A White Elephant Gift Story with a “Perfect” Ending

This past December, I received the perfect gift at a white elephant gift exchange and it holds a valuable message for both you and me.

(And no, it wasn’t an actual “white elephant”.)

If you’ve never been involved with a white elephant gift exchange, here’s the basic premise:  

Basics of a White Elephant Gift Exchange

Find something in your house which you’ve thought of getting rid of, but can’t quite bring yourself to throw away.  The goal is to find something that is inexpensive, funny, gently used or something you’ve always wanted to regift.  

You wrap up your find and take it to the party where it ends up in a pile with other such gifts.  

There are dozens of variants to the game, but here is what my Toastmasters club likes to do:  

You get called up to the front of the room and you pick a gift from the pile (not your own gift, of course).  

Then …

Before you unwrap it …

You give a short one minute speech about how useful the gift will be in the new year, or how it will remind you of past Holidays, or how it will be perfect for your life.

THEN you open the gift you chose.  

Inevitably, once everyone sees the actual gift, they burst out laughing.  

Up to speed?  Good.

So here’s my white elephant gift story …

How I Got The “Perfect” Gift

This year, when my turn came at my Toastmasters club, I grabbed my gift choice and told everyone how I knew it would be the perfect gift to help me in 2014 …

… because every year I’ve played this game I have received “the perfect gift”.  

I used my one minute to tell how one year I received a UPS-Driver-Bobblehead, which was a reminder to stop rushing around so fast.  

I told how one year I received a Holiday-themed cheese spreader, which was a reminder to stop taking on new projects and spreading myself so thin.  

Yet another year I received a box of tissues, cough drops and teabags, which was a reminder to focus on my health for the year.  

So … since I knew all my past white elephant gifts had been so perfect, I was confident this one would be, too.  

In fact, I said I was willing to put it where I could look at it every day.

… and then I opened it.

And yes, it was the PERFECT gift!  

Here it is:  

I read it out loud to my club.  “It’s something called Farkle, the classic dice-rolling, risk-taking game!


You’re probably wondering … “how is this a ‘perfect’ gift … and how does it apply to me?” 

Here’s how I see it:  

The gift of Farkle was a reminder to me to be more playful in 2014 … and be willing to roll the dice every once in a while and take a risk.  

Good message, don’t you think?  

Works for me. 

Probably works for you, too. 

Well, I’ve taken it to heart in 2014.

I’m rolling the dice.  Taking a risk.  

Something small.  Outside my comfort zone.

I’m starting a new blog.

This blog that you’re reading.  

See, I bought this domain, rebootyourself.com, 14 years ago because I thought it sounded cool.  I was teaching computer software to adults at the time, and the name simply resonated with me.  

My original plan was to build a big expansive website on the domain.  

I made big plans.  Did hours and hours of research.  

But never published anything.  

Frankly … I thought I had to be perfect right away.  

I was afraid people wouldn’t like whatever I did and I wouldn’t be able to handle the rejection.  

So … I froze up and didn’t do anything.  

I wimped out.

Sound familiar?  

You get a great idea … an idea that requires a little risk … a little roll of the dice … but you’re afraid of what will happen so you never take action.  

Maybe you have an idea to write a book … but get overwhelmed and someone talks you out of it. 

You say “someday I’ll …”

Maybe you always wanted to start your own business … but you don’t have the hundreds of thousands of dollars of capital to buy a franchise … or don’t know how to evaluate good opportunities. 

You say “someday I’ll …”

But you know how this works … “someday” never comes.  

And you start “playing small” and playing it safe in your life.  Never following through on your grand plans. 

Like me.  

Well, it’s a new year.  

Time for a fresh, clean start.

Time to roll the Farkle dice …

Time to be more playful …

Take a risk … do something small … just outside your comfort zone to get started.

And play the game every day. 

P.S.:  If you’re curious about the blogging platform I’m using, it isn’t WordPress.  While I certainly like WordPress, I don’t like the constant technical upkeep of updates and making sure all the plugins are compatible with each other.

If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of starting your own blog …

… sharing your own ideas …

… building an audience …

… maybe even making some money online …

… and don’t want the technical headache of WordPress …

… then take a small step … click here … enter your name and email address … and watch the video that finally got me into blogging action after 14 years.