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My Guru Golden Retriever

I learned a lot from my Golden Retriever which has risen painfully to the surface since his passing in August of this year.

He truly was my guru in so many ways but these are my top 10 favorite lessons he taught me.

Let it go. Riley was always able to move on. When I struggle with this, I think of Riley.

Get outside and play as often as possible. I tend to get hyper-focused on work and miss the vital benefits of balance. Riley knew the value of playtime and stepping outside of a rigid agenda.

The best communication happens when I patiently sit and listen. Riley was the ever-dependable companion always willing to listen without judgement. I miss that the most! Being heard is powerful.

Everyone just wants to feel accepted and welcome. This is as true for clients and business partners as it is for family. Riley made everyone who came to the door feel like he was waiting just for them.

The simple things in life are exciting. Gratitude as evidenced by humble appreciation enriches life’s experiences. Riley was always ready with a tail wagging “thank you” that always made us smile.

Love- if it’s love, is utterly unconditional. Riley was consistent. His unconditional love didn’t make excuses when we fell short. He loved us whether were cranky, misspoke, falsely accused him or totally messed up.

True friends are there for each other. Riley was there whether there was something in it for him or not. That’s true friendship!

Even things we never thought could be delicious or even tolerable actually are! Riley was a great example of having a good attitude in the face some really stinky situations. This is a necessary, superpower, skill in business and life.

Being too particular is a waste of time. Wasting time pursuing perfection is a costly habit. Riley showed us that being too picky truly has no measurable benefit.

We protect what we value the most; home, family, partners, clients……..

Above all, Riley had the right focus.

He knew who was important and that was what he focused on. People came first.

He was the first to raise an eyebrow or bark for help is something seemed off. He knew who was on the team and he engaged with us. If he had a favorite, we never knew it. We each felt special to Riley.

He rallied the troops in a way that united us and gave us memories and experiences that are priceless.

Loyalty can never be overrated whether it’s an employee, partner or Leader. Riley’s legacy lives on in all he’s taught us and the incredible 12 years of memories and experiences shared.

If I can do that for my family, friends, partners, prospects and clients, then that will result in the best kind of success and fulfilment, just like Riley!

That’s why he’s a guru!

Cathleen Mancino is a Founder, CEO and Executive Coach. For more information about how to work with Cathleen or one of our other Slingshot Method Coaches, schedule a session at or book here

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