Learning comes from all sorts of unexpected places, one of which is our pets. Those of you who know me, know that I love pets, particularly my little Princess Bella! I rescued her a little over a year ago and she's made a great addition to my family, both at home and at the office.
That's right, I take Bella to work with me and what's really cool is that several members of my team bring their dogs too. That's me with some of our office pups in the picture above. There's nothing better than a little puppy therapy in the middle of the workday :)
Here are 8 life lessons we can learn from our pets:
1. Live In the Now Pets live in the moment, they enjoy simple pleasures and celebrate every day. They don't think about what happened in the past or what will happen in the future.
2. Take Care of Yourself Most pets know instinctively how to live a balanced life. They get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, eat when they're hungry, and they love to exercise and expend all their energy. Humans tend to struggle with this even though we have a lot more control over what we do and when we do it. Remember to take after your pet and take care of yourself :)
3. Learn Responsibility Having a pet takes the focus off of yourself. It teaches you to be responsible for and take care of another living thing. Part of my daily success ritual involves waking up early to take Bella outside. Establishing a routine like this has been great for both of us because it gets our day off to a great start.
4. Remember to Take a Break Many of us work hard and have super busy schedules, but we also need to realize the importance of taking a break every once in a while. Nothing beats taking a moment to play with a pup when you're in the middle of a stressful day. I'm so grateful that I realized this when I was launching Mind Movies as a company years ago. Things could get pretty intense and I quickly found that taking a coffee break and heading to a nearby dog beach for 15 or 20 minutes always helped me to refocus and get back on track.
5. Get Out Every Day Every dog I know loves to go outside and be active. Simply saying the words "Wanna go outside?" or "Let's go for a ride!" or even grabbing a leash without saying a thing can evoke a frenzy of excitement. Getting a little fresh air, sunshine, and exercise is good for everyone!
6. Wag Your Tail When You're Happy Okay... so you don't have to actually wag your tail, but you can easily smile more and make it obvious you're in a positive vibration state. Your happiness is contagious and can lift the spirits of others too. One of the best perks of having dogs at work is the excitement they spread at the start of each day. The dogs who come here are all great friends, and every morning they can't wait to get to work and say hi to their best buds. I'll admit, it makes me more excited to get to work too!
7. Know When You've Messed Up, Then Get Over It How many of you have a pet that shows guilt when they know they've done something wrong? They hang their head, lower their tail, and they can't look you in the eye... it's written all over their face. But shortly after, they move on with their life and forget that it ever happened. Are you able to shake negative emotions off so quickly? I encourage you to give it a go the next time you encounter a challenge. Face it, deal with it and then... let it go :)
8. Communicate Patience and Unconditional Love Pets can read our emotions. I've learned I have to be patient and flexible when it comes to training Bella and she has taught me more about unconditional love in the process. One of the training techniques I've adopted is to use the LOA to reinforce positive behaviors. For instance, if Bella is barking, I don't just yell "Stop barking" because she hears me say "bark," she feels my energy, and she responds in a negative way. I instead speak to her quietly and let off the calm energy that I want her to return to me.
To learn more about using the LOA to train your pets, check out the interview I did with Karen Palmer on The Inspiration Show. Karen is a certified dog-trainer that uses LOA techniques in her pet-care passion-based freedom business. Her goal is for people to realize that pets are our spiritual teachers and we can learn a great deal from listening to what our pets are telling us.
Let us know how your pet has helped you look at life in a new way. We'd love to hear from you, so leave a message in the comment box below! :)
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.