Saturday, March 21, 2015

Harry Lorayne

My old copySome persons go bananas about the one book that changed their lives. I believe that in many instances this has been the case, but for my part I am hesitant to give that lofty title any such tome. That said, there are a couple that have been so useful and shaping, that they have served as a base for my education and world outlook. Both are from memory expert Harry Lorayne.

The first book is The Memory Book written with Jerry Lucas. Found this one while just browsing at my local bookstore. From the beginning I was hooked and readily began to apply his systems to schoolwork. I was at junior high at the time, and with them I quickly set myself apart from the rest of my classmates. Not only was I better than before on the memory stuff, but I could study the applicable material in less time and with less effort and boredom.

His systems, technically called mnemonics, rest on a single readily applicable  principle ( I won't spoil it for you here).  In this book, the authors explore Harry's systems and how can they be applied and further developed. The book is an easy read and can be useful even for young children. As for seniors, I cannot positively say it, but I'm confident that it can be of benefit to them as well.

So as to not rest on his laurels, he has also reached into other aspects of mind use. The fruits of his scrutiny are gathered in the other book I wanted to talk about: Secrets of Mind Power. His thoughts are not based either on scientific studies or on unprovable esp-like phenomena, but on bona fide practical American common sense.  The methods are simple, sensible and useful.  He gives a golden warning, however: as with the memory stuff, the methods must be given an honest try for them to work and that must be done now, not later.

Here are some of the topics he covers:

Time organization
Forming habits and breaking them
Public speaking
Worry control
Making your own luck

Years now into the future I've found some even more powerful tools from philosophy and psychology in general and from Henry Hazlitt in particular. Notwithstanding, Harry Lorayne's methods are the ones that gave me the start and no one can really go wrong with them which makes this book a great place to begin with any self-improvement programme.

Most of his suggestions are fine and workable. Some few methods though could use tinkering or alternatives; for instance, I've tried his concentration suggestions several times, but have gotten better results with alternate methods.

There are some books one wishes to have read earlier in life. I was fortunate to be acquainted with these at the right time.

(There's another book from him on the mind, Instant Mind Power, but I do not know how it relates to the Secrets, since I've never seen a physical copy.)


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