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  • Writer's pictureSumbella

A simple tip to help you remember something: change your password

Updated: Sep 6, 2021



Chinese reads: “Ahhh… I forgot it again!”


‘我忘了’ - ‘wǒ wàngle’ - the simple phrase in Chinese that means, ‘I forgot’.


Even though it’s not considered a word for the foundational HSK1 exams in Chinese, I still make a point of teaching this phrase over and over again.


I repeat it and teach it again and again because students are constantly going to be ‘wangle’ing characters!


We are all human, we forget.


We easily forget what is not in front of us, with us, or visible to us.


If you did the values ordering activity from last week, then you might have ordered the words according to your own beliefs.


Some of you told me how this took you longer than expected. (It’s a simple task, but it is hard, no doubt).


And the question came up: what do you do if you actually don't want something as your top value? What if it’s not who you want to be?


After all, your values might change and develop as you grow.


And if you’re finding your top value isn’t really helping you, you might need to embed a new one into your life.


But how do you do that when we’re always forgetting?


We work on autopilot, and just like our mother language, our beliefs and values are deeply ingrained.


If you want to start remembering something, like adding a new, important value into your life, you need to remind yourself of it.


One memory trick I love to use for remembering anything is changing my password to be the ‘thing’.


There are three main passwords I change to help remind me of my current goal/focus word.


These are the ones that are not stored in a keychain and will definitely need entering by me manually multiple times a day, so it’s very convenient to build them into my memory muscle:


  • Laptop password

  • Phone’s passcode

  • Email password


To use my phone passcode as a word, I convert my goals into acronyms, or short versions, and use the numbers that have the corresponding letter on them.


Memory is so important.


There is a phrase in English: ‘out of sight, out of mind’.


It means if you don’t have a reminder, a prompt, especially if you can’t see something, you’re likely to forget it.


This is why sticky notes with characters on them used to be all over my house when I was learning Chinese.


And it’s why I change my password to be something I’m trying to remember.


Hope this tip helps you with your focus.


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