Thursday, June 5, 2014

Dog Agility Blog Action Day----Success

Another awesome Dog Agility Blog Action Day topic!!

Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts--unknown

My mind stewed on this subject for many weeks actually, as it is really tough to define what success means to me. Do I have ultimate goals...yes I think?

I always tell people, I am for SURE not a Type A, more like a B+ in personality. I want to do well, on those things I care about, otherwise, I am content at sucking at stuff if that is how the chips fall :)

Maybe that sounds weird, but that's how it is. My psyche is that of a person who is really passionate about a few things...and I throw my energy, my heart, my soul into those passions. If it is not a passion...meh :)
 I think success, like we as humans, is constantly evolving. It's a living, breathing entity...which can either feed our souls, or destroy us. A very wise herding person once said "there is no room for ego in dog training"...and that is very true.

We also, in turn, either feed the success by CHOOSING to see the good in things, or feed that lack of success by focusing on the bad. Things must always be in balance...that is life, homeostasis really is happening in ALL things. 

One of the things that we, as humans have a tough time doing, is self assessment. We want to believe we are wonderful, that we have all these amazing strengths, and we are going to win. Am I saying that we aren't all wonderful, nope! But we all have things to improve to become a better person. Sitting down and being honest about what you are, about what you want, and the toughest, what you are NOT happy with (that usually can be helped with a glass of wine ;-). I want to wake up every morning and become a LITTLE bit better than I was yesterday. In agility, in herding, in LIFE. 

So I do self assess...I look at myself as if I was an outsider...and there are times I see things that make me very disappointed in myself...I failed. Whether it is in agility with my dog, my communication with someone, how I handled not getting that last GP Q I needed. I failed. But I reassess, and I tell myself I will do better. And I let it go, I don't stay in that mindset (I try to really mimic my dogs in that thought process).  Failure is not fatal. Failure is feedback, failure is a chance to start again, fresh, with a new plan.

In return I forgive others who have failed in their quest. Many people are fighting battles way worse than dog training. Sometimes it seeps into a trial with them. We are all human
 Lynn is a saint :)

Success is not final...what a very true and honest statement. There are so many paths to success for so many people, so many stepping stones to that would do us ALL good to be able to embrace each others goals of success. So that we can support each other, instead of tearing down progress. I see people who are working through issues, sometimes met with a lot of resistance...please let the judge in the ring do the judging. 

Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure, in the mind of another--unknown

Failure is not fatal...THIS one has taken awhile :) Having measured success in Q's in the past, it has taken me time and experience to understand it isn't ABOUT those things, it's about that connection and those amazing runs where you and your dog felt like you were one. When I started on the path of training the running dog walk, I had people that wanted me to fail, said it couldn't be done.  And for awhile I wanted to let them win. What IF I fail at this? Will people see me as pathetic? Will I be viewed as a failure? There were many times I told myself I was a failure during the training process. But I wanted the experience, I wanted the challenge, so I stuck with it. Even when people chose to tell me when she jumped, but never cheered for us when she nailed a contact. I told myself this is my journey, and I want it. I wouldn't trade it for the world. In many ways I failed and then picked myself back up and became that much stronger. I found my courage to continue.

I have realized that sometimes my best isn't going to be good enough. That sometimes just being able to just take my pups on a walk is the success of the day. I've learned to be happy with what I can give, and not beat myself up over it. My dogs don't care, those that care about me don't care. And that's good enough for me :)

Always remember success comes in many forms. And don't expect the world to celebrate your success! You celebrate it! You embrace it!

When I was asked to be the assistant coach for the IFCS team this year in the Netherlands, that was a great time for me. Helping the team, being there with me that was a wonderful experience. I love teaching/coaching, to see people blossom, change and evolve into better handlers and's what I live for. It is a huge success point in my teaching career. And it was unforgettable. I cherish that. my success is getting Gig to take treats when a new dog is around, or teaching a student how to teach and use verbals. The focus is always changing.
And for ME, the biggest change in success has been, I look INWARD for my successes, instead of OUTWARD.

Outward: Q's, Ribbons, Titles, Medals, Placements, others opinions of me, of my dog, of my handling and training.
Inward: Connection, handling to the best of my abilities, challenging myself, being loving and fair to my dogs, being a better person, giving that knowledge to my students so they can succeed, LETTING GO OF THINGS (huge huge huge) etc.

If the inward is at peace, the rewards of good handling, good training will happen. 

Are medals and ribbons nice? Sure, they are a picture of that moment in time you had the best run. But they are not the be all. While sitting in a briefing a judge said something that will FOREVER stick in my head "No one will remember who won Grand Prix at this trial, but EVERYONE will remember who was an ass to their dog". So very very true. 

I have become very much like my dogs in regards to life and success, if I don't like it, I ignore it :) If I like it, I embrace it!

The courage to continue on, to step to the start line with our dogs and be OK with whatever happens. To not worry about the "what ifs" and "how will I look" but to just be there with my dog, running...that's my success.

Go visit the other blog postings on this topic! Lots of great stuff!!!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

IF I worried about what ppl thought I looked like when I ran my dog, I would NEVER go out there.. I just figure that I'm entertainment for them and let them laugh, I'm good with that.. ANd who knows who wins Grand Prix.? as soon as your out the door, it's all forgotten, but the person that was mean to their dog, that will be talked about for a long time..

Who is anybody to tell you what you can or can't teach your dog.? A running dog walk or what ever, I would NEVER listen to anybody that said " you can't do it" and only listen to true friends that will help you figure out how you can do it.. And ALL your TRUE friends will always rejoice with you in any of your successes, no matter how big or how small...

Some of my Very best runs where I come off of the course with HUGE smile because of all the successes on my face are NQ's. Sometimes a NQ is more of a success than a Q.. At least in my history! LOL!