Day 98. As long as I bring a smile I bet I can get away dressing like this everywhere


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 98.  Saturday, July 2, 2011
I got dressed this morning—with one objective—to survive the 100+ degree weather.  I found a pair of shorts, t-shirt and my favorite pair of brown sneakers.  I like the sneakers because they are comfy, they are brown and they are the closest thing to “cool” I can get.  But I admit—with shorts—I look a bit like a 12 year old especially with the sneakers. I considered swapping out shoes—my running shoes—but they are strictly for the gym. 

“I am who I am” I think to myself as I look at myself in the full length mirror. 

I look a bit sloppy—considering I’m an adult.  But I’m only going to the movies.

I drove to the movies.  I ordered a small bag of popcorn (this is the main reason I like the movies).  I smiled and thanked the cashier.  He returned with a genuine smile.  He did not have the glazed over, I-have-to-be-courteous-even-though-I-don’t-want-to-be look.  His behavior was sincere.

I handed my movie ticket to the attendant and smiled and chatted with him.  He too returned with a genuine smile. 

As I walked down the hall toward where the movie was being shown—I couldn’t help but smile.  I proved my sloppy attire had nothing to do with how I would be treated.  I was friendly, made eye contact and smiled at the people I encountered.  Nothing else mattered.  Not even my t-shirt, shorts and brown sneakers. 

The Dale Carnegie principles I used are from How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 5.  Smile.

My lesson to you—try smiling and making eye contact with the people you encounter in your day to day life.  You will be amazed by the reactions you receive and life will be more interesting.

Housekeeping / Notes:
Catch up on previous blog posts by clicking here.
Learn how you can become a guest blogger by clicking here.
Read the most recent guest blog post by Tyrone by clicking here.

Day 91. He did not judge a book by its cover… and it paid off.


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 91.  Saturday, June 25, 2011
What am I going to wear today?  I was frantically searching for something “professional” looking to wear.  I can’t wear jeans or shorts—I have to dress the part—I have to look like the title I have at work.

I had to be at a convention about 50 miles away.  The ever important question of why I volunteered to attend this event was lingering in the back of my mind.  The best I could come up with—I care too much.

I drove as fast as I could within the speed limit (give or take).  I was running terribly late.  I was worried the event would be closed by the time I arrived.

I pulled into the parking lot at the convention center at 3:15 and noticed a sign that said parking was 15 dollars.  What?  Are you out of your mind?  I rolled down my window ready to argue but the attendant said I arrived so late that parking was free.  Nice!

I raced into the convention center and noticed the ticket counter was closed.  I turned and looked at the two “guards” at the Expo door and I smiled.  They said I arrived so late that I could get in free.  Nice!

I passed all the booths in the Expo hall and made my way to the one booth I drove 50 miles to visit.  By this time I was out of breath and “glistening” (it was 100 degrees today) and I’m certain I hardly looked like the professional individual that my title implies I’m supposed to be.  What I did have going for me was a sincere smile. 

I smiled at Enrique.  Enrique was so relieved to see me.  He had been anxious and worried I would not arrive.  (I was there to pick up one of his products). 

We hugged and chatted for awhile.  Actually—we chatted until the event closed.  Enrique has a good reputation and some great products that I am enamored with.  His face lights up—and he’s incredulous that I have such high regard for his products.  I like to point out the specific reasons why I like his products—they are superior quality, they are unique, etc.  I’m always stunned by his reaction that my opinion means that much to him.  

As we wrapped up I told him I’d be interested in featuring at least two of his new products to our customers and I told him I’d be in touch in the coming weeks.  He loaded me down with free product samples and thanked me for stopping by. 

A blank journal I picked up in Spain and a Dale Carnegie book I won...

One of the aspects I like about my job is the opportunity to make someone’s day.  If you were to look at me and then look at my title you’d quickly recognize the mismatch. For those that can get past this—there is great opportunity. 

Enrique is one of these individuals. 

The Dale Carnegie principle I used today is from How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 2.  Give honest, sincere appreciation.
Principle 5.  Smile.

Enrique produces great products and appreciates the support I give him through my company.  I appreciate the fact that he recognizes and values what we do for him by giving us superior products that our customers love.  He does not give us mediocre products. He gives us his best so that we can give our customers our best. 

Everyone wins.

I hope you gather the following lesson from this story:  if you value, like or appreciate a person or something that a person has done for you—don’t be afraid to tell him or her.

Enrique’s surprised reaction made me realize that he probably doesn’t receive praise or recognition for his work enough from other individuals.  When I left him in his booth—he was walking on air—he was so happy with my words of praise and encouragement. 

When you take this approach you will build loyal, appreciative and understanding business partners and friends who will stick with you through the good, the bad and even those days where the temperature is 100 degrees and you look like the sun melted you.  

And if you ever show up late to an event, an appointment or work… try smiling!

Day 78. Baby bibs brought me a smile!


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 78.  Saturday, June 11, 2011
A month ago I purchased a set of baby bibs I had planned to embroider and give to my friend Marcella who recently had a baby. 

I only got around to embroidering one.  Various other interests happened plus I got busy with work and the six bibs have been untouched on my desk. 

Today I was thumbing through some photos from my recent trip visiting Marcella.  I came upon a photo of the bib that I gave her.  I remembered her reaction when she received it.  She loved it. 

I decided to hit the sewing room and finish the project I started. But I wasn’t feeling very creative as I was designing the bibs.  The task felt more like an obligation than something fun.  The first couple of bibs turned out “ok”.  But as I got more involved in the task I felt more confident and more creative. 

Put enthusiasm into your work!

I started experimenting with interesting fonts, embroidery designs, fabrics and thread colors.  Before I knew it—the bibs were finished—and they look great. 

The Dale Carnegie principle I used is from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Put enthusiasm into your work.

Remember to approach a task with enthusiasm.  You will find that taking a positive approach to your work will yield better results.

Housekeeping / Notes
Be sure to check out bonus material in the Day Old Bread and Doggie Bag series!  My name is Daffodil…Smiling Daffodil.  

Day 76. How to transform a day from crummy to yummy.


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

 Day 76.  Thursday, June 9, 2011
As I finished placing my order for a #1 combo meal at Chick-fil-A, Karen the cashier, asked me for my name.  I told her “Smiling Daffodil”. 

While she was filling my cup with sweet tea, I told her that this Chick-fil-A restaurant is the only one I have encountered that asks for customers’ names.

She replied, “thank you for the feedback—we continue to do it—hoping we don’t frustrate customers as we try to learn their names.  I think it’s nice to take the time to learn names.”

I replied, “It’s such a nice touch.  It makes the transaction human.”

Karen smiled at me. 

As she handed me my meal, she said, “here’s your meal “Smiling Daffodil.”

I replied, “Thank you Karen!”

What other fast food restaurant takes the time to learn your name?

Karen gave me a big smile.

The Dale Carnegie principle I used is from How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 6.  Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. 

From How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Create happiness for others.

Most of my day was stressful.  I went to Chick-fil-A for dinner hoping I could create happiness for someone else. 

As the story shows—I had a simple, quick conversation with Karen but it brought a smile to our faces because it was sincere. 

My lesson to you—don’t go through life oblivious of other people.  Take the time to learn people’s names and make them feel important.  Do what you can to create happiness for others.  When you get into this habit you will enjoy a richer life and these small moments have a way of transforming your outlook on an entire day. 

Housekeeping / Notes
Don’t forget to read this week’s guest blog post:  Guest Blogger Elijah found an opportunity to use a Dale Carnegie principle while at a stop sign.

Step up to the plate!  All are invited to become an official guest blogger.  The first Dale Carnegie principle in How to Win Friends and Influence People  is “don’t criticize, condemn or complain”.  This means this is a very friendly, safe, non-critical blog where even non-writers are welcome!  No criticism is allowed by design!

Catch up on blogs you’ve missed.  All blogs are available on a fun pictorial page.

Day 62. I found an out of the box way to make someone smile and you can too!


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 62.  Thursday, May 26, 2011
Today a friend was having a stressful day.  I wasn’t sure how to help her.  She always helps me out when I have a bad day.  I need to do the same for her.

I decided to do my best to make her smile.  Hmm… what can I do to make her smile?  What can I say?  I wasn’t really sure.

That’s when I remembered my unusual hat that I happen to keep at the office.  It was the right color to match the shirt I was wearing.  Although I did just get a haircut that I wanted to show off—this hat is sure to bring a smile to my friend’s face.

I put it on in a very nonchalant way and just sat quietly working at my desk.  I knew my stressed friend was busy but I came up with a false pretense to visit her in her office.  She took one look at me and grinned.  I smiled back innocently….

You see, I was wearing mushrooms on my head. 

Mushroom Head!

 

I picked up this ‘special’ hat made of mushrooms in Budapest a few years ago.  It was so unusual I just had to have it.  Who knew it would come in handy to make someone smile? 

The Dale Carnegie principles I used in this story are from How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 5.  Smile. 

From How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Create happiness for others.

My friend has been a reliable source for advice, a ready and sympathetic ear, a figurative punching bag, and countless other traits you could ever want in a friend.  While my help pales in comparison to what she has done for me—I want to do my best to help her when she is stressed.  I chose to help her in a very simple way—by making her smile. 

Remember, sometimes the smallest of actions can bring a smile to a person’s face—and this may be all that a person needs to refocus his/her attention and to lighten his/her burdens even for just a moment.  When you take the time to create happiness for others—you benefit by being able to enjoy the smile you helped create.

Day 49. A head-on approach to dealing with stress using Dale Carnegie’s principles


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 49.  Friday, May 13, 2011
The moment I walked into the office it felt like a Monday.  I double checked the calendar… nope.  Today is Friday. 

A grenade was thrown at me first thing in the morning via email.  I was asked to change the scheduled marketing campaign that was launching TODAY to something else.  No problem,” I calmly responded.  “I have a backup campaign.”

Whew!  Look at me adjusting to change!  Before that Dale Carnegie course—I would have exploded.  Look at me now!

But then I realized changing the marketing campaign today would set off a chain reaction that meant a considerable amount of additional work.  I decided to hunker down at my desk and live in “day-tight compartments”.  I would tackle one task at a time, doing my best to prioritize.

But then another grenade was thrown at me via email:  “Smiling Daffodil—I haven’t been paid for my services for XYZ.”

And another grenade:  “Smiling Daffodil—have you invoiced for the ABC project?”

By this time, I pulled out my laptop and was playing my favorite song in a continuous loop in an effort to keep my focused and calm.  The entire building probably heard me whistling my heart out. 

I was REALLY trying.  But the grenades kept coming.

A coworker asked, “Would you like to proof this new packaging before we print thousands, Smiling Daffodil?”  “Of course,” I replied.

 Additional grenades:
“Smiling Daffodil, what do you think about this project?  Do you love it?”
“Smiling Daffodil, can you fix this typo on the website?”
“Smiling Daffodil, I need guidance on this project…now.”

I kept reminding myself of Dale Carnegie’s principle – “Live in day-tight compartments”.  I was really trying.  I was staying focused on work. I was not letting the countless, nagging requests get to me.  Everyone wants to be heard and feel important.   They each have their own perspective. 

I pondered what a “day-tight compartment” would look like.  After chewing on it a smile came to my face.  My eyes probably took on a devious, mischievous look. 

I quickly sent a text to my friend Tim to see if he happened to have what I was looking for in his arsenal of props. 

As the day progressed—or should I say worsened—I reached a point where it was either a second Java Chip Frappuccino or a trip to the store for the perfect prop for my blog today.

My eyes raced about as I glanced at all the amazing possibilities at the Military Surplus store.  A sailor hat!  Boots!  Army fatigues!

Then I found the prop I was looking for. It’s the image of me living in a day-tight compartment at my desk.  Do you think anyone would question me showing up to work with this on Monday?

The Dale Carnegie principles I tried very hard to use today are from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
–          Live in “day-tight compartments”
–          Expect ingratitude.
–          Learn to relax at your work.

Ok, ok.  I probably got the wiring crossed in my mind—“day-tight” versus the very literal “air-tight” concept—but it certainly did provide an amusing distraction for me today in the midst of utter chaos.  Besides… what I REALLY wanted was a copper diving helmet. 

The lessons– yes, there are several hidden here…. When you find you are experiencing a chaotic day do your best to live in “day-tight compartments”.  Deal with each task, each ‘crisis’ in the order of importance.  Expect ingratitude—this way you won’t get worked up or irritated when people expect you to quickly accommodate their every whim.  And last—when you can—by all means—find a way to have fun.  You’ll find this will help relieve you of pressure and you’ll be able to pursue your work with a clearer mind.  And if nothing else—you’ll have all your coworkers very confused as you face chaos with humor.

Day 43. Twinkies on an ordinary day are meaningless to me but not on this day


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 43.  Saturday, May 7, 2011
I woke up on Saturday morning to the sound of the hustle and bustle of my best friend’s busy household.  She and her husband have 7 children. 

I decided it was the appropriate time to open my suitcase and surprise the children with the goodies I frantically purchased a few days before the trip.  The children, always curious when Miss Smiling Daffodil opens her suitcase, stood by, watching in anticipation.

I apologized to my friend for bringing junk food in the house.  The children squealed with delight.  “Twinkies!  Don’t show dad the Twinkies otherwise he’ll eat them all!”

At lunchtime the box of Twinkies was brought out.  Fortunately, there were enough Twinkies for everyone.  (A minor detail I forgot when it comes to big families)

The children unwrapped the cellophane and ate their special treat that “Miss Smiling Daffodil brought them all the way fromTexas.”  I sat there eating my Twinkie watching with fascination.  A box of Twinkies on an ordinary day means nothing to me.  But today I watched with pleasure how Twinkies made 7 little children smile.

The Dale Carnegie principle I used is from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
–  Create happiness for others.

Remember, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to create happiness for others.  And when you do create happiness—whether it’s with a box of Twinkies, lending a helping hand or sharing your time—you get far more in return. You get the satisfaction of knowing your efforts brought about a smile.

Day 36: How Dale Carnegie made today’s 5K run more interesting.


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

 Day 36.  April 30, 2011
As I was driving this morning I was listening to the theme song from the “Rocky” movie.  I was feeling confident.  I was wearing my favorite running ensemble—black shorts, black shirt, black hair band.  I not only looked good.  I was ready to rumble.  Not that this was a boxing match. It was a 5K run. 

They sounded the buzzer and we were off and running.  I kept a steady pace—I didn’t want to burn out in the first half of the race.  I turned on my iPod and pretended I was at the gym running on my favorite treadmill.  I pretended so well, I got some runners turning around looking at me and smiling. 

You see—I sing when I run on the treadmill.  I don’t sing because I sing well.  I sing because it gives me something to focus on.  Lyrics in songs fuel my engine for running.  Not slow, sappy songs—we’re not strolling in the park.  I like songs with energy, gusto and passion—and if there’s some angst thrown in—that’s a bonus because that makes me run faster. 

To help me run I planned on focusing on a distinct bad day from last year.  I take particular delight in making lemonade out of rotten days.  But today was different.  I had a smile on my face as I ran and sang.  My fingers danced in the wind.  I pretended I was wearing a Superman cape and I was flying like the wind. 

There were bystanders along the way cheering us on.  They were holding signs and banners—with words of encouragement like “Keep going!”  I smiled and gave everyone a thumbs as I passed by.  Not sure how—but the encouragement of random strangers fueled me to continue. 

I decided I’d be a smiling, running ambassador for Dale Carnegie’s principle number 5 as I passed everyone by. 

The run is basically a circle—you end where you began.  When I was more than halfway through the race I crossed paths with a LONG line of people who were walking the race.  I was heading back as they were still progressing through the race.  I wasn’t sure how it was technically possible that they were that far behind.  I imagined what they were thinking—geesh—there are people that are almost finished? 

I did my best to make eye contact with them as I smiled and gave them a thumbs up.

As I neared the end, there was a couple—an older man and woman who were the very last ones in the race.  They were walking slowly.  The man was a bit overweight. 

I looked at them and said—“You can do it!” as I ran by them. 

I can put food away!

Now, you have to understand that at this point in the race—yesterday’s very large taco dinner was still settling in my stomach.  I wasn’t feeling my best.  But somehow focusing on other racers and the bystanders gave me strength to continue.  I kept telling myself—I’ve got this.  I’ve got this.  I’ve done this before—I will do this again.  Period.

When I could see the finish line—I went full speed.  I pretended I was stepping on a gas pedal in a car—I ran like I meant it.  As I did this I remembered what my friend Esteban-the-Gym-Rat told me the evening before:  “remember, they take your picture as you cross the finish line—so you want to finish big—with a smile and your game face.  Some people cross the finish line—crying and vomiting—that’s not the photo you want hanging over the mantle in your living room.”

A winning smile.

I crossed the finish line with a beaming smile. 

The Dale Carnegie principles I used today are from How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 5.  Smile.
Principle 22. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.

From How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Create happiness for others.

I focused my attention on other people as I ran.  I showed my appreciation for the bystanders who were cheering us on.  I encouraged other participants in the race as I passed them by.  When I did this—I was distracted from my own concerns of – will I finish this race?  Will I come in under 30 minutes?  Will my foot start hurting? And is my stomach going to explode from that very extensive taco dinner I had last night? 

So, remember, there’s a real benefit to creating happiness for others—your words and actions can affect them in a positive way at just the right time and you are able to distract yourself from your own troubles.  Everyone wins! 

Special thanks to “Esteban-the-Gym-Rat” for his coaching advice—including tips on focusing on the horizon, proper ways to tie the shoe laces and the importance of hydration.  You made me feel like an “official athlete”—I felt important. 

Thanks to my friend “Jewel” who reminded me a week ago I could take some time off from the gym to prepare for the big race without my gym routine crashing into disgraceful oblivion.

Thank you “Dr. House” my gym trainer who knows just the right things to say that click in my head—like—“Gym Rat, of course you’ll be ready for the run two months away.” 

Thank you to my buddy “Bell” who despite living clear across the planet—convinced me to go to bed early so that I’d be well rested for the race. Sometimes the obvious isn’t always so!

Housekeeping/Reminders:
Be sure to read Friday’s blog post—the photo will bring you a smile.
Don’t forget about the open invitation to be a contributing writer to this 365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie principles blog.  You will approach life with an improved perspective.  What a deal!

Day 32. The Dale Carnegie Principles kept me from getting into fight with the President of the Homeowner’s Association Part 2 of the Lassie Story


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 32.  April 26, 2011
Preface:  Please read Part 1 of the Lassie Story first.  Fans of the blog have given it a top rating, it features some great Carnegie lessons and Part 2 will make more sense.   

Unexpected discovery on Easter

It was 7:45 am on Monday—and I decided to call the animal hospital before they close for the day.  “Hi—I’m the woman that found the sheltie—did anyone claim him yet?”

 The operator responded, “No—not yet.”

“Ok, I replied.  I’m going to knock on doors in the neighborhood and post signs.”

“Oh, that would be great.” said the operator.

I put on some nice clothes and set out on my mission.  I wanted to be sure I looked well put together so that people would be open to hearing what I had to say and not think I was soliciting.  (in other words… I put on my best pair of jeans, a nice t-shirt, my new shoes and a smile.)

I was certain I knew where the dog lived.  He lives at the house where I saw him circling the car.  I knocked on the door, smiled and asked the gentleman if he was missing a dog.  No, he wasn’t.

I was not expecting this answer.  I was rather stunned. 

So I tried some other homes.  I was getting one of two response—either no one was home or they weren’t missing a dog. 

What was striking about this experience was how friendly and appreciative the neighbors were.  They were grateful I was on a mission to find the dog’s owner.  To me this was an obvious course of action—I promised the dog I’d find his owner and I fully intended to follow through.  Personally, I go nuts losing anything

After awhile I realized I needed to treat this task like a marketing campaign.  I decided to strategically post my waterproof signs throughout the neighborhood.  (I made the signs waterproof by sealing them in clear plastic bags.)  I taped the signs on the lampposts and stop sign posts.  I even went to the local gas station and gave the cashier one of my flyers. 

Then as I was taping a sign on one of the most frequented light posts in the neighborhood… a woman drove up beside me.  She said to me in her British accent… “you can’t post signs.”

I had a split second to react…

I turned to her and calmly said… “what would you suggest?  I found a dog last night and I’m trying to find the owner.” 

She gave me her business card and said I could visit the Homeowner’s Association website and post information there.  Her name, of course, was the infamous, “Betty Lou”. 

I have never met Betty Lou in person but I am well acquainted with her.  I am certain this woman watches every move I make.  She sends me postcards in the mail letting me know I have weeds in my flowerbeds and I need to remove them.  She lets me know I left my trash bin outside on a day other than trash day and that I must remove the bin immediately or pay fines.

She is President of the Homeowner’s Association—and I have the privilege of paying her salary and the services she diligently provides. 

I remove the sign, dejected.  I start scanning my memory for a Dale Carnegie principle to get me through this.  I manage to amuse myself by concluding she and her staff are very efficient.  Their very existence is to make sure no one breaks rules.  I can appreciate they don’t want to junk up lampposts.  After all  look at how pretty all the lampposts are without signs… (well, except for the lampposts that still have my signs plastered on them…)

I decide to outsmart Betty Lou.  There are no rules against putting flyers on doors—I know that for a fact because I get flyers daily. 

So I walk the neighborhood putting flyers under doormats, carefully positioning the flyers so that the homeowners see the dog’s photo first.  There are a lot of homes with signs—“no solicitors, no flyers.”  I decide the signs aren’t directed to me—I’m doing a public service.  So I continue my mission.

I found a house with the fence fallen over from the storm.  The owner had a door mat that said “Wipe your paws.”   I can picture the sheltie living here.  This must the house.  I knock on the door—no answer.  I left a flyer under the mat.

As I’m walking—I see a woman—and approach her with a smile.  No, she hasn’t lost a dog.. but there’s a neighbor three houses away that did lose a dog!

I raced over to the house and knocked on the door with anticipation.  No one answered the door.  I left a flyer under the mat.

By this time it’s 11 am.  I decide I’ve done enough for the day and I’m late enough for work.

Once at work, I call the Homeowner’s Association to find out where I could post information on their website.  I spoke with “Patricia”.  I told her the entire story about Lassie—the Easter dog I found.  She was completely sympathetic.  

“It even knows tricks…I’m sure someone is missing their dog,” I tell Patricia. 

 “Oh yes, no doubt”, she replied.  

Patricia gets information on the dog just in case someone calls looking for him.  At one point in the conversation I hesitate—and said, “I’m going to get in trouble with you…. You see, I posted signs on lampposts.  I know I’m not supposed to… but I feel so bad for the dog and the dog’s owner.  I have a dog too and if I lost my dog… I would hope someone did the same for me….”

Patricia said.. oh, don’t you worry.  I would have done the same.  The worst that will happen is that they remove the signs.  But it will be ok.” 

 “Oh thank you,” I said to Patricia. 

 ———
It’s evening now and I’m driving into my neighborhood.  My heart sinks.  ALL the waterproof signs I lovingly posted on lampposts and stop sign posts are gone.  I wanted to cry.  Really?  Do you not have a heart Betty Lou and your minions?  (Patricia is excluded from this group of course)

As I am checking my mail a neighbor drives by—and asks if I found the dog’s owner yet.  I was touched he cared enough to ask and he expressed his gratitude for my mission.

After having dinner I went to the store to pick up a stuffed animal toy for the dog.  Then driving over to the vet, I remembered I held the dog in my arms.  He knows my scent.  I decide to rub the stuffed animal on me—so that my scent is on the toy.  This way, he will be comforted with a familiar scent. 

I walked into the animal hospital and the same technician from the night before greeted me.  She said…we have good news!  We found the owner!

“Thank God!” I replied. 

The technician said, “you were his guardian angel!  We called the owner and he insisted the dog was home.  We explained we tracked him down with the microchip in the dog and the owner admitted he was out of town until Wednesday.  The dog must have escaped somehow.  So the dog will remain with us until then.” 

I smiled completely unaffected by the carelessness of the owner to leave a dog alone for three days.  I was just relieved I was able to keep my word with the dog to reunite him with his owner. 

Before leaving I told the technician, “I brought a toy for the dog.”

The technician replied, “oh, I’ll make sure the dog goes home with it!” 

I handed her the little stuffed lamb I carefully selected for the sheltie.  

A variety of Dale Carnegie principles were used in this story:
From How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 5.  Smile.
Principle 10.  The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
Principle 13.  Begin in a friendly way.
Principle 19.  Appeal to the nobler motives.
Principle 18.  Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.

From How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
–          Live in “day-tight compartments.”
–          Do the very best you can.
–          Put enthusiasm into your work.

 I did not let the Homeowners Association prevent me from executing my plan of action.  When they tried to stop me—I found creative ways to comply with the rules while still keeping focused on my goal.  I was even able to convince Patricia, an employee with the Association that breaking the rules did make sense in this case. 

In this story enthusiasm trumped everything.  I was no longer nervous about knocking on strangers’ doors, interrupting their mornings and asking them if they lost a dog.  I was able to think creatively and strategically—from waterproof signs, to observing which homes had fallen fences to posting signs at busy traffic areas. 

You might ask why I didn’t just wait a day or two to see if the microchip had current contact information on the owner.  I couldn’t bear to think of the owner being worried sick about his/her missing dog.  I would want someone to do the same for me.  I even planned for the worst—I was thinking of individuals who could adopt the dog. 

If you take anything from this story—I hope it is this—approach a task with enthusiasm.  When you approach a task with enthusiasm you will accomplish things you never would have imagined.

Day 30. Create happiness for others… with a smile, your time and cookies!


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 30.  April 24, 2011
I was at Albertson’s today—checking the bakery department for the perfect cookies.  I found my favorites—soft sugar cookies with yellow frosting and sprinkles.  These are perfect, I thought to myself.

I headed over to Church’s Fried Chicken.  I pulled into the parking lot around 4:45 pm and thought – dear God—clearly I’ve lost my mind.

I stuffed the package of 1 dozen sugar cookies in my very large purse.  I walked into Church’s Fried Chicken and I was greeted by none other than Esther! 

I smiled at her and said I wasn’t there to order chicken.  I pulled the cookies out of my purse and said, “these are for you!”

“For me?  Thank you!  Did you just get out of work?  Are you sure you don’t want chicken?  How about just a drink?”

I replied, “no, no.  I am stuffed from a big lunch—but thank you.  I had to pick up some items from work—and I thought I’d stop by to see you—you mentioned you had to work on Easter Sunday.”

As I was leaving—she said—“wait.  I am getting married soon and my friend is throwing a party for me.  Will you give me your information?  I’d like you to come!”

The Dale Carnegie principle I used today:
From How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 5.  Smile.

From How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
– Create happiness for others.

I made a mental note Esther had to work on Easter Sunday—and I imagined myself in her shoes—wanting to be home with family but having to work instead.  What would I like if I were in her shoes?  I decided a simple gesture of stopping by with some cookies would be nice. 

Magnify your awareness of others

When you take the time to create happiness for others—you reap the benefits.  Your perspective changes.  You become more aware of other people instead of spending all your time focusing on yourself and you will discover a deeper level of happiness in your life.