I’ve been in the process of reading “How to Win Friends, Influence People and Succeed in a Changing World.” for a few months now . Last year, I read it for the first time for an Advertising class, it was a book my professor recommended and said would change my life. And it did. The problem was, I read it too fast. It’s like I gulped down all the information, and I didn’t savor it. I could remember a few principles, but I soon forgot the rest of it.
So I made it a goal over the summer, to start reading Dale Carnegie’s book again for the 2nd time. I promised myself that this time would be different. I didn’t have an end date in mind of when I would finish reading this book. I just had a goal, that I would savor each chapter and apply as many principles as I found.
This time around, I really have slowed down the pace of reading. There are so many jewels in this book, that I missed the first time. Reading it for the second time, it’s almost like taking a refresher course. Every chapter is filled with principles and stories that really inspire you to be a better person. One of the principles, I’m really working on right now is…Expressing Genuine Interest in Others. I’m really trying to ask more questions of the people around me, with an interest of getting to know them better.
Turns out reading this chapter, really paid off this past week. I’m a regular at this coffee shop right around the corner from where I live. There’s this older lady there, cute Italian lady in her mid 50’s that comes in at least 3 times a week, she knows all the baristas by name and she has them make a speciality whipped cream drink for her. I kid you not, they pile on about a foot high’s worth of whip cream on her drink, and this lady loves it! This past week, I was behind her in line waiting to take my order. When she ordered her “speciality drink” when we started chatting. At first I joked about her love of whip cream and asked her how does she stay so fit. Then, 10 minutes into the conversation. I was learning so much about this lady. She had recently gotten back from a trip to Spain, where she hiked the Camino De Santiago, it’s this EPIC 500-mile trail throughout different countries in Europe that takes from 30-40 days to complete. She’d wake up at 5 in the morning and hike for 10-12 hours a day for a WHOLE month!
As we sat, coffee in our hands and chatting about her life story. I was honestly so grateful, that I had taken the time to apply the principles of Dale Carnegie’s book. Here was this sweet lady with a vivacious Italian personality, who had recently lost her husband and decided to rebuild her life by training for this 500-mile hike of a lifetime. She was so invigorated to tell her stories to me, and I was excited to hear them. She recommended I watch this Netflix documentary about the hike, and before I knew it, we hugged and parted ways and promised we’d catch up soon.
As I was walking out of the coffee shop, this quote from Dale Carnegie’s book popped into my head…
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get others interested in you.” -Dale Carnegie
He really did have a point there. Everyone has a story, we just need to take the time and show genuine interest.