It is common to hear Dale Carnegie trainers advising others to “make it a great day!” but what exactly does this mean?
The more common “have a nice day,” or the colloquial “have a good one!” are accepted as a standard parting in North America, implying that the speaker hopes the other party enjoys whatever time is left that day.
Critics of this phrase, however, believe “have a nice day” to be an impersonal farewell, while supporters argue that it adds comfort and feelings of goodwill to every interaction. Dale Carnegie was a big fan of such expressions, as he noted in How to Win Friends and Influence People: “Little courtesies like these oil the cogs of the monotonous grind of everyday life.”
Considering that the patriarch of the self-help movement is a believer of such platitudes, why then do those who teach his courses use a different phrasing?
“At Dale Carnegie we believe in living intentional lives,” explained Bob Allen, President and CEO of Dale Carnegie of Central Ohio in a recent interview. “When we say to someone ‘have a great day,’ we are saying that the day controls your outcome. When we say ‘make it a great day,’ the onus is on you to make that decision to take control of your day, no matter what challenges you are presented with.”
So the next time you bid someone farewell, consider the meaning behind your words, and push the other party to take command of their day by encouraging him or her to “Make it a great day!”
“So let’s live the Golden Rule, and give unto others as we would have give unto us. How? When? Where? The answer is: All the time, everywhere.” – Dale Carnegie