Apparently 91% of self-help books aren't read beyond the first chapter…
…and 87% of all statistics are made up.
So I'm not sure if either of these facts is 100% true.
But it did remind me of one particular book I didn't read many years ago…
'How To Be A Complete And Utter Failure In Life, Work And Everything
- 39.5 Steps To Lasting Underachievement'
…by a man called Steve McDermott.
According to the blurb on the back cover, Steve spent years studying the habits of the world's greatest underachievers. People who had massively and consistently underperformed in every walk of life.
He then distilled down his findings into a surefire step-by-step formula that even a complete loser could use to be spectacularly unsuccessful in any area they chose not to pursue.
Now I suspect that when - or if - I ever do get around to reading the book, I'll find that deep, deep, deep down amongst all those virgin pages there lies a hidden message.
In fact, I do recall that the book came with a small warning... that doing the exact opposite of what the author recommended could lead to certain and unmitigated success.
All of which got me wondering whether focusing on forgetting things might actually help you remember stuff.
To which the answer is yes.
Which is why I feel compelled to warn you of this discovery… and to share with you some quick tips so that you don't inadvertently end up wasting your valuable time remembering stuff you don't want to.
So whenever you want to forget things, just remember to apply the following simple 3 step process…
Step 1) Attention
Avoid paying attention to things at all costs. If you meet someone new… never, never, never listen for their name. And if you slip up and their name does temporarily end up in your short-term memory, immediately think of something else or better still distract yourself by whistling a tune.
Step 2) Image
You wouldn't let someone else put words into your mouth would you?
Exactly. So don't let people put images into your head either.
Do not allow your brain to imagine people called Phil filling up your car for you at the local petrol station. Or people called Matt wiping their feet on your door mat. Or people called Donna eating kebabs.
However much a name may trigger off some sort of visual association in your brain - beware! Because a simple image may take a mere moment to think of… but it can take forever to forget.
Step 3) Review
And finally, definitely do not - I repeat - do not even think about reviewing things. Even better, don't even think at all.
Because actively reviewing information has the nasty habit of locking it into your long-term memory. And then there's no hope.
So if you do find your brain picturing Phil doing something to your car, or Matt lingering outside your front door or Donna tucking into something hot and juicy, simply do not review such images.
And that's all there is to it.
Attention-Image-Review. Or AIR for short.
The Final Word: Now you're aware of this formula, please be sure not to apply it. Otherwise you may just find that information no longer vanishes into thin AIR.
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