When you’re a puppy (well I’m guessing) the world is always exciting. There’s always something new to explore and definitely something new to chew. Preferably something expensive.
There is always somewhere you haven’t left your mark on yet (favourite toileting spots are emerging that sadly aren’t always outside).
But you get away with being a little bit naughty – because you’re cute and you’re young and you’re still learning. Always learning.
You’re satisfied with what you’re given, because you haven’t learned to expect more. Although you will always accept more. Especially little bits of bacon.
You are happy being the centre of everyone’s attention but you are also happy to flop quietly by yourself. After all, you’re still a baby and babies sleep a lot.
There’s a lot to be said for the puppy approach to life. And a dog approach in general.
It’s about living life to the full, and getting the rest in between to maintain the pace – we think of puppies as little balls of Eveready energy when they probably sleep or rest 2/3rds of the time or more. And we adult humans struggle to manage 1/3 of the time (8 hours) sleep in a 24-hour day.
No wonder we are all so tired, and lacking in enthusiasm.
So here are some puppy-inspired tips to staying enthusiastic in life (and ok – I’m just a proud puppy Mum).
- Don’t give in to fear – if anything saps enthusiasm faster than a pimple popping it’s fear. You start off all excited and eager to put in the work and then you find yourself running scared. Acknowledge, accept and then work through fear. Enthusiastically fight fear. (Ruffus pretty much had no choice but to work through any fears as he went out in our little boat for the first time –after a while he got so relaxed he fell asleep. Talk about putting fears to rest!).
- Do get support – Puppies, and dogs in general, looove company. It can be hard to stay excited about a job or project if you’re flying solo all the time – a one person party isn’t much fun. So lap up encouragement and support, especially from people who are eager to help (or scratch you under the chin). Especially lap up support when things get a bit scary (Ruffus found support and security in my lap as we bounced along in the boat).
- Find presence – focus on the present moment and the task at hand. Pretend you are engaged in play not work. Dogs will happily play the same game over and over again because they aren’t thinking about what they need/want to do next but are simply lost in the present. Before you know it you will have achieved more than you thought and for us humans a sense of achievement is a great motivator to keep going.
- Don’t get too attached to achievement – dogs don’t know what achievement means, although of course they respond well to praise because they want to please. Dogs please us for the sheer joy of it, not out of any sense of needing to prove themselves good enough. Talk about being intelligent – they instinctively know they are always enough, when most of us struggle to learn that lesson over and over again throughout our lives. With that underlying sense of being always enough you can stay enthusiastic about even the most challenging project because the outcome becomes irrelevant.
- Rinse and repeat – dogs are certainly creatures of habit and it is amazing to see how quickly puppies turn new experiences into comfortable routines. And they seem to find the joy in the new and the routine in equal measure. (although I’m not sure Ruffus is too impressed with the tiara experience).
OK – no more puppy pics (even though he’s way too cute).
Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT. Don’t you just love the lessons you can learn from a dog?