In Dale Carnegie's quote about the two men behind bars, the point is that no matter how bad our current situation seems to be, we always have a choice whether to view the world pessimistically or optimistically. It is our choice whether we see the mud or the stars.
Dale Carnegie was a communication and motivational speaker who lived in the United States from 1888 to 1955.
Personally, I first heard of Dale Carnegie when I was looking for various books on self-development in a bookstore in Thailand. His book "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" jumped right into my eye and I purchased it for only a few baht (baht is the Thai currency). One of my best investments.
What I personally liked about Dale's works is how true-to-life the stories of his interlocutors seem. And since they lived in times of war and food shortages, they always open your eyes to how well we are doing nowadays.
But now enough general information about Dale Carnegie and his books and back to his quote.
It is about two menwho are stuck in the same situation, they are both sitting in prison.
But they differ immensely in what they see when they look out through the prison bars.
The first prisoner sees only the mudthe dirt or the filth when he looks out of the window. This prisoner represents the pessimist.
After all, how could the mud outside be worse than his current situation in prison.
The second prisoner, on the other hand, sees the stars outside and everyone who has ever looked at the stars knows how you can lose yourself in them and how beautiful they are.
The fact that the quote is about two prisoners can also be seen as a metaphor, because aren't we all ultimately just prisoners of our thoughts? And how we see the world depends to a large extent on how we want to see the world.
My understanding from Dale Carnegie is that no matter how bad the circumstances we find ourselves in, a positive mindset and the right perspective can make a huge difference and have the potential to make life more beautiful.
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