In his book, How to Develop Self Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking, Dale Carnegie tells the inspiring story of his long-time friend, Harold Abbott.
During a ride to Carnegie’s farm in Belton, Missouri, he asked Abbott how he kept from worrying. Abbott replied, “I used to worry a lot, but one spring day I was walking down West Dougherty Street in Webb City when I saw a sight that banished all my worries. It all happened in ten seconds, but during those ten seconds I learned more bout how to live than I had learned in the previous ten years.
“For two years I had been running a grocery store in Webb City. I had not only lost all my savings, but I had incurred debts that took me seven years to pay back. My grocery store had been closed the previous Saturday; and now I was going to the Merchants and Miners Bank to borrow money so I could go to Kansas City to look for a job.
“I walked like a beaten man. I had lost all my fight and faith. Then suddenly I saw coming down the street a man with no legs. He was sitting on a little wooden platform equipped with wheels from roller skates. He propelled himself along the street with a block of wood in each hand. I met him just after he had crossed the street and was starting to lift himself up a few inches over the curb to the sidewalk. As he tilted his little wooden platform to an angle, his eyes met mine. He greeted me with a grand smile and said, ‘Good morning, sir. It is a fine morning, isn’t it?’
“As I stood looking at him, I realized how rich I was. I had two legs. I could walk. I felt ashamed of my self-pity. I said to myself, if he can be happy, cheerful, and confident without legs, I certainly can with legs.”
Following that day, Abbott pasted the following words on his bathroom mirror and read them every morning as he shaved:
I had the blues because I had no shoes, until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.”
As we move into the holiday season, take some time to look at what you have in life. Chances are you’re much richer than you give yourself credit for. And remember, if you want to stop worrying and start living, begin by being thankful for what you have!
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Michigan. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @micarnegie.