Why Dale Carnegie is the Real Deal

A few weeks ago I bought a copy of How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie for my 18-year old daughter, a freshman in college.

I remember reading it after graduating, embarking on my new life out in the “real world.” It was recommended to me by a professor who believed that this book should be required reading for every college student. He was right. 


Before giving the 75th Anniversary copy to my daughter, I re-read it, and once again recognized the simple wisdom on each and every page.

There’s no question that one of my “life creeds”–which I shared with my two daughters’ continuously as they were growing up–is a loose variation of something I read in the book:

An interesting person is an interested person.

If you are genuinely interested in others, you will BE interesting.

Dale Carnegie wrote:

I know and you know people who blunder through life trying to wigwag other people into becoming interested in them. Of course, it doesn’t work. People are not interested in you. They are not interested in me. They are interested in themselves–morning, noon and after dinner.


Another “life creed” I’ve tried to instill in my daughters is so deceptively simple, it’s scary: smile.

Dale Carnegie devoted an entire chapter–-A Simple Way to Make a Good First Impression–-to why smiling is essential to success in life.  He wrote:

The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.

He continued with . . .

That’s why dogs make such a hit. They are so glad to see us that they almost jump out of their skins. So, naturally, we are glad to see them. A baby’s smile has the same effect.

There are gurus galore telling us how to achieve success in our lives, hoping we’ll spend a few bucks for their words of wisdom. We’re certainly not wanting for self-help books, television programs, magazines, websites or the newest things, ‘life coaches.’ But, sometimes all we need is a little inspiration, a little push to get us over the mental hump.

Instead of picking up the latest issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, pick up a copy of this simple little guide to life. And get one for your kids, too. They may roll their eyes and smirk (yes, that’s what mine did), but trust me. They’ll read it.


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