MindsEye of Success:
Seeing & Being Your Signature Self
I have always thought that dogs are smarter than people in a lot of ways, despite the widespread assumption we are much further up on the food chain. My wife and I have two dogs—Boo-Dan who is a full-blooded Yorkshire Terrier of Cajon ancestry, and Amigo who is a Heinz 57 variety dog from the Southwest. These smart dogs taught me their valuable Bow-Wow Secret—or the correct numbers and sequence to open what success icons Brian Tracy and Jack Canfield call “the combination lock on success.”
There is a common denominator in life and it is the “one thing” that Jack Palance, in his role as Curly, kept pointing towards in the sky in the movie City Slickers. This one thing is the single challenge that confronts us all: To close the gap between where we are and where we want to be (between our real and ideal selves) to move from incomplete suriving to more complete thriving. . The amount of enthusiasm and effort we put into meeting this challenge is what determines the degree of happiness and success we enjoy in life and the progressive movement we make in this life journey. This is truly an equal opportunity that life’s Creator gives us all. Do you want to survive or thrive?
But, this is where we go our separate paths and where all the problems occur—worrying about others’ gaps and not our own, seeing our gap but not doing anything about it, making different interpretations as to what makes up these gaps, using different means to close them, and getting different results.
Living in the people world involves wading through a sea of murky chaos to get to the clear simplicity just on the other side of it. One important way I think dogs are smarter than people is that they enjoy the simplicity without having to get lost in the chaos. That is because they have their own success secret worth considering. This Bow-Wow Secret is made up of seven simple dog laws. Here they are:
KNOW WHAT KIND OF DOG YOU ARE.
We all have a puzzle to solve. This puzzle is to figure out what the numbers are on our combination lock and the sequence in which they need to be dialed to open it. Our lock is made up of understanding the purpose of life—discovering the purpose we were born with, learning the unique gifts we were given to carry out that purpose, and sharing our success clues for others to be successful and happy too. Unfortunately we can waste much valuable time trying to be some kind of dog we aren’t instead of focusing on learning what kind of dog we are so we can be that dog. As Stephen Covey says, “First things first.”
BECOME THE BEST DOG YOU CAN BE.
We are all born with unlimited potential to learn, grow and improve. Again though, this is where we are all different—in how important we perceive these things to be and how to do them. Every moment we have a new opportunity to make choices to grow. By not making any choices or making the wrong ones your gap stays the same or widens; by making the right choices you are closing the gap between where we are and where we want to be. Becoming the best dog you can be is simply a matter of keeping your dreams alive and doing something positive each moment to make the right choices to gradually close your gap. In the end, it is not the view on top of the mountain that counts, but the fun you have climbing the mountain.
HELP OTHER DOGS.
Helping others is not about describing their problems and offering your solutions. Genuine help starts with discovering your own success combination lock, figuring out how to open it, and then demonstrating that clue for others to learn from. Then when others ask you for some help when they need it most, you will know what you are talking about and they are more likely to listen to you. We are all born to be happy and successful so we can help others be that way to. When you do this your soul is satisfied with the love, compassion, creativity, wisdom and charity that best defines “helping.” It is both doing and a result you get from doing, or another way to get more by doing less.
DON’T DO TOO MUCH
By dividing life in half—into this or that, yes or no, right or wrong, good or bad categories—we take twice as much time to get half as many results. Dogs seem to have a marvelous ability to just “be” and they obviously get great enjoyment from being. They are already practicing this Bow-Wow Secret and getting huge results with very little effort. We all have an equal amount of time and unless we use it wisely to achieve success each moment to thrive in work, relationships, play and rest, we are left holding an empty bag wondering why it is so late. Doing wastes too much time not enjoying it; being makes more of it to enjoy.
BARK BUT DON’T BITE
Biting never produces a happy ending, but eloquent barking almost always gets positive results. The angry hearts phenomenon facing our world today can only be cured with a massive dose of positive emotionality. The only way to accomplish this is to improve your communication; and to do this you have to acknowledge how much miscommunication there is today. A good starting point in learning to bark for better results is to delete all the main things that contribute to biting—imposing superiority, judgment, insensitivity, certainty, dishonesty, and control. You will not be giving up anything of worth and you will again be getting twice as much for half as less.
LEARN NEW TRICKS
Whoever said “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” didn’t know much about dogs. Boo-Dan is nearly fifteen years old and he is full of new tricks each day. The quickest way to learn new tricks is to understand how the brain actually works against you. Apparently dogs don’t have this same brain problem.
We artificially oversimplify things so they are easier to manage despite their real complexity; we try to force things to fit into neat categories whether they do or don’t; we prefer firsthand concrete things over secondhand abstract ones despite compelling evidence to the contrary; and we all engage in perpetual resistance to unbelieving wrong beliefs regardless of overwhelming disproof. This all is a good example of doing too much to get too little.
OBEY YOUR MASTER.
We are all rebels in wanting to be masters of our own destiny, but there is always some kind of hierarchy everywhere you turn. The real choice is not to obey or disobey, but rather to obey the right things. The right things to obey are the success clues of The Bow-Wow Secret. First though, you have to get rid of the negative connotation that the word “obedience” conjures up. The interpretation of weakness and servitude hides the real meaning of hope, faith and love. If you shift obedience from yourself to your “team,” the team will achieve more success than you could alone. That is smart obedience in getting more for less.
When you discover which of these seven dog laws make up the numbers on your combination lock, learn the correct order to dial them in, and then proceed, you will be unlocking your success and going from surviving to thriving. The unlikely door between the two will probably be the very next opportunity you have to resolve an important conflict with another person--taking a giant baby step to create a win-win compromise that will take you both to the Prosperity Zone. You will also wonder why it took you so long to learn The Bow-Wow Secret, when dogs have known it all along. Why not get more by doing less? Who’s smarter?
William Cottringer, Ph.D. is President of Puget Sound Security, Success Coach and Writer in Bellevue, WA. He is author of You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too (Executive Excellence Publishing) and MindsEye of Success(Wisdom Tree Publishing), two books that guarantee to double your happiness and success with half the effort.