It’s evening, after dinner and I’m getting “The Stare.” If you have a lab, you know what I mean.

The eyes say it all: “This is our time. You know it. I know it. So let’s go outside and throw the ball!” The stare gets more intense. Hovering near, his brown eyes lock on yours. It’s relentless (well, for a dog).

So, we head outside to the grass and the game begins. I throw the tennis ball, he brings it back tail wagging, happily triumphant.

He loves it! Simply nothing better. Bring it back, drop it, throw it. Repeat. Each time, every fiber tenses, waiting for me to throw it… again.

Through generations of breeding, every genetic fiber has set him for this task. He’s good at it, and he knows it…feels it. His jaunty trot back, the tail wag says it all: “I did it, I like it and I want to do it again”.

Sometimes we humans miss this joy. This ability to do what we are gifted in. To play in our strengths. The joy can leave us, or is taken by the burdens of just having to bring in dollars every week. Left to our own devices, we often put ourselves into projects, tasks and jobs we hate, and then wonder why we’re unhappy, stressed, overworked and underpaid.

From now on, I’m following my lab’s lead. I’m picking things I’m good at and enjoy. The rest of can wait.