And now we come to another working principle, which we have already considered, the principle of repetition. This is especially important if you wish to retain the new names you gain from day to day. After getting the name, it is necessary for you to deepen the impression if you wish to recall it instantly when you meet your new acquaintance again, and you must be able to do that, for if you hesitate or fumble for the name it is almost as bad as forgetting it entirely. The name should be spoken in a clear, resonant tone, too, not slurred or mumbled. A mere mechanical mouthing of it makes a bad impression, and is discourteous to say the least. After meeting people, write down the names at the first opportunity in your notebook, and frequently repeat them aloud. Go over your list of names daily for a while until they become fixed in your memory. Here again we find that if one is unable to take a good snap-shot he must fall back upon the old reliable method of a time exposure. So if you will only use the notebook, jot down these names and continually go over them day after day, repetition is bound to do the work for you in the end and there is no such thing as failure. I have known no one to fail who has followed this method. Do the things emphasized in this chapter, and you will surely, remember names and faces. Now some one may, ask, why should we go to all this trouble? Is it worth while? Do you know anything worth while that does not take trouble to win? Is it worth while to make new and advantageous contacts? Is it worth while to have a large and ever increasing circle of friends? Is it worth while to make many new acquaintances and to be able to call them all by name, readily and unerringly. Is it worth while to possess this depend-able faculty, just for your own satisfaction in mental mastery? The answer rests with you. Others have found it to be tremendously worth while. The pages of history show that nearly every man in public life, no matter what his calling, has been forced by necessity to develop the faculty of remembering names. It is one of the secrets of successful personal contacts. James G. Blaine and Henry Clay owed much of their popularity to their ability to recall the names of chance acquaintances and to call them by their names after having met them but once. Of Thomas Warton, Macaulay says: ” It was impossible to contend against this great man who called the shoemaker by his Christian name.” Napoleon’s wonderful memory of names and faces endeared him to his soldiers. Aristotle had a remarkably clear memory for names, and Pericles is said to have known the names of all the citizens of Athens. But we need not turn to history to find our examples. Practically every successful man of affairs in the living present possesses a wonderful memory for names, and owes to it much of his success.
A STEPPING-STONE TO SUCCESS
As a success-factor it will do as much for you, no matter what your present position may be. Perhaps ” Mr. Smith ” does not have a very, important name, but he is a very important man for you to meet and know, for he is in a position to help you in many ways. If you can win his confidence and liking, it will mean something big for you in the future. No, his name is not very important in itself, but it is exceedingly important that you do not forget it. When you meet Mr. Smith the second time there is nothing you can say that will sound as good to him as ” How do you do, Mr. Smith.”