I like writing on here.
The goal is to provide some clarity, a lesson, a tip, something that'll help you improve. In this article, all I can provide is some hopefully helpful perspective.
I've had a tough week.
My dog, my best bud, Teddy passed last week.
It was just me and Teddy for almost 7 years before Alice came along - who is essentially Teddy's dog - and then Luisa, my sweetheart.
Wake up to him. Walk him. Play with him. Hike with him. Road trips, evenings with a glass of scotch and a book. That was my life, and he was it.
That is, he wasn't 'a part of my life', he was intertwined within it. A necessary aspect of it. A key ingredient in it. Without him, the recipe isn't the same.
It hurts. It's brutal, to be honest, but I have to take some lessons from this so the end isn't me just left with sorrow, but with joy, peace, and gratitude.
Go for it.
You don't not get the dog because one day you'll inevitably be left with pain. You get him because of the joy, the bond, the light he brings in a dark period.
You get him because, as a single guy, a driven single guy, you need to learn what it means to care for someone other than yourself, and he taught me that.
But this applies to everything.
Ask the girl out even if rejection hurts.
Get married even if it could end in pain, but giving it your all to ensure it's a great marriage.
Start the business because you have something valuable to give the world even if failure may be the result, while putting everything you have into it's success.
Go for it. Do it. Do all of it.
But don't just go for it, give it your all when you do. It's the only way to live.
Get a dog that fits the lifestyle you want to have, not one that fits the one you do have but aren't satisfied with.
Teddy brought me outdoors more than I've ever been in my life. We'd hike, go on road trips and daily mini-adventures.
This applies to life, as well. Do those things you want to do even if 'that's not currently who you are'. Who you are is who you decide to be, and there's no limit to bind this decision.
When deciding what dog to get, I fell in love with the dogo argentino because, to me, they were elite in every way, the best balance of power, aggression, calmness, speed, endurance, agility, and so forth.
But you have to lead them. You can't have any confusion over who the leader is.
You have to be firm. You have to know what you want and convey it in the right way. You can't fly off the handle. You can't hit a dog because they do something wrong, that's your fault. Doing so just creates a scared, aggressive, and dangerous dog.
You have to lead the right way, assertively, but calmly.
In life, as men, this is how we lead.
Nothing really bothers us. We know where we're going, and we protect those around us, we make them free to be who they're trying to become.
It's the worst thing to have to say.
I don't have to say it. I smile at the memories, I want him to still be here, but I don't have to wish that I did anything different with him, that I gave him more love, attention, or care.
He got it.
I'll be the same with the Mrs., with the folks, with my friends, with Alice, with everyone.
I commit to never having to say, I wish.
When life punches you in the gut, take a step, and then another.
I knew Teddy would die one day before I did. Which makes it rationally easier, but not really emotionally easier. He's still gone.
Take a day, sure, even two. If something horrible happens, don't avoid the pain, go through it, be in it. But don't stop.
I took two days, just doing a little work. Then I got back in the gym, back on the bike, back running, back working.
I'm not saying that with a pat on the back, but because we can't let our inner emotions or feelings or moods, no matter if they're justified, stop our progress.
We have to move forward.
Time doesn't stop. Nor shall we.
Regardless of how we feel, the work still needs to be done, whether that's work on the business or work on ourselves, keep going.
To stop moving, to stop doing, to give up, it's a slap in the face of your potential, your Maker, anyone that's ever helped you. You've got to keep going, one step at a time. One small act at a time. One seemingly insignificant good habit at a time.
I love that dog. I miss him.
To Teddy. God bless you.