View Full Version : Doht! I could have had a V-8! Mental trigger trick needed
04-03-2008, 02:24 AM
You've all probably seen the commercial, where the person smacks themselves on the head because they're not drinking a V-8 vegetable juice drink. Well, for the last three days I've mentally been smacking myself in the head because I can't seem to remember to take the April parking tag out of my pocket and hang it on the rearview mirror where the March tag is now. I guess I could put an alarm in my BlackBerry to go off during my 30-minute commute, but there must be an easier, simpler way to trick the mind to recall a planned action item when the appropriate context arises. Thoughts?
04-03-2008, 03:38 AM
Have you tried attaching the tag to your car keys? Or your commuter cup (if you have one)? The idea is to put it somewhere where it will be right in front of you in the car (as opposed to in your pocket).
04-03-2008, 05:15 AM
If you're having trouble remembering when you are in context, why not decide to create the context i.e. put a reminder where you WILL see it in the evening, and when you see it, take the tag, walk out to the car and change it over right then and there. Unless your car is parked some way away, it shouldn't take longer than 2 minutes.
04-03-2008, 05:23 AM
....I guess I could put an alarm in my BlackBerry to go off during my 30-minute commute, but there must be an easier, simpler way.....
or maybe not. I'd go with the alarm and be done with it.
04-05-2008, 01:07 AM
Very good suggestions. Thank you!
Some years ago I purchased Kevin Trudeau's Mega Memory (http://books.google.com/books?id=0w5yGwAACAAJ&dq=inauthor:Kevin+inauthor:Trudeau) program on cassette tapes, and experimented with the memory techniques he taught. One of the tricks of human memory is that you can recall things when you make mental picture links to a known reference point. Ancient Greek actors used "rooms of the mind" to place their lines for plays.
While I did not incorporate these techniques into my day to day life, the experiments did actually work. Some part of my mind got very annoyed with the principle that you had to use nonsensical association to help glue the mental picture link to your reference point list. Perhaps this technique uses up "mental RAM" and that was what was irritating. At any rate, it is a very neat and fairly easy way to keep lists of things in your head that you can recall in any order. I used to use it to "write" grocery lists. Terribly inefficient, since it took longer to program my mind than to write the stuff down, and annoying to my brain, but it did work.
What is missing from the memory tricks though is a triggering mechanism. You may have an excellent reference file containing all sorts of well organized information, but this still requires your volition to go look something up. If the mind recalls based on last-in-first-out associations, then I wonder if it might be possible to create a memory link to the place or environment where you want the memory to trigger.
For example, if I get a vivid picture of the rearview mirror in my mind and make a link to it, would the link trigger a recall the next time I see the rearview mirror? If so, this would be a very handy thing indeed. Say that you walk past a group of stores on your way to work each day, and one of them is a drug store. You want to remember to drop into that drug store to purchase some eye drops, so you link the image of eye drops, (or anything else that will cause you to remember eye drops) to a mental image of the store's doorway. Then the next time you walk past the store's doorway, would you think eye drops? Perhaps I will do some experiments and report what I find--if I can remember to do the experiments. :D