We have a six month old puppy, Rufus, who is just entering that rebellious “teenage” phase and we are busy working on training with him. At times I realise I am focusing on the future, looking forward to the day when he (hopefully) becomes the well-trained responsive dog that I’m imagining. Focus on the future however, can lead to a lack of patience and frustration in the here and now and is generally unhelpful. This is something I should know all to well as I see it in the pool all the time.
When a person first begins learning to swim, they often have in mind the finished article, themselves as an accomplished swimmer, swimming lengths or enjoying time in the water in the sea or on holiday. They are already seeing it in their minds eye, so the discovery that there’s a lot to learn before they get there can be disheartening. When things don’t happen as they’d like them to, frustration can get in the way, creating tension and making learning more difficult and less enjoyable. Those who are able to pay attention to the moment and focus on where they are at tend to be calmer, find more enjoyment in their learning and make better progress. It’s never easy, but it’s worth reminding ourselves.
So, I’m going to keep reminding myself to enjoy the dog training now and forget about my fantasy future dog. So long as I focus on being calm and patient, I’m likely to get much better results and the process will be far more enjoyable.