Part I – Chapter 2: The Greatest Secret in Behavior
There is only one most effective way to get a person to do what we want.
And always remember that there is no other way, if we :
* One hand pulls hair,
one hand holds a gun to someone’s head and shouts:
“How much property,
give it all to me!”;
* Wear a scowl and challenge your employees:
“If you don’t work hard,
I will fire you immediately.
Look out there, how many people want to be my employees there!”;
* Holding a big rattan whip and shouting at his son:
“Idiot! If you are still giddy and dirty your clothes,
I will give you 100 lashes”;
Let’s try to imagine what will happen in the above three cases?
The common denominator of all three cases is people
who are threatened by us to do what is asked.
But, most importantly,
they will do it with tolerance,
scowl and resentment.
they will do the opposite.
The person with the gun can hit the person with the gun,
the employee will be diligent
in front of him and lie behind his back,
or find another job with a better behaved boss,
and the child will still hide and go out.
He sneaks back to the bathroom to clean up
before you find out he’s disobeyed.
Instead of forcing others to do what they want,
a simpler way to get people to do anything is:
Let them do what they want.
The famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud said,
“All human actions are motivated by two motives:
Pride of sex and the desire to be important.”
John Dewey, one of America’s most profound philosophers,
has a slightly different view:
“The deepest motivator in human nature is the desire to be.”
So what do you desire for yourself?
What intense demands are burning within you?
Most of us desire the following:
1. Eat well, drink well and sleep well;
2. Have a wonderful husband or wife;
5. Have a good conditions life;
6. Have enough money and material comforts;
7. Have a good life in the next life;
8. Satisfaction in sex life;
9. Children are healthy, study well, success;
10. Feeling like an important person..
Most of these desires are usually satisfied,
except for one,
which is as profound and urgent as food
or sleep but is seldom satisfied.
It’s what Freud calls
“All people desire to be important”
or the “desire to be yourself” that Dewey refers to.
President Lincoln wrote,
“Everyone loves to be praised,”
and William James believed,
“The deepest principle of human nature is the desire to be appreciated.”
Not just “desire,” but “craving” to be appreciated.
“Desire” describes a persistent longing that is not satisfied.
And those who are able to honestly satisfy this craving
are able to “control” the behavior of others.
The desire to feel important is one of the main differences between humans
and other living things.
When I was a boy in rural Missouri,
my father had funny white faced Duoroe Jersey pigs.
We often bring these pigs and other livestock to show at country fairs
and cattle shows throughout the Midwest.
We always top contests with blue ribbons as prizes.
My father used to attach these ribbons on a thin white cloth.
or guests came to visit my house,
my father often opened the cloth to show it off.
He held one end and I held the other,
and he detailed each award with pride in his eyes.
The pigs don’t care about the prizes they’ve won.
But my father does!
these rewards make him feel important.
If our ancestors did not have the burning desire to feel important,
there would never have been the unique civilizations
and people we are today,
no more than other animals.
It’s the hunger to feel important that drives an uneducated,
poor grocer to study the old law books he stumbles upon
at the bottom of a sundries box he’s bought back for 50 cents.
You’ve probably heard of this grocer’s name.
His name is Lincoln.
He is 16th president of the United States.
And it is the desire to feel important that drives Charles Dickens
to write immortal novels.
This desire is also the driving force for Christopher
Wren to write his symphonies in stone.
And that same desire has also helped Rockefeller earn millions
of dollars without spending a single penny of it!
When we wear fashionable clothes,
use designer brands,
drive trendy cars,
use stylish cell phones,
talk about smart kids,
that’s when we can express ourselves desire to be important to everyone.
However, this desire also has its downside.
Many young people join gangs,
participate in criminal activities,
use heroin and ecstasy to assert themselves,
to be seen by society as “Superman”. E. P. Mulrooney,
New York Police Commissioner,
said: “Most young criminals display very large egos.
Their first request after being detained was
to see how the newspapers reported their story.
It is the way each person shows his
or her importance that speaks volumes about their true character.
John D. Rockefeller found his sense of importance
by donating money to build a modern hospital in Beijing
to treat millions
of poor people he had never met and never intended to meet.
Dillinger likes to get a sense of his own importance by killing looters.
When he was hunted by the FBI,
he rushed into a farm in Minnesota
and loudly declared:
“I am Dillinger!” with undisguised pride.
In fact, this is a very “human” element.
Nearly everyone does.
If the desire to be important were not considered a human attribute,
many would be surprised to learn that,
even the most famous,
most celebrated people in human history,
so are people.
One might wonder why someone as great as George Washington would like to be called
“His Excellency the President of the United States of America”.
One wonders why a man as talented
s Christopher Columbus would also want
to have the title of
“Sea Admiral of the Oceans and Viceroy of India.”
And, it will be even more surprising
to know that the queen The great Catherine refused to open any letter
without the outside caption: “Dear Queen of Power”.
The billionaires only agreed to finance Admiral Byrd’s expedition
to the South Pole in 1928 with the sole requirement
that their names be given to the flat mountains there.
Victor Hugo wanted nothing more than
for the city of Paris to be renamed.
who was called the greatest of all greats,
wanted to add to his name
by asking the royal family for an aristocratic title.
Sometimes, people make themselves disabled to get pity,
other people’s attention,
to feel important.
First Lady McKinley found a sense of importance
by forcing her husband,
President William McKinley of the United States,
to take a few hours a day off from government work
to be at her bedside and lull her to sleep.
She nurtured a burning desire to be noticed
by asking him to stay with her even when she went to the dentist.
Once, she made a fuss when he “dared”
to leave her alone with the dentist
because he had to attend an important meeting with the Secretary of State.
Writer Mary Roberts Rinehart once told me about a smart
and healthy girl who became ill just
because she wanted to feel important.
Ms. Rinehart said:
“She stayed in bed for 10 years
while her elderly mother struggled up
and down three floors to serve her every day.
One day, the tired old mother fell ill and then passed away.
Over the next few weeks,
she became truly bedridden.
But then she quickly recovered and started living a normal,
healthy life like she never got sick.”
People can even go crazy
to find in their madness the feeling of being important,
which they cannot have in this naked world.
Many people are engrossed in “fighting” in computer games
to turn themselves into a good hero.
While in real life they are just ordinary people,
with no status,
no social status.
The chief neurologist
at one of America’s most prestigious psychiatric hospitals claims
that many patients have found in the mad world the feeling
of being an important person they couldn’t have in the past life.
He told me the following story:
“Recently, I had a female patient who had a family tragedy.
She wants to be cared for,
She wanted children and social prestige,
but real life trampled on all of her wishes.
Her husband doesn’t love her.
He refused to even eat with her,
forcing her to serve him in an upstairs room.
She has no children and no social status.
As a result, she became mentally ill.
In her fantasy, she found herself divorced from her husband,
back to being a free human being.
Then, she thought she had married someone of English aristocracy
and insisted on being called “Lady Smith”.
More than that,
she envisioned having another baby every night.
Every time I visit, she says,
“Doctor, I just gave birth last night.”
Life has pushed every ship of her dreams against the sharp rocks of reality.
But in the sunny islands of the imagination crazy,
that dream ship has docked with sails fluttering in the wind.
The doctor assured me:
“If just reaching out my hand can cure her disease,
I will not do it.
She is much happier living like this.”
If some people want to feel important enough
to go crazy to have that feeling,
imagine what miracle you
and I would achieve if we had it
without going to crazy domain of imagination?
One of the first people in America
to be paid more than a million dollars a year was Charles Schwab
(in a time when there was no personal income tax in America
and a man was considered rich
when he earned 50 dollars a week).
He was appointed the first president of the American Steel Corporation
by Andrew Carnegie in 1921 at the age of thirty-eight.
Why did Andrew Carnegie agree
to pay a million dollars a year,
or nearly $30,000 a day,
to Charles Schwab?
Is it because Charles Schwab is a genius?
Or is it because he has more knowledge of steel than the others?
Charles Schwab himself told me that many of the people
who worked for him were more knowledgeable
about steel processing than he was.
The reason Schwab was so well paid was
because of his ability to win people’s hearts.
His secret, he said,
is “the ability to create excitement in the people you work with,
to bring out the strongest strengths in a person
appreciating and encouraging them”.
“There is no way to kill people’s dreams
and strivings like the attitude and criticism of their superiors.
I never criticize anyone.
I believe in motivating people to work.
This makes me always eager to praise others
and not like to further hurt their mistakes.
If I am interested in something,
I will always encourage and encourage with all sincerity
and they respond with the most enthusiasm.”
That’s what Schwab did.
So how do ordinary people behave?
They do the exact opposite.
If they don’t like something,
they yell at the staff;
And if they like it,
they won’t say anything.
As the old saying goes:
“No matter how well done,
One time mistake,
“In all my life,
I have never met a person who does his job well
without the support of others,” Schwab said.
So did Andrew Carnegie.
And that is one of the reasons
for the extraordinary success of the “king” of steel.
Andrew Carnegie commends his collaborators in public and in private.
Even on his tombstone,
he commended all those who had worked for him:
“This is the resting place of a man
who knows how to gather people more talented than him.”
Honest praise and appreciation is one of the first secrets
of John D. Rockefeller’s success in dealing with people.
When his agent, Edward Bedford,
caused a million dollars in damages
in a South American sale.
Instead of criticizing, John D. Rockefeller commended Bedford
for saving 60% of the money Rockefeller had invested.
Rockefeller did so because he knew Edward had tried his best.
“That was great,” he said.
We don’t always do that well.”
Among the newspaper samples I cut,
there is a funny story
that I know is not true but that illustrates a truth.
I will tell you:
Once, after a hard day’s work,
a farmer’s wife threw
in front of the men in her family a pile
of hay instead of serving dinner as usual.
When they angrily asked her if she was crazy,
“I’ve been cooking for you for 20 years,
and in all that time
I’ve never heard anyone thank you
or tell me you don’t know to eat ”.
A study a few years ago on wives leaving home found that
the main cause of this situation was due to
“lack of recognition and appreciation”.
And I’m sure that if there were a study on
why husbands run away from home,
the same result would be obtained.
We often take for granted that our spouses are by our side,
so we rarely give them a word of thanks or respect.
A student in our class said
that his wife and a group
of other women in the church were involved in a self-improvement program.
She asked him to help
by listing six things he thought she could change
to be a better wife.
He told the class:
“I was surprised by such a request.
Honestly, I could easily list six things I’d like her to change.
And, of course she could also list a thousand things
she wanted me to change but I didn’t.
I said, “Give me some thought and I’ll answer tomorrow morning.”
The next morning,
I got up very early,
bought my wife six roses with a card that read:
“I can’t think of six things
I want you to change.
I love you like you are now!”.
when I got home,
my wife greeted me with emotional tears.
Needless to say,
I’m glad I didn’t criticize her as requested.
The following Sunday at church,
after my wife reported on the results of her assignment,
many of the women
who had studied with her came to me and said,
“We’ve never heard of it before such a polite,
thoughtful and sweet gesture.”
Only then did I truly understand the power of respect and gratitude.”
I once did the fasting movement and tried
to live six days and six nights without eating.
Actually, it’s not that difficult.
By the end of Friday, I’m no more hungry than at the end of Monday.
However, if we let our family
or employees starve for six days, it is a big mistake.
Yet we let our dear families,
our hard-working and dedicated employees go six weeks
or even sixty years
without even a single word of appreciation.
We refuse to remember
that they are so hungry for a compliment from us,
no less than someone
who wants a delicious meal when hungry.
Alfred Lunt, one of the greatest actors of all time,
who starred in the play Reunion in Vienna,
said: “What I need most of all in my life is
to cultivate self-respect for myself. me”.
We nurture the physical part of our children,
care about the material lives of our employees,
but rarely nurture or instill in them self-esteem.
We can give them delicious food,
but often forget to give them sincere compliments
that they will remember forever like remembering the most beautiful melodies.
Paul Harvey, in one of his radio broadcasts,
told a story that demonstrates how sincere praise
and appreciation can change a person’s life:
“Many years ago there was a teacher at school.
Detroit asks Stevie Morris
to help her find a mouse in her classroom.
She greatly appreciated Stevie’s talent
and complimented Stevie that God gave Stevie a pair
of hearing ears to compensate for her blindness.
She did not expect that this was really the first time
that Stevie was respected,
appreciated for the ability of her ears
and forgot about the defects before.
To this day,
Stevie admits that cherishing
that day marked a turning point in his life.
Ever since he was recognized
and discovered his gift of hearing,
he worked hard to develop his ability
until he became one of the greatest pop singers
and the best songwriters in the 1970s,
under the legendary Stevie Wonder name.
As you read these stories,
you might say,
“Wow! It’s all pointless flattery!
I have also tried that.
But this way is really not good,
especially for those
who are sensitive
and hate falsehood and flattery!”.
flattery rarely succeeds with those who understand
and are able to make a profound distinction
and sincere praise and thanks.
Because flattery is superficial,
and sure to fail.
Still, there are some people
who crave approval
so much that they swallow any compliment like a hungry person eating
both the vegetables and the worms that cling to them.
Fake flattery is like fake money,
it makes it difficult to pass it on to someone else.
What is the difference between appreciation and flattery?
This is true and the other is dishonest.
One thing comes from the heart,
the other only from the mouth.
One is impartial,
the other is selfish,
One thing is felt and touched by everyone,
one thing is condemned by everyone.
I recently saw a bust of a Mexican hero,
General Alvaro Obregon,
at the hapultepec castle in Mexico.
Underneath the statue are engraved the words of Obregon’s philosophy:
“Fear not the enemies who attack you,
but fear the friends who flatter you.”
Right! I absolutely do not encourage flattery!
I am talking about a new way of life. Allow me to repeat:
A new way of life.
King George V has a series of six maxims written on the walls
of his study at Buckingham Palace.
One of these maxims reads:
“Stop me from giving and receiving cheap praise.”
Any flattery is cheap praise.
I am very interested in a definition that says:
“Singing is telling another person exactly
what he likes to think about himself”.
When our minds are not busy,
we usually spend nearly 95% of our time thinking about ourselves.
Stop thinking about yourself
for a moment and start thinking about the good of those around you.
Then you and I will find we don’t need to use flattery anymore.
It’s just a cheap and fake thing.
One of the most forgotten values in our daily life is appreciation.
I don’t know why we often forget to praise our children
when they take home a certificate of merit
or a contact book with a record of good academic performance in the past month.
We forget to encourage our children
when they make a cake themselves for the first time
or voluntarily clean up their study corner.
There is nothing that makes children happier
than the care and praise of a parents.
Whenever I enjoy a delicious dish at a restaurant,
I always remind myself to tell the chef that the food is great.
When I meet a tired salesman
but still show kindness to customers,
I always remind myself to remember
to thank him for his dedicated and enthusiastic service.
All actors, singers and speakers in the world are discouraged
if they do not receive a round of applause from the audience.
If this is true for professional performers,
it is also true many times over for those who work in offices,
in our families and friends.
In all human relationships,
let us always remember
that the people we work with are also human beings
and they all crave recognition,
for what they have done.
Let’s light the fire of sincere gratitude for everyone in life.
The spread of this flame will bring you timeless values.
Criticizing or insulting others never wakes them up
to change for the better,
so you never do!
There is a beautiful old saying that I put on the mirror
so I can see it every day:
“I only live in this world once,
so if I can do any good to show my kindness and gratitude to anyone,
I will do it right away without delay,
because I know I won’t live a second time,
or I’m afraid I won’t have a chance.”
Philosopher Emerson said:
“Everybody I meet has better qualities than I do,
and I always learn something from them.”
Hope the same is true for you and me.
Let’s stop thinking about our own achievements
and desires and try to find out the good points of others.
People will take your compliments very seriously
and stay motivated to do the same good things throughout their lives,
knowing how to praise and thank those around you sincerely
is a magic wand that creates intimacy
and great spiritual encouragement.
It is joy that each person is being cared for,
recognized and loved.
Every person who is sincerely praised will naturally correct the bad qualities
to become more perfect.
“The deepest motivator in human nature is the desire to express oneself.”
– American Philosopher – John Dewey
Principle 2: Sincere praise and gratitude to others.