exactly what item is at that spot in the list. You might even include addresses in the trick (much easier than phone numbers). Remember to only pretend you’re memorizing them when you scan the list, but do all the secret work at the beginning.
  45. 45. Bonus Exercises If you want to move on to phone numbers later, you might heed this tip: It helps if you’ve got “stock” images for certain area codes and prefixes ready. The are code 707, for instance, might be “toast” and you imagine that person eating toast. The prefix “555” might be – anything you want – I dunno – a poodle named Fifi. Picture that person dressed as a poodle eating toast. Did I mention this is a great way to get phone numbers? You can choose anything for these stock images; they needn’t adhere strictly to the Major System.
  46. 46. Bonus Exercises That’s really what we’re trying to get at here. Don’t follow the system for its own sake. You know the it already, so you can allow yourself to be creative. It is a tool, not a tenet. In creating my memory palaces I often distinguish them by using different items. The number 6, which is usually “bee” is sometimes “Boo” or “Bowie.”
  47. 47. Bonus Exercises It doesn’t even have to make sense entirely according to the system. No. 6 could be a spider named Boris for all we care. Or haN solo for the number 2. So long as YOU know what it means. This system has just been a way to facilitate things for you. A key to a language. I’m sure lots of you take short cuts when spelling things online or in text messages. Me 2.
  48. 48. Bonus Exercises Remember, just like with any creative endeavor, an initial skill set is required before you can “bend” the rules or play fast and loose with them. Anyone who tells you that artists don’t follow rules has probably never worked with an artists tools. Whether you’re working with words, as in constructing sentences, or sculpture with power tools you must first learn the proper way to master the rules written in the instruction manuals and text books so that you can best communicate what you wish to communicate. The Major System provides a way for you to communicate with yourself. The more stable the system, the easier you can acquaint yourself with it. Think creatively!
  49. 49. Bonus Exercises Well that’s it for the bonus exercises. If there’s anything you feel you would like to share. Perhaps something that makes memorizing easier for YOU – let me know in the forum section of this course! I’d love to hear of it! Maybe I’ll use it for myself.

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