“I would like to know more about the Mind Palace. You mentioned you’ve been using it since you were 13 and I would like to benefit from using it, too. Basically, could you give me any tips how to think like Sherlock does and master his ability of solving things so efficiently?”
“I’m also an INTJ, if that’s of any importance. (Just because you also stated that another Se-user could use the Mind Palace-technique as flawlessly as Holmes does, and I think it’s also necessary to have a dominant Ni and auxiliary Te in order to be as much of a genius as Sherlock is. So, basically one should also be an INTJ.)”
ta…hard to explain briefly, but I shall endeavor.
Firstly, I’m going to discard the comment about NiTe being necessary for genius, because anyone of any type can be a genius. Albert Einstein is in the queue, and he’s definitely not an NiTe user. Most of the Doctors in Doctor Who aren’t NiTe users.
Then of course, there’s the question of what genius is. Can one be a genius seamstress? Or must genius only apply to certain applications of the brain (namely academics)? I’d even say there are plenty of geniuses who’ve never been to school in their lives.
I’m just being picky because I hate being called a genius constantly by everyone who knows me.
However, you’re right to a certain extent about the NiSe thing when it comes to using the memory palace (I’ll explain later).
The basic idea is that the user constructs what we call a “memory palace” inside the mind. We visually memorize the layout and appearance of a place (real or imagined) and use it to literally store information that we want to remember. I use a combination of both. For quick storage, I use my real-life house: I store to-do list items in my bedroom and Kepler’s laws rotate about the sewing room etc.
I don’t only use one memory palace, so when I use the term “memory palace,” I’m typically referring to my collective memory palaces. I frequently use locations that I’ve completely made up, such as places that I imagined in my novels, and I often use places that are familiar to me from my childhood, such as the woods that I grew up playing in. It doesn’t really matter the place, just so long as you can visualize it distinctly.
This is the primary reason for why Se users are going to be better at using the method of loci than Si users. Se users are much more visual in terms of memory than are Si users. I do agree that Ni dominants will be better at this than other Se users, simply because the memory palace system also uses quite a bit of patterns and intuitive connections between seemingly unrelated things. Its all about visuals and symbolism.
If you’re a visual learner, this is going to be a great method for you, but if not…
If you were first introduced to the memory palace through Sherlock, you may have gotten it into your head that having a “mind palace” (as he calls it) will allow you to remember everything indefinitely. This is absolutely not true.
First of all, you’re not going to be able to pull something out of your memory palace unless you’ve actually put it there, and secondly, if you don’t remember where you put it, you’ve as good as not put it there.
The trick to storing information, is to be able to create a distinct visual image of whatever it is that you’re trying to remember and to place that image in a specific location inside your mind palace. When I’m trying to remember a list, even as simple as a grocery list, I always enter my mind palace and travel the same route through it, placing items at specific locations along this route. This allows me to know exactly which order the items come in.
I also layer this information, which means that I may place information from one topic in the same locations as info from a completely different topic. This way, I’m able to make connections between the two that help me to solidly store information that otherwise might be vague and difficult to remember.
It takes a LOT of practice to get used to using your brain this way, but trust me, it is the most useful study tip ever to exist. If you don’t want to have to cram-study before a test, use a memory palace –it is so much better than stressing over trying to remember things on a word-based cram session. Notice that this also means that you have to store the information solidly and in advance.
Unless of course, the test you’re studying for is just terms…in which case, ten minutes should do it.
Those of you who have watched Sherlock are probably wondering about his references to “deleting things,” and yes, I assure you, when it comes to memory palaces, you can delete anything that you put into them. I’ll give an example of how I do this.
A couple months ago, I went to sleep without printing out a school assignment. Before climbing into bed, I headed into my memory palace and left behind a very distinct image of a cartoon printer attempting to gormandize my assignment next to my closet. In the morning, re-walked through my memory palace and was reminded to print the assignment. After doing so, I went back into the memory palace, picked up the printer and chucked it out the window.
That is literally how I delete things. I throw them out the window, flush them down the toilet, or drop them off a cliff. It’s lovely.
Solve Me a Crime
In terms of problem solving –the mind palace is not the method you’re looking for. Sherlock uses his mind palace purely to remember things. The crime solving itself happens completely separately, using a combination of deductive and inductive reasoning (though Sherlock claims on deductive).
Basically, the only reason it’s particularly useful to him in terms of problem solving is because he’s constantly recording any information that he thinks could be useful to his cases. That’s Ni focus for you.
In general, I will say it takes a while to master (less so for NiSe users, as you correctly guessed). Start out small, drill yourself. Practice walking through your mind palace and placing items in it often, and over time, your ability will expand.