Learning is a never ending process in our lives; we learn a lot of things. Either to accomplish a new goal or to make ourselves better. But, out of the whole that we studied or learned, how much do we remember? Not everything. Why does this happen?
There are many reasons for this issue, some of them are listed below –
- Lack of concentration or interest or focus
- Difficulty in understanding
- Difficulty in remembering
The above reasons cover most of the difficulties in remembering what has been learnt or studied or read. We shall cover the first two some other time, the point of our discussion is now the difficulty in remembering. A solution to persist our learning is through Repetition, we shall discuss in detail in the later part of the post.
Learning sounds easy
Learning always seems easy, but it isn’t easy always. It sounds very frustrating when we are unable to learn anything new or if we are unable to implement what we have learned. It takes a great deal of understanding to learn something new & apply it in our day-to-day lives.
For example, you have attended a training program or a new mathematical formula in your school & unless you understand the concept with a complete clarity, you would be unable to answer a question related to the similar concept (exception is if the question is straight forward).
The complexity of a learned concept implementation becomes more complicated if there are more than one concept to be linked & used together. This is the reason many aspirants don’t succeed in competitive examinations as the questions asked are very twisted (not straight forward) requiring many concepts at the same time to implemented for finding the solution.
Life is nothing less than a competitive examination; you can never expect a straight forward problem. More often the problems it brings won’t have any solution at all & we have to figure out some other new way to solve it. For this reason, learning new concepts is critical & more important is understanding & remembering it. If understanding a learned concept is completed then remembering it wouldn’t be a big issue.
We learn a lot but fail to remember
Remembering everything that has been learnt is tough because our mind is like a repository without any limit or restriction, anything can be saved in it – good or bad, complex or simple, hard or easy without any discrimination. And, due to this freedom the things unimportant to us might override or replace the content that are more important to us.
But, if the process of storing the content in our mind has to be done through a particular process then what has been learnt persists in our minds.
Repetition is the mother of learning
Learning is the daughter of repetition, because if we have to persist anything in our mind then it can be easily remembered if it lingers in our mind constantly else if we can make it stay in your mind for a long time.
For example, if you have watched a movie & if you have liked the movie, its songs, fights, dialogues, message very much then do you have to do any additional effort to make the film linger in your mind? No, not needed – effortlessly your mind catches them & you tend to remember the movie for a long time.
But, if you attend a seminar business, educational, technical, etc. which is extremely boring will you tend to remember it after the seminar? Nope, our thoughts fly away to some other interesting things immediately after the seminar is over, at times even between Seminar. During this scenario, Repetition acts as a boon, we have to bring the thoughts of the seminar intentionally though our mind is running away from the seminar’s content.
If we have to go forward in our endeavor, then the content of the movie is very less significant compared to Seminar content, but our mind behaves in an opposite way though it knows which is important. This is human nature, no need to worry about it, by mere repetition any learned item can be made interesting, understood & then remembered quickly.
Repeat in various ways
Repetition is helpful, but a question is how to repeat? The following are some ways that can help you with this
By asking questions on the points conveyed during the seminar. Like
- how is the concept useful to me right now?
- Is this concept applicable to all people?
- Is it applicable in that/this scenario?
In the process of finding answers to this question, we tend to do a high-level repetition that helps using easily learning the concept.
By creating Mnemonics / Acronyms
Mnemonics & Acronyms are types of memory mapping techniques used to remember something which is hard to use, Can you tell me the nine planets in sequence now immediately – if you are a school kid then it will be a bit easy to tell answer for this question compared to grown ups. But, if you remember them using the following mnemonic then it is more easy for you
The Planets (without poor Pluto) are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles. (For some more mnemonics – Homework tips post )
The first letter of the above word resembles the first letter of every planet in sequence.
FAIL – First Attempt in Learning – APJ Abdul Kalam
FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real – Robert T Kiyosaki
The two lessons about FAIL & FEAR can be easily remembered with the above acronym easily so that if we meet any of them in our journey then we can remember the lesson & move forward without getting demotivated.
by drawings / pictures
It is said that a single image can convey a 1000 words
the points which you want to remember more importantly can be used to create pictures / drawings so that you can correlate your virtual thoughts with your creative mind. It might take some time to create pictures / drawings, it only helps you, but also helps others to understand you viewpoint.
Seeing the image on left we can easily understand on the influence of social media on people & its effects on their real world interaction. Though they can interact with world directly & feel it their influence & more over addiction to social media is causing them to view the real world using social media only. This not only lets us understand a concept about the influence of social media, but also remember it easily.
Note: Don’t aim to create high quality images as you see on the right side. As it might eat away your time, just giving a rough sketch to your ideas on paper would be more than enough for you to remember your concept easily.
By creating infographics
Infographics also serve as a wonderful way to remember any information using graphics with them to be remembered.
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