It was a breezy but sunny day in Louisville and had just returned home from church, still groggy from only getting a few hours of sleep the night before and running out of coffee at the same time. All I wanted to do was go inside, snuggle up in a blanket on the couch and binge watch “The Americans” on amazon.
As I was walking towards the door, my pups came bounding around the house to greet me at the gate like they do every day. As part of our normal routine, I walked over to the fence to give them some loving before heading inside and as I leaned over the fence something happened.
I had a realization if you will, an immediate mental shift. In that moment my dogs weren't thinking about how I forgot to feed them that morning, they weren't thinking about the fact that it’s been over a week since we went on a walk. They weren't wondering when I was going to leave again, or worried if I was even coming back. They were just excited to see me and wanted to get as much loving a possible.
In that moment both of my dogs were 100% present and content despite that fact that it was a daily routine for the three of us. Yet it takes me flying 2000 miles to the mountains to even get a glimpse of what my dogs experience every day.
As you can imagine this wasn’t the best feeling however it was highly motivating. I immediately went inside, threw their leashes on, and hopped in the truck destined for our favorite park and determined to spend the afternoon contently in the moment.
After a 20-minute car ride full or tail wags, the wind in our face, and slobber, we arrived at the park. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to try and snap some photos while they were still in the back of my truck…Wrong. It took them all of half a second to leap out and run around after lowering the gate. So off we went, exploring new trails, finding fresh spring blooms, getting lost, and taking a swim (the dogs not me) despite the 35-degree temps and gusty winds.
It’s amazing how something so mundane can provide so much strong motivation and it couldn't have happened at a better time in my life. To be honest motivation and inspiration have been in low supply over the past few months in my world. From being stressed with work, to worrying about the future while still fighting with my past, there has been little to no energy for anything else.
The worst thing about the mindset I've been in is how addicting it can be. Not that it's an enjoyable emotional state to live in, but it does brand itself as an identity. The lies you start to tell yourself about how ‘there’s no end in sight’ just encourage worry and laziness which just encourage the vicious magnetic cycle that’s constantly pulling you back in.
Realizing this, I decide to write down a few strategies for preventing and dealing with similar issues in the future.
Be Happy TODAY
Why wait? Happiness is a daily choice you have to get up and make, delaying that choice never works. If you are waiting on something in the future to provide happiness in your life, you will alway be waiting. The future is a moving target, make the choice today.
Appreciate what you have
In the age of social media, we are confronted with desires for something we don’t have every time we get on our phones. I follow dozens of travel bloggers who are constantly sharing their most recent international trip. Rather than wishing I could go on a similar trip, I look at a photo of my dogs and remember how much more Joy they provide in my life on a daily basis.
This is probably the hardest one for me to remember when I'm in a slump but it also has a tendency to help the most. It can be something as simple as going for a walk or doing some push-up, but some type of daily activity drastically helps your mood by releasing “feel-good” endorphins. It’s Science.
Set short term Goals
Everyone loves winning, setting short term goals is a way to cultivate that feeling on a consistent basis. If you need some additional tips on goal setting Click here.
And last but not least, Go on more adventures
Whether it's exploring a park with your dogs, spending the weekend in a new city, or even going to a new restaurant. Try something new, you never know who or what will provide just the inspiration you were looking for.