The Power of Honest and Sincere Appreciation

August 15, 2011

“It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.”

— Alfred Adler, Viennese psychologist

Dale Carnegie considered the above quote to be one of the most significant statements he had ever come across. That’s because—like Alfred Adler—Dale Carnegie knew that any success in life was born of an honest and sincere appreciation for people.

Carnegie told the story of once spending an evening with the famous Broadway magician, Howard Thurston.  For forty years Thurston had traveled all over the world, creating illusions, mystifying audiences, and making people gasp with astonishment. More than sixty million people had paid admission to his shows, and Thurston had made almost two million dollars in profit, which was an astounding sum of money at the height of his career in the early 1930’s.

He asked Thurston to tell him the secret of his success and what he learned was elegantly simple. Yes, Thurston was a master showman and knew human nature, but he didn’t necessarily have a superior knowledge of magic. And his success didn’t come from a privileged upbringing as he ran away from home as a small boy, became a hobo, rode in boxcars, slept in haystacks, and begged his food from door to door.

His success, he told Carnegie, was due to his genuine interest in people. He said that every time he entered the stage he said to himself: “I am grateful because these people come to see me. They make it possible for me to make my living in a very agreeable way. I’m going to give them the very best I possibly can.” He further declared he never stepped in front of the footlights without first saying to himself over and over, “I love my audience.”

Unfortunately, this philosophy has become somewhat of a lost art in today’s world. But if we pause for a moment to truly appreciate the people that were instrumental in getting us to where we are, we realize that success truly is born of gratification.

I’ll start by stating that I’m grateful to you for sticking with me and reading this post, and I hope you get as much out of this story about Howard Thurston as I did relaying it.

Here’s an example of honest and sincere appreciation in action from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training:

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central & Southern New Jersey. We would love to connect with you on Facebook!

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