Do you have a dog? If not, have you ever spent anytime around a dog? Chances are you can answer yes to one of those questions. If you haven’t, then this is a perfect time connect with some behaviors of dogs.
There are several things I have learned from having dogs in my life that can help you in your business and personal life. Believe it or not, they are pretty profound.
Sniff, pee, kick dirt on it
We have all seen dogs do it. They pick up a scent, pee on it if they need to mark their territory. Sometimes they will even kick dirt over the spot because of the olfactory glands that are between their toes (most likely they kick the dirt over their poo). Then they move on.
Translation: In life, certain challenges can arise. Often times we ruminate (we aren’t cows!) over those challenges, even if they have been resolved. Instead, if we evaluate the situation (sniff), resolve what can be resolved (pee or kick dirt on it) and move forward there is no need to continue to hash it out for a long time. If we continue to mull over how we could have done it differently, we aren’t being present and growing from the experience.
Go for a walk
This one may be obvious. They get so excited for those walks. Why? They associate the walks with pleasure. Maybe they will meet other dogs, get scratched behind the ear, chase a squirrel. They are fully in the moment when they are on walks. They aren’t thinking about how another dog has treated them, etc. They are using their senses, being aware of their surroundings and enjoying all of it.
Translation: How often do you take the time for at least a 5 minute walk? How can you associate walks with pleasure? It gives the body exercise and the mind a break. The next time you take a walk, be aware of your surroundings like a dog would. Take a deep breath and give yourself permission to set those worries aside. Notice the scenery, the smells, the sounds, etc. and put away the electronics.
Dogs make sure to take plenty of naps, especially when they have had a good walk, run or play time.
Translation: Naps are a wonderful way to restore the body, mind and spirit. Even if you don’t necessarily sleep, take rest breaks. Even if it is for 5 minutes. That means not being on your cell phones, tablets, computers, etc. It is sitting or lying down with your eyes closed and taking deep breaths.
Greet everyone like you haven’t seen them in 10 years
Dogs will greet you with such excitement and happiness, even if you have walked outside for 30 seconds.
Translation: Greet everyone you meet with genuine happiness and gratitude. If you are unable to muster up the happiness and gratitude, be nice. You never know what someone could be going through and it may just make their day. You may just save someone’s life (along with your own).
Hang your head out the window
We have all seen dogs hang their head out the car window. We think they are crazy but they sure seem to love it!
Translation: If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend hanging your head out of the car window. It is exhilarating! Not only is it invigorating, it is very freeing. We tend to take life way too seriously. We start adulting and forget to play. We are “grown-ups” but that doesn’t mean we are to ever stop playing!
While these are only five things that dogs do that we can all learn from, they can teach us so much more if we take the time to stop and be aware. They would if they were in our place and they would do it unconditionally. When we stop and become aware, the whole world is our teacher.