I first came across this book my first year out of college. I had heard of it before, but I wasn’t motivated to read an ancient book written by some Depression Era motivational speaker. It finally piqued my curiosity though, and I ended up reading it.
It changed my life.
My goal in writing this is to convince you to give it a shot. If you haven’t read it, give it a try. If you have read it when you were younger, pick it back up again. You will most likely see it in a different perspective and take something new out of it. I try to re-read it every other year or so. It helps me reaffirm my core values, and every time I revisit it, I leave with new information or insight. It’s the one book that I feel helps me to be a better teacher, a better husband, a better father, and a better son. It essentially is a list of principles and characteristics every person should practice daily to become a more rounded individual.
Here are the 3 reasons you should give this book a try:
- It is easy to read, digest, and understand. It puts each principle into real world terms and explains why it relates to you and your life.
- It is filled with anecdotes, examples and stories to make the points more honest and real; it is not preachy.
- Each principle, idea, and concept discussed is something every human can relate to and incorporate into their lives. It contains universal truths.
It is easy to read:
For a book that was first published in 1936, this book is surprisingly easy to read. It’s written in a very conversational tone, and it is written at a newspaper reading level, which is to say that it is accessible to virtually every reader over the age of twelve. The way that it is organized is also very simple and clean, and each chapter ends with a simple list, summarizing the points discussed in the previous chapter. The following is an example of this:
Putting it in this format not only allows the reader to have a condensed, compiled list of the most important aspects of the book, but it allows them to return to the book from time to time to refresh yourself on the lessons without having to dig too deeply. The format, writing style and tone make this book quite palatable.
It has anecdotes and real-life examples to make the principles discussed more concrete
Each principle and concept discussed in this book is supported by a real life example. Mr. Carnegie uses historical anecdotes to support why each principle is useful and crucial to our success as humans. He ensures that several examples are used for each concept to reach the reader and explain them in real, honest terms. Throughout the book, when he outlines a quote or a idea he considers to be particularly crucial or powerful, he repeats it so the reader is sure to take notice. The power behind using this method is that it prevents a book like this to sound preachy, which would be very easy to do in a book like this.
Each principle outlined is useful to all humans, regardless of their age, station or status
As I said above, each principle in this book is a universal truth. One of the reasons this 83 year old book has sold more than 15 million copies world wide and is one of the best selling books of all time is the universal message it offers to all. No matter where you are or who you are, you can take a lesson from this book that will enrich your life or make you more successful. There is no part of this book specifically for a certain person or group. It was important to Dale Carnegie that his readers understand that each principle applies directly to them. This is one of the greatest powers of this book.
This book is one of my favorite books of its type. Since I first read it, it has helped shape the principles and code by which I live. It has helped me not only as a person, but in my career as a teacher. Every single year, I introduce my students to the condensed version of the principles in this book. I’ve been doing that since my first year in the classroom. My hope is that maybe even one off them will rub off on the students or touch them in some way. I’ll continue to teach it and live it until the end of my days.
I hope you get a chance to read it. It just might affect you the way it did with me.