When it comes to relationships, there’s one book everyone should read…
Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
The ideas contained within its pages aren’t anything earth shattering but it what it does do is conveniently assemble many of the most important ideas in how to deal with people. And when applied properly garner trust and respect among friends, colleagues, and clients.
One client saw an almost immediate improvement in the quality of his life and his relationships after I introduced it to him.
Of all the gems of wisdom contained within its pages I must say that my personal favorite is the importance of keeping your word.
So simple, and yet so hard to do.
There have been times when I’ve made promises I had no business making.
We all have.
We let our mouth overload our backs or our checkbooks, sometimes both.
When people come to collect on promises we make we are presented with one of two choices:
- Keep it
- Break it
I am of the belief that if you don’t have your word, you don’t have much. So regardless of how tough it may be (physically, mentally or financially), as long as I can actually do it, I choose option number 1.
Why? Because I understand that the minute I choose option number 2, I run the risk of losing that person as a friend, partner or client.
If people can’t trust you to keep your word, why would they want to do business with you or even associate with you? They just don’t know what they can expect from you.
Me, I like to give people chances.
I don’t think one mistake makes a man, after all we’re all human.
But I view a relationship as a chain, one that either grows stronger each passing day, or weaker. And only you can determine what strengths or weakens the chain but for me a broken promise is like rust. Take action quickly and make up for your mistake and the rust will vanish. Do nothing and the chain weakens. A second broken promise (without making up for the first) and, to me, the chain is broken and only an incredible amount of work on the other person can repair it.
Think about it this way; doing business with a trustworthy person means everything gets done with a simple handshake.
Doing business with an untrustworthy person means even the most ironclad contracts won’t help.
To me, keeping your word is the mark of a mature person.
And it’s as true today as it was when Dale Carnegie wrote the book back in 1936.
But Dale Carnegie wasn’t a one hit wonder and also wrote two famous books on public speaking and an excellent book on worry that also deserve a place in any serious student’s library.
Below I have included my “20 quotes to live by” by Dale Carnegie:
- You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
- Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.
- Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.
- Success is getting what you want…Happiness is wanting what you get.
- Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain–and most do.
- If you are not in the process of becoming the person you want to be, you are automatically engaged in becoming the person you don’t want to be.
- When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness.
- Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied.
- You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.
- One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.
- People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.
- Remember, happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have, it depends solely upon what you think.
- Our thoughts make us what we are. It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.
- No matter what happens, always be yourself.
- Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.
- Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.
- If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.
- Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.
- Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so.
- Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation, for your character is what you are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
My advice, take each one and spend 5 to 10 minutes and really think about why he said them and how they apply to your own life.
It’s amazing how powerful words can be.