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THE Leadership Japan Series by Dale Carnegie Training Tokyo Japan

Oct 20, 2021

I don’t know whether we tend to forget things because we are getting older or because as we get older, we get busier?  “Life is so busy and there seems to be more and more to keep track of, I’m having trouble keeping up.  I worry about forgetting something really important and letting my team down or causing problems at work”.  It is not difficult to feel this way, is it. My computer screen will flash up a message in the top right hand corner from someone.  It is too quick for me to see where it came from.  So I wonder was that an email in Outlook, a message in LinkedIn, Facebook, WhatsApp, Line, Telegram?  Now I have to swim around and try and track where that message came from.  I feel I am growing old, just wasting my time trying to navigate all of these modern day avenues for my attention. No wonder we worry about forgetting things.  What can we do about this?  Memory Pegging!!!


We always have some important information or concepts to recall. How can we do a better job of remembering them? Brilliant inventions include the pen, pencil and keyboards.  We should write it down.  I am sure you have you heard this saying, “the faintest ink is superior to the best memory”.  What about those things we need to commit to memory though, where we are not able to consult memos or notes? What do we do when we have to recall them in a specific order? To do this, we use a simple but effective system, using peg numbers, peg words and peg pictures.

 For the peg pictures we can make them easier to remember using ACME:

Action – create some movement in the picture

Color – make it colorful

Me – where are you in the picture?

Exaggeration – make it bigger, crazier and more memorable


For the peg numbers and peg words we can use connectors.  For example, we can say One-Run to ourselves and them mentally imagine something is sitting on the side of the horse’s saddle.  We can do this for other numbers, words and mind pictures. Let’s continue.

Two-Zoo- Something is being thrown to us by the monkeys

Three-Tree-Something is bending the tree right over so it nearly touches the ground

Four-Door-Something is stopping the spinning revolving door from moving

Five-Hive-Bees coming toward us from the hive all have something on their faces

Six-Sick-Something is coming out of the end of the syringe

Seven-Heaven-Something is tumbling down the stairs from heaven

Eight-Gate-Something is draped over the top rail of the railway gate at the crossing

Nine-Wine-Something is stamped on the side of the crate of wine


You might be thinking, “Wait a minute, I don’t think I can remember all of that detail. What if I have trouble thinking of good images, because I’m not good at visualizing things or I get confused as to which one goes where?”. The secret here is to say them out aloud. They rhyme so they’re easy to recall. The picture is always the same image, so we just need to insert the item or information – the “something” we want to remember into the picture. By repeating the sequence over and over, we start to solidify it with the images. Start with just a couple and, after having mastered those, add the next item.


Usually, we don’t have to recall nine items from memory, in order, but using this methodology we have that capacity.  Say we had to remember nine cities, in a particular order, for some reason.  That is not that easy after the first five.  So we can use the “peg number, peg word, something” system.  One-run-Sydney is written on the saddle of the horse, two-zoo, the monkeys are throwing name plates with Toronto on them, three-tree, the wanted poster has Sao Paulo on it, four-door-the name Johannesburg is stuck in the door, five-hive, the bees are all wearing face masks with Seattle written on them, six-sick, the name London is coming out of the syringe, seven-heaven, the word Mumbai is tumbling down the stairs, eight-gate, the gate has the word Vladivostok draped over it and nine-wine-the wine crate has the word Kagoshima written on it.


Try this method compared to trying to remember these cities in the right order from memory- Sydney, Toronto, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, Seattle, London, Mumbai, Vladivostok,  Kagoshima.  What if I have to remember more than nine items?  Don’t worry, we have thirty of these little beauties. Let me know and I will send them to you, if you need that much specific memory capacity. The memory pegging system will help and once you get used to it, people around you will be amazed by your prodigious memory, regardless of your age.