Day 115. I planned on making lemonade out of my disappointment.


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 115.  Tuesday, July 19, 2011
This morning I woke up and prayed:  “Lord, I can see myself putting the Dale Carnegie books far out of reach and battling it out today.  Please help me.”

As I drove I did everything I could to convince myself that today’s meeting was not worth fighting over. I remembered Abraham Lincoln’s words—‘Don’t criticize them; they are just what we would be under similar circumstances.’

I chewed on the fact that they have not had the luxury of taking a Dale Carnegie course.  I can’t blame them if they don’t behave the way I want them to.  I have taken the course and with that comes responsibility.  I cannot bring disgrace to Dale Carnegie graduates or the organization.  I must behave.  I must remain calm under pressure. 

I touched my necklace around my neck with tiny fish dangling from it.  I wear the fish necklace to remind me of my first blog—the day I found a rotting fish on my lawn. 

I profited from my losses and made four new friends clear across the planet.

I amused myself that I profited from my losses that day.  When life handed me lemons I made lemonade (or rather, life handed me a stinky, rotting fish and I made a blog).

I amused myself that this past weekend I fearlessly cleaned up a water heater closet that was full of gecko poop and I discovered I’m stronger than I think.

I don’t how these thoughts clicked in my head.  I guess I figured if I could do those things I can handle this meeting. I resolved to be as professional, kind and accommodating as I could in today’s meeting.  I would be sure that my eyes would not betray me.  I will not shut down when they criticize and complain.  I will expect ingratitude.  I prepared for the absolute worst.

The meeting happened at the end of the day.    

The meeting did not go as planned.  The individuals in the meeting were quite pleased and more importantly—they were appreciative of the work I did.  They indicated my work exceeded their expectations. 

The Dale Carnegie principles I used in this scenario are from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Pray.
Expect ingratitude.
Do the very best you can.
How to face trouble:
A.  Ask yourself, “What is the worst that can possibly happen?”
B.  Prepare to accept the worst.
C.  Try to improve on the worst.

To be clear—I’ve been waiting for this day for almost a year.  My workout at the gym last night was very intense.  I did everything I could to mentally and physically prepare myself for today’s carelessness and ingratitude.  I resolved that my best meant I had to be accommodating, patient and open-minded no matter what was thrown at me.  I put my heart and being into a project and I fully expected and prepared to get trampled on.  Instead I received a thank you. 

The lesson I hope you take from this story—the only person you can change is yourself.  Don’t expect others around you to change.  Don’t blame them for not changing.  Instead, figure out how you can adapt yourself to deal with the challenging people and circumstances around you.  Figure out how you can profit from your losses.  In my case—as I walked into the office I was fully prepared to leave at the end of the day with a story of how I made lemonade from the lemon of ingratitude I was handed. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised, grateful and relieved.  And yes, I celebrated by having dinner at my favorite Chick-fil-A

Housekeeping / Notes:
Thank you for reading my blog. 

Day 85. Put your heart into a task and you’ll benefit from the outcome


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 85.  Saturday, June 18, 2011
I was listening to the radio on Friday and heard the forecast for Saturday was 104 degrees.  Yikes.  I decided the best thing to do was take cover from the heat. So I ended up at the office. 

You might remember my blog earlier this week about a pillow

The outcome of that pillow: 
Seth, Stefano and many other individuals loved the pillow.  I was truly touched. 

At the very end of the day I received “acknowledgement” for the pillow I made by the one person I desperately wanted attention from.  It hurt. 

In my heart I knew the moral of the story was simply to live Dale Carnegie’s principle:  “expect ingratitude.”  I do my best for myself and no one else. 

So today… my plan was to make another pillow—something entirely different.  It’s a bit ironic because I fled this office on Friday to have lunch just to get away from the building.  Now I was voluntarily going to spend my Saturday afternoon at this office to sew. 

Well—I made a mess of the entire sewing studio.  When I do a task I’m very…enthusiastic.  I put my heart into it.

Love what you do

The outcome of my afternoon… this heart pillow I made for my dad for Father’s Day.  (Granted being the marketer that I am—I will give it to him and take it back so I can use it for some marketing pieces.  Dear old dad will get the pillow back eventually….)

The Dale Carnegie principles I used today are from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Put enthusiasm into your work.
Do the very best you can.

I created a pillow today not for the purpose of gaining approval, recognition or appreciation from the one person that denied it to me last time.  Instead I made it because I know I am capable and I loved making it.

My advice to you—pursue your interests whole-heartedly and don’t worry what other people think.  When you take these measures, you are true to yourself and the results of your effort will shine.

Housekeeping / Notes:
Daffodils fade but fortunately for you my blog posts don’t!  Be sure to check the archives / pictorial gallery for your favorite blog post or to catch up on what you missed.  Click to view.

Day 51. I fell off the wagon but the important thing is I got back on my horse…err treadmill


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 51.  Sunday, May 15, 2011

Do the best you can

I woke up distressed.  I only lasted 10 minutes on the treadmill at the gym last night.  Will I be able to redeem myself today? 

The trouble is—I am very disciplined and focused.  I’ve been pretty faithful following my regimen at the gym that my trainer has customized for just for me.  The good thing is—I’ve been improving.  The bad thing is—I’ve been improving.  Improvement ironically enough—has stressed me out to the point that I’ve “fallen off the gym wagon.” I have been too stressed to go to the gym. 

The reason?  The program has gotten easier. 

When I started this routine I was on a fabulous program where I walked on the treadmill—at a very steep incline.  It was a vigorous workout without having to run.  But last night—I found walking just didn’t cut it.  In fact, I had to run really fast to reach the required heart rate.  Grumble.  The cost of progress is a new challenge.  I don’t like change.  I hate change. 

This afternoon I looked at the clock with dread as I thought about going to the gym.  I remembered Dale Carnegie’s principle from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living and suddenly felt more at ease:  Do the best you can.

Remember, just as stress can be self-imposed—you also have the power to relieve stress.  Remind yourself of what’s important.  Remind yourself that if you do the best you can—that really is all you can ask or expect of yourself.  Besides this—the cost of worrying is your happiness.  That is much too expensive a price to pay. 

Housekeeping / Notes
If you missed the announcement—take a moment to check out the new page:  Attn. Non-readers!  It’s a fun section that shows a pictorial view of all the blog posts to date.