You’re ready to take your career and your life to the next level. Now what? If you haven’t heard of Dale Carnegie, you’ve probably lived in Siberia for your entire life. Welcome to life.

Dale Carnegie Quote
Only you can take charge of your personal development. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook

Dale Carnegie Training was founded on the principles of the famous speaker and author of How to Win Friends and Influence People. Today, the company offers leadership training to help businesses and individuals achieve their goals.

I asked Celia Wang from Dale Carnegie Training to share seven secrets of personal growth with us. Take it away Celia…

When it comes to taking your career and life to the next level, many people don’t know where to start. The following seven “secrets” of personal development can help you learn how to find success and stay positive through your struggles and triumphs. Read on to see insights and tips from Dale Carnegie Training, which specializes in leadership training, to help you go further this year and beyond.

Secret 1: Only you can take charge of your personal development.

Taking charge of your personal development depends solely on you; it’s not a process that can be done for you by anyone else. The aspiration, intent and power to change yourself all come from within, so focus on your goal and don’t get distracted by others. Likewise, you can’t develop anyone else, except for yourself.

Secret 2: Development is a personal process.

Just as every individual is unique, there is no standard “process” for personal development. Develop into an improved form of your current self, rather than trying to turn yourself into someone else. Keep these words from Jean-Jacques Rousseau in mind: “I am not made like any of those I have seen. I venture to believe that I am not made like any of those who are in existence. If I am not better, at least I am different.”

Secret 3: Success often occurs in places where you least expect it.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to do something right, things don’t work out as planned. Nobody can predict the future, but continuing to work hard at something will almost always pay off in the end. If you fail at first, don’t get discouraged–success can be reached by constantly trying, and it often happens under unexpected circumstances.

Secret 4: Focus on the little things around you, not just the bigger picture.

How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie
If you haven’t read this classic yet, it’s time. It’s THE book on influence, networking, and creating lasting relationships.

Changing your day-to-day habits can go a long way in developing as a person. Whether you make small changes to your attitude, goals or the people you surround yourself with, taking change one day at a time will be an effective method for development.  Doing little things slowly can seem frustrating, but all successful people are doing the same thing. Pay attention to the little things and you’ll find yourself making progress.

Secret 5: Improving your listening skills will make you a better communicator.

How you communicate with others has a great impact on your relationships and interactions. Effective communication includes not only speaking, but listening too. The more you listen, the better you will be at communicating. Listening before speaking can also ensure your conversations go smoothly, and will help you to better understand and motivate others.

Secret 6: Never stop learning new skills and practicing basic ones.

This is an absolute necessity in the process of development. No matter what you want, you must push yourself to enhance your current skills and learn new ones that will allow you to grow. Remember that you can’t do better before you have mastered the skills necessary to get there.

Secret 7: Success starts with failure and is a “trial and error” process.

Even if you desire to succeed, remember that not all adventurers can get to their destinations. Worst case scenarios happen, and it’s always a smart idea to prepare for worst case. Just remember that you will learn and grow from these situations, and that you should always keep trying.

What are your secrets to personal development? Which of these is the most challenging for you?

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0 thoughts on “7 Secrets of Personal Development from Dale Carnegie Training

  1. Mike Kawula says:

    Great post Celia and Matt. Love the 7 and big believer in number 3. If you don’t get discouraged, keep your head down and continue to do what most won’t…Success does come. Number 7 I’d just just the actual word we say to ourselves as “Set-Back” vs. Failure. Most people associate failure as the end, when its really only a temporary set-back if you learn from it and continue forward. Awesome Post.

    1. Mark Sieverkropp says:

      What a huge mind shift switching from failure to setback!! Great thought Mike!

      1. Mike Kawula says:

        Thanks Mark…all about the mindset right? The way in-which we talk to ourself and the way we interpret words have huge impacts on our future. Hope you’re rocking sir!

  2. Let's Grow Leaders says:

    I remember reading that book in college… and it has rung true at every stage of my life.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      I read it when I was 22 and it’s amazing how much has stuck with me. I recently listened to the audio version and I think in his voice sometimes now 🙂

      1. Steve Pate says:

        I think his voice makes it great and more memorable

  3. Steve Pate says:

    Great post! Love this book, especially the audio version!!! I wouldn’t say its a secret but learning things from people around me that have lived life, and that is not always people older than me.

    As for what’s the most challenging, for me is number 4. I’m a big vision seer and thinker. And I get really excited when I’m in that mode. Making sure small details get done can be challenging some times. So, I continually work on that by setting up trip wires and asking questions each day to make sure those details are covered.

    It doesn’t take long for you to get traction when you do cover small details but it also doesn’t take much to get off track if you don’t stay focus.

    Thanks for sharing these Celia!

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      I’m with you there Steve. The minutiae is boring. But, without the small details, nothing grows.

    2. Jana Botkin says:

      Thanks for mentioning the audio book, Steve. I have a couple of Audible credits to use before I cancel my membership and was looking for a good suggestion. (I’m canceling because I have finished all the drawings for my book and don’t need someone to read to me to keep me going now.)

  4. Mark Sieverkropp says:

    For me, the key is getting around like minded people. If I’m around people that are “going places” and have an interest in personal development I have a much higher likelihood of being committed to work on y own personal development!

    Great post…Dale’s book is one of my all time favorites!

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      You mean like a Mastermind? We should do that 🙂

      1. Mark Sieverkropp says:

        That’s crazy…so crazy, it just might work!! Let’s like around the idea, see if anything comes of it 😉

      2. Steve Pate says:

        nice works boys

    2. Steve Pate says:

      For sure dude. I know I’m better when I surround myself with the right people or who I listen too via pod cast. By the way you should check out this Happen to your career pod cast, the co-host sounds just like you:-)

      1. Matt McWilliams says:

        Can’t be. The guy on the podcast sounds way more…[insert complimentary adjective]

      2. Mark Sieverkropp says:

        You’re right Matt, that guy has much more swagger and suave…not too mention a boyish charm…

      3. Mark Sieverkropp says:

        You know Steve, believe it or not, I get that a lot. He’s a good sounding dude! Very funny and likable!

  5. Jana Botkin says:

    Sometimes I go to the library and just peruse the non-fiction new books to find a subject I know nothing about. It helps me not be such a Johnny–One-Note in life. Reading all sorts of blogs, listening to podcasts, and not giving in to inertia are other methods that keep me from petrifying. Forcing myself to make the difficult phone calls is another way to build strength of character. Trying new things, such as learning to run the sound booth for my church’s Christmas musical, is another way to stay out of a rut.

    1. Steve Pate says:

      Like they say, if your not growing your dying. Look forward on seeing your art work!

  6. Jon Stolpe says:

    Keep asking others and yourself “How can I do this better next time.”

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