Training program – Introduction

[Back after a while? Here are some links you can use if you want to skip ahead directly to where you last left off: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 or Day 5. If you just arrived, simply start reading right below]

Hello everyone! I’m a French-Canadian named Francis Blondin who lives in Montreal. English is not my first language, hence the sometimes slightly weird-sounding sentences I might end up writing down. I was not a great student. I’m easily distracted and prone to procrastination. My natural memory is completely average and my IQ is nothing special. Nevertheless, after reading an amazing book called Moonwalking With Einstein and practicing once a while for a few months, I was able to become the so-called “Canadian memory champion in” 2016 and 2017. I’ve since read tons of books about memory techniques, about learning and about the human brain. I’ve been featured in the media more than 20 times. I can memorize more than 300 digits in 10 minutes. I can spend hours reciting perfectly the tons of fun and useful information I’ve managed to memorize. And I’ve taught what I’ve learned with great success to hundreds of people. So I may not be a genius, I may not have a PhD in neuroscience, but I do know what I’m talking about. You’re in good hands : )

So what do you currently know, if anything, about memory techniques and about what’s called memory palaces? Maybe you’ve heard about those 2017 scientific studies that were talked about around the globe and that proved that with some training with the use of memory palaces, complete beginners were capable of spectacularly improving their performances. Maybe you’ve recently seen this great new Netflix documentary called Memory Games that follow the journey of memory champions Yanja Wintersoul, Nelson Dellis, Johannes Mallow and Simon Reinhard. Or maybe you’ve seen some of the articles and news reports that appear every now and then in outlets like the New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, The BBC and CNN. And maybe you’ve even done some forms of memory training in the past.

But even if you haven’t seen or done any of this, you’re starting from zero and you have absolutely no idea what we’re talking about, that’s not a problem at all. I’ve designed this very short training program – in total less than 2 hours over 5 days – to quickly teach you most of what you need to know about memory techniques. That’s not nearly enough for you to become an expert, but I think there’s a very good chance that it will be sufficient to make you about twice as good as you otherwise would be if you were only using your natural memory. That’s a bold claim, but I stand by it. You don’t need to be blessed with a good natural memory. You don’t need to be particularly smart. You don’t need to invest thousands of hours. You just need to learn some basic techniques and spend some time training them. I’m not saying that it will be easy, I’m just saying that you’re capable of learning this and that it won’t take that long. After you’ll be done with the training program, I’ll share a bunch of additional advice to explain how you can keep practicing and improving, how you can use those new skills in your daily life to memorize the names of people you meet, to prepare for a presentation you need to give, to study for exams, to remember the main points of books you’ve read or even to perform amazing feats like quickly memorizing whole decks of cards or hundreds of digits.

Before you start, here’s something you should know. Learning to use memory palaces is a bit like learning any new skill: there’s often a period of initial discomfort that you need to get through. But unlike say, learning to play the violin, a significant proportion of the benefits will appear almost immediately. Even with no previous experience, I have good reasons to think that 9 times out of 10 the person who just discovered memory techniques will outperform the person who’s only using his or her own natural memory. However, you should expect your initial attempts to feel awkward and uncomfortable. It’s a bit as if you were skiing for the first time. You can sort of manage to go down the hill, but it’s a bit scary and exhausting, you keep falling down once a while and you may be tempted to do something easier instead. Just don’t give up, keep going and soon enough it will start feeling easy and fun.

Ready to start? All right!

Click here for Day 1