Almost every morning on my drive to work, I see one of my neighbors walking his dog. Rain or shine these two are out every morning touring the subdivision.
The dog looks like any other dog taking a morning walk, except that this dog only has three legs.
At first this dog and its owner caught my eye, but then I got used to their morning walks and they blended in to the scenery. I didn’t give the three-legged creature a second thought until one day it hit me that we could all learn some valuable business lessons from this dog.
The three-legged dog did not need constant rewards to get out and go for a walk. So many of us have been conditioned to expect constant praise and rewards for everything that we do that we are disappointed when we don’t receive them. Between helicopter parents and video games that hook players by constantly rewarding them with virtual prizes and elevations of game rank, we have raised a generation of young people that expects their employers to constantly praise and reward.
Some workers expect a constant stream of promotions and rewards or they will jump to an employer that they feel will properly recognize their contributions. This is not realistic in most work environments. We need to be like the three-legged dog and walk because it is good for us and beats lying around on the floor waiting for someone to pet us.
The dog seems to love walking through the snow and slush that we have received so much of in the last month. The dog doesn’t appear to complain or balk at walking early in the morning. He maintains a good pace and walks for the sheer enjoyment of it. Many workers only see the dark side of their job and complain constantly. Rather than complain, we should all be more like the three-legged dog and just be happy in our jobs. In today’s economy, people with jobs should be grateful that they simply have a job.
I have a dog of my own that has four feet that I have often compared her to the three-legged dog. With four healthy legs, my dog does not like to go outside in the snow. The three-legged dog doesn’t use her lack of a fourth leg to stop doing what she enjoys. Rather than make excuses not to do something, this dog finds a way to make it happen. The husky has learned to use the tools he has to get the job done. Many of us ignore opportunities because we feel that we need more resources to attempt to grab the brass ring. Instead of jumping in and chasing it, we turn ourselves into spectators.
Please don’t conclude that I am asking a three-legged dog to be my life coach. I am simply turning to learn from others and find inspiration to improve my life. Inspiration is all around us. There are people succeeding in business and their chosen professions all around us. We need to learn from others and see what they are doing to achieve their success. If we learn good habits, skills, and attitudes from others while losing the things that are holding us back, we can all achieve great things.
The trying economy means that new and different opportunities are out there. If we maintain a positive attitude and don’t let anything hold us back, we might all be in a better position.