Day 113. Maximus my laptop is sick– what a great opportunity to use a Dale Carnegie principle


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 113.  Sunday, July 17, 2011
I made a fatal mistake on Saturday night.  I carelessly clicked on a link.  I welcomed a virus onto my laptop “Max.”  My heart sank.  I turned off the computer immediately hoping to avoid serious infection.

All the conversation around me turned into noise—like the sound of the school teacher in the Peanuts cartoon.

I had one concern and nothing else mattered—fixing my infected laptop Max. 

I was at my parents’ home at the time.  I was ready to go home.  I passed on most of the offers for leftover food.  (which really indicates my mind was preoccupied!)

I drove home stressed.  How will I post my blog?  I remembered I have my old laptop that still works.  What about photos?  I remembered I have an external hard drive with most of my photos.  Besides—I can always take photos with my camera and load them onto my old laptop.  I was actually able to breath a sigh of relief. 

I got home and ran the virus protection software.  Then I did something out of character.  I decided to accept the inevitable.  I’m not the most qualified to fix my computer.  I won’t see my techie friend who usually fixes my laptops until Monday.  I put the problem in a “day-tight” compartment and went to the gym. 

Try as I might to manipulate the inner workings of this watch-- I cannot speed up time

I didn’t spend my time at the gym chewing on my fears of an infected or dying laptop.  I didn’t think about the laptop at all.  Monday didn’t seem like decades away either.  It’s the day after Sunday and it’s around the corner.  Besides—this isn’t like the time I forgot my laptop in Michigan and was without my laptop for an entire week.  There’s nothing I can do about the laptop until then. 

I returned from the gym, wrote my blog on my other laptop—and life is good.

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

In all honesty—I have no idea how I’m not worried about my laptop Max.  All I can conclude is practicing the Dale Carnegie principles on a consistent basis actually does work—even with the most stubborn individuals like the Smiling Daffodil.  One of the unexpected advantages of a “sick” laptop—I was unplugged for the day and focused on a much needed afternoon nap! 

The lesson to learn from this story:  look at your worries objectively.  Don’t let the chaos of your fears and emotions take control.  Find a solution and accept that the solution might not happen until “Monday”.  In the meantime don’t deny yourself peace of mind.  When you do this—you won’t waste valuable energy on things you cannot control.  You will be happier, healthier and you might find an opportunity to do something relaxing like take an afternoon nap. 

Housekeeping / Notes:
Thank you for reading my blog.  Be looking for incremental improvements during the coming weeks. 

Day 96. Is your day on the fast track to crummy? Try this approach….


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 96.  Thursday, June 30, 2011

My dear phone, don't go towards the light. Come back...

I woke up to the unexpected sound of the alarm clock on my iPhone.  I thought my iPhone was broken.  I quickly examined the phone.  Nope.  It’s still broken by my estimation. 

I did my best not to worry about the phone.  Besides… I have better things to panic about….

I had a photo shoot today across town—and as usual I was running late.  For the first time in my career I actually designed two garments for this photo shoot.  We have the perfect model to wear my creations.  She arrives at the studio in a half hour.  And to make matters worse, the garments are wrinkled and they are with me instead of at the studio. 

Traffic was a mess.  The exit I needed was closed so I had to take a detour on the highway.  I kept telling myself—“live in day-tight compartments.  If I’m late—I’m late.  It really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.” 

I decided if I arrive too late the garments can be photographed at the next photo shoot.  No one is expecting these two garments anyway. 

I then calmed myself down by belting out my favorite song on my iPod.  I’m not a good singer but like everything I approach it with enthusiasm.  Suddenly traffic didn’t seem so bad.  And I was making ridiculously good time considering my destination was 40 miles away. 

“Please God, get me there soon”, I prayed.  “Please get me there by 9:15.”

Despite two detours I arrived at precisely 9:15 am.  I was 15 minutes late.  But I was pleased that I made my goal.  “Thank you God.  15 minutes is late but not horribly late.”

I walked into the studio with my two garments.  I prepared for the worst in terms of my peers’ reactions to the garments. I honestly had no idea if the garments were attractive. I made them—so I wasn’t a good judge.  I reminded myself that I did my best—but I might be better off at designing pillows.

I was greeted by everyone at the studio.  It turns out they were just getting started.  I wasn’t late.

I started apologizing for my feeble attempt at designing garments and suggested we not photograph them.  Their reaction was nothing but praise and encouragement.  They actually liked the garments. 

I quickly steamed the garments and our model tried them on.  I was stunned.  I made that?  And it actually looks decent?

I was talking to my associate between set changes—explaining to him that my iPhone was either dead or in limbo.  He asked me to show him the phone.

I pulled it out of my purse. 

“Turn it on”, he said.

I replied, “ok, but you’ll see that the Apple logo just stays on—it won’t get past that point.  And if it does it will advise I run the recovery mode.  I don’t want to lose all my photos….”

Some people post their children, their pets, scenic vacation destinations. I post my feet as wallpaper on my iPhone.

As I’m explaining all of this I glanced down and saw the prompt to enter my passcode.  I noticed my favorite screensaver was also displayed.

I nearly hugged my associate.  “It’s alive!”

Not only did I arrive at the studio before the photo shoot started, my garments were not only appreciated—they looked good on the model—and my iPhone “Lazarus” had come back from the dead.  Can life get any better?

The Dale Carnegie principles I used are from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Cooperate with the inevitable. 
Count your blessings—not your troubles.
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.

I absolutely prepared for the worst today.  I knew it would be impossible for me to arrive on time to the studio.  I was also aware that my phone may very well be dead.  And I was bracing myself to have my two garments criticized by my peers.  Once I prepared for the worst—it was easy to move forward.  Imagine my excitement when the worst did not happen. 

Today was a GREAT day and I suspect it had everything to do with my outlook.  There was a ridiculous amount of work today and plenty of silly emails to review and countless details I did not consider important enough to share in this blog because none of these details affected me.  My day was GREAT no matter what. 

My lesson to you—sometimes there are unavoidable circumstances—like traffic jams, being late, etc.  It’s at this point you should take a deep breath and just accept the inevitable.  You can’t pull out a magic wand and zap the problem away.  And worrying and stressing over the problem won’t solve it.  Instead find ways to minimize the problem—and look for the positive.

In my case I celebrated being only 15 minutes late. There was a time not long ago I’d be irritated for being late at all.   Once a few positive things started happening to me today you’d think I won the lottory.  After that—the rest of the day was a breeze to deal with. 

When you take this approach—you’ll be able to reflect on the day’s events and how you handled them with a sense of accomplishment.  Control your outlook and you’re more likely to end the day on a positive note. 

Housekeeping /Notes:
You’re invited to read this week’s guest blog post by Tyrone.  He turned an ordinary visit to the library into an opportunity to use the Dale Carnegie principles.  Click here to read.