Day 12. A different kind of family reunion


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 12.  April 6, 2011 
Preface:  Ever since I began this blog I’ve been waking up excited—which is really bazaar because I’ve been battling mornings since the first day of kindergarten. (Yes, I distinctly remember that day).  Dare I say it… I’m actually smiling in the morning these days.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Principle 5. Smile!

I had no idea I just needed a goal to get me going each day and to keep me focused.   Quite simply, the goal is to have good material to write this blog for the two people who read it.  Ha. 

————————————
Hello Carnegie Graduates!
The first week of every month is reserved for a very special family reunion.  No, this isn’t with in-laws, grandparents or second cousins twice removed.  This is the class reunion of Carnegie graduates. 

I’m not sure how it happened but I’m the ringleader of this monthly reunion.  With our busy work and family schedules it’s a challenge to settle on a date that works for everyone.  I chose Wednesday because that was the day we would meet for class.  I had confirmations from guests but still wondered…what if I’m the only one that shows up this time?

Before the Carnegie course this is how the scenario would play out in my head:

  1. Why would I want to be in charge of organizing this Dale Carnegie class reunion? 
  2. Will people show up? 
  3. What will we talk about? 
  4. Where will we eat, what time, what day…and the details and worries go on and on – with the main concern being—what if I am the only one that shows up?  Oh, I’ll be mad and disgraced alright.

Now, since I’m a Carnegie graduate who is working diligently to hold on to the Carnegie principles—this is my thought process:

  1. Yes, I should be the ringleader organizing this event—I do a good job handling details and it looks like everyone seems to appreciate that I am taking on this role.  If I didn’t do this task—we’d never keep in touch and that would be a waste of an opportunity to help and support each other.  Besides, we had such a fun time in our last reunion….
  2. Several people have sent their RSVP and expressed their excitement.  I’m sure they will come and I’m looking forward to seeing them and hearing how they are applying the Carnegie principles.  I can learn from their experiences.
  3. What will we talk about?  This one oddly enough is funny.  It turns out even the quietest, shyest Carnegie graduate (me!) cannot stop talking.  There are so many topics that can be discussed—everyone has something interesting to say and we are a group of people who encourage one another.  These are people you want to be around.  Their stories are among the best.  We are good at talking and listening.
  4. If no one shows up it will be ok.  I’ll certainly order dinner and have a pleasant meal by myself.  Besides—it will be an interesting test to see how I react to the unexpected or a disappointing circumstance as a Carnegie graduate.  Besides, I will take heart knowing I did my part of stepping out of my comfort zone. 

I’m sure you’re at the edge of your seats… did I eat by myself this evening?  Oh the drama….

No I did not.  What a marvelous time the five of us Carnegie graduates had together!  We come from completely different backgrounds—yet we all have a firm desire to improve ourselves and the way we handle circumstances in our lives.  We build up, encourage and are genuinely interested in each other. 

The Dale Carnegie principles I applied today:
From How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 7.  Become genuinely interested in other people.

From How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Ask yourself, “What is the worst that can possibly happen?”  Prepare to accept the worst.  Try to improve on the worst.
Create happiness for others.

Getting the group of Carnegie graduates together—whether it’s two, three, five or ten of us—is an opportunity to create happiness for others and the perfect chance to become genuinely interested in and learn from people that come from different walks of life.  Sure, I run the risk of being the only one that shows up to an event—or being that person that sends those countless annoying email reminders about upcoming events… but that is a position I am willing to put myself in because of what I can gain.  It’s all about perspective.

2 thoughts on “Day 12. A different kind of family reunion

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