Book 4 of 36.
I’ve fallen way behind on my book reading. As much as I hate to admit it - I knew this was likely to happen once I started my new job at the end of June. Nevertheless, I’ll push on and try to get as close as I can to the goal of 36 by the end of the year.
The fourth book I’ve chosen to read is an old one. I remember receiving this book at my old company as part of the Technology Leadership Awards luncheon. The speaker that year was Joshua Foer. I had the opportunity to listen to him talk about the art and science of memory.
His lecture was fascinating and he was an engaging public speaker. I knew I wanted to read this book at some point and so he’s moved with me from Virginia to D.C. and finally to Austin. As part of the goal to read both fiction and non-fiction, I knew it was time to start this one. I wish I had done it sooner.
While the book was educational, it was also inspiring as it captured the writer’s year-long training for the U.S. memory competition. Like Josh, I believed that if I could have a spectacular memory, I would surely excel in both my personal and professional life. I imagined the ability to pick up languages (both foreign and computer programming) at a ridiculously fast pace and using it to travel the world and/or start my own business. Hey, I’m a dreamer.
While there are some tips and tricks to improving your memory, it requires devoted practice. I already started to use some of what I have learned to remember my credit card number (because who wants to get up and get the credit card when you’re online shopping?) but have come to the conclusion that I’ll likely never be able to use mnemonic tricks to remember a whole different language. I think this quote from the epilogue sums up the art and science of memorization nicely, “Remembering can only happen if you decide to take notice.”