365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles
Day 87. Monday, June 20, 2011
I was a bit confused when I looked at the time this morning. It was 7 am. I either woke up too early for the weekend or maybe I’ll be on time for work. I had to look at the calendar to see what day it was. Oh, it’s Monday… I decided to get up anyway.
As I was pulling out of my driveway I noticed my neighbors hadn’t put their trash bin out by the curb for trash pick up day. I also noticed their trash bin was very full. I debated whether I should do them a favor and put their trash bin out or just mind my own business.
I got out of my car and rolled their trash bin by the curb.
As I continued on my drive to work a very strange sequence of events happened.
I say strange—because it was Monday.
I received a very touching email from Anthony—an old friend of mine. He thanked me for my blog and mentioned he shared it with his family on Father’s Day. On Father’s Day! If you read my Father’s Day blog post about my macaroni art project you’ll understand what Anthony’s email meant to me. I thanked God for Anthony’s thoughtfulness, empathy and really excellent timing. His last words alluded to the fact that he hopes I have an unusually good Monday. I read that and thought—oh I hope you are right Anthony. So far we are on a good track but I haven’t arrived at work yet.
I was making good time in my commute to work so I decided to stop by the grocery store to buy some macaroni and other food items to donate for a local food drive at my Starbucks. Despite holding up the line at the grocery store—everyone was friendly towards me and smiling. It was really bazaar. Why is everyone so nice to me?
Next I arrived at work on time. That in itself is a monumental accomplishment. I hesitantly showed my newest heart pillow creations to an associate. She LOVED them. I walked back to my office and thanked God. This is all I wanted from her last week and I got it today. Perhaps Anthony was right about this day.
Next I heard from my two guest bloggers—who really didn’t realize, expect or believe I was serious when I said their stories would be perfect for my blog. I was stunned that neither one of them could recognize the value of their stories. After we talked—they both agreed and seemed to be excited. I sat and relished the idea that my dinky lemonade stand is now recruiting “employees” and “business” seems to be good.
Even a coworker whom I haven’t gotten along with for quite some time now was showing me appreciation, kindness and encouragement today.
The day continued in this fashion. Little pieces of good moments kept falling in my lap. At the end of the day, encouraged by my associate—I experimented with a couple more sewing techniques. I started yet another sewing project that is going to be ridiculously cute by the time I’m finished with it. I don’t know what the finished project will be yet but believe it or not—I might try something other than a pillow.
As I was driving home along the tollway I thanked God for making an unusually good Monday.
Recognize blessings among the clutter
As I was doing this—I glanced over and noticed the sky. Despite the cluttered landscape with water towers, electric towers, buildings, highways and overpasses being built, you could see the sky was a dark blue with shades of pink along the horizon. It was so stunning it was ridiculous. “Dear God—what were you thinking when you made that sunset? I hope I’m not the only one driving home that notices your handiwork.”
I took all sorts of detours on the drive home just to get photos of the sky.
Sometimes you have to look for the good hidden among the clutter, stress and chaos of a day. If you don’t put effort into it—you will miss out on opportunities to find happiness and fulfillment in the everyday.
I realize I have rambled quite a bit here. And like you I’m wondering if there’s a purpose to today’s blog. (ha) Of course there is!
The Dale Carnegie principles I used are from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Don’t worry about the past.
Count your blessings—not your troubles.
Use the law of averages to outlaw your worries.
It sure feels like a great deal of last week was crummy—or at least the last few days. I had to do some mental acrobatics to apply the Dale Carnegie principles.
Today was the complete opposite.
When you have a bad day, bad week, bad month, bad year… consider the law of averages. Things will balance out. You will have a good day, a good week, a good month, a good year.
One way to ensure this—do your best not to dwell on the past (I know this is hard)… and also count your blessings (this one is easy). Look for all the large and small blessings that come your way. Take the time to appreciate these blessings. Look for the good. Maybe it’s a sunset. Maybe it’s an encouraging email from a friend or perhaps it’s a patient cashier at a grocery store. Maybe it’s doing a random act of kindness like putting your neighbor’s trash bin by the curb on trash day. Or donating food for a food pantry. The blessings and opportunities are there—you just have to recognize them and act upon them.
When you take these measures—you pretty much guarantee a more positive outlook on the day.
– Thank you Anthony for pushing me in the right direction.
Housekeeping / Notes:
– Mark your calendars! Wednesday will be the debut of a very special guest blogger and friend. I can’t wait for you to meet him through his story.
– Stop by the Archive / Pictorial section if you missed a story or want to reread a past blog.
– Feedback / Suggestions / Comments: If you have ideas on how to improve the daffodil garden of blog stories let me know. Also feel free to spread the love and share a link or two with family, friends, coworkers, etc.
I know your time is valuable. Thank you for reading my blog.