Once in a while, I get to talk with Serdar and he gives me advice on what he thinks I should do to improve myself. I really like it when he does that because advice is kinda like a lottery ticket: many times it’s a dud (such as when he suggested that I should eat 3x per day), but sometimes the advice turns out to be right on spot. Examples of the latter include when he told me that I should have more eye contact when talking to others, and also when he told me that I should say “hi [the person’s name]” instead of just saying “hi” because it gives a better impression.

I’ve been thinking about his suggestion to memorize other peoples’ names and actively use them, and I realized that doing so is good not only for making good impressions, but also for improving mental performance: the more names I memorize, the easier it will be for me to memorize new things such as technical words that I read in the literature. For example if I wanna memorize the term “Diophantine equation”, then it’s easy to do so if I know a guy named Dionne, and another guy named Phanuel, and girl named Tina. The more strongly I remember these names from previous, the faster and easier I’ll remember the word “diophantine”. And even though I don’t know how much of a social difference it makes to look people in the eyes and actively use their names, the time investment is only a second or two – thus the ROI will be high because whatever benefit I’ll get will come at a negligible investment of time.

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