Memory: Is it a Retention Problem or an Attention Problem?

I don’t know about you, but my memory isn’t great. The older that I get, the less I seem to remember. On the downside, this means that I’m over-reliant on SatNav, even when it’s directing me to places I’ve been to many times before. On the upside, it’s a running joke that I can re-watch movies, and enjoy them like it’s the first time.

In all seriousness, I’m working on it. Along with my daily dose of Turmeric, I’ve been working through some of the brain-building strategies in Jim Kwik’s ‘Limitless.’ Kwik believes that in the modern age, our brain is often overwhelmed and under-utilised, and like any atrophied muscle, it just needs to be re-trained and worked out in order to strengthen and grow.

Something that really resonated with me, is Jim’s belief that most people ‘don’t have a retention problem, they have an attention problem.’ Simply put, they don’t remember, because they were never present in the first place.

Honestly, I could write this on a banner and lay it over the first 35 years of my life. I spent most of it in my head, worrying about what people think, what might happen, what might go wrong and bla bla bla. Of course I didn’t remember! I was never really there.

Luckily, the treatment is one that I’m already taking: mindfulness.

The more you work on being present, the greater chances are that you’ll actually have something to remember.

Try it right now, with a 5 senses countdown, finding 5 things you can see, 4 you can touch, 3 you can hear, 2 you can smell and 1 you can taste. Then tomorrow, see if you can remember this moment.

We’re working on our attention, building our retention muscles and hopefully, also learning to be present – to actually be where we are, moment by moment.

Questions or comments? Feel free to share in the comments below.

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