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Image by Clark Tibbs



Feed the White Dog

I was once approached by a Hebrew-speaking individual who expressed interest in a position as a Hebrew teacher at my school. When I inquired about his teaching experience, he responded, "I've never tried teaching before. Maybe I'll be good at it. Give me a class, and I'll give it a shot."

I retorted, "You sound like someone without any training in flying an aeroplane who applies to become a pilot, telling the airline, 'Give me an aeroplane, and let's find out if I can fly it or not.'"

However, upon reflecting on this conversation, I pondered the situations where such a mindset could prove helpful.

Successful individuals allocate time on a regular basis to set goals. Some people assess their past achievements or failures, evaluate what worked and what didn't, and determine ways to improve in the future. This way of thinking allows the past to limit the future. On the other hand, people who have accomplished great things in their lives often have a different way of thinking. When they set goals, they ask themselves, “What are the things that I have never done before? What can I attempt if I believe that anything is possible?" They envision an "unlimited" future.

The Israeli Defense Forces are renowned for their creative and innovative thinking, as exemplified by the Entebbe rescue mission. Such actions can only succeed when the future is not constrained by the past.

As human beings, we have two conflicting voices within us. It's helpful to think of these voices as a red dog and a white dog. The red dog imparts messages like, "You can't do it. You've never done it before. What if you fail? You're not smart enough. You're not young enough (or old enough). You're too tall (or too short). You're too fat (or too skinny)."

On the other hand, the white dog conveys messages such as, "You can do it. Work hard, and you will succeed. You have what it takes, so keep trying."

The lesson here is that the dog you feed the most will grow bigger. If you give the red dog more attention, meaning you align with the idea that you cannot succeed, the red dog will prevail and prevent you from pursuing your dreams. However, if you choose to feed the white dog and believe in the voice that tells you, "Try hard, and you will succeed," this message will become the dominant voice in your mind. Adopting this approach to your life choices and actions can lead you to a quality of life that you never imagined possible.

Take meaningful action. Create a list of things you wish to do but have never attempted. Choose the two or three most important ones, set a target date for accomplishing them, and start working towards them. It's highly likely that life will never be the same again.

Give it a try; it works!

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