Day 94. I was enthusiastic over a hotdog….


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 94.  Tuesday, June 28, 2011
This morning my associate asked me to photograph a holiday table runner. (if you’re not in to decorating—a table runner is a linen you would place on a table for decoration).

My specialty is photographing butterflies, spiders, flowers—basically anything in nature.   Clearly a table runner is not any of these things.  And to make matters worse—the table runner needs props—like a nice table, maybe a plate of cookies, or perhaps props to suggest a picnic or 4th of July cookout… like a hamburger or hotdog….

My heart sank as I thought about having to do this task.  I don’t have any of these props—and this is not my area of expertise.  This is why we use a professional studio for these types of products—because we just aren’t equipped to do this ourselves.

I decided I couldn’t avoid the task even though I felt this was beyond my skill level. I started scouting the office building for a nice table and various other props I could use for this photograph.  It was a real stretch of the imagination—we have office furniture like filing cabinets, desks and shelves—not picnic tables, or side tables or 4th of July props. 

I managed to find a nice oak finish table but the shot looked pretty boring.  I needed a festive plate of cookies or something.  I went to the kitchen to see what I could “borrow”. 

That’s when I spotted them on the counter… hot dog buns from a recent company cookout.  Then I checked the refrigerator… yes!  I found an unopened package of Hebrew National Hotdogs!  But wait… it gets better.  Mustard!  Potato chips! 

My thoughts were racing as I grabbed all the food and took everything to my little photography studio.  I thought I could get away with just throwing all the props on the table runner and taking a photo.  But I really needed to set up a hotdog in a bun with potato chips on the side.  The scene I was creating had to look authentic. 

I tracked down the owner of the hotdogs for permission to use one for my photo shoot.  He looked at me with amusement and said—“that’s an unusual request.  Go for it Smiling Daffodil.” 

So I did.  I prepared my plate of food to use as a prop—a cold hotdog in a bun with mustard.  It was a thing of beauty.  I think everyone in the office thought this time I really lost my mind.  But I was having ridiculous fun. 

I set my plate of food on the table runner and snapped photos.  The scene was good considering I’ve had little experience or success with these types of scenes.

Oh, the perks of being a "photographer" today! After the photo shoot I got to eat the props. Tomorrow I'm hoping to photograph a steak!

The Dale Carnegie principle I used today is from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Put enthusiasm into your work.

Today I photographed a hotdog on a table runner with enthusiasm and it shows.  If I had thrown my hands up in the air in defeat before even starting I would have failed.  Instead I decided to do my best and make this task fun and creative. 

My lesson to you—if I can get excited over a hotdog—imagine what you can do!  Put enthusiasm into your work—and you might just discover success will come naturally. 

Housekeeping / Notes:
Mark your calendars for Guest Blog Wednesday!  (for new arrivals— all my blogs get posted sometime between 11 pm – 3 am.  Guest Blog Wednesday
theoretically happens on Thursday). 

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Writers needed!  If I can write about a hotdog I am certain you have an even better story to share.  Just pick any of the Dale Carnegie principles (they are at the bottom of each of my blogs—and tell me how you have applied the principle.  That’s it!  If you are reading this blog—I am certain you know how to reach me.  Post a comment, email or send an instant message.  Or try the old fashioned way— talk to me face to face.  Ha.

Thank you for reading.  (Yes, the final photo with the actual table runner looks much better than the photo featured here…)

Day 80. My interpretation of Dale Carnegie’s principle: “Do the very best you can”


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 80.  Monday, June 13, 2011
I went to bed early on Sunday night.  I had a big day ahead of me.  I couldn’t sleep—I prayed Monday would go well.  What am I getting myself into having dinner with a friend whom I haven’t seen in years?  She’s made a remarkable life for herself.  And me?  How will this reunion turn out? 

Then I woke up stressed this morning.  What do I wear?  My favorite jeans are too faded and I can’t find a decent pair of shoes. 

I reminded myself that I am who I am and odds are my friend is exactly as I remember her.  That’s the reason I agreed to meet with her after all these years anyway. 

I left work at 5 pm to make my 6:45 pm dinner.  I underestimated rush hour traffic.  I had hoped to go home and freshen up but realized there wasn’t time. 

It was 100 degrees today.  I was a hot, sticky, oily mess.  What is this friend of mine going to think of me?  After all these years… and I still look like this?  To save time I went to Target to pick up some makeup and a face wash.  I scrubbed my face so hard it was red and the blemishes were bleeding.  ARGH.

I applied the newly purchased makeup.  It was for someone with fairer skin than mine.  I looked white as a ghost when I applied the makeup.  ARGH.

I was running out of time and now look at me… and now I might be late for dinner. I should have just gone home to freshen up instead….

I made it to the restaurant, patted down my messy hairdo and consoled myself—this is as good as it gets.  I am who I am.  I carried my humble plastic container with homemade cookies into the restaurant—not really sure if cookies are appropriate. 

What caption could possibly fit this photo? Fresh out of dignity!

When my friend walked in—all my absurd fears and concerns vanished.  She was the same person I remembered from the 5th grade.  We looked at each other, gave each other big smiles—and marveled at how we looked like our mothers. 

Our meals were served and frankly we could have eaten cardboard or dirt and I would have been happy.  The hours passed as if they were minutes as we talked and listened to each other’s stories. 

I had planned at least 2 other blog topics today but when I sat down to write the blogs they just weren’t captivating enough.  That’s when I realized the only story appropriate for today is the one of me finding my childhood friend. 

The Dale Carnegie principle I used today is from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Do the very best you can.

You might think this is an odd principle to attach to this story.  Let me explain.  I decided that doing the very best I can means being myself.

I wasn’t going to pretend to be something beyond my current station in life.  I work hard, I have a lot of passion for what I do—but my world isn’t anything particularly glamorous or prestigious. 

I didn’t get dressed up—not out of disregard for her—but really—I hate getting dressed up.  I was myself:  blemishes, messy hair, jeans, t-shirt and sneakers.  Judging by how quickly time passed with smiles, genuine conversation and laughter—we both did our very best by being ourselves… and it worked. 

So remember, quit trying to be someone you are not.  Be comfortable and proud of who you are.  When you take this approach you’ll find life is more fulfilling, people around you are far more interesting than you could ever imagine and the people worth knowing see beyond the superficial. 

 – Thank you ‘Lucilla’.