If you own a dog, or have owned more than one in your life, you know that some dogs are just “happy” while others always seem “worried. “ The happy dogs are Optimists and eagerly await what lies in store on their walks, while the worriers are the Pessimists and — sure that danger lurks at every turn. The Optimists accept new people and new situations eagerly, while the Pessimists tend to find anything new or different stressful, disturbing and worth avoiding.
The difference between the two dogs is Attitude. While it’s true that nearly every life situation presents both positive and negative possibilities, in an animal’s case, one will focus on the positive and the other, the negative.
One could say the Optimistic dog with their positive outlook enjoys a happier life overall. They get out more, have more visitors to the home and maybe even doggie daycare to round out their lives. Their life is full and happiness abounds.
The Pessimist dogs, on the other hand, are limited by their avoidance. Their focus is on the negative what-if’s, so they avoid new possibilities and the unfamiliar. Their life and their overall experiences are more limited. By comparison, we might say they are not as “happy” as they could be or as their Optimistic counterparts are.
We human beings are also born with certain personality predilections. Some of us are born bolder and some more shy, by nature. The difference between us and our dogs, however, is that dogs can’t choose their attitude. They are born with it and live with it. We have choices!
Humans have the unique ability to recognize inner feelings and consciously override them if we need to. We can choose to be Optimists. We can choose to see every situation as an opportunity instead of a danger to be avoided. We have the ability to create a happier and more fulfilling life for ourselves simply by changing our Attitude.
The next time you find yourself thinking negative thoughts or immediately shutting down a new idea or new experience, stop yourself and change your perspective. Instead of focusing on what could go wrong, imagine what could go right.
Instead of lamenting over a lost job, think about the new and better opportunity around the next corner.
If you and your partner argue, instead of resigning yourself to an impossible relationship or blaming them for being unreasonable or uncaring, think about how you may have unintentionally contributed to the disagreement and appreciate the opportunity for you to become a better partner and a better person.
Improving your attitude can improve your life!
Read more about my own journey to Happiness in HARVEST YOUR HAPPY: A Farm Girls Guide to Leading, Succeeding and Living Your Best Life