Wisdom From a Puppy: Go for the Biggest Stick
Can you tell by now that Nolabees has a lot of energy? She requires a lot of activity in order for me to stay sane. I never miss my daily walk with her. I can’t, or she’ll torment me all day. I have to admit, though, I do love my walks with Nola. It gets her out, and it gets me out too! I love to see how happy it makes her. And let’s face it, it makes me happy too. It gives Nola a chance to interact with the world, and every day she entertains me with a silly, new quirk. Lately, she’s been picking up sticks and carrying them around on our walks. It’s so cute. She prances around like a proud pony showing off her prize. I walk by her side, gushing with joy and laughing literally the entire time. Consistent with the happiness she always spreads around the neighborhood, I get to witness all the smiles from people walking or even driving by who get a glimpse.
When she first discovered this diversion (as if the act of walking alone wasn’t enough stimulus,) it looked like this:
Now, it looks like this:
At first Nola chose reasonably sized sticks. She seemed to have realistic expectations of what she could carry, and she was as happy as can be. As time went on, she started choosing bigger and more uniquely shaped sticks to carry around.
Now her expectations are not even close to being realistic, but that doesn’t matter at all. She still approaches the most daunting sticks with confidence and ease. And the bigger the stick, the harder we all laugh. How is it possible that Nola does not see the limitations we see? As a seemingly rational human being, I am aware of the hassle, the jaw strength it must take, the fact that she keeps hitting me in the shin with her stick, and how much this stick slows us down. It’s hard not to question why she’s so set on the biggest, oddest stick she can find.
But Nola doesn’t see any of that. She only sees a stick that she wants to chew. She doesn’t worry that the stick is bigger than she is. She doesn’t second guess and analyze where she should hold onto the stick. If she wants to grab the end instead of the middle, she’ll work really hard to drag the stick for miles all the way around the park, gloating the whole way. She doesn’t worry her jaw will get tired. She doesn’t worry how foolish it will make her look or whether she will fail. She doesn’t worry that the stick will get caught on her leash and slow her down.
She just knows that she wants what she wants, and she goes after it without any reservations.
Nola clearly sees no limits, and she isn’t intimidated by the daunting task of carrying a giant branch around as long as it continues to suit her! Why can’t we just go for it the same way she does? What’s holding us back from going after what we want? In a way Nola is my hero. She has a confidence that I’d love to have.
To her the stick isn’t a barrier, but it’s an opportunity.
The stick can represent everything we want to do in life that takes effort and determination, whether it’s changing careers or jobs, improving relationships, or creating better lives for ourselves. What do you do when the stick you want to carry around is really not a stick, but a giant branch? Are you deterred by the discomfort and the hassle it may cause? Are you too proud to ask someone to grab the other end of the stick and help you out? Are you worried about what your friends and family will think if you try to carry the stick, but then can’t carry it all the way around the park?
A lot of things hold us back from doing the big and the little things we want to accomplish. Maybe we should all start to be like Nola and search for the biggest, weirdest, craziest branch to carry around and get to see that even if it isn’t easy, it is definitely worth it.