Thursday, September 27, 2012

the n00b advantage

I've always been vocal about being a fan of Cesar Millan. I even dedicated a campaign proposal project in school to his philosophies. Today I watched an episode of the Dog Whisperer that pulled on my heartstrings a lot of different ways.

First of course, the main story of the episode and the basis for the episode title, there was Gotti and his late owner Jimmy who was a great follower of Cesar (from afar) and looked up to him in the way he trained Gotti. 

Cesar came over to his bereaved family months after Jimmy died to rehabilitate Gotti, who was already used to the techniques from Jimmy because Jimmy watched Cesar so closely when he was still alive. By this time Daddy had already passed away, and Cesar noted that Gotti has similar behaviours to Daddy. Jimmy's sister emotionally expressed that she felt really honoured by Cesar's comment, (and to be honest I felt emotional too) and felt proud that Jimmy seemed to have done things right with Gotti. Like Cesar said, it was like he met Jimmy in spirit, and he was very much still alive through his legacy in raising Gotti.
Second, there was the story of Madison and her owner Adrianna. Madison's only real behaviour problem was how she jumps at people when she greets them. At 150 pounds, it proved to be a bit serious after Adrianna's dad sustained a neck injury and had to wear a neck brace. Adrianna seemed to be aware from the start that she had problems asserting herself, specifically in terms of personal space. She grew up with a twin sister and never had to familiarize herself with owning it. She said she "wasn't good" at it, because of this fact.
Cesar and Daddy

But Cesar digressed and said (this is paraphrased from memory):

That's good! To me, all I see is possibility. ‘Cos you don’t know how to do it wrong! You’ve never tried it. It’s a blank canvass.
That hit me on the head like a bottle of cold water on a hot, sweaty day. Unexpected, eventually what you needed in the first place, and ultimately refreshing.

I realised that there are probably many things in life that I put myself down about, but have never actually tried to know for sure. Selling, working in a professional environment (that isn't run by my mom that is), croquet, tennis, writing a book, even the big things, like running a business!

There are so many things too, that I felt like I've tried and failed at, when I in fact haven't given them a real good try and can't possibly judge myself on them fairly. So much things that I've mentally sorted as "not my thing" when I've in fact not really given them a good go to be sure. And they're things that I find really interesting so it's not like there's no reason to try!

What I do know I'm not very good at is constancy and determination. I definitely know how to do those wrong. But the fact that this comes from knowing something changes my paradigm: Maybe I can change the way I know about them, and get a way that will work for me! Cesar had certainly changed many people who knew very well how to do stuff wrong. It's harder and needs more repetition, but not impossible.

But first I need to focus and re-frame the way I think about the things that I'm "bad" at but haven't really tried. Who knows, maybe I'm actually good at them.

First things on my list:

  1. making documentaries
  2. doing citations
  3. finishing college
Okay okay, I admit I kinda molded that to my current needs but.. It's hard to focus on much else. But hey, I'm usually bad at that so that's a good thing!


  1. I've never watched Cesar - only a spoof of him on South Park - but I love his positivity!!!

    I didn't know you wanted to do documentaries? Or maybe I did and my old brain forgot. What is your topic? I looove documentaries! I'm currently watching one called Happy in which they see what makes people happy. It's a real boost in the spirits and I've only watched half.

    What are citations? Good luck with finishing college. It's tough, but great when you complete it. What is your major, Bea?

    Much love and encouragement to you!

  2. I'm majoring in Film! The documentary is about my friend who is a young single mom and is in medschool but still manages to take care of herself! It's one of two uncompleted tasks I acquired from past semesters because I'm such a lazybutt/weakling. The other one is, I have to revise my thesis paper and have to cite literature and stuff, and I'm really struggling at it! That's what I meant with citations, I don't even think I called it by its proper name cos I'm so bad at it. I somehow survived the whole year without having to do major research. Being born in 1990, I lack the library skills that my professor seems to expect from me because he's so well-read. Ughh

    That documentary sounds very interesting and more like what I want to be covering in the future! If I get serious with documentaries that is (^^,)