Want Simple? Learn To Think Like A Dog

Have you ever wondered what a dog thinks about? Does a dog worry? Does a dog wonder? Perhaps, but more likely, a dog just acts, automatically by intuition. Want simple? Humans could learn a lot from dogs.

My dog, Shep: Photo by Deccio Creative

Earlier this year I wrote a post called, 5 Ways Overthinking Complicates Life, And 5 Ways To Stop. I think it was solid advice. I suggested that we replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. But if you really want to clear your mind, you have to let go of all thought. Okay, maybe not all thought, but you need to limit your thoughts to only the ones that are essential.

A Dog Doesn’t Want Simple, It Just Does Simple

Dogs don’t complicate things. They have a few basic needs: food, water, exercise, play, and love. That’s about it. As long as these basic needs are being met, dogs seem pretty content. So what goes on in a dog’s head. It’s simple. When a dog is hungry, it instinctively thinks, “food.” If you walk in the door to greet your dog, he’s probably thinking, “love,” or “play.” It’s automatic. The dog focuses on the immediate situation.

Other than these basic, instinctive needs, the dog likely doesn’t think much at all. My dog, Shep, never seems worried. He rarely gets upset. Of course he barks when a stranger comes to the door. But that’s automatic. It’s a dog essential. 

Humans, of course, aren’t dogs. We have jobs and wives and kids and bills and dozens of other concerns. We have messages coming in from every angle: television, the Internet, radio, and other people. And whether we focus on the positive or the negative doesn’t really make a difference. Too much thought leads to a cluttered mind. And positive and negative are polarities. If you have one, you’ll have the other.

The Answer Lies In Something Less

As with many topics at Hip Diggs, if you truly want simple, you have to want less. The same idea applies to thought. The answer isn’t in thinking about the right stuff, it’s about only thinking about the absolute essentials. And although it might sound like some kind of Buddhist mediation, it doesn’t have to be.

I like to walk. When I walk, I’m often not thinking about much of anything except my immediate surroundings. I set my mind free from thought. This gives my mind a break from all the noise. I also like to write. And although I do have to think to write, I’m focusing solely on the immediate essentials, the next words of the message. It’s instinctual.

Want Simple? Pay Attention To Your Dog

So if you want simple, watch a dog. Dogs don’t have a mind full of clutter. Dogs are simply mindful of what they need when they need it. Simple essential thought.

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Dan Erickson

Dan Erikson is the passionate voice behind Hip Diggs, where he explores the art of living simply and intentionally. With a keen eye for minimalism and its profound impact on our lives, Dan delves into topics ranging from decluttering spaces to decluttering the mind. Drawing from personal experiences and a deep appreciation for the minimalist ethos, he offers readers practical insights and actionable steps to embrace a more meaningful, clutter-free life. When he's not penning down his thoughts on Hip Diggs, Dan enjoys the serenity of nature, reading, and exploring the nuances of simple living in a complex world.

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