Friday, May 19, 2006

Do it now!

I’m having fun lately getting to know the works and ideas of a man we’ve all heard of: Dale Carnegie. As you may know, he wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People almost 100 years ago, and today thousands of people each year take courses associated with this book. (My family has a copy of this great little satire called How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, also a great read!)

Carnegie wrote another book, How to Stop Worrying & Start Living. As I browse through this book (I took a Dale Carnegie course a couple years ago—revolutionized my public speaking), I’m finding it laced with spiritual concepts.

For example, in his chapter “How to Cure Depression in Fourteen Days,” Carnegie gives Seven Ways to Cultivate a Mental Attitude That Will Bring You Peace and Happiness (he is very fond of capital letters). The first is, “Let’s fill our minds with thoughts of peace, courage, health, and hope, for ‘our life is what our thoughts make it.’”

Carnegie also quotes Theodore Dreiser, famed atheist of his day but also to my mind a spiritual man: “I shall pass this way but once. Therefore any good that I can do or any kindness that I can show—let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

Reminds me of a Bible passage I love: “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to-morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee” (Proverbs).

True in business, true in life. If you think of something good to do for another, do it now. Don’t wait. If you wait, next thing you know days have passed and you rationalize it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Do it as soon as you think of it, though, and you build a habit of doing good and soon it will be second nature.

Lord, I’m sounding like Dale Carnegie! So let me be me for a second. I think this practice gets its power not from the results it incurs, but from the spiritual truth it represents. Divine Love fills all space. Infinite Mind is constantly coming up with ideas. Omnipotent Principle makes things happen. One moment of caring about another, having an idea to help them, and then following through enacts Love, Mind, and Principle all at once. That deed has the power of the divine behind it, giving it the force of good.

I think that’s what makes it all work. Check out this from Carnegie’s chapter on curing depression:

Here is the most astonishing statement that I ever read from the pen of a great psychiatrist. This statement was made by Alfred Adler. He used to say to his melancholia patients: “You can be cured in fourteen days if you follow this prescription. Try to think every day how you can please someone.”

This works not because of human will, but because it’s tapping into a universal spiritual concept: we are one with Love, and when we express Love, we feel Love.

Anyway, I’m enjoying Dale Carnegie’s writings. They’re worth investigating if you’d like practical tips on how to apply the ideas you’re learning on your spiritual journey.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 5/19/2006 01:46:00 PM, Anonymous Uwe said...

Hi Laura!
The books of Dale Carnegie where the first spiritual books I read in my life. Thank you for that entry. Perhaps I should reread them :-)
Have a nice day!

At 5/22/2006 07:19:00 PM, Anonymous franklin said...

one of many many people who have become aware of spiritual principles.

not being bound by religion can be a very good thing.


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