40+FAB Blog

Commit it to memory

One of the most important abilities we have as humans is the ability to remember. Our memory temporarily stores what we encounter from day to day, and without making a conscious effort, we tend to forget experiences we have come across.

Committing things to memory is important because if we remember, then we don’t have to learn the same lessons over and over again. I vaguely remember as a child the first time my finger was burnt by a candle light. I was told it would hurt me several times before the incident, but I never committed it to memory until I got hurt. Since then, I have been very careful not to leave my finger above any form of open fire. If that wasn’t committed to memory, I would have to go through the pain of being burnt each time I got fascinated by a lit candle.

So why is it that in some areas of life, like relationships for instance, we get ‘burnt’ by a certain type of person and when they leave us, we quickly jump into another relationship with someone who is very similar to the one who hurt us? Is it that we did not remember, or is it that we have not understood how to wrestle with our memories until we learn from them?

Excitement or pain are like strong glue that stick events into our memories, and this is a great way to simulate your learning. However, all the memories that have stuck need to be processed into useful insights that will keep us moving forward and winning in life. The memories are there for a reason explore them and make them work in your favour.