Whenever I stop and watch how my dog goes about her day, I’m truly amazed. She continually sets an example for me on how I should be living my life. It’s amazing what you can learn from a 6 year old Yorkie named Hero!
So in honor of her, I thought I would share with you a few of the more important lessons that she has taught me over the years.
#1 Don’t Worry
It’s not very often that I see my dog worry. She doesn’t spend her day worrying about whether or not her next meal will arrive, or if she will go out for a walk that particular day. She just takes things as they come.
To often we spend our time and energy worrying about things that may never happen. Why waste your precious mental and emotional resources on something that may never happen? It’s OK to plan for the future, but don’t obsess about it. Your life will be much less stressful if you just take things as they come.
#2 Love Unconditionally
No matter what, my dog loves me. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been away for longer than planned, don’t have time to take her for a walk, or if I’m feeling a little grouchy on a particular day. My dog is always happy to see me and spend time with me.
Imagine if she didn’t have that unconditional love.
If she held a grudge for not getting her walk, we would both miss out on some great time we could be spending together later. Who wants to hang out with someone who’s mad at them?
If she avoided me when I was feeling grouchy, then I might miss out on the opportunity to be cheered up by her funny antics.
Imagine if we acted the same way around our friends and family? Showing unconditional love like that would make our relationships, and the world as a whole, much better .
#3 Don’t Judge People By Their Appearance
I can take my dog for a walk anywhere and she will be happy to meet anybody. There have been several occasions where we’ve crossed paths with people whose appearance has made me want to avoid them. Not my dog. She’s happy to go up and greet them.
Quite often, those people that appeared strange or scary to me ended up being very pleasant people. I never would have had the opportunity to interact with them if my dog had judged them based on their appearances like I did.
You’ll end up meeting and talking to a lot more interesting people as you go through life if you don’t dismiss them based on how they look.
#4 Be Persistent
If my dog wants attention, she’s lets me know. First she grabs a toy, trots over, shoves the toy in my lap, then stares at me. If that toy doesn’t seem to work, she’ll go to her toy box and grab another toy in the hope that the different toy might be of interest to me. If that one doesn’t work, she’ll go and get another one, and another one..
Sometimes throwing various toys in my lap works, but if it doesn’t, she’ll eventually proceed to flip over on her back, flair her legs around and make funny noises in an attempt to get me to rub her belly.
This whole process can go on for quite a while. If it doesn’t work, she’ll just take a break for a while, then try again. And she keeps on trying until she gets the attention she wants
The point is that she doesn’t give up when something doesn’t seem giving her the desired result of getting the attention she wants.
You can do the same in your life. Don’t give up on your desires and dreams because you tried something and it didn’t work. Just because it doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean you failed. You only fail when you stop trying. If you need to take a break, do it, but never give up.
#5 Live In The Moment
My dog is extremely focused. I have never seen anyone as mentally involved in what they’re doing in any given moment as she is.
When she’s resting, she is the ultimate example of being totally relaxed. She just flops, and utterly sinks into, whatever she’s lying on. It’s like she melts into the surface she’s on. Of course I have no way on knowing what’s going on in her mind, but I strongly suspect that she’s not running through a list of things she has to do, worrying whether or not her stuffed animal will make it through another play session, or wondering if she’ll get fed that evening. She’s just appears to be totally relaxed.
She’s the same when she decides that she wants to stalk the latest squirrel that’s invaded her back yard. Nothing can break her focus when she’s doing that.
We can learn a great lesson from her on this one. Learn to be in the moment with whatever you’re doing. If you’re resting, just rest. If you’re working, focus on your work. If you’re playing, play with everything you’ve got. If you’re spending time with a loved one, give them your undivided attention. You’ll find that you become more relaxed, do better work, have better relationships, and you’ll be less stressed.
#6 Get More Exercise
Insufficient exercise makes my dog both agitated and chubby. Regular exercise keeps her happy and healthy.
We’re really not much different as human beings. Our bodies were designed to move, not sit around all day. And exercise releases helps release chemicals in our body that make us feel happier. Take a tip from my dog on this one. You’ll feel better, and look better if you get some exercise everyday.
Oh, and bonus points if you exercise outside on a sunny day. Lot’s of fresh air, and plenty of stuff to sniff at when you’re outside .
#7 Stretch Regularly
Almost every time my dog gets up, and before every walk, she stretches.
It must benefit her because I can’t say she’s ever had any sort of joint injury. Unlike myself, and many other people I know, who have all had joint injuries at one point or another in their lives.
Take her advice and just do a few quick stretches her and there throughout the day. You’ll be much less prone to injuring yourself and it’ll help promote good blood flow in your body.
I’m not quite ready to promote my dog to monk-hood yet. I suspect it’s because I want to hold on to the ‘master’ title for at least a while longer. But I would be foolish to ignore the lessons I can learn from such a great teacher.
What about you, have your pets taught you any great life lessons? I’d love to hear them. Please share them by leaving a comment below.
PS – Check this out if you want to see a Pic of Hero