Domesticating Jaguars: Let's All Learn from My Crazy Dream

The other night I had the most vivid dream. I was talking on my cell phone while at this dry, dusty, fenced-in dog park...but for jaguars. JAGUARS. A Peek Inside My Crazy Brain Dream:

There were a handful of other jaguar handlers standing around the perimeter of the park watching their giant felines, and I was chasing mine around while trying to carry on a conversation. I remember thinking, "Argh! How am I supposed to talk on the phone when my JAGUAR will not listen to me?!? Sit! Down Jaguar! Heel!" No luck.

My jaguar, daunting in size, kept running away from me and around the park as I tried frantically to get him to listen, all the while with my cell phone pressed against my ear.

You've Got To Know When To Fold 'Em

This could be a dream about multi-tasking, but really I think it is a dream about knowing when to quit (as Seth Godin says in The Dip). Put another way: stop trying to domesticate the jaguar. YOU CANNOT DOMESTICATE A JAGUAR.

I'm not even saying you should stop trying to "domesticate" people. I'm talking about doing things in general that just aren't working.

Recognize when:

  • You are barking up the wrong tree - trying to achieve something impossible or with diminishing returns - when that energy or attention could be better directed elsewhere.
  • You are doing too many things at once.
  • You are struggling with something that no matter how much you try, is only causing more stress.
  • A relationship (or job) feels forced, or you find yourself trying to make it work even when it starts causing both of you more harm than good.

Did you laugh when you read the summary of my dream? Because I did. Who in their right mind tries to domesticate a jaguar? Replaying the dream, watching myself chasing this wild beast around (while talking on a cell phone), made me chuckle. I got to thinking: in what areas of my life am I trying to domesticate jaguars?

And so I ask you: in what areas of YOUR life are you trying to domesticate jaguars?

As Kenny Rogers would say, "You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em/Know when to walk away and know when to run." (From one of my all-time favorite songs, The Gambler).

Got any jaguars in your life? Or just plain crazy dreams you want to share? I'm all ears...

*** Mayo Clinic Book Giveaway Winner: As a follow-up to my last post, the Health & Fitness Resource Bonanza: congrats to EK for winning the Mayo Clinic book and journal giveaway!

Thanks to everyone for leaving such great health tips in the comments - I highly encourage others to skim through - they are super helpful!