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The Desire to Be Important // A Little Wisdom for Wednesday.

Wed, June 06, 2012 | inspiration photographers

We know time is scarce and it’s not always easy to escape the world and read a good book. So, we thought we’d do a little legwork for you. A Little Wisdom for Wednesday is just a little space where we’ll share (every first Wednesday of the month) what we’re reading. What we’re learning. And how we’re applying that to Limelife Photography. We hope our readers (other small businesses, friends, clients and anyone else) gain knowledge and value from this series.

What we’re reading // How to Win Friends & Influence People
Who wrote it // Dale Carnegie

This month’s post references // Part 1, Chapter 2: The Big Secret of Dealing with People

(Everything discussed below is based on this book, written by this author. We are just thankful to have read it and exited to apply it to our business and life.)

“Sigmund Freud said that everything you and I do springs from two motives: the sex urge and the desire to be great. John Dewey, one of America’s most profound philosophers, phrased it a bit differently. Dr. Dewey said that the deepest urge in human nature is ‘the desire to be important,'” says Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends & Influence People. We’re going to stick with Dr. Dewey’s observation for now 😀

The desire to be important.

Something funny: George Washington wanted to be called “His Mightiness, the President of the United States” and Columbus wanted the title “Admiral of the Ocean and Viceroy of India” I guess even the top dogs need to feel appreciated and important.

Fun fact: Charles Schwab was one of the first people in American business to be paid more than one million dollars a year, as the first president of the United States Steel Company in 1921. He was 38 years old at the time. “Charles Schwab told me himself that he had many men working for him who knew more about the manufacture of steel than he did,” wrote Carnegie.
Schwab’s secret to success: “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people,” said Schwab, “the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.”

The difference between appreciation and flattery, Carnegie says, is that appreciation is sincere and flattery is insincere. I love this comparison, “Flattery is counterfeit, and like counterfeit money, it will eventually get you into trouble if you pass it to someone else.” Business = relationships. We think it’s really important to get to know our clients and others in the wedding industry. The more we listen, the better equipped we are to encourage and show appreciation, rather than offer up nasty flattery.

“Let’s cease thinking of our accomplishments, our wants. Let’s try to figure out the other person’s good points.” This is so true, but often so hard to live. It’s so much easier to get wrapped up in our own life, business, challenges, etc. We do all that easy stuff thinking it’ll fill that aching desire to be important. If we just spend this much more time working on X, Y, Z project, it’ll be perfect, people will love it and we will be important! The irony is though, if we spend more time listening and encouraging, building up others who endure that same desire to be important, we will then TRULY be important by making them just that.



One Response to “The Desire to Be Important // A Little Wisdom for Wednesday.”

  1. June 27, 2012 at 6:43 pm, Jessica said:

    Cody and I keep a small Dale Carnegie’s Golden Book in our desk drawers – it’s really nice to take it out on a rough day at work. 🙂 Thanks for this great post!