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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Timeless lessons for personal growth

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How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie


While reading this book, I must admit I was feeling good about myself. Then I kept reading and began to feel convicted by my inadequacy to perform the principles stated in this book. This book is separated into for different parts, it begins with the broad and general ideas and then deepens the understanding with simple but profound principles can be used in practice by telling stories to help you understand.

The Principles

Part one – Fundamental techniques in handling people

  1. Don’t Criticize condemn or complain
  2. Give honest sincere appreciation
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want

Part two – Six ways to make people like you

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people
  2. Smile
  3. Remember that a person’s name is the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  5. Talk in Terms of the other person’s interests.
  6. Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.

Part three – Win people to your way of thinking

  1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  2. Show respect for other’s opinions, never say your wrong.
  3. If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and empathetically.
  4. Begin in a friendly way.
  5. Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
  6. Let the other person do a great deal of talking.
  7. Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers.
  8. Try to honestly see things from the other person’s point of view.
  9. Be sympathetic to the other person’s ideas and desires.
  10. Appeal to nobler motives.
  11. Dramatize your idea’s.
  12. Throw down a challenge.

Part four – Be a Leader

  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation
  2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly
  3. Talk about your own mistake before criticizing the other person
  4. Ask Questions instead of giving direct orders.
  5. Let the other person save face
  6. Praise the slightest improvement and every improvement.
  7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
  8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
  9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

My thoughts

This book is like beholding yourself in a mirror but this mirror is inside your head, for all the times you’ve had encounters with others and have lived up to a good standard or failed. I have highlighted the principles in which I would like to make a mention of. Although I do think all the principles are valuable to take in consideration, I disagree with some, but to each his own. The reason for me not to reflect or make a mention to principles in which are not highlighted, are because I feel I represent these principles with good progress, or they are not as controversial of a topic for me to discuss.

Don’t Criticize condemn or complain. I’ve been born with this plague. At first I was thinking the “classic” I am not so bad at this, but as I let memories drift into shore, thoughts from my past, along with the culture of my family growing up, I was humbled. As I read stories of how previous presidents of my country handled themselves in not only everyday mundane circumstances but stressful ones, with mercy and grace. I thought I could be better. If I were being honest with myself, my first instinct is to criticize. In some ways, I find this valuable. I want to be critical of myself, so that I can eliminate behaviors in which are undesirable and multiply the desirable. I very much tend to do this with the people around me as well. It has been a journey for me to realize that there are things in a person I cannot see. I believe as humans we are not here only to be productive for the sake of being productive, or efficient for the sake of efficiency. I believe we are here for relationship. It is because of relationship that we must strive to be productive or efficient for the better of those around us. So, in the case of condemning another for their failings, I discover once again the pride and arrogance in the thought of it. The very spirit of being critical for the sake of condemning another, is from pride.

It is easy to complain. When something doesn’t fit our needs, or wants perfectly, most of us including myself complain. I think I like to complain simply for the sake of making the people who makes decisions, or is in charge, or the person in power, feel like, at least to me, they are not as smart as I am, or not as adequate as me for their job. What I have discovered is the person in charge or in power has a better perspective than me. I see my basic, personal needs and think that by fitting that need it’s better for everyone. In most cases this is not the case. I believe this is a key. In business culture companies face this dilemma. How to serve the customer’s specific individual need without sacrificing profitability, or what’s better in the big picture. Some solutions could be awareness when the customer is more aware of all the necessary needs involved you have a more understanding customer which prevents complaining. But this doesn’t address the original desire I mentioned to complain. Which leads me to pride and humility again. We will complain less if we have a correct image of ourselves, our abilities and inabilities. To also have a heart of honor among one another. To grab hold of the attitude of honor toward one another. Have you notice when you believe in someone and show your faith in them, they tend to perform to your expectation or better? Try it.

I could honestly write commentary on this entire book, but for the sake of necessity I believe the point I will inevitably make is already made.


If I had to summarize what I learned from this book, and how I would like to change my behavior after reading it, is to consistently in my heart pursue the humble position among all. I think the book was ok to good. The reading of this book was not super easy-fun. But there are some nuggets to take away and practical takeaway’s as well, but overall simple idea for me. The principles could be learned other ways.

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