Dogs have it easy. They adapt well to whatever environment they’re in.
The first year of my mutt’s life was not ideal. He lived with a family that kept him in a kennel nine hours a day, never walked him (not once) and never trained him. Even so, when I met Ace for the first time, he seemed happy. He didn’t know what he was missing, so he was doing OK anyway.
I took him home, began running with him, training him and taking him everywhere, and he adapted to his new lifestyle just fine. If he had to go live somewhere else, I’m sure he’d adapt to his new lifestyle again. That’s just part of being an animal.
Like our dogs, it’s easy for people to adapt to the mundane world around us. But fortunately or unfortunately, we need a bit more to feel fulfilled. At what point do we begin to tolerate what we have instead of dreaming and working for what we desire?
Steve Pavlina had a post last week that said to strive for what you love by quitting what you are tolerating. Many of his posts have a strong influence on me, but this one in particular reached me at a perfect time. Pavlina challenges us to stop tolerating or settling for things in life, whether it’s our careers, relationships, lifestyles, etc., and shoot for what we love.
But at what point do we give up on striving for what we really love? When we graduate from college and land that first “great” job? When we find ourselves stuck in a career path we chose at age 19 (hmm, I can write, I’ll go into journalism)? When we tolerate a relationship or marriage? It’s too bad that as adults we slowly let go and just stick with what we have or what comes to us. We choose the easy option, which is settling for something instead of taking a risk at something better.
At what point in life were you the happiest? High school? College? Middle school?
For most of us, our happiest times were years ago. Could it be because at that point we didn’t feel so trapped? We had options because we allowed ourselves to dream big and no one told us no.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I said I wanted to be a vet, a writer and an artist.
Well, here I am writing about dogs. My wish to be a vet has passed (hate science, bad at math). But my passion for helping animals is still here, as well as the need to express myself through writing. In many ways I haven’t changed, I just need to remind myself of what I really want.
Take your dog out for a long walk this week and ask yourself:
What am I settling for?
What am I happy with?
What am I missing?
What are my true passions?
I hope you find your answers.
(Some of you may have noticed my Saturday posts are often loosely related or unrelated to dogs.)