Moonwalking With Einstein

Yesterday I read a book, Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer, that I hope will leave a lasting impression. It’s about the writer discovering the world of the international memory championships and then training for a year to compete.

It’s a story wrapped up with just enough education to whet my appetite for learning more. I devoured the book, reading the whole thing in one day, entirely on my phone.

It also reminded me a bit of my childhood. I don’t remember reading a lot of books growing up but I was very interested in mental performance when I was around 16. At the time I read a book called Math Magic which taught tricks for quickly doing math in your head and I remember practicing the techniques for hours.

there’s actually a couple copies of that book on Math Magic

I also vaguely remember reading a book about memory tricks Mega Memory by Kevin Trudeau. but it might have been shortly after reading a book on speed reading so I recall very little of it. Still, some of the concepts discussed in Moonwalking with Einstein refreshed my memory on the subject. In fact those memory tricks worked so well can still remember using one of them 15 years ago when I wanted to remember that I left my house keys on the kitchen table.

One last reminder I got from the book was the importance of practice – deliberate measured practice. Without it you reach a plateau and will never get any better.