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5 Powerful Lessons In Mindfulness We Can Learn From Puppies

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Life is hard. It doesn’t magically grant success when we want it and to achieve anything worthwhile, we have to work toward it relentlessly. Life doesn’t believe in handouts. It pulls you in conflicting directions and tests your determination to succeed constantly.

To top it all off, no two people have the exact same definition of success. Success is that mysterious unicorn we are all striving toward and yet, every single person you ask has a different idea of what it is and how to get there.

We get too caught up in meeting outside definitions of success. We judge ourselves by what our friends and colleagues are doing and try to adhere to those standards. The main problem with that is that their answer is often starkly different from ours and we get frustrated because our expectations aren’t met.

As with a lot of awesome things, effective lessons often come from unexpected places. It’s time to look at the one creature that lives in the moment and see how it’s done.

If puppies could talk, these are the five lessons they’d impart in their napping, face licking wisdom:

1. Enjoy the moment

Don’t be so focused on your goals for the future that you forget to live today. When you are working toward your dream career and your dream life the “now” often feels boring and petty. It’s just a long to do list, with endless tasks you haven’t done yet. “Now” is frustrating because you aren’t where you want to be.

Planning is great but, if you lose track of the present, you are in danger of missing out on some pretty wonderful stuff. Take a breath, drop that list for a second and be present. What are you grateful for right now? What’s amazing about your life today? This exact moment is never going to come back around, don’t miss the opportunity to revel in it.

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” – Omar Khayyam

2. Take the time to do nothing every day

Our lives are busy. We are in a state of constant motion; going to meetings, checking our phones, answering emails and running errands. There’s always something competing for your attention. It’s exhausting. Puppies, on the other hand, spend about 30% of their day doing nothing.

They are onto something. Spending time being mindful and not doing anything helps us process what’s going on and quiets the noise in our minds.  According to a study by the North Arizona University, it decreases stress and depression and increases overall well being and happiness.

So, next time it feels like the walls are closing in on you, be like a puppy and truly enjoy a few minutes of just existing.

 

3. Do something goofy

Puppies roll on their backs, paws flailing above them, pawing at the air, mouth open, tongue rolling out, laughing.

Laughing often and consistently is pretty much one of the best things you can do for your health. It decreases stress and pain and makes the world seem like a better place. Laughing anchors us to a particular moment in time and allows us appreciate the small moments of joy.

 

4. Be fully present when you meet new people

My dog treats every other puppy he sees as a long lost friend he can’t wait to be with again and, most of the time, the response is incredibly similar. He doesn’t think about why that pup may not like him or might not be in the mood. He puts himself out there.

What does meeting new people have to do with mindfulness? Everything. We get into our own way when making connections. We bring baggage from past experiences and difficult encounters and unwittingly, create a protective barrier between us and the other person.

Focusing on the moment and on that new person gives a clean(ish) slate and allows for more honest communication.

“I love meeting new people; I think everyone has a story to tell. We should all listen sometimes.” – Kim Smith

5. Greet every day with excitement

When was the last time every new day felt like a fresh opportunity filled with countless possibilities? These days, it’s easy to let time roll in on itself as days become weeks and months and years. We feel constantly busy and overwhelmed and time flies by us until one day we look back and wonder and think, “Where did all that time go?”

The dawn of each new day is an opportunity to start again. To get closer to your goals. To forgive yourself for the mistakes you made yesterday and think about the difference you can make today.

What animal have you learned lessons from and what were the lessons? Share your thoughts below!

Sophia Dagnon is a content writer and marketing consultant. She writes sharp, fresh copy and tests a bunch of marketing techniques so you don't have to. Connect with her on twitter or through her blog.

Life

A Simple but Effective Technique to Be More Confident

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Many people want to learn how to be confident in different situations, but it’s not always easy. Maybe we’re too addicted to comparing ourselves or maybe social media has brainwashed us to believe that we should all be rich, famous, and in incredible shape. (more…)

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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