365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles
Day 81. Tuesday, June 15, 2011
Preface: There are two separate scenarios that helped create one great day.
I walked in to my local coffee shop today and was greeted by “Stefano”.
Stefano: “Smiling Daffodil—you are creative and crafty—will you help me with this project? There are some free Java Chip Frappuccinos in your future in exchange for your help.”
Surprisingly it wasn’t the free Java Chip Frappuccinos that caught my ear. It was the perception Stefano had of me being creative and crafty. Those adjectives aren’t normally used to describe me.
“Of course I’ll help”, I replied.
This afternoon I sent an instant message to my coworker Seth.
Smiling Daffodil: “Seth, I realize there’s only one right answer to the question I’m going to ask you. But I’m going to ask you anyway because I need the encouragement. Should I try to make a project to help promote the new craft book? The thing is—I doubt anyone will like what I create. Is there any point in me trying?”
Seth: “Smiling Daffodil—I think you should make the best “darn” pillow you can and not worry what anyone thinks. I am certain our customers will like it.”
So I stayed late at the office and I made the best pillow I could. I doubted my sewing skills but I remembered Stefano from this morning who declared that I was crafty. I remembered Seth who said our customers will like what I create. I considered past successes I have had—from oddball photos for my blog to embroidered bibs to various marketing copy I have written.
I am fully aware that when I put enthusiasm into a task—my heart goes into it and the outcome is generally good. So I continued to sew and piece together my project.
The end result this evening—an original Smiling Daffodil creation: a 3-dimensional floral lattice pillow. This pillow will generate interest and create sales for a new book. More importantly for me, it symbolizes a renewed confidence in my ability to create—to be crafty.
The Dale Carnegie principle I used today is from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Do the very best you can.
I know what it is like to be discouraged and not receive the support you need from those that are in a position to give it to you. But you must be true to yourself. You must do the very best you can. You have the choice to let people hold you back… or not.
All I wanted for the last two months was to experiment with a new product—but I was waiting for an invitation that never came. What I forgot was—I fuel my own enthusiasm. I write my own invitations. I determine my goals. If I can envision a 3-d pillow then odds are I will figure out how to make it happen. I needed Stefano and Seth to remind me of these things.
When you are true to yourself and you do the very best you can—you create your happiness and no one can diminish it.
It is also worth noting that Stefano and Seth used one of Dale Carnegie’s principles from How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 28. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
– Thank you Stefano and Seth.