The curious thing about memory is that you don’t have to have a good one to have a great one.
Moonwalking with Einstein tells the story of Josh Foer, who went from a typical journalist to US memory champion in a year. Anyone who has read it can tell you that memory athletes have normal minds.
They’re not savants or gifted. Like everyone else, they forget where they left their keys.
Even so, they can memorise shuffled decks of cards in minutes.
And not just cards – they can retain names, dates, random binary strings, even poems.
I won’t go into the techniques they use. You can read about those anywhere.
But I will mention an underlying principle that lets things like mind palaces work. And, unlike techniques for memorising cards and numbers, this actually can help you keep track of your keys.