These days things get so dog gone crazy, it’s easy to desire the life of a dog. Dogs more than less are happy, and seem to have the simple life down to an art. What I’ve come to realize after paying close attention to my dog Nino is that there is a method to his puppy madness. Nino is a healthy dog with structure and routine, but his routine includes far more activities than just eating, sleeping, playing ball, and going for walks. I’ve learned quite a few life lessons from my dog that when I apply them to my own life I’m left feeling more pawsitive about my future. Check out some of Nino’s tricks to see if they do the trick for you too.
Over the years, talking with friends and family, I’ve picked up on some good advice. Life altering advice. Advice that changed my perspective on achieving my dreams and goals. Sometimes, the same advice can be given to you over and over again, and whether it has to do with wording or timing, eventually something clicks. These 5 tips did just that for me.
1. “Edit and let go of scenes that don’t go with the overall movie of your life.”
Easily disappointed, I would often find myself thinking about what didn’t work out. Past relationships, jobs, opportunities. What is so interesting about this is that those people, places, and things that I was afraid to let go of didn’t even come close to what I truly desired for myself. My uncle, a film maker, told me once that life is like a movie. Though we may spend hours trying to film one scene, when it comes to the editing process, we may find that that scene really has nothing to do with the overall big picture. Though you invested your time on this scene, maybe more so than any other, you have to be willing to let it go. In real life, we have realize that though we may have invested our time in people, places, or things, it may not go with the big picture of our life movie, and that is OK.
2. “Don’t focus on what you don’t want to do, do everything that you love instead.”
After attending my best friend’s memorial, I met his son’s mother. Through our grieving we became good friends. Once when she asked how I was doing, I told her I was frustrated. I knew all the things I wasn’t supposed to do, but little about what I should do instead. I knew so little about what I would like to do that i would revert to thinking about what I didn’t. It was a miserable and painful process! She gave me a two week challenge: Do everything you love to do. Think about thoughts that make you feel warm, eat your favorite food, listen to your favorite music, watch your favorite T.V. show. Do all and everything that favors you.
3. “If you were taking a trip, and several miles into it you took a wrong turn, you wouldn’t go all the way back to your house and start over, would you? So why do you have to start over every time you take a wrong turn in life? Just get back on the right track.”
How often is it that we won’t try that last time because of all our failures to arrive to that destination goal? For me, giving my dreams one last shot was close to not happening. I remember telling my uncle ,”I wanted to give up, what was the point of trying? My life has been a repetitive cycle of ‘starting over.'” When he responded with the metaphor about driving, it made sense. Who really would go all the way back to their house and begin driving again after making a wrong turn 10 miles into a trip? That’s when he explained to me the importance of not throwing out the baby with the bath water. It’s not about starting over but getting back on track, building on what you’ve learned in between.
4. “If it was meant to be, nothing that you do will stop it from happening. If it wasn’t meant to be, nothing that you do will change that.”
A bad habit that I’ve struggled with is trying to control the outcome, especially in relationships. When insecure, which if applying the 10/90 rule my insecurities may have absolutely nothing to do with the relationship itself, I begin to act out, creating pressure and spinning my wheels trying to get the outcome I want because I’m afraid it won’t happen. A friend once told me after beating myself up about my behaviors that if it was meant to be, there was nothing I could do to stop it from happening. Likewise, if it wasn’t meant to be, there was nothing I can do to manipulate it into existence. Knowing this relieved me of the pressure to take forceful actions when it would be best to go with the flow instead. Everything works out as it should.
5. “Keep on dreaming, even if it breaks your heart.”
Part of the country rock song “Even if it breaks your heart” by the Eli Young Band, this lyric hits the nail on the head. Because success includes times of failure, the risk in not achieving success has to do with the temptation to give up when it looks like your goal is out of reach. The ability to continue and persevere in spite of those times has a lot to do with whether or not you dare to dream. After years of heartache, it can be painful to dream about what you want out of fear it may not happen and you are letting yourself down by doing so. But the truth is, what you want is important and possible, always. You need to keep on dreaming, even if it breaks your heart, because the only way your desires can come into existence if if they remain alive. Sometimes, it’s not the right people, places, or things, or that you’re desire is wrong. Be patient for that perfect fit, and don’t give up in between.
“We are what we think about all day long.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
When you’re anxious, sad, or experiencing intense emotions, do you ever pay attention to the conversation you have with yourself? Do you tell yourself things like, “If I wasn’t so stupid things would have turned out differently,” or “I’ll never be able to what he or she does?” More often than not, we become unaware of the negative dialogue within us. Having repeated these things to ourselves over and over throughout the years, they become “facts” hardwired in our brains as truths, causing us to take steps towards making those statements a reality by not trying. However, though these negative statements about ourselves have dominated our thought life, u can kick it by taking steps to be kinder to yourself. What are you declaring over your life? Are you your own worst critic of biggest fan?
In this scene from movie “What The Bleep Do We Know,” experiments from a water molecule study performed by Dr. Masaru Emoto is being shown to those passing by at a train station. The experiment analyzed the effect words have on the water crystallization process. What was found that water which was blessed resulted in beautiful crystallization, opposed to being cursed with words such as “ugly” which resulted in the water’s inability to form. “Makes you wonder, If our bodies are 90 percent water, imagine what our thoughts could do that to water, imagine what our thoughts can do to us.”
Another 90 percent rule: 90 percent of how we feel about ourselves has to do with they way we talk to ourselves. When we like ourselves–in our relationships, in our work role, etc.–the more we like others! Wake up and tell yourself “your healthy” or “your happy.” Affirm yourself consistently with positive blessings instead of letting the world affirm you, taking you on an up and down roller coaster while it does. Our thoughts create our future. Though the video below is long, it’s worth checking out.
Do you take things too personally? It can be normal to internalize situations, opinions, behavior from others, after all humans are not mind readers or God. It’s impossible to always assume it’s not our crap- everyone has an ego and at one time or another thinks it’s all about them. But what if it’s all the time?
I struggle with this a lot, and taking things too personally a majority of the time is a habit. It happens in class, at work, but most noticeably with my boyfriend or family. Matters close to the heart. The stress affects my relationships and discipline to get things done. Almost all of the time, the energy spent toward getting worked up was not even worth it, because whatever it was I took personal had nothing to do with me!
Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
Motivational Speaker and Pastor Joel Osteen talked about this in one of his messages, about being neutral to this kind of behavior. Not paying any mind to it. Really, if you have goals for yourself, you need to save your energy to meet them, carry them out. Carrying around the baggage of others is going to weigh you down, keep or prolong you from your destiny. You got to let it go. It is especially hard when we want the people close to our hearts to approve of us, praise us, but not every battle is a battle we need to fight or even drain ourselves with worry over. Especially when it’s really not about us in the first place!
When I find myself taking things too personal I have to remind myself it may not be real what I’m trippin’ off of. When I can’t I lean on people I can trust to help me do that. When I do, i’m reminded also to practice compassion for myself and others, and leadership. It’s an opportunity to be an example to the people around that you don’t have to be a victim to a bad habit, that u can kick it and they can too.