I was waiting in line to register a letter in the post office at
Thirty-third Street and Eighth Avenue in New York. I noticed
that the clerk appeared to be bored with the job--weighing
envelopes, handing out stamps, making change, issuing
receipts--the same monotonous grind year after year. So I
said to myself: "I am going to try to make that clerk
like me. Obviously, to make him like me, I must say
something nice, not about myself, but about him." And I
asked myself, "What is there about him that I can honestly
admire?" That is sometimes a hard question to answer,
especially with strangers; but, in this case, it happened to be
easy. I instantly saw something that I admired no end.
So while he was weighing my envelope, I remarked with
enthusiasm: "I certainly wish I had your head of
He looked up, half-startled, his face beaming with a smile.
"Well, it isn't as good as it used to be," he said
modestly. I assured him that although it might have lost
some of its pristine glory, nevertheless it was still
magnificent. He was immensely pleased. We carried on a
pleasant little conversation and the last thing he said to me
was: "Many people have admired my hair."
I'll bet that person went out to lunch that day walking on
air. I'll bet he went home that night and told his wife
about it. I'll bet he looked in the mirror and said:
"It is a beautiful head of hair."
I told this story once in public and a man asked me
afterwards: "What did you want to get out of him?"
What was I trying to get out of him!!! What was I trying to
get out of him!!!
If we are so contemptibly selfish that we can't radiate a little
happiness and pass on a bit of honest appreciation without trying
to get something out of the other person in return--if our souls
are no bigger than sour crab apples, we shall meet with the
failure we so richly deserve.
Oh, yes, I did want something out of that chap. I wanted
something priceless. And I got it. I got the feeling
that I had done something for him without his being able to do
anything whatever in return for me. That is a feeling that
flows and sings in your memory long after the incident is past.
There is one all-important law of human conduct. If we obey
that law, we shall almost never get into trouble. In fact,
that law, if obeyed, will bring us countless friends and constant
happiness. But the very instant we break the law, we shall
get into endless trouble. The law is this: Always
make the other person feel important. John Dewey said
that the desire to be important is the deepest urge in human
nature; and William James said: "The deepest principle
in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." As I
have already pointed out, it is this urge that differentiates us
from the animals. It is this urge that has been responsible
for civilization itself.
You want the approval of those with whom you come in
contact. You want recognition of your true worth. You
want a feeling that you are important in your little world.
You don't want to listen to cheap, insincere flattery, but you do
crave sincere appreciation. You want your friends and
associates to be, as Charles Schwab put it, "hearty in their
approbation and lavish in their praise." All of us want
So let's obey the Golden Rule, and give unto others what we would
have others give unto us.
How? When? Where? The answer is: All the
the best known motivational books in history: Since it was
released in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence
People has sold more than 15 million copies.
Carnegie’s first book is timeless and appeals equally to
business audiences, self-help audiences, and general
readers alike. Proven advice for success in life:
Carnegie believed that most successes come from an ability
to communicate effectively rather than from brilliant
insights. His book teaches these skills by showing readers
how to value others and make them feel appreciated rather