My mother brought home a puppy when I was kid. A mutt from the pound named Jack who became my best friend growing up. We were an inseparable pair with a bond as strong as steel. He wasn’t the best dog and he barely listened, but he did teach me lessons that can carry over into any professional career.
• Jack taught me to never give up. Be relentless in whatever you are striving to achieve and fight for your goals. If your goal is to double your sales next year, fight until you reach that goal. Jack never gave up. For hours, he would dig until he tunneled under the fence when no one was home to realize he was doing it. He did it with the heart of a lion.
• Jack was proud of his accomplishments just as we should be with ours. If you make a sale, acquire another business or win an award, be proud of that. That is an accomplishment for you regardless of the size, even if it’s escaping from a dog pen. I remember walking home to find Jack lying on the back porch, slowly wagging his tail as if to say “Hey…been gone a few days, but did you see how I got out?” He was proud of it.
• Jack taught me to be brave. We can all be brave at work by taking on assignments that we usually wouldn’t. Don’t be afraid to go after that big project. Take it head on and don’t be afraid of what might happen, but be excited for the outcome. Be as brave as Jack was in your work. He wasn’t a big dog by any means, but Jack wasn’t afraid to stand up and take on the challenge, even if it was the neighbor’s black lab.
• One of the last lessons I learned from Jack before he left was to enjoy the ride. Although he literally enjoyed rides with his head out of the car window and the wind blowing against his fur, he showed me that life is a journey. Sometimes when we fall short of our goals it can cause frustration and anger. Goals are great to set and if you don’t meet them, learn from it. Always be open to different outcomes because it’s the journey that matters most. You should enjoy the ride.
When my mother brought home a mutt from the pound, I never thought that he would become one of my greatest teachers. Jack taught me to never give up, be proud, brave and enjoy life’s ride. These are helpful lessons for any professional career.
Jack wasn’t the best dog and barely listened, but I’m thankful for what he taught me.