In December 2017, Zou Lujian from Shenzhen, China broke a world record in the World Memory Championships 2017. In a span of 13.96 seconds, he memorized and recalled a deck of playing cards—fastest in humanity’s history. By accomplishing this milestone, we can absolutely consider Zou a genius of his own. But when he was asked about how did he do it, this was his answer: memory palace.
Memory Palace (or the Method of Loci) is an ancient memorization enhancement practice that originated from Greek and Roman civilization. It is used to easily memorize information by making connections to your visual environment. It is a technique widely recognized by memory masters around the globe. This practice may sound difficult, however, it is simple and almost everyone can do it.
Creating a memory palace is absolutely easy! First, you need to identify a place that you are very familiar with to act as your point of reference. These can be places that you encounter every day to the point that you can identify its details without being in the place per se. Personally, I use our home as a point of reference. Second, it is time to create a connection between the information that you want to memorize and the object in your spatial memory.
For example, I want to memorize that fever, dry cough and tiredness are the three most common symptoms of COVID-19. In order to do this using memory palace, I need to create connections between the objects located at my point of reference and the information I want to memorize. I can use the handkerchief in my cabinet as an object to remind me of dry cough, the thermometer in the medicine box for fever, and our sofa bed (the place where we commonly rest) as a reminder for tiredness.
Important Tip: If you can make a more absurd connection between your object and information, the better. This practice works like mnemonics because the more unusual the connection you create, the higher the probability that you retain that information.
The memory palace has proven to work wonders for all of its users. Indeed, memorizing information is one great story but to become a memory master is another. Nonetheless, we are honored to access these strategies for ourselves. And if these people can break their boundaries with these resources; surely, we can do it too.