Who are you? Tell us about yourself.
I guess I’m a guy who got fed up with the traditional ways of learning, and somehow ended up making it my life mission to (re)discover better ways of using our brains.
So, for the last 10 years I’ve been running Memolife.com - an online brain training centre - which lets you train different brain skills and accelerate your learning.
Take language learning as an example, why do so many start with what I call the “fun killer” and prioritize learning boring grammar rules?
Why not start with pronunciation and a bunch of word lists from the topics you’re interested in, which we later form into phrases, and thereafter intuitively master the grammar?
After all, that’s how we learnt to speak when we were kids. Why does learning new skills or filling up our brains with knowledge have to be so boring?
Well, luckily there are tools and techniques out there which allow you to make learning fun, and thereby making the learning much more efficient at the same time.
So, I guess this passion for making learning fun and efficient is really what describes me the best as a person.
When, why and how did you become so interested in the human brain and how we humans learn?
Well, I can tell you that this was far from intentional. “Brain trainer” didn’t even exist as a job title when I started out, so it was a series of different events, and to a certain degree I guess I can blame it on my father.
You see, when I was 12 he was unhappy with the traditional Norwegian school system and decided to send me to a German school in Norway instead. The only problem was that I didn’t speak any German, nor any French or Latin - which all were mandatory subjects.
In addition I was a year behind with the other subjects, since the German school had a more progressive syllabus.
Luckily I came across some accelerated learning techniques, such as speed-reading, mind mapping and memory techniques, which really made the learning fun and fast.
But above all, it made me curious to explore the brain and many other techniques, and after a while I started to combine everything from NLP, hypnosis, memory techniques, spaced repetition and even physical exercise as tools for accelerated learning.
Do you have 3 tips for us who have a goldfish memory?
"The most effective way to do it, is to do it."
- Associate and link things together - it’s the only way our brain remembers. For instance, how do you remember the Norwegian word for “cheers” (skål)? Well it sounds like the English word “skull”, so simply visualize a Norwegian viking drinking beer out of a dead enemy’s skull. And there you go… that’s your link.
- Make things fun and emotional - the part of our brain responsible for emotions is also responsible for memory. Just ask yourself - do you remember the fun or the boring days in your life?
- Make sure to repeat in the right intervals based on the brain’s forgetting curve.
MemoLanguage - the language app we use in the course - reminds you to repeat just before your brain starts to forget, so luckily you don’t have to worry about remembering when you need to repeat yourself.
Frank Wedde is co-founder and CEO of Memolife.