Steve Woods

How to be Unforgettable

In What Day is it? on November 10, 2009 at 6:32 am

Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of Heaven, blossom the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the Angels.   ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Early Stories Surrounding the Forget-Me-Not


The tragic knight and his love

Today is National Forget-Me-Not Day. One of the many stories surrounding the origin of the Forget-Me-Not name is that during the Medieval Ages, a knight picked a handful of the tiny flower bordering a river, and while doing so slipped into the deep waters.  While sinking due to the weight of his armor, he held out a handful of the flowers to his love and asked her to please not forget him.

In ancient Germanic legends, when God was creating everything and providing names for it all, a tiny blue flower, afraid it would be missed during such a lengthy endeavor, called out “Forget Me Not!”  In Christian lore, Jesus wished that his mother Mary would always be remembered, so he passed his hand over the ground, and the tiny blue flower appeared everywhere.

The tradition of using the Forget-Me-Not as a symbol of remembrance continued well into the 20th Century, where in Newfoundland officials performed ceremonies in remembrance of those that died in battle using the flower.  To this day, millions rejoice at receiving the Forget-Me-Not due to their special significance and romanticized symbolism.

What is the Forget-Me-Not?


The Forget-Me-Not

The Forget-Me-Not plant (also known as Scorpion Grass,) belongs to the genus Myosotis, which has over 50 different varieties of the flowering plant.  Blue is the most popular (and traditional) color; however, there are a rainbow of colors to choose from.  The Woods Forget-Me-Not actually changes colors as it matures, going from pink to blue.

There are such an incredible variety in the world of flowers, replete with heavenly scents and eye-catching colors, exotic shapes and textures.  None of these are the Forget-Me-Not.  Among all of the flora that could’ve been chosen for such a meaningful and timeless name, why is this simple, flat, 1 inch small 5-petal flower given such an honor?  As legend had it, was it simply because it spoke up during the naming process and made itself known?

How Can We Be Unforgettable?


What makes us unforgettable?

Before we get into my theory on how the lowly Forget-Me-Not maintains its special position in our hearts, I’d like to talk a little about how you yourself can be “unforgettable” to others, whether making friends, working with others, in a relationship, or even here in Social Media.  Many of the principles for each are similar and useful, with a few exceptions.

  1. Learn the value of good (but not overt) eye contact when meeting and talking to others.  Match the amount of time you gaze into another’s eyes by how long they are comfortable returning it, so as to not appear you are prying or critical. A friendly and warm gaze shows that you are comfortable in another’s presence, and will do wonders toward making them comfortable back.
  2. Smile, smile, smile.  Smiling belies happiness, and people like to be around those that appear content with life.  I’m talking genuine smiles, not the Stepford Wives brand. When we see those around us exuding happiness, we tend to feel more comfortable in the environment.  After all, if you aren’t stressing things, why should I?  Be positive in your interactions and outlook, and others will want to be near you!
  3. When in conversation, make sure to spend a greater amount of time listening carefully to the other person than talking.  Oh I know your voice is soothing, lilting, positively delightful. But pay rapt attention to the other person, and do not allow inner (or outer) distractions to control you, so that the person you are conversing with feels important in your eyes. With more important concepts, make sure to repeat back in your own words what has been said, asking meaningful questions as needed.  A careful listener is valued in the life of those around you, and will be sought out for conversation.
  4. Try to avoid verbal criticism as a method of pointing out the shortcomings of others. Try to explain things in such a way that others figure out what they need to change on their own. Rather than feeling criticism from you, others will feel that you are helping them grow through simply knowing you.  Your friends know they are not perfect, and want to know they are accepted in your eyes.
  5. Keeping office codes in mind, dress in a way that will make you stand out in the crowd, whether it be through a strong color or beautiful tie or jewelry. Use a desirable perfume or cologne, one that will make others want to smell you one more time… There’s a reason that really good scents cost a pretty penny, but don’t go overboard unless you can afford it!
  6. conversation

    Are you interacting in an unforgettable way?

    When introducing ideas in a meeting, make sure you are not throwing out too much information at once, or you risk people forgetting who said what. You won’t like it if someone else is given credit for your good idea, so properly pace the information, while listening to (and responding to) the feedback of others.  By interacting during the meeting, you increase the number of people who remember who they spoke with about the idea.  Good presentations will make them (and you) memorable.

  7. Keep what you say simple and clear. The use of slogans or the coining of phrases always helps people remember your words. Political signs are short and sweet for a reason… And like the same political sign being repeated in every other yard, be sure to find novel ways to remind people of your ideas, lest they forget who came up with them in the first place.
  8. Be thoughtful and generous.  Keep a calendar of dates that are important to those around you, and remember to mention them as they occur, including birthdays, anniversaries and other special events. Small gifts that show you know some basic preferences of your coworkers and friends will go a long way toward them remembering how much you cared, long after the gift is given.
  9. Compliment others, in a judicious manner. Don’t over-do it, but be sure to keep a careful eye for what accomplishments are meaningful in your friends, family or coworkers’ lives, and be ready with that congratulations or pat on the back.

Why weigh the beauty of one flower to another?  ~ Chad Lilly @icpchad

How to be Unforgettable in Social Media

I realize that the 9 rules above not only fail to be all-inclusive, but also may not be easily interpreted for use in the conversational arena of Social Media.  So here’s my take…

  1. If you are including a photo of yourself as your avatar, make sure it makes eye contact with the audience.  Sideways looks just make you look distracted by something.  Make your photo interesting but unique to your own personality.  Make sure that you are smiling in your photo, in order to bring others into you and and your story.
  2. Spend more time reading and responding to other’s comments on FaceBook and Twitter than talking about yourself.  You’ll get a much bigger response from saying something nice about another’s comment than telling your own story.  If you are successful with this form of interaction, your followers and friends will be much more open to what you have to say, too.
  3. Don’t correct another’s spelling or grammar. Spend some time trying to decipher it, and give them time to figure it out themselves.  Someone else more anal retentive will likely swoop in for the phonetical kill, while you get to be viewed as patient…
  4. Don’t repeat the same thing over and over again in order to gain attention on something of value to you.  Again, spend a greater portion of your time responding to others, and they will forward on your information in appreciation of you, ten times more than your work.  Be engaged in the lives of others, and they will engage in yours.
  5. Try to keep your comments down to 120 characters, especially in Twitter, leaving plenty of space for others to “retweet” it.  Many will simply pass up the retweet when they see it won’t fit.
  6. Keep track of the special days and events in the lives of those you interact with.  You know, you can put your Social Media friend’s birthdays in your Outlook calendar too…
  7. Be yourself, and stay consistent with your message. If your interest is food, then by all means share recipes and cooking techniques.  If you are into acting, then seek out those also interested, and provide up-t0-date information to budding stars.  Create a beautiful blog and let everyone know what you know, in your own unique style.  Stick to it, take the time to be knowledgeable, and always find a way to add your own unique flavor to your information.  Never lose yourself in the message.

What We Share In Common With the Forget-Me-Not

My theory about why Forget-Me-Nots have persisted in holding such a meaningful place in our hearts, as ambassador to loving memory? Word-of-mouth marketing.


We can become unforgettable too...

If you are successful in becoming unforgettable to just one person, he will extol your virtues far and wide to others. Stories will be told about you, people will wonder how they can connect with you, to spend time in your presence. The legend of the Forget-Me-Not began with one story, told by one person to another. The story was meaningful, served a purpose, made us feel good….

If you have the confidence to accept that others appreciate you and that you can deserve such accolades, you will not fear spreading your influence further, coloring the lives of others with your good traits.  The Forget-Me-Not  spreads itself easily when allowed, taking over fields with its colorful glory. It does this quietly and without regret, because it can…. And its fans help plant it further, to ensure its presence in their lives.

The Forget-Me-Not has gained acclaim not because it is the most glorious of all flowers. No, its hues are muted, its size small, its beauty paled, harboring no intoxicating fragrance.  The physical traits of the Forget-Me-Not did not bring it fame; its countenance deserves no great note. Rather, this simple flower is handed to lovers far and wide because of how we feel about it, because of the history we have created for it, its stories we repeat, and its beautiful (yet tragic) myths. Take note of this, as it is not important from whence you came, or how you appear. By following a few simple positive rules when interacting with those around us, we too can become unforgettable…

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Steve Woods, Steve Woods. Steve Woods said: DÕPÕDÕMÅNÌ – How to be unforgettable […]

  2. Awesome! I know I’ve touched peoples lives by helping out, and sponsoring 2 different causes in the past. The outcome of this felt great in my heart.
    I, and we all wish to be unforgettable to the world, BUT if I’m unforgettable to a handful of people, that’s fine by me.

    I, and god knows that I always do my best to help. Despite the situation I’m in. Not an easy one.
    (Feeling better, but I don’t think I want this injection again. Just a lit’l ouch, but wouldn’t like to get many.)

    Always trying my best to be hopeful, positive, and happy. 🙂

    Oh! Mr.Techy 😉 …when I click on ‘Notify me of follow-up comments via email’, it takes me to another blog post. It doesn’t ‘check’. 🙂

  3. Hmm, will look into the follow-up comments settings. Thanks for all you do on Twitter to help others! I hope that you are feeling better soon, my friend! We are unforgettable wherever we honestly engage. ~Steve

  4. […] Tweets about this great post on […]

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