When I think about training my pup, the first thing I think is:
"I want my dog to be the best, most joyous dog she can be"
When I think about living my life, the first thing I think is:
"I want my life to be the best, most joyous life it can be"
I'm starting to think that the way I go about accomplishing the first has a lot to do with how I succeed accomplishing the second.
For example, if I train my pup by controlling her, planning every outcome, demanding a response and giving her a leash pop the instant she does not respond to a command just so my expectations are met, I am acting like I'm her King…demanding her respect I feel I'm entitled.
However, if I train my pup with patience, guiding her one small step at a time, praising her for what she does well, and think of her needs, fears, and strengths in advance to help her be the best she can be, I am acting more like a servant...and I end up with a richer, deeper relationship.
What method is better? I'm learning that serving her makes her a better, happier, and healthier pup. Sure if I "King" over her I'll get results, but I'm looking for more. Yes I want her well-trained, but I also want a much more rewarding relationship.
In a similar way, if I control my life (and those in my life) by planning every detail, demanding a response from those around me (or God) and reacting negatively until my expectations are met, I am living like a King of my own world…demanding the respect I feel I'm entitled.
However, if I serve those around me, help co-workers succeed, love friends, be patient with strangers, guiding and praising my kids strengths, thinking of my family's needs and fears to help them be the best they can be, I am living my life like a servant…and end up surrounded with gratitude and rich, deep relationships.
Its almost like the way I train my pup is a mirror reflecting how I'm really living my life, regardless of my outward appearance. It's easy to see what drives me (patience or impatience, loving or demanding, serving or controlling) when I'm "just" training a pup.
It makes it possible to ask myself if that's how I truly approach my life...
…is my first thought of the day how I can serve others, love them, and put their needs before mine? Even (or especially) in a business setting where it is not normal to have a servant's heart? Or, is my first thought of the day how I can control key areas of my life, put more personal energy into accomplishing a goal I can stamp my name on, and bristle when I don't get what I plan?
Maybe I should pay attention to this dog training…
…maybe we all should
What do you think?