Now, if you’re anything like me, you have a VERY difficult time memorizing much of human anatomy, especially since, as professionals, we’re required to know details up to the cellular level. How the heck do you memorize all those weird Latin words that never stick to your head, no matter how many hours you spend trying to hammer them into your consciousness? Let’s say you do eventually manage to cram them all in, but forget at least 90% after taking your first long exam. Isn’t it frustrating to realize that you used up what probably amounted to several days’ hard work, only to waste it all away after a sixty minute test?
Yup, that was me a few months ago. But then, something rather interesting happened: I discovered Memory Master. I found it highly recommended through several sites in the web and I decided to try it out. After a few months of using it, I can absolutely say that it indeed does work. Not only will you be able to easily memorize pretty much any odd word attached to a plethora of difficult definitions, you’ll make them stick too.
The basic premise is that you need to come up with a silly, cartoon–like image for any word, phrase, or even number in order to retain it to memory. The image has to be so silly that you’ll pretty much have a difficult time forgetting it. I’ll give some very specific examples beginning in the next paragraph, but I highly recommend you read through the entire Memory Master system first. Otherwise, you can just check out the rest of this article to at least get a taste of what this technique’s all about.
MEMORIZING THE SYSTEMS OF THE BODY
All right, I’m going to try and make this as simple as possible. Let’s say that you’re a beginner anatomy student of sorts. Chances are, you’ll have to memorize the systems of the human body early on:
1. Integumentary System – Skin
2. Skeletal System
3. Muscular System
4. Nervous System
5. Cardiovascular System
6. Lymphatic System – Carries fluids throughout blood vessels
7. Endochrine System – Hormones
8. Respiratory System
9. Digestive System
10. Urinary System
11. Reproductive System
OKAY, NOW HERE'S HOW I DID IT:
You basically need to link all those eleven ideas into one thought so you don’t lose track of any of them. So, if you think of one of them, you’ll be immediately reminded of the idea that comes after it, and so on. It’ll be like you’re creating a short and funny story reel, like those old Disney and Warner Brothers cartoons of old.
My short story starts with a guy pinching his skin. Unfortunately, he pinches so hard that he accidentally rips all the skin off his bones. Y’know, kind of like a Mortal Kombat Fatality. He’s shocked of course (and still alive because the story’s supposed to be weird and cartoony), but sees all sorts of military tags pinned withi the folds of his skin. These initial images will remind you that skin and military tags are related somehow. So “military tags” for me would remind me of “tag military”, or, “integumentary”, which is the system of our body which relates to our skin.
Of course, we know that the guy was stripped down to his bones after he accidentally rips off his skin, so we know that the next system is the skeletal system of the body. So now, the guy, throws his dead skin away, and regenerates a new set by flexing. So, the guy (actually a skeleton at this point), Flexes his muscles as in a front double biceps bodybuilding pose and grows new skin, plus, brand new, buff muscles on top of it! This will remind you that the next system is the muscular system of the body.
But now, the guy shivers since he’s pretty much naked in the middle of nowhere. His shivering could remind you of nervousness, which can lead you to remember that the next system is the nervous system of the body. You could even go one step further and image nerves growing all over the guy’s body as he shivers.
In order to cool off, the guy decides to do some roadwork, which means that the next system of the body is the cardiovascular system. While jogging, a female spirit, or nymph, creeps up behind him and surprises him. The nymph is, oddly enough, holding a pitcher of liquid and pouring it into a red model ship. The word “nymph” could remind you of “lymph”, or lymphatic system, which is the next one on the list! Her pouring liquid into a red model ship also indicates that the lymphatic system is responsible for transporting fluids to blood vessels.
The nymph disappears into thin air and the guy continues jogging, but when he turns to look ahead, he sees a giant head floating in the air. It’s the head of Dan Henderson, Mixed Martial Arts legend, and he has a silly looking grin on his face, like the Cheshire Cat from Disney’s classic cartoon, “Alice in Wonderland”. Below the giant, floating head is also a legion of classic horror movie monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, and so on.
Dan Henderson is known to his fans as “Hendo” and he has a large grin on his face. So, “Hendo Grin” could remind you of Endochrine, the next system of the human body. The legion of horror monsters also reminds you that the Endochrine system is responsible for the hormones in our body, because you can shorten “horror monsters” into “hor-mons”.
The guy is extremely surprised by the site and backs away, panting and wheezing because of the shock. His heavy breathing reminds you that the next one on the list is the respiratory system. While backing away, he trips over a large buffet table. All the excitement has made him real hungry, so he consumes the whole thing. This reminds you that the next system is the digestive system.
Because he ate so much, the guy now needs to go to the bathroom. He runs into the nearest vacant one, and does his business. Yup, the next one on the list is the urinary system of the human body. Oddly enough, though, when he exits the bathroom stall, there are suddenly two of him! This final image reminds you that the last system on the list is the reproductive system of the human body.
Now, that whole “short story” may have taken quite a while for you to read, but try to picture it all in your head and you’ll find that it takes just a few seconds to run through. While stuff like “skeletal” and “muscular” are easy enough for anyone to remember all the time, stuff like “lymphatic” and “endochrine” may be much tougher to most individuals. Fortunately, as you have just found out, the system is intricate enough that it can allow you to come up with images that can remind you of these rather odd words that possibly have no equivalent in your everyday vocabulary. Plus, you can easily create images to remind you of their definitions as well!
In order to retain the images in the long term, you first have to see the images as clearly as you can when you first conceive them, and make them as silly looking as possible, like Dan Henderson’s giant floating head sporting a humongous grin.
The images also need to be very personal to you so that they won't be difficult to remember. This is very evident in how I crafted my short story since I put references to Mortal Kombat and Mixed Martial Arts in there, which are topics that I am genuinely interested in.
This may all seem like hard work in the beginning, and I have to admit that it is. I will say that it’s all worth it. It shouldn’t take that long to get the hang of, and when you do, you’ll be able to come up with short stories on difficult topics that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
You’ll even learn neat tricks like memorizing any number, no matter how long it is, pick out any entry from a long list whenever its specific number is called for, never forgetting speeches and jokes, and even learn card magic tricks. And, yes, you can apply this technique to literally any other topic in your life, and pretty much make things easier for you overall, since you’ll be way less forgetful, if at all, for pretty much forever.
So, if you haven’t already, please read the entire Memory Master Technique. It won’t cost you anything and will reward you infinitely. And that’s a payoff I can really get down with.
Got any more cool memorization techniques? Want to share your own short story or need help in coming up with one? Write a comment and I’ll get back to you as quick as I can!