Dale Carnegie

American writer and lecturer (1888-1955)

Dale Harbison Carnegie [originally Carnagey until 1919] (November 24, 1888November 1, 1955) was an American writer, 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 a biography of Abraham Lincoln, entitled Lincoln the Unknown, as well as several other books.


  • 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?
    • On his book How to Win Friends and Influence People as quoted in Newsweek (8 August 1955); also quoted in Best Quotes of '54, '55, '56 (1957) by James Beasley Simpson, p. 128.
  • People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.
    • Dale Carnegie, quoted in Permission to Play : Taking Time to Renew Your Smile (2003) by Jill Murphy Long, p. 69
  • 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.
    • As quoted in The Ring of Truth (2004) by Joseph O'Day
  • Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.
    • As quoted in A Joke, a Quote, & the Word : Feed Your Body, Soul and Spirit (2006) by Ronald P. Keeven, p. 147
  • Remember happiness doesn't depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think.
    • As quoted in Plenty of Time to Sleep When You're Dead : A Compilation of Life-changing Quotes (2006) by Richard Caridi
    • Variant: Remember happiness doesn't depend on who you are or what you have; it depends solely upon what you think.
      • As quoted in Sprituality in a Materialistic World (2008) by Leslie Klein
  • The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure.
    • As quoted in Art Smart (2007) by Alan Bryce
  • Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.
    • from Dale Carnegie’s Scrapbook, ed. Dorothy Carnegie, as cited in Words of Wisdom, William Safire & Leonard Safir, Simon and Schuster (reprint, 1990), p. 87
  • Monotony is poverty, whether in speech or in life.
    • from Art of Public Speaking (1915)

How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936)

Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936)
  • Benjamin Franklin, tactless in his youth, became so diplomatic, so adroit at handling people that he was made American Ambassador to France. The secret of his success? "I will speak ill of no man," he said, "...and speak all the good I know of everybody." Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain - and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving. "A great man shows his greatness," says Carlyle, "by the way he treats little men."
    • Part 1 : Fundamental Techniques in Handling People, p. 36.
  • Every act you have ever performed since the day you were born was performed because you wanted something. How about the time you gave a large contribution to the Red Cross? Yes, that is no exception to the rule. You gave the Red Cross the donation because you wanted to lend a helping hand; you wanted to do a beautiful, unselfish, divine act.
    • p. 40 (in 2016 edition)
  • Here is one of the best bits of advice every given about the fine art of human relationships. "If there is any one secret of success," says Henry Ford, "it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own."
    • p. 42 (in 2016 edition)
  • I often went fishing up in Maine during the summer. Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn't bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish and said: "Wouldn't you like to have that?"
    Why not use the same common sense when fishing for people?
    • Ch. 3.
  • You can make more friends in two months by being interested in them, than in two years by making them interested in you.
    • p. 52 (in 1998 edition)
  • Looking at the other person’s point of view and arousing in him an eager want for something is not to be construed as manipulating that person so that he will do something that is only for your benefit and his detriment. Each party should gain from the negotiation.
    • p. 61 (in 2016 edition)
  • If out of reading this book you get just one thing—an increased tendency to think always in terms of other people’s point of view, and see things from their angle—if you get that one thing out of this book, it may easily prove to be one of the building blocks of your career.
    • p. 63
  • The average person is more interested in their own name than in all the other names in the world put together.
    • p. 73 (in 1998 edition)
  • A drop of honey can catch more flies than a gallon of gall.
    • p. 143 (in 1998 edition)
  • Abilities wither under criticism, they blossom under encouragement.
    • p. 220 (in 1998 edition)

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1948)

Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1948)
  • By far the most vital lesson I have ever learned is the importance of what we think. If I knew what you think, I would know what you are. Our thoughts make us what we are.
    • p. 5
  • Each time I spoke, I gained a little courage. It took a long while—but today I have more happiness than I ever dreamed possible. In rearing my own children, I have always taught them the lesson I had to learn from such bitter experience: No matter what happens, always be yourself!
    • p. 14
  • Let's never try to get even with our enemies, because if we do we will hurt ourselves far more than we hurt them. Let's do as General Eisenhower does: let's never waste a minute thinking about people we don't like.
    • p. 101.
  • When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness.
    • p. 110
  • Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
    • p. 237. Part 8 : How I Conquered Worry,
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