Day 116. Don’t let anyone rain on your parade of happiness.


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 116.  Wednesday, July 20, 2011
This morning I reviewed work that my team put together.  I was giddy with excitement.  They did a wonderful job.  What amazed me most was their ability to make my humble product photos look professional.  My original photos were HORRIBLE.  I marvel at how they fix my lighting problems with Photoshop. 

I was so thrilled I had to show Harper, an associate from another department. 

Smiling Daffodil:  “Oh my gosh—look at the work that Bellmont did for us!  I wish I had his skill Harper!”

Harper:  “I could show you how he did it all day long.  You’d realize it’s not a magic wand he has—it’s skill.”

Smiling Daffodil:  “Wow!  Will you really show me Harper?  I would love to learn how Bellmont and his team crops and cleans the photos.  But don’t worry, I’ll just take a half day—not a whole day!”

Harper:  “Smiling Daffodil—people study years to learn what I do.  It’s not something you learn right away.”

Smiling Daffodil:  “Oh.”

I realized I stepped right into it.  I didn’t mean to.  I sincerely thought my associate would show me a few tips and tricks on how to use software that I’m not very familiar with.  I don’t expect to become an expert in graphic design—but I like to learn new things—especially from people that have the experience.  Even the simplest of functions in the software is amazing and new to me.

Protect yourself from people that rain on your parade of happiness.

Normally, I would have dug my heels in deep, rolled up my sleeves, put on my boxing gloves and argued back with this associate.  Instead I took a deep breath and realized it wasn’t worth it.  My morning began on a good note and I wasn’t going to let anyone rain on my parade of happiness.  Besides—just looking at the files that Bellmont and his team put together put a smile on my face.  I decided to show my boss the work.  She loved it!

The Dale Carnegie principle I used in this story are from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living: 
Never try to get even with your enemies.
Do not imitate others.

From How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 10.  The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it. 

I am a stubborn individual who will argue a point just out of principle.  But today I reminded myself that the end result would be frustration and my associate would still think I was wrong and I would still think he was wrong.  Time and energy would be wasted.  So I backed off, showed the finished project to my boss who really does matter—and continued merrily on with my day.  And I’m thinking of making lemonade from Harper’s words.  Maybe I should enroll in a course or two on graphic design. 

Remember, there are individuals in your workplace, home, school, etc that will never sincerely share in your happiness.  Be aware of them, be respectful of them and their perspectives and don’t let them squash the happiness out of your life.  When you take this approach you’ll control your happiness and you’ll continue your day in a productive, constructive manner.

Housekeeping / Notes:
Thank you for reading my blog.  You, my readers, motivate me to give you my best. Just don’t ask me to Photoshop anything.  Ha.

Day 70. A trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles is the perfect setting for using Dale Carnegie’s principles


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 70.  Friday, June 3, 2011

I was at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office waiting to get my Driver’s License renewed.  A chair became available in the second row so I sat down beside a young ‘lady’ we will call “Suzie”.

I quickly observed Suzie and her friend Camille were criticizing everyone.  As number 154 was called, a tall teenage girl stood up with her father and two of her friends.  She stood in front of the white panel, got her photo taken etc.  While all of this was unfolding—Suzie and Camille—reminded me of why I love the Dale Carnegie principles.

Suzie:  “Why did that girl bring all these people with her?” 
Camille:  “They are high schoolers.  They have nothing better to do.”

They continued to criticize these individuals—who fortunately—weren’t anywhere near earshot of Suzie and Camille.

My thoughts on the tall girl being criticized:  “wow—that’s cute that her father came to “support” his daughter—it’s probably her 16th birthday.  Her friends are young, innocent and oblivious to the cruelty of people like “Suzie and Camille”.  Good for them.”

The Dale Carnegie principle I used is from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Do not imitate others.

My experience sitting at the DMV reminded me of the great value of living the Dale Carnegie principles.  Despite the behaviors of Suzie and Camille—I managed to find the good in my surroundings.  I observed a father who cared enough to spend quite a bit of time waiting at the DMV with his daughter.  I saw his daughter’s friends who were comfortable in their skin.  They were young and happy.    

My lesson to you—don’t imitate others’ negativity.  Focus on creating your own happiness.  I guarantee you will come out ahead.

Housekeeping / Notes:
If you read Day 69 you may be wondering… did I follow through and take a half day off from work?  I did indeed!  I was encouraged to follow through by my friend Avery.

Day 25. Fight for your happiness


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 25.  April 19, 2011 
This morning Malcolm and I had a meeting.  The meeting began this way: 

DEEP SIGH from Malcolm. 

Then he grumbled unenthusiastic words to me, “how are you this morning?”  The meeting pretty much continued in this way. 

I found myself getting sucked into the black hole of Malcolm’s unhappiness.  By the time the meeting wrapped up I was completely irritated.  I just kept thinking get me out of this miserable place.

As I drove to Starbucks for some coffee—I resorted to a new technique.  I decided to fight for my happiness.  I was not going to let Malcolm’s unhappiness drag me down. 

Fight for your happiness.

I gave myself a very direct and impassioned pep talk that went like this:
“No one—not Malcolm, or “so and so” has control over my mood.  I create and determine my happiness.  I will not surrender control of my mood to Malcolm.  Malcolm has no right to control my mood.  I will have a good day.  I control my happiness.” 

And you know what happened?  I had a great, productive, happy day.  I’m not sure what tickles me more—the fact that I had a great day or the fact that I proved I control my own happiness despite my surroundings.

The Dale Carnegie principle I used is from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health and hope.
Do not imitate others.

Remember, no matter your surroundings– YOU control your happiness.  When you find yourself sinking into unhappy oblivion, take forward thinking action, take deliberate measures to take control of your happiness.  Go for a walk.  Smile at a complete stranger.  Take a deep breath.  Do everything you can to control your outlook.  You can control your happiness.  You just have to take action.