Remember the P in PAO

My first post here. Sincere apologies if this is in the wrong category or if this topic has been discussed before.

I am really struggling with memorizing a deck of cards or a long list of numbers. I am able to convert the cards/numbers to my PAO and place them in my memory palace. All good. The problem arises when I try to recollect the person present at each point. Since the actions and objects are bizarre, they are easy to recollect, but how do I remember if it was Tom Cruise or Bill Gates that was juggling ponies. It’s especially frustrating that by the end, I can’t even remember the first person. Most of them time, I end up going - “damn it, who was it that was juggling ponies?”

Please help. I am really struggling.


How well do you know your people? Can you visualize them in your mind without much effort?
If it’s really a problem to visualize and remember the people, you could try to go with Action/Object for example. I think some people do that actually.

If you’d like to try to improve with your people, you might have to ask yourself if you know them well enough (appearance/personality). I barely ever remember the person in great detail as an image, but the general appearance and the way they interact with the action/object gives me hints who it was. I had to replace many people in my system who didn’t meet these requirements.


Thank you, Silvio!

I think where I struggle is that if Bill Gates is at my front door juggling ponies, I may remember it. If the Hulk is on my couch playing Xbox (smashing my controller in the process), I’ll remember it, but if Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos or my friends or soccer players are the ones on my couch playing Xbox, I might struggle. Cause then it’s not that unlikely of an image. Or an image of someone selling UFOs in the backyard. Literally, anyone in my list could be selling UFOs. How do I visualize the seller better?

That said, you do make a good point. I feel like it’s the same people that give me trouble. My ironmans and hulks and batmans are visually so unique, that they always stand out. It’s the Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos types that trouble me. I am so invested in my P’s that maybe I don’t wanna let them go? I think I may have to do what you did. Makes a lot of sense.

Quick question on your suggestion to go action-object instead of PAO. Won’t it cut my speed and force me to learn 2 cards at a time and not 3? Or is there a faster AO method?


I went through this and perhaps everyone goes through this. The trick is to keep on playing with image creation, continue to develop this skill. As simple as that sounds, at least for me, there have been stages in my ability to create memorable images.

I see Bill Gates play INSIDE the Xbox on an Intel chip covered couch, bald bezos having his own head being the Xbox, friends being themselves played by a humanlike couch ,etc. Anything goes as long as it works.

Trial and error and the mind gets better and better at just creating great images, images impossible to be confuses for.

Also, dont be afraid to experiment.
Selling could be just as well the action to press down on those antique cash registers, pinning a pricing tag, printing a receipt.

Maybe Jeff bezos is headbutting a cash register onto a flying saucer.

Above all, take you time (I wouldnt worry about time till you have your system down), have fun


That’s great advice! I guess, since I know my P’s so well, I probably need better image creation. Let me practice and I’ll get back to you with my progress. Thank you so much Cameri and Silvio.

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It was tough for me at first too. But trust me, the earlier you get rid of the people who don’t work well, the better. I had to make some changes even after more than a year, it was much tougher than if I had changed them right away.

It would be only 2 cards. In the end, PAO is probably faster for most people (for me PA works better because I practiced it a lot more than PAO). Are you training to become a memory champion or are you using your PAO for studying? If you’d like to memorize a deck of cards or numbers as fast as possible, you’re probably better of with PAO in the long run, but you can get some nice results with PA or AO, too (30 seconds for 80 digits is very well possible with PA, my current best is 26 seconds for 80 digits).


Thanks, Silvio. I may consider competing in the long run, but that doesn’t drive me. I want to become a trainer for memory techniques. I am looking for more accuracy than speed. I’m teaching myself techniques that I will then formulate into a syllabus. As of now, I am done with memorizing words, math equations, and binary numbers. I am trying to do cards now. Faces next.

If someone can help me with forming a training module, that will be helpful too. What should a course contain, but I guess I will start a new topic on that when I am more confident with my skills.


What helps me is to focus my attention on ONE special characteristic of that person as I visualize. So with Bezos I see a dark figure with no real shape but a shiny almost polished bald head. With Gates I might see the exact same figure even, so I don‘t see the figure clearly, but I see big glasses.
With Palpatine I see a guy in a black robe with a hoodie on and his ugly face sticks out under it. Darth Maul has the exact same appearance but in memorizing In focus on his read face.