A few months ago we adopted the cutest little dog. Aside from the normal benefits gained from getting a new pet, we’re sure she’ll be teaching us many life lessons. Our adorable new addition is a curly red miniature poodle, and weighs just about 6 pounds–less than our tabby cat. Wherever we go, Petra is the star of the show.
Petra is one of the smartest little dogs that we’ve ever known. Like many animals, if you watch closely, you can learn a lot from them. We refer to these lessons as The Tao of Petra Ph.D (Pretty Happy Dog).
The most recent lesson learned from the Tao of Petra is: Ask for what you want.
We don’t know about you, but very often we find ourselves doing things on our own when we could just as easily ask for help. Likewise, there are many times we end up going without something we want just because we’re not used to asking if someone is willing to help us or give us what we desire.
Lately, while being entertained by this very cute little dog, we realized that she never hesitates to ask for what she wants.
Whether it’s to get up on your lap, go outside, eat, or play… whenever she wants something she immediately asks for it.
In our daily life, we love creating new practices for ourselves that help move us in the direction of our desires. So, in the spirit of this teaching from the Tao of Petra, we decided to practice the mindfulness of Asking for What We Want.
First, we decided that we needed to find out what makes it so easy for this little dog to ask for things without hesitation. Why is asking so challenging for us? We figured out there are at least two major differences.
First: She never feels “Petra-fied” about asking. She has absolutely no fear of hearing the dreaded word “NO.” Most of the time, asking gets Petra exactly what she wants, but when she does hear “no,” all it means to Petra is, “ask again at least two more times.”
Of course, when she finally gets that no means “no,” she moves on, and is no worse off than she was before she tried asking. Because of this, Petra continues to be a pretty happy dog — she isn’t frustrated, upset, or sullen. Her attention just easily turns to what she wants next, and then she starts asking for that instead.
Second: She’s not worried about being a bother. She doesn’t assume the responsibility for people’s reactions. If they don’t want to do what she wants, then they won’t do it. No big deal. She acts as though other people’s opinions of her are none of her business.
Now, of course we understand that Petra doesn’t mull these deep truths over and think about how to apply them in her life. We’re pretty sure she has no “opinion” about them at all. Nevertheless, she has shown us a profound way to be and, by using her example, we created our new practice.
The “Asking for What You Want” practice goes something like this:
Each day, we identify one thing we can ask for that day, and then we ask for it. Sounds simple, right? It is! We remind ourselves that hearing “no” leaves us no worse off than we were before, and that other people’s opinions of us are none of our business.
If you’re ready to start asking for (and getting) more of what you want in your life, take a lesson from Petra Ph.D. and ask for what you want today!