Since I’ve been pretty busy with ZooFit Safari, I asked a fellow Optimize Coach to help a sister out. Thankfully, Chris Loper, creator of becomingbetter.org happily obliged. Chris is a behavior change specialist, and wrote an article connecting animal training practices with building healthy habits for ourselves. I thoroughly enjoy his writing, and I know you will find it insightful, too.
Enjoy Chris’ work, and visit him on his site as well.
Let me tell you how rocky last month was for me. Late nights, uncontrollable snacking, lack of motivation to do my exercises, and lack of focus during my meditation. I felt I was on a downward spiral. So what did I do to turn it around? A little practice called “going back to kindergarten”.
Last week I discussed the difference between a goal as a Desired Outcome (which we don’t have control over) and putting systems into place which will dramatically improve your chances of achieving your Desired Outcome. We can achieve success if we are willing to put in the work. The work can be a bit overwhelming at times. Today I’m going to try to break the process of creating systems down, making it not only easier, but way more fun.
So, you have your Big Why—your purpose and reason to get up in the morning. Maybe it’s saving rhinos, or being a rhino keeper. Or perhaps you want to write the next great American novel. Your Big Why. It’s uniquely yours.
When an animal trainer is working with a group of animals, a great method for handling all of them at once is “stationing”. Without station training many animals I worked with, my work life would have been a lot more frustrating.
Welcome to my Book Project, currently called Animal Notes, but I’d love suggestions for a better or more apropos name- Keeper Records, Training Notes, Reviews for Zoos… Whatever conveys the sharing of ideas to improve the lives of (not just) animal care professionals so we can show up as the best versions of ourselves for the animals, the community, and the world.
This week’s Animal Note we’re going to be discussing the PHENOMENAL and super short story The Flight of the Hummingbird. This parable has origins among the Quechan people of South America and the Haida of the North Pacific. But the book we will review is interpreted by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas with commentary by Wangari Maathai and His Holiness the Dalia Lama.
This book is definitely a MUST HAVE book for any conservationist, environmentalist, or anyone who wants to make a difference in this world.The story and commentary themselves are only 50 pages long, but the ideas presented could fill encyclopedias, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy them as much as I have, so let’s dive right in. Read More “Animal Notes- Flight of the Hummingbird”
In this note, we will be discussing the wisdom behind a beautiful short parable called Life Safari by John Strelecky. I first found Strelecky while I was a marine mammal trainer in Florida and picked up a quick short book titled Why Are You Here Café. It took me a few years to get around to reading it, but when I finally did, my whole view of life was altered. When Life Safari came out, I quickly nabbed a copy and read it in one sitting. It’s a really short, brilliant story of a young man visiting Africa and his adventure with his guide, Ma Ma Gombe. As they journey across the great continent of Africa, Jack learns more about life and how to appreciate it as well as everyone you meet along your journey. He completes one of his greatest dreams by seeing all the African animals on his journey, and realizes what he needs to do to get the most out of life.
While short in length, this book is an absolutely enormous volume in regards to wonderful tips and wisdom. And I’ll share some of my favorite big ideas with you in our first Animal Notes. Read More “Life Safari”