In 2013, I wrote an article titled, ‘How Repetition Enhances Intelligence.’ I am not a psychologist, but a personal development enthusiast who believes that nothing can become something if the right developmental steps are taken. I say this because I come from nothing but pushed myself to something, and if today, I become nothing, I won’t fret because I know how to become something. Let me point out that becoming something isn’t about how much you have, or your social status – it is about your inner beliefs, giving yourself a self-worth, and embracing the intent behind your design; in other words, your purpose of existence. Becoming something also, is about your ability to perceive, foresee, envision, and pursue passionately the pictures of the future, and making sure that that picture does not only end up as a frame on the walls of your mind, but becomes feasible and tangible.
A few years ago, I was cracking a joke with someone, and the person responded by saying that I like hearing my own voice. I laughed but was a bit pricked because it was an insinuation that I talk too much and never let other people contribute – that obviously was not me. Recently, I began pondering on ‘hearing your own voice,’ and began also to realise that the ability to hear your own voice has a positive connotation – the connotation is that it has the ability to improve your power of recall. When I came to that understanding, I began to practise it. How?
I say words to myself, and allow my external and internal ears to listen to them. Your internal ears are your mental ears – they are the ears of your mind. Any word that goes into your mind has the ability to reverberate, and reverberation produces echoes. Because of the echoes, you are blessed with the opportunity to hear a number of times, the words that are spoken once – that is, if you pay attention to your inner self. For instance, you are prone to hear over and over again any negative words that people tell you, and for that, you have sleepless nights, all because the words produce continuous echoes in your mind. Same thing happens for every word, but you are unable to hear those other words because you aren’t paying attention to them. Imagine how your memories will be enhanced if you begin to listen to the echoes of that subject or topic.
Developing interest in a subject or topic will help you pay attention to the echoes of that topic. For subjects or topics you don’t like, you must somehow look for something that interests you so as to be able to store the needed information required to help you get along with your pursuit, or save you from embarrassment. Gulping some knowledge is like taking some bitter pills – somehow, you look for a way to swallow it – you can use some fruit juice, or chew some biscuits immediately after swallowing.
I am a person not good at recalling numbers, no matter how few they may be – I am good in Mathematics, but when I have a new phone number, it is so bad that it could take me, sometimes, over six months to register my number in my head. What has helped me of recent is listening to the echoes of numbers – I call the numbers, and use the ears of my mind to listen over and over again as it reverberates, and with that, it is becoming easier to recall.
However, mental reverberations or echoes don’t just happen; they happen as a result of certain factors. One of the factors that elicit mental echoes is meditation. Meditation, in my understanding is not spiritual – it is psychological. But what I know is that the psychological links the physical with the spiritual. As you ponder on a specific subject or topic, it gets recorded in your subconscious, and the subconscious replays the information over and over again in your mind. Same goes with recitation, which is a form of meditation. Recitation involves memorising, saying the words back to yourself, and muttering it over and over again. What you repeat consistently gets retained – the amount you retain depends on how much you repeat it.
The most important factor that powers reverberation, inner echoes, or meditation is music. Any information you turn into musical lyrics and composition stick into your memories almost for life. I remember as a secondary school student, my mates and I wanted to know off heart, the first twenty elements of the periodic table – what we did was turn it into a song, and up till today, I can tell you what they are, all because we turned them into music. If you forget all you’ve read in this boring article, please don’t forget music. Besides turning information into music, listening to certain types of music help you understand certain topics or assimilate certain information as quickly as possible. I discovered that I feel more alert solving mathematics when listening to either jazz or classical music, and the knowledge I acquire in those times get retained for an appreciable length of time.
Music may have its negative influence, but if properly channelled into sensible applications, one will be inundated by the amount of good it does to the human ability to ingest, absorb and retain valuable information. According to bebrainfit.com, music improves language development, brain connectivity, spatial intelligence, and IQ – it also increases neurotransmitter dopamine, which is the brain’s motivation molecule. Music also helps stimulate brain hormone oxytocin which is the moral molecule that helps people bond together. On music and the brain, the UK Guardian writes, “Evidence suggests music and dance have therapeutic value for patients with Parkinson’s disease, inspiring them to perform movements which they normally can’t do. But the most moving biological phenomenon is in stroke patients who have lost the power of speech. For some, the brain areas responsible for singing words are distinct and can be spared from damage which destroys the main speech areas. These patients can sing all the words of a song, but can’t repeat them in prose or even say their own name.”
Surely, inner echoes enhance memories, whether short or long term memories, but it is more evident in short term memories. The more you reverberate information in the inner recesses of the mind, the more likely you are able to retain and recall information. I insist that no one is unintelligent, the problem simply lies in the methodology used in assimilating information, and the time it takes each person to use the methodology. The time factor is driven by hard work and consistency – if one consistently does something, the time it takes to do it gets shorter on the long run.