Alfred Adler, a famous Viennese psychologist, wrote a book entitled, “What Life Should Mean to You.” In that book he says, “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.”
In his book, “How to Develop Self-Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking,” Dale Carnegie, who was a master at becoming genuinely interested in other people, tells the story of George Dyke of North Warren, Pennsylvania.
Warren was forced to retire from his service station business after thirty years when a new highway was constructed over the site of his station. It wasn’t long before the idle days of retirement began to bore him, so he started filling in his time trying to play music on his old fiddle. Soon he was traveling the area to listen to music and talk with many of the accomplished fiddlers. In his humble and friendly way he became generally interested in learning the background and interests of every musician he met. Although he was not a great fiddler himself, he made many friends in this pursuit. He attended competitions and soon became known to the country music fans in the eastern part of the United States as “Uncle George, the Fiddle Scraper from Kinzua County.”
When Carnegie heard Uncle George, he was seventy-two and enjoying every minute of his life. By having a sustained interest in other people, he created a new life for himself at a time when most people consider their productive years over.
If you want others to like you, if you want to develop real friendships, if you want to help others at the same time as you help yourself, keep this principle in mind: Become genuinely interested in other people!
Here’s an example of this important principle in action from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Central & Southern New Jersey:
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