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Inspiration from Dale Carnegie

Estimated Lesson Time: 2 minutes

Dale Carnegie (1888–1955) was a pioneer in public speaking and personality development. Dale Carnegie influenced millions of people and helped define the industry now known as “self-help.”

Success begins with failure. Dale failed at almost everything he did including farming, teaching, sales, acting and novel writing. His persistence in pursuing his passion eventually led him to write “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” which to date has sold over 30 million copies worldwide.

Success is having self-confidence. Dale’s success philosophy centers on building and reinforcing self-confidence. His career began by teaching a public speaking course at a local YMCA. When the YMCA was hesitant about giving him the salary of $2 per night, he had enough confidence in himself to suggest he work on commission instead. He was soon making $30 per night.

Success is knowing how to deal with people. “When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bustling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.”

Success is having a positive influence on others. Over 50 million copies of his books have sold and have been translated into just about every language. His training courses, which are still thriving today, have trained over 7 million people.

Success is learning from others. Mr. Carnegie developed his success philosophy by studying people who he admired most. His books include many stories about Abe Lincoln, Ben Franklin, Andrew Carnegie (no relation), and others.

Success is taking chances. “Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes furthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.”

Success is overcoming fears. Carnegie was very shy, which is quite a handicap to a professional public speaker. However, he believed in confronting his fears and not being discouraged by initial failures. “Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it... that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.”

Success is acting on opportunity. Dale wrote his best seller initially because, at the time, there wasn’t a textbook on which he could rely.

Success is making the world a better place. “You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.”

[Sources: http://www.biography.com, http://www.dale-carnegie.com, Investor’s Business Daily, Oct 24, 2001]


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 Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):

  • Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
  • Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
  • What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)
    From the Course:
    Personal Development
    Year To Success
    Bo Bennett, PhD

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    Personal Development : Personal Transformation
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