Probably the most significant take away from the book How to Win Friends and Influence People was the insight that we are consumed with ourselves and that if you want to win new friends and influence others, focus on their needs, wants and their lives.
In my Rich Habits study this doctrine of me, me, me played out in a number of different ways:
- Mentoring others was a habit practiced by 68% of the wealthy in my study.
- Calling others on their birthday, to say hello and to acknowledge some life event was practiced by 80% of the wealthy in my study.
- Gossiping about others was avoided by 94% of the wealthy.
- Sending thank you cards was a habit of 75% of the wealthy.
- Not saying what’s on your mind and vetting the words that come out of your mouth was another habit practiced by 94% of the wealthy.
- Volunteering 5 hours or more a month to help those in your community was practiced by 72% of the wealthy.
- The wealthy used tools in order to remember the names of those they met infrequently, such as the Grouping Tool.
- And lastly, controlling negative emotions was a habit 81% of the wealthy forged in order to build lasting relationships.
It’s clear that we are obsessed with our own lives. When anyone comes along and focuses their attention on what’s important to us, we melt like butter on a hot stove. The key to building strong, long-lasting relationships is to fight the urge to talk about yourself and your life and, instead, to focus your conversation around the lives of the relationships you want to grow. When you make this relationship-building doctrine a daily habit you will win over almost anybody in life. In the success game, relationships play a critical role in opening doors that would otherwise be closed. If you want to win that game you need to play by the rules.