although the above anecdote is pretty silly, since no one would ask anyone to recall what they had for breakfast years ago—you'd be surprised at the questions some people ask me. If I had a conversation with a person some time ago, they'd ask me to repeat the conversation exactly; or, if I'm spied reading a newspaper, someone is sure to grab it from me and insist that I prove that I've memorized it word for word. They don't realize that the beauty of having a trained and systematic memory, is that I can remember what I want to remember.

It would be kind of ridiculous for me to memorize the daily paper word for word. There is no need for that; however, I can and do remember anything that I come across that I feel is important enough to memorize. I just make an association for it as I read it. When I read a story or novel, I am usually reading for enjoyment only, and I'm not at all interested in remembering what I'm reading. There are some things that we all want to forget; for example, it is diplomatic to remember a woman's birthday but not her age.

After completing this book, I hope that all of you will be able to remember anything you read, that is, if you want to. As I've mentioned before, you can remember anything if you so desire. These memory systems just make it easier for you. Perhaps, some of you do not, as yet, agree with that. You may feel that it is much easier to write down a telephone number than to stop and make an association as I've explained. Well, I must admit that it probably would be faster and easier, at first; but you wouldn't be helping your memory.

You might feel that since there are millions of reference books to use whenever you need certain information, why bother to remember. And, of course, most business men have secretaries to remember for them.

Yes, it's true that business men have secretaries, but they probably wouldn't be in the position to hire one if they didn't have good memories for their businesses in the first place. And, how long do you think the secretary would keep the job if she couldn't remember?

Although there are millions of reference books, and we certainly need them—a lawyer pleading a case in court would much rather have the details of a precedent in his memory, than have to stop to look it up. If he could quote pages and laws from certain law books, the judge and jury would most certainly be favorably impressed. A carpenter doesn't stop to look at a book when he has to use a particular tool; he remembers how to use it. If an emergency arises on the operating table, the surgeon acts immediately. All the medical books in existence wouldn't help that patient, if the doctor didn't remember just what to do. When you visit your doctor and tell him the symptoms of your illness, he doesn't have to refer to the notes he wrote while attending medical school—he remembers which ailment has which symptoms.

Those that write new ideas on old subjects, must know or remember all the old ideas first. Could a man like Professor Einstein come up with new formulas and theories if he didn't know or remember all the current ones? Of course not. The telephone would never have been invented if Alexander Graham Bell had not known or remembered all the principles of transporting sound that were then in existence. If it were not for memory, we would never have new inventions.

I could go on, ad infinitum, demonstrating how and why the memory is important; or why it is not always convenient to refer to books or lists. Most everything we do is based on memory. The things we often say we do by "instinct," are really done through memory.

Writing things down just isn't enough in itself to help you remember. Why are some children slow in school, even though they write notes in class? It is not because they are stupid! It is because they don't remember their work. In school they are told they must remember certain things, but unfortunately, they are not taught how to do so.

So, a trained and retentive memory is certainly important.

It is getting over the first hurdle that is always the most difficult in any new thing you learn. The first hurdle in training your memory, is to actually use my system. Use it, and it'll work for you. Just knowing the system and still writing phone numbers on paper, is the same as not knowing the system at all.

Those of you who happen to know how to type fairly rapidly—do you recall how you felt when you first started to learn typing? You thought you'd never get the hang of it, and felt that others, who did type well, were just more suited for it than you were. Now, you probably can't understand why you felt that way; there is nothing more natural than for you to sit down and type rapidly. Well, it's the same with a trained memory. I believe that I can memorize a telephone number faster than anyone can write it, and, I strengthen my memory each time I do so. When I first started using these systems, I felt as you may feel now; that it is easier to write things down and forget them, than to bother with associations. But, keep at it, and you'll feel the same about this as you do about typing. You'll wonder, after a while, why it took any effort at all, in the beginning.

The thing to keep in mind, above all else, is to make all your associations ridiculous and/or illogical. Many of the systems being taught today, and those in the past, do not stress this nearly enough. As a matter of fact, some of them will teach you to make logical associations. There's only one fault with such systems, as far as I'm concerned—they won't work. I do not believe that you can remember logical associations anywhere as well, or as easily, as ridiculous ones.

Some of the old systems taught the student to correlate two objects when he wanted to remember one in conjunction with the other. A correlation meant to link the two objects by means of other words which either sounded alike, meant the same, were the exact opposites or were brought to mind somehow or other. This happens to be an excellent imagination exercise, so let me explain it to you. If you wanted to remember "pencil" and light "bulb" for some reason; you might reason this way:—

Do you see the process? Pencil would naturally make you think of lead; the mineral lead is very heavy; the opposite of heavy is light; and light logically leads you to bulb.

How would you correlate "diamond" to "cigarette"? Well, here's one way: diamond—ring—smoke ring—smoke —cigarette. Actually, you can correlate any two objects to each other; even the most unlikely things. Of course, it's much easier to remember "pencil" and "bulb" by making an association of yourself writing with a light bulb instead of a pencil; or, throwing a switch, and a pencil lights instead of a bulb. As far as "diamond" and "cigarette" is concerned, if you "saw" yourself smoking a diamond instead of a cigarette, you'd certainly recall it with more facility than by making a correlation. I mention the correlations only because it is a good imagination exercise, and because you might have some fun trying it with your friends. The idea, of course, is to use as few words as possible in order to correlate any two items.

Correlations are a fairly current idea for memory training, but as I've already told you, memory systems go back as far as early Greek civilization. I believe it was Simonides, the

Greek poet, who first used something like the Peg system in the year 500 b.c. He used the different rooms of his house, and the pieces of furniture in the various rooms, as his pegs. This is limited, but it will work. If you would make up your mind to use the rooms of your house and the furniture in a definite order, you would have a list of peg words. These would be the things you already know or remember, and any new thing to be memorized would be associated to them.

This must have worked for Simonides, because one of the stories about him, tells of the time he was giving a recitation at a banquet, and the roof of the building collapsed. Everyone was killed, except Simonides. Because of the mangled condition of the bodies, they could not be identified for burial. Simonides was able to tell just who each one was; for he had memorized their positions around the banquet table.

Coming back to modern times—General George Marshall received some favorable publicity because of something he did at some of his press conferences. He told the newsmen to interrupt him and ask him any questions, at any time during his talk. The reporters would do that, asking questions pertaining to the topic that the General was discussing at that moment. General Marshall would listen to the question, but would not answer it. He wouldn't break his train of thought, but went right on with his talk. After the talk was completed, he would look at one of the men who had asked a question, and answer that particular one. He would then look at another man, and answer his question. He did this until all or most of the questions were answered. This was alwavs of great amazement to the newsmen; but it is quite easy with the aid of a memory system.

Former Postmaster James Farley has a reputation of knowing some twenty thousand people by their first names.

In a recent article for the N. Y. Times, Mr. Farley called remembering names the "most effective of all forms of flattery." His marvelous memory for names has certainly been a great help to him. It is even said that Mr. Farley's campaigning and calling people by name was influential towards the late Franklin Roosevelt's first election to the presidency.

I don't expect you all to be influential in the election of presidents, but you can certainly improve your memory beyond your wildest hopes, if you will learn and use the systems taught in this book.

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