Be more like a dog… WOOF!

Did that title get your attention (or at least make you smile!)? Hope so!

I have been doing a lot of research into dog training recently, mainly because we have two Yorkshire Terriers about to become part of the household, and they need a bit of training (do not pee on the x-box and do not chew the sofa would be a good start!).

One thing that I have found very interesting is how dogs live for the moment. If you want to train a dog it is actually not as hard as you think. Dogs are much better at un-learning the past and focusing on the present, and they also don’t get distracted by the future.

In business it is easy to explain away why you haven’t done certain things, or achieved certain goals. “I wish I had started doing that when I was young”, “I missed the opportunity and now it is a bit late”. Do those sound familiar?

So many times we are bogged down by who we are, what we have or haven’t done in the past, and how we usually go about things. Imagine for a moment you could erase all of that, imagine you could wipe the slate clean.

With a clean slate you are now equal to everyone else. You can be one of those people who achieved greatness, as you are not bogged down by the past.

There are two issues people have with what I have just said. Firstly, that the moment is gone, and it is now too late to become great. Secondly there is a belief that greatness is part of your DNA.

In terms of it being too late, this is where thinking like a dog comes into it. Live in the moment, stop worrying about the past, and have belief in yourself. You will be surprised at what you can achieve. Geena Davis (actress) nearly qualified for the US Olympic archery team in a sport she took up at the age of 40, less than three years before the Olympic tryouts.

As for the DNA argument, there is a belief that people who are the absolute best in their field (top golfers, chess grand masters, top Grand Prix drivers) are made slightly different to the rest of us, but that difference accounts for the final 1% of their greatness. With hard work, determination, and the desire to better yourself you can still be, for all intents and purposes, top of your field.

Without rambling on too much, try it out for yourself. Throw away the restraints of the past, find a challenge, and tackle it. Go about it with the self belief of our four legged friends and let me know how you get on!

6 replies
  1. Lyndi
    Lyndi says:

    What a thought provoking article. Thanks for this.

    I not believe in destiny so this entire thing is a bit easier for me. If something goes wrong in me reaching my goals, it is myself I have to blame. When those hic-cups occur I normally just revise my strategies and start all over again. I will reach my goals one day, the problem is I do not know exactly when.

  2. Louise
    Louise says:

    I absolutely loved this piece. One because it is Rusty “Big Man’s” picture on it.. and he will so live for this moment and secondly because I completely agree with you. I do believe we are not limited by the expectations of others and most definitely not the expectations we have set out based on the past. Anything is possible you just have to believe it. I guess to stop worrying about the past is a great way of realising that we cant change anything. I do find it harder to not worry about the future which I think is the biggest challenge for me. But I most certainly like the relation to how dogs see things.. Woof Woof 🙂

  3. Jim
    Jim says:

    Thanks for all the comments. It was something I have been thinking about and I thought I would put it out there.

    @Rarst: LOL, you make a very good point there .

  4. Tertius
    Tertius says:


    I’m young, thanks for this article. Cute little dogs by the way. We had a miniature schnauzer for a long time and they have similair personalities if I’m not mistaken. Enjoy them! 🙂


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