On my daily walk I’ve noticed a few of my neighbors have put out signs to encourage people to pick up after their dogs. As a responsible dog owner and being married to a master landscape artist, I am fully aware of the frustration and disgust when I have to pick up another dog’s droppings from our front yard. Fortunately, most people are responsible and it is an infrequent frustration once or twice a year.
Seeing this sign in front of two houses last week, made me wonder about the daily, energetic impact on the homeowners. They obviously don’t like dogs messing up the beauty of their lawns. However, every morning when they walk out to get the paper they get to look at a dog s**ting on their front lawn. The exact thing they don’t ever want to see. Every morning they look at that white dog messing on their lawn and get a daily reminder of what they don’t want.
In an attempt to avoid the few frustrating times a year that they have to pick up, the sign gives them that same energetic thought every day. And, it will have little impact on the dogs or their owners. Even irresponsible dog owners know what to do. They don’t need a sign and will likely ignore it anyway.
You can’t change how other people act, think or behave. All you have control over is how you let their behaviors impact you and your vital energy. To stay lights-on and enlivened every day, you need to shift your thoughts to those that are effective and energizing. If you have your own daily version of a dog dumping on your lawn and it keeps your thoughts and energy in a frustrated, ineffective behavior pattern – remove the sign.
Or, you can double down and sit on the front porch 24 hours a day with a BB gun.