As anyone who knew Odin will attest, he was intense. Intense in absolutely everything he did, but especially when it came to play. There is a term that is used in assessing dogs called “play factor”. Odin did not have a high play factor, he had an insanely high play factor. Off the charts to use a cliché. He was all play, all the time. He loved to play; he had to play. And we always joked, if only we could teach people to have his level of intensity, focus and passion, business would boom.
What we realized over time is that Odin’s ability to focus, to have such a relentless intensity on play was just him being him. Play was his passion. He loved everything about it. Frisbee, footballs, sticks, twigs, pine needles, bark chips, other dogs, and of course the classics of running, jumping, chasing, and just plain old “doing dog things” was what he was all about all the time, and he was relentless in his pursuit of it.
Being told “no”, to “go lay down”, or an occassional “Odin damn it” was crushing to him; he hated to be told no. But that emotional loss and defeat was very short-lived. He would quite literally shake it off and be back in the pursuit of play within minutes. A “no” was nothing more than a temporary roadblock, a brief bump on the journey to the ultimate goal. He never lost sight of that goal to play – ever.
But above all else, Odin loved to play with others. Yes, I think maybe he liked me best, but truth be told he loved everyone with an opposable thumb who could throw things. Then of course other dogs were without question great to share time with, as were cats, rabbits, and really anything else with a pulse. He was a social boy who loved the company of others.
What was a joke to use early on became a great lesson on what truly makes a successful person. It was all about his particular passion – passion to play, to pursue play, to be with others, and an ability to allow the passion to trump the “no’s”. He was intensely focused on play because he loved it and all that it entailed. Truly successful people are absolutely passionate about what they do and whom they do it with. They never lose focus and they never let the “no” keep them down for too long.
Not a bad lesson from a dog. Doubt the CPA will let us take all our dog expenses as a write off, but we will share the lessons for business anyway. Who knows, maybe it will become an entire series, “Odin On…”, but for now it was one great case study on the traits of successful people.
The one downside of such focus – he could stare a hole into a wall