New patient: "Doctor, I don't know what to do. You've got to help me; I just can't remember a thing. I've no memory at all. I hear something one minute, and the next minute, I forget it! Tell me, what should I do?" doctor: "Pay in advance!"
I can't blame the doctor for wanting his fee in advance in the above anecdote; but I guess that most of us who forget to pay bills, do so because we don't want to remember them. According to Austin O'Malley, "A habit of debt is very injurious to the memory." Unfortunately, we are usually soon reminded of debts.
If you've grasped the idea behind the Link and the Peg systems of memory, you have learned two of the three things that your trained memory will be based upon. The third is the system of substitute words or substitute thoughts, which I will discuss in later chapters.
You can start applying what you've learned immediately, if you want to. Not particularly for remembering debts, which I'm sure you'd rather forget, but perhaps for memorizing the errands that you have to do for each day. If you usually write out your shopping list, why not try to memorize it with the help of the Link system. Simply link the first item to the second item, the second to the third, and
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