“Don’t blame the child for forgetting lessons; make the lessons unforgettable.” – Sonam Wangchuk
I have actually forgotten what title I should put for this blog… I wanted to write earlier but I forgot how busy I was… forgetting… is it an excuse or is it real that we forget?
According to Dartmouth university… There are seven -(7) reasons, Why we forget…
1. Negative self-concept: we think of ourselves forgetting things.
For me, this is true because I give power to what I focus on. When I keep conditioning (programming) my mind that I am not good at remembering… will it come true? Most likely… Well, it’s time for me to change my focus… and I can use some great tools to help me to remember.
2. We have not learned the material well.
If something is to be retained, it must be correctly, clearly and forcibly impressed on the mind. We must give it the necessary attention and interest. Self-questioning and spaced or periodic reviews are essential.
Learning is like cultivating a habit… the more you do (repeat), the longer it stays. Whether it is a good or bad habit (where you get outcomes that are not helping you), it will stick. Perfect practice, makes perfect.
3. Psychological reasons: defensive forgetting
Generally, unpleasant things are remembered better than pleasant things (especially by pessimists), and both pleasant and unpleasant things are remembered better than materials we are indifferent to.
Then, this is a matter of choice… and whatever the choice is, there will be a price to pay (outcomes and consequences).
Memories fade away rapidly when not reviewed or used. But “forgotten” material can be relearned in less time than is required for the original learning, even after many years’ disuse. Even material that we do not relearn has undoubtedly been transformed into attitudes and values that form the foundations of our judgment. Education pays in spite of all the details that are forgotten.
This is like keeping things and after awhile, we tend to forget about them… then one fine day when you discovered the forgotten things… they are like hidden treasures… or in other words, once we learn how to swim or ride a bicycle, the skills will be there, we could be “rusty” and the skills can be retrained to gain the confidence and stamina.
5. Interference due to emotional problems, anxieties, distractions, intense concentration on something else, and intellectual interference
Intellectual interference or mental overcrowding can be minimized if we reflect on our reading and experiences, understand them, clarify them, associate, and organize them so they will not interfere with each other. We must avoid cramming and overcrowding our learning hours with unorganized material. There is more interference between two similar subjects than between two unlike subjects. (Follow study of history with chemistry rather than English history or literature.) Furthermore, there should be rest periods at intervals to allow the brain to lie fallow. Continuous undifferentiated activities apparently fight for a place in the memory. Since we cannot be awake without thinking, it should follow that there is more loss of memory for learned material when one is awake than when one is sleeping. (So study and then sleep.)
Learn to “chunk it down”… accomplish with small actions and as long as we keep moving, some how, we will be able to complete the journey / task. Take a rest if we must… to recharge, rejuvenate… then start again until we finish the journey / task. For me, sleep is important, days when I have lack of sleep, I will be experiencing brain fog, cannot concentrate and remember things… though some may feel that, if I were to put more waking hours to do the things I want to do… that is being efficient and that does not mean that we can be effective in getting better results.
6. Changed Cues
Recall what happens on tests. You studied the material one way, the test question was presented in another (cues were changed). If you learn material with too great dependence upon the phraseology of the textbook, you may be at a loss to remember some of the material if you cannot recall the exact wording of the text. As with your outlining assignments, restate or rephrase the ideas in your own words to insure remembering.
We can use tools to stimulate and remind us… triggering us to remember… some of the tools that I use will be:
- paper and pen (sticky notes, cue cards, etc.)
- to do list (there are many apps with our smart phones)
- accountability partner
- calendar (in the cloud, phone, computer or planner)
Experiment the tools that will be best for you. Never use, never know.
7. Lack of Attention and Effort
The art of memory is the art of attention-attending to the material WHOLLY. Moreover, there must be effort to remember.
When we put in the effort (taking actions), we will get the results (more or less)… as long as we keep moving, we will reach our destination (provided if we are moving in the right direction…). Thus, planning and preparation is key, then we start to move, we can always fine-tune along the way. We are the captains of our lives… we chart the course and live of lives.
“The process of learning requires not only hearing and applying but also forgetting and then remembering again.” – John Gray