Grand Master of Memory & World Record Holder. Trainer, Speaker, Author.
1) Why did you choose your current profession and what do you love most about the work you do?
I became a professional speaker and trainer by a series of ‘happy’ accidents! When I was a teenager in 1996, I read a lot about memory improvement techniques and practiced almost all of these techniques. Very soon I could perform ‘memory feats’ such as memorising a 100 digit number, memorising the sequence of a shuffled deck of cards etc. Later I went ahead and did all these:
(1) Memorised a 1944 digit number.
(2) Memorised a 1200 digit binary number.
(3) Memorised the sequence of 7 decks [364 cards] of shuffled playing cards.
(4) Memorised the sequence of a deck of playing cards in 1 min 50 seconds.
(5) Became the best Asian memoriser at the World Memory Championship 2003.
Everyone was impressed and asked me if I can teach them these techniques. That’s how it started. Soon, I was conducting memory improvement courses (while still in college) to people from all walks of life. People achieved tremendously positive results and recommended my program to others and it became ‘viral’! This was in my hometown in India (Hyderabad). I moved to New Delhi in 1999 and started doing corporate training. I moved to Singapore in 2006 to set up my training company and have been staying here ever since.
I read somewhere that the best thing that can happen to a person is when his hobby or passion becomes his profession. That’s what happened to me! I was passionate about memory techniques, and today, sharing these techniques to others is my profession. The feeling that I can make a difference in people about the way they use their memory and brain power is really great! I love it when people send me emails after my workshops about the success they had with their ‘new found’ memory skills.
2) Were you born a memory genius or was that trained? Can someone who forgets even 8-digit handphone numbers be trained to memorize 1000-digit numbers like you do?
When people look at the achievements I have in memory, the first thing they ask me is ‘was I a born memory genius?’! The answer is NO. In my workshops, I tell my participants of a story which happened when I was 15 years old when I forgot my bicycle at a shop. After I came back home, I realized what a stupid thing I did and ran back to the shop and the expected thing happened. Someone had stolen my bicycle. That’s how bad my memory was! So, it’s now clear that I was not a born memory genius.
From having a lousy memory to become a world record holder and a Grand Master of memory is purely a result of training. Just like you can learn swimming, cycling or Tennis, you can also learn to improve your memory. It’s like any other skill. Using the right memory techniques and the right amount of practice, any one can remember anything – ANYTHING!
3) Have you ever forgotten anything?
Oh yes! However, the instances of forgetting things are rare for me. Also, I have NEVER forgotten any important information. The objective of having a good memory is not becoming immune from forgetting. The objective is to ‘remember more and forget less’.
4) You’re someone who’s “passionate… (about) making & breaking memory records”. Which records are you aiming to break or create?
In the last decade, I have created/broken many records. I am planning to break a world record in 2011 and I can’t tell anyone what it is until I do thorough research and practise a lot. You (and everyone) will know about it soon
5) What tips do you have for people like me who sometimes have trouble remembering people’s names?
First, the good news! It’s not just you who has a problem with remembering names. This is a universal problem. Here’s a simple 3 step solution to instantly see results:
A. Change your mindset: Think that you can remember the person’s name. Actually believe it. It takes the same amount of mental energy to think “I can’t remember” or to think “I can remember”, so why not spend this energy in a positive way. Just tell this to yourself whenever you meet anyone: “I want to remember this person’s name”
B. Say the name: Start the conversation using the name. If I met you, I would say “Hi Grace” and not just “Hi”. This helps you to pay attention to the name. Most people don’t pay attention on the name and expect to remember the name. That’s just not possible.
Here’s a quick video link:
C. Use the name: Use the name once or twice in the conversation. Everyone likes the sound of their own name. Don’t you agree, Grace?
By the way, this is just a simple solution. If you want a more ‘advanced’ technique, I explain that in my books ‘Instant Memory Improvement’ and ‘Maximise Your Memory Power’. More info about these books at:
If you or anyone want more tips on memory and other brain related info, I publish a free monthly online newsletter called “Train Your Brain”. You can sign up for the newsletter here:
Grace says: I have no doubts Nishant has formidable memory power. When I sent him a message asking him whether I can interview him for this blog, I was quite sure he didn’t know who I am. However, he replied saying he remembers that my sister and I had attended a Toastmasters meeting at his club, and that she had won an award then. Which totally blew me away. I sometimes have difficulty recalling what I had for breakfast a day ago, and Nishant can remember people he saw at meetings many months ago. One skill I definitely need to learn. If I remember to, that is.
If you’re wondering, question 5 is one question I’ve always wanted to ask a memory ‘genius’. I seem to forget names instantly. I’ll be checking out those links Nishant has provided, and you musn’t forget to as well!
Look out for: Another interesting interview coming your way very soon. There’s a yummy treat in store for you!