As you may know, I am an absolute dog-lover. Since before I was married, I have always had a canine by my side. Just last Christmas, I had to put down my loved Chester, the eldest of two black labs. Through the years I have been able the cherish the addition that a dog brings into my life. So it should be no surprise that I often watch Cesar Millan’s television show, The Dog Whisper (now Leader of the Pack).
I was shocked last night to hear that Cesar attempted to kill himself with an overdose of drugs (NBC News). His partner had ended their relationship, his bull dog and best friend died, his kids were not talking with him and he was broke. His personal life
was collapsing. What the TV showed was a successful man with a passion to help canines and families in need. Who would have known that underneath it all, things were not so pretty.
Hospitalized for depression and his suicide gesture, Cesar had to rebuild his life. He had created a Cesar success on the silver screen but it was built on sand.He turned to others for support and realized he needed a pack too. He has changed his life, reordered his priorities and has a new girlfriend, one son is living with him and both are talking with him. It is easy to become disoriented with “success”. Compass bearings are easy to loose in the fog of life, Friends, loving family and time with them creates the pack. You cannot have a pack if you don’t give it attention. If you want to find happiness and contentment in life understand that work and pride in one’s work has a value but only in the context of life, health and family and relationships. (Including our animal friends).
As I write this blog ,Sammy, Chester’s son , lies next to me on Chester’s bed and I just finished lunch with my daughter. It doesn’t get better than this.
Use this story as a warning
Take care of your nest. Being successful in your career is wonderful but if you let it get ahead of you , you run the risk of losing sight of your ultimate priorities, your family, health and overall sense of well being. I think it is vital to have what I call safe people in our lives. They are people who have nothing to gain by testing our realities and keeping us on point. Who are your ” safe people”? The job requirements are honesty , patience and a non judgmental personality.They are people who will love you enough to have the courage to challenge when you are drifting off beam.
Build your work around your life, not your life around your work!
I have seen too many individuals who spend their lives pursuing some position, salary or status. In the end their work becomes their life but when the clock runs out at retirement or with illness, they are left empty handed, no friends, family or hobbies or interests. It is a death knoll. The golden years becomes a black whole. Experiment. Give yourself permission to try one new hobby this month. Look into it. How much will it cost. Reach out to a close friend you have not seen in years. Catch up and see how wonderful it feels
Find your balance point.
We all have a different fulcrum. Read your body if your balance is off.you won’t be sleeping, you will loose focus, be irritable, and likely have physical symptoms through weakened organ systems that communicate”Slow Down”.” Bridge Out” “Go another way” Your body talks. Are you listening?
Cesar forgot these simple tools. Benefit from his example and go another way.