Did you know that after finishing an important article, report or non-fiction book, both students and executives retain about 10% of the key points after 8-hours, and around 5% after 24-hours?
So reading alone is not the secret of LEARNING. If we cannot retain the key points – did we really READ the material? What is the secret of converting information to long-term memory?
Ya gotta have a system, a strategy, a schema to encode the new knowledge, and later to instantly decode its meaning.
Double Your Memory Using Mostly Verbs
Can you substitute eight baby-easy verbs for the numbers 1-8? I knew you could, but can you do it automatically? Wake up your Comfort-Zone and give this your attention – it will make you a learning fool (genius).
0. = (Zero) remember – #0 is a Hero! See the medals on his chest.
1. = Running #1: you are running in a marathon. Running is #1.
2. = Throwing #2: is throwing the ball – And she’s out!
3. = Peeing – #3: the dog is peeing on the tree. See it mentally, right?
4. = Scoring – #4: the Referee raises his arms vertically – Touch Down.
5. = Fighting – #5: the boxing match was world-class fighting.
6. = Striking – #6: the workers are on strike or striking him with her sign.
7. = Sleeping – #7: he was sleeping in his Math class.
8. = Mating – #8: the elephants at the zoo were mating in public.
9. = Swine – #9: the huge swine won the ribbon at the county fair.
10. = Hen – #10: sound-alike. The hen was ten-months old.
Verbs are easy to mentally visualize because they contain ACTION. Practice with the stock market prices – Exxon-Mobil closed at: $73.20. Substitute words for numbers because as Mark Twain said, the brain hates numbers.
When bears hibernate they are Sleeping (#7), but not Peeing (#3) – they are Throwing (up) (#2) like all Heros (0). You can imagine the activities of Sleeping and Peeing because they create ACTION. You got the $73, and the 20 cents is just throwing by the Hero.
Our graduates have one thing in common whether they are students attending school or executives managing a division. They have more curiosity than normal and exercise Inquiring Minds. We gotta know where the FEET grow from.
This is important because we live in the Knowledge Economy where information is POWER. If you have a lousy (untrained) memory, you lose promotions and dinero over your career.
Verbs Are Very Different Than Nouns
Get this – the verb is the heart and soul of a sentence. Please pay attention: when you are reading an article or report on-line or on paper – you are hearing each word in your mind (larynx) – as if you were tuned in to a lecture.
Imagine a homunculus (little man) in your brain acting as a commentator – reading the article to you. So what? He/she reads each and every word and that makes you learn slower than molasses.
Verbs Are Unique
Verbs have multiple meanings – based on the context of the sentence. Examples: the verb GO – I am Going (departing) away for two-weeks. How about – We had to Go (move to act) pick up the kids from Grandma. Try this: Thousands of jobs had to Go (discarded/eliminated) at General Motors.
One-size does not fit all. Verbs express the ACTION in the sentence and give us information about the person or event involved. Nouns have a clear basic meaning, you do not have to decipher it. Folks have problems with decoding the verb, not nouns.
Google: Dutch researcher D. de Goede, January 31, 2007.
Nouns are learned in a part of the brain called the Fusiform Gyrus. Verbs are formed in the left Frontal Gyrus (processing Grammar) or the left Temporal Gyrus. (meaning and concepts).
This is important because we are learning verbs all our lives – based on the context of the sentence. Get this: we INFER the meaning of verbs.
Google: Antonio Rodriguez-Fornellis, 2.25.1010 published in the journal Neuroimage.
Which is easier on the memory to recall – I solved the math problems or I was solving the math problems? The brain loves the Imperfect – where the action is continuing – I was solving.
The way a statement is phrased – how the verbs are used – affects our memory of what occurred – and influences our behavior. When we think of our past behavior in the Imperfect (what we were doing) we imagine the behavior has not been completed (ongoing) yet. It makes it easy to recall what went into the activity. Better memory.
Google: William Hart, University of Florida in Psychological Science March 13, 2009.
Remembering More Numbers Substitutes
Twenty = Virginia (< Latin)
Thirty = Tri (Triangle)
Forty = Quad (Quadrangle)
Fifty = Quin (Quintet)
Sixty = Sex (Sextet)
Seventy = Sept (September)
Eighty = Oct (October)
Ninety = Nov (November)
One-Hundred = a century
What is 85? Answer: October-Fighting (80+5) month. You revert back to #0-10 and add it to tens above.
What is 61? Answer: Sexy + Running (at the NY marathon).
How to you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice-practice-practice.
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Copyright © 2010 H. Bernard Wechsler
Author of Speed Learning for Professionals, published by Barron’s; partner of Evelyn Wood, creator of speed reading, graduating two million, including the White House staffs of four U.S. Presidents: Kennedy-Johnson-Nixon-Carter.
Interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and fortune Magazine for major articles.