Tips & Techniques

Improve Your Memory. Quick Tips From Australian Record Breaker Chris Lyons. 

How Much Pi?
You Can Remember More Than You Think


People do some strange things.

Many years ago as a child I heard on the news about a man in the US who memorised the entire set of New York telephone directories. How bizarre.

Talking of strange facts, did you know that...

  • Plants can suffer from jet lag
  • The screwdriver was invented before the screw
  • You're 66 times more likely to be prosecuted in the US than in France
  • The earth is not round but slightly pear-shaped
  • Saunas outnumber cars in Finland
  • Natural gas has no odour - the smell is added artificially so that leaks can be detected

Useless info - all taken from 'The Best Book Of Useless Information Ever' by Noel Botham. But when it comes to pointless stuff memorising 'Pi' takes the biscuit.

Now for those of you who weren't exactly riveted by algebra and equations at school, let me refresh your memory. Pi is the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle.

Of course you knew that.

You probably also know that this mathematical marvel begins 3.141592 and commands much fascination in certain circles as it is believed to be infinite - at last count a Tokyo professor had calculated its value to 1.24 trillion places. And as there are no recurring patterns in the number, being able to recite Pi from memory is considered by many to be the Ultimate Test of Memory.

So it was that on a Sunday in January I found myself locked in a room for 2.5 hours at The Mind Sports Australia Festival and forced to recite Pi. How did I go? The answer... in a moment.

But first, so you can get a feel of just how pointless this is have a go yourself. Here's a few digits to get you started...

3.141592653589793238462643383279
50288419716939937510582097494459
23078164062862089986280348253421
17067982148086513282306647093844
60955058223172535940812848111745
02841027019385211055596446229489
54930381964428810975665933446128
47564823378678316527120190914564
85669234603486104543266482133936
07260249141273724587006606315588
17488152092096282925409171536436
78925903600113305305488204665213
84146951941511609433057270365759
59195309218611738193261179310511
85480744623799627495673518857527
24891227938183011949129833673362
44065664308602139494639522473719
07021798609437027705392171762931
76752384674818467669405132000568
12714526356082778577134275778960
09173637178721468440901224953430
14654958537105079227968925892354
20199561121290219608640344181598
13629774771309960518707211349999
99837297804995105973173281609631
85950244594553469083026425223082
53344685035261931188171010003137
83875288658753320838142061717766
91473035982534904287554687311595
62863882353787593751957781857780
53217122680661300192787661119590
92164201989380952572010654858632
78865936153381827968230301952035
30185296899577362259941389124972
17752834791315155748572424541506
95950829533116861727855889075098
38175463746493931925506040092770
16711390098488240128583616035637
07660104710181942955596198946767
83744944825537977472684710404753
46462080466842590694912933136770
28989152104752162056966024058038
15019351125338243003558764024749
64732639141992726042699227967823
54781636009341721641219924586315
03028618297455570674983850549458
85869269956909272107975093029553
21165344987202755960236480665499
11988183479775356636980742654252
78625518184175746728909777727938
00081647060016145249192173217214
77235014144197356854816136115735
25521334757418494684385233239073
94143334547762416862518983569485
56209921922218427255025425688767
17904946016534668049886272327917
78608578438382796797668145410095
38837863609506800642251252051173
92984896084128488626945604241965
28502221066118630674427862203919
49450471237137869609563643719172
87467764657573962413890865832645
99581339047802759009946576407895
12694683983525957098258226205224
89407726719478268482601476990902
64013639443745530506820349625245
17493996514314298091906592509372
21696461515709858387410597885959
77297549893016175392846813826868
38689427741559918559252459539594
31049972524680845987273644695848
65383673622262609912460805124388
43904512441365497627807977156914
35997700129616089441694868555848
40635342207222582848864815845602
85060168427394522674676788952521
38522549954666727823986456596116
35488623057745649803559363456817
43241125150760694794510965960940
25228879710893145669136867228748
94056010150330861792868092087476
09178249385890097149096759852613
65549781893129784821682998948722
65880485756401427047755513237964
14515237462343645428584447952658
67821051141354735739523113427166
10213596953623144295248493718711
01457654035902799344037420073105
78539062198387447808478489683321
44571386875194350643021845319104
84810053706146806749192781911979
39952061419663428754440643745123
71819217999839101591956181467514
26912397489409071864942319615679
45208095146550225231603881930142
09376213785595663893778708303906
97920773467221825625996615014215
03068038447734549202605414665925
20149744285073251866600213243408
81907104863317346496514539057962
68561005508106658796998163574736
38405257145910289706414011097120
62804390397595156771577004203378
69936007230558763176359421873125
14712053292819182618612586732157
91984148488291644706095752706957
22091756711672291098169091528017
35067127485832228718352093539657
25121083579151369882091444210067
51033467110314126711136990865851
63983150197016515116851714376576
18351556508849099898599823873455
28331635507647918535893226185489
63213293308985706420467525907091
54814165498594616371802709819943
09924488957571282890592323326097
29971208443357326548938239119325
97463667305836041428138830320382
49037589852437441702913276561809
37734440307074692112019130203303
80197621101100449293215160842444
85963766983895228684783123552658
21314495768572624334418930396864
26243410773226978028073189154411
01044682325271621052652272111660
39636655730925471105578537634668
20653109896526918620564769312570
58635662018558100729360659876486
11791045334885034611365768675324
94416680396265797877185560845529
65412665408530614344431858676975
14566140680070023787765913440171
27494704205622305389945613140711
27000407854733269939081454664645
88079727082668306343285878569830
52358089330657574067954571637752
54202114955761581400250126228594
13021647155097925923

Ok more than just a few.

The first 4,400 in fact, which coincidentally is the number I recited in order without error.

The result?

A new Australian Memory Record, doubling the previous record of 2,189 (hence the reason for stopping at a mere 4,400). Since achieving this apparently pointless feat I've been repeatedly asked 2 very salient questions. 'How?' quickly followed by 'Why?' often accompanied by a strange look on the face of the person asking.

How did I do it? I used a combination of imagination and simple memory techniques.

Why did I do it? In a word, publicity. The Pi Record attempt was done to help promote the inaugural Mind Sports Australia festival a week long event which included competitions in mental sports such as chess, poker, scrabble and of course memory. And get publicity it certainly did, prime-time TV and over a dozen radio interviews in two days alone. Not bad for doing something useless!

So why am I telling you this? Because there's another much more serious point which is this. If it is possible to memorise useless, meaningless, seemingly impossible stuff like the first 4,400 places of Pi...

...then YOU can use the same techniques in your everyday life to remember names, presentations, facts, figures, sales information. In fact anything you want to boost your success at work, school or in your personal life.

If you then combine memory with speed reading and other techniques that's when you start saving yourself heaps of time and giving yourself a real hidden advantage. So if you're serious about getting ahead and achieving more this year, then join us at The Hidden Advantage Workshop.

The Final Word: Memory is a skill that you can learn and profit from whatever your age. And too much Pi is bad for you!

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