Saturday, January 7, 2012

#1: Don't criticize, condemn or complain.

Alright, folks, there's a reason Dale Carnegie made this the first principle.  He knew this principle would take the longest to master when someone attempts an experiment like mine!  Good thing I have 51 more weeks!  I found my first real challenge just a couple hours into the first day when Tyler was feeding himself tomato soup for lunch. 

Two year old + Tomato soup = One messy face, kitchen, and even mama!!

I took a deep breath and got through it.  I even laughed and snapped a picture of the aftermath.  In fact, I noticed something at those times this week that I was able to live this principle - life seemed a little easier.  A little lighter.  I could get used to that feeling, that's for sure.

I noticed something else, too.  Although this principle is an extremely important one to follow (I think Dale Carnegie actually listed it first because he knew it would be impossible to follow any of the other principles if we don't stop with the negativity first), I do have one addendum.  Sometimes we all need a friend who will allow us to "take a break" from even the most important principles.  I was blessed to spend Friday afternoon with a dear friend: we laughed, we cried, and we supported one another.  And, yes, we did a little complaining, too.

As with all these principles, we have to make them work for us so we can truly live them.  Otherwise, we will give up too easily, too soon.  And that's definitely not the success that Dale Carnegie would wish for us.


  1. Accepting that it is hard work is half the battle. Often in the heat of the moment, we tend to make little things into big ones. We take a slight aggravation or worry and work it into something that it is not - i.e., important. I'm like you - or is it, you're like me. We have to take time to appreciate the little things - like watching Tyler try to eat tomato soup by himself. This is a great post and one that we should refer to often, and especially when we get bent out of shape over something that in reality is not all that serious. Thanks for sharing this.
    Mark Ellsworth

  2. I totally agree with you that having a friend to whom you can vent and not feel you are being judged is truly a gift. (Pardon the pun!)

  3. Testing the comment area!

  4. Marissa! What a great initiative. This will be a wonderful collection and will inspire many readers. I wish you a great 'principled' year full of exciting moments, lots of friends and lots of stories. Big hug from the hungarian puszta. Anko Reijnders.