How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

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I had delayed reading this book for a while because I didn’t like the title. It sounded manipulative and I had no interest in this. A friend of mine convinced me it wasn’t, which is true. It insists on the importance of developing a genuine interest for others and a change in perspective.

Here is what I got from the book. These seem like very simple things but the book helped me grasp these concepts and take actionable steps.

Everyone is the center of their universe: 

Everyone views the world from their own eyes and consciousness. We often lack the perspective and intelligence to remind ourselves that it’s the same for everyone. For every situation, it pays off to simply look at the situation from the other person’s eyes and see what’s important to this person. This will make the people like and follow you.

 

Shift your perspective:

What I like with the book is that it’s not just a technic to manipulate. It does a great job convincing you that it is the way to grow and learn, because your perspective is often wrong or flawed and would improve if you could get out of your own head. In reminds me of Ray Dalio in Principles who states the importance of getting surrounded with people with different perspectives. I find meditation really helps to actually do it too.

 

Try to learn, not to be right:

The book makes also a great job convincing you that instead of trying to be right or to impress, it is more important to listen and actually focus on learning. You learn more by listening and considering the possibility of being wrong rather than trying to be right.

 

To help yourself, help others:

The book demonstrates you that the best way to be selfish is to actually be nice and interested in others. You will get back way more than you give. It develops this idea in a very rational way.

The book was written in the 30s but its knowledge completely applies Today.