How My Dog Taught Me A Good Lesson In Motivation

What Motivates My Dog

My little dog is getting old. His health isn’t too great either.  He’s slowing down.  Most days, he lays around, only moving to follow me or my husband from one room to another.  I joke that he takes a morning nap followed by a mid-morning nap, then after a noon walk to the mailbox, a mid-afternoon nap, afternoon nap and late afternoon nap.  After dinner, he snoozes some more (when he’s not begging for more food) and then it’s time for bed.  You get the picture, there’s a lot of napping going on.

There is one thing that will get him moving, though.  Treats.

Several mornings a week, his ears perk up when I ask him if he wants to go for a walk.  When we are at home, that means walking over to my mom and dad’s house on the next street over.  It’s amazing how much energy he has when we go for our morning walks.  I think it’s because he knows what the reward is — treats from Grandmom.  Green beans to be specific. 

We also go for walks when we are at the beach, even longer walks than at home.  I usually let him decide which way he wants to go.  He used to have two or three different routes, but then about a year ago, he made a discovery which cemented our new and permanent route.  Treats.  There is a house, several blocks away, where the inhabitants  leave a dish of fresh water and a container of dog treats out for pups passing by.  Once Higgins discovered this, there was no other route to consider.  He simply must go by the big gray house with the treats.  When they are not there, I get a look that says “this is not acceptable”!

It is safe to say that my dog’s main motivation in life is treats.

There is not much to do on these walks except to think and so I thought about what motivates me.

What Motivates Me

We are motivated by many different things.  It could be the prospect of  making more money or being recognized by others.  Sometimes we are motivated by fear.  We can be motivated by fulfilling a sense of duty, what we are supposed to do.  It may be the desire to please other people that motivates us.  Our motivation may come from wanting to be the best, smartest, prettiest, most fit, wittiest — the list is never-ending.  We may be motivated by one thing or by any number of things all at the same time.  

There are many things that motivate us. What motivates you? – Tweet This

What motivates me?  Sometimes it’s the desire to have a popular blog or to see my name on a book cover.  Sometimes it’s to please other people.  But, if I step back and focus on what’s really important, the thing that really matters more than anything else, my motivation in its simplest form is to please God.  No matter what I accomplish or don’t accomplish in this life, I want to be able to stand before the Lord one day and hear these words:

“Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things.  Enter into the joy of your lord”. Matthew 25:23

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