It’s A Dog’s Life

Attitude advice from a pup

My dog, Maple, turned one year old yesterday and she celebrated the day by doing what she does everyday - living it to the fullest! How does a puppy understand that the attitude with which we approach each day goes a long way towards defining how the day goes for us?

We picked up Maple 10 months ago and she has been a part of our family ever since. I take her for a walk every morning and evening – in the cold, in the dark, in the rain and in the heat. I have learned from her. You see, every morning we start off on a journey, me with my thoughts already beginning to organize my day and Maple with an open mind and full of energy and excitement. Every day, she looks for the squirrels, rabbits and occasional deer that may be out that morning. It's not the actual sight of them that excites her; it's the anticipation!

Maple understands the power of a positive attitude and how that attitude will determine how successful she will be that day and in her life. The same applies to people. After all, what do people notice first about you? Your attitude! This first impression has a great impact on all your personal and business relationships, and the great thing about a positive attitude is that it is not a product of heredity. With the right training and personal discipline, anyone can acquire and develop a great attitude.

So what will you choose – a positive attitude or a negative attitude? The choice of positive attitude itself is easy, but sticking to that choice no matter what the setbacks are can be difficult. Always focusing on long-term goals is one key to getting past the inevitable bumps that occur. Another good habit is maintaining a positive inner dialogue through daily affirmations or, as some people do, use visualization to keep on the right course.

If you want to develop a more positive attitude, then you need to identify and stop any current negative attitudes that you may have. You will need to understand any underlying causes of your negative attitudes and you will need to rid yourself of the habits that support these negative attitudes. Once you have identified what it is that's holding you back, you are ready to take the next step and analyze where you want to see growth and development in your life. In order for anyone to be successful, they must understand the importance of living their life with purpose and passion. And, this must be their own purpose and passion.

As an executive coach, I work with people to help them identify any road blocks that are impacting their ability to achieve what they desire. I do this, in part, by using an online psychometric test (called the MERIT Profile) which provides a snapshot of the individual's current attitude and beliefs. Using this tool as a benchmark, we can set a coaching plan that will allow them to change their behaviors, thoughts and reality through a change in attitude.

Maple has taught me a very valuable lesson. The day in front of us is all we have, so live it to the fullest. She does not think it is to too cold, too wet or any of a thousand negative thoughts, she just goes on her walk. Maple simply wants to go and greet the day, whatever it may bring. And now she has me doing that same thing. I look forward to the newness each day brings and enjoy it wherever I find it. By the end of our daily walk, we are both in a great frame of mind and ready to face the day. I would call that a very positive attitude and one we should all strive for.

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