Improve Memory and Business, with Poetry? - Fit for Freelance

Improve Memory and Business, with Poetry?

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)!

boost memory, poetry

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?

improve memory, freelance, entrepreneur

​This doesn't have to be you

​2) Inspiration

​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:

You Musn't Quit- unattributed
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest! If you must- but never quit.

Life is queer, with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won if he'd stuck it out;
Stick to your task, though the pace seems slow-
You may succeed with one more blow.

Success is failure turned inside out-
The silver lining of clouds of doubt-
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit-
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

never give up

​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!

Nothing Gold can Stay- Robert Frost​
Nature's first green is gold​
Her hardest hue to hold.
​Her early leaf's a flower;
​But only so an hour.​
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
​So Eden sank to grief,
​So dawn goes down to day.​
Nothing gold can stay.


​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

In conclusion

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. ​

​What's stuck in your head? Are you glad? Comment below!

About the Author

Reggie Wilson is the founder of Fit for Freelance. He's a certified worksite wellness program manager, certified online trainer etc., but he most wants every entrepreneur to know how to lead the healthy, fulfilling life of their dreams. Read more about him here