Day 114. Despite telling me he was 99.99 percent sure… I was still unsure.

365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 114.  Monday, July 18, 2011
I carefully transported Maximus the infected laptop to work this morning.  I swiftly took “him” to Joseph’s office.  I didn’t have to say anything.  Joseph, the expert computer techie knows the drill.

In the afternoon Maximus underwent careful examination.  I told Joseph about the link I clicked on that I thought caused a virus and the steps I took afterwards.  I admitted that technically there were no symptoms of a virus other than I clicked on a bad link. 

I watched anxiously as Joseph ran all sorts of diagnostic programs.  He did some research and ran more programs.  After an hour he reported my laptop was clean.  He fixed some unrelated registry problems but technically he was 99.99 percent certain I never had a virus.

Being the Smiling Daffodil that I am I looked at him with a look of skepticism.  “But are you sure, Joseph?”

Joseph looked at me and said, “you’re going to have to trust me.”

That’s when I decided to use a Dale Carnegie principle from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Use the law of averages to outlaw your worries.

You see, Joseph really is an expert in his field.  He has a proven track record of solving problems by thinking logically, researching and testing.  I didn’t hand my laptop to a weekend techie that thinks he knows computers.  Joseph has decades of experience.  If he says there isn’t a virus—I have to believe him.

Heh, good thing I didn’t waste a single moment worrying about a virus that didn’t end up being real. 

Ok, ok—I admit I didn’t want to believe Joseph was right.  For whatever reason I believed I was right—even though I have virtually no experience in diagnosing a computer.  When Joseph looked me squarely in the eyes and reassured me that I will have to trust him—I realized I was being foolish for doubting him. 

The lesson to learn—if there’s a problem that you are unable to solve on your own—find experts in the field that can gather the facts and give you an informed analysis.  Don’t make a decision based on emotion or theories.  In my case—I really didn’t have any facts to prove the virus—perhaps just an active imagination that assumes the absolute worst. 

Day 33. Part 2. Use Dale Carnegie Principles to recover from feeling like an idiot.

Despite my best efforts sometimes I can sleep through just about anything

As I mentioned in the Day 33 blog entry, I woke up late. I woke up so late—I nearly slept half the day away.  I got up at 11:40 am.  (Despite two alarm clocks and two text messages)

I was disgusted with myself.  This is not the first time I’ve done this. It’s not that I get in trouble at work.  Everyone finds it funny.  I guess people like to see flaws.  The perception of me is that I’m a hard worker—a workaholic. 

I made it to the office at 12:32.  I was frantic but glad to have made it in.

After realizing my lunch plans were cancelled with my friend I sat down at my desk. I realized it was lunch time.  I’m late for my Starbucks visit for my Java Chip Frappuccino.

I quietly snuck out of the office—I felt like such a loser.  Here I am—I slept half the day away, I waltz into the office super late—and then after a few minutes of being at the office I leave to get my Java Chip Frappuccino.  Talk about shame and guilt.

I left anyway because I know there’s no use in fighting it.  My routine is important.  I will be thinking of my Starbucks Frappuccino all day. 

I return to the office—Frappuccino in hand and feeling much better.  I ease into the day with enthusiasm.  Yes, I was super late.  But now I will recover with style—with enthusiasm.  I whizzed through several projects I had to work on.  I tackled some editing with gusto.  I whistled while I worked.  There was a general feeling of happiness coming from my office.

What I realized is that no one really cares that I was late.  It’s not that there aren’t standards or rules at the office.  But I have a reputation of working very hard—despite my occasional disasters of oversleeping.  The key to today—I approached the day with enthusiasm.  This distracted me from thinking I was an irresponsible adult for oversleeping.  And by the end of the day—I had gotten quite a lot of work complete!

The Dale Carnegie principles I used in this scenario:
From How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Put enthusiasm into your work.
Cooperate with the inevitable. 
Use the law of averages to outlaw your worries.
Try to profit from your losses.

Remember, sometimes stupid mistakes or silly accidents happen.  Rather than dwell on feeling like a fool or an idiot—profit from the experience.  Turn the circumstance into something positive.  See if you can get more work done in less time.  See if you can distract everyone by your productivity that they forget you came in late.  Remind yourself that you have a reputation for being reliable, a good worker, etc etc.  When you take this approach—you focus your energy in a more positive, forward thinking direction that is more beneficial to you than wallowing in your mistakes.