The Parable of the 2 Dogs and Happiness: How to Feed the Right Dog
There are two fighting dogs in you.
“Tell ‘Em About Your Two Dogs!”
Live Your Best Life! Newsletter from Darryl L. Mobley, Life Coach
One Thing To Stop or Start
STOP FEEDING The Wrong Dog. Tip of my hat to a friend (for privacy purposes, let’s just call her “Tara”… cause that’s her real name 😉 ) who reached out to tell me that she loved my “Don’t Let The Old Man Into Your Life” article & podcast from last week and reminded me of the parable of the two dogs.* Here goes…
A few days back, my kids looked through some of my West Point yearbooks & photos and noticed that I was smiling in every one of the photographs of me – even the formal group pics – during my years as a cadet and an Army officer. My ever-present smile stuck out to them because in most of the photos the other cadets looked solemn, and sometimes, unhappy. To be honest, those with in-person knowledge of West Point during those years might say that there were many reasons to be solemn in that very difficult environment.
Anywho… my kids asked me, “Why are you always happy in these scenes where everyone else looks to be the very opposite?”
In my reply, I shared that this is a question that I was often asked by my cadet classmates wayyyyy back then. I told my kids that, in truth, all of my life there has been a fight going on inside of me. That fight is best represented as being between two enormous dogs inside of me.
One of the dogs in me is Negative – full of anger, resentment, braggadocio, placing blame, self-pity, arrogance, regret, false pride, self-victimization, complaints, selfishness, lies, procrastination, energy-draining, excuses, poor communication, dishonesty, fragile ego, feelings of inferiority, fear, jealousy, self-dealing, greed, gossip, low-esteem, and quick to take offense.
The other dog in me is Positive – full of love, hope, empathy, belief, humility, happiness, a builder, energy-boosting, selflessness, joy, future-focused, honesty, generosity, peacefulness, confidence, solution-focused, team-oriented, productive communication, and added value.
My dogs are in a constant battle and they will fight to the end.
So, my kids asked: “Which dog will win?”
My answer: “The one I feed.”
Then, my sharp-as-a-tack kids asked: “So, you were happy when others were not because you only fed the Positive dog?”
My reply: “Nope. I fed both of my internal dogs when I was a cadet, and always have.”
My quick-on-the-case kids then asked: “Why feed the Negative dog?”
My reply: “I feed the Negative dog because that dog has many characteristics that I need in order for me to be happy and to live my best life. Those Negative dog characteristics – focused, long-term view, hunger for more, making plans… – are a part of everything good that I do and allow me to accomplish my goals.
If I try to starve the Negative dog, it becomes unmanageable, and I can’t train it to do as I wish.
By feeding both dogs, they both win. When they both win, I win. I’m happy.
It is easier to be happy and to attract positives when there is no friction within. Internal conflict is a fire that burns everything – including the individual – to the ground.
The absence of internal conflict makes personal peace and joy possible…no matter what you’re going through. This is why I find the positives in virtually every situation.”
So, have you acknowledged the Two Dogs that are fighting inside of you?
Those two dogs must be dealt with appropriately. If you don’t control your fighting dogs, you will live in conflict. True happiness and success will elude you.
Over the next several issues of my Live Your Best Life! Newsletter I will explore how you can apply The Parable of the Two Dogs in your Relationships, Parenting, Physical Health, Habits, Mental Health, Family Health, Mindset, Personal Care, Goal Setting & Goal Getting… Buckle up!
Before Your Head Hits The Pillow Tonight
Jot down – before your head hits the pillow tonight – those areas in your life where there is conflict – internal or external. After you have them on paper, rank order them from most important to address to less important to address. Keep an eye on the next Newsletter and future podcasts because I am going to be all over this topic.
A Book I’m Reading
I am re-reading “Forged In Crisis” by Nancy Koehn. (Hat tip to my friend Niqui for giving me the book as a gift.) The book’s messaging is all about courageous leadership and “committing to work from [our] stronger selves.” That message is for all of us and the book’s core lessons are applicable to anyone looking to lead themselves to their own promised land. Self-leadership takes lots of courage. Get the book HERE. Give it a read and let me know your take.
A Quote I’m Embracing
“The first and best victory is to conquer self.” ~ Plato. Truer words will not be found. Join me in this focus. Together, we win.
A Worldview I’m Challenging
I challenge the widely held belief that intelligence and creativity are fixed and cannot increased. This is known as a “fixed mindset,” and it is devastating. Always believe that you can get better. Live to your goals. Love to your dreams. Do the work.
Something to Sing
Well, well, well… You’re facing tough times or the need to make major changes. That’s okay. It’s a long hard road that leads to a brighter day. Keep moving forward with “Yah Mo B There” by James Ingram and Michael McDonald. No matter how tough the challenge, you’re not alone. Yahweh is on the case. Some of the lyrics…
‘Cause we’re all just finding our way
(Travelin’ through time) People got to keep pushing on
No matter how many dreams slip away
Yah will B there
I’m always trying to program myself to be positive. How about you?
• Don’t Let The Old Man (or Old Woman) Into Your Life!
• Are You Stuck? Want to Get Unstuck?
• Are Negative Words Destroying You, Your Relationships, Your Kids?
• Here’s What Great Marriages Have That Horrible Marriages Don’t
• How To Get Work-Life Balance in 14 Easy Steps.
• You Cannot Fail If You Do This.
• Why Every Father Should Write A Letter To His Daughters. Now!
• Ultimate Guide: 33 Tips For Getting Along With Your Adult Kids.
• 18 Things You Should Do NOW as the CoronaVirus Rages.
• 11 Ways Parents Can Survive Their Kid Going Off to College. The Power of a Dad’s Hug.
Got a question? Call Me right now with your question at 1-833-902-6224. I just might answer. If not, leave me your question or request. Or send me your message by CLICKING HERE.
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Darryl L. Mobley