Life is short. That sounds like a throw-away line, and for young people, who believe they will live forever, a hard concept to accept. However, as life marches on despite what we do or don’t do, have or don’t have, and achieve or don’t achieve, it becomes more and more evident and important to accept. No matter what we have done with our lives, when it comes to an inevitable end, I believe loving it is the most important thing. So, the question you may be asking is, how do I love my life? Well, I got given the answer this week.

The answer was not given to me by a human being, because I am not sure many humans actually know. Some people may know intellectually, but knowing doesn’t necessarily translate into experiencing. The answer was provided to me by a three-year-old Labrador, and his owner. I was doing my morning walk through the park to the beach, when I was enthusiastically approached by this very cute dog. As soon as he saw me, he saw a new friend and ran to me with his tail wagging wildly. He jumped up with a massive smile on his face and, he leaned against me as I gave him the attention and the pat he was looking for. After a short time, he spied something exciting and bounded off to explore,

As I chatted with the owner, I found out a little about him and his dog, and he said, referring to the dog, he just loves life. As I walked away, it stuck with me. He just loves life. I kept walking and I passed many people as I went. Each time I passed someone, I would look at them, trying to get eye contact, so I could say good morning. I am sure that very few of these people, and I would have to say that very few people anywhere around the world would say, I love my life. So, the question is, how can dogs do it so easily, when so many humans continually struggle to find joy?

Within the first year of getting my pup Joia, back in 2009, so much did she impact my life, I wrote an ebook called Joia – Living a life of joy through the eyes of a pup. At that time, I would not say I was loving my life. I was stressed, I was fearful, and I was anxious. From the moment of having the dog, things changed dramatically, and I started learning amazing lessons from a dog just a few months old. I will not regurgitate the whole book, if you want it, please let me know and I will send it to you. I do want to highlight three things’ dogs do to help them to love life, which, if we were more deliberate about, would also help us love life.

For dogs, every day is an exciting adventure. New places to go, new people to meet, new smells to experience, and new opportunities to have fun. With a simple shift in attitude and focus, as we wake up in the morning, we can all approach the new day as an exciting adventure. What would happen if we started each day knowing that we will experience something amazing, meet someone incredible, and discover a fabulous opportunity? I bet you would love that day. I know I would.

For dogs, people are a source of joy. Dogs adore their owners, unconditionally. Dogs hold no grudges, and a are just grateful when they get attention, love, and food. Dogs love meeting new people who can give them a pat and they make friends easily because they are genuinely happy to see people. Wouldn’t our world be a better place if we just decided to love unconditionally? Wouldn’t we be happier if we could forgive more easily and be grateful for what we have and what we get? What amazing opportunities would come our way if we just saw every person as a friend who wants to help us in some way? I am sure these things would help you love your life.

For dogs, joy is in the simple things in life. They love sniffing, eating food, chasing balls and sticks, a tummy rub, and just hanging with people they love. Joia loved empty toilet rolls. Every time I sat on the toilet, she would come in a look at me with hope that I would be finished the toilet paper and would give her the empty roll. When I did, she would get so excited, grab it as if she was smoking a cigar and play with it for the rest of the day. How much would we love our life if we could find joy in the things we have every day – the simple things – the most important things? They are all around you, at every moment of every day, you just need to take the time to see them, experience them, and enjoy them.

Speaking about loving life and enjoying the simple things, in my podcast this week with Kelly Myles, called Let’s talk about sex, we discuss one of the greatest pleasures in life, sex! It is an awesome conversation that I encourage you to listen to.

It is a tragedy that so many people believe that loving their lives is conditional on what they own, what they accumulate, how they look, what others think about them, what they achieve, and what they don’t yet have. The ‘I will love my life when’ attitude will keep you separated from loving your life, forever. When you can see that everything you need to love your life is already there, and you can deliberately embrace it, then loving your life will just be the joyful result. Take notice of the next dog you meet, follow its lead, and start loving your life today.