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 71. As Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz would say, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more”


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 71.  Saturday, June 4, 2011
This afternoon I did a quick Google search to find a museum that would interest me.  I couldn’t find anything.  So I decided to fill the car with gas, turn on my new GPS and drive without a plan.  I took one main highway and kept driving North. 

I had no idea where I was going.  My only objective—take photos of something.  Anything.  And take plenty.  I was calling it my photo scavenger hunt.  My first random stop—a town named Sherman.

I was a bit nervous deciphering the one-way streets through the main square.  I decided to park at the library and take photos of railroad signs across the street.  I saw a “No Trespassing” sign on one of the buildings that I was approaching.  But I justified my actions by deciding I’m on a public sidewalk.  So I snap to my heart’s somewhat nervous content.

As I headed back to my car, a woman from the library walked out and asked what I was taking a picture of.  My heart sank to my stomach.  I thought—geesh—they must have cameras in this very quiet, isolated part of town.  Do I really look that threatening?

I nervously search for words.   “I—um… I’m taking pictures of that railroad sign…. I cross my arms as if to indicate the sign.  I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I wasn’t allowed.”

She proceeds to ask why. 

I replied, “I’m taking photos for my blog… 365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles.”  (at this point I realize what a ridiculously long blog name I have).

I continued, “I am driving aimlessly today taking random photos.  I’m sure it sounds crazy….”

The woman replies—“no problem.  You see, my office is just right there beside the window and you are the 5th person I have seen taking photos in that area.  I decided to finally get out of my office and ask what it is people are taking photos of and why.”

I smile with relief and walk back to my car. 

I continue to drive North.

I see a sign, “Durant.”  I think to myself—hmm… I’ll go there.  That’s when it occurred to me…. That’s not Durant, Texas.  I’m approaching Oklahoma! 

I took an exit and head to my new adventure in Durant:  Choctaw Casino Resort. 

I’m a little iffy on whether I’m wearing the right clothes.  I didn’t exactly plan to be seen this day.  But after glancing at the people entering the casino I determine I’ll fit right in—inasmuch as I would fit in at a casino….

I walk around the casino wide-eyed with fascination.  I went to the cashier—and true to my personality I say, “hi, um… is this where I get change?  I’ve never been here before….”  I half expect her to growl at me for sounding like an idiot but she greets me warmly and makes change for my 20 dollar bill.  She says you never know—you may have beginner’s luck.”

I head to one of the 1 cent slot machines.  I don’t have a clue what I’m doing but I’m feeling pretty bold and confident after drinking my free root beer soda.  I put 50 cents into the machine, pressed a few buttons and watched with fascination.  Why do people like this?   I thought to myself.

It's all about perspective ; )

I begin losing on this machine.  But then I won.  I won again.  And again.  I was trying to exhaust the money but I kept winning.  This was getting interesting.  When I reached $3.25 I decided it was time to quit while I was ahead.  My 45 minute adventure in the casino had come to an end. 

With my winnings burning a hole in my pocket I did the most logical thing I could think of.  I found a Starbucks and enjoyed a Java Chip Frappuccino. 

Sunset in June

On the way back home I chased a sunset with my car.  I was able to find a secluded open field where I could park the car, stand outside and watch the “show”.  I breathed in the intoxicating scent of wild flowers, listened to the birds chirping and lived in the moment. I thanked God for the wonderful day and all the thoughtful details that came along with it. 

I’m sure you’re wondering what Dale Carnegie principles I employed in today’s story.  They are from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Keep busy.
Count your blessings—not your troubles.
Don’t worry about the past.

I had a difficult evening on Friday—and I was worried the effects would invade my Saturday and perhaps my Sunday.  With the help of at least three friends, I was able to renew my focus and determination and make today a great day. 

My lesson to you—there are people and circumstances that may succeed in dragging you down.  But you have the ability to pick yourself back up and create your own happiness.  The best way to achieve this goal is to keep busy.  Stay focused on the present moment.  In the event you do think on the past (as I do!) do it for one reason—to propel yourself to make the present all the more positive, meaningful and richer. 

Housekeeping / Notes:
I must thank three people and I’m going to break Dale Carnegie’s rules on names.  I am hoping you will be able to recognize your code names below.
Special thanks to:
Batman
Superman
Tofu Fairy

Day 25. Fight for your happiness


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 25.  April 19, 2011 
This morning Malcolm and I had a meeting.  The meeting began this way: 

DEEP SIGH from Malcolm. 

Then he grumbled unenthusiastic words to me, “how are you this morning?”  The meeting pretty much continued in this way. 

I found myself getting sucked into the black hole of Malcolm’s unhappiness.  By the time the meeting wrapped up I was completely irritated.  I just kept thinking get me out of this miserable place.

As I drove to Starbucks for some coffee—I resorted to a new technique.  I decided to fight for my happiness.  I was not going to let Malcolm’s unhappiness drag me down. 

Fight for your happiness.

I gave myself a very direct and impassioned pep talk that went like this:
“No one—not Malcolm, or “so and so” has control over my mood.  I create and determine my happiness.  I will not surrender control of my mood to Malcolm.  Malcolm has no right to control my mood.  I will have a good day.  I control my happiness.” 

And you know what happened?  I had a great, productive, happy day.  I’m not sure what tickles me more—the fact that I had a great day or the fact that I proved I control my own happiness despite my surroundings.

The Dale Carnegie principle I used is from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health and hope.
Do not imitate others.

Remember, no matter your surroundings– YOU control your happiness.  When you find yourself sinking into unhappy oblivion, take forward thinking action, take deliberate measures to take control of your happiness.  Go for a walk.  Smile at a complete stranger.  Take a deep breath.  Do everything you can to control your outlook.  You can control your happiness.  You just have to take action.

Day 17. Starbucks on NW Highway in Dallas uses Dale Carnegie principles


365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 17.  April 11, 2011 
It was 11:30 am on a typical busy Monday.  I had a number of emails to go through—some were pleasant and some were not.  Various tasks I left from Friday were still left undone.  I was working hard to stick to the Dale Carnegie principles of not worrying and living in day tight compartments as individuals seemed to get under my skin.  I just kept smiling and repeating the name, ‘Dale Carnegie.’  ‘Dale Carnegie’. 

Eager for a break, I escaped to my favorite place—the Starbucks on Northwest Highway in Dallas.  As I walked in, I was greeted not by one but by all four of the employees—David, Robyn, Dominic and Sam. 

By greeted—I don’t mean a casual ‘Hello Ma’am’—or ‘Hello Miss.’  They don’t ask what I want to order. 

Each one of them greeted me by name with a friendly smile.  They also know my drink—my beloved Java Chip Frappuccino—and they know the particular way I like it prepared… with extra chocolate.

The sound of a person's name is even sweeter than a Java Chip Frappuccino...

It is these details that keep me coming back every single day.  I am valued and appreciated by my Starbucks on Northwest Highway. 

The Dale Carnegie Principles David, Robyn, Dominic and Sam practiced today are from the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People:

Principle 2.  Give honest, sincere appreciation.
Principle 5.  Smile.
Principle 6.  Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

Thank you David, Robyn, Dominic and Sam for turning my Monday into a better day by using Dale Carnegie’s principles on me!

Remember, no matter how mundane your daily activities might be– look for opportunities to use the Dale Carnegie principles wherever you go.  It will give your day greater value and purpose.  And don’t forget to recognize when individuals you encounter throughout the day are also using the Dale Carnegie principles.