When things go awry in life, it's not a "bad day," explains motivational speaker Dale Smith Thomas. She instead calls them "character building" days.
Thomas - a resident of Nashville and a former Miss Tennessee - served as featured speaker during "Pink Power Night" Tuesday at Ohio Valley Medical Center. More than 200 women attended the event in the Nurse Residence Auditorium at OVMC.
"The way you deal with a challenging day is number one, you pause and you become aware (of what is really at the root of the day's problems)," she said. "And when the day is going bad, don't go with it. Allow yourself to have a challenging day. Not all days are going to be perfect.
Photo by Joselyn King
Motivational speaker Dale Smith Thomas, left, meets Christine Jenewein, community outreach coordinator for Ohio Valley Medical Center and East Ohio Regional Hospital and Laurie Labishak, director of community relations for OVMC and EORH, prior to taking the podium during “Pink Power Night” at OVMC.
"Take control of what you can control, and let go of the rest. It's mostly about awareness. Half the time we're aggravated with people who are cutting us off in traffic, and we don't even know their name. We're giving power away .... Be aware of what really is giving you a bad day."
Thomas noted "nobody just sets out to become a motivational speaker."
She said she grew up poor in Mississippi, where her best friend was Cheryl Prewitt.
Prewitt was left severely scarred and crippled following an automobile accident when she was 11 and had been told she would never walk again.
"Through some miracles in her life, she went on to become Miss America," Thomas said. "After she gave up her title, I moved to Nashville to become her road manager.
That was my first introduction to being with someone who made a difference in people's lives through their words."
Thomas said after she herself won the title of Miss Tennessee in 1990, she began speaking of Prewitt and of her own life growing up in Mississippi.
"And people just kept asking me to come back and speak," she said.
Thomas is the author of the book and program, "Good Morning, Gorgeous." She encourages women to look in the mirror and say that phrase to themselves and see something positive in their appearance.
She then challenges them to say the same thing to three other women and help them to see their, "beautiful spirit from the inside out.."
"Too often we don't stop and look at people," Thomas said. "If everyone in this room does this and pays it forward, look at what 200 people will have done."