Remembering Someone’s Name

One of the simplest acts of kindness you can do for someone is to remember and speak their name. You may not have ever given it much thought, but when you call someone by name, it really lights them up and makes them feel like they are significant to you. It’s a really easy way to win friends and build relationships. Blanking on someone’s name, however, makes them feel insignificant and forgettable. It makes you come off like you never cared about them and never planned to see them again. It’s awful when you have to awkwardly ask someone to repeat their name or instead say something generic like “hey there!” to work around the issue. Especially when you’ve just been introduced!

With our increasing reliance on the internet to keep us informed and up to date, memorization of any kind is becoming a lost art. But remembering names is important on so many levels! It makes people feel good when they hear their name, and as a result, they’ll pay better attention to you. They’ll also make more of an effort to remember you later, which could prove very beneficial to you and your cause. Influential leaders always take care to call people by their names. That’s not an accident– they know it matters!

When meeting someone new, there is a lot to take in — their appearance, the conversation, and any distractions happening around you at the moment. It’s understandably difficult to get past all of that to get their name permanently stored in your memory bank. It takes a little bit of brain work! So if you want to get better at remembering names, try these exercises to dramatically increase your ability to catch names and keep them at the top of your mind.


Meet and Repeat

When you get someone’s name, don’t just nod and continue the conversation. Try to plug the name into what you’re saying. For example, “Hi, Mark, nice to meet you.” or “How long have you been in the industry, Sam?”. Use the name just a few times throughout the conversation (not too much, or you’ll come off very creepy). Use the name one last time when you’re saying goodbye as an added effort to commit the name to memory.

Spell it out

If you have a visual memory, create a mental picture of the person’s name. Ask the person you’re meeting to spell their name if it’s an unusual one. If not, then maybe ask for a business card and glance at the person’s name while you’re talking to them. This will create a better connection between the person and the visual name.


When you first hear a name, come up with a verbal game or pattern involving something you know about the person. Something like “Joann from Jamaica” or “Steve in Sales”. You can also picture images that sound like the person’s name and combine it with other things you know about them. For example, if you meet someone named Katie at the library, imagine a kitty reading a book.

Make Connections

Another trick is to make a connection between the person you’re talking to and someone else you know with the same name. As you meet someone, consider a famous person or just someone you know well who shares their same name and maybe even looks somewhat like them. For example: “Melissa like my sister” or “Justin who looks like Justin Timberlake”.


Most psychologists and memory experts claim that one of the main reasons we forget names is that we’re just not focused on learning it in the first place. We simply don’t care! So one simple thing you can try is to just decide to care. If you make a conscious decision that you are going to remember names, you will immediately become much better at doing it.


Give Joy to Get Joy

Through fMRI technology, scientists have discovered that giving actually activates the same parts of your brain that are stimulated by food and sex. The caudate, nucleus accumbens and insula are the areas of your brain that release the “pleasure chemical” called dopamine– the same parts that respond when you eat a dessert or receive money!

Altruism is the practice of concern for the happiness of others, resulting in a richer quality of life. The idea that altruism behaves like a “miracle drug” has been around for decades. We legitimately experience a euphoric feeling when we help others. It’s called the “helper’s high,” a term first introduced 20 years ago to explain the physical sensation associated with helping others. It’s a classic example of nature’s built-in reward system for those who help others. Experiments show evidence that altruism is hardwired in our brains to be pleasurable. Helping others may just be the secret to living a life that is not only happier but also healthier, wealthier, more productive, and more meaningful.

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Love Languages

People experience joy when they know they are loved and appreciated. When you bring someone joy, you will automatically feel joy in return as a result. Also, when you show someone how much they mean to you, your relationship can’t help but deepen. Everyone is different. We all have different life experiences and come from different backgrounds. It makes sense, then, that we all communicate differently as a result. Overall, it comes down to knowing specifically what’s importantS to someone so you can understand, empathize, and work with them a little better. Having this important knowledge under your belt will help you overcome rough patches, misunderstandings, and occasional hurt feelings. You can win anyone over by showing them an act of kindness that directly speaks to their heart and being. This is some serious JOYkwondo sorcery!

The 5 love languages are pretty straightforward:

  • Words of Affirmation: Giving compliments and verbal recognition
  • Acts of Service: Helping with a task or serving them in some way
  • Receiving Gifts: Giving a physical gift as a symbol of your friendship
  • Quality Time: Having a deep, connecting conversation
  • Physical Touch: Giving a pat on the back or high five

You would be surprised at how much of a difference a little love and consideration can make in your everyday world. Don’t think for a second that showing someone love is going to make you gushy and unprofessional. Love can be as subtle as a “thank you” note on a post-it or a simple pat on the back as you walk by (quickly and non-suggestively). Bring someone a cup of coffee or their favorite candy. Notice what they like and spend a couple of dollars here and there… just to brighten someone’s day. Ask someone “How are you?” and show genuine interest in their answer. There are plenty of ways to show love to friends, loved ones, and even perfect strangers!

A difficult environment probably won’t change overnight, but it will change through the perseverance of demonstrating love and bringing joy. You don’t need to go overboard to the point that people start whispering about your intentions. Keep it casual and inconspicuous. Once you have established the fact that you care about the people who are around you every day, they are more likely to listen and respect your wishes! Can you see the advantage of this habit? People will tend to show you more respect and favor when they feel loved by you. Making the world a better place doesn’t come without reward, my friend. And I’ll say it again: When you bring someone joy, you will automatically feel joy in return as a result. This is a quick and effective way to pull yourself out of a funk when you’re having a challenging day.


It’s OK to be Sad… Just Don’t Stay there.

Trying to ignore your negative emotions is the worst thing you can do to get past them. Sure, it might come with temporary comfort, but pretending problems don’t exist only delays the inevitable. No matter how hard you try, you can’t run and hide from your feelings forever. To move forward, you need to feel the emotions and understand why you’re feeling down in the first place. Let the tears flow. How long has it been since you’ve had a good cry? It may feel like a sign of weakness, but dealing with your emotions actually takes a lot of guts and vulnerability. Instead of running from it, be still and soak in it. The sooner you confront your past, the sooner you can move forward into a better future. Letting it all out will actually help you to let go of your hurt and live a happy life.

Besides, releasing your tears helps you flush out toxins. Tears that are provoked by stress actually help your body rid itself of nasty chemicals that raise the stress hormone, cortisol. So you’ll feel a whole lot better physically once you cry out all that poison. A study performed at the University of Florida found that crying is more effective than any antidepressant on the market. A good cry improved the mood of almost 90% of those who were studied, leaving only 10% reporting that crying made them feel worse.

Expressing your hurt can also help others who are going through the same thing. Your public exploration and acceptance of your personal pain can actually inspire others to do the same. I bet there are a lot of other people who know exactly how you feel, and they would be so appreciative of your understanding. It may look like the opposite of JOYkwondo, but it isn’t. It’s simply a darker form of it. People may not always be able to relate to someone who’s just happy all the time. They can, however, be inspired by someone who has pain but finds their way back to the light and overcomes.


Signs and Inner Wisdom

If I were to ask you to point to yourself, chances are you’d point to your heart area. It’s not likely you’ll point to your head, toe, or your elbow. Why? Because your heart area is where the true “you” is! Your heart area holds your spirit, soul, essence, and higher self. The magnetic field around your heart area has been scientifically measured to be about 8-10 ft around you in proximity. The head area and other areas, however, reach a much lower distance. I really think there’s something to that!

Your head tells you information from calculations based on emotions, experience, and outside circumstances. Your heart area, however, contains a higher wisdom that goes by many names: higher self, inner guru, spirit, the voice of God, intuition. Meditation is simply a way to shut out the noise and listen to what your inner wisdom has to say.

This inner wisdom is constantly speaking to you, whether you’re listening or not. You always have the choice to tap into it and follow it. You’ve heard of having a “gut feeling”, or a “knowing in your knower”?  When something tells you to check your tire pressure or to take a longer way home. When something tells you to give a specific message to a specific person, seemingly with no reason behind it.

Can you imagine what your life would look like if you listened to your inner voice more often, walking by faith and not by sight? What about all day, every day, for literally every decision you make, big or small? Speaking from experience, here’s what that would look like:

You’d start with the safe stuff– the decisions that wouldn’t be a complete disaster if they didn’t go as you planned. Then, after your initial success, you’d start getting steadily braver and more daring when following this newfound flowing wisdom. Eventually, you’d become completely fearless, having discovered that everything happens for a reason, and everything always turns out fine. Ultimately, you’d find yourself on a moment by moment adventure that leads you to all kinds of places and experiences you never thought you’d see, you’d discover your true self and purpose, and you’d find an inner peace that surpasses understanding.

Everything that happens to you is actually part of a bigger picture production. Stand back and start noticing it! If you haven’t already become aware of your inner voice, go ahead and start giving it a listen. Be curious! And don’t brush it off as random thoughts. Start actively paying attention to your inner voice, practicing a process that works for you to consistently tap into this wisdom, moment by moment. Then ACT! Whenever you feel any kind of nudge from your higher self, trust it and follow it. Take the leap of faith…. just to see where it takes you.



“We cannot always control our thoughts, but we can control our words, and repetition impresses the subconscious, so we are then master of the situation.”

~ Florence Scovel Shinn

Many people practice speaking positive affirmations over themselves, consciously choosing words that will either help eliminate something from their life or help create something new. Repeating a positive affirmation to yourself tells your subconscious mind that you are taking responsibility and that you are aware that there is something you can do to change.

Saying affirmations is only part of the process. What you do for the rest of the day and night is even more important. You may choose to say something like, “My prosperity is growing,”. That’s a great affirmation!But then afterward, if you think to yourself “This is stupid. This mind power stuff doesn’t work.”, which affirmation do you think will win? Your complaining affirmations will always win because there are more of them, and they’re usually said with more feeling.

The secret to having your affirmations work quickly and consistently is to put yourself in an atmosphere for them to grow in. When you’re in a good atmosphere, it’s easier to choose to think positive thoughts. And the more you choose to think thoughts that make you feel good, the quicker the affirmations work.


Life is Rigged in Your Favor

We’ve all been through the good and the bad. Sometimes experiences are SO bad that they leave everlasting emotional wounds. We have the choice, though, to either let those wounds oppress us or proudly wear them as battle scars from our incredible journey. Those who move beyond unhappy circumstances end up growing and strengthening. They “level up” like a video game character on an epic quest. They become better equipped to deal with future hardships headed their way.

Imagine adopting the outlook of living a life as if it was rigged in your favor. I’ll tell you exactly what that would look like:

It would enable you to start courageously standing up. You’d be empowered to fearlessly take on any circumstance, knowing everything would all turn out just fine. You would no longer label situations as “hardships”; you’d start calling them “challenges”. The things you once would have quickly labeled as “bad” now just “are”. Inevitably, you’d move into a more peaceful state of mind and naturally start looking at life in a more favorable way. You’d start seeing the beauty in the small things: the sunrise, the roses, the sound of laughter, even music you never allowed yourself to appreciate. You’d become grateful for all the things you have rather than sulking about the things you don’t have.

Who wouldn’t want to live like this? I think we can all agree that it’s a great way to live your life. What are we waiting for, then? I think it’s fear. Fear that we will happily walk into a terrible situation that there’s no getting out of. How can we know that life is REALLY rigged in our favor and that everything will turn out fine? There’s only one way to find out: Test it and test it and test it again until you’re convinced!


Nothing to Fear

We have never been, nor will we ever be in control of anything…ever. Wrapping your head around that fact will give you the confidence to manage whatever conflicts you are currently facing. You’ll gain the courage to run directly towards your opposition. Once you stop living in fear, you’ll begin to live authentically and discover your true life’s purpose. You’ll become clear and present, you’ll understand and accept your limits or boundaries, and you’ll develop compassion for yourself and for the things of this world.

Fear is an interpretation of our fight-or-flight survival mechanism. We are naturally scared of the things we can’t control. If we surrender ourselves, though, to the idea that we can’t actually control anything, and then we confront the thing that is causing the anxiety, then our fear evaporates and we find freedom.


Freedom Always Wins

If there’s anything I’ve learned about myself in my lifetime, it’s that I don’t respond well to being controlled. The second I feel like someone is trying to control me, I fight back, refusing to submit. There are times when someone is obviously being controlling– it’s usually labeled “bullying”. But there are OTHER times, though, when It’s not as obvious and I don’t realize right away why the situation has me so flustered.

As it turns out, I’m not alone. In fact, it’s totally human nature! We ALL have control issues!! We want freedom in every aspect– freedom to make our own personal choices, freedom to say what we want to say, freedom to be the person we truly are. When someone tells me I can’t say what’s on my mind, or that I can’t act a certain way, or that I should share the same political stance or religious beliefs as the popular media, I go into full-on rebel mode. Why? It’s not because I have a bad attitude. It’s because my freedom is being violated! So why am I bring up the importance of freedom? It’s because humans are naturally drawn to freedom. That’s an important thing to keep in mind when it comes to relationships of any kind.

Controlling people can’t ever seem to understand why people don’t like them. They have no idea why people tend to avoid them whenever possible. When they do find a friend or two, everything seems to be going great! But then one day, things suddenly go sour, and the relationship ends. It happens in a lot of abusive relationships. The friend who was being controlled was unaware of the attack on their freedom at first, so they allowed the controlling behavior out of politeness. One day, though, the friend who was being controlled finally realized that their freedom was being attacked. They responded by exercising their freedom, and the controlling friend– well, lost control! The relationship ended, or at least was never the same.


There are several bits of wisdom that I want you to get out of today’s lesson:


If you have controlling people in your life, it’s not necessarily time to end the relationship. However, it is time to be aware of the situation and get your freedom back. Most abusive relationships last longer than they should because the victim doesn’t understand that they’re being manipulated and controlled.


When someone makes you mad, it’s easy to scream and cuss and get violent when you don’t understand the big picture of what’s really going on. When you are aware, though, that the person is simply trying to control you, it is much easier to keep your cool. Why? Because you’ll have a better understanding that LOSING your cool is only giving them what they want. Keeping your cool = Keeping your freedom. Do you get me?

The most important lesson I want you to take away from this, though, is this:


Instead of controlling people, offer them FREEDOM!

As I said before, people are drawn to freedom. I have used this technique in leadership, parenting, and relationship building. Instead of telling people what to do, tell them that they are capable of making good decisions (and then let them demonstrate). Nothing attracts a person more than freedom. The happiest marriages are built on freedom. The most successful companies encourage freedom. Freedom wins EVERY TIME!

So if you feel like you know best in every situation, practice the art of shutting up. We are all amazing creatures with brilliant minds. If you are constantly telling others how to do their job, it only comes off like you think they are stupid and can’t figure things out on their own. People don’t respond well to being called stupid. Practice trust instead.

When you show someone trust and offer them the freedom to show their unique genius and character, you’ll have a friend for life. This is some SERIOUS JOYkwondo!!