Timeless Habits That Can Apply Anywhere in Your Life

Key Takeaways

  • Well before Stephen Covey penned The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Dale Carnegie published his 7 Positive Thinking Habits.
  • Positive thinking can make a big difference in the way you deal with life’s ups and downs.
  • Carnegie’s habits offer clear, simple ways to improve upon your experience of life.
  • Mindfully including habits like “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” “take an interest in others,” and “don’t waste time thinking about people you don’t like,” can really change the trajectory of your life for the better.

You may have heard of, or even read, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, published in 1989. Before that, in fact much earlier than that, Dale Carnegie came out with his 7 Positive Thinking Habits. A article I read recently reminded me of Carnegie’s timeless habits.

Dale Carnegie’s 7 Positive Thinking Habits can be summarized like this:

  1. Our life is what our thoughts make it to be. If we look at things positively, we tend to end up in a positive place and with a better outlook on life. That’s just the way it works.
  2. Have low expectations. It may sound strange at first, but if you have really high expectations, you can end up with lots of failures. And, as you know, that’s tough for most of us to get through. So, when you’re attempting something new, starting off with lower expectations is really important.
  3. Never waste a minute thinking about people you don’t like. There are plenty of people in the world. Try not to surround yourself with people you don’t like. Do your best to stay away from these people. It makes life a lot easier.
  4. Count your blessings. This one is about gratitude. Many times, when we’ve had a bad day, a bad week, or a bad month, we forget how many good things we have in our lives. It’s important to remind ourselves to be grateful for the good things we have despite the down times.
  5. Find yourself and be yourself. This one is simple. There’s no point in being anybody else but you. Everybody else is taken, so be who you really are. You’re one of a kind. Everybody likes the real you. Be true to yourself because that’s where your best life begins.
  6. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. You’ve heard this before. I’m not sure if Carnegie was the first to say this, but I do know this saying has been around a long time. Deal with the cards that you are dealt. In other words, take what happens and deal with it using the tools in your toolbox. Look at it however you like. Just make the best of what life gives you.
  7. Take an interest in others. I have found that the people who are very interested in me are also interested in many others. By taking an interest in others, we actually become much more fulfilled in our own lives. Taking an interest in others helps us to become more broad-based and open-minded. I’ve really made an effort in this area because being interested in others gives more meaning to life and that’s extremely important.

These are Dale Carnegie’s timeless habits that can certainly apply anywhere in your life, no matter who you are. Consider these when working toward a more fulfilling, positive everyday life. Until next time, enjoy.


Gary Klaben is in our Glenview, IL office and serves our clients who are now located all over the country. He has over 30 years of experience and is the author of Changing the Conversation, Wealth of Everything and co-author of The Business Battlefield. Whether advising his clients, mentoring his team, or coaching entrepreneurs, he is always simplifying complexity and motivating others to take the next action that’s right for them.

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