365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles
Day 102. Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Everyone was on my last nerve today.
I tried. I took a deep breath. I prayed. I listened to my favorite song again and again. I prayed some more. I immersed myself in my work. And something must’ve worked. Picture Niagara Falls turning into a tranquil, peaceful lake. I was calm.
Until the next set of interruptions….
“Smiling Daffodil, when is this event? What prize is next week? I need all the paperwork for XYZ by this Friday. I also don’t want any last minute requests from you Smiling Daffodil— I have a very busy month in August.” – said, several associates.
I’m a horrible person—because my thought process went like this: It’s not about what you want. Speak in terms of what interests me, silly! Surely you have heard of Dale Carnegie. Use it on me! (I did not say these words out loud)
Disclaimer: My reaction did not follow the Carnegie rules. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, people are who they are. We would be the same if we were in their circumstances. Plus Dale Carnegie said we can’t expect people to change. All we can do is change ourselves.
Just light a match and the office would have exploded because of my frustration.
I tried to calm down. I prayed. I felt my heart pounding. I think my face was red. I repeated one of my favorite Dale Carnegie principles—expect ingratitude. Expect ingratitude. EXPECT INGRATITUDE!
I even repeated just one line from the “Our Father” prayer: “give us this day, our daily bread.” I reminded myself that I should be grateful for my daily bread. (also known as burritos and Starbucks). I shouldn’t complain I don’t have a giant warehouse of food/money. I have enough to sustain me. There are people that would gladly take my job and not utter one complaint.
I decided to immerse myself in my work… because frankly I was enjoying my work. Today I was working on one of the greatest contests in the history of contests. (my opinion of course!) Just thinking about it shifted my focus from irritation to happiness….
This blog will be a bit unconventional. I’d like to tell you that once I focused on working on my contest that my workday ended with roses, rainbows and butterflies. But I’m a very stubborn individual. I might have a small frame but I tend to behave like an immovable mountain.
I continued to pray on the drive home. I even sang my heart out while being stuck in traffic on the highway. I did my best to pull myself out of my box of frustration—telling myself that tomorrow will be better. There are ups and downs to life.
I got home, ate my burritos and have since calmed down from a very long day at work. I am not really certain if I can claim I succeeded at applying Dale Carnegie principles. What I do know—thank God I have the Dale Carnegie principles to lean on when I have frustrating days at work or in life in general. Bad days do happen—it’s just part of life—but having the right tools to make these days a little easier is quite a blessing.
I am a stickler for following the rules to my own blog—so let’s pin me down on some principles I employed:
From Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Do the best you can.
Analyze your own mistakes and criticize yourself.
I do think I did the best I could dealing with the 101 interruptions/requests today. Unfortunately I fell a bit short… well maybe a lot short. With more practice I might be able to handle these types of days a little better. (I aim for incremental improvement—it’s an easier pill to swallow).
If nothing else—I am profiting from my losses by sharing my struggles and how I deal with them with you my readers. You’ll either think I’m nuts and find humor in it—or perhaps it will give you some perspective on areas in your life that you can appreciate more or even improve on.
I am certain that we all have that tipping point where the day just goes from bad to worse. Know that you are not alone in that experience. Know that it is worth trying the techniques I used—prayer, doing the best you can, analyzing your own mistakes. When you do this—your emotions and thoughts take a different, more constructive path. I knew I was irritated—but I was also doing my best to find a creative and constructive way to calm myself down so that I would not lash out on anyone. It took me awhile—but here I am… a nice, tranquil, peaceful pond… until tomorrow. Ha!
Housekeeping / Notes
Thank you everyone for reading my blog. A special note of thanks to “Michelin Man’s Mom” I had no idea you were reading. I am thrilled. 😉