How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie

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Book Summary Notes

How to Win Friends and Influence People

“‘Compared to what we ought to be, said the famous Professor William James of Harvard, ‘compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake." 

"We are making use of only a small part of our physical and mental resources. Stating the thing broadly, the human individual thus lives far within his limits. He possesses powers of various sorts which he habitually fails to use.’"

"Those powers which you ‘habitually fail to use’! The sole purpose of this book is to help you discover, develop, and profit by those dormant and unused assets."

"‘Education,’ said Dr. John G. Hibben, former president of Princeton University, ‘is the ability to meet life’s situations.’"

"If by the time you have finished reading the first three chapters of this book—if you aren’t then a little better equipped to meet life’s situations, then I shall consider this book to be a total failure so far as you are concerned. For ‘the great aim of education,’ said Herbert Spencer, ‘is not knowledge but action.’ And this is an action book.”

Action Bias

I just finished doing the mind map for one of John C Maxwells books where he talked about developing an action bias

This book literally starts out by saying we will need to take action.. 

So you know it's going to be good!

This book is an absolute classic..  In fact I'm sure many of you have read it before!

So instead of doing a step by step breakdown I'm going to be taking out the parts I think made the most impact on me..

Giving them to you along with stories about how I took action on them!

My story:

This book was given to me by my grandfather who was the mayor of our town..

At the time I was just a shy kid who loved to workout in the gym!

Something grabbed me and I read the book!

This lead to an amazing journey of me going from this shy kid in the gym to the outgoing man who RAN the gym..  

So I guess you could say this book changed my life!  (Thanks Grandpa)

Burning Desire

“If you wish to get the most out of this book, there is one indispensable requirement, one essential infinitely more important than any rule or technique." 

"Unless you have this one fundamental requisite, a thousand rules on how to study will avail little. And if you do have this cardinal endowment, then you can achieve wonders without reading any suggestions for getting the most out of a book."

"What is this magic requirement? Just this: a deep, driving desire to learn, a vigorous determination to increase your ability to deal with people."

"How can you develop such an urge? By constantly reminding yourself how important these principles are to you. Picture to yourself how their mastery will aid you in leading a richer, fuller, happier, and more fulfilling life. Say to yourself over and over: ‘My popularity, my happiness and sense of worth depend to no small extent upon my skill in dealing with people.’”

Napoleon Hill and the burning desire..

Inside of Think and Grow Rich Hill shared the concept of the burning desire..

  • Carnegie is showing us that the burning desire is important not only for monetary success..  
  • But also for success in learning any new skill!

Do you think becoming a people person..  Learning to put other people first is going to be easy?

  • Absolutely it's not!  In fact it might just be one of the hardest things we do in our lives..  
  • Growing up we are the centre of the universe.. 
  • That creates all sorts of unhealthy behavior around interacting with other humans when we grow up!

That means we're going to have to learn and unlearn a lot of things along the way!

  • Which isn't going to be an easy process..  
  • So how do we make sure that we'll really follow through on this learning?
  • Cultivate a burning desire..

Something my coach shared with me is a process called the 5 whys..  

Ask yourself why learning How to Win Friends and Influence People is important to you!

Then ask why that's important..  

Then ask why that's important..  

Do that five times to get to the REAL reason why you need to learn these skills..  Then cultivate that burning desire. 

Clean Your Doorstep

“Do you know someone you would like to change and regulate and improve? Good! That is fine. I am all in favor of it. But why not begin with yourself?" 

"From a purely selfish standpoint, that is a lot more profitable than trying to improve others—yes, and a lot less dangerous. ‘Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof,’ said Confucius, ‘when your own doorstep is unclean.’”

If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive..

This is from the first chapter of the book where Dale is sharing a fundamental principle..

  • No one will change if you criticize them!
  • In fact quite often when you criticize someone they will actively get worse..

There are many many examples of this in the book!  From Lincoln to Jefferson..  But let me share one of mine!

  • Coaching relationships are interesting.. 
  • Generally it's about getting to the route of what a person wants to accomplish and helping them get there!  

Something which I love to do and I'm really good at.  But sometimes.. There is a plan that I think will work that the other person just doesn't want to do!

Without the skills of coaching and the concept of 'don't kick over the beehive' I might be tempted to find a way to politely force that person to do the thing!

Instead..  In a coaching relationship it's important to learn to go with the flow!  And support whatever the person decides to do.. 

That doesn't mean not expressing an opinion..  But at the end of the day it's not going to help anyone to put down their idea or decision! 


“You don’t feel like smiling? Then what? Two things. First, force yourself to smile. If you are alone, force yourself to whistle or hum a tune or sing."

"Act as if you were already happy, and that will tend to make you happy. Here is the way the psychologist and philosopher William James put it: ‘Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling which is not."

"Thus, the sovereign voluntary path to cheerfulness, if our cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there.’”

How do we make a good first impression?

One part of the equation is about being happy and upbeat..  

  • No one wants to be around someone that is upset, angry or down.. 
  • Let alone want to be friends with them or influenced by them!

Have you ever noticed that the people who are the most sought after are the most upbeat? 

  • The people in the room that everyone gravitates towards?
  • Do you think those people are naturally like that..  Likely some of them are!

But if you aren't naturally like that you can't just resolve to 'not be like that' and still have the success that you desire!

  • So here is the hack..  Smile!  Hum a tune..  Listen to music you love before!
  • My personal hack? 

When I was a personal trainer I was working long long hours and it was hard to always be 'on' so I created a ritual..

Five minutes before the client got there I would smile and listen to one of my favorite songs..  Visualizing a GREAT training session!  And the impact I would make on them..

Golden Rule

“Philosophers have been speculating on the rules of human relationships for thousands of years, and out of all that speculation, there has evolved only one important precept."

"It is not new. It is as old as history. Zoroaster taught it to his followers in Persia twenty-five hundred years ago. Confucius preached it in China twenty-four centuries ago. Lao-tse, the founder of Taoism, taught it to his disciples in the Valley of the Han. Buddha preached it on the bank of the Holy Ganges five hundred years before Christ. The sacred books of Hinduism taught it a thousand years before that. Jesus taught it among the stony hills of Judea nineteen centuries ago. Jesus summed it in one thought: ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.’"

"You want the approval of those with whom you come in contact. You want recognition of your true worth. You want a feeling that you are important in your little world. You don’t want to listen to cheap, insincere flattery, but you do crave sincere appreciation. You want your friends and associates to be, as Charles Schwab put it, ‘hearty in approbation and lavish in their praise.’ All of us want that."

"So let’s obey the Golden Rule, and give unto others what we would have others give unto us. How? When? Where? The answer is: All the time, everywhere.”

It all comes down to following what they taught us..

Since a very early age we've been taught this golden rule!

  • But how many of us are really practicing it?
  • The world would sure be a better place to live!

So how can we go about living this rule to the fullest?

  • I think it first starts with asking yourself how you would like to be treated..  
  • What kind of respect would you like to be shown?
  • How would you like to be spoken too?
  • What would you like to feel valued in?

Once you have that list..  Spend some time asking these questions!

  • How am I showing respect to the people in my life?
  • How am I speaking to the people in my life?
  • How am I valuing the people in my life?

Then realize the connection between the two..


“The policeman, being human, wanted a feeling of importance; so when I began to condemn myself, the only way he could nourish his self-esteem was to take the magnanimous attitude of showing mercy."

"But suppose if I had tried to defend myself—well, did you ever argue with a policeman?"

"But instead of breaking lances with him, I admitted that he was absolutely right and I was absolutely wrong; I admitted quickly, openly, and with enthusiasm. The affair terminated graciously in my taking his side and his taking my side. Lord Chesterfield himself could hardly have been more gracious than this mounted policeman, who, only a week previously, had threatened to have the law on me."

"If we are going to be rebuked anyhow, isn’t it far better to beat the other person to it and do it ourselves? Isn’t it much easier to listen to self-criticism than to bear condemnation from alien lips?"

"Say about yourself all the derogatory things you know the other person is thinking or wants to say or intends to say—and say them before that person has a chance to say them. The chances are a hundred to one that a generous, forgiving attitude will be taken and your mistakes will be minimized just as the mounted policeman did with me and Rex.”

Dale breaking the law!

This is a story about how Dale brought his dog Rex into a park..

  • The first time he went in there the officer scolded him for not having him on the leash..  
  • But Rex liked to be off leash..  So Dale ended up bringing him back off the leash!
  • Then he was caught..  This principle is about how he avoided confrontation!

It's a pretty simple principle really..  

  • People on a very base level just want to feel important..  
  • If they are in a position of authority they will want to tell you when you've done something wrong..  It's one of the perks of the job! 
  • But if instead you admit and say all the worst things they could possible say first they don't have that power anymore..

Wanting to feel important they will use the only other power they have.. 

  • Mercy!  
  • Now this doesn't always work and obviously you should just try not to break the law..
  • But try this out in business or in relationships!  It's really powerful..


“Emerson said: ‘Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.’"

"If that was true of Emerson, isn’t it likely to be a thousand times more true of you and me?"

"Let’s cease thinking of our accomplishments, our wants. Let’s try to figure out the other person’s good points. Then forget flattery. Give honest, sincere appreciation. Be ‘hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise,’ and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime—repeat them years after you have forgotten them.”

Honest and sincere appreciation..

That's what we all want isn't it?

Being a human is hard!  We all deserve some appreciation sometimes..  

This simple tip is probably worth reading the entire book for!

  • How much better would your relationships be if you looked for the best in people?
  • How much further ahead would you be if instead of putting others down you actively pulled them up?
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