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The Original Self Improvement Gurus

The Original Self Improvement Gurus
Dale Carnegie  and Norman Vincent Peale were two of the original self improvement leaders and their lessons are still valid and useful today. I present to you here today a summary of their guidance from 2 of Carnegie’s many best selling books and one of Peale’s. I highly recommend taking the Dale Carnegie course. It is not just a public speaking course. It is a course in how to live your best life possible. And it applicable for all people.   

The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale 


  1. Believe in Yourself – Make a list of the factors that are “For You” not “against you.”
  2. A Peaceful Mind Generates Power – Immerse your mind with peaceful thoughts, memories, words and ideas.
  3. How to Have Constant Energy – Be in tune with The Infinite, with God. Get enthralled with something, pour yourself into it and your energy will never lag.
  4. Try Prayer Power – “Prayerize, Picturize, Actualize.”
  5. How to Create Your Own Happiness – Every morning you have two choices, to be happy or not be happy. Choose to be happy.
  6. Expect the Best and Get It -Affirm daily: “I expect the best and with God’s help, I will get it.” Repeat 10 times daily.
  7. I Don’t Believe in Defeat – Persevere until you have success. Problems? Go over, around, under or if you must “plow right through them.”
  8. How to Break the Worry Habit – Worry is a learned habit. Replace it with better ones such as being with positive people, putting your faith in God to carry you through, and helping others with their worry habits.
  9. Power to Solve Personal Problems -Take God as your partner in all that you do.
  10. When Vitality Sags, Try This Health Formula – Release any grudges you are holding for an increase in health.
  11. How to Get People to Like You -Find ways to genuinely like others, demonstrate your appreciation of them, and they will like you.
  12. Prescription for Heartache – Be physically active. Live Life. Don’t avoid “sad places” if grieving. Find solace in the belief that there is no real death and that you will see your loved one again.
  13. How to Draw Upon That Higher Power – Believe that God gives us power and yield to that power, let it flow into you. Approach life with confidence in a relaxed and easy manner.

Click on these links for purchasing: the condensed version of this book or here for the full length book.

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

Fundamental Principles for Overcoming Worry

  • Live in Day-Tight Compartments: Just live in the moment. Only allow your mind to focus on your immediate task/situation.
  • Face Troubles: Ask What’s the worst that can happen, be prepared for it and see how you can improve on that scenario.
  • Remember the high health price of worrying, so “just say no” to worry.

Basic Techniques in Analyzing Worry

  • Gather the Facts.
  • Define the problem and solutions.
  • Make a Decision and take Action!

Break the Worry Habit Before it Breaks You

  • Keep Busy.
  • Don’t worry about small stuff.
  • Accept the inevitable.
  • Don’t worry about the past.

Cultivate a Mental Attitude that Will Bring You Peace and Happiness

  • Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health and hope.
  • Never try to get even with your enemies.
  • Expect ungratefulness.
  • Count your blessings, not your problems.
  • Don’t imitate others.
  • Try to profit from your losses.
  • Bring Happiness to others.

The Perfect Way to Conquer Worry

  • Prayer.

Don’t Worry About Criticism

  • Unjust criticism is simply a disguised compliment.
  • Do your best.
  • Review your mistakes and critique yourself.

Prevent Fatique and Worry and Keep Your Energy and Spirits High

  • Rest before getting tired.
  • Learn to relax at work and at home.
  • Good working habits: clear desk, organization, no procrastination of decisions, delegation, supervision.
  • Be enthusiastic about your work.
  • Don’t be concerned with insomnia.

Click here for a link to purchasing this book.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Become a Friendlier Person

  • No criticizing, condemning or complaining
  • Smile
  • Give honest sincere appreciation
  • Be genuinely interested in other people
  • Remember a person’s name – the sweetest sound to their ears.
  • Listen well. Encourage others to tell you about themselves
  • Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  • Make the other person feel important – with sincerity

Win People to Your Way of Thinking

  • Avoid arguments.
  • Respect others’ opinions.
  • Admit when you’re wrong – quickly.
  • Begin in a friendly way.
  • Get the other person saying yes.
  • Let the other person do a lot of the talking.
  • Let the other person feel that the idea is theirs.
  • Try to sincerely see the other person’s point of view.
  • Appeal to their more noble motives.
  • Make your ideas come to life.
  • Suggest a challenge.

Be a Leader

  • Praise and honest appreciation.
  • Only refer to others’ mistakes indirectly.
  • Talk about your own mistakes first.
  • Ask questions instead of direct orders.
  • Let the other person save face.
  • Praise even the smallest improvements and be hearty in your praise.
  • Give the other person a great reputation to live up to.
  • Make faults seem easy to correct.
  • Make the other person happy about doing things you ask.

Click here for a link to purchasing this book.

Please share your comments, experiences, and tips on Dale Carnegie or Norman Vincent Peale. All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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6 Responses to The Original Self Improvement Gurus

  1. Simon August 23, 2007 at 3:03 pm #

    I wholeheartedly recommend Carnegie’s book – it’s a real good read.

  2. agentsully August 24, 2007 at 11:39 am #

    @Simon – thanks for commenting!

  3. Erik November 19, 2008 at 12:46 am #

    Some really great summaries here, I have also bee looking to Howcast for help and am slowly making my way out of debt and changing my mindset. Amazing how much help is out there when you really make it a priority!

  4. self improvement October 1, 2009 at 4:52 am #

    I have looked at many sites but this is one of the most comprehensive that I have found.I have bookmarked the site to keep up with the content. Can anyone suggest other sites that may also offer me useful content?

  5. Paul Cummings January 21, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    I agree that belief in yourself is a key ingredient to achieving the goals you create for yourself. If you truly believe it inside your heart, others will feel it as well and want to help you achieve your goal.

    Thanks for the reminder!

    • AgentSully May 10, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

      Paul, Thank you so much for your input! Any special goals you are working on these days?

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