Full Transcript of Ricardo Lieuw On’s TEDx Talk: How to Triple Your Memory by Using This Trick at TEDxHaarlem conference. This event occurred on November 24, 2017.
Listen to the MP3 Audio while reading the transcript:
Ricardo Lieuw On – Trainer, Remind Learning
So I have add a little test for you. Don’t panic. I’m not here to judge you. It’s just a little test, OK.
First, you get 30 seconds to memorize 10 words in the right order. After that, you get 30 seconds to write down what you remembered. And then finally, you get 30 seconds to check your answers. So are you guys ready?
Well, we’re going to start anyway. So memorize 10 words in the right order in 30 seconds in three, two, one, go!
OK, Stop. Now write down what you remember. OK, and stop. Now quickly check your answers. OK and stop.
So very exciting; I heard a lot of grunting and moaning. So I hope I didn’t stretch you out too much.
Now a moment of reflection. I’d like you to ask yourself: how did I memorize this and was it the best way to do it?
Now for the generation of my parents and grandparents, being able to memorize something like this was an absolutely essential skill. But nowadays why would anyone want to remember a list of anything? You just take a picture of the screen and you’re done, right?
So with all the technology we have these days, it seemed as if memorizing has somehow become less important.
So why should we then in today’s day and age still want to get better at memorizing? Well, to answer that question, I’d like to tell you a little story.
In high school, I flunked a grade twice. After seven years of torture, I finally got my diploma. Sweet sweet freedom! What would I do with it? I didn’t know. One thing I did know, however, was that I didn’t want to go back to school because that old learning business, it wasn’t cut out for me.
So instead I went to sunny California for nine months and there I worked as a bagger, not beggar – bagger. So in a supermarket, I had to put people’s groceries in bags and then I’d get a little tip.
Surprisingly that year, I learned so much. I learned how to bag a bunch of groceries really really quickly. I learned how to drive a car. And in California, people are a little bit more open than they are in Amsterdam. So I also learned how to have a little chat with a stranger, just for the hell of it. That year I discovered that I don’t hate learning. Just a specific way of doing it.
So I decided to go and study psychology. Now for the first time ever, I was getting information that I absolutely wanted to know. Now I was spending more time in the library than I spent skipping school as a teenager, voluntarily. The only problem was that I was spending all of my time in the library, because I’d never learned how to learn.
So I started experimenting with different methods of reading texts, of memorizing texts and I got my reading time of three hours a chapter down to one. This way of studying enabled me to do an Honors program to get my degree and to fall in love with learning. And now I happily work for a company called REMIND in which we teach people the science and art of learning. We’re trying to bring back into education what we ourselves missed.
Now for the past three years, we’ve also organized the Dutch National Memory Championships for high schoolers. We do this to show that everybody is capable of amazing feats of memory, but also to show that memorization is about a lot more than just learning your French or your Spanish words. And today I’d also like to share this with you.
So in the beginning, I made you do this little test, just to make you aware of how you’re memorizing things right now. Next, I’d like to give you a new type of memory experience. This time you can even sit back and relax. So I’m going to ask you to find a comfortable position to sit, to close your eyes, and to take a deep breath.
Now I want you to think of someone you know called John, and I want you to see him. Now John just grabbed the Sun out of the sky and he just threw it on your feet. And now your feet are getting really big and red and swollen, because John just threw the Sun on your feet.
Now you look to your knees and on your knees you see 10 little guys playing basketball, very strange sight. And on their shirts, you can see in brightly colored letters the New York Knicks so you have some Knicks on your knees.
Next, you look to where your thighs are, but they’re gone. Your thighs have been replaced with Fords, the cars. They could be Ford Focuses or Ford Mustangs. Your thighs have been replaced with Fords.
Now with your bottom you feel a hard plastic seat of a go-kart vibrating. With your bottom you feel a hard plastic seat of a go-kart.
Your belly starts rumbling very loudly. So you follow your belly and it leads you to McDonald’s, and there Ronald McDonald start shooting rays of light at you with a ray gun. Ronald McDonald is shooting rays of light at you with a ray gun. He hits you on your chest and now from your chest a big Bush of gray hairs is growing. A huge Bush of gray hair is growing from your chest. So obviously you hurry home to shave it off and on your doormat you see a letter. So you open it and it has good news. As you read it you feel a huge weight falling off your shoulders. A huge weight falling off your shoulders. Your shoulders get all light and tingly because you just paid all of your bills. Big bills, little bills, each and every bill has been paid for and you have plenty of money to spare.