Dale Carnegie and Dreams

September 8, 2011
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As a child, what did you dream of being when you grew up?  An astronaut?  An artist? 

As children, it’s easy to imagine an infinite realm of possibilities and make each day an adventure full of joy, laughter and fulfillment.  As we age, we encounter challenges and obstacles that often impede our ability to pursue our true passions and dreams. 

Dale Carnegie often spoke about how treacherous life’s circumstances can be and gave hope in the form of guidelines  or insights on which millions have come to depend since reading his best-selling book, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’  Here are a few of his powerful messages:

“We all have possibilities we don’t know about.  We can do things we don’t even dream we can do.  It’s only when necessity faces us that we rise to the occasion and actually do the things that hitherto have seemed impossible.”   

In recent tumultuous economic times, many people have lost their homes, jobs and have had to let go of some of their favorite things.    Such tragedies are often the source of pain, angst and anxiety, however they can also be a launching pad for a fresh start in terms of moving to a new city, pursuing a new career or heading back to school to learn a new trade or new skills.  Often times, it’s only when we actually have to apply our capabilities that we learn exactly what we are capable of accomplishing. 

“The difference between a successful person and a failure often lies in the fact that a successful man will profit by his mistakes and try again in a different way.”

According to statistics published by the Small Business Administration (SBA),  51 percent of employer establishments survive at least five years.  On the flip side, this also means that 49% of new businesses fail within five years.  Such failure can be emotionally, physically and financially devastating.  A wise person would seek red flags, e.g. declining sales, increased competition, etc. before the ultimate point of failure and make modifications to improve on falling success factors in order to resuscitate his/her entrepreneurship dreams. 

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.”

This quote underscores the importance of focusing on the positive by training yourself to think about the positive possibilities.  It’s only natural to be upset after losing a job or not earning a promotion, however once the pain has subsided, one’s thoughts should move from disappointment, resentment and/or anger to hope and action.  The mere idea of losing a home is heart-wrenching, yet the loss of a life or family would be much worse.  A person’s thoughts should be of gratitude or what remains of a positive nature vs. dwelling on the negative.

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do.”

Be open to constructive criticism as it may help improve your grand plan; otherwise disregard naysayers where your dreams, hopes and passions are concerned. 

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Indiana, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Indiana. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Mary Kneiser

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