5 Secrets To Hapiness Only Dogs Know
#2 May 25th, Where to find Joy.
It’s hot and sunny down here on Dartmoor while I walk my dogs.
Joy all around. Also the topic of today’s meditation.
It’s a reminder.
One should not rely on getting joy from external factors like the weather. They are outside your control.
Instead I should get joy from doing “human work”.
And proper human work consists in: acts of kindness to other human beings, disdain for the stirrings of the senses, identifying trustworthy impressions, and contemplating the natural order and all that happens in keeping with it.
— MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.26
The trouble I have with this statement is that “human work” is not always enjoyable in itself.
Take the example that “dogs are bred for walks” which is the source of their joy.
When dogs get their walk — do they get joy from the walk? Or do they get joy from the result of their walk? Isn’t the walk a means to an end?
Here are the 5 secrets that only dogs know about joy & happiness:
- My dogs love chasing those small birds, but never manage to catch them.
- Fred every 20 meters or so does a little wee to mark his turf.
- The highlight of their walk is meeting & playing with other dogs.
- Dogs have a way of figuring out very quickly whether they are top dog or not. Often times they switch between the two several times on a walk.
- The dog walk is always a great way for them to pee and poe. Ready for their next meal.
You can apply the same to human work I think.
- Have a clear sense of what you want to achieve
- Stand up for who you are. Let people know — “This is who I am and this is what I do”
- Show kindness to others
- You are both a mentor/teacher/boss and the mentee/pupil/employee
- Clear out your workspace or brain. Make room for new skills, experiences and knowledge
The work itself is not always joyful.
But the end result or the byproducts can be.
Even if its just a simple reward … like treats.
My dogs do anything to get a treat (e.g. not chasing sheep) and I get great joy giving it to them when they deserve it.
Humans do too.