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How Moonwalking with Einstein can Impact your Business


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Did you know that a person with average intelligence is capable of remembering, in correct order, a hundred thousand digits of pi, or the career batting averages of every New York Yankee in the Sports Hall of Fame?

OK, that might not be on your to-do-list, but you have to admit- that is pretty cool!

I have read some great books. Some that were inspirational and others that were painfully practical. But when I read a book that makes me question what I thought I knew and presents compelling support, I consider it a recommended read.

When I was given the book Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer, I was intrigued with the title. By the time I was on page 2, I was hooked!

Aside from the cleaver writing style of the author, the material is fascinating and well documented. The book’s inspiration came from Foer’s experience. As a journalist he was covering a local memory championship. While interviewing what seemed to be highly gifted people with exceptional minds, he was invited to train with them for one year and to compete in a world-class memory event. The book takes the reader through his experience and introduces techniques that he must employ in order to achieve the required level of competitive readiness.

What became abundantly clear was that we all have the ability to improve our retention. As users of advanced technology, we have effectively reduced the need for cerebral memory. Can’t remember the name of that actor in the movie you saw on the weekend- just ask Siri, she is likely attached to your wrist. Our computers, laptops, IPads and smart phones have complex memories to store significant detail. I admit I have become reliant on my phone to get me through my day!

Here are a Few Points I got out of Moonwalking With Einstein?

  • It heightened my awareness. That awareness was shocking. With the use of technology I had let my memory slide- that was my own doing.
  • People that use their minds tend to stand out. Imagine yourself at a networking event where you are speaking with someone with copious facts rolling off their tongue, vs. someone who is scrolling through data on their phone for the source to back their conversational point.
  • Plateauing is a natural phenomenon, but we can always go farther. This point was of particular interest to me, both personally and from a business vision perspective. How to move from good to great to exceptional, has always intrigued me. Foer’s experience showed that practice alone would not catapult one to the next level.
  • It’s not too late to improve your memory. I don’t have a personal desire to enter a memory challenge, but it is awesome to know that it is not out of the realm of possibilities. What I am excited about is improving my memory a little every day- and seeing results.
  • Memory seems to be connected to credibility and confidence. When you engage in a conversation with a person that speaks from a place of knowledge their credibility quotient increases. This credibility reflects confidence. People tend to falter when their memory is shaky. Unfortunately, with first impressions, this can read as a lack of confidence or worse- a lack of credibility.

Who would you rather hire, work for or be?

Moonwalking With Einstein was an interesting wake-up call. It has challenged me to use my brain to sharpen my memory.

What have I done so far?

  • I plan my travel routes in my head before I reach for the GPS- particularly in a city I know well. That also keeps me more alert while driving and engaged in active problem solving.
  • When I meet new people, I process a mental file that helps me retrieve details more accurately. This sets the tone for a more engaging conversation that heightens my memory.
  • I practice memory activities daily – calisthenics for the brain if you will. This has been most helpful in attention to detail and problem solving in a business scenario.

I appreciate that using technology and stimulating your brain is a balancing act. I am not about to follow a Luddite philosophy, but I will also not allow my thoughts and abilities to become routine and uninspired. Choosing to use my brain more is a step in the right direction for finding that balance.

Would improving your memory help your business?

Would you be a more effective as a leader?

Would you feel more confident?

“We are what we repeatedly do.

Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”



Leanne Brownoff is a Business Coach with over 20 years experience, developing strategies that propel good companies to be great. Along with her coaching practice she is an accomplished speaker, writer and trainer.

You can reach her at

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