What I Learned Watching Dogs and Daisies

Stop for just one minute and take notice of the natural world around you. Absorb a sunrise. Go for a walk. Smell your flowers. Play with your dog. When we pause just for a moment to take in the magnificence of what is around us it is quite amazing and brilliant and it is time we start learning from it.

It got me thinking about the fact that we spend millions of dollars learning from each other via conferences, books, and videos. There is nothing wrong with that, as I have spent much time and money this past year attending conferences and reading books. But, I think it is time to pay more attention to the amazing and brilliant world around us. There are many leadership lessons to be learned if we just open our eyes and pay more attention. The following are two lessons I have learned from watching daisies and dogs:


What is one of the biggest problems today with not just educators, but those in many professions? Stress! The workforce is stressed. Simon Sinek in his brilliant talk “Why Leaders Eat Last” states it emphatically when he says it is not our diet of fatty foods that is killing us, it is our high stress level.

We must become more like flowers and “grow and go towards the light”. If you leave a flower long enough it will begin to grow in the direction of the light. Why don’t we do the same? Unlike plants, we go home, turn on our tv and watch some depressing news or some violent show that helps take our mind off of what has stressed us that day.

I suggest starting your day with happy news such that can found on The Good News Network. I suggest spending time with things that make you happy and not just things that make you temporarily forget about what is stressing you.


We must stop taking things personally and stop assuming ill intent for every little negative thing that happens to us. The stress and anger this causes us is detrimental to our physical and mental well-being. I owned an amazing dog named Booth for 16 years. I can’t remember how many times I accidentally kicked or stepped on his paw while he was sitting beside me. Not once did he ever look at me with anger as if to say, “why did you do that?” Dogs don’t hold grudges and they don’t assume ill intent. They simply accept events as they transpire and they move on. We need to try to to learn to do the same.

Your Turn

Your charge today is to begin to take notice of the natural, nonhuman world around you. I promise you that there is much to be learned from the success of what you see.  Now go outside and get some free pd!

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