Charlie Brown and The Techniques of Memory

Who I am
Robert Maurer

Author and references

After so many years of dealing with memory and personal growth, I still am amazed at how the best lessons and ideas often come from simple things, which you come across almost by chance while reading an article, strolling down the street, or chatting with a friend.
Sure, big books and manuals are important. But don't forget to pay attention to the little things that life throws your way every day! The other day I was reading a comic of my nephew by chance and here is the dialogue between Linus and Charlie Brown that I found. A real little gem for any fan of memory techniques.

Charlie Brown and his valuable teaching

Linus: I don't know how you remember your locker combination, Charlie Brown!
Charlie Brown: It's easy, see? 3-24-7
Linus: But how the heck do you remember it?
Charlie Brown: Babe Ruth had the number 3 shirt, Willie Mans the 24 and Mickey Mantle the 7….

As a child, I loved Charlie Brown.
In fact, I felt a little like him, because there is a little bit of Charlie Brown in every child.
Or at least, in every clumsy, dreamer and "loser" child like I was.
Unlike my comic book alter ego, I knew nothing about baseball; in those days baseball did not actually exist in our latitudes.
But I really liked football ... and I was very scarce.
You know the child who, when the squares are made between friends, is always chosen last? That child was me.
However, just as Charlie Brown knew everything about baseball, I knew everything about football: names, lineups, jersey numbers and statistics.
I was 7-8 years old and I remembered all these things even though I had never studied them, not even for a minute.
And that brings us to the first point of this article on memory techniques e Charlie Brown:

Interest in a topic is key to remember!

For at least 3 reasons:

  1. Stimulates concentration (when I was watching a game nothing could distract me!)
  2. It keeps you hours and hours on the same subject without making you feel tired or bored ("Mom, I want to stay awake until 11 to see Baggio's goal on Sunday sports" "honey, but it's the third time you've seen it!")
  3. It makes you find links, references and comparisons between the various information (then, let's see the characteristics of the big numbers 10 in the history of Juve ...)

Now, the problem with many, even yours and mine, is that you have to study and remember things that don't interest us.
And this brings us to the second point of this article:

Much of what we have to do or learn is of no interest to us

And how do you resolve the matter?
If I think back to Charlie Brown's dialogue, at least two ways come to mind:

  1. Dedicating you what you like. I know, it is not always possible in life, but it is a duty at least to try with all your strength. Are you trying with all your might? Let's be clear: anyone who has read my book The Kata Of Will knows that motivation should not be overestimated, it is only a component, and not the most important. But life doesn't have to be pure masochism, and therefore try to do, trivially, things that interest you. At least 60% of your time.
  2. Finding, in what you are not interested in, something that makes it look a little like what you are interested in. The Charlie Brown in the cartoon in this post has no interest (in the sense of passion) in remembering his locker code; and so he does by remembering the jersey numbers of his three favorite baseball players.

Now, I'm not a guru, I just talk about memory techniques, quick reading e study methods.
But after reading the cartoon I like to think one thing and share it with you: remembering the code of his locker Charlie Brown not only applies a memory technique, codify abstract and unknown things by representing them with concrete and known things, but also a simple simple technique to feel good: transform at least a little things that do not interest us and do not like them into things that interest us and like them.
Which is also a memory technique.
And to do this, you also need to be a bit of a dreamer.

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