End The Ambiguity

Photo by Paulo Brabo

Photo by Paulo Brabo

I’ve been reading books about training a puppy because I have a puppy who already knows how to train me. Whenever I need to level the playing field I buy a book. I’ve bought several on puppy training and still I’m being out-maneuvered at every turn.

The notion I’m reading over and over again in my books is that puppies are happy when there is no ambiguity (no grey zone – see yesterday’s post: Exit The Grey). Puppies don’t do well with debates. They require a clear and consistent message.

In this regard, people are no different than puppies. Children prosper when they know the boundaries. People play when they know they will be safe. Artistic freedom is often defined by the constraints. Doug Durham, a brilliant teacher of at-risk youth, once told me that his job was to draw boundaries and hold them: kids know they matter when the adults hold a clear, fair, and consistent line.

Coincidently, I’ve also been rereading The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz and it turns out that fear stories (stories of enabling) are filled with ambiguous grey zones and the subsequent debates that weak boundaries breed. To master love is to practice love. To practice love is to eliminate the grey zone. Eliminating the grey zone requires knowing what is yours-to-do and what is not yours-to-do. It is puppy simple: taking responsibility for your happiness is yours-to-do.  Taking responsibility for the happiness of others is not yours-to-do. There’s no grey when the message to your self is clear and consistent. There is no grey zone when your message to others is clear and consistent. Life becomes the mastery of love.

Assuming ownership for your own happiness ends the ambiguity. Paradoxically, a black and white line opens life to a full range of color. When you understand that your happiness is your responsibility, there is no one else to blame. What remains is the recognition of love without condition; something my puppy knows without doubt and is diligently attempting to teach me.

Go here to get my latest book, The Seer: The Mind of the Entrepreneur, Artist, title_pageVisionary, Seeker, Learner, Leader, Creator…You.

2 Responses

  1. Thank you for this reminder. Like you, we have a new puppy named Duke, a yellow labrador and I appreciate the reminder on the need to be clear and consistent. I thought I learned all i needed to with our other dog, Maggie the Chocolate lab that just turned 14 months and I need to go back to class. Thanks for the posting. BTW, I am currently reading the ebook “The Seer” and it is a powerful yet useful read.

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