Reading is a key component of learning. I do my best to read a book each week. And I'm always looking for new titles! To share your own book suggestions, use #ABookAWeek on Twitter or Instagram and tag me @NicolasCole77. If I choose your book, I'll tag you in the blog post!
This week I was busy with a lot of projects (can't wait to share some of them soon!) and it seemed like the only time I had to read was during transit. On my iPhone I have a small stack in iBooks so I decided to re-read one of my favorites in my down time: How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It has such universal lessons that if you are willing to read it with an open mind, there's no aim in life to which these can't be applied. There's a reason why it's one of my favorites, and it's because this was one of the pivotal books I read right out of college when I first stepped out into the real world. This book was reality's slap in the face that succeeding in the "real world" is as much about skills and jobs and money as it is interpersonal relationships and the ability to effectively express yourself and communicate with others.
I really cannot stress how impactful this lesson has been on my life. I have learned (very quickly) that those who "succeed" in life are the ones who master the art of being able to take what is in their head and share it in a way so that others can see what they see. As my mentor Ron Gibori says often, "A creative idea is useless if you can't get anyone else to understand it." Whether it's business or simply expressing your feelings to a friend or loved one, there is an art to how to handle yourself—and that's what Dale Carnegie teaches.
Whenever I bring this up, there always seems to be two glaring responses: Either people are very receptive to this idea, or they turn the other way and would prefer to ignore it. And I understand why: It's difficult to acknowledge that the way people respond to you is sort of your choice. Sure, there are those that are off the wall and/or impossible to get a good response from, but the majority of human beings adhere to a very basic rule of thumb: They will treat you the way that you treat them. And so your circle of friends, your business network, the amount of people you are able to have positive relationships with is very much dependent upon your willingness to let go of your ego and meet them wherever they are energetically. It's your choice. The people who know how to do this are the ones who can "work a room," can make friends with anyone, can strike up a conversation on the bus or train with the person next to them and talk as if they've been friends for years. These are people who have mastered the art of interpersonal communication—or, in Dale Carnegie's reaction-intended terms, know how to "Win Friends and Influence People."
If you haven't read this book, and even if you don't typically read books like this, I highly suggest giving this one a try. There is a reason why it's been a best seller for decades.
Want to join the #ABookAWeek club? Submit below! Every Sunday I give you a new book to read.