Lessons From A Pup

I got a puppy. I’ve had dogs before, but they were older rescue dogs, so this is my first adventure into being a puppy mom. Izzy, as she was to be called a few days after we met, was only 6-weeks old and 4.2 pounds (1.9 kilos). In only ten days, she has gained 1.8 pounds and learned so much! I also try to learn from life’s experiences, so learning from the new pup is no exception. Everything is new. Like human babies, puppies come into the world knowing not much. Therefore, everything is a learning opportunity! Izzy has been challenging me to look at life through new eyes. What do I notice that I’ve been blind to before or haven’t “seen” in awhile? How can I see things from a new perspective? What might I do in order to see with fresh eyes? What can I learn today? Life is an adventure. It’s amazing how much entertainment, exercise and learning can come out of the smallest thing like a toilet roll! A simple piece of round cardboard functions as a teething ring, exercise equipment, toy and something to be conquered! What new adventure might I try? Doing the same things put you in a rut. Literally, doing the same thing over and over creates ruts in the brain. Puppies lick up love (literally). They are not afraid of affection, praise or compliments. In fact, they thrive on them. Anyone who has successfully trained a puppy or raised a child knows that love and affirmation are key in teaching discipline. Nothing says, “Don’t pee in the house,” like a reward of affection outside in the grass. Are people loving and affirming me in ways I’m ignoring? What keeps me from accepting compliments? Puppies give...

Excellence

Last week I went to an awesome concert. It was at one of the top venues in the world, the Red Rocks natural amphitheater in Colorado. The setting was almost perfect. The sun set as we watched distant showers over the Denver skyline. Our skin enjoyed a perfect temperature. And then we got to hear musicians who are the best of the best perform from their hearts. The bands? Eclectic Pink Martini from Portland, jazz pianist and vocalist, Diana Krall and her band, and the Colorado Symphony. Wow. The audience was treated to mind-blowing performances by exceptionally talented musicians. The genres played were diverse: jazz, bossa nova, opera, pop. I was on row 48 clapping to the beat, mouthing some of the lyrics and kept saying wow, wow, wow. Excellence has a way of blowing your mind and leaving your speechless. There is something special about being around people who are doing what they were made to do and have perfected their craft. Would anyone question whether John Lennon and Paul McCartney were meant to write songs, or Steve Jobs was to innovate technologies, or Michelangelo was to paint and sculpt? My 16-year old niece is visiting. She’s a competitive swimmer, so I asked her why she swims. She said being in the pool is not only a stress reliever, but also a place where she can be alone with just her and the water. She competes because it helps her work towards her goal of getting a college scholarship and maybe even going professional. She competes against others, but I think she mostly competes against herself. She is convinced she was made to swim. She’s got three things that are necessary: talent, motivation, and discipline. She’s probably still working on her 10,000 hours,...