365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles
Day 52. Monday, May 16, 2011
It was the usual dreaded Monday morning commute to work. Except today I was blessed with very little traffic on the streets and nothing but green lights. And it wasn’t even noon! Ha.
As I’m gracefully zipping through each green light—my iPhone beeped indicating I had an email. Always curious I glanced quickly. I was jolted. It was from my friend Lucilla.
I was dying to read the email except I couldn’t—because as I mentioned—I had nothing but green lights. There wasn’t a red light in sight. Of all things, I actually wanted a red light. What dreadfully ironic luck!
When I finally got a red light and was able to reach a complete stop—I looked down and read the email—at least the first few sentences. The darn red light turned green much too quickly. But the first few sentences of the email startled me enough that it didn’t take long for the waterworks to come.
I probably mumbled a prayer to God in the process—something like—“I didn’t see that one coming. How’d you do that God?”
You see, my friend Lucilla wrote an email that only she could succeed at executing. We have been friends since childhood. Frankly, I had forgotten I still had friends from that long ago. I think I have closed so many chapters that I forgot I was a kid at some point. But the thing is—her words and descriptions and memories were a bright ray of sunshine I had long forgotten. I get so caught up with disappointments and frustrations that I do not remember the positive. I am certain I would have probably reached my 80th birthday and I would not have ever considered the past the way she presented it. Her email is an extraordinary gift and one I will treasure.
The Dale Carnegie principle my friend reminded me to use:
Count your blessings – not your troubles.
Don’t worry about the past.
There are really two lessons I want you to take from this story. Do your best to focus on the positive in your life. And more importantly—take a chance and help a friend to count the blessings in their own life. Sometimes a person just needs the benefit of a different perspective.
Lucilla didn’t tell me I was an idiot for fixating on my troubles—in fact—it was probably far from her mind. What she did do was highlight all the blessings in my life then and now. How could I argue with her words? I couldn’t.
When you take this approach of helping someone realize their blessings—you can help transform their perspective for the better. This can lead to a wonderful chain reaction for positive change.
Thank you “Lucilla” for giving me the gift of your perspective. I am indebted to you.