I don’t know about you, but my memory is not as good as it used to be. I know that as we age, our memory does become worse, but as a society, I put forth that our memories in general are not as good as they used to be. That is because we don’t need to memorize anymore. With Smart phones hooked up to calendars hooked up to email accounts hooked up to Google…you get the idea. What do we need to remember? If we meet someone new, we put their name in our contact list. If we try to remember the name of the band that sang “Walk This Way”, we google it. If we need to know an accounting formula, we look it up.
As an accountant, it disturbs me that I can’t remember total revenues or net income from last year without looking. Of course, I can’t remember every number, but why can’t I remember the important ones? The numbers change every year, and I just don’t care enough to memorize all of them. I do, however, care that my accounting students know the accounting terms and principles, debits and credits, and the accounting cycle. These I have memorized.
If we want to truly remember something, we have to care about it, and we have to process it deeply. We need to pay attention. We just don’t do enough of that anymore. The following video from TED gives ideas to help remember. As Joshua Foer says in the video, “Our lives are the sum of our memories”. Do we want short lives or long lives?
Pay attention and start remembering. (By the way, Aerosmith sang “Walk This Way”)
Feats of Memory Anyone Can Do (Ted.com)