You may not know this, but we love dogs. We love our puppies. We’ve actually got three on set right now. Now many people love their dogs, but have you ever stopped to really listen to them? No, we’re not talking about when they bark, we’re talking about what they say. Sound crazy? It’s not, we assure you. They taught us five valuable life lessons. And they are…
Valuable life lesson from your dog #1: Unconditional love
Your dog loves you, period. This love is pure, unconditional and ever-present. It isn’t conditional. They don’t love you when you do what they want or when you spend a lot of money on them. They don’t care if you’re fat or skinny, tall or short. They don’t care how the stock market is doing or what kind of car you drive. They just love you, pure and simple. They always have, and they always will.
(or, at least it shouldn’t)
LESSON LEARNED: Love really is all you need, and no, it doesn’t cost a thing.
“To love someone unconditionally is not to care who they are or what they do. Unconditional love, on the surface, looks the same as indifference.”
– Richard Bach, Inspirational Quotes from Today Is That Day
Valuable life lesson from your dog #2: Living in the moment
For your dog, there is nothing but this moment. They don’t care what has happened before and they aren’t concerned with what is coming next. If they want to play, they want to play, they don’t care how many times you may have taken them to the park or for a walk. They want to go. Now. And it’s always exciting to them. If they want food, they want it NOW. They don’t care that you fed them five minutes ago. That was the past, and the past is nonexistent for them. They only care about what is happening right here, right now, in this very moment.
LESSON LEARNED: Focus on the now, and the future takes care of itself.
“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there’.”
– Dr. Seuss, Inspirational Quotes from Today Is That Day
Valuable life lesson from your dog #3: Shake it off
What’s the first thing a dog does when it comes out of the rain? Or if your dog gets in a scuffle or excited? They literally shake it off, whatever “it” is. It could be they’re trying to shake off the adrenaline, energy, or whatever. But it’s the first thing they do. And the crazy thing is we’ve tried it, and it works. If it helps, you can think of this as basically an NLP tool. In NLP, everything is just a “state.” Happiness is a state, sadness is a state. If you don’t like the state you’re in, you change it. You literally shake it off and step into a new one. Who knew Fido was that wise?
LESSON LEARNED: Walk it off, whatever it is, and move on to the next challenge.
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.”
– Buddha, Inspirational Quotes from Today Is That Day
Valuable life lesson from your dog #4: Say it like it is.
Canines are delightfully unpretentious. You never wonder where you stand with them. They don’t pretend to like you, they either do or they don’t, and they let you know in no uncertain terms. They don’t put up any facades when they greet the world. They never pretend to be someone they’re not. They simply are who they are. If they want to be petted, you’ll know, if they want to be fed, you’ll know. They put it all out there. No B.S. There’s a lot to be said for that.
LESSON LEARNED: Be who you are. If people don’t like it, that’s their problem.
“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
– Arthur Schopenhauer, Inspirational Quotes from Today Is That Day
Valuable life lesson from your dog #5: Balance
Live hard, play hard, work hard, be lazy, relax. Laugh more, play more, be lazy. It’s okay to do nothing for a day or two. Turn the brain off. You can’t think all the time, really, really get your sleep on. Don’t feel guilty for being a couch potato, as long as you’re an occasional couch potato, and make sure you earned that time on the couch. Exercise, and eat right, but don’t deprive yourself of those occasional indulgences. Life seems short, but only if you do it right. If not, it can seem long and hard and not in a fun way.
LESSON LEARNED: Work hard, play hard, be lazy, relax.
“Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.”
– Colin Powell, Inspirational Quotes from Today Is That Day
There you have it! Those are the five lessons we learned from our dogs. Now for our question for you: what lessons have you learned from your dog?