# How to Remember Anything

## The Proven Total Memory Retention System

#### St. Martin's Griffin

How to Remember Anything
Part I
THE TEN STEPS TO HOW TO REMEMBER ANYTHING
Step 1
A NUMBERED ROOM SYSTEM
As you read this chapter, place yourself in a square or rectangular room. If you are not, just visualize a very familiar room that is square or rectangular. Any room with four walls, four corners, a floor, and a ceiling will work. That's ten locations.
There are only ten single-digit numbers--zero through nine. I am going to permanently assign the ten single-digit numbers to the ten basic locations of any square or rectangular room.
Visualize yourself at the center of the room, and turn so that you are facing the front wall of the room. Any wall can be chosen to represent the front wall of the room.
As you look at the following illustration of the numbered room locations, look, also, at the corresponding room locations in the room in which you are now located or the room that you are visualizing.
As you look at the illustration, note that the four corners are odd numbers: 1, 3, 5, and 7. They start in the back left corner, and move clockwise to the corners around the room:
Back left corner is location 1
Front left corner is location 3
Front right corner is location 5
Back right corner is location 7
The four walls of the room are the even numbers: 2, 4, 6, and 8. They start at the left wall, and move clockwise to the walls around the room:
Left wall is location 2
Front wall is location 4
Right wall is location 6
Back wall is location 8
The ceiling of the room is location 0 and the floor is location 9.

I suggest that you put this book down and look around the room. Look at all the locations, starting with 0 at the ceiling, then 1, 2, 3, and so on. Then look at them in reverse order. Last, look at each location randomly and think of the number assigned to it.
You now have a memory bank for the numbers 0 through 9.Before continuing, please be certain you know the ten numbered room locations. For example, when you think of number 7, you should immediately think of the back right corner of the room. If you think of number 2, you should immediately think of the left wall.
You should be able to close your eyes and see each of the ten locations forward, backward, or randomly. You should also be able to think of any number between 0 and 9 and quickly see its room location in your mind.
I call this numbered room system a Cube, even though you will seldom be in a room that is actually a cube. This numbered Cube methodology has been used in thousands of academic and corporate applications with unprecedented success.
Let's suggest that you want to learn and remember information in which a numbered sequence is important. For example, let's use the first nine presidents of the United States. The information you want to remember could be any numbered sequence. Please follow the steps very carefully, even if you are not interested in the content. The content is not what is important. What's important is to know how the system works so you can use it in almost limitless practical applications.
I mentioned earlier that all of my memory techniques include only two objects at a time. One object represents what you already know and the other represents what you want to remember. Both must be objects or locations you can see. In this case, you already know the nine numbered locations in the Cube. We will not use the 0 location (ceiling) for this exercise. You can actually see or visualize each of the nine locations, so these are your knowns or what you already know.
What you want to remember is the name of the president for each of the nine numbered locations. That means the name of each president must be converted to something you can see. To do this,I'll change the name of each president to a soundalike picture, as follows:
Be certain that you know the soundalike picture for each of the presidents before continuing.
The next step is to associate each soundalike picture with its numbered Cube location. This will automatically give you the numerical sequence of each president.
Look at location 1 (the back left corner). As you look at location 1, see a gigantic washing machine filling the entire corner! Imagine that the washing machine is running, the lid is open, and water and wet clothing is pouring out all over you!
Later, when you think of number 1--the first president--think of location 1, the back left corner. See the washing machine and remember Washington.
Look at location 2 (the left wall). As you look at the left wall, see a gigantic ad--a newspaper ad! Later, when you think of number 2, think of location 2--the left wall. See the ad and remember Adams, the second president.
Look at location 3 (the front left corner). See a chef standing inthe corner! The chef reaches from the floor to the ceiling! If you were ever to see this in real life, how could you ever forget it? Later, when you think of number 3, think of location 3--the front left corner. See the chef and remember Jefferson.
Look at location 4--the front wall. As you look at the front wall, see medicine pouring out of it! It is liquid medicine and it is really messy. Imagine the medicine pouring out of the front wall all over you! Later, when you think of number 4, think of location 4--the front wall. See the medicine and remember Madison.
Next, look at location 5 (the front right corner). See money bursting out of the front right corner of the room. Imagine that you may have all the money you can carry! Later, when you think of number 5, think of location 5--the front right corner. See the money and remember Monroe.
Look at location 6--the right wall--and see a gigantic ad on the wall! You also saw an ad at location 2--the left wall. That's okay. Imagine a gigantic ad covering both the left wall and the right wall--locations 2 and 6! Later, when you think of number 6, think of location 6--the right wall. See the ad and remember Adams (the son of the second president).
Look at location 7--the back right corner. Turn and look over your right shoulder at the back right corner. See a gigantic jack (an automobile jack). It reaches from the floor to the ceiling! Later, when you think of number 7, think of location 7--the back right corner. See the jack and remember Jackson.
Look at location 8 (the back wall). Imagine that, all of a sudden, a van bursts through the back wall of the room! See it! Hear the crash! Later, when you think of number 8, think of location 8--the back wall. See the van and remember Van Buren.
Next, look at location 9 (the floor). See hair growing out of the floor! The entire floor has hair growing out of it! Imagine that you can feel the hair growing up over your ankles, up past your knees--the hair keeps growing out of the floor! Later, when you think of number 9, think of location 9--the floor. See the hair and remember Harrison.
Now that you have mentally stored these nine objects, see if you can recall them forward, backward, and randomly. Cover the Picture and President columns below. Look at each numbered location in sequence and randomly. Recall the picture associated with each numbered location and the president it represents. Uncover to confirm that you are correct.
How did you do? If you had difficulty remembering the object in any of the locations, it is likely because you did not see or imagine what was in that location as illogically as you should have. When you associate any object with any location, be certain to involve all of your senses, if possible. See it, feel it, hear it, and so forth. Exaggerate the size. Involve yourself in the association (see the object knocking you down, pouring over you, and so on). Be certain you know all nine numbered objects forward, backward, and randomly before continuing.
If you think of the name of a president, you should be able toimmediately know his sequential number in office, (such as Jackson is a jack in location 7, so he is the seventh president).
You can quickly discover the power of your own mind through the use of organized memory techniques such as the numbered Cube methodology. Many have told me that they have enjoyed demonstrating the system to their family and friends.
You will use this system often for many different applications. I have used it in corporate, academic, and personal applications to learn and remember:
• Corporate objectives
• Safety procedures
• Schedules and things to do
• An outline of an entire book
• Emergency procedures
• Sequential steps in the operation of equipment
• An airline pilot checkoff list
• The periodic table of the elements in chemistry
• The books of the Bible
• The Ten Commandments
• Speeches and presentations without notes
• How to conduct a business meeting without notes
• Planets in their numbered sequence from the sun
• Zodiac signs
• Grocery lists
• Top ten lists
The use of the Cube methodology is almost limitless. It is fast, easy, dependable, and very practical.
HOW TO SET UP YOUR OWN PERMANENT ROOMS
Although I asked you to use the room in which you are now located for the earlier exercise, I recommend that you use your bedroom to permanently establish a room for the numbers zero through nine because it is likely to be one of your most familiar rooms. Call it your Units Cube or Units room because it includes the single-digit numbers, zero through nine.
You may ask, "How would the Cube method work if there are more than nine things to remember?" Just go (mentally) to another familiar room! If you use your bedroom for the numbers 0 through 9, you may want to use your living room or dining room, for example, for your next room. All that matters is that the room is very familiar to you. You must be able to see the ceiling, the corners, the walls, and the floor, even if you are not physically there.
Your next room is numbered just like your Units room. Start with 0 on the ceiling, then the back left corner (location 1), the left wall (location 2), and continue around the room, ending with the floor (location 9). The only difference is that there is a 1 in front of every number. Therefore, the ceiling is 10, the back left corner is 11, the left wall is 12, and ending with the floor, which is 19. This is called the 10s room because it includes the numbers 10 through 19.
You can easily expand the numbered Cube system to a 20s room (20 through 29), a 30s room (30 through 39), and so on. What makes this system so easy to learn and use is that there is nothing to memorize. If, for example, your kitchen is your 20s room and you need a number 29, just use your 29 location--the floor of your 20s room or the floor of your kitchen. Remember, location 9 is always the floor, so location 49 would be the floor of your 40s room.
How many rooms will you need? For most of your daily needs, two or three rooms are sufficient. If, however, you want to learn anything sequentially numbered that has thirty, fifty, one hundred items or more, such as the presidents of the United States or the periodic table of the elements in chemistry, you will need enough rooms to accommodate the required number. For example, you would need five rooms for the presidents and eleven rooms for the chemical elements.
You might say, "Hold it! I live in a one-room apartment!" That's okay! The rooms need not be in the same house or apartment. They need not even be in the same town.
None of my rooms are in my present residence. They are located miles away where I lived years ago. I can still clearly see there every corner, wall, floor, and ceiling of each room that I use. I can even see the furniture in all of the rooms just as if I had seen the rooms yesterday. That's because I used those rooms for the numbered Cube system when I lived there and I never stopped using them.
Although you may not need more rooms than you have at your present residence, if you do need more rooms, here are a few suggestions:
• A place you used to live (but only if you can clearly see all of the locations within the room or rooms)
• Office(s) where you work