Thing My Dog Taught Me: Don’t Project Negative Outcomes


Ginger 09We recently put our beloved dog, Ginger, to sleep.  It’s been a very difficult thing for me.  But when I reflect on her life, she taught me quite a bit.  When the vet oncologist gave her 30 to 90 days to live, we were devastated.  She ended up living four years past that prediction, and she died of old age, not cancer.  She lived life on her terms.  Dogs just seem to do that.  She never projected any negative outcomes or worried about what might happen in the future.

During the first year, when I went to buy more treats or medications for Ginger, I always though this is probably the last time I’ll be doing this.  I bought the large bottle of Benadryl with 250 caplets and thought that there was no way we would get to the end of the bottle before Ginger left this earth.  I did the math.  Four caplets per day is a couple of months.  I ended up buying that same bottle dozens of times.  After the first year, it became a joke.  Should we buy more treats?  Should order more of these medications and natural herbs?   Will she be around long enough to actually take them?  After a while, I stopped negatively projecting.  I stopped thinking about her time frame.  I just lived day to day, was thankful for this additional time with her, and was totally grateful for her life and my life.

So the next time you catch yourself projecting a negative outcome, try this:  Say WHAT IF . . . ?  What if that medical report comes out positive? What if they change their mind and decide hire you?  What if the bank gives you that loan?  What if you could find a way to pursue your dreams?  What if that relationship could be repaired?  What if you could affect positive change in someone’s life?

It doesn’t cost you anything to project a positive outcome.  It’s much more fun and according to some of the lates research, your positive thinking may actually affect the positive outcome.  Try it.  All of this works together.  You are what you think.  There is a great TED Talk on how even our physical posture can affect the way we feel about ourselves and actually change our physiology.  And this positive way of thinking and being may seem forced and fake at first.  But Amy Cuddy, tells us in the video to “fake it until you become it.”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc

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