Lessons from Bowie the Golden Retriever Puppy

Have you ever watched a puppy play? Really watched? We brought home an adorable fuzzy little puppy a couple of weeks ago and we named him Bowie. If you’ve ever had a puppy, you understand the major adjustment it is for your life, your house, and any family members, including other furry friends. But they are just so darn cute! 

So, as I try not to get frustrated with the little bugger for doing exactly what he’s supposed to be doing as a puppy by exploring his surroundings, experiencing this amazing new world he’s in, and chewing on EVERYTHING, I’ve been reflecting on how amazing puppies really are, and how if we were just a little more like puppies, our lives might just be happier and more fulfilling. 

Little Bowie displays some pretty incredible qualities that we, as humans, would benefit from developing more in our own lives. He is curious, fearless, tenacious, joyous, and trusting. Can you remember the last time you experienced each of these qualities? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to experience these on a regular, if not daily, basis?

Curiosity, fearlessness, tenacity, joy, and trust, oh my!

Being curious ensures life will never be boring. Just like the puppy is curious about everything around it and wants to soak up every possible experience and learn as much as it can about this world, we can continue to be curious about the world and enrich our lives as well. Instead of sniffing and chewing everything like a puppy will, we read, explore, travel, take classes, join clubs and organizations, volunteer, go to museums and concerts and shows, to name a few. Curiosity keeps our brains and bodies active and has the potential to permanently enrich our lives. 

How often have you not tried something new or pursued a treasured goal out of fear? The fearlessness puppies show is a bit extreme since they don’t yet know what is dangerous and what is not, but fearlessness applied with common sense is a powerful tool in improving your life, especially if you do have regrets about goals never pursued. Fear is often a purely mental exercise because what we fear poses no real danger, except to our inner self who screams not take any chances or risk failure and embarrassment. But what about the possibility of success? Can you imagine what you could achieve if you learned to be more fearless? 

Ever watch a puppy try to solve a problem? How do I get around that puppy gate? How do I get to those treats? They are tenacious and thus bound and determined to try, be thwarted, rethink the strategy, try again, and repeat until successful. Unfortunately, for many of us, fear of failure (there’s that “F word” again) stops us dead in our tracks after the first failed attempt. Instead of rethinking the strategy and trying again, like we would have as toddlers and young children, we decide we can’t do it and give up. How much richer and more satisfying could life be if we were just a little more tenacious?

Puppies experience the world in the moment and are downright joyous to be in it. They don’t obsess about the past or worry about the future. They live purely in the moment and this creates immense joy for them. They are glad to be alive and living every single moment to the fullest. What can you do to live life to the fullest? Are you trapped in the past or focused on the future? If so, consider thinking about accepting the past for what it is, the past, and regarding the future as something to plan for but not to live for. The only time that is real is the current moment and this is where our attention should be focused the vast majority of the time. 
And then there’s trust. Bowie trusts everyone. As far as he’s concerned, no one would ever hurt him, and he would never hurt anyone. He fully trusts his own instincts and goes with it. Now as people, we know we have to be cautious about trusting others, but we often forget that we can, and should, completely trust our own instincts. We often get so caught up in listening to the stories our brains tell us that we forget to stay in touch with our bodies and listen to our “gut” when making decisions about whom to trust or what to do. 

Make life better by being more like Bowie!

Think about how being more curious, fearless, tenacious, joyous, and trusting could improve your life. Could it be immeasurably improved by taking a few tips from a puppy like Bowie? No long conversations or lectures required, just some observation and emulation. If we were all a bit more puppy-like (chewing on everything aside), the world might just be a much happier place 😊

Be passionate about your path and power up your life!

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