It is said that the brain is really three smaller brains inextricably linked.
First there is the primitive brain which controls our instincts and bodily
functions. Then there is the middle brain which controls emotions and an important
part of your long term memory. Then there is the truly extraordinary outer
brain, your thinking brain.
The middle brain (cerebral cortex) is where memories start, it is also where
emotions are controlled. It is the middle brain that decides what is committed
to long term memory and passes it up to the thinking brain for confirmation.
This is why memories are far stronger when linked to an emotion.
I wrote last month that we all assimilate information in different ways and
the secret of successful retention is to supply the information to your brain
in the format which best suits it.
Before we can do this firstly we need to establish what type of learner you
We all use a combination of three basic learning methods:
A. Seeing (Visual learner) B. Listening (Auditory learner) C. or by doing (Physical learner).
Although we use all three methods we all differ - one sense is dominant for
This is why when Mr Monotone was dribbling on in the classroom he was only
connecting with about 30% of the class. He had his way of learning and assumed
that because he found it easy to learn by listening to a lecture, teaching
it that way was the way forward.
What he didn’t realise was that his dominant sense was ‘auditory’.
He absorbed information a lot better if he listened to it. The problem was
70% of the class had a different dominant sense.
Change the teacher and teaching method and
a totally different section of the class, around
30%, will do better.
We need to establish which is your dominant
sense. We need to find out if you learn best by watching
something, by listening or by actually doing a task.
I find it extremely difficult to read a manual then follow the instructions,
yet if someone shows me how to do something I can grasp it in an instant. I
am a physical learner; I learn best by seeing and doing. The majority of you,
around 70%, will have a different view.
You like drawing diagrams, seeing pictures, charts and films. You like to see
the written word and read instruction material.
You like to listen to lectures, tapes. You like to read out loud to yourself.
You need a hands-on approach. You have to get in there and actually act out
the subject. When you learn things you like to underline important paragraphs,
doodle, imagine yourself actually doing whatever.
We all use a combination of the three different elements, but one sense will
Try the simple test below. Choose which phrase most suits you, click it then
the score and type it in the text box. The column with the highest total will
give you some idea of which is your dominant sense.
Don’t worry if the scores come out about equal because that just shows
that you like to stimulate all three senses equally. All we are trying to establish
is how to present information the way your brain likes to receive it.
Express it in
and throw things
Talk to yourself
Like to read,
Listen to lectures,
talk it over
try it out
Look at the diagram,
Ask someone, talk
Assemble it, trial
Spell a word
Visualise it does
it look right
Sound it out
Write it down
and see if it
Write a card
Pat them on
Use lots of images
keep idle banter to a minimum
and logically, rarely hesitate, Are you a good speaker?
lots of actions
they looked like
name what they said
See a film
Remember the scenes
and the music
Note their facial
Listen to the
tone of their voice
Watch their body
Remember how things
looked, what you saw. Create pictures
was said how it was said. Names. Spoken facts
How things were
done and how it felt
Write it down
Read out loud
Try to act it
How did you get on?
You should now have some idea of how you best like to take in information:
If you are an Auditory learner then it will help if you read
out loud and listen to tapes.
If you are a Visual learner take regular breaks and visualise
If you are a Physical learner take breaks and imagine how
you would do the task.
I did say that the best way to truly retain information is to use all
The next question you are going to ask me is: "How do I involve all
I knew you were going to ask that!!!
We are starting at the basics here and as we progress we’ll make it more
interesting and fun.
1. Read and visualise the material
... You have seen it. (Visual) 2. Read it again out loud ... You
have heard it. (Auditory) 3. Ask yourself: "what
are the key points I need to remember?" Write
them down and
circle them ... You have done it. (Physical)
It’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. Because formal learning does
not come naturally, a system has been developed so that you can readily digest
large blocks of information, and more importantly retain them for future recall.
Once you have a system that works you can apply it, practice it, and practice
it again until it becomes second nature.
This system works ... use it, practice it, and you will become much smarter
You don’t need a high IQ to be intelligent. In fact a high IQ will be
of little use unless it is combined with an acute sense of awareness. I measure
intelligence by the amount of common sense someone possesses.
There are hundreds of people with a high IQ who wouldn’t know what the
real world was if it grabbed them by the scruff of the neck and shook them
till their bi-focals fell off.
And besides I have taken several IQ tests
and they gave differnet results, the first 179 (only joking!),
so that suggests my intellegence changes depending on certain
factors or the IQ test is a load of bollocks!
The time has come for you to start learning with ease ...
Let’s take a large unwieldy subject for you to take in and digest. Let’s
take something important to you. Let’s use Accelerated Learning
This is of sufficient size to become dull
and boring as you try to sift through all the info so we’ll
break down the task and stimulate all the learning senses.
1. Prepare mentally and physically for the
Before you begin to tackle any task you need to prepare yourself. You
need to get into a learning state of mind.
I am going to keep banging on about mental preparation right throughout this
course so get used to it!
What would happen if you tried to run a marathon without being prepared? You’d
race off, cover a couple of miles, and before long all the other PREPARED competitors
would be passing a sweaty, quivering mess as you lay exhausted in the gutter.
THERE IS NO POINT IN STARTING ANYTHING UNLESS:
i. YOU ARE MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY
ii. YOU CAN VISUALISE THE ‘PAY OFF’AT THE END OF THE TASK
The only reason a marathon runner starts a race is to get to the end!!!
Before he sets off he can visualise the sense of self satisfaction and achievement
he will experience on completion. This is his motivation, his ‘pay off’.
Whoever heard of someone doing a marathon so they could enjoy the
pain and endurance of the run.
They do it to win, or they set out to complete the race. Either way
they crave the achievement.
This is how you are going to tackle learning. Next, you are going to establish
why it is you need to learn the subject. "What’s in it for me?"
Always look at the positive. Never
dwell on anything negative, it’s a cancer which
Ask yourself: "What benefits will it bring to my life if I learn how
Imagine being able to tackle any
subject and rapidly becoming an expert on it!!!
What would that be worth to you???
You need to visualise the pay offbefore the
subject is learned. Crack this learning system and you’ll be able to
go out and learn anything you wish. I can’t think of a better pay off!
So, now you are motivated, you have developed a desire to learn ‘how
to learn’, and you have a clear picture in your mind of why you want
to learn the ‘learning system’.
Remember how important goal setting is? I hope now you are beginning to see
how immensely important these little things are to your life.
Every system you are learning now will,
in the future have an impact beyond measure.
Individually, they may not seem world changing influences, but together they
will change your world. You can’t see it now because you haven’t
had time for them to take effect. I promise that you have an amazing life around
the corner, but only when you have turned it will you be able to look back
and say: "Bloody hell. He was right!!!"
Your goal for this task is to learn learning systems.
You have prepared mentally, you are ready to begin ... NO
You need to prepare physically. You will never learn anything if you are stressed,
distracted, tired, bloated, got kids screaming down your ear...
I taught you earlier how to prepare physically for a task, especially a learning
Now do it.
If you are not entirely comfortable and able to give this section your absolute
undivided attention come back in ten minutes or after a good sleep or when
dinner’s gone down.
Go for a walk in the fresh air or to really set yourself up, go for a short
run. Have a shower.
Come back when you feel fresh and ready for the task ahead.
Now you are ready to learn ‘how to learn’. You can only concentrate
effectively for around 30 minutes at a time whilst learning - so in about thirty
minutes from now take a short break!
2. Get The Big Picture
There are two different ways to approach a learning task. Linear and
Linear: means that you are fed a
subject bit by bit, starting at the beginning and
ending at the end.
The picture is built up as you go. This was often the way you were taught at
Can you imagine Mr Monotone ever giving you the answers before he gave you
Plodding through your subject
section after section is hard. It is often
impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel
and very easy to get disheartened.
Global: means that you are shown
the big picture first.
You get an overview of
what you are about to learn, you can see what you are going
to get at the end. You can see the
pay off before you start. This it the way we need
Before you go any further scan over this section, check the subheads, see what
the contents are, write down in a few short sentences, what’s coming
up? Get a clear overall picture of what’s in store. If you were to apply
this to other areas in your future, such as attending a seminar or watching
a video, get an overview, look at the index and menu. Have
a global view of the subject matter in hand.
Next, take some time out and jot down what you think you already know about
the subject. Ask yourself what you understand at this point then write it down.
Try and get an idea of what you would like to know. One or two areas will have
pricked your interest. You must have seen something and thought: "I
wonder what that’s all about?"
Write down all the key points. This exercise should have taken you no more
than five minutes because you are only picking out the major topics. When you
have done that place a tick after this paragraph. This will indicate that you
have understood what was required 'in this paragraph only'. Each time you have
read and digested a paragraph and fully understood it, place a tick by it.
Although this is a large subject we are going to tackle it bit at a time. We
will not move on until you have fully got to grips with why you are doing things.
My dad used to be a builder and, as a young boy, I remember watching him repoint
the brickwork on our house. He was tackling a huge wall and from where I was
standing it looked like a Herculean task. I asked him: "Why didn’t
it drive him mad tackling such a big wall?"
"Because," he replied, "I just look at a small section
at a time and when it’s finished I move on."
If he were to stand back and contemplate the size of the wall he’d have
sat down with a cup of tea and never finished it. By keeping his head down
and completing each small section, eventually the whole wall looked like new.
We are breaking these techniques down into small manageable steps. It matters
not if the subject is as big as War and Peace because we are only interested
in the small section we are tackling now.
We know what the big picture looks like and can see the large blazing light
at the end of the tunnel, the pay off when we’ve finished. At this stage
you understand that it is important to break the subject down and when each
section is fully understood you put a tick by the side of it.
You can now tick this paragraph
It doesn’t matter how you break your subject down and it really doesn’t
matter where you start, so long as you just pick a point, and start! Once you
begin your assault it must be sustained.
Start somewhere that inspires you, learn it, then move on.
As you go through this course and read
something that is important to you, something that you
want to recall at any time, print it off and mark it with
a highlighter pen. This trick applies to any material.
The effort required to re-read it as you
physically highlight it will commit it to memory.
To ensure you are using all your senses read it out loud. You are twice as
likely to remember something read aloud. Print off the page and go get a highlighter
pen then draw though this paragraph and while you’re at it you can put
a tick in the box
Now read it out loud to yourself. You need these tricks, they are part of your
Summarise what you have just learned and write it down to make sure you have
fully understood everything.
YOU HAVE NOT TRULY UNDERSTOOD
SOMETHING UNTIL YOU CAN TEACH IT
TO SOMEONE ELSE SO THAT THEY CAN FULLY UNDERSTAND IT
Now to make sure you have fully understood
the last section turn away and see what you can remember.
Sit and visualise what you have just read.
Make sure everything falls into place.
Why do you scan the whole book before
Why do you put marks in the margin?
What is your dominant sense?
If you struggle somewhere then go back
and try again. When you can fully recall the methods in
this small section put a tick at the bottom of the page
in a different colour.
The colours you use will be up to you so long as you always stick to them,
eg. blue for a paragraph you have understood, red for a section.
By doing this you are forcing yourself to remember, albeit
on a subconscious level. Most people will read a book from beginning to end
and that’s all they will remember, the beginning, the end and a couple
of events in the middle.
They might as well read this:
One day there were three little bears
who djeo feuj swfjdf ewo depdfu wdf fpwpefu efdoude fepf
ewpofu wpf wdufps fpwu wdpfu wpf eat all the porridge wpwfufjng
p eg gi dgupr pt epwho's been sitting in my chair etpug
epg eu eri t4 r rwoi rwept wp bkkyye aoou !!@ kskh aaappq
aaapu tr and they all lived happily ever after. THE END.
By using the tools you have acquired, reading out loud, marking important paragraphs,
visualising and ensuring that you do not move on until you have finished and
understood each section, you are guaranteeing the whole subject is committed
to long term memory
I don’t consider myself overly bright so how did
I learn accelerated learning techniques?
I managed to learn the subject sufficiently well to write this module and teach
Originally it took me a lot of time and effort, but now I know the techniques
I could do it in a few days ... How?
Well firstly I want to write this release, the techniques
fascinate me and I want to pass them on to you. That
is my pay off. I would take out several books on the subject and scan
over them, looking to see what areas would grab my attention.
Within a few hours I would have a fair idea of what the systems were and how
they had been developed. This is only a very rudimentary grasp of the techniques.
I would have spent only a relatively short time glancing over each section,
picking out key points. But his is enough to give me the big picture.
I choose various sub-heads and read them, the ones that look most interesting,
marking them as understood when finished. I do this in no particular order
although I do have to complete every section, even the boring ones!
I get through those because I could see that pay off!
I am like that marathon man who hits the
wall (that extremely hard section about three quarters
of the way through a race, where most want to stop) he
keeps on going because he has visualised what
is at the end before he set off.
I have found that when I've have read
and digested the interesting parts of a subject I want
to read the rest in order to link it all together.
I want to finish the big picture.
I buy some tapes and listen to them, writing down key points as I go.
I then sit down to write this. I have forced myself to remember the subject
as I read it out loud and then type it out.
In going through a considerable study to put this module together. I listened
to tapes and read out loud - Auditory.
I pictured how the systems worked and how I should be applying them to learning
about learning - Visual.
I wrote this - Physical.
Finally, I reviewed what I wrote and questioned each paragraph to make sure
it was correct. I have thoroughly committed this subject to my long term memory.
You can phone me at anytime and ask me a question on ‘Accelerated Learning’ and
I will be able to help you.
It is important to review what you want to remember at intervals. This absolutely
cements your knowledge.
The review cycle should be:
1. Review after an hour and rectify any mistakes or holes 2. Review after a day. This is the ‘24
hour test.’ Any major voids will show up 3. Review after a week 4. Review after a month.
If you follow the review programme you will see a 400% improvement in retention.
You can place a tick in the paragraph now!
1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically
for the learning process. Establish the
pay-off for learning this information before you begin. What is this knowledge
worth to me at the end? Will you receive a certificate that in turn will get
better qualification? Will you be able to do something better which in turn
increase your worth?
2. Get an overview of the subject, get the big picture.
3. Decide what you already know and how it fits into your
4. Break the subject down into manageable
sections and start on one of them.
5. Explore each section using all
your tools. Tape it, listen to the tapes, sketch
write it on cue cards, write notes, read out loud, act it out, discuss it with
or family, visualise yourself doing whatever it is, stimulate all your senses
concentrate mainly on how you like to learn.
6. Review what you have just learned. Do not move on until
you can recall the last
section from memory.
7. Take regular breaks - you can only work at peak performance
for around 30
8. Re-write the section in your own words. Discuss it with
friends or family. Create
a learning map (we go into this in a minute), list out the key points of your
subject and test yourself, go back and fill in the blanks, write a song or
jingle if it
Tape yourself, write out the key words and speak on the subject. You’ll
soon know if you have a grasp. Some people are amazing at remembering the words
to songs. It is totally natural for them to hear a song once and then be singing
it the very next minute.
Try fitting the key words of a subject to a tune that is familiar. If you are
able to do that you will never forget the trigger words and in turn the ‘body
Question the subject continually. Why, where, what, who, how? As you question
a subject you are forced to find answers; it is while looking for the answers
that you re-enforce the knowledge and commit it to long term memory.
After you have tested yourself ask: "How would I do it better next
time; how would I improve on my answers?"
9. Mark the section as thoroughly
understood and move on to the next
Memory maps are amazing tools. It is possible
to create a memory map for just about anything.
They are so easy and quick to do. Once you have drawn one on a subject you
will instantly get an overall picture of the main points and in turn trigger
your memory on the subject.
First you begin with the main subject. Write it down and draw a circle around
Next list major key points
that apply to the main subject in off shoots.
Then list the sub-heads.
You can keep breaking each key area down to suit your required
All a memory map needs to be is a scribble on a bit of paper. If you add sketches
and colours it becomes even more vivid. You can see at a glance the whole subject
and instantly recall those sections.
Easy as that eh!
These techniques now stand you in good stead for the vast amounts of information
available to you - you are now in the enviable position
to be able to work faster and smarter.