Once you know this trick, you’ll be able to memorise the order of a deck of cards… or anything else you want!
Have you ever seen those people who can rattle off long strings of information without breaking a sweat? Some of them are obviously secret robots hiding amongst us, but the rest of them are probably using a trick called the Memory Palace. And the good news is, it works for those of us who have skulls made of bone instead of metal.
What the hell is a Memory Palace?
It’s an imaginary space in your mind where you store images that help you remember things. The classic example of how people use it is memorising the order of a deck of cards. If keeping 52 different items in your head, in order, seems impossible – it’s actually very doable.
Okay, how do I do it?
We’re going to use those cards as an example. The first step is to picture a place you know really well – like your home. Pick 52 different locations in your home. Yeah, that sounds crazy. Break it down like this: pick five rooms in your home, then 10 things in each room. Then another two.
Say that list of 52 things to yourself over and over again until you can rattle them off quickly and correctly. Think of it like a wander through your house, from room to room, in order. This is your Memory Palace.
Next, you’re going to take the deck of cards and turn each one into a person, place or thing. What you pick is up to you, but it works better if there’s a special meaning…and/or it’s ridiculous (like, say, the King of Diamonds is Donald Trump, and the Three of Clubs is that three-branched tree you always climbed as a kid).
Now you put it all together! Combine the image associated with each card with the next place in your Memory Palace. Here’s the trick – if the first place in your Memory Palace is your bathtub, and the first card is the King of Diamonds, you picture walking past Donald Trump soaping up. Say the next location is the towel rack and the next card is that Three of Clubs, you picture the tree towelling off. Make sense?
Remember, the weirder the image you come up with, the more easily it’ll stick in your brain.
Have a crack and see how you go!
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