"Meh, these methods are silly and useless!" How to talk with skeptical people?

Hello Dear Memory Team! :slight_smile:
I have a question for you. Question about a strategy.

I am a guy who promotes memory methods in Poland by many types of content, lectures etc. During my journey I’ve met many great people who love to build mind palaces and they totally understand the whole philosophy behind the world of mnemonics.

However, as you may notice in your country, there are many people who don’t see opportunities in their life to apply memory methods. The palace may sound sexy and it’s quite fun to remember the list of 20 words by placing them around stations in your flat but what’s the next step? I mean, sometimes they don’t see that they can apply it in business, education or daily life.

Sometimes I show the memory palace exercise on anatomical example and even then students ask me “How can I apply it in my medical school?”. So my answer is usually “check Alex Mullen and look how great memory palace is as a learning tool”. It’s quite interesting to me that people don’t believe that they can memorize thousands of terms and definitions by this method even when you’ve just told them that we know memory athletes who can remember thousands of information in seconds!

So here is my question. Have you experienced some conversations with skeptical people? People who say “palace is OK but I don’t understand how can I apply it in my life and it seems quite silly to convert everything into funny pictures”? If so, how do you deal with this approach? Is it possible to change someone’s mind in this case or as memory methods enthusiasts we should focus on these people who instantly see how to use mnemonics in daily life?

I usually try to show people the most practical cases of using memory methods. For business people I try to talk about names and faces. For students about a place in your mind where you can keep every topic you just learned. As a daily life example I try to explain that you can easily memorize lists, passwords, numbers etc. Do you use other examples to make it easier to understand and make people less skeptical in terms of memory methods?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!


A similar question is asked here:



Thank you very much! I need to work on my searching ability. :slight_smile:

I am delighted to be of service.

Very good question. I teach memory techniques to classes. I teach names and faces because it’s practical, I also teach the memory palace and explain that they can use it for presentations.

I think I would point out that to achieve greatness in anything requires work and time. Is it useless to go to the gym just so you don’t die at an early age from poor health? Memory training helps people to focus, strengthen neural pathways in the brain and it’s so simple. Like meditation, the only real tool you need is your mind. If they think it’s silly, just remind them it’s exactly how the Ancient Greeks and Roman (some of the most enlighten people in history used it). If they still think it’s silly they aren’t the type of person you should teach. You can’t force enlightenment on people, you can try to explain but if they still don’t get it just move on.

Livan Grijalva