I am on a day trip by boat to a small island off Fiji, sailing on the schooner ‘Whale’s Tale’. A member of the crew, Victor, hands out drinks and snacks, and as he does, takes time to find out all everyone’s name – all 60 passengers.
Arriving at the island, we first gather in the community hut. Victor takes the group by surprise as he introduces each of us, one by one, by name.
I capture on video only the last 30 seconds, naming the last 15 people. (He’s already identified 3 rows of people – making a total of 60!)
Aferwards, I ask Victor about his amazing skill. He said:
‘I used to remember only around 6 passenger names.
Then 6 months ago I decided to try to remember everyone’s name,
and introducing everybody when we arrived at the island.
What I do – once we are sailing, I take time to get to know everyone. One by one, I ask them if they want a drink. At the same time I ask their name. When I hand them their drink, I use their name. ‘Here you are, Sandy’ and so on.
It takes me only 30 minutes to learn around 60 people’s names. The most names I’ve remembered at one time is 100.’
Victor is 47 years old.
Sometimes simply deciding to try to remember is the first step way to cultivating a better memory.
1. Victor decided it was possible to learn to a list of names.
2. He had a process to capture the to-be-remembered information.
3. As part of the learning process he verbalised and self-tested.
4. The more he did it, the easier it became, the better he got.