What is a Mind Palace?
You may have heard of the concept of the Mind Palace.
the Mind Palace is a memorization technique that I utilize and I will be totally honest here, it totally works for me. I can remember some pretty random things that I stored away in my MP years ago.
Today I would like to walk you through the who,what,where,why and how of taking advantage of your very own Mind Palace.
Who should use the Mind Palace?
Well, really anyone who wants to be able to recall things from memory. It could be well suited for researchers, professionals, students etc. It is a tool that can be extremely valuable.
What is the Mind Palace?
Simply put, it is a memorization technique involving visualization and meditation by which the person visits their MP in their mind and can organize items that they want to remember.
The technique went main stream when it was showcased on the popular television show "Sherlock" with Benedict Cumberbatch.
Truthfully, that was my first exposure to MPs.
I started digging with what I am sure many people did; I googled "Is mind palace actually a thing?" That's where it began for me. I learned that it wasn't as bizarre as it sounds, that it is not a "new age" spiritual trend.
At a high level, essentially you visualize yourself navigating a known physical space and organizing and reviewing things that you want to remember. Your known space can be your house, church, work literally anywhere.
For myself I use my work. I work at a post secondary institution it has many many rooms that I know very well.
Where,Why and How of the Mind Palace
"Sounds great, but how do I do it?"
I will take you through the process of building a mind palace. The following is going to be actual instructions so if you want to take full advantage of the MP I recommend you follow along :)
How this will work is you will read the step and do the step (for however long it takes) and proceed to the next step. If you blaze through the steps you may not be successful at building your MP.
As best as you can be in a physical space that is calming for you. If relaxing music calms you then go for it. If you feel more calm in a less lit place make it happen.
Proceed to step 2
Imagine a physical place that you know very well. I mean very very well. You shouldn't have a vague recollection of this space. For some their Mind Palace is their home. For others they remember a child hood location. You need to be able to visualize every aspect of this place, the colour of the walls, the texture of the carpet, the way the sun shines in the windows etc.
Additionally it is best if the location you are thinking about has positive memories.
Proceed to step 3
Read all of step 3 and do it.
If your Mind Palace is a building visualize your self standing in front of the door to go in.
Picture everything about the door. What do the handles look like? Is there any glass?
Visualize yourself opening the door.
What do you see when you open the door? Is there carpeting? Hardwood? What are the colours of the walls? What kind of furniture?
Visualize yourself moving around the location. Taking careful consideration to consider everything that would be in the location. Think about temperature and how the environment feels to your touch.
For our first attempt at building the Mind Palace we are going to store a small shopping list.
Choose 3 items you would purchase at a grocery store.
If you are comfortable close your eyes for this process.
For each item visualize yourself picking it up, move it around in your hands, smell it, turn it over. Is it cool to the touch? warm? hot? heavy?
Really take you time on each item.
Place each item in a different room of your Mind Palace. Visualize yourself moving to each room, do not just appear there. Place the item somewhere in the room.
Proceed to step 4
Now that your 3 items are placed in their individual locations visualize yourself leaving your Mind Palace.
Your eyes may be open.
If you spent a good amount of time in step 3, you have begun to develop the skill of using your Mind Palace. Our next thing we need to do is visualizing going back into your Mind Palace and visiting the locations where you stored your 3 shopping items.
As you navigate through the rooms and hallways of your Mind Palace visualize what your items would look like as you approach. Pick it up, what does it feel like? look like? taste?
Continue to each room and visualize the items you placed.
Proceed to Finish
To get the most benefit out of the Mind Palace technique you need to go back and visit it. Eventually your MP will be filled with lots of stuff, and it may seem like a lot to visit and "touch" every single item. As you practice your memory connections will be stronger.
In 12 hours from now go back and do the end of step 4. Did you remember the grocery items you placed?
Every time you visit your Mind Palace engage in the environment, touch items, smell, taste(if it makes sense)
in 12 more hours do this again.
Your Mind Palace has existed for 24 hours!