Lost and Found

by Jim Stovall

As a general rule, having a great memory is a wonderful tool that can help you succeed in any area of life. There are a number of books and courses designed to help you improve your memory or better utilize the memory you have. There’s no reason to clutter your mind or memory capacity with data that can be stored on a computer or handheld device.

A generation ago, people routinely remembered dozens of phone numbers and could recall them in an instant and then dial the phone. Today, smart phones eliminate the need to memorize anyone’s phone number. I’ve been in the company of extremely intelligent people who actually had to look up their own phone number because they rarely, if ever, have to remember it and dial it manually. GPS technology makes it possible for us to get anywhere in the world without remembering how to get there or how to get back home.

One of the greatest benefits of an accurate memory has always been and remains the ability to remember people’s names. Few things are more valuable to any person than their own name, and if you can readily recall it, you are miles ahead of someone who can’t remember an individual’s name.

With all the benefits of having and using a great memory, there is at least one case in which successful people cultivate the skill of not remembering. Great professional quarterbacks who have just thrown an interception develop the ability to put the mistake out of their mind and go back out on the field for the next series without letting the interception impact their thinking or their play. Great pitchers who just watched the opposing team’s batter hit the ball over the fence are in the habit of shaking it off, taking a deep breath, and getting back to business with the next batter as if the homerun never happened.

You and I have had times in our lives and careers when we succeeded and other times when we failed. Those among us who perform consistently at the highest level are those who remember their victories and forget their defeats. When faced with a crisis or the proverbial fork in the road, remember to go back and mentally review all of your victories before you proceed. Any of us have experienced enough victories to think of ourselves as a winner or enough defeats to think of ourselves as a loser. Always choose to identify yourself as a winner, and mentally go back to the last time you won. Then assume that attitude and strategy. This is how the winners stay on top.

As you go through your day today, remember the great things, and forget the rest.

Today’s the day!
Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached by email at Jim@JimStovall.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor; or follow Jim on Twitter @StovallAuthor.

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  1. Tim Anderson
    1 year ago

    Hello Jim,

    I heard you on the Pat Campbell show talking about this column but I forgot the name of the
    athlete and the name of the book where he shook hands with the entire audience and then
    took the mike and went through and said each person’s name. Can you refresh my memory?

    Thanks much,

    • UP-admin
      1 year ago


      The basketball player is Jerry Lucas and the book is entitled The Memory Book.