Can you remember a dozen instances in which you forgot something during the past week?
The answer to that question makes little difference because you have been forgetting things–little things and big–and if your lapses have been forgotten, so much the worse. But, since you’re reading this page right now, it’s probable that your forgetfulness has been plaguing you more and more frequently. And you don’t know what to do about it. And you’re asking me.
And I’m asking you: Have you tried to figure out why you’ve been forgetting? Have you noticed when you’ve failed to remember? Have you noticed what things you’ve forgotten?
Of course, you have got a memory, and unless I’m wrong, it’s a pretty good one. If you wanted to take the time, you could sit down and rattle off literally thousands upon thousands of facts …the “seven-times” table, who’s president of the United States, your middle name, if you have one, or, if not, that you haven’t got a middle name, the formula for baby’s breakfast, what causes hiccoughs, how to spell “hiccoughs,” how to cure a rasher of bacon or a rash, how to obtain a writ of mandamus, how long it takes to boil an egg or get to Pittsburgh when traffic’s with you … you’ve got enough facts in your mind to fill a hundred jumbo filing cabinets!
But for all that you still forgot to bring the car in to have the oil changed last week, your telephone bill sat in a drawer and went three weeks overdue, your secretary had to remind you that it was your wife’s birthday, you put your report card down somewhere and then completely forgot where it was … and you’re getting pretty discouraged over this whole memory situation.
Remember this: Unless you discover something–really get it into your mind in tile first place–you’re not ever going to remember it! Unless you understand something the first time, the odds are that the next time will be just another first time.
Trace the thought back a step further, and consider this: Unless you pay attention, you probably will not discover. And another step–unless you’re interested in one reason or another, you won’t be paying attention.
So you’re not going to remember anything in which you don’t take an interest in the first encounter.
Table Of Contents
- All In The Mind
- Memory Facets
- Memory Tricks
- Memorize Or Minimize
- The Value Of Attention
- When Forgetting Occurs