Saturday, 17 October 2009

Advanced Portable Memory Bank as a Tool of Intelligence


The Portable Memory Bank (PMB) technique is not mine - it was developed by Win Wenger, Phd. The principle behind it is the simple Pavlovian principle that each time you respond to something in your awareness, the brain takes note and interprets that as a signal to give you more of the same. Imagine that you are taking the bus or the Tube. For most people, there is very little awareness of what is going on around them or who is even sitting at the far end of the carriage. That is because, by successive degrees of ignoring them, the brain has become entrained to delete the information from conscious awareness, although it still records it. If one wished to increase awareness, then taking note of what a single person was wearing or doing each time one sat down would signal that this material was now of interest, and over time a more refined awareness would develop.

PMB is taught in various forms, but its most popular version is as an idea generator. By responding to ideas and thoughts (i.e. writing them down in a little notebook), we encourage the mind to produce more of the same. It is a simple enough notion, but one that can work very powerfully to unlock the flow of genius that may have stayed hidden.

This post is about advanced applications of PMB that I have developed in my own application of the technique, which I believe takes its usage well beyond the original. Nonetheless, I would be very surprised if I was the first to discover them.

Here are the tricks:

1. To generate idea flow. Write 50 ideas down a day. Just write them down, even if they are nonsense. That will stimulate the brain to produce more of them. Simple as that. 1 out of the 50 will work. This is a standard variation on the basic PMB technique - rather than waiting for ideas out of blue, start to encourage them.

2. To generate very high quality ideas. This is my twist on the basic technique. Because we are using a Pavlovian response to stimulate simple idea flow, we can also use the same approach to stimulating high quality ideas. Each time you see a great idea pop up, immediately write it down and then decorate it in the PMB notebook in emotionally stimulating ways. I like to write AHA!!! beside these, or to put them in a large box of text on their own. Oversized exclamation marks work well, too. By doing that, we are giving an extra stimulus to the brain to produce more ideas of that quality.

3. To direct idea flow. It occurred to me that this is seldom discussed in PMB faciliation. To get general ideas is fine, but mostly one wants answers. Thus, ask questions! I do the same with questions that I do with high quality ideas - overdecorate them. Imagine that the notebook is a way to ask a direct question of your subconscious (and it is). Then ask the questions. Ask as many as you can. In fact, I would go so far as to say this is the real key to mastering the PMB genius process. I draw large question marks around them. In fact, I ask the most difficult questions I can imagine.

The subconscious block users have with this tends to be that they think a question will be too difficult to answer, and thus they avoid asking it. Use the notebook! It will give the answers, over time. Very often, I will awaken the following morning with the answer to the questions that I have asked. Be bold, and ask away. Always mine for detail. If an idea seems good on principle, but requires "filling in", then ask specific questions about the details. Otherwise, it will very often remain a good idea, but an unimplemented one.

4. Start answering your questions. For some questions, you will have an inkling of the answer, if not the full answer. Or so you think. If you even have a whiff of what the answer will be, immediately write that down. In the writing of it, the force of expression will very often change and transmute the idea into something entirely different. You will be amazed at how much some answers can change. For the ones that don't, it gets you past the "stock answers" you may have allowed yourself to become comfortable with. That clears the space for fresh, new ideas and thoughts. Get it out of your head and onto paper! Furthermore, the answer material will very often spawn new questions, which should also duly be noted down.

5. Write in the spirit of interaction. Although probably less powerful than the actual imagestreaming techniques for generating solutions, the PMB is extremely powerful for reasoning and analytical thought. By writing continuously in it, one's thought processes become clear and connected, rather than scattered. By pretending the notebook is an all-knowing partner, we can begin to enjoy the interaction with the book, thus generating tremendous insight.

Always write as though you were talking to a real person, and express yourself as though you were talking to someone who cannot see inside your head. Writing in "note form" is unacceptable! That allows the shortcuts in one's mind to prevail. Rather, spell everything out in as much detail as possible, and mental blindspots will be unveiled before your very eyes. And when you spot a blindspot, ask another question to find the best response to it. In this way, the PMB notebook becomes an extremely valuable companion.

6. Change your handwriting, change your mind. Use a physical notebook wherever possible, rather than typing in a document. There is something to be said for physically writing down the notes. There is also the added advantage of being able to change your handwriting. The nuances of mind are also reflected in the nuances of handwriting. By deliberately writing in a different form, new ideas will bubble forth.

Have fun writing!

1 comment:

Gary Dent said...

About responding to thoughts and ideas..during the day we have millions of distracting thoughts..should we note these down in PMB as well? I usually note down good ideas I get