3.1 • Anne Hillebrand’s Testomonial
How Memory Improvement Changed My Life
By Anne Hillebrand
(This letter is reproduced here with the author’s permission)
Dear Kevin North,
Please include my info on improving memory on your web pages.
I have a problem that is like dyslexia, but is only related to numbers.
Numbers with 3 digits are no problem, but if I try to perceive a number of 4 digits or more, they just slip around each other and disappear. I had never been able to dial a telephone number without looking in the phonebook, dialing 3 digits, looking back, dialing the next 2 or 3 digits, etc.
I lived with this my whole life and did not know what the problem was until I was about 30 years old.
Additionally, in 1981 I had knee surgery, which went afowl; blood clots traveled to both lungs causing double pneumonia and because the problem was not discovered for several days, I apparently suffered brain damage.
Because I was a returning college student doing very well in school at the time, you can imagine what a crimp this put in things. For a long time my mental processing speed was greatly diminished. I could no longer recognize people by name or face. (Previously my greatest social skill). I could see by my family albums and school yearbooks that I knew people, but could not remember my relationship with them.
Needless to say, it was a long road back. In an effort to speed things up, I started looking at memory improvement. I stumbled across The Memory Book by Harry Lorrayne and Jerry Lucas. It changed my life. Not only did it help me to remember anything that I want to (a big help for relearning so much that I had lost), but it gave me the added bonus of being able to handle numbers. Any numbers, all numbers, numbers of any length! I now know my SS #, my husband’s SS#, etc. Not a big thing to some people, but an absolute miracle to folks like me.
For a stunt I have a number that is 65 digits long that I can write down anytime I want – turn around and write it down again without looking. Good for a $1 bet now and then or to impress.
And I did complete a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, so am not at a great disadvantage mentally.
Although the book is available at any library, I would encourage everyone to actually get a copy to keep. It’s not like a novel you read once and return; it’s an owner’s manual for your brain. Keep it on hand. Leave it in the “library” (bathroom) for frequent review. Some parts you will use immediately, others you will graduate to.
I have probably given away 20 copies of this book over the past few years. Any time I hear someone say that they are “bad in math” or “always transposing numbers”, I make them take a copy.
No – you don’t have to spend big bucks to do this. I watch the used paperback book stores and pick up old copies for 50 cents each. This way I can afford to give them away when I want. This is a very concise, condensed book in small format. You can carry it around with you if you like.
You can, of course, purchase the book in any big book store for about $6-$7. And it is well worth it. I just can’t give them away all the time at that price.
My suggestion – if you have trouble with numbers, just start with that chapter. Then improve your social skills with the chapter on learning people’s names and faces.
But if you are just average – you can benefit from those things and also learn all the tricks for learning foreign languages, art history, las vegas gambling, sports plays, and you name it. These guys have it all.
Good luck – and many good memories.