Book Review – How to Win Friends and Influence People (in a Digital Age) – Dale Carnegie

With my second review comes a decision to format each book review article in the same way. This should provide commonality across them as they grow in number and provide me with a clear format on what I should be including a set amount of information. So each review from now on will begin with a summary, my takeaways then finally some of my favourite quotes. So lets yet into it 🙂

Summary

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a pretty old book, first published in 1937 its sold over 30 million copies and is listed as one of the best selling and most influential books of all time. The version I have recently finished is an updated version that reframes Carnegie’s original topics and fames them around using social media and the Internet, things that were pure imagination back in the 30’s. The book goes though a number of key principles of communication, self expression, leadership and how your or business actions in certain situations can go different ways depending how you take them and react either in good or bad ways. It poses a number of scenarios in story format of ways in which businesses or people have addresses situations and the consequences of such actions advising you as the reader on the good and bad things so should you find yourself in a similar situation you are better equiped though your learnings of the book.

My Takeaways

I have heard about this book a bunch of times over the years, its much shorter than I thought it would be. Its more of guidelines on how to be a nice person more than anything else and how just being a good person generally leads to great things somewhere or another. After reading it, what is hyped as one of the must reads of ones life time I didn’t really think it was that great, maybe this was the first book back in the 30’s to say these mantras to live by, but I feel like I’ve read them all a dozen times now over the years in other self-help/growth books and blogs.

The version I read was published in 2011, adding the digital age to the title kind of means it gets outdated fast, with tech and the technology industry moving at a blistering pace it speaks about Facebook back then not the raging behemoth it is now and doesn’t even mention Instagram, I guess that this update needs updated again.

Favourite Quotes

“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

“Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie

“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.” – Dale Carnegie

“You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it.” – Dale Carnegie

“By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.” – Dale Carnegie

Closing Words

Would I recommend it yea, probably I would ask a question on how many self-help books the reader has already read, if only a couple, crack on but if you have read a fair number your have likely already heard most of the teachings but its short enough to blast though in a week or so.

Book Review – 5am Club – Robin S. Sharma

“Living the same week a few thousand times and calling it a life. I need to tell you that too many among us die at thirty and are buried at eighty.” – Robin S. Sharma

5am Club a book by Robin S. Sharma speaks about the benefits of waking up at 5am everyday before the rest of the world rises. The self help book takes the form of a story where 2 people meet a homeless man at a conference in New York, the homeless man turns out to be a world eccentric business mogul and billionaire Stone Riley. Stone takes it upon himself to teach his new found friends the ways for the 5am club as the travel the globe on his private jets learning they ways to bulletproof your life and achieve greatness through rising at 5am.

The book speaks of the 20/20/20 concept where you wake at 5am, perform 20 minutes of intense exercise, 20 minutes of self reflection such as meditation or journaling and 20 minutes of growth through reading and learning, the idea of doing this at 5am gives you 1hr of pure self care without distraction before everyone else starts to begin their days. It also touches on subjects that we as humans are meant to rise with the sun like our ancestors of old and that the human mind and body is at the most productive at first light rather than burning the midnight oil before going to sleep.

“All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” – Robin S. Sharma

The book doesn’t shy away from delivering hard truths, it bluntly states that most people lack the ability to rise at 5am that the temptation is just to much to fall back onto the pillow and go back to sleep and that waking at 5am is a true mind over matter battle that only the most dedicated can achieve. The books discusses issues on social media and our inability to escape news and current affairs keeping us in an endless trap glues to our smart phones scrolling though social media for a quick happiness fix when all it really does it leave us hungering for more.

“Limitation is nothing more than a mentality that too many good people practice daily until they believe it’s reality.” – Robin S. Sharma

The story itself following the three protagonists around is somewhat shallow, you can predict what going to happen next quite easily, although I do understand the story is only present to provide a framework for delivering a larger methodology but I felt it quite corny at times.

Ironically my major takeaway from the book is not that waking at 5am will solve all of your problems but the fact that implementing small but good habits and sticking to them overtime can result in a great amount of self improvement and a level of increased happiness.

I enjoyed the book, I might read another of the authors publications in time, but I won’t be rushing out to the pick it up straight away.