Empathy is a skill we as humans don’t use often enough. While it’s true we don’t use empathy enough with our fellow humans, it’s also true when it comes to our four-legged friends. What would change if you shifted your perception and saw your world through your dog’s eyes?
Problems may get smaller. Not go away, mind you, but your priorities when dealing with those problems may change. Say someone slighted you at work and you come home, still fuming. Your dog greets you at the door, excitedly wiggling back and forth. Ask yourself, what would they think about the situation at work? How long would they hold onto the feelings of anger and resentment? Not long.
Your dog’s priorities have very little to do with ego. If there is food in the pantry, companionship waiting at home, and new territories to explore, your dog knows they’re doing well. Take a moment to see the day through their eyes, and I bet the small slights and frustrations will melt away as your focus switches to the joy and abundance you have in your life.
One of the other beautiful things we can learn from our dog’s perception is how to move past roadblocks in our life. When we humans encounter a problem, it’s easy to get caught up in the emotions that result. We obsess over how the problem makes us feel, what others are thinking about us, and how things could go wrong. We can get so caught up in the emotional storm that is created that we forget the initial goal: solve the problem.
Dogs have an amazing ability to recognize action and consequence scenarios. It’s one of the things that allows them to learn so fast and make connections that we never see coming. When learning something new, they zero in on the action or series of actions that produce a result and work from there. They see what they want and work to produce that result, noticing everything that doesn’t get them there as they endeavor to do the opposite.
We can learn a lot from this. When faced with a problem, be like your dog and try to remove the emotion from the scenario. No judgment, just facts. What actions led to the setback you’re currently experiencing? How can you avoid it in the future? If something you did took you further away from what you want, don’t beat yourself up.
Be like your dog and joyfully try something different! The process of learning, discovering, and stretching yourself to reach a goal is fun. We should keep it that way.
Shifting your perspective can take a familiar situation and turn it on its head, opening up a whole world of new insights. Take a moment to consider and empathize with your dog’s world. You’ll be amazed by the new insights you uncover.