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mental wellness

Mental Wellness & the Creative Entrepreneur

Over the weekend, there was yet another mass shooting. 11 people were injured, 3 people – including the gunman – were killed.

At this point, we’re not sure what caused the guy to do what he did. But many would guess that it was the fact that he was upset that he didn’t do as well as he wanted. He took it out on those who, in his mind, he could blame for his failure.

In the last couple of years, we’ve seen all kinds of people acting out in similar fashions. Whether it’s the series of mass shootings we’ve seen or it’s those cases where the person opted to take  take their own life, creatives seem to be pretty prone to being involved in either situation.

 

Nature of Success

One might think that those of us who have had success in our lives, that we might be able to rise above these thoughts. Unfortunately, that just simply isn’t the case. As The Notorious B.I.G. said, “Mo Money, Mo Problems!”

I’ve mentioned this before, but those who are often the most depressed are the ones who usually have the fire to become successful. They think that money, fame, and freedom will solve their woes. But in the end, they don’t. They’re as unhappy as they were when they first started.

If these things made us happier with life, then there’s a good chance that people like Robin Williams, Chester Bennington, Kate Spade, and Anthony Bourdain would still be around.

 

We’re Aliens

Recently I came across a new video by the infamous group Die Antwoord. If you’ve never heard their music, then the best way to describe their work is if you mixed a hip-hop artist with an EDM DJ.

It’s not for everyone. However, the message they produce with their songs is one of the most creative I’ve seen in the last decade.

In the case of this video and song, they’re talking about not fitting in.

Here’s a few of the lyrics

I close my eyes and float into the night I like to let my mind drift

Make a jump into a new dimension

Thank God I got that gift

Sometimes it feels like coming from this planet people are so sick and twisted

I don’t wanna fit in anyway, I’d rather be a misfit

They laugh at me because I’m different, I laugh at them because they’re all the same

I am a alien

No matter how hard I try I don’t fit in

Always all on my own, sad and lonely

All I want is for someone to play with me

mental wellness

Do you feel like an alien? If so, know you’re not alone.

 

If I’m understanding this song correctly, I appreciate its message. When I was growing up, I was bullied constantly. Sure, I was the biggest kid in my grade, but I was also a pretty big geek compared to my classmates. And in my small town, that was two strikes right there!

However, looking back, I can now say that I was definitely a proto-millennial. I always had a better time interacting with kids who were younger than me. It’s one of the main reasons why I’m proud to be called a Xennial.

But man, when I was in the thick of it – where it got especially bad was my first few of years at Purdue. In high school, the one thing that saved me was that I was a good student. However, when I started at Purdue I struggled to get C’s in my classes. During that time, I’d try anything to make my grades better. So I can definitely understand why people can just do crazy things when they’re depressed. Depression and an overall feeling of not living up to your own or others standards can really make you into someone you’re not.

 

Coping with Depression

So how did I get out of my funk?

Well, first, I think the biggest thing I did was start hanging out with people who had similar goals in life. Luckily for me, just when I was starting to hit the bottom, I gained several good friends. Two of which were my groomsmen. They weren’t judgemental and really helped me take my mind off of worrying about tests all the time.

It was also about that time where I started actually thinking about working out on my own. I had always heard people talk about exercise as a stress reliever – so I started going to the Co-Rec pretty regularly. (In fact, that was one of the places where I’d see alumni cohost Laila from time to time!)

Another thing that I did was take advantage of free services provided by the Department of Psychology at Purdue. I think I probably had 3 different issues that I saw them for. I still remember some of the issues that people in my support groups had… and I don’t even remember why I went!!

That said, that last one there might be the only way that some people might be able to get help. Seriously, seek professional help. If it’s good enough for Lucifer, then us mortals can probably benefit as well!

If you’re having suicidal thoughts, get help right away. Call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

 

Keep Up with the Weeds

Now just because I got out of my funk, doesn’t mean that I stopped utilizing those habits that I developed back then.

Today, I try to be as social as I can. I still walk Max (RIP Sadie and Sable), and I try to be mindful of what I’m eating. And I also make sure I get a great amount of sleep.

That said, I’ve learned that there’s a couple of other things that I do these days that I didn’t back then. One thing I try to do is be as optimistic as possible by using the 5 Minute Journal – which can be found on the App and Play Store. Since using it, I’ve come to realize that affirmations really help drain your brain of negative thoughts.

Another thing that I’ve found that helps me is not “subscribing” to all the things that I could. Meaning, I don’t put myself into situations where I feel that I could become addicted to something. For example, even though I still call myself a gamer, I limit myself to playing a handful of games only a handful of hours per week. Even more, I could never see myself as someone who plays to get paid. It would take the enjoyment out for me by adding stress to it.

Another example is with it being the football season, it’s time once again for fantasy football. To make sure I don’t get too involved with it, I only play free leagues. The stress from watching the games is enough for me!

 

Action Steps

So, I hope that helps someone. The shooting this past weekend really hit me. Again, it could have been something avoidable. I can see why some people think that removing the gun from the equation might help, but the real problem isn’t the firearms. Guns are simply a tool. It’s the people behind the tool that we have to worry about.

That dude was going to kill one way or another. And it didn’t have to be that way.

If you or someone you know is having issues make sure to get help. Heck, even you reaching out and saying hi to someone you know that’s having some issues might be all it takes to prevent them from doing something drastic.

 

business podcasts

Jessica Rhodes – Additional Fuel for Your Launch: Leveraging other’s Networks to Appear on Popular Business Podcasts (AoL 129)

If you’re a well known thought leader, getting out a new product, book, service, or course isn’t that difficult to promote. As you’ve climbed to the top of your mountain, there’s a good chance you’ve met plenty of other folks who would love to share time with you about your new product.

Unfortunately, not all of us have gotten to the point where we can just reach out to 50 some podcasts and YouTube channels and have tons of interviews about our new warez.

However, there are folks out there that have a comparable network to those well known thought leaders. Many times they’re publicists, but in this session’s case, we’re talking specifically about being booked as a guest for podcasts!

Jessica Rhodes is the founder of Interview Connections and has been building her business by being the matchmaker for podcasters and expert guests.

In today’s conversation, we talk to Jessica about how this business of hers got off the ground and how she and her team can do the footwork for you in getting your message out.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How was Jessica first introduced to the thought leader industry? 9:26
  • When did she realize that she had a specific niche that she was suited for? 14:07
  • Why should people still consider to be on podcasts in 2018 and beyond? 19:12
  • What are some of the habits that Jessica practices that have helped her get to where she’s at today. 24:52
  • How did Jessica develop her team? 34:52
  • What should a thought leader do if they’re launching a new product but don’t have a lot of podcasting friends to help get the word out? 42:10
  • If someone wants to hire a booking agent or publicist, how much should they budget to start working with one? 46:38
  • Are there any milestones that people should have hit in their business before working with Jessica? 51:11
  • What’s going on for Jessica the rest of the year? 53:08
  • What’s a documentary that she recommends people check out? 55:59
  • If she could have dinner with anyone, who would she choose? 56:27
  • What would she do if she was recently told she’d be going back to January 1st, 1990. What would she do when she got there?? 57:44
  • What is one thing she believes all high school students must know? 58:31
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 59:33

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Jessica on how she Wrote her Book

Making a Press Page for Guest Appearances

Qualifying Podcasts Before Making an Appearance as a Guest

Jumping through Hoops, or Working Together?


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

failure to success

From Failure to Success: How Sharing Your Missteps Can Help Build Rapport

During the beginning of my entrepreneurial career, I heard a lot of failure to success stories. Whether they were in an LTD speech or on a podcast, these talks always had a way to motivate me to want more. However, when sharing these stories with others, I would have trouble conveying the messages in a way that motivated them as they motivated me.

 

Later, I heard John Maxwell talk about what might be the reason for this. And as I dug into it more, I realized that what he said made a lot of sense.

He said that many times, when we’re trying to encourage people with these awesome stories, we’re actually discouraging them.

Why?

Because they’re simply hearing too much about success. They’re comparing their own lives to these amazing people and “emotionally disqualifying” themselves.

But here’s the thing. All real success in life has a huge component of failure. When I was in academia I didn’t understand this. I couldn’t afford to fail my classes. So I did things I look back at now and realize it wasn’t part of my character.

Likewise, when people are in the corporate world, they’re afraid to lose their jobs. So they’ll avoid confrontation with their higher ups. The problem is that being a “yes man” might actually hurt the company in the long run.

 

Building Hope in Others

When we’re telling our stories to attract others to what we’re doing, we naturally might feel that it’s necessary to illustrate ourselves in a way that we’d perceive an “expert” would.

The problem I’ve seen several entrepreneurs make in their media, posts, or other messages, is that they rarely embrace the hard times. In fact, you might know some folks where all they ever show is their awesome toys – the results of their success.

Those of us who have seen success though, know what it took to get to where we’re at. In fact, I always think of a certain illustration when asked about “what success looks like”:

failure to success

 

 

When we embrace our failures, it makes us seem more reachable and it makes those who we’re influencing more teachable.

Or, in short,

People are impressed with success but impacted by our failures. – John Maxwell

 

Investing in and Learning from Failures

When I was going to high school, I remember someone (probably a guidance counselor) asking me a random question. I’m sure you’ve been asked this question too:

What would you attempt to do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?

I remember answering this question would motivate me to think about the future and what I wanted to do.

But there’s a problem inherently wrong with this question. In the long run, it’s not possible to be successful without having that element of failure.

So a better way of asking this question might be something like:

What would you attempt to do if you knew you WOULD fail, but you knew you would learn, grown, and get better?

 

Adjusting on the Fly

One of the most successful coaches in NFL history has been Bill Belichick. Love or hate the Patriots, you have to admire how they’ve been able to win as much as they have in the last two decades.

Many people attribute their success to Bill’s ability to make appropriate adjustments at halftime.

In contrast, as I’ve previously mentioned in this post, the 2017 Colts were notorious about losing games in the second half. While many times they seemed to come out with a lot of energy, inevitably halftime would come.

While most teams would change things a bit, they didn’t seem to change their game. In fact, if they were leading at half time, they’d play far more conservatively.

They were playing not to lose.

The difference between these two coaching approaches is jarring. The Colts coaching staff knew they were playing for their jobs. And subsequently, they feared failure.

On the other hand, the Patriots are willing to change things up during the game. Sure, they don’t want to lose, but they’re in a much better place to succeed with all the adjustments they make. Plus, if they do lose, they put even more time in the film room to figure out how to improve.

 

Seeing Failures as Learning Experiences

So how do we go from “playing not to lose” to “playing to win”? Again, it’s all about seeing failure as a means to success.

That said, there’s a handful of small tweaks we can make in our perspectives if we really want to make a change:

 

Get More Optimistic

There’s always ways to get better. Whether it’s through honing your own skills or helping others get better at their strengths, there’s always a chance to improve.

 

Take More Responsibility

When I think of the poise that Peyton Manning had and now Andrew Luck as leaders of the Colts, I can’t help but notice how much responsibility they’ve taken. Instead of blaming others for their loses at the post game podium, they’d always respond with “That’s my fault. I could have played better.” or “There’s things we all need to work on. I didn’t help the situation today.”

Even in a win, their response was/is always predictable “Yeah, we’ve come pretty far and did really well today. But there’s some things that we can definitely clean up a bit more.”

Though they might not have been the sole reason for a loss, they took responsibility of the failure. And it’s through this simple perspective tweak that they felt the need more to learn and improve on their own performance while inspiring those around them to get better.

 

Be a Bit More Humble

Another thing that Peyton and Andrew noticeably do is praise the members on their team. Peyton was always praising his linemen, and Andrew always talks about how it was a team effort. This rubbed off on their teammates quite noticeably. In fact, there’s some Colts who were players during Peyton’s time that today put in personal time to mentor and coach the new players.

So if you’re praised for something a team did turn it around and appreciate the team. If you’re in a position where you can help others be more successful in their work, help them. They might pay it forward.

 

Build Your Resilience:

Another thing I’ve noticed about successful sports teams is that they tend to have a short term memory for wins or losses. Regardless of the outcome, they always seem to look in the rear view mirror for a day and move on.

That said, a losing mentality can be contagious. So as previously mentioned it’s important that when players fail, they actually look at why they failed and learn how to improve. They simply can’t brush it off. In fact, on successful teams the better players will be wanting to get to the film as quickly as possible. Not so great players will shy away from seeing the film of their performance.

 

Embrace Challenges

Let’s face it, challenges will come up in our lives. It’s how you choose to respond to those challenges that make us who we are.

In sports, successful teams always “look forward” to playing the next team on their schedule. Sure, it’s easy to say this when you’re going against a team that barely knows how to win, but it raises your character a bit more when you’re saying the same thing about a team that has repeatedly beat your team in recent years.

Here’s another example.  In college, I learned that this approach really helped me study because I’d take the homework just as serious as the tests and exams themselves. Without the time trying to actually understand the homework, I would have been doomed for the tests. (This is completely different than how most people approach studying in high school.)

 

Action Steps

So if you find yourself in a situation where you’re wondering “why am I having problems connecting with my audience (or coworkers)?” ask yourself if you’ve been attempting to connect with them by sharing your own flops.

If not, see if some of these tactics can help you make more of an impact.

The better you become at embracing your failures, the deeper connections you’ll find yourself building with those around you.ii                                           

Enneagram Personality Types

Erin Rocchio – Exploring the Use of Enneagram Personality Types in Coaching (AoL 128)

It’s true when they say leadership, influence, and business go hand in hand. If you don’t have influence in your organization, company, or team, how do you expect to get anything done?

Knowing what people want and what motivates them is a big part of being influential – especially when you’re dealing with the higher levels in leadership.

And one of the best tools, I’ve found, is utilizing what I know about personality types. This knowledge allows us to group people in a manner so that we can interact with them at their level.

There’s all kinds of tests out there which will help you find your own personality. Recently, I’ve been hearing more and more about the Enneagram. It seems that a lot of my favorite podcast hosts know what number they are on it.

In this session, team and executive coach Erin Rocchio gives us a basic introduction to what the Enneagram is and how she she helps her clients use it.

Listen in as we learn how this powerful tool can positively affect you and your organization or business!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How did Erin get started in coaching at the age of 17 years old? 9:54
  • What’s the Enneagram test and how does she use it in her coaching work? 15:26
  • How does knowing about different personalites assist with people transitioning in their professional roles? 22:19
  • How does Erin help someone when she finds out that their stress is coming from structural constraints in their work? 25:44
  • What kinds of things does Erin look at when she’s working on cultivating high performance teams? 33:54
  • How would Erin work with Richard from the HBO show Silicon Valley? 36:30
  • How does she want to finish up the year? 38:19
  • Who are some influencers that have helped Erin get to where she’s at? 41:48
  • If she could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be? 42:53
  • Does Erin have a new belief or habit that has helped her improve her life in the last 5 years? 43:46
  • What advice does she hear adults giving children that she calls bs on? 45:40
  • What’s the secret to achieving personal freedom? 48:02

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Erin interview by Ronald Couming

Erin’s interview with Nissar Ahamed

Ginger Lapid-Bogda on “The Enneagram in Business”

David Cooperrider on Appreciative Inquiry


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

the marshmallow test

The Marshmallow Test – Does It Really Predict Success?

Why do we do what we do?

Let me clarify.

What makes us do what we do?

For most of us, if we really are truthful with ourselves, there’s an external motivation for us to actually get off our butts and do something.

For a lot of people, that motivation has to come at the expense of having a pain in our lives. But is this purely source of our success? Or is it something else?

But before we go there, here’s a bit of context.

There’s this recent video of Dr. Michio Kaku talking about the one test that predicts whether kids will be successful in the future: the marshmallow test. Here’s the vid:

What are your initial thoughts? Here’s mine…

 

Does Personality Play a Role?

When I watched this video, I started thinking about which group I identified with. I’d like to believe that I’d be part of the “wait for 2 marshmallows” group. In fact, if I was to recall myself as a kid, I probably would have waited.

I’ve always seem to be motivated by things that could be.

For example, I was never the kid to go on spending sprees whenever I was given a few dollars. In fact, I always saved the money I earned for something I REALLY wanted. Usually an upcoming video game. And since I had put that earned money into buying those games, I tended to play the heck out of that one until the next one I bought came along.

But where did that saving strategy of mine come from?

Michio brings up a good point. Do our personalities really affect whether or not we’d go for the immediate gratification?

Perhaps.

If I was thinking about the DISC personality profile, I’d imagine Supportives and Calculatives would be the natural two marshmallow types.

Being a base Supportive (S) myself I know a few things about them. Besides being tremendously stubborn, we tend to only do things that are going to mean something in the long run. If we can’t make that connection, there’s not much motivation for us to act.

That being the case, it makes sense how I would have developed my saving strategy early on.

As far as Calculatives – I’d imagine that they’d think “Oh, two is better than one. I can put in a little more time to get that reward.” So that’s pretty straight forward.

As for D’s and I’s – I think they might be more prone to being “one marshmallow now” types.

Dominants are known for wanting results right away. The I’s, (called Imaginatives) are known to be constantly seeking fun. Waiting for 2 marshmallows – that’s not fun! Having one now is!

But then again, Dominants are usually the most successful people out there and I’d believe that many celebrities on TV are Imaginatives.

So I don’t know if I’d say that personality yields this response.

 

Which Motivates More? Future possibilities or pain?

In The Delusion of Passion, David Anderson shares with us what he had to go through growing up. He went through a TON of pain before he got his opportunity at Goldman Sachs. Growing up, more often than not, he had to battle the odds to get what he wanted. He did so because he was uncomfortable being where he was in life.

He had a pain that he used as motivation.

Who would have predicted that he’d be as successful as he’s been? Would he have been a one or two marshmallow kid? Hard to tell.

If I had not much going for me growing up, I’d think that taking the marshmallow right away was the only for sure option. In fact, The Atlantic addressed this in a recent article. The article essentially states that the whole test produced unreplicable results and, at best, was biased. Apparently the pool wasn’t all that big and the sample they used for the study was full of kids that grew up around Stanford.

Yeah, that’s a bit of a bummer that we can’t predict people’s future as simple as Michio would have said.

Or maybe it isn’t?

If what the article says is true, then the potential for what could doesn’t motivate all of us. So what does?

I believe that we’re still motivated by things that could be true. But looking at David’s story, it would seem that pain has been as much of a motivator (if not more so) for him as the possibilities of what could be in the future.

Maybe it’s this combination of having some emotional pain and hope for what could be that is the driving force behind so many successful people. The more pain, the more fuel they have?

Action Steps

So now that you’ve soaked all of this in. Think about what you’ve accomplished in life. Legal or not, are there things that you’ve put together that were successful?

Why did you put together that process or do those actions? Was it from pain? Was it because you imagined something that wasn’t there? Or was it both?

Make sure you make a journal of this so when you’re ever running on empty, you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Knowing your Why is essential in long term achievement.

 

business outsourcing

Chris Schwab – Local Business Outsourcing: How Virtual Assistants Can Make an Impact in Your Local Business (AoL 127)

Starting a business comes natural to many people. You see a need and you deliver a solution. Suddenly, you have a business. Many small businesses are you’re everyday cleaners, mechanics, and other local service providers.

In a world where making passive income and traveling the world is a fairly well known lifestyle, it might seem that these local business owners might have missed the boat.

How can someone who performs services in real life like painting or cleaning make their business more passive? How can they move their business from one where they own the job to a business that they actually own?

Today’s guest, Chris Schwab, is a young entrepreneur who’s figured it out. He started his cleaning business with the end in mind back when he was in college. Today, he lives in London while running this Washington, DC based business.

Think it’s too good to be true for you?

Listen in as we hear how he uses virtual assistants in a way that many of us might not consider!!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How did Chris become a ‘citizen of the world’? 8:24
  • What’s a place that he perceived one way but when he actually experienced it, it was completely different? 9:40
  • How’d he realize that traveling was going to be a long term lifestyle after graduation? 10:55
  • How did he come up with how to run a cleaning business remotely? 12:16
  • How does someone find reliable people to be part of their remote business? 14:01
  • What are some skills that Chris would say need to be utilized in running a business remotely? 18:13
  • How does he find the discipline to make sure that the business is running smoothly? 19:43
  • Who should consider working with Chris and his VAs? 25:13
  • What’s his new project “Local Business Hustlers” all about? 35:09
  • What’s he looking forward to in the upcoming future? 39:20
  • Who’s Chris’ 3 top influential people in his life? 40:31
  • What’s a gift he loves giving others? 41:23
  • How does he stop the feeling of being overwhelmed when it he feels it creeping in? 41:48
  • What’s his favorite social custom from around the world? 42:33
  • What is something that he would want all high school students to know? 43:42
  • Is there a tip Chris would offer that would allow traveling to be easier for people? 44:19
  • What’s the secret to personal freedom? 45:16

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Automating a Cleaning Business (part 1 of Chris’ Journey)

How to Expand Your Cleaning Company Services (part 2 of Chris’ Journey)

What is Local Business Hustlers?

An Update on Local Business Hustlers


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

important life lessons

5 Important Life Lessons I Learned from My Dogs

Back in February I wrote about the loss of my dog, Sadie. She was so cool and VERY laid back about things in general. Other than me needing to feed her, she was a pretty independent (and stubborn!) girl.

That was in stark contrast to my other girl, Sable.

Sable has always been high maintenance. Maria would said say she was spoiled as a puppy.

There was good reason for this… and it all started the first night I had her back at Purdue.

That night, she wouldn’t stop whining when everyone went to bed. Of course, it might have had something to do with the fact that we put her in the back room away from everyone.

I tried so hard to keep her out there. But she was so persistent! Eventually I caved in and brought her into my room. It wasn’t long after that she learned she could get practically anything she wanted by asking for it. Including sleeping on my bed!!

From that point, she became one of the most vocal dogs I’ve ever known.

 

Almost two weeks ago, on Thursday June 21st, I had to let her cross the Rainbow Bridge.

Like her sister, she had been fighting cancer for a long time. While it wasn’t until recently we found out that it was lung cancer, we did know she had developed it because she started having seizures in late 2017.

She was having a heck of a time that last week and it was so hard to make that decision as it hadn’t been that long since I lost Sadie. However, anything that the veterinarians could do was a Hail Mary at that point.

I knew I had to make the call. I never had it in me to see her suffer – even as a pup.

So she’s now with her sister at Mom’s dog park in the sky.

Love you and miss you both, Girly Girls.

important life lessons

Princess Sadie and Duchess Sable – My Girly Girls

Traveling – A Great Time to Reflect

The next day, I had to hop on a flight to San Diego to meet up with Maria in the El Centro / Mexicali area. I hadn’t seen her in a couple of weeks – so it was certainly something to look forward to.

As I was traveling down there and back, I had time to think about how I was going to memorialize Sable’s passing.

With Sadie, I wrote about the grieving process. In there, you’ll see that my grieving process includes being creative in some way as a tribute.

For this tribute, I’m going to share some things I picked up from the two of them over the years.

 

Persistence Pays Off

As I’ve mentioned, Sable had a way of getting what she wanted. Not only did she start barking at someone if she wanted something bad enough, but she’d always outsmart her sister when Sadie was chewing or playing with something.

The biggest power move she had in this situation was when she acted as if she didn’t want Sadie’s toy. She’d walk over to someone for a butt scratch. When she got it, Sadie noticed and came over too (she was a butt scratch addict!!). Right away, Sable would run over to whatever Sadie had been working on and wouldn’t give it back!

They taught me that if you want something, just become the squeaky wheel!

Forgiveness and Living in the Moment

For the longest time, I had problems forgiving people. I took a lot of hurt around with me wherever I went.

When I went to Purdue, I wanted to become a new version of myself. However, my old habits kept me in a mental jail cell which prevented me from fully experiencing life at another level. It wasn’t really until my mom passed in 2010, that I started becoming my current self. It was then that I realized you have to live your own life – despite what you might perceive others expect of you. That was something she hadn’t done. She lived in her own mental prison herself, and most of it was self inflicted.

When I was suddenly in charge of both girls, I noticed that despite all the change that was going on, they were content and happy. They lived in the moment. They weren’t concerned with what people thought of them. And they didn’t hold aggressions with neighbors who yelled at them for being on their property.

My girls were just themselves. They taught me to just be me.

 

It’s Going to Be Okay

When I was going through that transition period between losing Mom in 2010 and marrying Maria in 2013, I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do when I grew up. On one hand, I felt that I had to live the life I went to school for. On the other hand, I realized that most of the time I was in school, I was simply doing what was expected of me.

I was expected to have a successful career.

And to be frank, I had no feeling of what success meant. The only things I had success in I had help achieving – I had guidance. I was now in the real world… and struggling!

But whenever I was with them after getting home from a long day of work – I was at piece. As long as I lived day to day and not sweat the details, things were going to work out.

It’s truly amazing what happens when you have this perspective.

Things will work out. Maybe not the way you plan for in the beginning – but they work out.

 

Take Time for Daily Exercise

One of the things that the girls wouldn’t let me forget about, especially between 2010 and 2016 was that they needed their daily walks. During those years in particular, we’d walk in the heat and cold. They didn’t care. Between 3 to 5 pm, they’d expect their walk.

Especially Sable. She was always on a mission to get to where we were going. She barely stopped to smell scents!

While I might not have been ready to take a break yet, it was during these walks that I was able to just think about things. I’d come back even more focused to wrap up the day on a good note.

I need to start getting Max on that same schedule. Unfortunately, we’ve had a pretty hot summer and he has had very little interest in being outside for long!

 

Pay Attention to Those You Love

My last Labrador, Shadow, passed when she was 10 years old. Like Sable and Sadie, she had developed cancer. Her mass was on her shoulder and it was super unbearable. In fact, she was in so much pain that she wouldn’t even try to move to go outside.

Knowing their life expectancy was around that 10 year mark, I started paying attention to them when they got to be about 8 and 9 years old. Often, I’d wake up in the middle of the night in a panic, wondering if they were still with us.

Thankfully, they were.

In retrospect, I think because of this fear and appreciating them as they ran to the door each day as I got home, I had a lot of good quality time with them. That’s actually a comfort for me now as I grieve.

In a time when we’re all glued to our digital devices or work, it seems like it’s getting harder and harder to spend this time with our loved ones.

Take the time to appreciate your close ones on a regular basis. You never know when the last time will be.

 

Action Steps

Nothing really deep here, guys. If you have doggos yourself, give them an extra strong hug for me when you see them next. Appreciate them.

For those of you who might have recently lost your own furry friends, is there anything they taught you?

Feel free to share below.