The fear of public speaking, or glossophobia, affects up to 75% of the population and has for centuries. Dale Carnegie, the American lecturer and author, was most certainly not affected by this fear. He spent his professional career not only lecturing and speaking to crowds, but teaching them how to speak publicly as well.

Dale Carnegie’s courses, lectures, and books have helped millions of people with

  • Sales skills
  • Personal relationships
  • Public speaking
  • Career pathing
  • Business professionalism
  • Self-improvement

Carnegie’s central belief was that if you wanted to change someone’s behavior, the best way to do it was to change your behavior towards them. His ideas and advice are immortalized in his best-selling 1936 book, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

His books are as relevant today as they were 80 years ago, and are still regarded as some of the best sales, business, and self-help books ever written. Carnegie’s ideas focus on core areas:

  • Taking action
  • Happiness
  • Work
  • People

Here are 76 of Dale Carnegie’s best quotes to inspire, motivate, and empower you to be a better person to yourself and to others.

Dale Carnegie quotes on taking action

1. “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy”
2. “Today is life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.”
3. “Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.”
4. “One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.”
5. “Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.”
6. “Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.”
7. “We all have possibilities we don’t know about. We can do things we don’t even dream we can do.”
8. “You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.”
9. “First ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen? Then prepare to accept it. Then proceed to improve on the worst.”
10. “Only the prepared speaker deserves to be confident.”
11. “The person who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore.”
12. “Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you thought could never be yours.”
13. “Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.”
14. “If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.”
15. “Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.”
16. “If you are not in the process of becoming the person you want to be, you are automatically engaged in becoming the person you don’t want to be.”
17. “Today is our most precious possession. It is our only sure possession.”
18. “Every day is a new life to a wise man.”
19. “Fear is the result of a lack of confidence. A lack of confidence is the result of not knowing what you can do. A lack of knowing what you can do is caused by a lack of experience. A lack of experience is caused by a lack of doing something new.”
20. “You can sing only what you are. You can paint only what you are. You must be what your experiences, your environment, and your heredity have made you. For better or for worse, you must play your own little instrument in the orchestra of life.”

Dale Carnegie quotes on happiness

21. “Remember happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think.”
22. “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”
23. “It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.”
24. “The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another’s keeping.”
25. “Instead of worrying about what people say of you, why not spend time trying to accomplish something they will admire.”
26. “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”
27. “If you want to be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic.”
28. “If only the people who worry about their liabilities would think about the riches they do possess, they would stop worrying.”
29. “When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness.”
30. “Happiness doesn’t depend on outward conditions. It depends on inner conditions.”
31. “If you want to keep happiness, you have to share it.”
32. “It is the way we react to circumstances that determines our feelings.”
33. “A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.”
34. “Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, ‘I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.’”
35. “One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.”
36. “Feeling sorry for yourself, and your present condition, is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have.”
37. “Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation, for your character is what you are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

Dale Carnegie quotes on work

38. “Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”
39. “Don’t be afraid to give you best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.”
40. “Your purpose is to make your audience see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt. Relevant detail, couched in concrete, colorful language, is the best way to recreate the incident as it happened and to picture it for the audience.”
41. “If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing hold you up in your work. Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities. The thing is to get the work done.”
42. “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”
43. “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
44. “Our thoughts make us what we are.”
45. “Big shots are only little shots who kept on shooting.”
46. “The best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today’s work superbly today. That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future.”
47. “Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.”
48. “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.”
49. “Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied.”
50. “Only knowledge that is used sticks in your mind.”

Dale Carnegie quotes on people

51. “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”
52. “You can can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people that you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.”
53. “The royal road to a man’s heart is to talk to him about the things he treasures most.”
54. “There is only one way… to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.”
55. “Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.”
56. “The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.”
57. “If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive.”
58. “Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still.”
59. “Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.”
60. “Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn – and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”
61. “Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.”
62. “Even god doesn’t propose to judge a man till his last days, why should you and I?”
63. “Why talk about what we want? That is childish. Absurd. Of course you are interested in what you want. You are eternally interested in it. But no one else is. The rest of us are just like you: we are interested in what we want.”
64. “You can measure the size of a person by what makes him or her angry.”
65. “All men have fears, but the brave put down their fears and go forward, sometimes to death, but always to victory.”
66. “Winning friends begins with friendliness.”
67. “To be interesting, be interested.”
68. “Names are the sweetest, most important sound in any language.”
69. “By fighting, you never get enough – but by yielding, you get more than you expected.”
70. “The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way.”
71. “Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn’t bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish and said: “Wouldn’t you like to have that?” Why not use the same common sense when fishing for people?”
72. “Always make the other person feel important.”
73. “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.”
74. “Remember that other people may be totally wrong. But they don’t think so.”
75. “Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. ‘To know all is to forgive all.'”
76. “The difference between appreciation and flattery? That is simple. One is sincere and the other insincere. One comes from the heart out; the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish; the other selfish. One is universally admired; the other universally condemned.”