But he learned much more than how to educate a dog or grow a canine business. He came back with a long list of really good books to read - none of which had anything to do with dogs, but everything to do with self-improvement.
Thanks to that seminar the Kindle app on my phone is now rapidly filling up with great books!
I am already re-reading ‘The Slight Edge’ by Jeff Olson.
The book is about changing one’s life for the better by means of slight daily improvements.
He discusses how habits of thought and attitude can either ‘uphold and support you’ or ‘imprison and restrain you.’ It’s important to be aware of those that don’t serve us and either change or get rid of them.
Replacing a bad habit with one that empowers and serves us is a great way to do this and one way to achieve this is to have a positive outlook. People with a positive attitude move towards their goals instead of away from them.
Cultivate the habit of gratitude. Mr. Olson says that positive psychologists note how consistently happier people share this trait. He suggests writing down three things to be grateful for upon waking every day – three different things.
We tend to take good things for granted and zero in on those that aren’t so wonderful. But by doing that we give too much power to the negative and derive no benefits from the positive.
By switching our focus to the goodness in life we can totally change our outlook.
For me, this means looking for God’s grace every day. Since I’ve started to do that, I’ve been amazed to find out how much He’s looking out for me.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve suddenly caught myself driving too fast and have taken my foot off the gas, only to find that there’s a cop car waiting up ahead. Thank you, God, for giving me the chance to do the right thing!
The other day I went to the dermatologist and my face was basted with a special cream. This was for the light treatment I needed for pre-cancer cells. A piece of Saran wrap was placed over my nose, with another on my forehead.
I had to wait 90 minutes like this before the actual light treatment and didn’t want to sit in the waiting room that long. So I drove across to Panera and bought myself a coffee. As I was walking to a table, I knocked my cup against my purse and the container fell onto the floor. The lid came off and the contents spilled all over the carpet.
Not only had I lost my entire drink, but had also drawn attention to my Saran-wrapped face. It was most definitely a negative moment!
Then a lady jumped up from her table to help me mop up the mess, telling me that she’s a waitress and a klutz and always dropping things on the floor. Whether that was true or not, I so appreciated her empathy!
When I got to the front of the line again to order a new coffee, the lady looked surprised. I told her what had happened and she immediately asked the barista to remake my drink - and charged me nothing. The barista worried that she hadn’t put the lid on my coffee properly, but I assured her the whole episode was entirely my fault.
Thus, on the heels of huge embarrassment came three spontaneous acts of kindness.
Which was going to serve me best? Dwelling on the positive or the negative?
If we look for it, we’ll find that goodness abounds everywhere.
One year ago my son was in a full-blown flare with ulcerative colitis. He had dropped 40 lbs and was unable to walk without the aid of canes because, as a secondary complication, he had also developed bursitis on his knees. He looked skeletal, was getting no sleep, was in constant pain and enduring all the other horrible issues of someone in his condition.
He made it through this Thanksgiving without a flare (YAY!) and we are looking forward to his first healthy Christmas in three years.
Yes, there is a lot to be thankful for.
I hope you find many reasons to be grateful this Christmas and that the New Year brings you ever more blessings.