“I have a bad memory” – I refuse to ever say that again

It happened again in embarrassing fashion. I was in a social situation on Sunday with someone I had met several times. It was just him and me and our kids, so lots of interaction. We had run into one another accidentally but were now off on an adventure together with our boys kayaking at Stone Mountain. The only problem was, I couldn’t remember this guy’s name! It was terrible! So what did I do? I did the only thing I could do, the unthinkable. I asked him his name for probably the fourth time and made sure I remembered it this time. It was awful. It was embarrassing. I am going to make sure that never happens again. Here’s how.

I have had a sneaking suspicion for some time now that I am under utilizing my brain (insert snarky joke here) and my memory in particular. I know there are ways to improve mental cognition and ways to dramatically improve memory, but I have never taken the time to learn them and use them properly. That ended today.

I am publically announcing my goal to take my memory seriously. I want to be able to do the following within the next two months:

  • Remember all names and faces of people I meet. ALL OF THEM! I want to be able to memorize the name of every person at a 48in48 event. That should be about 100 – 150 names. I want to do this so that people will know that I care about them and that they matter to me when I meet them.
  • Be able to memorize the order of a deck of cards. I know, it’s dumb, but I want to prove to myself that I can do it, so I’m going to give it a shot.

I’m committing to this publically so that I can be accountable. I want to be able to do this by the end of October or sooner.

In light of this new goal, I started listening to the audio book Quantum Memory by Dominic O’Brien this morning. While the book is a little hooky in the beginning, after listening to it for 30 minutes and going through one exercise, I was able to remember a list of 10 completely unrelated items in order and repeat them back both forwards and backward. In fact, here is the list (from memory).

  • Wallet
  • Snake
  • Screwdriver
  • Peach
  • Drum
  • Book
  • Piano
  • Goat
  • Mirror
  • Tank

That was the list I learned from the book at 7am this morning, and I was easily able to recall it now at 10:36am. So far, I’m impressed with this book. On to the next adventure!