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Life and Work Lessons I Learned From My Dog

fun by Shannon Noack on December 11, 2009 | 0 Comments

mikaI have a 1 and half year old Red Heeler, Mika, who is quite the handful sometimes. Heelers are typically ranch dogs, known for their energy and ability to run for days. Mika fits the description well, and we fear she isn’t going to leave the puppy stage anytime soon. My husband and I say she must have some labrador mixed in with her genes because Heelers usually aren’t always the friendliest dogs, they are supposed to protect the ranch, not befriend its visitors. Mika doesn’t fit this part of being a Heeler because she loves people whole-heartedly and with no questions about race, gender or where they stand on the issue of global warming.

Here’s what you can learn from Mika:

1. Approach every day with boundless and limitless energy.

Mika won’t nap unless there’s nothing else to be done. If there are visitors around or especially another dog, she won’t sleep. At all. She’ll dance around hoping to gain the attention of someone so that they’ll pet her or allow her to give them kisses. And if we haven’t given her enough attention by around 7pm every evening, she’ll take off at top speed expelling her extra energy from the day, doing her laps around our house.

Take it from Mika and wake up with a renewed spirit and a can-do attitude that today is going to be a great day, those are definitely the better days that I can remember. You get more done and you feel good about it at the end of the day. If only you could find the energy to race around at top speed, think of how much work could be done!

2. Show enthusiasm in everything you do.

Mika bursts out of bed the second she sees movement, just knowing that today is going to be so much fun. She wags her tail constantly and runs around at top speed chasing her toys, flies, or anything she feels in the mood for. If we don’t want to play with her, she’ll go find a toy to entertain herself.

People can tell when a phone call is answered with enthusiasm or a project is executed with passion. Your work looks better, your customers are happier and new clients seem to come out of the woodwork! People are drawn towards enthusiasm and want to work with others that show energy and exude happiness.

3. Never restrict your imagination by working with only the tools that others do.

Mika’s favorite toys are discarded boxes and pieces from our recycling pile. She LOVES empty plastic bottles like milk jugs and soda bottles. She doesn’t let society tell her that dogs play with soft stuffed chew toys that squeak or large rawhide bones. Nope. She uses her imagination and finds something fun she can chew on (that’s allowed) and she goes to town entertaining herself for hours.

Find new ways to complete things in life and at work, there are always new computer programs to try, new ways of doing things. If ¬†you feel something isn’t running efficiently, do some internet research, talk to others, but don’t settle to keep things the way they have always been. Use your imagination and find a new toy or tool to play with.

4. Don’t worry about what others think of you.

As is the case with most dogs, Mika doesn’t care what you think of her and she certainly doesn’t judge you either. You may have had a lousy day at work, making tons of mistakes and she will still love you. She may have just rolled in mud and eaten a pile of rocks outside (yep, she eats rocks for reasons we can’t figure out..) and she will still strut around thinking she is really hot stuff.

People are drawn toward self-confident people and companies. Really believe that your product/service/company is good at what it does and others will believe it too. And don’t worry about what those other companies think, they don’t matter in the scheme of things.

5. Find a job that fulfills you, even if no one else cares that you’re doing it.

Mika finds a job anywhere she can. Her jobs are sometimes slightly more destructive than we would hope for, but you can tell that she feels fulfilled at the end of the day. Her main job in life is to keep track of everyone in the house. If my husband is downstairs and I’m upstairs, she runs back and forth to see if we’re still ok. Once we’re together again, she lays down at our feet and takes a nap, feeling successful and happy that everyone is together and well. Job well done.

Does your job make you feel happy at the end of the day? If it doesn’t, find a new hobby, volunteer, join a new club. There are always new jobs to be done and new adventures to be found. Don’t worry about others caring about what you do, just make sure you feel good about the job you’re doing.

What can you learn from Mika or your family pet? Dogs are a real source of inspiration with their love and energy for life and I hope this post inspired you to live your life like Mika!

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