Make it Memorable



Make it Memorable

Photo: Jonas von Essen

I think that aiming high and practicing above your comfort level is very important. If you aim low, you will land low. If you go fast and forget a lot, you will gradually adapt to the higher tempo and forget less and less. It made all the difference to me. – Jonas von Essen

If our memory serves us right, Jonas von Essen has won the World Memory Championships not once, but twice, in 2013 and 2014.

Did you even know there was such a thing as the memory championships?

Remember the name Von Essen, a 25-year-old native of Sweden, who owns the astonishing feat of the memorization of twenty-six packs of cards in just one hour!

Does he have a secret weapon?

Well, it’s not just training mentally, it’s also physical von Essen, who has followed a plant-based diet for several years that he attributes to his victories in memory competitions.

The 2016 World Championships will be held in Singapore Dec. 14-18. The competition will be restricted to 200 total participants with the top 60 highest-ranked competitors gaining first opportunity to register. All other qualified contenders will be registered on a first-come-first-served basis. “Memory Acuity” apparently is a sport with a world-class pool of talent and a modest, but robust cult following.

Who knew?

To be sure, a very small percentage of us is actually aware of the “sport” of memory acuity and the many competitions that are held all over the world.  Most of us however can relate to the frustration of not remembering something important at a key moment; such as the new company president’s name. Memory is an important cognitive tool that we all rely on daily.

The simple fact is, all of us, young and not so young, have a massive amount of information to internally manage on a daily basis. Massive? Just check out this statistic from someone who should know.  Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, gave this unbelievable stat to a Techonomy conference audience: “Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003.”

When one stops to think about it, that is a staggering statistic.

Based upon this rather imposing stat, it could certainly be argued that we all should be signing up for memory training. Some parents start their children in memory training as young as 5 years old. One of the more popular memory (brain) training apps is Lumosity, which offers a free trial. There are even memory coaches for hire, experienced trainers like Florian Dellé.

For children, one of the most popular sites is Jungle Memory. The site specializes in working with 7-to-16-year-olds, with the site’s goal being that “a student can juggle the demands of the classroom, excel in the pressure of test taking, and grasp increasingly difficult lessons.” The benefits of memory work with one’s children addresses various issues. Improved grades, increased IQ scores and enhanced long-term memory for students with Dyslexia and Autistic Spectrum Disorder showed that the more children worked with the weekly program, the better they got.

According the website,, “working memory” refers to how we hold on to and work with information stored in short-term memory. Kids use working memory to learn and follow directions. Working memory boosters can be built into your child’s daily life. Here you can find 8 ways to help boost your child’s memory.

Editor’s Note – Be on the lookout for a guest piece from Jonas von Essen coming tomorrow!

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