Day 58. Take the time to enjoy the seaweed… an application of Dale Carnegie’s principles.


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 58.  Sunday, May 22, 2011
My art conference ended at noon and I had three hours to spend before having to go to the airport.  The instructor in my class suggested I go to Newport Beach which surprisingly was just twenty minutes away!

Finally, my status as The Smiling Daffodil is paying off...ha

The hotel arranged a ride for me and I was off on a new adventure.  I wasn’t dressed for the beach—I had sneakers, jeans and one of my better dress shirts.  Before the driver dropped me off I mentioned my concern about getting back to the hotel.  He assured me there were plenty of taxis available and he gave me his business card. 

So we parted ways and I decided to do my best to live in the moment.  I saw plenty of restaurants and shops to occupy my time.  But then I got distracted by the beach….

I stripped my feet of my sneakers and socks.  I rolled up my jeans above my ankles.  I approached the beach with a look of wonder and excitement. 

As I approached the shore, I plopped my white purse and my tote of art supplies on the sand.  I figured if anything gets dirty surely it could be wiped clean.  Besides, I have other purses….

I got my feet wet and it wasn’t long before I was stalking the birds along the shore.  They were just too amazing not to photograph.  I was so engrossed with photographing the birds that no one around me existed.  I was oblivious to everything but the birds.  That’s when the waves came crashing… and now my jeans were wet up to my knees.  Instead of getting concerned about being a wet mess—I decided to accept the inevitable.  My knees, legs and toes will be dusted in sand, I will be wet and my purse and art supplies may end up sandy… but I will have my fun day at the beach.

One man's seaweed is another woman's art

I examined and photographed seaweed, seashells, rocks, the waves crashing against the rocks, beach sand, sand castles… everything. 

At the appropriate time I was able to flag down a taxi without difficulty.  It turned out “Marty” the cab driver doesn’t normally work until 6 pm but he felt compelled to begin his shift earlier that day.  I explained that he was the answer to my prayers.  He smiled and said— “well, you know, I do have a bible near my night stand….”

Marty dropped me off at the hotel promptly at 3 pm—just in time for the hotel shuttle to take me to the airport.  As I sat in the shuttle I reflected on the day.  I didn’t spend my day worrying about how I’d spend 3 hours.  I didn’t worry about transportation.  I didn’t worry about getting all dirty at the beach.  Instead I lived happily in the moment—being grateful for every moment of that afternoon.

The Dale Carnegie principles I used are from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Don’t fuss about trifles.
Cooperate with the inevitable.
Count your blessings—not your troubles.

I counted my blessings—I had free time to spend and I was able to spend it in a rather unexpected way… on a beach.  I didn’t worry about how I’d return to the hotel.  I didn’t worry about getting my jeans all wet.  I lived in the moment and had one of the best “traveling work days” in a long time. 

The lesson I hope to convey is that much of the stress, discontent and unhappiness surrounding a day can be self-inflicted.  You will discover how much a relief it can be to just live in the moment instead of worrying.  Count each blessing—no matter how small—and don’t waste a moment on petty worries like getting your jeans all wet from the ocean!  Instead—see it as blessing!  Wow—instead of being in Texas at this very moment, I’m on a beach in California with my feet covered in sand.  Does life get any better than this?

Housekeeping / Notes
Real daffodils fade but fortunately The Smiling Daffodil’s blog posts are timeless.  Catch up on archives.

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