Question about memorizing actions

Hi, I’ve started practicing the Dominic method and really enjoy it
However, I have a question about the best way to go about memorizing actions.
When I memorize an action, should I just memorize the action occurring by the person with whom it is associated with? Or should I practice with that action being completely independent?
For example, if Albert Einstein is one of my people, and I want to remember the action for “his” number 15, should I actually remember Albert Einstein’s face as he writes E=MC^2 on a chalkboard? Or just maybe a generalized version, like a black silhouette doing the writing?
It seems like memorizing actions and having them associated with the human is more intuitive and easier, but in the long run, maybe that would make it harder to generalize those actions to other characters, as the movement is mapped in your mind to that single person.
I hope this makes sense. Thanks for your help!


You need to see somebody doing the action because the action can’t really exist by itself. You can picture running without something running. You don’t have to worry about the action being attached to only one person. I can see any action of mine with any person because why wouldn’t I? If I can see a Chuck Norris eating, then I can see Big Bird eating as well haha


In my case, actions come faster than persons in mind. Resulting in an unknown person does the action, and easily forget who is doing the action. :dizzy_face:


@rooster_lips, I agree with @Antelex in that a good action is strong enough to separate from the rest of the imagery. It is isolated from a person so that it’s reusable. In Albert’s case, writing with chalk is the action key but when associated with the person key you see the e=mc^2 amidst other formulas. Michael Jackson, however would use chalk to sketch out a dance step on a sidewalk for choreography. Each person provides the context to a unique action so the image becomes unique. Test your actions to see if they can be reused with your people.

What did you use for Einstein’s object? Maybe his tongue sticking out in the famous photo?


Thanks a lot for the thoughtful response.

So what you are saying is, “an action should be good enough to not have it polluted by it’s associated person.” Is that right?

This is my process when I try to remember an action, ala the Dominic Method:

  • Generate a 2 digit number
  • map the digits to letters
    *** pull up the person in my memory**
  • think of their action, but remove that person from the action

Is seems like there is an unnecessary step there. I became aware of it, when a friend was quizzing me on numbers when we were driving across the Bay Bridge. She said, “I notice, whenever you give me an action, you also give me the person it originally came from”.

It’s a paradox, because I can’t think of “writing E=MC^2 on the chalkboard” without first pulling up Albert Einstein.
If I’m good enough to pull up “writing E=MC^2 on the chalkboard” without thinking of Albert Einstein first…then what is the purpose of a person having their own action in the first place? Maybe we should just memorize 100 actions, that aren’t related to anyone at all.

Uggg I hope this makes sense…


@rooster_lips you make a lot of sense!

You have a two-digit piece of information that is encoded to letters (Dominic) which is then associated to your memory image using a peg system (the PAO). You are using the PAO system as a rule-based sequential system where you add visual meaning to the two encoded letters by associating it with a person.

The only way you can get to an action is through the person in your system so it works. Some people associate the encoded letters to the object, and some mix it up. But it really doesn’t work well to associate it directly with the action because of the way we form sentences in English (subject → verb → direct object). You’ll always have that extra step to go from person or object to the related action.

The important part of the action is that it is generalized enough to be reusable for any of your people and objects. If you use Einstein is writing on the blackboard with chalk as your PAO entry, then anyone can be at the blackboard writing and any object could be use to write although it might pose some creative challenges. You could also use Einstein is writing with chalk at the blackboard like my previous message.

Good luck on getting going on your PAO system!

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This really helps clear up a lot of small nagging things that I’ve been working through. After reading it, and digesting the specifics you laid out in clear terms, I think I need to read one of Dominic’s books or something. Honestly, I thought that the “Dominic System” only had a person and an action. The idea of an object, I’m embarrassed to admit, is news to me. :beginner:

Our method was alike, when I draw an person his/her actions comes along. This will affect my response to the real action I want to combine. For example my 45 21 Einstein is drawing a big :o: on the blackboard.
And I had overcame your problem by granting characteristics to the person, it means despite they are doing the same action, but they have their styles.

Please take a look into Mnemonic Architecture - #7 by Antelex

deep learning in PA0-24

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@rooster_lips, You learned correctly. I misread. I assumed you were using Dominic’s encoding but with a full PAO system.

If you are using the complete Dominic system, it’s just a simpler PA system so the object would tail along with the action and not be substituted when encoding the object for two more digits. It would encode a four-digit number with two small memory images. (subject) + (2nd subject’s action and object). This is when your e=mc^2 formula would be appropriate.

The PAO system would encode a six-digit number with three small memory images. This is when the relativity formula would get in the way. (subject) + (2nd subject’s action) + (3rd subject’s object) You could even extend it with a fourth memory image for chunking eight digits. (subject) + (2nd subject’s action) + (3rd subject’s object) + (4th subject’s location) Call it a PAIL (person/party, action, item, location) or SAIL (subject, action, item, location). Three pieces seem optimum to me though so I’d probably use a system where the location would be tied with an object where the blackboard would be in a classroom to give it some enhancement.

If your goal is to memorize pi or e or something that isn’t competition oriented, you could extend it several more times like @Mike4 did by creating a small narrative story from a PAO and creating a few scenes with two more action + object pairs. He’s memorized more than 10,000 digits that way.

@Antelex is using the system more than I so I listen to his good discussion with interest.