Learning & MemoryPodcast

The Father of Modern Memory Improvement Harry Lorayne: 60 Years of Mnemonics

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”My dyslexia worked for me. You know why? It made me a better teacher… I teach as if everybody is like me.”
— ‘Harry

Greetings, SuperFriends. Welcome to a very special episode of this week’s show. Today, we’ve managed to book, without exaggeration, the world’s foremost expert on memory and memory training: Harry Lorayne. He’s a living legend. Since the late 1950’s, he has sold over 17 MILLION copies of over 40 books on memory and magic. He’s been on every major television show you can imagine at least once – and generally starts off by memorizing the names of everyone in the up to 1500 person audience. He’s been in Forbes, coached a long list of Fortune 500 companies and their executives… Honestly, there’s no way I can possible do justice by just listing off his many accomplishments.

More important than these accomplishments is the fact that today’s guest is generally credited with bringing Memory training and mnemonics back into the public sphere. Long before the world memory championships, and long before both myself and my co-authors of Become a SuperLearner were even born, he was putting in the hours to rediscover and improve upon ancient memory techniques that have helped tens of millions of people change every aspect of their lives through improved mental faculties.

This interview might just be our biggest and most important yet. There’s so much value here, I don’t even know where to start. At 89 years old, Harry Lorayne pulls no punches and makes no apologies. He shares heartbreaking stories of physical abuse and overcoming dyslexia, but also some incredibly inspiring tales of how he became the world’s most respected authority on memory… which, by the way, he did with nothing more than a middle school education.

You’ll notice right away that Harry is clearly very practiced, having spent literally 60 years in the public spotlight. He’s an incredible storyteller, and has an incredible way of answering questions with vivid stories and examples that will leave you wanting more.

I just know you’re going to love this episode, so please take a moment to drop us a tweet or an email or a comment below with your thoughts.

This episode is brought to you by the #1 bestselling online course, Become a SuperLearner

This episode is brought to you by the #1 bestselling online course, Become a SuperLearner. Click for an 80% off discount!

In this episode on memory improvement, we discuss:

  • Harry Lorayne’s path from a broken home to becoming the world’s foremost memory training expert
  • How memory improvement techniques became a pivot point in Harry’s life & a way to escape physical abuse
  • How Harry combatted dyslexia and prevented failing elementary school using 17th century techniques
  • The types of visual memory improvement techniques that Harry innovated (the very same ones I teach!)
  • The two things that make up the basis of Harry’s memory techniques
  • How some of his systems are adapted for different things like music, history, or mathematics
  • The stigma against “memory” in the educational field, and why it is an unfair prejudice
  • Harry’s opinions on memory palaces (this is very controversial in the memory community!)
  • A very cool demonstration of how Harry Lorayne would remember difficult names
  • Harry’s thoughts on the skills the young generation is no longer maintaining
  • The surprising process that Harry used to write his 40 books
  • What Harry Lorayne’s other true passion is, & how it helped him overcome crippling shyness
  • A real-life story of how Harry’s techniques helped a stroke victim restore his memory
  • How Colin Powell & Michael Bloomberg used Harry Lorayne’s memory improvement systems
  • Harry explaining his system for memorizing both numbers and cards
  • Which 1 or 2 books would Harry recommend you start with?
  • Why are “bad” things in life sometimes very good, and Harry’s personal experience with this phenomenon
  • Harry’s thoughts on speed reading (also a bit controversial!)

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Favorite Quotes from Harry Lorayne:

”All memory boils down to two things. A name to a face, and a face to a name.”
”It’s like I always said. Remembering is not my problem. Forgetting is!”
”There’s no way to intellectualize it. Either you know it, or you don’t. And as I wrote in a couple of my books, the word’s ‘know,’ and ‘remember,’ and ’learn’ are all synonyms.”
“I was only 11, so I couldn’t understand most of the things that I read in these books on memory… but the .01% of the things that I did understand, changed my life.”
”There is no learning without memory. And that caused such screaming among educators here in America.”
”Even if my systems don’t work, they must work.”
”Why in the world would I want to remember Pi to the 5,000th place? But, with my systems, you could do it!”
Jonathan

Jonathan

Jonathan Levi is an experienced entrepreneur and angel investor from Silicon Valley.

After successfully selling his Inc 5,000 rated startup in April of 2011, Levi enlisted the help of speed-reading expert and university professor Anna Goldentouch, who tutored him in speed-reading, advanced memorization, and more. Levi saw incredible results while earning his MBA from INSEAD, and later went on to teach a best-selling online course on the subject. With this unique skill, he has become a proficient lifehacker, optimizing and "hacking" such processes as travel, sleep, language learning, and fitness.

  • Thomas Majer

    Harry is incredible. Thanks so much for getting him on the show. I will have to get his book!

  • Said R

    Was indeed a long podcast, but it’s worth listening !