12 Lessons from a Labrador on what
Joyful Purpose looks like

I’m sure there’s a whole shelf in the management library on ‘lessons from animals’ but this 35 second clip illustrating the power of purpose could keep me going for hours.

Here are 12 Lessons from Walter the Labrador on Joyful Purpose :

Lesson 1
Our furry friend Walter has been held back from achieving by his master. Normally this is A Bad Thing, however, placing oneself under artificial constraint can induce lots of great alternative ideas, through the necessity to challenge your assumptions and seek alternative solutions.

Lesson 2
Constraining the release point also serves to charge motivation as the energy has nowhere else to go. Holding back and waiting for the right time to release pent up energy can also serve to provide an extra charge to momentum and get things flying from the word go.

Lesson 3
Note how the hound is constrained yet still has an abundance of motivation (A.K.A. a waggy tail). Walter desires to achieve his goal and abides until he is triggered. He powers himself with hope and belief that he will one day be able to make the leap to the ocean.

Lesson 4
Observe the pace unleashed when he is let off the leash. No dithering, no waiting for permission, no hesitation on executing his mission. He Just Delivers.

Lesson 5
His destination is out of sight. Not just obscured, but completely out of sight.
He launches despite of this.

Lesson 6
Obstacles twice his height are devoured without hesitation and one can argue with no small amount of flair.

Lesson 7
Walter takes a few hits and knocks but ignores them, not allowing himself to be distracted from his purpose.

Lesson 8
This dynamic doggie creates his own path, selecting on the fly from a multitude of possible paths and threading his way to the outcome. It doesn’t matter about the small deviations or parallel routes he could have taken. He doesn’t waste time stopping and having a brainstorm about which broadly similar path is most optimal. The choices he makes are powered by instinct and a sense that any of the paths will get him there as long as he’s galloping in roughly the right direction.

Lesson 9
His path is not a straight line, but requires several changes of direction. He doesn’t appear overly concerned by his route not being the most efficient use of resources (a straight line). He loves the sensations of forward progress and probably loves the corners as much as the straights for the different sensations.

Lesson 10
As he approaches the end goal, rubber neckers and distractions abound. They are ignored. No committee meeting here to figure out the launch plan. It’s pretty simple. Get to the edge. Jump.

Lesson 11
As he reaches the finish line, he slackens not his pace, instead accelerating over with undiminshed zeal. Walter keeps running.

Lesson 12
Throughout, Walter doesn’t give a poop about how he looks to passers by, whether he has a silly look on his face (I’m sure it would be a spectacular doggy grin, tongue out, chops flapping, saliva all over the shop), what the camera angle is like, whether the footage looks smooth or the framing is professional. Walter has more important things to worry about than external appearance – he is taking joy from his purpose.

 

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About Robin Wilson

I spent 13 years at the UK's number one property website creating and managing multi-million pound digital products across the full lifecycle, from strategy, product design and development to implementation and operational management. I'm passionate about embedding great culture rooted in responsibility and systems thinking when building teams.