Four kinds of memory markers

We mention memory markers a lot in different contexts and courses. Memory markers are used to recall certain experiences. Experiences can be different, as well as memory markers. All of these markers are important and useful, and I want to explain how they can be used. This is becoming a bit confusing, so I want to disambiguate.

Autobiographical markers.

The most important memory of our lives, the transformative one-of-a-kind experiences are our own autobiographical markers. They are the key to the meaning of our lives. Most of us can remember the first kiss, the first steps of our first baby, the first trip to another country. Some of us can remember the best movie we saw, the perfect cup of coffee we had, the best scenery we saw.  Very few people, about 40 worldwide, can recall every second of their lives. Even they use memory markers to get to a specific time and then play their own lives as movies.

It has become fashionable to buy the most exclusive and unique experiences in search of happiness. Autobiographical markers allow us to recall these experiences.  Living good lives we generate great memories, and also markers to these memories.

These are our most protected, most private memory markers. If we want to work with them we need some experience with less sensitive stuff.

Information markers.

When we read history books, we are expected to remember names, events, and dates. They do not mean much, but they are still informative. When we learn memorization and speedreading, we manipulate increasingly more effective with these markers. They are the key to our study.

The pieces of information are built into knowledge by links from various “pages” in our memory to markers of other “pages”. This is very similar to hyperlinks in Wikipedia, linking different subjects together. We see a certain terminology or methodology and it triggers information we acquired from various sources. Most of us do this when shopping, or in our main occupation. Some of us, like trivia champions, can recall information pretty much about everything.

If we use this information correctly we gain authority and a creative edge.

Anchor markers.

We can use markers to recall mindset: beliefs, moods, and emotions. This is very useful for dealing with negative emotions and generating positive emotions. With the right mindset, productivity tools, and understanding of return on investment we become almost unstoppable.

An image or a word can be associated with mindsets as easily as with information and can be manipulated in a similar way.

In fact, this is the key to our vision, the way to change the world and leave a mark on it. We use visualization, organize processes, and calculate budgets no matter what we do. When we research we do it to learn and remember, when we work we do it to be motivated and effective.


When we want to influence others we use metaphors. Our visualizations and stories become more universal and very well-defined. We can rally others using shared memory markers, in public speaking, writing, social media, teaching… The speeches and images we remember from history lessons are full of these metaphors.

The metaphors are key to our mission,  they are recruited to change minds and hearts. As we are on a mission we need to be ultimately wise and effective, and ethical because otherwise many people may suffer.


OK, so now are ready we come back to the meaning. What makes our life workable and meaningful are small pleasures and a greater purpose. And if we live well, we have a more positive mindset, focus, and energy for everything else. So we turn our research skills to things that make us happier, become generate maximal joy from our hobbies, and invest ourselves back.

As we learn, work, and teach better, we generate positive feedback with increasing energy. More joy, influence, and happiness one way or another.

Do not get me wrong. It is still possible to be depressed or angry with all tools in the universe. We can try to leverage the positive and reframe the negative and fail. And this is OK as long as we learn from our failures. We want to feel some pain occasionally to know that we are alive and not to cause extreme traumas.


There is a very different perspective on markers. Some are creative and some are logical, some are keywords and some are visual. I claim that the technical part does not really matter. So visual markers will be x10 faster and the logical markers will be x10 more accurate. We will still use keywords and creative markers for ease and comfort.

We may combine markers. This is done on web pages all the time. There is an image, which links to some other page. It has a title and an alternative text, and occasionally it plays when we hover over it. The web tries to mimic our minds, but it is so effective that we can start mimicking the web.

The training focuses on technical aspects. This is normal for every creative activity. Musicians practice scales and dancers practice specific moves. Once the technical training is behind us, the creative potential is staggering. There is no right and wrong outside of a specific context.

Guitar as a metaphor

How and why a person plays guitar?

  • A person with a guitar who knows what he or she is doing is cool, impressive, fun to hear, and watch. In some ways, we want to be like our guitar god.
  • As we learn guitar as an instrument, we acquire agility, practice our memory, improve focus, and grit.
  • Playing a good guitar is fun. It is a very responsive and beautiful instrument.  There is a real sense of achievement each time we learn to do something we could not do before.
  • Learning music is great. We gain different insights into culture, physics, psychology, and other things.
  • We learn new songs, perform them, and charm people. The influence is usually very positive and intoxicating. It feels us with purpose.
  • As we learn more, we acquire wisdom and skill that can be used in other areas of life.

Working with memory markers is not unlike playing the guitar. There are elements of science, art, and sport. And the mastery is impressive in every possible sense.

Mastery impossible

I do not think that a person who acquired true mastery will feel that he is more than a student. The more we know, the better we understand the things that we missed. The beginners will be easily satisfied, but as we advance satisfaction gets harder. We notice the details that only we see and they drive us. This drive is both good and bad. So again, do not neglect your own physical and emotional wellbeing.

Usually, I practice the things that I teach and this is tough. I catch my own mistakes but I do not always have a better alternative. And once I find the right tools, I may contradict myself from 10 years ago. This is an integral part of personal growth…

I welcome you to join my adventure or have your own and very different adventure. There is more than one way to find purpose and pleasure.


If you’re prepared to delve deeply into the realm of memory, explore my memory masterclass.  You’re not obligated to pay the full price. Reach out to [email protected] to inquire about receiving a significant discount. It’s brimming with advanced techniques that will revolutionize your ability to recall everything.

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