Fuggedaboutit

While the daylight is long, it seems our memories grow short—and this, according to research, can be a good thing. As Ulrich Boser writes for the New York Times in Why It’s Good to Forget, that while “forgetting is supposed to be the antithesis of learning ... it turns out that forgetting can help us gain expertise, and when we learn something that we couldn't recall, we often develop a richer form of understanding.”

By getting rusty at something and then picking it back up, we can deepen our appreciation for it—reinterpreting our process for doing, allowing us to see in new ways and simultaneously balancing childlike wonder with one’s wise mind. The same goes for the creative process, as we’re constantly collecting and storing information that we’ll want to pull up at some point for a particular project, and for an even more particular client. This source material acts as a springboard.

As Boser cites researchers Neechi Mosha and Edwin Robertson, “Creative cognition may rely not only on one’s ability to remember but also on one’s ability to forget. Forgetting,” Boser argues, “can be a crucial driver of learning. Expertise is what fills our memory gaps. A learning loss can be a learning gain.”

So let’s remember this insight as inspiration. Relax. Let go. And just go. Whether tackling your tower of summer reading or spending a night watching those movies you used to know every line of—we hope you go forth with open-minded wonder and allow yourself to wander and get lost, only to find yourself once more and to remember those things you may have forgotten.