Most probably you haven’t met Sharnie but I’ll bet you’ve met another like her! Let me explain.
Sharnie is my much-loved tri-coloured Border Collie dog. She came to me as a birthday gift from my wife designed to stop me selling the family home and moving into a city unit. From the moment she arrived, Sharnie knew exactly what she had to do… suck up to me unquestioningly and unsparingly.
Obviously sucking up that way is a great technique because Sharnie has won her way into my heart and there’s no way I could sacrifice her for the joys of city living.
But there is another reason I couldn’t get rid of her either and that’s because of the lessons this extremely intelligent dog teaches me. Here are just some of them and they, no doubt, will be as relevant to you as they are to me:
1. Always anticipate the best
Sharnie and I go for a run every morning and the joy of that is heightened for her because I kick or throw a tennis ball for her to chase as we run. Generally I supply the tennis ball but, on occasions, I don’t take it or it disappears down the mouth of a drain.
Does the absence or loss of the tennis ball worry Sharnie?
And why only momentarily? Because Sharnie expects to find another one and just runs along with that expectation… and guess what?
She finds another one! No problems, no fuss.
Why? Because she expected to… she gets what she expects.
And it’s just as true for us humans— we get what we expect. If we expect the worst we get the worst; if we expect the best we get the best. The only uncertainty is how long it will take before expectations become reality… sometimes it’s only a moment, other times it’s almost forever. But it does happen.
So learn from Sharnie. Expect the good things and they will surely come to you.
2. Persistence works
In our backyard we have a pool and Sharnie likes nothing more than to have a ball thrown into the pool and wait patiently for it to float to the edge where she can pluck it out, dump it at your feet and wait for you to throw it in the pool again.
Now this game doesn’t appeal to some people who visit us and tries the patience of others so that either they don’t start throwing the ball or they rapidly tire of doing so.
Does this deter Sharnie? No, she knows the power of persistence! She simply drops the ball at your feet and keeps on doing it until you pick the ball up and throw it. Guess what… it works.
I think it was Calvin Coolidge who said that persistence is omnipotent, meaning that persistence is all-powerful, and that’s true for you and me. Nothing succeeds like persistence. Too often we give up after a couple of failures and never achieve our goal.
Learn from Sharnie… persist!
3. Every day is a new day
When I get out of bed every morning, my first mission, after the bathroom visit of course, is to let Sharnie in and, no matter what my state of mind, Sharnie let’s me know that it’s a brand new day and that everything starts all over. Even if she had been scolded the day before, she’s forgotten about it. Even if I didn’t lavish affection on her the previous night, she’s forgotten about it. Even if I forgot to feed her, she’s forgotten about it.
You see she forgets all of the trials, troubles and tribulations of previous times and lives for the moment. She knows that the dawn of a new day erases the mistakes and problems of the past.
Learn from Sharnie, when you treat every day as a brand new day and you don’t carry the baggage forward— every day is a great day.
4. If you are happy let the people know
Sharnie’s tail wags incessantly and she always seems to have a big cheerful grin on that face of hers letting me know that she’s having a great time. You can tell from every fibre of her being that she’s happy and she wants the world and me to know it. Yet, when we go running in the morning, we meet so many people who respond to my cheerful “hello” with a grunt at best and nothing at worst. I always tell Sharnie that they are probably not going to have the best of days because they are not all that happy or least ways they’re not showing it. If you are happy you should let people know.
Happiness is like manure— it works best when you spread it around.
Learn from Sharnie, try spreading your happiness around and see how much comes back to you.
It’s often said that the world is “going to the dogs” and that’s generally meant disparagingly. However, when you look at how Sharnie views life, going to the dogs can mean you get a whole lot more out of life.
Why not try going to the dogs or doing what dogs do on a regular basis? It’ll change your life!