Not everyone is born a genius. Minds like that of Sherlock Holmes are rare and valuable. His cognitive abilities seem almost fairy-tale-like. However, it is possible to train your mind to become nimble and efficient enough to create a memory palace just as the one you’ve read about in books.
Of course, creating a mind palace is not an easy task. It requires concentration and persistence. However, if you persevere, the results will be impressive. Many practical situations will benefit from the use of such a powerful memorization technique. You’ll be able to learn new information, recall different events and people, and even study more efficiently.
Here are the five essential steps that will help you create a mind palace.
Choose the Place that Will Become Your Palace
Many people make a mistake when they imagine something grand like a cathedral for their memory palaces. The truth is, the place you choose should be something intimately familiar. You should be able to bring it to mind easily and with abundant details. Many people prefer to simply use their homes, but your campus, school building, or even home town could work just as well. Having a road to your palace can also be helpful, because that would allow you to recall the desired things one by one instead of in a jumble.
Choose a Number of Distinctive Characteristics
Each memory palace needs special features that would help differentiate it from your real memories. If you chose your town as a template, then the house you grew up in could be the distinction. Next, try to determine which things grab your attention the most. It could be a tree or a playground. Try to explore the space in your head and don’t forget to note down special features. Afterwards, every object could be used to be connected to a memory or a fact.
The next step is to tie certain memories to symbols that are inside of the mental landscape. This part is easy, but requires an active imagination, because you have to insert yourself into the invented space. Associations work so well because it is a mnemonic technique that we use even without realizing it when smells and sights bring back the pictures of things that happened previously.
Visit the Palace You’ve Created Often
Memorization and associations will only work if enough repetition is applied. Regular journeys through the mind palace are necessary to cement the images and order of things in your mind. Otherwise, all the hard work will be for naught. Try to walk your palace in all possible direction. So, you never get lost. Such detailed mental work is familiar to those who meditate or are dedicated to creativity. The best thing to do during such sessions inside yourself is to relax.
With just a little bit of effort anyone can have a mind palace similar to the one of the genius detective Sherlock Holmes.