How to (re)learn?
I have a major problem that I’ve been scared to admit to myself of anyone else for a long time.
When I was younger I absorbed knowledge and facts like a sponge, but largely ignored things I wasn’t interested in. This included almost anything relating to history. As I’ve grown older (mostly in the last couple of years) it seems my retention for learning facts has gone WAY down. It seems like I’m just becoming much dumber (lol) than I used to be, but only to a certain level. I still have the came conscious awareness and logical thinking ability but just the matter of knowing things I’m starting to be terrible at.
I’ve always had a problem with my memory, like forgetting where I left my wallet or which path to take to get the key in zelda. This is something that is annoying but never bothered me too much. Now this problem is getting worse too, and it’s affecting me socially. I forget people’s names, how my family members (I have a lot of them) are related to me, and things people told me a few weeks ago. I can hear a song 100 times and still not get the lyrics quite right.
I’ve never seen these things as something I need to fix, because I’m a smart guy and maybe a little proud. But as these problems get worse and I learn more about myself I see that these problems are real and I want to fix them. I just have NO idea how.
I’m too fucking stubborn and lazy to adopt a “new way of thinking”. My grandpa suggested I pretend that where I place my wallet is like adding a file to a computer, because I’m good at computers. I think that’s ridiculous but I can see how something like that might help me, and maybe if I went to a specialist and got “professional help” I would do exercises and put these practices into use. Would this really help me though? I need someone to really drive it in if it will, because I don’t see myself changing that way.
Honestly I want to get to the root of the problem if there is one. I know I’m just human and I have my disadvantages but I don’t see why these problems have gotten worse? I’m very distracted and in my head a lot, but that’s just me.
Things I know I can improve on.
1. I need to start exercising and develop a more healthy diet. I’ve heard of a guy who was losing a lot of his brain power for no reason, and the paleo diet cured him from I guess a virus he got? SEE RIGHT THERE, I heard this story on a podcast and want to be able to remember the guy’s name, what the disease was called, and all that shit. I was really interested when I heard the story, so it’s not a problem of not caring it’s just retaining it. I don’t think I have a disease or anything but I just want to be healthier in mind and body.
2. I’m not living honestly to myself, and that changes how I think a LOT. I don’t want to be honest to my family/friends that I smoke weed, am spiritual, and other stuff like that. I fear even practicing yoga because I’m worried what people will think if they see me doing it. This is totally irrational and a depressive state and I’m slowly working on it. I think this more than anything has affected me and made me depressed for a long period of time. This depression through my late teens when I should have been developing has hurt my confidence and I’m sure lots of other psychological shit. I’m never truly able to immerse myself into anything (like studying) because I’ve always got so much going on in my head.
Sorry this has turned way more personal than I meant it to be but well I feel I need some help and I’m going to admit it…
Back to the topic, how do you go about learning or relearning basic information? Is it a lifestyle change? Should I see if there’s a real learning problem I have? Or should I accept the possibility that I’m just limited intellectually? If the last one is true then FUCK it will really change the way I view things because I’ve always seen myself as an exceptionally smart person. I don’t make illusions of grandeur, but I want to be able to use more terms like “illusions of grandeur” in confidence and humbleness.
Learning is my true passion and though I spend most of my time online researching millions of things I barely remember any of them.
I listen to the Joe Rogan podcast and one thing that makes him so interesting is that he can tell a story about something he saw years ago with vivid detail and excellent recollection of what he learned from it. I don’t have that quality to an extent his has at all. What I’ve observed though is that he also tells some of these stories over and over. He has the lifestyle of communicating with friends and family discussing all these things, of course he will have a better recollection if he’s constantly talking about it. I don’t have this lifestyle, my friends and family talk about sports and other things that don’t interest me as much. I can also see that through these discussions they have an AMAZING recollection of sports trivia, complete knowledge of the games, and immense passion for it. When I’m watching a football game I’m sure it’s a completely different experience for me than it is them. It’s the same as looking at a calculus problem from my mom’s eyes who never got an education past high school.
From these observations I can see that maybe what I need to do is change my lifestyle completely. Move to another place and get new friends who have more open minds and I can really communicate with. If I stay here I fear I’ll stay in my bubble and wreak more havoc on myself.
I also want to reach a point where my interesting topic ideas don’t turn into a self help request… Thanks for reading, let’s discuss!
TLDR: I want to live without having to use google as much.
@frustratedpanda, ah, good man – why set-up ideas and concepts of how you “should” be which only lead to ideas and concepts of who you “aren’t”. You are you. Your brain does not work the way you think that ideally it should? So what? “Truth”, perhaps, is all that you need to “know” and it may seem that you are much closer to that than you think(it’s been there all along anyway). One bold step may be to, in fact, BE yourself despite what family or others may think. Would that not be more the genuine you rather than living secretly or in the dark, so to speak? Let your light shine before men, as a well known teacher said, don’t hide it under a basket.
Memory’s foundation is movement, association and repetition. Neuro-pathways work abit like snowy roads. At first, you need to dig a path, it’ll take time and you’ll not get very far, but eventually you’ll have a road free of obstacles that you can use without much effort. And so, we come to your problem.
“Honestly I want to get to the root of the problem if there is one”
“I’m too fucking stubborn and lazy to adopt a “new way of thinking”
On the brightside, everyone is capable of being as smart as they need to be. On the darkside, a lot people seem to think they need to be smarter than they are, so they’re never satisfied and constantly trying to realize their transient ideals.
If you can’t train yourself to exercise, you can’t train yourself to learn (the way you expect to). Willpower trumps talent in the end.
Oh… I thought I was the only one…
I was kid, I was “brilliant”, read more than 500 books (my father is a writer so he has this amazing library home) before the age of 12, loved encyclopedias, used to remember any fact about anything, I just had to read it or hear it once, didn’t have to study for my exams and my answers were too much for some professors (well, we are talking about elementary and middle school)…. My brain was working at its best, I remember I discovered facts long before I had to learn them in school… There was this competition where we had to learn a poem of 30 lines in 1 minute, I learned by heart in less time…
The good old days (it was the 90′ wasn’t even a computer guy…)
And then I started to grew up, things changed a lot, and the worst part is that I wasn’t aware of it at first, I failed some classes in Hight school because I thought I was still the old me who didn’t need to learn for its exams…
Long story short, when I take a look at my childhood I notice 3 major changes :
1- I went to sleep every day at 21h and woke up at 7h
* Now I really sleep late…
2- I used to read at least one book a week (i read fast)
* I try now, but, you know, who have time…
3- I ate a lot of carrots
* yeah, not that much of that either…
I also noticed now that for the 15min follwing my wake up, my brain is at its best…
I recently started the everyman sleep cycle, bought an e-reader and try to eat a lot more vegetables…
@frustratedpanda, STOP. SMOKING. WEED. thats most important, it seriously fucks up your short term memory. only do it ocassionaly.
you might want to try some supplements like l-tyrosine or dmae to give yourself a kickstart, but don’t rely on them.
if you want to change something, start slow. don’t just go ‘okay lets do one zillion pushups a day’, start with 10, but constantly do more. this will take some time to get you where you want to be, but its the best thing to do if you don’t have the willpower to go all-in.
the same applies on learning, lets say you want to memorize quotes, don’t even try to memorize one quote a day. one quote a week is better and maybe some day you will be able to memorize 10 a day.
remember: just take your time and everything will be alright. there is absolutely no need to hurry.
check out http://www.zenhabits.net for some further input on habits (idk if i’m allowed to advertise other websites here, but this one is just too good to not to share it :) ).
Getting more circulation to your brain is huge. Elevating your heart rate every day through strenuous exercise is vital.
Respiration and circulation are practically one in the same apart from the factor of artery/vein health.
Perhaps you have developed poor breathing habits – minimizing the blood flow to your head. Remember that your brain requires 40% of the blood of your body and it is also at the highest point of gravity. You need to breathe thoroughly.
You can do breathing exercises to address this, also reminding yourself to pay attention to your posture throughout the day. Head up, shoulders back. Your stomach should be visibly pulsating from afar while you breathe.
If you smoke ciggies.. it will be huge if you quit.
Natural super fats are huge for synapse health. Cook with olive oil or coconut, take fish oil pills if you feel the need, use butter with omega-3s, eat more fat than (easy on the saturated fat and cholesterol)
GRAINS. White flour is especially bad for your brain’s health – as with sugar and alcohol.
Stress is also damaging to your nervous system (neurons). Relax more often.
Be grateful at least once a day and appreciate someone at least once a day.
Feel your heart and love yourself.
Stop ejaculating all the time, use your arousal as a means to circulate blood – make a meditation out of it.
Thanks guys some great info here! I do think a big part of the problem is not exercising, I NEED to get that addressed. I’m going to go check out a Brazilian Jujitsu class near me, which will give me some discipline and good exercise.
Idk, I feel like I’m slowly coming out of my slump recently in some ways. Maybe I’m just feeling the crest of my lifestyle consequences from the last few years?
About weed… I’m taking a break for at least a month (started last week) to see how I feel, and also in case I need to take a drug test. But honestly I don’t think it’s a problem. I only smoke when I’m meditating, hanging out with friends, or have nothing else to do and want to chill. It opens my mind and I get very creative. I feel like it makes me more right brained, while naturally I’m more left brained.
I’ve tried the 30 days no masturbation thing, didn’t do too well… I’ll give it another shot, I’ve never thought about using it as a type of meditation, thanks!
I’ll keep you guys updated.
@rickyferdon, I feel you, and I’m working on being myself more. The main thing holding me back is my fear of what people will think. The thing is… Social pressure and my own self consciousness has molded me into who I am today. If I let these things go, I will be letting a part of me go.
For example I haven’t told my Mom I’m not Christian anymore because she would be VERY upset. I don’t want her to be upset, especially since she’s been through a lot lately. How do I live honestly to myself, without being selfish?
I have a duality to myself that the way I think and the way I act can be totally different because I don’t want to cause conflict. And not being true to myself has caused me a lot of inner conflict… It’s a terrible thing.
It’s not that I think being myself is a bad thing I’m just having trouble with the process…
@frustratedpanda, Thanx so much for replying. You wrote, “If I let these things go, I will be letting a part of me go”. Yes, and that can be scary, and will happen in its own time. Is there really any rush for any of it? Probably not, eh? I don’t see it as “not being true to myself” by not telling your mom that you’re not Christian anymore and acting “differently” from the way you think. No big deal unless one makes it so. You are you where you are right now. I have not place to tell you that you may need to do this or that – if one asks, I will provide an opinion ,sometimes, though it’s an old zen saying to wait until asked 3 times :0)
@rickyferdon, Of course, thank you for your input! I’m not trying to change right now, I just want to get on a path that will put me in the direction I want to go. I am on that path to self discovery or what not but my biggest concern is my health, as stated above.