People Remember How You Make Them Feel

from Lesson 1 of Experience Bookends

Charles Schulz was an American cartoonist best known for his Peanuts cartoons with Snoopy and Charlie Brown. He is often quoted as presenting people with a quiz illustrating his philosophy. Apparently this quiz is incorrectly attributed to Mr. Schulz.

However, it is still a great illustration of how our interactions with other people are primarily characterized by the emotions they produce. Take the quiz yourself. Try naming the:

  • Five wealthiest people in the world
  • Last five Heisman trophy winners
  • Last five winners of the Miss America pageant
  • Ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize
  • Last six Academy Award winners for Best Actor & Actress
  • Last decade of World Series winners

How many of these can you name accurately? I can name a few, but not many. To be sure, these accomplishments are noteworthy and I’m sure I have heard of the answers before. However, my memory does not retain this information.

The second half of the quiz illustrates why the first half is not memorable for most of us. Now try naming the:

  • Few teachers who helped you
  • Three friends who stuck with you during tough times
  • Five people who taught you something worthwhile
  • Three people who have made you feel appreciated and special
  • Five people you enjoy spending time with

It’s a lot easier to name the people in the second group than it is to name people in first group, right? This is because the people who make a lasting difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards.

It’s the people who care.

Remember this the next time you greet someone for the first time, try to help solve their problem, or have an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. You just might end up as one of their most memorable people.