Now, on the night I was to deliver the speech, I was told that three people would share the delivery of the speech, and that I would deliver only the final third part of the speech. Well, I didn’t know where to begin. Not being able to start with the first line, I stumbled on almost every line and had to be prompted. It was most embarrassing. So much for learning one line after the other by rote. However, if that method works well for you, use it.
According to Hume, ‘the same simple ideas … fall regularly into complex ones’, for such is life. Life is simply the continuum of one moment after another. For the public speaker or actor, the important thing, insofar as the succession of ideas is concerned, is to decipher, and then commit to memory, the ‘bond of union among them, some associating quality by which one idea naturally introduces another’ (Treatise, I:I:4). Association is the uniting principle, but it ‘is not to be considered as an inseparable connection ... Nor yet are we to conclude that without it the mind cannot join two ideas ... But we are only to regard it as a gentle force, which commonly prevails’ (Treatise, I:I:4). So, for Hume association is in the nature of a ‘gentle force’ which develops from what he termed ‘original qualities of human nature’ and which ‘point[s] out to everyone those simple ideas which are most proper to be united into a complex one’ (Treatise, I:I:4).
Finally, practise mindfulness, which as Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn has said, means – ‘Paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.’ Give bare (that is, clear, focused and unadulterated) attention. Maintain choiceless awareness. In other words, be both physically and psychologically present at all times -- and generate and maintain interest and enthusiasm in what you are doing.