Trying to get along with others

There is a book that fundamentally changed my point of view.

Dale Carnegie wrote this book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, back in 1936. The link goes to Wikipedia, which basically summarizes what every chapter is about. Looks like a series of blog posts doesn’t it? Just think, he wrote this in the previous century and had it figured out already.

If you are a musician, you must buy this book and read it. From the title you might think that it’s one of those cynical get rich quick schemes that teaches you how to turn people into your servants through mind control. But it’s quite the contrary. It’s about how to understand people so that you can treat them the way they want to be treated and so that you can give them what they want to be given. Quite a noble endeavor, actually. In return, they give you the same. It’s a win-win.

And I don’t recommend this book so that you can win a bunch of fans and maximize profits.

Instead, I recommend this book because it taught me how to successfully navigate rooms full of inflated egos, including my own, with selfish goals without any predetermined organizational structure. I happily include myself in this group, seeking my own overblown dreams of individual success, like any other musician, and this book helped put the social dynamics in perspective so that I would be at peace here and so most interactions would be chill and productive.

I say this as if I’ve succeeded in becoming some kind of monk. Far from the truth. But, I see the path to follow now, and I am seeing tangible results as I stumble along. It’s really amazing.

You must read this book if you are a musician. It has withstood the test of time. It’s a book you will reread once a year for the rest of your life. Do it.

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