chapter  6
17 Pages

Learning stories

If you want to remember something, turn it into a story. Our ancestors probably did just this – anthropologists have found that not only sacred ritual and ‘god lore’ are passed on in the myth and legends and fireside tales of surviving hunter-gatherer tribes, but also everyday wisdom, practical plant and medicinal knowledge, mapping of the landscape and all sorts more. If you talk to memory champions today, people who perform prodigious feats of instant learning, you will find that they use techniques that are essentially of the same order. They learn to see, taste, hear and feel a mentally ‘pictured’ story that brings all of the facts, people, places and so on together, making them memorable, making them stick. Stories are supposed to be sticky.