Four-time winner of the World Memory Championship, Dominic O’Brien can memorize the order of a full deck of playing cards in less than a minute. This ability, as well as easily memorizing 100 items, can be learned when you understand the techniques that Dominic uses.
- Memory Skill #1: How to Remember Long Numbers
- Memory Skill #2: How to Remember the Names of Everyone You Meet
- Memory Skill #3: Remembering a List of 100 Items through Journeying
- Memory Skill #4: Beyond 100 – How to Remember up to 10,000 Items of Information
Dominic O’Brien has come up with an ingenious mnemonic system that is much easier to use than the previous memory system, called the Major System. It is similar in the sense that each digit is assigned a specific sound, in this case a letter:
Step 1: Create Letter/Name List
Here, you don’t randomly create nouns or phrases based off of the combination of the letters. In the Dominic System, the way to remember 100 items is to convert the digits 00-99 into a two-lettered combination that represents famous or otherwise memorable names.
Here’s the list that I use based off of Matt Vance’s Dominic List (you’re welcome to use this list and modify it to your liking):
|01||OA||Neo (“the one”)|
|07||OG||Oscar the Grouch|
|19||AN||Alfred E. Newman|
|20||BO||Pigpen from Charlie Brown|
|23||BC||Thor from B.C. Comic|
|45||DE||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|54||ED||Ed (from Lion King)|
|77||GG||Gandalf the Grey|
|80||HO||Santa Claus (“Ho Ho Ho”)|
|83||HC||Hannibal the Cannibal|
Step 2: Assign Actions to Each Name
Memorizing the name/number combination is only the first step. Secondly, you need to assign each name an action that is characteristic for that name. Below are some examples that I use for some of the above names. You should come up with your own actions so that it is memorable to you.
- Ozzy Osborne: Biting the head off of a bat
- Al Capone: Driving in a Model T shooting a tommy gun
- Oliver North: Covertly Selling weapons beneath his trench coat
- Hannibal the Cannibal: Eating Fingers from a Stew
- Santa Claus: Holding Belly saying “Ho, Ho, Ho”
- Daffy Duck: Bouncing around going ‘woohoo woohoo woohoo’
The Dominic System in Action
Remembering a Large Number
Let’s say you want to memorize a 12-digit bank account number such as 130900838044. The process would be:
- Break the large number into chunks of 4-digit numbers
- Apply the Dominic mnemonics
- Cause the first character from the 4-digit combination to perform the action of the second one and ‘Journey’ the numbers through a memorable, imaginary story.
First, breaking up the 4-digit numbers gives us: 1309 0083 8044.
After applying the mnemonics we get:
1309 = ACON = Al Capone/Oliver North
0083 = OOHC = Ozzy Osborne/Hannibal the Cannibal
8044 = HODD = Santa Claus/Daffy Duck
Finally, we make the first character act out the action of the second one in the 4-digit combination and journey all the numbers:
Al Capone (AC) is standing on a street corner covertly selling nuclear missiles out of his trench coat (ON), when Ozzy Osborne (OO) comes along and grabs Al’s fingers, rips them off throws them in a stew and eats them (HC). Santa Claus (HO) after seeing this goes crazy and bounces around saying ‘woohoo, woohoo, woohoo’ (DD).
Remember, the more ridiculous the easier it is to remember.
Remembering 100 Items
With the Dominic Memory System, it is very easy to remember up to 100 unique items.
The best way to do this is to peg the item that you’re trying to remember onto the corresponding digit (00 to 99), in some ridiculous way.
For example, if I was trying to remember 50 food items that I wanted to purchase, I would assign each food item to a specific memory slot, covering slots 00 to 49.
If salad dressing was the first item, I would picture Ozzy Osborne (00) performing is action (biting the head off of a bat) in some ridiculous way with salad dressing. Perhaps Ozzy’s on stage and people are throwing bats at him to see him bite their heads off. One person mistakingly throws him a bottle of salad dressing, which he bites the top off of cutting up his mouth and making him spit out the broken shards of glass.
To reiterate from the previous posts, in order to quickly remember something there has to be three things:
- The item you want to memorize
- A peg where you can place the item
- Ridiculous action to ‘weld’ the two together