I’m afraid that this is another post inspired by my wonderful new pup. Having a small bundle of fur in the house has made a hell of an impact on our lives. One of the ones I hadn’t anticipated is just how much more we’re laughing. Honestly, we were always a family who loved to giggle, but his antics have us in stitches approximately every 3 minutes when he’s awake (and every 8.5 minutes when he’s asleep).
His energy levels are absolutely through the roof as well. He’s constantly rushing from one exciting adventure to the next. Even just watching him can sometimes feel exhausting. Given how central energy is to my coaching practice, I have been taking inspiration from him. So, in honour of Captain Pup, here are my best observations for how to live life with canine energy.
To a puppy, everything is new and exciting. At his age, he has no fear and is happy to approach every new situation and experience as potentially his new favourite thing ever. He doesn’t look at our table and think “that’s a table”. In fact, he doesn’t just look at the table. He sniffs the table, licks the table, barks at the table and possibly chews the table, just to see what will happen. He wants to experience the table.
Whilst I don’t recommend sniffing and licking the furniture, I think that most of can be more interested in the world around us. Rather than simply categorising what we see around us, we can get a lot more energy from actively wanting to learn and understand more about everything we encounter.
Don’t hoard your energy
I want to preface this by saying that my suggestions here are the exact opposite of how you go about running a race. As a runner, I’m used to trying to keep my energy usage steady and consistent and to making sure that I always have enough left for a sprint finish. Ok, who am I kidding? Mostly, I mean a ‘slightly faster stumble’ finish, but I’m aiming for sprint.
Mr Pup isn’t like that at all. He doesn’t hold back, and he definitely doesn’t try to conserve his energy. Instead, he commits fully to whatever he’s doing at that moment in time. Where I might walk to the kitchen, he will rush to the kitchen full of purpose and intention and ready to fulfil his puppy-in-the-kitchen goals. He puts his heart and soul into everything he’s doing, never trying to hold back some energy for later.
Obviously, we can’t really live our lives this way, but there’s something so obviously energising about his approach that I think it’s worth trying to incorporate at least some of this into the way we approach the world. Treating energy like a finite resource can actually leave you feeling more exhausted than spending it all does. With energy the more you use, the more you get back.
Get your rest
Something else I’ve noticed about the pup is that he will rest whenever he wants to. We might be right in the middle of a tummy rub and he’ll just roll over and doze off. Sometimes he’ll fight it, but that’s pretty rare. Mostly, if he wants to snooze, he’ll snooze.
Mid-afternoon naps might not a solution available to you, but most of us can benefit from listening to our bodies a lot more. Pup never gets cranky because he’s too tired, because, he never gets too tired. We push through, work late into the night and resent our morning alarm because we’re absolutely not done sleeping yet. Seeing his energy levels and the way he’s ready to go again after a short nap has definitely led me to do some serious reflection over whether I’m getting the rest I need.
Have your funny five minutes
Anyone who’s ever owned either a cat or a dog will probably be familiar with the “funny five minutes” or “the zoomies”. This is when your pet randomly decides that it’s time to race around the house at full speed for a few minutes. While I don’t have the dexterity to try this in my house, the laughter and chaos and fun that comes from chasing the dog when he’s in this mood is utterly magical.
If you’re finding yourself lacking in energy, trying to find your funny five minutes can be invaluable. Anything that has you unable to escape grinning and ideally leads you to laugh so hard you can barely breathe is an order of magnitude more energising than even the most delicious cup of coffee.
The more I interact with the dog, the more I’m realising that energised is our default state, and that’s a wonderful realisation.