If you read the last post, you’ll know that I’m in the throes of cleaning out books. The piles of cardboard boxes are now diminished by half. I have resisted keeping books that I might read again, and only saving those I KNOW I’ll want to read again.
Anyhow, in the back of one row of books in the side shelf, I picked up Dale Carnegie’s bestseller, “How to Win Friends & Influence People.” I thought about tossing it into one of the boxes but as I flipped through it, yellow highlighted sentences sprang out at me and made me laugh out loud. I think his simple handbook of how to get along with people is still worth its weight in gold. Here’s some examples of why.
“If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive!”
1. People aren’t interested in you. They’re interested in themselves.
“We are interested in others when they are interested in us.. . you can make more friends in two months being interested (sincerely) in them than you would in two years trying to get them interested in you.”
2. Smile often at people from the time you get up to the time you go to bed. Watch how this changes your outlook and everyone else’s towards you.
3. What and how you think about things determines your attitude and outlook on life. If you are unhappy, it’s because of your inner thoughts.
“Everybody in the world is seeking happiness–and there is one sure way to find it. That is by controlling your thoughts. Happiness doesn’t depend on outward conditions. It depends on inner conditions. . . . It isn’t what you have or who you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” (my emphasis)
4. Stop criticizing. Criticism is futile, no matter what.
“Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance and arouses resentment.”
5. Be sincerely interested in others; let them think they came up with an idea and remember their name.
“People are not interested in you. They are not interested in me. They are interested in themselves, morning, noon and after dinner.”
That’s about it in a nutshell. Practical and wise advice. It doesn’t say much for human nature, though, does it? And if you’re stubborn like me, it’s sometimes hard to remember these adages that will work 100% of the time, but only if you can genuinely apply them in a sincere manner.
Still worth thinking about and experimenting on the people around you, don’t you think? I wonder what tomorrow’s batch of books will turn up.