Whenever I read study tips, I long to start a new degree program. I feel this deep, immortal craving, like a voice beyond human perceptibility pleading—almost toying—with me, offering the promise of a greater purpose.
Rest assured. Your education is part of a higher calling. Some academic fields lead to rich spiritual service: ones such as counseling, nursing, teaching, and ministry. But I believe all disciplines have potential for immense beauty. Mathematics’ fractals contain images—like butterflies or snowflakes—that repeat for eternity. Communications Studies looks at how spaces, like nightclubs versus libraries, impact our life journeys. Biology looks at the need for survival of each of your cells: tiny life forces dependent on you for their optimal health.
Seek out the wonder in whatever you study. Find the greater meaning. Learn how you can contribute to the welfare of other beings. That’s your higher calling.
But why seek the positives? A positive mindset can catapult you to top performance. In other words, turn your studies into fun to motivate you. For example, “You can find a way to make the study enjoyable and interesting. One thing can change depending on the way we look at it. If our attitude is gray and we feel that the study is like a burden on our shoulders, everything will become more difficult for you. On the other hand, if we make a change of attitude we can see the tasks that lie ahead with different eyes” (58%).
And there are tricks to making memorization part of your higher calling. Specifically, there are two terrific techniques for memorization that can tweak you toward enlightenment.
The first technique is called mental palace. “If you are a fan of the Sherlock TV series, you will have heard his protagonist talk more than once about his mental palace. This method consists of using visualization as a way of remembering information. To do this you must imagine a room, multiple rooms or even a palace, in which you store the information. In each part of that place, you store the information and organize it depending on its category. You must imagine walking through that room or palace to deposit the information and picking it up whenever you need it” (45%). But why settle for a dingy room or an earthly palace? Make your mental place heavenly. I’ve heard near death experience accounts of visitations into heaven. Some of these heavenly places contain crystal palaces with grass and flowers so alive that they communicate with you telepathically. But maybe that’s over the top for you. If so, imagine a heavenly jungle where the colors blind you with beauty, where everything is safe, where nothing can ever harm you. Wouldn’t you rather study in profound beauty rather than despair?
The second technique is called create a story. “Create a story consists in uniting concepts in a way similar to a mental image that you create in your head. Let’s say that you are creating a story in your mind that will help you memorize the concepts you are studying better, with this technique you can memorize the sequence of the images and the order of the elements to study more effectively” (47%). My greatest stories are where I care for another being. In these stories my soul becomes one with the person I help. Perhaps you could weave facts into a story that helps someone on the road of life. A velocity problem, for instance, could help a paramedic arrive at the site of your loved one’s heart attack, resurrecting your loved one just in time. By making such stories, you prepare yourself for grad studies when the “so what?” question gets asked. If your thesis holds a story of helping others, you’ve answered the “So what?” beautifully.
And while you memorize in your mental heaven, shower the people you love with love. Then create stories that stir up that love, answering the “So what?” question.
That’s what I call higher education.