Harvey Mackay has some great suggestions on learning from dogs. Here is an extract from his recent newsletter (Nov.6/08).
We can learn a lot from dogs. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal anyone has ever made.
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. Dogs treat us like celebrities when we come home. There's nothing wrong with showing people that we care about them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride. On warm days, there's nothing wrong with stopping to lie on your back on the grass. I think of Richard Gere's character in the movie Pretty Woman. He was so busy working—doing big business deals—that he never stopped to enjoy walking barefoot in green grass until Julia Roberts showed him.
Take naps. Many of us are on overload, so in life you have to know when to throttle up and throttle down. If you can't take a nap, at least take a break. It will improve your disposition.
Run, romp, and play daily. If you have a chance to have fun, go for it. Life presents plenty of difficult times, and we all need a break every now and then. My motto: work hard and play hard.
Let people touch you. Don't be aloof. Allow people to get close to you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. Just make sure your bark isn't as bad as your bite. It's okay to warn people that you're upset or even angry, but keep your temper in check.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body. Happiness is the American way. After all, the Declaration of Independence says we are endowed "with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." So we have a right to be happy!
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk. Exercise is always good. I've been doing it all my life. It just makes me feel better, gives me energy to work more productively and, I hope, live longer. My philosophy is: Exercise doesn't take time; it makes time.
Be loyal. In a recent column about loyalty, I wrote that one of the first qualities that I look for in both employees and friends is loyalty. And my friends know they can expect my loyalty in return.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. I'm constantly asked what the secret of success is, and persistence is at the top of the list. When you study truly successful people, you'll see that they have made plenty of mistakes, but when they were knocked down, they kept getting up ... and up ... and up.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently. People remember two things in life—who kicked them when they were down, and who helped them on the way up.
Mackay's Moral: My goal is to be as good a person as my dog thinks I am.
For more from Harvey visit: harveymackay.com.