For those who know me will understand my love for my furry kids. And of course, if you have been to my office (CPR or private sessions), you will highly possibly have met Rocky Balboa (my Pitbull Heeler mix).
This pup is so loving and funny. He loves being rubbed on his belly every time I let him out to greet the customers. This recent time in the CPR training, he was doing his own trick and being cute to get the attention and love he wanted. And this time, he brought to my attention that he is really smart, and he definitely is a great candidate to learn more tricks and/or become a therapy dog. My customer spent quite a bit of time to teach him so tricks, such as roll over, crawling, and jump though a hoop (her arms). These all took him one try for each trick with the help of the amazing treats I provided.
As we continued to watch and enjoy his entertainment, he started to realize that something did not add up right. He came up to me with the ponder look in his eyes. I told him that he did a good job, but he was not pleased with my praise because he realized that he "worked" too much to earn those tricks. He gave me his look that he would not do it again. And there he went right into his kennel.
My customer and I cracked up so loudly to see his reaction. We saw how reluctant he was to do more tricks. So we gave more treats to motivate him. Thank goodness that he is very food-motivated! By providing more goodies, he was willingly to do few more tricks before we said "okay."
From a simple incidence, I have witnessed how positive reinforcements can help foster a desirable behavior even on an animal. Can we imagine what kind of positive reinforcement we must implement in order for our human mind to be willing to make a change? What kind of motivation can really moves us forward and accomplish something we call "great"? What is it we must maintain in order to keep the "treats" in our mind that would be so valuable and irresistible for us to continue to pursue our dreams and attain our goals in our lives?
For me, my favorite treats to motivate myself to exercise is to spend time with my dogs by simply walking each of my 10 dogs individually. I love the bonding time with them and seeing their tongues sticking out with big smiles on their faces. Moreover, I love feeling my body is getting stronger by simply walking miles with no shortness of breath at all.
We must find the "treats" that work for us. We are all different and motivated by different "treats." Just like Rocky, there are certain brand names and treats he will just stay away from. So, sit down with yourself and ask yourself today, "What will be a great treat(s) for me to provide me a strong and consistent motivation?"