"First ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen? Then prepare to accept it. Then proceed to improve on the worst." -- Dale Carnegie
Dale Breckenridge Carnegie (originally Carnagey until 1922 and possibly somewhat later) (November 24, 1888 — November 1, 1955) was an American writer and lecturer and the developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking and interpersonal skills. Born in poverty on a farm in Missouri, he was the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, first published in 1936, a massive bestseller that remains popular today. He also wrote How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, a biography of Abraham Lincoln entitled Lincoln the Unknown, and several other books.
One of the core ideas in his books is that it is possible to change other people's behavior by changing one's reaction to them.
"Act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic.""Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do.""Applause is a receipt, not a bill.""Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.""Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.""Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.""Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it... that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.""Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.""Each nation feels superior to other nations. That breeds patriotism - and wars.""Fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind.""Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.""Feeling sorry for yourself, and your present condition, is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have.""Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.""Happiness doesn't depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.""If only the people who worry about their liabilities would think about the riches they do possess, they would stop worrying.""If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing hold you up in your work. Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities. The thing is to get the work done.""If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It's the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.""If you want to be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic.""If you want to conquer fear, don't sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.""If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.""Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.""Instead of worrying about what people say of you, why not spend time trying to accomplish something they will admire.""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.""Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon, and seldom drive business home to the full period, but content themselves with a mediocrity of success.""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.""Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.""One of the most 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.""Only the prepared speaker deserves to be confident.""Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.""People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.""Remember happiness doesn't depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think.""Speakers who talk about what life has taught them never fail to keep the attention of their listeners.""Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.""Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.""Tell the audience what you're going to say, say it; then tell them what you've said.""The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure.""The expression a woman wears on her face is far more important than the clothes she wears on her back.""The ideas I stand for are not mine. I borrowed them from Socrates. I swiped them from Chesterfield. I stole them from Jesus. And I put them in a book. If you don't like their rules, whose would you use?""The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.""The person who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore.""The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another's keeping .""The royal road to a man's heart is to talk to him about the things he treasures most.""The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way.""There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.""There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it.""There is only one way... to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.""Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still.""Today is life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.""We all have possibilities we don't know about. We can do things we don't even dream we can do.""When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.""When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.""You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.""You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind.""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.""You never achieve success unless you like what you are doing.""Your purpose is to make your audience see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt. Relevant detail, couched in concrete, colorful language, is the best way to recreate the incident as it happened and to picture it for the audience."
Born in 1888 in Maryville, Missouri, Carnegie was a poor farmer's boy, the second son of James William Carnegie (b. Indiana, February 1852 – living 1910) and wife Amanda Elizabeth Harbison (b. Missouri, February 1858 – living 1910). In his teens, though still having to get up at 4 a.m. every day to milk his parents' cows, he managed to obtain an education at the State Teacher's College in Warrensburg. His first job after college was selling correspondence courses to ranchers; then he moved on to selling bacon, soap and lard for Armour & Company. He was successful to the point of making his sales territory of South Omaha, Nebraska, the national leader for the firm.
After saving $500, Dale Carnegie quit sales in 1911 in order to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a Chautauqua lecturer. He ended up instead attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, but found little success as an actor, though it is written that he played the role of Dr. Hartley in a road show of Polly of the Circus. When the production ended, he returned to New York, unemployed, nearly broke, and living at the YMCA on 125th Street. It was there that he got the idea to teach public speaking, and he persuaded the "Y" manager to allow him to instruct a class in return for 80% of the net proceeds. In his first session, he had run out of material; improvising, he suggested that students speak about "something that made them angry", and discovered that the technique made speakers unafraid to address a public audience. From this 1912 debut, the Dale Carnegie Course evolved. Carnegie had tapped into the average American's desire to have more self-confidence, and by 1914, he was earning $500 - the equivalent of nearly $10,000 now - every week.
Perhaps one of Carnegie’s most successful marketing moves was to change the spelling of his last name from “Carnagey” to Carnegie, at a time when Andrew Carnegie (unrelated) was a widely revered and recognized name. By 1916, Dale was able to rent Carnegie Hall itself for a lecture to a packed house. Carnegie's first collection of his writings was Public Speaking: a Practical Course for Business Men (1926), later entitled Public Speaking and Influencing Men in Business (1932). His crowning achievement, however, was when Simon & Schuster published How to Win Friends and Influence People. The book was a bestseller from its debut in 1937, in its 17th printing within a few months. By the time of Carnegie's death, the book had sold five million copies in 31 languages, and there had been 450,000 graduates of his Dale Carnegie Institute. It has been stated in the book that he had critiqued over 150,000 speeches in his participation in the adult education movement of the time. During World War I he served in the U.S. Army.
His first marriage ended in divorce in 1931. On November 5, 1944, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he married Dorothy Price Vanderpool, who also had been divorced. Vanderpool had two daughters; Rosemary, from her first marriage, and Donna Dale from their marriage together.
Carnegie died at his home in Forest Hills, New York. He was buried in the Belton, Cass County, Missouri, cemetery. The official biography from Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc. states that he died of Hodgkin's disease on November 1, 1955.
The Dale Carnegie Course is a program for businesses based on Carnegie's teachings used worldwide. It was founded in 1912 and is represented in more than 75 countries. More than 8 million people have completed Dale Carnegie Training.
The course comprise a proprietary process that uses team dynamics and intra-group activities to strengthen interpersonal relations, manage stress and handle fast-changing workplace conditions. Other subjects included are communication, creative problem-solving and focused leadership.
The course is based on a five-phase continuous improvement cycle: