Every year people spend millions of dollars seeking the answers to life. We attend seminars, read books, and listen to every podcast. What we are seeking is happiness, success, and fulfillment. Being bombarded by different theories and programs can get extremely overwhelming, especially in this day and age in which many of us suffer from information overload.
It’s funny though like a lot of things in life, sometimes the answers we seek are sitting right in front of us, and in this case literally. I’m talking of course about dogs! The same values thought leaders in the field of self-development preach are the same values we can acquire by observing creatures that consider sniffing each others rear ends as a formal greeting.
Below are three life lessons I’ve learned from observing our furry four-legged friends.
1. Living In The Present
Dogs are masters at living in the present. What’s on their minds is whatever is occurring in the moment. Dogs don’t think about what tomorrow will bring or dwell on something that happened a week ago. They are in tune with the sensations around them in any given moment. When a dog is playing outside all it’s thinking about is catching squirrels. That same dog is not concerned about when the fun will end when the owner decides to pack it in.
So next time you’re enjoying a Sunday afternoon in the sun, enjoy the dang moment! Stop worrying about what Monday will bring.
One of the worst ways to describe somebody is the following, “he shares every characteristic of a dog except its loyalty.” Ouch!
When all else fails dogs have a knack for staying loyal to their owner or fellow pack members. When was the last time you met a dog once and it absolutely adored you, and then the second time it was as if there was serious beef. As if somehow the dog learned something about you and was now anywhere from jealous, envious, or held a grudge towards you. I’ve never experienced or imagined a dog doing this towards another living creature. As humans we can certainly learn a lot from dogs when it comes to loyalty.
Mark Twain once said, “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” This quote rings true when it comes to the two dogs that live with my parents. One dog is 11 years old and very mature. The other dog is less than four months old with unlimited energy. When these two dogs playfully fight, the older dog dominates every single time.
What is remarkable is the sheer relentlessness on the part of the puppy. Despite being pinned hundreds of times, this little creature has no quit. Once pinned, this dog immediately gets up and gets right back into the face of the older dog. In the end the older dog tires out and eventually retreats. Imagine as humans getting rejected and thrown down (hopefully metaphorically) hundreds of times. Next time you feel nothing is going your way, channel your inner puppy scrappiness. If you push through enough rejections, you’ll eventually come out on top.
This all sounds great in theory but I understand some may feel humans can’t be compared to dogs. It’s easy to object and say dogs don’t have nearly the same cognitive capacity as do humans. Additionally dogs don’t have the same responsibility as do humans. Dogs don’t have to deal with jobs, deadlines, and writing papers.
While all this is true we can all do a better job practicing what dogs seem to have all figured out. Be present, demonstrate loyalty, and be relentless. In the end you’ll be happier and more fulfilled. You’ll have our furry four-legged friends to thank!
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