As Easter is approaching and many of us are observing Lent, I thought about how much we take for granted. Even though we still have snow and colder weather, we really are lucky to live here!

The following is an exerpt from my newly expanded best-selling book — Focus on the 90%

Traveling home on a cold delayed flight I was catching myself focusing on the 10%s. I was at the end of a long traveling schedule and feeling a little weary. We arrived home in freezing cold weather to late luggage and a half an hour wait for a taxi. Though I was chanting 90% … 90% in my head, I was feeling sorry for myself as I stood one of the last people in the airport waiting for a ride.

I could see the taxi driver smiling as he pulled up to the airport. He jumped out and carefully loaded my suitcases in his car. His energy was infectious. We exchanged the usual pleasantries. I wasn’t really in the mood for talking (very unlike me – just ask my husband!) but I wanted to know more about this happy man on this dark cold night. He told me how he had just moved to Canada with his wife and their four children. He went on and on about how lucky he was to have found his job and how blessed we are to live here. He told me funny stories of his children seeing snow for the first time. They had rented an apartment and he raved about how lucky we are to have homes of our own. He told me his parents would join them next year. When I asked if he would need to rent a house instead of the apartment for extra room, he seemed shocked at the idea. He said with sincerity “oh no, we have plenty of room for everyone.”

As we pulled up to our middle class house he sat back and aid, “Wow, you live in a palace – you are a lucky woman.” I gave him an extra big tip and crept into my sleeping house.

I sat quietly on the bench at the front door and took a minute to Focus on my 90%s. I have a job that I love. I get to travel; some people have never been on an airplane. I live in a safe beautiful city, however cold, to raise our children in. Our house, though older – is our house, even a palace to some. My health, something I never take for granted. A healthy sleeping family to come home to. I went into their rooms and kissed their sleeping faces. It is easy to slip sometimes and focus on the 10%s, what
we don’t have, what we wish we had and start to feel sorry for ourselves. It is wonderful how God always puts someone in my path during those times to remind me of what is really important and how grateful I should be.

It’s a 90%

Sandra here, Darci’s assistant. Darci has been blessed with a number of presentations this month and that really makes the days fly. So she’s asked me to share my 90% from this week.

When Darci and I are busy, it’s easy to forget to think about what went right during the week. Often we are either focused on how to correct a 10% so it doesn’t happen again or on what is needed for the upcoming week. But this week, I heard back from one of Darci’s customers and it brought a smile to my face. A gentleman who had ordered a number of Darci’s books by email took a few minutes out of his busy day to let Darci know that our customer service was excellent and then, not content to just have Darci pass the message along, he emailed me with the compliment as well. What a wonderful email to receive! It made my day!

And it made me think. Who provides me with great service? Do I remember to thank them or do I only comment on the poor service? Even at home, do I thank my husband when he prepares an excellent dinner or my daughter when she remembers to put her dishes in the dishwasher? It’s something to think about. Now I’m going to try and “make someone else’s day”! How about you?

Using the Focus on the 90%

Recently one of my audience members sent me this email. I was so inspired, I thought I would share it with you.
Hi Darci,
Your presentation to us was so inspiring and really got me thinking about my life (single mother of two children) and if I was really happy. I knew I wasn’t but wasn’t sure what to do about it. I started reading your book on the commute home and finished it when I woke up the next morning. When my daughter came into my room in the morning, she saw the magnifying glass that came with your business card; so of course, she was asking me where it was from. I told her about the presentation and your message of focusing on the good things and appreciating what we have. I told her how it’s important to be happy in life etc and her comment back to me was “well you’re not happy Mummy, you’re always complaining about work”. This broke my heart. It’s true as I did complain a lot. There were no growth prospects for me and I was stuck in a rut but I didn’t know what to do.

Let me back up a bit now and mention some friends of mine who live in beautiful coastal community. I met up with them and some of their friends recently. They were talking about where they live and how it was such a great place to raise children, and how it’s such a great community etc etc.

This peaked my interest but does one really just up and move from the city to a lovely rural area? My boyfriend had never been to this area so I took him over there and we both fell in love with it and realized we had to make this work.

Back up number two….my children are both incredibly creative and artistic and they attended a children’s art studio in the city. This is an amazing place. My friends (the ones from the lovely coastal community) were visiting me one weekend and were admiring some of the canvasses on my wall that my children had painted. They commented that they wished their area had such a cool program for kids. This was my epiphany…! I got in touch with the art studio to ask about franchises. The more I heard about it the more I liked it and they said that I’d be a good fit for them…so…..I bought the franchise!

I just sold my house, I have a place to rent over there while I get settled (and kids get used to their new school) and I resigned today. I will start focusing on my business in the fall when the family have settled in more.

It’s quite a drastic change and nobody can believe it but I’m so
excited to be a business owner in a gorgeous environment, amongst a lovely community (which is already very artistic but there is nothing like this for children). I have no doubt that it will be very busy but I can be around my children more and be a better role model for them too. This is what I love most of all. I can’t wait.

I was turning 36 a few days after your presentation and I just didn’t like the fact that my life was pretty much mapped out for the next decade unless I chose a different path. It was your presentation that really made me realise that something in my life had to change, and within less than two months I’m on my way to making it all happen.

Thank you so much. I probably couldn’t have done it without you.

Darci’s exciting news

Over the next few months, Darci is joining Robert Herjavec and Haley Wickenheiser at the FCC Forums – Think Inspiration!

She’s so pleased to be working with these awesome individuals.  The first event was November 25th.


Read more here.


90% instead of $90

Another great note from a workshop attendee.

Something happened this week that I must share with you. In fact when it happened I could hardly wait to tell you this.

On this particular evening, we were at one of  “our” banks and when I went to the ATM machine to wipe it down, I saw a note that someone had left. Now me being inquisitive, had to read it. This is what it said “if you are the one that left here and forgot the money that you left in the machine, here is my phone number and all you need to tell me is the time you were here and the amount that you took out”.  I was so excited and at that exact time an elderly couple came in and I showed them the note. From there we had quite the discussion and we all agreed that most of the people of Moose Jaw in particular were Awesome.  I said that “a very smart lady once told me and others that 90% of people are good and she is so very right” and I would like to add something to that.

I have spent most of my working years, at different jobs, in different places and I was so thankful that I was so blessed to work with such wonderful people, but it wasn’t until after I heard you speak on 90% that I realized that it wasn’t just the people that I worked with, IT WAS PEOPLE IN GENERAL!!! And this was so very evident as so many times when I am doing my early morning checks at the banks that we clean, that I am reminded of this. Whenever I get a chance to see customers that make a quick stop at the bank before going to work, it’s so interesting to see how many are “morning people” and those that would rather be back in bed. There was one customer that really made “my day”. She looked so very tired and had her head down, and my heart went out to her. I greeted her, and at first she didn’t say anything, but then my motto is “a smile can do wonders” and don’t you know, it worked again. She did look up and said, “Good morning”, and I decided to further this chat with asking if she was on her way to work, and she replied “no”, I’ve worked all night”. To which I asked where she worked and she said “Walmart”. Well I proceeded to say,”Oh you are the one that goes around slashing prices and I’d like to say that you’re doing a great job.” Well, her face just beamed and I thought “Whew.” That’s all it took to maybe add alittle joy to her life. So I do believe Darci that in Moose Jaw
we do have the 90% reputation.

Well getting back to the honest customer that found the money- it was our pleasure to be around when the customer came back to the bank, and although one would think “why that money will be gone” but maybe he heard about the 90% MJ so he did come back!!! And he saw the note and phoned the person.That was so very awesome and this thing I’m sure goes on a lot without some of us noticing.

Well Darci I must run. I am sending you a story that I find so inspiring. Hope you enjoy.


Even pumpkins get it! Darci’s 90%!

Thank you again for your terrific presentation.  I thought I would send you a cute picture.  Every year we have a Jack-O-Lantern contest and this year at one home, a staff member lent their “Focus on the 90%” book as a prop for their pumpkin.  I hope you enjoy!

My 90% for the week

Often, I get emails from people who have attended one of my presentations.  I love hearing about how my message is working for them — it’s a 90% for me!  It’s inspiring.  So today, I’m sharing one of the emails I recently received in the hope that you will be as touched as I am.

“I am lucky enough to be in the group you describe as “sitting at the supper table”.  This has stuck in my mind and has made a difference in my home.  My parents, a farmer and his wife were lucky enough to be able to have the time to sit at the supper table with their four daughters. The supper table was not always a conventional one, sometimes it was the back of the truck with the end gate down, sometimes a blanket in the field or another make shift eating place to accommodate Dad’s work but we always ate together, even during harvest, when Dad was stressed about getting the crops in.  He always stopped for a break and took the time to chat.

My husband and I have one beautiful, incredible intelligent and sensitive 6 1/2 year old son with the greatest little smile and biggest hugs ever!.  We have continued the supper tradition with our son, talking about all sorts of things.  I truly believe God sent him to us to make us better people.

My son taught me one great 90% lesson that I would love to share with you.  At age 4, he was in daycare and had taken a favorite truck to show and tell. He was so excited to show his truck to his teacher and friends.  When I picked him up from daycare after his show and tell, the daycare director explained that my son had proudly shown his truck and chatted about what it could do, then shared it by passing it around the class.  When it came time for the last little boy to see it and pass it back,  the little boy was upset and threw the truck breaking it in several pieces.

Tears welled up in my son’s eyes as his pride and joy was destroyed!  I almost cried while she was relaying the story.  She explained that my son was still pretty upset about the truck.

Seeing me, he ran to the safety of my arms with tears flowing. Through those tears he did his best to explain what happened and that he tried to be brave and forgive the other little boy but he wasn’t ready.  I took his little hands in mine and asked him if he was ready now? He said yes, but he was still really sad cause it was his best truck.

We chatted and I explained that maybe his friend was mad at something else not him or his truck.  I asked him if he thought that this friend was more important than his favorite truck.  He replied, “Well right now its kinda hard to think that, but ya, I don’t think he was mad at me or my truck, just something else.”  I was very proud that through his sadness, and at that moment even though he didn’t 100% believe it, he knew that his friends were more important and that sometimes we are the targets for anger from others because we are there, not because they are angry at us.

He provided me the same kind of lesson the other day.  I was on the phone, upset at a large corporation, not being able to reach someone to talk about something, you know going through the “press 1 for xxxx, press 2 for zzz thing.  So when I finally reached someone, I was not as pleasant as I should have been.  I had raised my voice to the person on the other line a couple of times, when my son came over and tapped me on the arm, “Excuse me , Mom, why are you mad at that person?”    My initial thought was to tell my son to go back and play, that mommy was talking, but I quickly realized that wasn’t the right thing to do and that this little boy was trying to tell me that I wasn’t mad at the person, just the situation.  So I took a breath and rephrased my point of view. After I finished the conversation, I went over, hugged my son and thanked him for helping me out.  He smiled at me and said, “That’s okay Mom, you weren’t mad at that person, just something else, right? Did I help you, Mom?”  I smiled and said “Yes, yes you did.”

I am glad I have a supper table family to give us time to talk and learn, no matter what the supper table looks like.

My 90% & 10%: Emails 24/7??

In the theme of being a positive person, I will talk about the 90%s first. I love my emails. I am blessed with requests from potential clients, audience members who share feedback, questions about upcoming presentations and emails from my many family members. The convenience on the road when I travel has been wonderful. When that little “chi gong bell” goes off on my Blackberry I usually rush to see who it is.

Now the 10%. I have always prided myself on being able to work when I work and be off when I am off. I have a very creative active brain and I have found this “chi gong bell” to be very distracting. If I check one email for 10 seconds, I find I am gone mentally for at least a half an hour. I can be easily addicted to things; this could turn into that for me.

So I have made a commitment to turn the phone completely off when I am in family mode. I know not everyone can do that and some of you have a job that requires you to be “on call”. I am blessed with my Adm Assistant Sandra to check emails for me when I am away and it does mean that the odd email has to wait a day to be responded to. It frees my brain to be focused on my family.

As much as I love my new technology, I still like the old fashioned telephone to hear how people are, I like having friends over for supper rather than seeing how they are on Facebook and I don’t have the patience to text anyway!

If you wonder if it is time to turn your phone off? Just ask your family what they think.

To blog or not to blog

It is hard to take the ’80s outta the girl but as my sisters would tell you, I have finally joined the new millennium. I am finally blogging! And very excited to be on this journey with you.

I am slow to change on the technology front (just ask my assistant Sandra) it is definitely a “10%” for me, so blogging has been a big learning curve.

Since I was joining the new millennium this week I also traded in my ancient cell phone. I thought it was time when I opened it up in the airport and the young guy beside me starting laughing. He then announced “I think you need an upgrade”. So I upgraded.

I brought this new phone home not sure how to do anything but call you and maybe retrieve your call. Our nine year old daughter Jayda taught me all I needed to know. She changed my ring tone to a special Calypso tone to remind me of Hawaii (her words). She then changed my notifier to a Chi gong bell to make me feel calm when I received an email (her words).Isabella She then took a special picture of our cat, Isabella. (I didn’t even know it had a camera). Within seconds, it was “magically” my new screen saver. I sat back humbled by how much she knew.

So my friends, I will be honored to share my special life with you. The 90%s are definitely outweighing the 10.