13 Aug Three Leadership Lessons From Your Dog
I’ve had the privilege of being a dog mom for three amazing dogs in my lifetime so far. Currently, I don’t have a pet because of my travel and training schedule. However, I do get some puppy love almost every day on my walks. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but when I pass people with a dog on the street, I will talk to the dog before I acknowledge the person.
Yesterday, at the beach, I met Ollie. He actually came to visit me twice during his morning stroll. We chatted for a few moments (he liked a little head and hind quarter scratch), and then off he went to chase all things delightful. My time with Ollie instantly raised my vibe, and even now, retelling this story, I remember the interaction and smile.
We humans usually talk about teaching our dogs. Perhaps it would be wiser to learn from them. Here are three leadership lessons from your dog that you can apply to your life immediately.
LIVE IN THE PRESENT
Dogs are great role models for being present. Every day is a new day. They don’t bring with them yesterday’s challenges that make today more difficult, and they don’t worry about tomorrow. If it’s time to walk, they walk. If it’s time to play, they play. If it’s time to sleep, they sleep. Where are you making your life more difficult than it needs to be? What would be different if you stayed in the moment and responded only to what that moment called for without recreating any past stories or creating any future stories? You might find you wag your tail a bit more.
Dogs don’t judge. They see everyone as worthy of love. They happily share that love knowing there is more to give and receive. They don’t restrict their love or hold onto it because they are afraid they will run out. They don’t get upset if someone doesn’t love them back. They just move on and let that person be. Are you showing all of the people in your life – at work, at home, in your community, at the grocery store – that they are worthy of love? It can be as simple as making eye contact and sharing a smile. We have all chosen different paths. When you learn to love people for the path they’ve chosen, you’ll find a new sense of peace within yourself.
EXPLORE AND EXPERIENCE
My first dog was a beagle. He taught me the most. Have you ever seen a dog out for a walk who just goes in a straight line from point A to point B? Hell no! They are all over the place exploring everything! They get so excited at every smell, every item they encounter, and everything they see. It’s wondrous and magical for them. Are you leaving room in your life for the exploration and magic? Quite often, as leaders, we believe that there is only one way to get from point A to point B. Since that’s all learning from our past, we miss out on any new possibilities. When we lift our heads and take a breath, we start to see all the other options that might be better or more exciting than what we had planned.
There are so many other lessons we can learn from our pets. Be present with them today and really connect to their experience. See how you can apply it to your own experience. They will be our greatest teachers in how to leave room for the magic.
Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org about the lessons you learn from your pets, and I will share them with our Facebook Community. If you are not a member of the High5 Leadership Momentum Community on Facebook, request to join here. We are always looking for more positive leaders who want to connect and share with other positive leaders.