Yes, You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

May 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

I once wrote about the differences between my dog and me.  The gist of the blog was that while my dog would sit outside my office door waiting for me – even though I was travelling – I was not going to wait outside my husband’s door because I knew he was not ever going to be there.

Today I want to write about how my dog and I are alike.   Or better how dogs and we have the same habitual behavior.

If you train a dog to sit for a treat, they will eventually always do the commend even when you no longer offer the treat.  Pretty simple; dogs learn from repetition.

The same happens to us.  We create habits from events and thought repetition.  Let me zero in on thought repetition.  If I think everything always turns out for the worse, then that will color the way I see life, and how I relate to others.  The habit I’ve created will make me feel down no matter what is happening around me.  In essence we are – just like dogs – creatures of habit.  But unlike dogs, we can teach an old dog new tricks, it just takes discipline.

Let me share a couple of ideas that have worked for this old dog:

1                    -  Make friends with yourself – If you start getting familiar with your psyche you’ll be able to identify what is your “shit” and what isn’t.

2                    –  Take responsibility for your “shit” – this is when you decide you want to make a change.  This is an important step and if you really want to raise the bar tell someone you trust you want to make a change.  By telling someone you’re well on your way to making the change a reality.

3                    -  Be vigilant – Like our dogs we will want to go back to our familiar response system.  It will take love, kindness and discipline to remind ourselves that we want to change.

If you can follow these three steps with compassion for yourself you can make a change in your life.  Big or small, it is all up to you.

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