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Improve Your Memory

January 6th, 2007 by Joel

Compassion is key…
homer-simpson-brain
Poor memory has plagued me at times in numerous relationships – at other times, a sharp memory has been a great asset. Recently, the former has been the case. This got me to thinking…”What factor has been the main contributor to these differences? What can I do to improve my memory?”

The importance of finding an answer to this question has increased due to the current circumstances in my life. I have been fortunate enough to meet a number of new people due to current job conditions and my social scene. Here’s what I came up with:

Cultivating compassionate thought is the missing ingredient
When we are fully compassionate we let go of our own concerns and fears, allowing ourselves to more deeply experience life in the shoes of the other person (the truest way to practice the golden rule). This has a much greater impact on our mind than does passive listening/conversing. In turn, the memories become more vivid and have staying power.

On the practical side, there are many books on techniques that can be used to accomplish this:

Dale Carnegie’s “How To Win Friends & Influence People” is one of my favorites. A summary of the book is available if you’re too busy to be bothered, although I recommend reading the entire thing.

The purpose for writing about this has been two fold:
1) It serves as a helpful reminder, a sort-of journal, and way to turn these recent insights into more concrete examples by putting them in writing.
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2) Perhaps it will test my assumption, provide me with feedback and lead to a better understanding.

I hope to follow up on this article by discussing more ways to:
“Be More Compassionate.”

UPDATE [02.05.2007]
Fresh evidence: Loneliness link with Alzheimer’s | BBC News

“We need to be aware that loneliness doesn’t just have an emotional impact but a physical impact,” said Professor Robert Wilson.

Where memory is maintained, Compassionate relationships have trumped Loneliness. Where it fails, there’s some work to do. My experience tells me that this correlation exists, this article tells me that it’s probably a safe bet.

Don’t wish for an absence of enemies, only for the compassion that compels them to be friends.

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