Calm and Assertive

April 30, 2007 at 11:30 pm (celebrities, organization)

My latest obsession is Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer. I’ve been trying to examine the fascination I find with watching this guy come in and essentially fix peoples’ problems with their dogs, whether they’re hyperactive, afraid, or even vicious; and this applies to both the dogs and their owners. Milan says that he “rehabilitates dogs and trains people” and that we should all be “calm and assertive” with our pets.

Lately, as I’ve been trying to get organized and find time to do my work, have a personal life, keeping up hobbies, and maintain that oh-so-fragile sanity, I find Cesar making a lot of sense. Dogs don’t reflect on the past—they only live in the present. Dogs absorb the enviroment around them, particularly the people (and other animals) they encounter. I think a lot of us, myself included, tend to let past performance and fears hold us back. Dogs don’t think that way—they take the mentality of the pack and they go with it.

I know that pack mentality is typically poorly regarded as the refuge of the obtuse, for people who can’t think for themselves. But the pack mentality can actually free us from the stress of daily life. Why concern ourselves with the actions of others, when we are not accountable for them? Why take on responsibilities that aren’t ours? I’ve been trying to be the alpha dog, and the amount of energy this takes is enormous—both to obtain that spot, and keep it. There will always be someone better at something than I am, and there will always be another ‘dog’ trying to grab the top spot. However, if I go with the flow, I can relax, bury bones, sniff things, and generally lead a healthy and relatively stress-free life. I may even learn stuff about the neighborhood and the local trees.

So, my new goal is to be calm and assertive with myself, and train myself to let go of the little things. I know that traveling with the pack is generally regarded as the kryptonite of the ambitious, and working in the corporate world, the concept is a bit frightening. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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