Recently, a friend of the SuperOptimist expressed concern that their memory was heading south. “I just finished this great book about New York last week. It’s called…uh…oh, my god, what’s the name of it…this is frightening…I can’t remember anything anymore!”

We’re not sure if it’s this one but it sure looks good.

They proceeded to recount how they had been forgetting the names of movies they’d recently watched, restaurants where they’d just scored takeout, even a good friend’s name who was standing right in front of them. “I keep calling you Nancy when your name is Nicole! Is this what age is doing to me?”

Here’s another good book, though nothing to do with memory.

None of us is immune to the effects of getting older, especially on memory. As SuperOptimists, we forget stuff all the time (and are constantly being reminded of it by our well-meaning friends and spouses). But rather than freak out when we call Dave “Don”, or think Millard Fillmore was the 14th president of the United States,* we give ourselves credit for forgetting. Why? Because it’s a sure sign that we are highly intelligent!

Scientists at the University of Toronto have published a study that suggests that the struggle to find the right word, whiff on a name, and blank on a fact are all signs you’re super smart. They posit that forgetfulness is important, as it’s merely the brain making space to take in more crucial information, the kind that helps you make better decisions going forward. Will knowing that Jason Bateman starred as the Mutant in “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” help you survive another day on planet earth? Probably not. ** So forget it!

But you still might enjoy this Jason Bateman keepsake.

So the next time you have a memory lapse, don’t think you’re “losing it.”  Instead, know that you’re simply taking the time to empty out your overloaded brain tank. Besides, worrying about losing one’s memory will only serve to further clog your pipes and have you flailing about for your next sentence.

To help you, we’ve created this list of the things really worth remembering:

1. Date of birth.

2. Credit card number/expiration date/four digit code.

3. Name of spouse or significant other.

4. Which local pizza establishment serves the best garlic knots.

5. Cleanup hitter for your hometown baseball team.

6. Company you work for and immediate superior at work.

All other information is fine to forget. Of course, if you’re dead set on trying to retain every last detail you’ve ever absorbed, there are certain mind tricks that can make you seem sharp at parties. Why not start with the names of the hosts and their street address?

We remember enjoying this book a while back.

It’s a great feeling to create more space inside your cranium. So go ahead, enjoy a little memory loss. And remember, you’re all the smarter for it!

*Fillmore was actually the 13th president. Speaking of chief executives, do you know the names of all 46?  (Hint: that’s a trick question.)

**However, remembering that a donkey will sink in quicksand but a mule won’t could very well help save your life one day.

Another week, another 168 hours stuck in the same confines. And the end is not yet in sight: While hope reigns supreme, some experts believe this period of social distancing will last for months.

A human being can’t be faulted for experiencing a sense of restlessness, even claustrophobia, as one turn of the clock bleeds into the next. So the question becomes, “How can I make this period of sequestration a positive and rewarding experience ?” It’s not unheard of; some people have spent many years in isolation, having chosen that lifestyle.

One way is to step outside yourself and reframe your view of the current situation. Good things have already emerged from this short period in our history — a balm for the environment, reduced commuting time, inventive new ways to cook beans and rice. But perhaps the greatest blessing of all is that this can be the moment where we “go within,” turning our focus from the outside world to the wonderful adventure inside our own heads.

We think you’ll find inspiration in the examples set by some of the world’s foremost thinkers, who embraced solitude as a refreshing change from the frantic pace of the world. We humbly offer this audio recording of a guided meditation and seance performed at SuperOptimist headquarters to help you to embrace the moment at hand and do your best work now.*


(pictured above, from left to right: SuperOptimists Freida, Lars, Walter, Angelique, John, Lulu, Nathaniel and Martin)

This is merely a taste of what is out there for you to experience. We encourage you to continue the practice of summoning helpful spirits to your side. You don’t need a room full of friends to make contact; even while keeping your own counsel you can perform the ritual on your own.

And should you be interested in contacting the spirits we’ve befriended, the best way is to read their works. Once they see you delving into their pages, they’re more likely to pay you a personal visit.




Here’s to a memorable week (or eight) of inner travel, illumination and adventure!

*Special thanks to our resident medium, John Burlinson, for performing this valuable service for our readers.