Dog Poop and Gratitude

by Andrea Goeglein

November is the month dedicated to giving thanks.  It takes a lot of practice, patience and dedication to develop the character strength of gratitude and develop a state of continual thanksgiving.  It is, however, the only strength within the Values In Action (VIA) that is suggested all people develop whether it is a natural strength or not.

On a my walk the other day I thought of a way to turn dog poop into a daily act of gratitude.

It caught my attention that all along my trail there were rocks holding down plastic bags next to dog poop. dog poop and gratitude

At first I was amused that someone actually went to the trouble to do that all along the trail, yet they still did not pick up the mess.  I wondered if it was an individual, or a city worker who had invested the time.  If you are wondering, no, I did not stop and pick it all up myself.

What I did do was remember a twice daily exercise I created at our house in the last two years.  Twice a day I clean the waste out of our cats’ box.  I had begun a practice of using that time to think about what ‘waste’ I want to dispose of in my life or in my thinking at that moment.  There always seems to be something.  I hold that thought as I carry the waste bag to the trash shoot outside.  Twice a day I actively get rid of my ‘poopy’ thinking.  I am always grateful to let of go of yet another block to my success and well being.

I am not suggesting you clean up other peoples messes (although my plan is to clean up the trail if it is still there on my next walk).  I am suggesting you use some daily, less than pleasant task, and transform it into a practice of gratitude.  Just look and you will see unlimited daily opportunities to clean up your thinking and be grateful you did!

Dr. Success Challenge:  Think about a task you do each day that is less than pleasant.  It can be something as simple as closing the lid on a toilet that someone else always leaves up or replacing the toothpaste cap they do not replace.  Be honest with yourself as you examine what thoughts you have when you do the task.  Now replace the normal thoughts with thoughts of gratitude about the person because you are fortunate enough to have them in your life, the fact you have an indoor toilet, or that you can actually afford toothpaste!

Remember, thanksgiving is not a day, it is a way to live every day of your life.

Thank you for reading my blog.  I would be even more grateful if you left a positive comment!


Feel the spirit of the season
About the author

Andrea Goeglein is part organizational psychologist, part entrepreneur, and all about success—your success. She understands both the pressures you face and the dreams that inspire you. Andrea merges her experience as a business owner with her training in Positive Psychology to provide effective, efficient and challenging personal development products and services. She combines an emphasis on objective assessment with an approach that is always powered by your spirit and guided by your goals. Her professional development offerings are based in theory and backed by direct business knowledge.

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1 Response
  1. You are the only person I know,who uses ‘cat box cleaning’ as an opportunity to express/embrace gratitude. One of many examples of why I love you so very much!

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