How Did FDR Remember Names?

His simple but effective strategy that you can start using today

Jesse J Rogers
4 min readDec 7, 2020
Portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Photo by Library of Congress on Unsplash

“I’m so sorry… (awkward pause) what was your name again?”

We’ve all had that embarrassing moment.

It’s important for you to remember the person’s name, but arrgh! You just can’t. You remember their face but can’t recall their name, right?

It isn’t mere embarrassment that’s on the line. This problem can cost you sales, it can cost you potential friendships, mentors, study partners, and investors. All around makes it more difficult to connect with new people when you have trouble remembering names.

By contrast, imagine what a superpower it was for President Roosevelt to remember the names of people that he met months prior — even if they only met once!

What would it mean for your life if you could do that? Take a moment to really think about it. Visualize what kind of opportunities would open up if you remembered the name of everyone you met.

In fact, you can.

“There’s no such thing as a good or bad memory. There’s just a trained memory, or an untrained memory.” — Jim Kwik

As brain training coach Jim Kwik is fond of saying, “the bad news is that it takes effort to train your memory, the good news is it doesn’t take as much as you think.”

So what exactly does it take?

Your MOM. Relax, that’s not an insult. It’s an acronym that stands for Motivation, Observation, and Mechanics.


I’ve prompted you with questions about what your future could be like with a little bit of training. We’ve already started to build a little bit of motivation. That’s only the beginning though. To get yourself to stick to the consistent effort that it takes to develop a habit, you need to have a powerful “why”. A purpose. A mission.

To get yourself to spend the effort needed to get results, you have to know and constantly remind yourself of the reason why you have to do a thing. If you want to get yourself to keep doing that thing, whatever it…