Tag Archives: Dale Carnegie

Remember … You Survived Lightning

27 Apr

Just when I think things are going well, a setback occurs.

Frustration and anger consume me. But then I remembered a story I read about some tree. I know … a tree, right? But Dale Carnegie wrote it in one of his books or essays and it stuck with me. I often think about it when things don’t turn out the way I planned, which happens often if you want to know the truth.

Oak tree on the top of Ladakalnis

Oak tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The story was about some powerful oak tree, and how year after year of crazy storm weather it remained standing. Through snow storms and practically tornado-like weather, it remained steady… and unmoved. It probably didn’t live in California, it was more like a Midwest tree, I guess. They tend to have tornado-like situations.

In any case, it was tested again when it was struck by lightning. Lightning … not only was it struck by this suck-ass powerful atmospheric electrical discharge, but it probably got the crap scared out of it with the thunder that followed.  It may have lost some leaves and a couple of branches. It was left scarred, making it susceptible to environmental stress. Yeah environments can get stressed out too. But it remained strong and continued to thrive.

But one summer, something smaller than a fingernail got the best of the mighty oak. Termites. Pinche termites. One by one they infested the tree, gnawing at it, picking at it, crawling little by little deep into the trunk. Bit by bit the termite soldiers devoured the tree.

I thought, what the hell kind of crazy tree story is that?

But then Carnegie went off to say that many of us are like the tree, we survive the big blows in life, but it’s the little things that eventually get to us and destroy us. The little things that accumulate and add up and eventually consume us.

So after my little disaster, I thought about the oak tree and its story …  I didn’t want to be the dumbass that survived the lightning strike and then got eaten by termites. Remember you survived lightning! Metaphorically speaking, of course. So I fumigated myself and left the little setback in the past. No need for any more environmental stress.

 

I Am … The Underdog Lover

19 Feb

The day after I had my rocky-road-cookie-dough ice cream meltdown, I scanned my books, journals, and old emails in order to get a positive spin on a pretty much crappy marathon of a day. You know I was looking for something to be grateful for, other than the obvious choices you see in fortune cookies.

I found a couple of inspirational quotes most of them being from people like Tony Robbins, Joel Osteen, Dale Carnegie, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Winston Churchill. Churchill … I didn’t realize he was badass. I guess you would have to be in order to be the Prime Minister of a country. My all time favorite: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

I thought dude … what up brother from another mother. I forgot about that one. I usually have that magnet posted on my fridge, but considering that I don’t have a fridge right now, my magnets are in the closet. Winston, you read my mind.  So I smiled and forged ahead.

Then I came across a list of what I thought were inspirational movies to watch … underdogs. You know fictional people or based-on-a-true-story people living a crappy life and then turning it around like the Pursuit of Happiness, October Sky, and Shawshank Redemption. I wasn’t a homeless unemployed single parent, although I could be. I wasn’t living in a small miner town getting my dream squashed, although dream squashing runs rampant over here. And I wasn’t falsely imprisoned forced to cook the books for the warden. Yeah … no prison time here. I thought … well I guess things could be worse. But they all made it, despite their crappy existences. I thought, I love these movies … this is what I am. I am the underdog lover.

I wish for a better existence, which is why I probably had the meltdown. Maybe wives and mothers with two kids that have a nanny, chef, personal shopper, and cleaning lady don’t have meltdowns, if they do it’s probably over their dry cleaning not being ready on time.  I wish I had dry cleaning to drop off, but then maybe my life wouldn’t be as funny. Underdogs … we’re a bad-ass species. Funny too.

So I realized I was grateful for underdog stories.