How Your Body Responds To Long-Lost Memories

Imagine you listen to a song that you haven’t heard for twenty years.
And you know the tune, but the lyrics seem all jumbled in your brain.

So you play the song once.
Then once again.
By the third time, you’ll remember every word of the lyrics you knew twenty years ago.

So what happened there?
The same thing that happened to me when I went to play badminton.
I hadn’t played for well over twenty years.

The first day back was pure torture.
Both on the court, and off the court.
I was gasping for breath. My head was throbbing. I barely stumbled back to my car. And slept for the rest of the day just catching up on my energy.

Three days later I went back to play.
And something weird happened.

While I was struggling to get the shuttlecock across the net the first day, I was able to get it across a whole lot better the second time. And then I went a third time. And a fourth time. And by the fifth trip to courts, I was able to play eight games. Unlike the first time where I was struggling to reach the shuttlecock, I had no problem at all–sometimes I even had time.

So what’s so interesting about this story?
Here’s what’s interesting.
The five visits to the court weren’t back to back visits.
They were over three weeks.

And in those three weeks, I hadn’t done anything spectacular to bring about this massive change in my body.
I wasn’t exercising more. Wasn’t training more. This incredible change was happening in my brain.

Like some song from long ago, it was remembering the ‘lyrics.’
And letting me improve my game in massive incremental steps.
So that within five visits to the court my brain was remembering moves, and had the capacity to handle energy from twenty years ago. The lights were all switching on.

Your body too responds to long-lost memories
In fact, it’s not even fair to call them long-lost.
They’re more like long-buried. And re-discovered.

Which means that if you’ve been told you can do something exceedingly well, your brain reaches into the long-lost memory. And compares data. And then it does something short of exceedingly well. And then with little practice, it improves in leaps and bounds.

But the brain works the other way too
It can bring up failure-data. And the body then refuses to co-operate. And just like you remember the words of the song, you start to remember the words of failure.

Which makes it imperative to understand how layering and memories are linked.
And how we can get rid of stupid memories with the concept of layering.
And suddenly become far more talented than we thought possible.

Next post: How layering is almost more powerful than memory itself 🙂 

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