Day 104. Tiny geckos are not going to steal my peace.

I'm going to count my blessings this fellow doesn't live anywhere near my home.

365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 104.  Friday, July 8, 2011
Last night I was sitting quietly, working on my blog when I noticed two geckos in my living room.  They were in locations I could not reach.  I decided to do something that goes against my nature when it comes to critters in my home.  I accepted the inevitable.  I left them alone.  I knew I couldn’t get them without an hour long battle that might involve me moving all the furniture from the room and me getting up on a ladder with a broom in my hand.  Besides I had my blog to post. 

I suspect my technique of using mothballs in the garage is working too well.  The geckos are now taking shelter indoors.   

By the time I finished the blog I had encountered a total of 5 geckos in my home.  After “capturing” 4 out of the 5 creepy, nocturnal monsters I decided it was time to take even stronger action than mothballs.    

This morning I hired an exterminator to come “deal with the situation” on Tuesday. 

Until then I will do my best to apply Dale Carnegie’s principles from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Live in day-tight compartments
Pray (that I don’t end up on the TV program “Infestation”)
Keep busy.

This post is a little unconventional since the story isn’t over and Tuesday feels like decades from now.  I do believe that if I follow at least one of the principles I’ve listed I will enjoy the weekend and not spend all my time worrying about all the “what ifs” associated with the monsters that are invading my home.  What I can say is that I haven’t spotted a single gecko tonight.  So I’m going to count my blessings now!

My lesson to you with this story is to prove that there is a Dale Carnegie principle for just about every occasion!  I worry about everything—nothing is too large or in this case—too small.  But I am also aware that I cannot let my imagination get the best of me.  I must be proactive when faced with a potential 3-day WorryFest.  When you are aware of your inclination to worry you can apply Dale Carnegie’s principles and save yourself a lot of grief and wasted time.

Day 101. I decided to grab the bull by the horns—I accepted responsibility and I lived in a day-tight compartment

365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 101.  Tuesday, July 5, 2011
It was midnight and I was on a stairmaster at the gym.  I was wrapping up a workout while reflecting on how great Monday was.

That’s when it hit me.  I forgot to launch a marketing campaign on Monday!  It’s officially 12:01—Tuesday morning.  ARGH. I press the emergency stop button on the stairmaster and almost didn’t clean up the equipment…

I raced out of the gym and hurried home.  I decided to fall on my sword immediately and let the appropriate parties know I messed up. 

By the time I launched the campaign it was 12:35 am.  Technically— I was 35 minutes late— which isn’t too heinous. Besides Monday was the 4th of July. Most people are far away from being reached by my marketing campaigns.

I tried to console myself with reason but I was so disappointed with myself.  In the history of these campaigns I’ve never forgotten to launch one. 

I knew in my heart that it wasn’t life and death.  It would be ok.  The campaign wasn’t date sensitive.  I didn’t cause physical or mental harm to anyone.  This is a marketing campaign. 

I went to bed calm and without worry.

When I woke up I immediately thought of the marketing campaign.  I did my best to accept whatever consequences that would come my way.  I reminded myself that the affected individuals are reasonable human beings—and again, the delay of the campaign by one day might actually help in the long run. 

I got to work and no one complained. In fact, my associate said it was no big deal.  It was a non-issue.

The Dale Carnegie principles I used in this scenario are from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Cooperate with the inevitable.
Live in “day-tight compartments.”
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. 

How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 12.  If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically. 

By day 101 of this blog, I am starting to catch on to the reality that it’s not worth worrying about circumstances I cannot change.  When I realized I messed up I decided to grab the bull by the horns—I accepted responsibility.  I also considered the matter—and was able to look at the big picture—this matter was a bigger problem in my mind than in reality.  Given this conclusion I decided to live in a day-tight compartment and do my best not to give this matter any more worry.  I saved myself a lot of grief!

This is why living in day-tight compartment is worth it. You don’t waste valuable time worrying about trivial matters.  You can focus on moving forward and growing as a person rather than stunting your growth by fixating on a mistake.

Day 95. My approach to dealing with a broken iPhone required using Dale Carnegie principles

365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 95.  Wednesday, June 29, 2011
I was placing my iPhone in my purse this morning when it slipped and fell on my tile floor.  I quickly picked up my phone talking gently to it…. “you’re ok phone. You’re going to be alright…”

I looked at it and it seemed fine.  The screen wasn’t cracked.  I was able to turn it on, check my email, etc.  I drove into work happily.

As I pulled into the parking lot at work I noticed my phone indicated “No Service.”

I considered what I believed the logical explanations for this problem:
Did I forget to pay the bill?  No.  Besides… it’s 9:40am—I’m doubtful the phone company pulls the plug at such a random time. 

Then I considered the possibility of sunspots affecting the satellites.  (Yes, I’m that crazy)

Well, the sunspot theory went out the window once I heard the beeps and dings coming from everyone’s iPhones at work.  I looked down at my phone eagerly waiting for a sign of life—and all I got was dead silence.

This is the time to dust off Dale Carnegie’s “live in day-tight compartments” principle.  Taking this approach is the complete opposite of my personality but I did my best to apply it anyway.

I even decided to accept the inevitable.  What’s the worst that can happen?  My phone is broken and I have to get a new phone.  I’ve been wanting an excuse to upgrade phones anyway…

Then there’s the small issue of my 2000+ photos that I have on my phone.  I haven’t backed up recently.  This was a big test of my ability to live in a day-tight compartment.  I reminded myself that the resolution quality of the photos isn’t as good as the photos I take with my regular digital camera.  So what’s the big deal?

Well, soon enough I got distracted with the pleasures of work—of all things!  My associate wanted some advice on choosing colors for an upcoming project she was making.  She even invited me to make a project.  So I did.  I became so enthralled and focused on my work that I didn’t spend a moment thinking about my iPhone and my lost photos. 

By evening I had put in a full day of work and was still enthralled with my task of making a project that I chose to stay late.  (as opposed to getting on the tollway and racing home to try and fix my iPhone).  I ended up making TWO projects instead of one—which was quite satisfying. 

When I finally did leave the office—I had my iPhone next to me.  That’s when my day was taking a downturn. I would glance down and see its blackened screen.  Traffic became stressful.  It was also terribly hot—it was a warm 97 degrees at 9:30pm.    I was hungry.  I was tired.  I was upset because my iPhone would not wake up.

That’s when I appreciated the value of keeping busy to avoid worrying.  I had been so busy at work today that I didn’t have time to worry about my phone.  But the moment my mind was left free to wander my thoughts quickly turned to my broken phone and every other conceivable annoyance.

The Dale Carnegie principles I was being thrust into today are from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Live in “day-tight compartments”
Keep busy.

This was one of my last photos taken on my iPhone since the last backup. Got to love irony!

Today was not an easy day.  But I found that by keeping busy I was able to distract myself from my troubles and worries.  When you find yourself burdened by worry, fear or doubt—it helps to stay busy.  Put your worries in a “box” so to speak and engage in some activity.  In my case I had two projects that kept me busy.  When you take this approach you are able to use your time in a productive, healthy manner and you might gain some perspective in the process. You might even be able to find some humor in the day.

Housekeeping / Notes:
Today is your lucky day!  Guest blogger, “Tyrone” shares a story about his recent trip to the library and how he applied Dale Carnegie’s principles.  Click here to read his post.

Day 90. This story almost had an unhappy ending until I figured out how to make lemonade from lemons…

365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 90.  Friday, June 24, 2011

I had a story about letting someone save face on Thursday—but decided to post a different blog topic.  In retrospect the “saving face” story was meant to be told today….

I was talking to an associate on Thursday.  His face looked green—he seemed absolutely sick.  It turns out he made an expensive, careless mistake. 

Before taking the Dale Carnegie course I would have let the person save face.  But in my mind I would have been thinking… you careless fool!  Hope you learned your lesson.

Fortunately, I have taken the Dale Carnegie course and I handled the circumstance differently.  I let my associate save face—and I didn’t think anything ill of him.  I empathized with him and tried to come up with solutions to this expensive blunder. 

Friday was going really well—by the afternoon I had finished my primary task for the day and I was really proud of the results. I was confident—perhaps a little bold in thinking I had done a profoundly good job.  What a great day… I might have to revisit Mcdonald’s for a strawberry lemonade to celebrate.  (You might remember last Friday was horrible)

By the end of the day I had a list of blog topics that I felt were pretty stellar—and they were all very positive.  I didn’t have to make lemonade from lemons today!

Before I went home I analyzed some reports and realized one of my marketing campaigns did not do well.  Let’s be honest—by my calculations the campaign bombed.  It crashed.  It burned. 

I felt dejected as I drove home.  I worked hard on the campaign.  This was my baby.  My heart was in this campaign. 

Since it was my campaign—I felt completely responsible.  I felt sick the entire drive home.

 I tried to remember 99 percent of this day was great—but that darn 1 percent.  It made the entire day sour.  And now I’m facing the weekend.  I know I will chew on this failure the entire weekend. 

I knew I had to take quick action against my thought process.  I tried.  But I just wanted to crawl in a hole and hide for an extended period of time—perhaps a week…maybe a month…

I decided to review the facts.  Did I do my best?  Yes.  And I wasn’t trying to fool myself.  I really did. My team and I put extra effort into this campaign.  I went through each of the features we added to make this campaign something we were proud of.  I kept telling myself—I did my best.  I did my best.

Then I remembered Thursday’s events.  I did not point out, mock or criticize my associate for his expensive mistake.  Although he admitted he did not do his best—I did not participate in making him feel worse than he already did. 

Somehow I was able to piece together two isolated events to find my peace.

Whereas my associate was honestly able to admit he had not done his best—an honest analysis of my work does indicate my team and I really did do our best on the marketing campaign. 

Fight for your happiness. Work hard to gain a new perspective.

I smiled as I drove in to McDonald’s for dinner.  After all, today just wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t have my hard earned strawberry lemonade.

The Dale Carnegie principles I used are from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
Live in “day-tight compartments.”
Decide just how much anxiety a thing may be worth and refuse to give it more.
Analyze your own mistakes and criticize yourself.
Do the very best you can.

I knew the potential disaster of me bearing the burden of a failure for the entire weekend.  I knew this was an occasion that I would have to fight for my happiness and not let circumstances beyond my control drag me down.  In the big picture—yes, it’s a shame the campaign did not do stellar.  But it doesn’t mean I have to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders or spend an entire evening or weekend dwelling on the matter.  If we slapped this project together without any thought, care or effort—then yes I would have reason to be disappointed in myself—but even then it’s not worth an entire weekend of feeling regret or dejection.

So, my lesson to you—always do your best.  It is true your best might not produce the results you had expected.  But I assure you that doing your best and falling short of success is easier to deal with than doing a mediocre job and living with the regret that you were too disinterested, distracted, lazy, etc to put effort into a task that you can be proud of.

Day 72. Frosties ignited a frosty reaction so I made lemonade….

365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 72.  Sunday, June 5, 2011
I decided to do something unusual—I went to Wendy’s for dinner. 

There was a family sitting in the corner—they were the only customers.  They weren’t saying much.  Then the mother started to speak.  She explained that they may have to move.  That she’s worried about money… and this and that.  The two teenage boys sat quietly along with the gentleman that was with them.  She talked about maybe having to ride a bike to work because of the expenses. 

I sat quietly eating my hamburger and fries.  I said a prayer for them.  I really wanted a frosty.  And I thought—well, I wonder if I could swing buying these four strangers a frosty too?  It’s not that I was doing it because they were poor.  I just wanted to bring them a smile.

So I did.  They were getting up to leave and I said, I’d like you to have these frosties. 

The mother looked at me and said no.  They just had dessert. 

I’m not entirely sure they had dessert. 

I walked away dejected with four frosties. 

Perhaps it was my approach.  Perhaps it was the woman’s pride.  I will never know—and it really doesn’t matter. 

The Dale Carnegie principle I am currently using as I type this story is from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Live in “day-tight compartments”.

While it is true that the execution of this scenario didn’t happen as I had hoped.  My heart was in a good place.  And if nothing else—the attempt at being kind to perfect strangers may still have had the effect I had hoped for.  I can’t and won’t spend my time worrying about it.  I’m pretty certain, my prayers for these perfect strangers before my frosty mishap will be beneficial. 

Remember, not everyone is receptive to your positive actions towards them—but don’t let them hamper your resolve. Continue to smile.  Continue to do your best.  Continue to live in day-tight compartments.  Make lemonade from frosties.  Make lemonade from each and every disappointment. 

Housekeeping / Notes:
Mark your calendar!  Wednesday’s blog will feature a guest blogger!  Yay!
The Day Old Bread and Doggie Bag Series has been updated.  My flight to California was cancelled.  What a great opportunity to employ the Dale Carnegie principles.

Day 54. If Dale Carnegie was watching “The Smiling Daffodil” tv program from heaven… odds are he’d be smiling.

365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 54.  Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I was working at my desk when suddenly I was startled. 

“Wait a minute,” I thought to myself while smiling mischievously.  “I’ve been living in a “day-tight compartment” and didn’t even realize it?

Let me explain.

Silly little monkey before taking the Dale Carnegie course


Before the Dale Carnegie course, I would carry the weight of the world on my shoulders.  I volunteered to be the sacrificial lamb.  I felt obligated to take this role.  To sacrifice.  To do without.  To exhaust myself.  I took on way more than I was technically required to for my organization each and every day.  I got nothing in return but weariness, grumpiness and whatever other colorful adjective you care to add.

After taking the Dale Carnegie course, I live in “day-tight compartments”. 

Today I was in a meeting where some discoveries were made that certain tasks weren’t complete.  I didn’t do them because I didn’t know I was expected to.  No one asked me to.  No one told me to.  It genuinely NEVER occurred to me that I was to do them.  They were tasks that were far removed from me. 

Understand there is a distinction between being complacent, lazy, silent or an irresponsible employee and living in day-tight compartments.  To not speak up about a concern is irresponsible—it cannot be considered living in a day-tight compartment.  The circumstance today was something different. 

Before the Dale Carnegie course I behaved as if I was the owner—worrying about everything, working weekends, working late nights….working, working, working, worrying, worrying, worrying.  If there were any tasks that weren’t assigned to me that were just collecting dust—I would take them on without being asked. 

But I realized I don’t have to take that approach.  It is not my obligation or responsibility to live, breath and exist for the sole benefit of an organization’s success—at the cost of my happiness, my peace, my life, my being.

Still a strong force in nature but perhaps a litte more tame.


So the mischievous smile was my amusement of realizing my success with the concept of ‘stop worrying and start living’.  Work is a necessity.  I do it with enthusiasm.  I put my heart into it.  I do my best.  But I leave the responsibility of running a business, of management, of personnel issues, of blah, blah, blah, to their respective owners. 

People, challenges, chaos and countless good and bad circumstances in a day become an opportunity for me to apply a Dale Carnegie principle.   I look for opportunities to learn and to share what I have learned. 

I let trifles crumble into oblivion without taking a toll on me.  I sleep well.  I go to the gym for fun.  I drink Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccinos because I love them—not because I need them to temper my mood.  I create happiness for others.  I have ridiculous fun with my blog. 

I have discovered happiness, peace, life, my being. 

While I wasn’t as specific as I would have liked to be in this blog—I hope that the message is still clear.  Living in day-tight compartments leads to a much happier path for your life.  You don’t have to get irritated, frustrated, concerned about all the situations—large and small that come your way—especially when it is not your responsibility to solve all of humanity’s problems or worry about trifles.  It doesn’t mean you don’t care about humanity, the world or the organization—it just means you recognize the value of protecting your own health, happiness and peace.


  • Don’t forget to rate the posts and feel free to post a comment!
  • Share the love by passing along the link to this blog to a friend, coworker or some nagging individual who needs some Dale Carnegie in their lives. 
  • Guest bloggers are welcome!  My instructor, Frank Starkey who is now a legend in my heart—said that if we lived it we have a right to tell the story.  So if you have an experience, feel free to share.  Click here for more info.   

Day 39. Wait a minute… wasn’t Monday Nag-Day? See how living in day-tight compartments really does work

365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 39.  May 3, 2011
As I wrote in the  May 2nd blog post—my workday was full of irritating emails and silly people.  (See also the New Monday: Nag-Day) After work I went to the gym and did my usual workout routine.  I saw my buddy Esteban-the-Gym-Rat who is always a great storyteller weaving humor or lessons into his many tales. 

When I returned home from the gym I was tired but not exhausted and my mood was pleasant.  As I prepared for bed I prayed, “thank you for a great day God.”

Then I paused and chuckled… “wait a minute God.  I forgot I had a rough day—it was full of nagging people and email requests.” 

Somehow I managed to live in day-tight compartments and was able to sincerely thank God for a great day.  I was not the least bit worried about the mountain of work I had to get done or the additional nagging emails waiting for me on Tuesday.

The Dale Carnegie principle I lived in this story is from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Live in “day-tight” compartments.

I know firsthand it’s a challenge not to let foolish people and frustrating circumstances get the best of you by invading your thoughts and energy long after the day is done.  But when you live in “day-tight” compartments—you will be able to put those irritations aside and enjoy the present moment.  I found happiness by exercising at the gym and talking to a friend.  By the time my day was done—all I had to dwell upon were the good moments in the day. The irritations seemed trivial and far, far away. 

Put irritations in a box on a shelf in your mind. (Or as this photo shows, an empty freezer)

Remember, put the frustrations of the day in a box on a shelf in your mind.  Find pleasure in the present moment.  When you do this you will end your day on a positive note.

Mark your calendars!  Wednesday is the debut of the first guest blogger! 
Read about how you can become an official guest blogger.