365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles
Day 95. Wednesday, June 29, 2011
I was placing my iPhone in my purse this morning when it slipped and fell on my tile floor. I quickly picked up my phone talking gently to it…. “you’re ok phone. You’re going to be alright…”
I looked at it and it seemed fine. The screen wasn’t cracked. I was able to turn it on, check my email, etc. I drove into work happily.
As I pulled into the parking lot at work I noticed my phone indicated “No Service.”
I considered what I believed the logical explanations for this problem:
Did I forget to pay the bill? No. Besides… it’s 9:40am—I’m doubtful the phone company pulls the plug at such a random time.
Then I considered the possibility of sunspots affecting the satellites. (Yes, I’m that crazy)
Well, the sunspot theory went out the window once I heard the beeps and dings coming from everyone’s iPhones at work. I looked down at my phone eagerly waiting for a sign of life—and all I got was dead silence.
This is the time to dust off Dale Carnegie’s “live in day-tight compartments” principle. Taking this approach is the complete opposite of my personality but I did my best to apply it anyway.
I even decided to accept the inevitable. What’s the worst that can happen? My phone is broken and I have to get a new phone. I’ve been wanting an excuse to upgrade phones anyway…
Then there’s the small issue of my 2000+ photos that I have on my phone. I haven’t backed up recently. This was a big test of my ability to live in a day-tight compartment. I reminded myself that the resolution quality of the photos isn’t as good as the photos I take with my regular digital camera. So what’s the big deal?
Well, soon enough I got distracted with the pleasures of work—of all things! My associate wanted some advice on choosing colors for an upcoming project she was making. She even invited me to make a project. So I did. I became so enthralled and focused on my work that I didn’t spend a moment thinking about my iPhone and my lost photos.
By evening I had put in a full day of work and was still enthralled with my task of making a project that I chose to stay late. (as opposed to getting on the tollway and racing home to try and fix my iPhone). I ended up making TWO projects instead of one—which was quite satisfying.
When I finally did leave the office—I had my iPhone next to me. That’s when my day was taking a downturn. I would glance down and see its blackened screen. Traffic became stressful. It was also terribly hot—it was a warm 97 degrees at 9:30pm. I was hungry. I was tired. I was upset because my iPhone would not wake up.
That’s when I appreciated the value of keeping busy to avoid worrying. I had been so busy at work today that I didn’t have time to worry about my phone. But the moment my mind was left free to wander my thoughts quickly turned to my broken phone and every other conceivable annoyance.
The Dale Carnegie principles I was being thrust into today are from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Live in “day-tight compartments”
Today was not an easy day. But I found that by keeping busy I was able to distract myself from my troubles and worries. When you find yourself burdened by worry, fear or doubt—it helps to stay busy. Put your worries in a “box” so to speak and engage in some activity. In my case I had two projects that kept me busy. When you take this approach you are able to use your time in a productive, healthy manner and you might gain some perspective in the process. You might even be able to find some humor in the day.
Housekeeping / Notes:
Today is your lucky day! Guest blogger, “Tyrone” shares a story about his recent trip to the library and how he applied Dale Carnegie’s principles. Click here to read his post.