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–Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
Excellent advice from the man who is probably Northwest Missouri’s best-known author and salesman.
One of the basic tenets of Carnegie’s philosophy is that it’s possible for a person to change another’s behavior towards him by changing his own attitude first. You know the drill: Get your head out of your bum, stop blaming others for your unhappiness and failure, look at the world around you and recognize the very small role you play it, drop the negativity and develop a positive attitude, expect the best, put the needs of others ahead of your own, treat people as you would like to be treated, and–mirabile dictu!–you’ll probably find that the world’s a much nicer place, and the folks in it are so much more worth your time, than you once believed. And–win-win–once you stop marinating in your own bile and nursing your own ego, you’ll find yourself a lot happier as a result.
Carnegie’s advice reminds me of the words of an Elmore Leonard character, Raylan Givens, which appear in the TV series Justified, based on one of Leonard’s short stories. While I’m pretty sure the public Dale Carnegie was much too genteel to ever put his thoughts in such a scatalogical way, perhaps the poor Missouri farm boy who used to get up in the middle of the night to feed the family pigs, and milk the family cows, before getting ready for school would recognize the type, and the call to action.
If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.
Don’t be that guy.