Day 103. A new twist on the saying, “When life hands you lemons… make lemonade”

365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 103.  Thursday, July 7, 2011
Back in May I negotiated a deal with my boss.  I told him I’d reach a certain number of fans on the company Facebook page by the end of June.  I told him it would be a piece of cake… chocolate cake to be exact.  He laughed and agreed to the terms. 

While I prefer money over cake—I am aware that life is not always fair.  I make lemonade from lemons as much as I can. 

The best cake.

Besides…this wasn’t just any chocolate cake.  Last summer the owner brought us a cake from Eatzi’s.  It was a fancy, overpriced chocolate cake.  If heaven served cake this would be the one.  This was the best cake I’ve ever had—well, to be clear—I had the crumbs that were leftover.  By the time I arrived to the kitchen the cake was pretty much gone.

Those cake crumbs had such a lasting impression. 

So now you can understand my enthusiasm for reaching my goal on Facebook.  I did reach my goal—in fact two weeks ahead of schedule.  The minute I hit the mark I let my boss know it was time for my cake. 

Days passed.  Weeks passed.  No cake. 

About a month later my boss walks in with my cake. I was beaming. 

It was a mini-sized cake in a cute little box.  Do I share?  I grabbed a black Sharpie and wrote “Touch & Die” on the box. 

A friendly warning

Mom taught me manners.  Grumble.  So at 3 pm I invited everyone to the breakroom for cake. 

There were a lot of people gathered in the breakroom around a very tiny cake.  I carefully cut the cake into tiny slivers and handed them out hoping that I’d end up with a piece of my own cake. 

The right knife for the job

Sure enough I did. And there were two small pieces left over for an afternoon snack.

Well, today I was ready for my afternoon snack.  I grabbed the cake box from the fridge and took the box to my office. I felt a little guilty as I looked down at the writing on the box “Touch & Die”.  I hoped people understood it was a friendly exaggeration. 

Hardly a crumb left

I sat down at my desk, opened the box… and it was EMPTY!

My heart sank.  It’s one thing to eat the last piece of cake but it’s even more alarming to leave the empty box in the fridge.  I could suddenly relate to what my dog must feel like when she smells beef grilling out on the patio and she doesn’t get any.

The Dale Carnegie principle I found a way to use in this scenario is from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Profit from your losses.

After I got over the shock of my empty box I realized I had a story all lined up for today’s blog.  I profited from my losses by making my missing cake an entertaining story for you to share.

My lesson to you is to find creative ways to make lemonade from the lemons handed to you.  Or like this story shows I figured out how to make lemonade when the lemons were taken away from me.  You’ll find that fussing over trifles or disappointments isn’t worth the energy.  You have what it takes to profit from your losses.