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Book Review: Mind Performance Hacks by Ron Hale-Evans

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Have you ever forgotten something? Do you want (or need) to improve your memory? Then this book is for you.

Mind Performance Hacks is written by Ron Hale-Evans, who is an expert on memory. He has created the Mentat Wiki (which was the inspiration for this book). But memory tricks aren’t all that the book has to offer – in fact, the many other tricks and “hacks” were more appealing to me than the memory tips.

Hale-Evans gives a great overview of the prevailing memory tricks, including the Dominic System. These tricks to improve memory have helped thousands of people, but they’ve always seemed to be more work than they’re worth to me. My memory isn’t the greatest, but most of the time it’s easier for me to just write things down to remember them.

The thing that first attracted me to this book was the mental math. Who wouldn’t want to be able to count to a million on their hands (Hack #40)? Estimating sqare roots and testing for divisibility are both tricks that I’ve seen taught in the classroom, and are worth knowing and remembering.

But there’s a lot more to this book even than that. There are valuable tips on enhancing your own creativity (I especially liked the ‘mental random number generator’ in Hack 19). Hale-Evans encourages the reader to develop their inductive reasoning skills (especially in Hack 48), which is something we could all use. He also includes tips on “mental fitness” – how to get your brain warmed up and ready to process information.

I got the book for the “brain math,” but I’ll keep referring back to it for the brainstorming. You can learn a lot about how people think, and maybe even pick up some techniques that will improve your own memory and help spark your creativity. If nothing else, that counting to a million trick could win you a few bar bets – even if you only get to a thousand!

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