Last Sunday, I approached a friendly looking dog with a leash that was running solo down the street, thinking that I would tie it up and make it easier for its owner to find it.
Then, the dog growled, lunged, and bit my thigh.
Shocked, I screamed and jumped back. As soon as I realized the dog didn’t want anything more to do with me, I slowly turned around and got the heck out of there.
Here’s what I learned from the experience:
First, the Obvious—Never Trust a Dog You Don’t Know, No Matter How Cute He Is.
(I can just hear my six year’s old voice in my head: “Mom, um, duh!”)
Second, Life is Short. So live so You Have You No Regrets.
After meeting with the doctor and realizing the life-threatening nature of getting rabies, I quickly evaluated my options AND did some thinking about my life.
Happily, I realized that I have no regrets. I have made decisions I’m proud of, I am grateful for the way I’ve set-up my business so that I can spend time with my boys after school hours and be with my husband and family evenings and weekends, and am so glad I summoned the courage to make all the changes to my health and career and lifestyle ten years ago to get to where I am today.
That said, the experience did put an exclamation point on my desire to do my work in the world. And it’s given me even greater motivation to successfully support conscious-minded individuals in more effectively doing their work in the world now!
So, please support me by checking out the new mastermind incubator I’m starting in June (application period opens May 1st) and recommend someone who would benefit from the structure, support, and expert guidance to get their big idea out in the world. Spring Into Being!
Third, Sometimes it’s Best to NOT be Risk-averse but Instead Call on Courage to Move Forward in Powerful Ways.
I could have gone straight to the hospital to begin rabies treatment, but weighing the odds and remembering my second foundational principle (to direct my attention to where I wanted energy to follow), I set out to find the dog and its owner to confirm it was healthy.
When you have an idea or goal that you dream about over and over, that means that it’s calling to you—and it’s time to do something about it. Why wake up years later regretting you never followed your dream, when you could live out loud right now and go for it! It takes courage, for sure. But when you focus on your vision and your excitement, the courage comes more easily and leads to realizing your dream in this lifetime—which by far outweighs any doubts you might have, don’t you agree?
Fourth, Social Media Sites and Online Networks are Fast and Powerful, and Can be Leveraged for Incredible Good!
We’ve all read about this in the media when it comes to political movements and finding lost children. But, I experienced this first hand.
After doing a web search, I identified neighborhood and dog organizations in the area where the dog bit me and made a few calls and posted some messages online. Within minutes (minutes!), people called me back with suggestions and leads, offered to forward my message to others, and more. Less than an hour later, I had tracked down the dog and confirmed he was securely quarantined in animal control. Turns out he bit at least two other people and threatened others who tried to help him.
Like many of you, I can appreciate the benefits of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but I don’t fully understand the best way to use them. After this experience, I’m now inspired to make even better use of social media.
Here’s what I’ve already started doing: I’m reaching out to ask people in my network to invite socially-minded people with a great idea that can benefit our world to apply to my new Spring Into Being group program. I’m also inviting recommendations for additional partners who can provide outreach and technical support to complement what I’ll be teaching.
If you already know someone who would benefit from learning effective strategies to avoid the most common pitfalls of starting a new endeavor, please share this link with them: http://execcareerreinvention.com/spring-into-being-basic-faq/
In this unique program—which turns a typical business incubator on its head—I’ll be focusing on PLATINUM SUCCESS FACTORS:
- Having a really clear idea about your overall life vision and how exactly this big idea of yours fits into and supports that big picture vision
- Knowing essential practices for cultivating much greater awareness of your internal roadblocks – when your thoughts or feelings are not in total alignment with your dream—and how to shift them back into alignment
- Effectively utilizing critical communication skills to influence and gain support from the key people in your personal and professional networks who you need on board to make this happen
- Explicitly acknowledging that you (YOU!) are the engine behind this idea and you must be operating at your optimum level physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to not only get this thing up and running but successfully keep it running once it’s out there in the world
To learn more about the Spring Into Being program, click here.
Fifth, Fear is a Choice.
Sure, it was scary in the moment to get bitten by a dog and experience that shock and pain. And, sure I could have allowed my mind to start spinning about how awful the rabies treatments would be and how I might die if I didn’t get treatment, and on and on. But, why put myself through that?
None of that is real. What was real was having a big “boo boo” on my thigh and a nasty bruise to show for it, along with a really sore upper arm where the nurse administered the tetanus shot.
But, the reality is that I feel great! I’m healthy, happy, and living my life. I did what I could do to track down the dog, and the rest is out of my control. Why let my mind spin and get overwhelmed with fear? Fear is a choice and I choose to let it go and direct my energy to more of what I want in my life.
Sixth, ASK for Help—Even Strangers Will Go Out of Their Way to Help You.
Something I once learned while riding the subway in New York City is that, when asked, a total stranger will go out of his or her way to show you the way and help you find your destination. In this case, total strangers dropped everything and took precious time out of their day to forward messages and posts, to call me and follow-up, and to help my cause of finding the dog who bit me. How awesome is that!
We are all human beings who have basic needs to eat, sleep, be loved, and feel important. By sharing with others the vision that you have for what you want to create in the world, you’re inspiring them and inviting them to take part in that vision—and that meets their need to feel helpful, to feel important, to feel they’ve taken part in something larger than themselves.
As I move forward, inviting people I know AND people in their network to support me in making a positive impact on the world, I’ll be asking them: who do you know who is a socially minded or environmentally minded or health minded who wants to be more successful and make an even better impact? Along the way, I will be remembering these lessons from that dog who bit me.
And lastly, Be Prepared and Have a Really Well-stocked First Aid kit!
Yes, we have a first aid kit in our car, but it’s been well-used and was lacking many basic ingredients. So, the first thing I did when I arrived at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Fairmount that day right after the dog bit me, was to ask for a first aid kit. Thankfully they had an ambulance and an EMT onsite to clean and bandage the wound.
What’s in your first aid kit? Or, the better question to ask you is: what’s in your metaphorical first aid kid? Consider your self-care practices, your dearest personal and professional relationships, and other resources you can call on in times of need to be key ingredients in your first aid kit. Continue to re-stock your kit by nurturing them so that they are there for you when you need them.
In my life and work, I am mindful to re-stock my metaphorical first-aid kit (if not the actual one in my car – ha!). Because I regularly challenge my mind and body with the practices of yoga and meditation, when faced with this traumatic situation, I was able to calm myself immediately after and mostly stay connected with my inner joy as I moved through the layers of the experience. Through these past 10 days, I have been reminded to be even more conscious and pro-active in restock my metaphorical first aid-kit by continuing my platinum practices and calling on the resources I have intentionally and unintentionally lined up over the years.
So, thanks “Chomper” (that’s the nickname they gave him at animal control) for reminding me of these important lessons.
Some final questions for YOU to consider:
- How do you respond to challenge life situations?
- How are you continually re-stocking your metaphorical first-aid kit?
- What can you do now to live your life more fully so you have no regrets?
- Who can support you in taking concrete and positive steps forward in support of your dreams?
Here’s to you living and working in a way that is fully in alignment with the vision you have for your life!