Anyone can “get it right.” But, very few ever “get it done, right.”
My earliest memories have to do with my dogs, it seems as though they have always been a part of my life. And still to this day, my bulldog buddy Victor continues to impact me in profound ways. There’s just something about having a dog as a friend. . .
My dog brings out the best in me.
The happiest people in my life are all animal lovers- these are pretty special people. It’s crazy how similar we humans are to dogs, or to animals in general. It’s incredible actually.
If you’re attentive dogs can be a perpetual reminder of the inherent goodness in each of us.
I’m not attached to the source of where my life lessons are learned, and often times the most simple things in life can offer us the most valuable lessons, and if you’re an animal lover you know exactly what I’m saying.
With that said, it recently got me thinking about 5 core happiness secrets I’ve learned from my dogs over the years:
- Unconditional love- he’s always happy to see me, never holds a grudge, always forgives…
- Loyalty- he’s beyond loyal- he’s focused.
- Teamwork- he knows his role and who’s the boss, and he always has my back beyond exception.
- Patience & persistence- no attachment to time, to how many tries it takes, etc.
- Follows his nose- relies on smell vs. sight and couldn’t care less what people think about him.
But, the greatest happiness producing super-lesson I have learned is this:
Having no expectations (aside from their basic needs being met), dogs are the happiest creatures.
The crazy thing is that I have come to realize that I am at my happiest and best when I live by these very simple, uncomplicated, pooch-like principles.
A dog loves unconditionally. No matter what, no matter how bad a day you’ve had, the one thing that you can surely count on is your bowser buddy being excited to see you. He’s loyal, and day in and day out you take care of him and he takes care of you. His devoted friendship is one of the most predictable things in life.
A dog is man’s best friend because he’s unconditional, loyal, and he’s also unattached to time. This is one of the most valuable lessons that I, as an entrepreneur, have learned from my canine teachers over the years.
People ask me, “How is it you can juggle so many different things at one time? How can you accomplish so much?”
Well, it’s all about patience and persistence, something my dog has much more of than me!
Especially when it comes to business, the secret is to learn to use the leverage of time. I have found that as I apply myself in my work, I cannot get hung up on the process (time) or how it unfolds, AND be happy at the same time.
I find I am the happiest, (happier than my dog), when I’m unattached to how long it takes to complete the process; I persist beyond exception regardless what it takes. Period.
I set an intention for the outcome and then I let things happen and fall into place organically, ALL WHILE simultaneously working my ass off. (Don’t confuse what I am saying with being passive or entitled.)
Trust your gut.
Dogs have an incredible sense of smell. They don’t care what something looks like, it’s all in how “it” smells. There’s a huge, huge lesson in this. As humans we are so attached to how things look, but if we instead could hone our intuition we’d be much further ahead.
Eliminate expectation- the enemy of happiness.
Hold onto happiness. Don’t obsess about time or get hung up on appearances. Stop comparing yourself and your journey to that of those around you.
Trust your intuition and don’t spend energy fretting over the process, as your only concern is the eventual outcome- not how long it takes to get there. Once this is accomplished, I encourage you to eliminate expectation- a useless and destructive force- and open up space in your life for joyous contentment.
At the end of the day there are a few things we all know:
- Life isn’t fair.
- The race is not always won by the fastest.
- You have to “be good to be lucky, and lucky to be good.”
- We are all dealt with the cards we are dealt.
In light of the circumstances we all have to deal with, it’s not so much what happens to us- it’s about how we REACT to what happens to us in situations beyond our control.
All my best,
P.S. This article is based on the May 28, 2013 podcast WAKE UP: Your Dog