Quick Life Lessons: Which Dog Do You Feed?

 In Better Life, Focusing on the positive

Matt was a mutt and new to the animal shelter. He was often mad and sad and thought about how rough his life had been.

One day, Bubba a big dog who had been at the shelter for awhile approached Matt and asked him why he was so down. After Matt recounted his many problems, Bubba said, “I know your biggest problem. You’re feeding the wrong dog.” Bubba told him how we all have two dogs inside us. One is positive, hopeful, and optimistic. The other is negative, mad, fearful, and pessimistic. These two dogs often fight inside us.

Bubba asked Matt, “Which one do you think wins?” Matt shook his head, not sure. Bubba answered, “The dog you feed the most.”

I just finished reading this cute, super short, (and somewhat cheesy) book called The Positive Dog by Jon Gordon. You may recognize his name from his other more famous books like The Energy Bus or The No Complaining Rule. I enjoyed the simplicity of this book and how it taught several great lessons from positive psychology from a dog’s point of view. Here are some of my favorite tips:

  • Take a “Thank-You” walk. Notice and think about all the things you’re grateful for.
  • Find and create more opportunities to smile and laugh.
  • Take time to practice gratitude throughout your day. Gratitude is like a muscle. The more we use it, the stronger it gets.
  • Change the story you tell yourself about your life. For example, change drama to adventure or horror to inspiration.
  • Instead of complaining, look for possible solutions and changes you can make.
  • Spend time with positive people.
  • Share the gift of kindness. Plan ahead or let it be spontaneous.
  • Encourage others by helping them believe in themselves.
  • Remember that negative experiences help you appreciate the positive ones. It’s like the darkness that allows us to see the stars.
  • Instead of focusing on what you’ve lost, focus on what could be gained from a tough situation.

What two or three tips could help you this week?

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