What I’m Reading

Ask most people what they want from life, and I have a feeling you’ll hear a variety of answers with one common theme – happiness!  We are constantly searching for the relationship, job, raise, vacation, house etc., that’s going to make us happy (the list could go on and on!).  But often times that quest for a specific happiness is like putting on a pair of blinders – you can only see the things that you think will make you happy, and you miss all of the other wonderful, unexpected things that life throws your way – things that might have even made you happier than your original goal, had you stopped long enough to pay attention to them.  So how do we stop being so narrowly focused on happiness that we miss it all together?

Well, as author Jon Gordon suggests, the first step is to start feeding The Positive Dog in all of us – by simply changing the way we think about the current circumstances of our life, happiness can be found any time or anywhere – no purchase needed!

“…abundance flows into your life when gratitude flows out of your heart.” – Gordon

I have to admit.  I was a little thrown off when I first started reading this book, because I originally thought it was going to be a true-life story of  how Gordon observed two shelter dogs named “Matt” and “Bubba,” and developed a theory about positivity from them.  It is, in fact, a work of fiction about two talking dogs. However, once I got past the writing style, I really enjoyed the book :)

It’s a pretty fast read, broken down into short chapters, each of which is based around a strategy for finding the positivity in your life – even if you’re not feeling it!  That’s the real key to the book, and the part I enjoyed the most – it doesn’t just tell you to turn your frown upside down (although Gordon does inform you of the benefits of smiling…it releases serotonin!), it also gives you practical ideas on ways you can “feed the positive dog” within yourself, such as: going on gratitude walks, and tips on how to choose faith over fear.

“Faith and fear both believe in a future that hasn’t happened yet.  So I ask you, if neither the positive or the negative future has happened yet, why not believe great things are coming your way?” – Gordon

Gordon also includes an 11-day “Positive Dog Action Plan” that helps you incorporate all of the strategies into your every day life, and a positivity pledge.

“When you are positive, you not only make yourself better, you make everyone around you better.” – Gordon

It sounds kind of self-helpy (probably because it is), but I honestly think everyone could benefit from the simple techniques described in the book, even if you’re already a positive person to begin with.  I’m actually planning on doing a write-up on it for kids as well, in my other blog The Adventures of Baseball and Zooey, and that should be up on Monday, so check back if you have any little ones in your life that you think could benefit from it – it’s never to early to start building positive habits! (Update: Post is here)

Short, to the point, and surprisingly well-written for a book from the point of view of a shelter dog, I would definitely recommend picking up a copy and learning how to feed your own Positive Dog!

Update: Here’s the link to Jon’s site and the positivity pledge!

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