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 86. In retrospect, my gift was more like a macaroni art project….


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 86.  Sunday, June 19, 2011
I was up late on Saturday.  I was frantic because I wasn’t certain I had a sewing needle in the house.  I can’t give an unfinished pillow as a gift with the stuffing falling out….

I painstakingly stitched the pillow closed—hoping no one would notice the imperfections with the crooked stitches.  I wrapped the finished pillow in tissue paper and was actually glad I took the time to make a gift instead of buy a gift card.

The colors for the pillow were chosen for a reason.  They had an Asian flair to them. 

I pride myself in my marketing skills.  But I failed at this task completely.  I presented the gift to the recipient and I think he was either embarrassed, puzzled or didn’t like it.  He thanked me.  I replied, “I made it.”  “Yes, I can see that.”

Some see food, others see art project. It's all about perspective....

In retrospect I should have thought about what is important to this person.  His likes, his preferences, his interests—instead of thinking he’d like a homemade pillow.  I felt dejected—thinking my pillow was the equivalent of a child’s macaroni art project. 

I was at a very important crossroad in my mind.  I decided to take a very sharp turn and create happiness for others instead of dwelling on everything that went wrong with this day. 

I remembered Walter—he’s divorced, his kids are grown and odds are he’s alone today.  I sent him a text message wishing him a Happy Father’s Day.  To my surprise, he immediately texted me back thanking me.

This was balm for my wounds.  So I sent another text—this time to Alejandro.  Alejandro has a stepson.  Every year that he’s been married I have wished him a Happy Father’s Day.  I am the only one in his life that wishes him a Happy Father’s Day.  He too responded back immediately—thanking me and pointing out yet again that I never fail at remembering year after year.

Last, I sent a text to another friend—Mustafa.  He’s divorced and has a little girl.  I’m always touched by his Facebook wall posts about his weekends with his daughter.  You can really see that he loves his daughter.  He also responded immediately.

For my final mental trick—I was leaving my home when I noticed my neighbors were packing their suburban.  The last time I saw my neighbor she was pregnant.  (You might remember the “Ode to the Rotting Fish story”)   Well, she has since had her baby—and I could see the baby seat in the car.  I rolled down my window and smiled.  Then I got out of my car and excitedly went to see the new baby.  I wished her husband a Happy Father’s Day. 

I’d like to say this day was a piece of cake.  I’d like to say that it’s easy to implement the Dale Carnegie principles every single day.  Some days are a real challenge.  However, through the entire process I was aware I had the tools I needed to get through the day.  I also have black and white proof—85 days to be exact—of implementing the principles. 

It is true I should have been more aware of the person’s interests when choosing a gift—and perhaps I could have marketed the homemade pillow better—pointing out the features and why it should be of interest or value. 

 On the bright side—as the day unfolded not as I planned—I knew I had potential for a good blog.  It was just up to me to figure out how to make lemonade from this day.  I knew I had to choose to make lemonade otherwise I’d have an unhappy day.

The Dale Carnegie principles I used today are from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Create happiness for others.
Profit from your losses.
Keep busy.

From How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 17.  Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.

I hope you find value to this story for the right reasons.  My main objective in sharing it is not for sympathy.  Understand that people are who they are—and they don’t always realize the effects of their actions.  I’m among those people more often than not.  Knowing what disappointment feels like—I realize the need to be more appreciative of others for what they do for me.  Remember this the next time you are met with disappointment and learn to change your own behavior before pointing the blame at everyone else. The only person you can change is yourself and how you deal with situations. 

Incidentally, I made two more heart pillows today for no other reason than to keep my mind busy for my own sake.  And let me tell you…. they are stunning.  I might have to go into the pillow business if my lemonade stand doesn’t last. 

Housekeeping / Notes

  • Coming soon!  Two guest blog posts!  Two of my favorite gentlemen have stepped up to the challenge.  More information coming soon.
  • Don’t forget—mi casa es su casa (my home is your home).  There is always room for a guest blogger at the Smiling Daffodil’s blog home.  All are welcome.  You don’t even need skills at writing.  Click for more information.
  • It was a busy weekend.  In case you missed a post, click on the Pictorial/Archive section. Thank you for reading my blog.