Animals seem to have a “can do” attitude before they have a “can’t do” one. This picture, though a bit comical, makes me think of the many things my dogs try without wondering if they can do it or not. They are willing to put forth the effort before they discover they are not able to do something. On the other hand, I have observed many people who believe they can’t do something without any attempt to discover if they can. Animals will try more than once without success, and often keep at it. Humans, all too often, make one attempt at something and conclude ultimate failure.
This picture is a great reminder and encouragement to strive for things, and not just settle. Sure, it is easier in this world to go for the average because there is less of a chance of failure, but that only insures the absence of great successes. And yes, there are times we can bite off more than we can chew, but great victories come from embracing great challenges. That is why the Bible story of David defeating mighty Goliath is so inspiring (1 Samuel 17:31-49).
When others stood on the sidelines complaining, whining, and fearing, young David stepped out and accepted the challenge. Underage, undersized, under-experienced in battle with swords and spears, it says he ran quickly toward the battle line. When others were content to accept defeat, David accepted the challenge.
This is never to say that we will defeat all our challenges, but my dogs have taught me that my failures do not have to defeat my attitude. My dogs don’t mope around after failing some challenge. They seem to become that much more determined, and never lose their enthusiasm. Maybe it was from his pets that Abraham Lincoln learned and later wrote, “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”