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What I Learned from My Kitten

1. One Tiny Claw, Coupled with Obsession, Can Cause Big Changes

There’s nothing more delicate than the slender, brittle claw of a kitten. But boy can that claw cause damage when attached to a paw obsessed with the piece of veneer that has become dislodged from my bathroom door. After a few hours of picking away at it, my 12-ounce kitten had torn several large pieces off of the door.

Even the smallest, weakest or ineffectual of us can make a huge impact on this world, for good or ill. Look at what tiny molecules of water did to the Grand Canyon. If we are driven by desire and obsessed with the process, we can achieve our dreams, or at least significantly change the world.

If doing something brings you pleasure, you will be motivated to do it. If doing that act creates an end result of something that you desire, then you will achieve success. In this way obsession is a great thing.

2. Even if You Don’t Have a Mouse, Pretend That You Do

My kitten doesn’t need a mouse or a bird, or even a toy mouse or bird, to be happy. Sometimes he entertains himself quite well with a speck of dirt or even nothing at all. But boy when a real prey ever does present itself, he sure will be ready to conquer it!

If you aren’t rich or famous or successful or happy, pretend that you are. If you don’t have the material things you desire, imagine that you do. Our thoughts are powerful, and they can manifest reality. If you practice doing something, or prep your mind for it, you will be ready for it when it happens. I may never get to the beach, but I can keep my body in shape, and if it ever happens, I’ll be able to enjoy it.

Also, imagining can be as fulfilling as doing. Have you ever felt your stomach crawl into your throat watching footage of a roller coaster car approaching the apex of giant peak? Have you ever felt a warm, fuzzy sensation in your chest looking at photos of baby animals? Have you ever gotten aroused imagining kissing the person you love? Feeling good is important, and no matter how you manifest it, it can give you the energy you need to pursue those things you want out of life.

3. Be Curious, At All Costs

Curiosity fulfilled the cat, I like to say. Seeking out the truth is critical to live a conscious, fulfilled life, even if the truth is painful, or if seeking it gets you chastised or in trouble. Living blindly can be just as dangerous, to yourself and to the world.

Keep asking why, even if others brush you off. Never take any person, teacher, religious leader or news source at their word – check out for yourself what is real. Walk a mile in a person’s shoes before you condemn them. And dare to believe in the unimaginable - what if Columbus believed everyone that told him the world was flat with an edge you could fall off if you sailed far enough to the west? Keep an open mind, and always look for new and better ways of thinking, and of doing things.

4. When You’re Frightened, Act Big and Tough

Let’s face it, life is scary, even for the big and tough. But really, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. When you get scared, poof up your fur (cop a cocky attitude), arch your back (stand tall), and skulk about on your tiptoes (walk with swagger). You might just convince yourself that you are more powerful and brave than you really are. And more importantly, you will convince others. No one is going to mess with the dude acting like a tough guy, and people are going to respect you for your confidence, even if it is all a charade. When others treat you as an entity worthy of respect, you end up feeling more confident and less fearful.

5. If You Need Something, Scream Like Hell

This is something kittens do before they are weaned, when they are totally dependent upon their mothers for survival. If they are hungry the scream incessantly. If they are cold they scream incessantly. If they are afraid they scream incessantly. If they are hurt they scream incessantly. If you have a need that absolutely must be met, make that need known! No one can help you unless you ask for help. Self-sufficiency is admirable, but asking for help is, too.

In a relationship, you must tell your mate how you need to be treated, or else they will never know, and the relationship will suffer. And if they still don’t meet that need, voice that need until they do, or there will be no relationship left to save.

In this world the “squeaky wheel gets the grease.” This doesn’t mean that you need to squeal loudly, but you do need to squeak incessantly. This works in sales, it works in getting good customer service, and it works if you’re one of many siblings, classmates, employees or citizens trying to be heard above the crowd. Protesting works, and the more you make your needs known, the less you can be ignored.

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