I don’t know why anyone would think it strange to take their life lessons from my dog. Stoic lifestyle design encompasses all that my dog has to offer. She could teach the rest of us what life is all about. I cannot imagine being as happy with life as my dog is. She is able to soak up all that life has to offer her and still looking for more to absorb. I am going to give you a couple of lessons that she has taught me and will continue to show me what a good human is supposed to be.
The same path is always different
No matter how many times we walk the same path in my neighborhood. My dog has an ability to find something new that fascinates them. Her sheer amazement at this obstacle is inspiring to me pay more attention to my surroundings. How to not be enveloped in my own thoughts as I walk. Take a notice of nature and how it interacts with everything.
The life lessons from my dog have showed me that we can look at this through a Stoic lifestyle Design lens. Every time we walk down this path, we are different people and this is a different path. The path has changed due to weather, the season or activities that are happening at that particular moment. We are also different because we have a different outlook, we are in a different mood, we are thinking different thoughts, etc.
Exercise is good for us
My dog has also been able to instill in me that exercise is very important. It doesn’t matter if it is cold or raining, she still want to go outside and embrace the day. This canine wants to interact with the world and to establish her place among the neighborhood. She has toys and things to do indoors but these trivial activities pale in comparison to being outside with her own social network to interact with.
The life lessons from my dog shows me that through stoic lifestyle design we can be active in our lives. whether this is physically by getting out and interacting with the world or if you are homebound, you need to reach out to others and make your world known. On your deathbed, are you going to be saying “I wish that I was able to watch more television”?
My dog is a small, female Pomeranian that is on a quest to exterminate all squirrels from the neighborhood. The fact that she has never caught one has not stopped her from trying. She doesn’t give up, she has a goal and nothing will stop her from getting it. She doesn’t think about all of the times in the past that she has missed the squirrel or has been outrun. Those times don’t matter, it is only this very moment going after this very squirrel that has 100% of her attention. She has been teaching me not to give up on my life goals no matter what happened in the past. This moment is the only moment that matters. Embody Amor Fati in all that you do!
I am not the best human but I try and my dog is able to forgive me quickly about any slights that she has received from me. There are times that I really don’t want to go outside no matter how much she does. I have sometimes failed to notice the food or water bowl being empty for a period of time. She is always quick to accept my apologies and move along like the transgression has not occurred. We hold on to many resentments and anger towards other people that we just need to let go of. This is not to help the other person but to help ourselves heal. Life is too short worrying about another person who has slighted us. They have taken a space in our minds and we are now a slave to this.
Dogs are known for their unconditional love and loyalty towards their owners. She doesn’t judge me, hold grudges with me or have some ulterior motive. She just simply loves her humans and want to be loved in return. We don’t always know what is going through another persons mind but if we truly love people, that is all that matters. Maybe a person will not love you in return, this is not your fault and a reason to never love again. This means that you should move along to someone else. My dog has taught me to love without expecting anything in return.
Dogs have a lot to teach us about life and we need to be patient enough to listen. They show us how to love unconditionally, live in the moment, forgive easily, be loyal to those we care about, be playful and persistent in our pursuits, and trust others. By us observing and learning from our furry friends, we can become better human beings and live more fulfilling lives. So let’s take a cue from our loyal and loving companions and try to live more like them.