When we talk about the full potential of human memory retention, like everything else, we are not using the full potential of our memory capabilities and this is down to many factors. One of them is of course genetics, which give us a predisposition on how we use the neurons in our brain and how much we can remember. With this, there is not much we can do, because the limiting factors are inherent within us and to overcome them will require a massive movement of mental concentration that not all of us are capable of. The good news about this is that a very small percentage of us have this condition and 99.9% of the human population in industrial and developed worlds with some sort of measuring materials will have normal memory capabilities.

Even in the normal ranges, different people will have different levels of remembering, so you have to note that the adage that no man or woman is born equal is very applicable here. When we talk about the process of memory retaining, we come across a very interesting fact and that is how we remember things within the cortex. You would be very interested to know that the brain actually stores memories based on events and the senses that are associated during these events. For example, the smell of chocolate (of a certain kind) will bring back the memories of the past, an event per se, and you will then be able to remember the things that are associated with that particular memory. Now, as you can see, this is really very specific because only a certain type of chocolate scent will cause your brain to stir, travel back in time (within the cortex), bring up the memory and proceed to let the neurons do the rest. Now, how can we exploit this?

There is a process of reverse engineering that has been around for a long time and this is called visualisation and association. We do the very exact same thing that the brain does to remember and we associate the very things that we have a propensity to forget. What we do then is we create a list of things that we forget, and make sure that the list is really short. Do not create a long list that will complicate your process in the first place. When you climb a mountain, you do it one step at a time and it is quite unrealistic to assume that you can just jump to the top.

Once you have the short list in hand, what you need to do is to associate the things on that list with visual and auditory stimuli. If you have trouble remembering laundry lists, try to make a song out of the ingredients or associate them with pictures. This is the very engineering blocks that make up how the brain remembers and here you are using the very same technology to your advantage to exploit the full potential of your memory.

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