Wisdom of Life

Dale Carnegie: On the Wisdom and Meaning of Life

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”

“Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied.”

“Life is too short to be little”.

You can sing only what you are. You can paint only what you are. You must be what your experiences, your environment, and your heredity have made you. For better or for worse, you must play your own little instrument in the orchestra of life.

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. 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. Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success. Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.

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.

The best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today’s work superbly today. That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future. One of the tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. All men have fears, but the brave put down their fears and go forward, sometimes to death, but always to victory.

Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving. 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. One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses. 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. When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity. Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so.

Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment. You can measure the size of a person by what makes him or her angry. Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. “To know all is to forgive all.

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. Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours. Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, ‘I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you. Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn’t bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish and said: “Wouldn’t you like to have that?”
Why not use the same common sense when fishing for people?

Remember, happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have, it depends solely upon what you think.

No matter what happens, always be yourself.

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.

And remember “Life is too short to be little”.

***

~Dale Carnegie was an American writer and lecturer, and the developer of courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills.

Excerpts from Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

Excellence Reporter 2021

Categories: Wisdom of Life

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