Monday, March 19, 2012

Let life happen vs. make life happen

Ok here's the question.  Just let life happen vs make life happen.  From a religious view, is it the Calvinistic approach that when you are born your pathway has already been predestined, so just hold on an enjoy the ride.  Or rather God helps those who help themselves?  If you're not overtly religious,  maybe the PS analogy of going through life/training as an artist is more for you.  Your style can be either paint by numbers, impressionist, or all the way to the abstract.  Your style in how you approach life, is also the same style that you will train and relate to your dogs.... or approach your work/career.....or your home life.

This, indeed, was the question of the weekend.  My answer.....  I think the way that one approaches life has a lot to do with their personality and their background.  Without getting totally psycho-analytical on the topic, it is a key answer to people's style/approach to training, goals for training, and their need for "team"/success.

When I do interviews to fill a position in my business, I look for good people.  I let them do most of the interview.  They tell me about themselves.  Most people are very honest if you listen.  I like emotional intelligence and honesty, amongst many other intangibles.  I always ask - "have you played a team sport?" The answer usually dictates if they will have long term success in my business.  My point that I am trying to make is that people who are from more of a team back ground tend to be more goal oriented, with give and take built in.  Not always.  But if you set a goal, work hard as a team, use intelligent strategy, most often times you will find success.  Let me clarify for the peanut gallery, success comes in many forms it does not always have to be via winning.

So let life happen vs make life happen???  I am definitely more of a visionary make life happen kind of person.  I do believe that on the journey of life you have to also compromise and be flexible, as not to break when things do not go your way.  But that does not sway me one bit from envisioning the pathway that I walk down.  I can not say if I am right or if I am wrong, I believe that we are all different in our styles and in what we deem important in our lives.  It is right for me at this time.  I tend to like all art.  A perfect paint by numbers...I can appreciate.  But I like a piece that speaks to your soul and draws you into it.  A piece that has a deeper meaning, that a passerby would most likely not "get".

I have large distain for those who do nothing and blame others for their misery.  It is very difficult for me to feel compassion for an individual who has a "victims mentality" in life.  You see that more so with people who cling to the just let life happen approach.  They never take responsibility for the consequences that tend to come their way.  It's not their fault.

I feel sadness for those who have no vision.  I think a life without evaluation or direction is just wandering lost in a wilderness.  Yes, good things still happen and one might be able to enjoy that in the moment.  But it is more like color crayons than a great masterpiece.

In closing, I feel that you can still live in the moment, actualizing the good/bad and still have vision for the future.  It must be a balance.  If your eyes are always forward or backward...then you miss the beautiful day.

Spin.  How does this relate to training and relating to your dogs.  I think it is very much style related.  I think that you have vision for you individual dog.  You plot your pathway accordingly.  When you spend timeless hours communicating and working toward that goal you will hit obstacles.   When you reach an obstacle this is where emotional intelligence comes into play.  You can't force things to happen.  This is when you have to let things happen.  When the window is open for learning, it must be recognized and the appropriate style should ensue to bridge that gap.  Yes, with all of this said, still keeping your eye on the goal.  Not every individual (dog, handler, or said team) will reach that goal.  Their destiny may be different.  That is the ride.  It is up to us to do our best on that day for our dog and ourselves.  It may not be the dog who is failing the team.  And the flip side is that you as a handler may be a success to just reach that level.  Keep being aware.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

It's a jungle out there

     So I tend to do some of my best thinking and reflecting in the shower.  I feel that after my morning coffee and hot shower.... it's all downhill from there.  Not really.  But I love my morning routine.  Innately in my younger years I would sleep until 10am and stay awake until 2-3am.  I never had the luxury of living my diurnal-nocturnal lifestyle.  Now my early mornings are treasured as the peaceful "my time" of the day.

     Reflecting this morning I thought about how I seemed to always relate to the chameleon.  Throughout my life I stayed very diverse and flexible.  In college my focus, unfortunately, was to play collegiate basketball.  Oh yah, and get an education.  In that order.  It boiled down to my choice of a full ride academic scholarship to UNLV with a major in Hotel Management and red shirt my first year on a Division I team  OR  a full ride athletic/academic to a private college CBU and  be back up point guard right away, on a potential championship team.  Well that was a no brainer.  And being the Chameleon that I was, I could blend and excel at either place I was certain.

     I believe it wasn't a case of arrested development, but more so a case of a shiny mirror.  What you see, is what you want to see.  If I was out dancing at a night club, I fit in.  If I was sitting in a church pew, I fit in.  If I was leading a fast break in a playoff game, I fit in.  If I was a park ranger at Lake Tahoe, I fit in.  If  I was at a fundraising benefit dinner wearing a sequin dress, I fit in.  If I was horsepacking in the Teton Wilderness, I fit in.  If I was playing beer pong, I fit in.  If I was doing a rectal exam on a cow...... well let's not go there.

     I am happy that I am at a point in my own evolution that I am not so worried about blending in or what other people think so much anymore.  With a few wrinkles and a few grey hairs (we are sticking with only a few) I am more concerned about living fully and truly.  Not that I ever  REALLY worried too much about what others thought, but maybe more on the perception of my character.  Carrying the heavy anvil of my "perfection" goal, became insanely heavy to my soul in my overworked/overwrought middle years. Mortality issues trumped perception issues, and it just didn't matter anymore.  I think one day, I just hung up my Chameleon jacket and started sporting my inner colors.  I like the analogy of choosing Carnelian over Chameleon.

The pursuit of truth and beauty is 
a sphere of activity
in which we are permitted to remain
children all of our lives.
-Albert Einstein

The truth is incontrovertible.
Malice may attack it,
ignorance may deride it,
but in the end,
there it is.
-Winston Churchill

This above all:
To thine own self be true, 
and it must follow, 
as the night the day.
Thou canst not then
be false to any man.
-Hamlet, Shakespeare 

Our life is what our thoughts 
make it.
-Marcus Aurelius
(Notice, no Dr. Theodor Seuss quotes)