Would improving your memory boost your business? What does poetry have to do with any of this, Reggie??
You know when those old songs come up on the radio, playlist, or shuffle, and you know every. single. word?
Songs you haven't heard in years- What's My Name? My Name Is. Say My Name. (What's My Age Again?) Hollaback girl...
Until now, you've probably never thought about how amazing your memory is, or how these words stuck deeply into your subconscious affect your everyday life.
These are opportunities to keep some useful and inspirational lyrics in mind. It made sense that memorizing poetry improves memory, then I read Molly Worthen's New York Times opinion piece on the value of memorizing poetry.
Some songs are catchy, so you'll probably never get Beat It, MMMBop, or The Song That Never Ends out of your head. Still, here are 7 reasons to study poetry so you work better (just in time for Valentine's Day)!
Intentionally memorize lyrics that will improve your life and work
1) Improve your memory
People who work on their memory grow new brain connections that last longer than 4 months, even without continued training. Popular Science
So that could mean better memory of a passing conversation, or remembering contact info after your phone died. Maybe you'll finally remember that great topic for your blog post, or the thing you came in the kitchen for?
Sometimes, being an entrepreneur is plain hard, especially with life happening at the same time. A memorized poem can keep you motivated when things get tough. Here's one I keep on deck:
3) Sense of accomplishment
It's good practice to note what you've accomplished at the end of each day (blog post coming). Did you watch 2 hours of Netflix? Did you do something you felt was worthwhile? Both?
What about doing something you thought you could never do? The process of doing small, seemingly unimportant things consistently well builds your confidence.
4) Write better
Reading poetry grows your appreciation for syntax and structure. Seeing new ways to express yourself in words lets you better connect with your audience and clients!
5) Connect to timeless experiences
Author Sayeh Yousefi says it well in her article Benefits of Memorizing Poetry: Poetry connects people, from different cultures, different generations, different societies, and it allows an appreciation for both diversity and unity; an appreciation that is vital in one’s development as an open-minded individual in today’s society.
There's comfort knowing someone far away dozens of years ago relates to how you feel right now.
6) Enrich conversations
Classic poems are always relevant. Sometimes, you'll hear a situation directly related to a poem you've read or memorized, or an opportunity to inspire. In the right context, poems can be romantic.
If you're not obnoxious, it's cool to have a poem related to the conversation at hand. Or to surprise your friends at open mic night:
7) You already memorize less valuable things
What can be bad about choosing to memorize meaningful poems? Would it be worse than Soulja Boy or any decades-old rap or boy band songs you know?
Some of my favorites
Here are a few poems I keep in mind that I apply to my life and work. I hope they inspire you!
So dawn goes down to day.
Others I hope are affecting me more than the Thong Song:
Better than Gold- Abram J Ryan
It Couldn't Be Done- Edgar Guest
Hope is the Thing with Feathers- Emily Dickinson
The Sin of Omission- Margaret E. Sangster
Studying poems can be a fun way to improve your memory, inspire yourself and others, and confidently work better so you enjoy the reasons you work.
If you're looking to memorize poems, or anything really, a free spaced repetition software called Anki makes it simple! (No affiliation, just a fan). You make digital flash cards that automatically change how often you review depending on how well you know them.