Man’s best friend. An animal we take for granted, the dog. Whether you have one in your life or not, you can take appreciation from their simple way of life. We consider ourselves superior to them, but in reality, we need to pay more attention to them. We need to live how they live. It may be obtrusive to say this, but you need to live your life as a dog. Let me explain.
Focus on the Present
The dog never focuses on the past or the future. Dogs aren’t able to reason about time the way we are. That’s one of their advantages. While we’re focusing on work or a regret, the dog focuses on the moment. Our life moves so fast, it’s like we’re here, but we’re not here. How many times have you driven your car, but don’t remember how you got to your destination? This is how people live their lives.
If you take a dog on a walk, it will ponder the walk. If you or I go on a walk, we think about our day-to-day lives. We’re not grateful for being given this opportunity for fresh air. We’re in such a hurry, we don’t appreciate our surroundings. Sometimes the best task can be to stop what you’re doing. Are you where you want to be?
Take a few minutes and stop. Use meditation or take a few deep breathes. It’s during this time you will appreciate what you’ve done and who you are. You’re an amazing person, and when you rush yourself, you won’t realize how far you’ve come.
Have One Job
Why are dogs happy? It’s because they have one job, to love unconditionally. Their sole focus is to love you whether you’re happy or mad. When you’re sick, they’ll be by your side. Dogs are made to love you. As humans, we believe we need to be a superhero to be happy. In actuality, we have one job. It’s to provide for, love unapologetically, and nurture those around us.
In the end, accomplishing those three tasks will make you happy.
We think we need to be everything to everyone. You’ll see this when people start a business. They reason they can be a marketer, accountant, designer, assistant, and a salesperson. This causes most people to burn out. They cast a shadow of doubt on themselves and their life. It’s in this black territory that people give up on their dreams.
There comes a point in your life where you need to leave your ego at the door. Until you focus on your one job, what makes you happy, you’ll never be satisfied. You can outsource or hire out the jobs you can’t or won’t do. If you put your energy and charisma into what you’re passionate about, amazing things will happen.
Be Happy for the Small Gifts of Life
As a society, we think we need materialistic goods for people to appreciate us. We suppose by buying that new house or new car, we will get more friends. We’re never happy and don’t take the time to appreciate the gifts we receive in life. If you give a dog a treat, it will be thankful for the entire week. You can buy a dog a tennis ball or toy, and the dog can be happy for its life. We complicate life too much.
Have you taken stock? You have a car that can transport you places. A phone with which you can call anyone. These are goods we take for granted. To be thankful for the small gifts, you must gift others without a need for reciprocity.
When was the last time you left your husband or wife a note telling them how much you loved them? Or made a surprise dinner for your mother or father? When was the last time you called a friend you hadn’t talked to in a while? These are gifts we take for granted. It’s the small gifts in life that make life a whole experience. With a few minutes from each new day, we can make someone’s day or year worthwhile. That’s a good investment.
Don’t Require a Lot to Enjoy Life
If we don’t get our way in life, we’re upset. You didn’t get that promotion, or maybe, it’s raining. It’s our perception of life that’ll influence quality of life. Not getting the promotion could be the tipping point to quit your job and start a business. People are thankful when it rains, allowing their grass to grow. It’s these simple events that can let us enjoy life. For a dog, it could be to spend more time with you.
We’re never satisfied with who we are. A dog doesn’t need perception and is happy anyway. If we don’t drive a particular car, we won’t be happy until we do. Do you think dogs aren’t happy because they didn’t walk with a specific leash? No! They’re happy to be on the walk. If you’re chasing what you think will make you content, you’ll live an unfulfilled life.
When is enough going to be enough?
Appreciation comes from within ourselves—an understanding we have everything we need. Whatever else we receive, it’s a bonus. When we’ve been given the gift of life, we can’t waste the opportunity.
Be Open to a New Journey
Most people live right near where they grew up. Do you think you will grow living in familiar settings? Life is meant to be lived to the fullest. By staying in the same town you grew up, you won’t. We’re fearful of the unknown, fearful of what might go wrong. These fears hold us back from what we want to achieve and where we want to go in life.
You can take a dog anywhere and they’ll be happy. In a new place, a dog will be happy for the sights and smells. They aren’t fearful of the new place, they’re excited. They’d be happy to go on a new trip or journey. Dogs don’t allow these fears in their life. Why are we scared? It’s because we’ve never been to this place. Why isn’t a dog scared? Because it picks up where it left. You can pick up where you left off. You won’t grow living in the same place.
With a dog, they’ll be happy anywhere. Where’s a place you’ve thought of living? What stopped you from going? Is it your job, kids, fear?