Archives for July 2012
Whenever I’m in town, one of the treats I enjoy the most is a forty-five minute walk with Brooks; my eighty pound Giant Schnauzer. Brooks enjoys the walks because he receives a minimum of three, sometimes as many as five, comments about how handsome he is. People comment on his looks partially because you don’t see many Giant Schnauzers, but also because he is a handsome dog and his regal gait clearly communicates that he is the master of the universe. Which, when it comes to our house, is true.
Here’s a picture of the handsome fellow.
I enjoy the walks for different reasons. I enjoy my walks with Brooks because I’m reminded to take my foot off the accelerator and coast if only for forty-five minutes. My walks with Brooks remind me to live life more like a dog does – enjoying the simple pleasures of fresh air (for Brooks it’s fresh smells), brisk walking, and some amazing views.
Where we live in West Seattle, at the north end of the Admiral District, I have several view points I pass on our walk. I can see across Puget Sound over to Bainbridge Island; I can look across Elliot Bay to the Seattle waterfront, and I can look north to the San Juan Islands.
When I stop and take in these views I’m reminded of three things:
1. If I don’t leave the house I’ll never see the view. I have to push away from my computer screen and put on my running shoes.
2. When I see these views my perspective about my day is transformed. I’m reminded to pause and consider how incredibly fortunate I am to live where I do.
3. When my perspective is transformed…my behavior follows too. Whenever I feel grateful about something I am more generous toward others.
I believe we all need a change in perspective in order to be the best leader, spouse, parent, family member or friend we can be. We benefit immensely from seeing any situation from another perspective, but have become so caught up in doing, doing, doing that we see a change in perspective as a threat to our being effective.
To which I say…baloney!
In order to be more effective you have to step outside of the known and predictable in order to see yourself and your situation differently. I suggest that the first step to being more effective is to take yourself and or your dog for a walk. It will change your perspective and possibly your outlook on work, life and the benefits of living life on four paws.