Gretchen Rubin wrote in The Happiness Project about the year she spent “test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happy.” The Puppiness Project is my attempt to learn the same from Honey, my Golden Retriever.
Honey Knows How to Hustle for What She Wants
Summer is here. At least for now. And we practically live on the front porch.
I get many chances to see Honey hustling to get the only currency that means anything to her—love and attention. Here’s how it works.
Honey hears someone walking down the block toward our house. She gets up and moves over to the baby gate across the top of the porch stairs. At first, she’s just curious. But then she spots her “victim.”
First, the tail starts a slow, loose wag. Then Honey starts shifting her back paws. The back end of her body starts to shake with excitement while her front struggles to keep up. She starts batting her gold eyelashes while doing a little dance with her front paws.
Sometimes the person walking by is distracted or just not interested in major golden cuteness. As she realizes this, Honey stands still with an expression of wondering on her face.
But more often she charms her audience. They stop and ask, “Awwww, can I pet your puppy?”
Her hustle worked. I could learn something from her.
Living in the Land of Hustle
Nearly everyone I meet has at least two or three jobs/hustles. They work part time at the local food co-op, teach yoga on the weekends, do massages out of their home. Oh, and they also play in a band.
Some of this is a sign that the economy doesn’t give as many options for full employment as it used to. But mostly, I think people are trying to craft an interesting life that gives them time to do a variety of things while still supporting themselves. They’ve learned how to hustle.
I’ve had entrepreneurial ambitions for years. As a kid, I hand painted ceramic vases, filled them with dry flower arrangements, and sold them door to door. Several years ago, I started my business Spiral House before taking my current job so I could earn more to help support my mother-in-law. My notebooks are filled with descriptions of prospective businesses.
I have ideas. I have a reasonable amount of intelligence. I even have a few skills. But I have no hustle.
I was reasonably successful offering workshops through Spiral House. At least, the few people who took them spoke highly of the experience and were moved by what they learned. But it was hardly a mass market experience.
Maybe I can satisfy my entrepreneurial urges by connecting deeply with a few people instead of touching many people lightly. Or maybe I can bring a new attitude to the things I do and learn a little bit of hustle. I don’t know.
Hustling for Love—It’s Honey’s Nature
Honey could no sooner avoid soliciting attention from strangers than I could stop writing wordy, philosophical blog posts.
So should I follow Honey’s lead and get my hustle on? Or realize that my deepest nature is more German Shepherd than Golden Retriever?