Category Archives: Memories

What’s The Meaning Behind You Now?

I knew this guy once that was really good at reading lips. He had some long convoluted story about he learned that particular skill. I had nothing to do with being deaf or knowing anybody that was deaf. I think he was just the kind of guy that would study up on strange skills that most people wouldn’t normally think to learn.

Like this one guy considered himself an expert in predicting how much daylight was left while looking at the sun. He would always impress whoever he was with by looking at the sun, checking how many fingers he could hold up at arm’s length between the horizon and the sun’s lower edge. He could usually predict the exact time; to the second the sun’s last visible part would dip below the horizon.

Kind of like that episode of Star Trek where they landed on some planet and the flowers had some weird chemical that made the crew members go wacky. Spock lost all of his logic, and for the first time, expressed awe at the beauty of a rainbow. He said something along the lines of “I could explain to you in precise scientific detail why that occurs, but I feel it would take away from its beauty.”

So this guy would usually sit in restaurants and entertain whoever he was with by looking around the room the tell us whatever people were talking about. At first it seemed kind of like we were in on some secret CIA spy stuff, then we then realized that most of the stuff people talk about while they are at a restaurant is kind of boring.

Of course, every once in a while you might find an interesting conversation, but nothing really worth anything. We never got any inside information on a hot stock or a horse that was sure thing. The closest we got was the kind of juicy gossip you see on a soap opera.

I suppose it’s like those guys in New York that buy telescopes to look out there windows into other peoples living rooms. I suppose most of the time it’s pretty boring. Perhaps once in a while you might get lucky and see a murder, like in “Rear Window,” or maybe a porno being shot, but most of the time it’s just some dude, or a couple sitting around watching TV.

Of course the real fun begins when you find that somebody is watching you, while you are sitting there reading this. Is there somebody behind you?

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How to Easily Improve Your Memory and Always Remember Names

Have you ever been talking to somebody, and halfway through the conversation, you suddenly realize that you’ve completely forgotten their name? Maybe you looked around and hoped you would see somebody that knew them, so you could later ask what their name was. Or maybe you lost track of the conversation completely as you racked your brain trying to remember their name.

Of course, the worse thing that could happen is that a friend joins the conversation, and you are suddenly on the spot of making the socially required introductions. You can either admit you’ve forgotten their name, and look foolish, or you can ignore the introductions and hope they introduce themselves, and look rude. Either way, forgetting somebody’s name is an almost certain way to put you into a bind.

Luckily, because you are reading this you are about to discover how to remember names so that you will never find yourself in an uncomfortable position again. And one cool thing about this trick is that it can be applied to any situating where you need to remember important facts or details, and it wouldn’t be appropriate to write them down.

Before I explain the simple trick, one important, and often misunderstood concept about memory needs to be addressed. Remembering things, names, places, dates, etc, is not a passive process. You have to make a conscious choice, combined with conscious mental action if you want to remember anything, at least at first. Just like riding a bicycle, once you get the hang of it, you can do it without thinking.

Memory is no different. If you are having problems now, you can take simple steps that consciously remember things, just like you had to remember to hold the handle bars and pedal and steer so you wouldn’t crash into things or fall over. But just as you soon were able to ride a bike without thinking, you will soon be able to remember things without thinking.

The idea behind this is called pegging. A peg it simply something you hang something. Physically a peg is something on wall that many people use to hang their keys on, so they won’t forget where they are. You can do the same with names.

The idea is to make a decision that you want to remember their name before you get it from them. It may seem cumbersome at first, but once you get the hang of it will be second nature.

The trick is to give somebody a name before you meet them. And not just any name, something specific about the way they look, or walk or talk. The key here is to be as humorous, demeaning, politically incorrect as possible. This is ok, because you won’t be sharing this name with anybody. Then when you hear their name, you will need to connect their actual name in some way with the politically incorrect name you gave them before.

This requires a bit of mental flexibility, as you will need to take their name and create a mental picture of something associated with that name.

For example. Let’s say you are at a party, and you see somebody you might meet. You look at him, and he has a big nose. So right away you think of him as “Mr. Big Nose.” (Remember, you aren’t going to share this with anybody). Then when you hear his name, you create a picture based on his name, and attach it to “Mr. Big Nose” in your mind.

Let’s say his name is Mike. You can think of a microphone, and imagine a cluster of microphones dangling from his nose. Or lets say his name is Dave. You can think of a wave (rhymes with Dave) and imagine a giant thirty-foot tsunami exploding from is nostrils. Or if his name is George, you can imagine either the monkey, curious George, playing his hose, or George of the Jungle, swinging on vine from his nose, or George Washington, and imagine a cluster of rolled up one dollar bills stuck in his nose.

This may seem like a lot of work, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you can master this. You can practice this a couple ways. One way is to look online for baby names, and practice thinking of pictures to associate with common names you might hear. And when you are out in public, like at Starbucks or wherever, you can practice giving people politically incorrect names like “Mr. Big Nose,” or “Mr. Blue Shirt,” or “Miss Big Hair,” or “Miss on sale shoes,” or whatever. You will only need to practice this a couple of times before you get really good at it.

If you need motivation, just imagine what it will be like when people think of you as the person that always remembers people’s names. And when you realize that remembering somebody’s name is the absolute best way to make an impression, you’ll also really increase your popularity.

House of Receding Horrors

I remember when I was a kid there was an amusement park I would go to. It wasn’t a huge amusement park like Disneyland or anything, it was one of those small, local ones that some cities have near beaches. They had a few rides that were ok, if you were a kid. Sometimes I wonder how those places can get insurance with all the questionable people they have working there. I don’t think I remember ever seeing somebody working there that seemed like a person you see working someplace else, like at the grocery store or your local coffee shop or something. The kind of person that gets to know you and what you buy or order or whatever.

If you’ve ever seen a person like this outside of their your normal meeting place it’s always kind of weird. You either don’t recognize them, and wonder where you know them from, or you recognize them, but you both feel kind of awkward because you are away from your normal comfortable meeting place. Maybe I’m paranoid, but sometimes the thought strikes and makes me wonder if all those times they are being friendly is because of their job or not.

One thing about this amusement park always scared me. It was the haunted house. I had only been inside twice when I was a kid, and both times scared the crap out of me. I only went in because my friends and I all dared each other. Of course I didn’t let on how scared I was, and I suppose my friends were all the same, to some extent. But I can’t forget how scared I was both times. The place was dark, you couldn’t see where you were going, it had this weird smell like an old doctors office that hadn’t been cleaned in a while, and there were these weird sounds that you couldn’t really tell where they were coming from. It seemed like no matter which way you were facing, the sounds seemed like they were behind you and getting closer by the second. I couldn’t get out of there quick enough. Probably the thing that terrified me the most was at one point I almost panicked, and had to leave, but I couldn’t find where the exit was. There were no exit lights anywhere, and all I could hear were those sounds like some old lady breathing right behind me, and everywhere I turned seemed to be a dead end. I almost fainted from shock.

One time used to hang out in this bookstore once a week, and it only took the people a couple weeks to realize that I ordered the same thing every week. Pretty soon when they saw me, whoever it was, they would just smile and say “large iced tea?” right away with raised eyebrows just to make sure. I remember seeing one of the girls that worked there in a total different environment, and before any of those uncertain feelings or questions came up, she said “large iced tea!” with a smile, instead of this time, saying it like a question, she said it like a statement of recognition. It took care of all my concerns in one fell swoop.

I visited my friend a couple weeks ago that lived in the town where they had that amusement park. I was sure that it would be torn down and replaced by affordable housing or something, but it was still there. Just for fun my friend and I went to that haunted house, and I’ll admit I was a bit nervous going in, but boy was I surprised. It smelled like some incense you buy at a car wash, and the sound they had piped through was completely laughable. It sounded like some old woman who had been smoking for too long, but it was on this crappy loop that lasted only about four seconds, and kept repeating. There was an obvious gap when the tape repeated itself, which gave it an odd cartoonish feeling. And even though the exits weren’t marked where they normally would, because they had to have them noted by law, they had decided them to write them on the ground. So all you had to do was look down and see where the arrows were pointing to leave. The exit was never more than a few steps away. I couldn’t this pitiful haunted house had caused me so much fear earlier. I guess that’s what happens when you let your imagination run away with you.

Pay Attention to the Wisdom of Your Mind

As you are sitting there now, reading these words, feeling those feelings in that chair, you can begin to notice the sounds around you. And as you expand your awareness to the sounds around you, you might begin to notice certain sensations that you hadn’t noticed before. The feeling in your left leg, the feeling behind your right ear, the sensations on the bottom of your feet. And as you feel those sensations, and hear those sounds around you, you may begin to remember memories of things that happened before. Memories that you hadn’t remembered to think about until now. Happy memories, pleasant memories. You might begin to recall ideas you had from before that you hadn’t begun to follow through on yet. Ideas like this one, or that one, that seemed like a wonderful thing, a wonderful idea of something that you could do or say or express, and then somehow something else happened, and that wonderful idea went to the back of your mind, where it’s been waiting ever since, for you to come here and remember it.

One of the good things about memories is that the really good ones have a tendency to come out more often than others. Some of these disguise themselves as “bad” memories that you don’t want to think about. Like one day you’ll be doing something that you normally do every day, and one of “those” thoughts will pop into your head and you’ll realize after you’ve thought this thought for a few moments that it isn’t a particularly happy thought, and you wonder why it keeps running around and around in your head if you don’t like thinking it.

The reason I use the word ‘disguise’ is because they are actually trying to help you in some way. Sometimes a thought will origin with the intention of pointing out something to you, and it will grab whatever metaphorical memories that it thinks will help you out the most. Often times these metaphorical memories are rather mysterious, and instead of looking for the underlying message, we tend to try and force the ‘bad’ thought out of our minds.

I had a friend once that was a really spiritual person. She was always wearing different colored crystals and practicing different forms of meditation. I went to a lecture once with her of this guy that was some mystical guru from India. It was at this new age center downtown in the city I was living at the time. There were several very interesting people there, and they were all from different disciplines and areas of expertise. It was interesting because the guru from India gave his message using lots of metaphorical terms that could be use to apply to many different situations. After the lecture, we went out with a couple of her friends to a Pakistani restaurant nearby. It’s interesting when you find things are close by that you didn’t know before. Kind of like finding related things when you didn’t have any idea these things have anything to do with each other.

So while we were eating, one of her friends started telling me about his spiritual guide. Now as soon as he started talking about a spiritual guide, I was reminded of an interesting religious ceremony I witnessed once while in Taiwan. I was at friends house, which happened to be next door to a temple. My friend’s uncle owned the temple, and my friend and her family lived in the house. One of her older relatives (I think) stood in front of the alter at the temple, and then started mumbling a bunch of really incoherent speech, at least it was incoherent to me. My friend calmly explained that he was channeling entities from some other Buddhist plain of existence. I wasn’t sure what to think about this so I just kind of watched with interest. He went on like this for about ten minutes, until he finished and left.

So this guy says that when he communities with his spiritual guide, his guide sometimes gives him direct suggestions, and ideas. Other times his guide speaks only in pictures that sometimes takes him several days to understand. He says that everybody has a spiritual guide, even if they don’t know it. He said that most people’s spirit guides try and communicate to the person based on the person’s own belief system and upbringing. This where the Catholic Church got the idea of Guardian Angels (which is an official belief in the Catholic Catechism).
He went on to say that the secret in correctly interpreting your spirit’s communication is to be open, and to trust your mind to come up with the right answer.

Which it’s good to always pay attention to your stray thoughts, because you never can be sure where they are coming from.

Powerfully Change Your Present by Easily Changing Your Past

There has been a lot of talk in the media and in popular areas of discussion recently about the importance of happiness. Happiness is that elusive goal that you don’t really know how to define it, but you certainly can appreciate it when you have it. Many people have tried to define happiness in such a way as being measure by external circumstances. Money, Car, Friends, Relationships. Most people don’t realize that the path to happiness is an inside game. Of course, I’m sure you’re also aware that a solid inside game automatically leads to a fantastic outside reality. The mistake most people make, is that when they see an outside reality in somebody else’s life, they try to reproduce the outer effects, without realizing that you need to pay attention to the inside first, and the outside will naturally follow. One way to do this is to change your happiness set point.

One of the best way to increase your happiness set point is to change the thoughts that you habitually think. If this sounds confusing, don’t worry. It is actually fairly easy once you incorporate some easy habits into your daily life. Long term success is all about what you set up to do today, on a regular basis, so that your future will automatically come pre delivered the way you want it.

The first step in changing your habitual thoughts is to become aware of them. Most people amble through life, day after day, thinking the same thoughts over and over without really being aware of it. Because the brain is not only incredibly fast, but also incredibly efficient, there are thousands of thoughts that happen below the threshold of conscious awareness.

For example, when I was a kid, I was out riding my bike. I saw a big scary dog, that growled at me and showed me his big white sharp teeth, dripping with saliva he was no doubt hoping to use to digest my bones after he ate me. The standoff lasted for only a few seconds, but in my childhood mind, it seemed like an eternity. Now when I see a dog, my brain immediately notices that there is a dog in front of me. It then sorts through all my memories of dogs to determine the appropriate emotional response. When it finds that memory I described above, it comes back with the emotion of scary, danger, run away. This all happens so quickly that when I see a dog today, I seemingly immediately only notice a feeling of anxiety. I’m not aware that my brain is doing all that searching and deciding.

It’s only when I unpack that memory, and do some basic memory operation procedures to detach the unpleasantness from that memory of the dog from my current experience, that I can see a dog and feel a sense of happiness and safety, rather than anxiety and fear.

One way to look at your happiness set point is the sum total of your automatic responses to the environment that you encounter on a regular basis. If you are deathly afraid of snakes, and your next door neighbor has a pet boa constrictor that he takes out for a walk the same time as you every morning, you are not going to have a particularly high happiness set point.

What can be helpful, is to go back in time, in your mind, and change whatever memory is there that your brain uses as a reference to tell you to be afraid of snakes.

It sounds really bizarre, but it is pretty simple, and kind of fun when you can learn to do it fairly quickly. Here’s how I did it with my dog memory.

First thing I did was to go back and find the first memory of the dog. Because this can take some time, it may be the most cumbersome step. More practice will yield more memory dexterity, so don’t worry.

Next you tweak the heck out of the memory, so it doesn’t bother you any more. One way to do this, is to relive it, but change certain aspects of it. Like you can view it dissociated. That means that instead of being “in” the memory, I am actually watching myself have a showdown with the dog. And every time I relive that memory, I can change it. Like I can make the dog really small, with clown shoes on. Or I can make the dog dripping grape kool aid instead of child digesting saliva. Or I can have a flea circus performing on the dog’s back, complete with trapeze and the tiny clown fleas getting out of the even tinier clown flea VW bug.

And on top of all the above tricks, you can play the memory backwards, forwards, stuttered, black and white. You can even make the dog a person dressed in a dog costume. And the whole time I am doing this, I can imagine my adult self standing behind my child self, with my steady adult hand on my child shoulder, telling him how funny that dog looks.

I only had to do this a few times, before that memory lost it’s bite. (sorry.) And when you begin to go through your daily life, and systematically dig up and change memories that are giving you trouble, you can really start to raise up your happiness set point. Imagine what life will be like when ordinary objects that you see every day can give you feelings of hope and happiness instead of fear and anxiety.

After all, they are your thoughts. You can think them any way you want to.


Shadow Acting

Have you ever stopped to realize that something in your experience wasn’t exactly quite what you thought it was? An event or a situation that you interpreted one way, but as you look back, it takes on a new light?

For example, think of something in your past, something that happened, say five or ten years ago. And imagine as you were, just before that situation took place. And now imagine yourself as you were going through that situation. How does that feel? What do you see? What do you hear?

What meanings do you choose to give the events unfolding around you, now, as you remember what happened to you in your past? What was the one element of that experience that you chose to define it for you? Was it the way something appeared, or what somebody said, or something about the way somebody looked at you? Perhaps it was the way you felt afterwards?

For example, once I saw a guy talking into a mirror at the gym. He was standing really close, and he was really animated.  Talking with fluidly changing and almost chaotic facial expressions, arms flailing around. The meaning that I chose to give to that situation was that the guy was crazy. I could have given another meaning, since I really didn’t know what was going on, but that was my best, my quickest guess.

Now what happens if you take your earlier situation, and then move forward in time  a couple of years, or even right up until recently. Can you find another similarly structured situation, but with a completely different meaning that you decided to give it? What was different? Why was the second situation, which was similar to the first, different in the meaning that you gave it? Were there different, more familiar people involved? Was the setting more comfortable? Had the weather changed for the better?

In my situation, I saw another guy talking to himself in the mirror. I didn’t know him, but I surmised he was practicing for a performance, because he was standing outside of a theater that I go to sometimes. I saw two different guys, that I’d never met before doing the same thing, but I gave them two different meanings. One guy was loony, and one guy was a professional actor practicing his craft.

What was different for you?

One of the more interesting things about this, is that as you increase your understanding of your experience, and naturally apply different realizations, it follows that you can vastly increase your potential for flexibility in your perception. And when you can apply this flexibility in real-time, so you discover different choices for the meanings that you used to give automatically, your world will astoundingly open up.


The Power of Focus

Drifting aimlessly. Meandering here and there. Wandering up and down, back and forth, left and right. Not traveling in any discernable direction. Seemingly without aim or purpose. Reacting, rather than acting. Reacting automatically to an environment that is as unpredictable as the earth is old. These are your thoughts. And unless you learn to control your thoughts, your thoughts will control you.

Unfortunately if you allow that to happen, which all too many people do, you place yourself under the control of a infinitely complex feedback loop to which you have no option other than follow blindly, and hope everything works out.  You know too well that it rarely does.

And the worse part is that those times when it doesn’t work out, although it seems like the responsibility lies outside your wonderfully developed mind-body biological system, in truth, the responsibility lies with you. And only you. I believe it was Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin that said it best.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way. God, Mother Nature, the wonderfully random process of Darwinian Natural Selection, whoever or whatever it was that created you, didn’t create such a magnificent collection of cells and bones and muscles, and your fantastically powerful brain to just wander aimlessly through life.

You were created for a purpose, a reason, a destination. You are a missile with a highly sophisticated guidance system that scientiests are just now starting to understand. And known to only a few people, and put into practice by even fewer, is one of the easiest ways to harness the awesome power of your mind. To develop the power of concentration.

Remember when you were a kid, and you or some of your friends would play with a magnifying glass? You could take a very inexpensive magnifying glass, even one made of cheap plastic, and use it to focus the passive rays of the sun into incredible power. Power to burn, power to start fires. That power was harnessed by taking only a minuscule sliver of the suns total power and focusing it. The sun is a giant ball of fire, much bigger than the Earth fueled by the process of nuclear fusion, changing hydrogen atoms into helium atoms. One substance, one process, and enough energy to power an entire planet through eon after eon.

Your brain is infinitely more complex and intricate than that. Infinitely more rich. Infinitely more resourceful. The sun produces heat, and fire, and radiation. Your brain can produce ideas, which can turn into cities, art, cathedrals, poems, songs, equations. Whatever you can imagine, you can create. And you have the power to focus yourself.  Strengthen your mind so you focus your thoughts only on what supports and enlightens you. Focus your thoughts only on ideas that can increase happiness and abundance for you and those you love.

How to do that? How to gain that elusive power that through simple practice will give you an edge almost unheard of in today’s world?

Consistent practice. Opposite of the practice of meditation, in which you practice the emptying of your mind. To practice focus, think of an object. An apple. A bright red apple. Hold the thought in your mind of only an apple. Hold it for as long as you can. If you can hold it for five seconds, you’re doing pretty good. Practice whenever you get a chance. Red lights. In the bathroom. On the elevator. Decide to choose a thought, and hold only that thought for as long as you can.

When you can hold a simple thought, of a simple picture, move on to more complicated pictures. Ones containing a small amount of motion. A hummingbird floating next to a feeder. A clown juggling three bowling balls. A seal with a phone book balanced on its nose.

When you get good at that, you can move on to the next step. You’ll need to prepare yourself with five fantastic memories. If you ever notice your thoughts drifting to unhappy imaginations about the future, you can pull up your five happy memories, and force out the bad guys.

Start by remembering a happy memory from childhood. Really get into it. Close your eyes and easily allow yourself to float back into that memory. Really relive it. Relive it several times. Every time you relive this, put the memory into your left thumb. That’s right, put that wonderful memory into your left thumb. Use what you learned about pegging in the articles on memory and associate that memory with your left thumb.

Do the same with your forefinger, middle finger, ring finger and pinky. Take your time. They don’t have to be childhood memories. Any good memory will do. Make sure it’s a strong, powerful memory. Sex, money, sports, anything that causes you to automatically remember good feelings will work.

You might need to practice a few times before it really sets. But after you take the time to really attach those good memories to your left hand, you will have a powerful source to instantly and powerfully re direct your brain should you ever find yourself thinking less than supportive thoughts. Just open your left hand, and take a moment with your thumb and your fingers recalling all those good memories you’ve programmed in. Once you cycle through all five, make a fist and hold it up to sybolically chase the bad thoughts that have crept into your brain.

After you do this consciously a few times you won’t even have to recall the memories. By training your brain in this manner, simply by clenching your left hand into a fist will immediately flood your brain with good thoughts.

In future articles, I will teach you how install resources, goals, and other skills so you can automatically direct your brain, giving you the power to accomplish great things in your life.



As you read this, sitting in that chair, noticing the sounds in your environment, take a moment and remember something that makes you feel good. Any memory will do. Yesterday, last week, three years ago. Got one? Good. It’s nice to have good memories, isn’t it? Try it again. Choose a different one. Like that one time, when you did that thing that was so, you know. And when you think of that now, you can remember how that made you feel? Ok?

Sometimes though, you’ll be walking down the street, minding your own business, and you’ll see something, and it will remind you of something else, and that will remind you of THAT, and instant blah. Now you’re in a bad mood. Why did you have to think of that? Don’t you hate it when that happens? Well this is your lucky day. How would you like to go in and surgically change the feelings of bad memories? So when you remember it, it makes you feel neutral, or even good? How would that be? Ok?

Ok. Here’s what you need. Think of a semi bad memory (after you learn to do this easily, you can go and destroy bigger and badder memories, pick an easy one for practice.)  Choose one where there is a specific picture you can think of to get that old yucky feeling. Ok, got it? Ok put it aside for now, we’ll mess it up in a little bit.

Now think of a good memory. Something that you can think of where a picture of it will give you a good feeling. Anything will do.

For example, my bad picture is of this kid that used to tease me in grade school. Called me Georgie Porgie…kissed the girls…etc.  And my good picture is of my friends kid, who’s four and always smiling and laughing and full of energy.

Ok, here’s what you do. Take the bad picture, and put it in your left hand (in your imagination) and slowly bring it to your face. When you do this, you should slowly feel the semi bad feeling increase in intensity. When your hand gets about halfway to your face, IMMEDIATELY and powerfully bring the other hand, which contains the other GOOD picture to your face, and REALLY FEEL the good feeling hit you full on in the face.


Ok, shake your hands out, think of something neutral, like the middle name of your second cousin spelled backwards or something. Do it again. Remember, left hand slow to your face, semi bad emotion getting more intense, and then BAM (Just like Emerill) right hand with the good feeling suddenly flooding your surprised brain with good feelings. Remember to see the pictures. If you can’t see the pictures, just pretend. Your brain doesn’t know the difference.  Do this 10 or 15 times. It shouldn’t take more than a couple minutes.

What most people notice, is that after you do this a few times, when you try and think of that old memory that used to give you that old emotion, it doesn’t work any more. You’ve successfully scrambled your own brain. Isn’t that fun? You might have to do this a couple days for it to take, but that’s normal.

So now, when you are walking down the street thinking about lolly pops and puppy dogs and something hijacks your good feelings with a stray memory, you can straighten it right out. BAM!