* The following is an excerpt from my latest book The Bulldog Attitude: Get it or Get Left Behind.
“In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.” – Dereke Bruce
Because of the Bulldog’s scrappy, summit-or-plummet, die-or-be-killed attitude, he usually wins most battles in which he engages. He might get knocked down, but he’s not going to stay down; and it’s this very thing that will eventually cause him to succeed.
But success can be tricky. Success can change one from a bold Bulldog to a punk Poodle. Success, if not handled correctly, can produce arrogance within the little champion that can, inadvertently, turn this noble creature into a pompous Poodle. This would absolutely foul up everything the Bulldog inherently is, namely, a regal creature—in defeat and victory.
Success brings with it temptations that aren’t present during the struggle. And you, my little Bulldog, need to understand and appreciate these unique temptations once success comes your way. Yes, the struggling, focused and friendly Bulldog can turn from a hard working, loving animal to a completely and utterly prissy, cantankerous Poodle once achievement comes—if he doesn’t watch his spirit. To keep one’s head from getting wacky when life starts rewarding righteous dreams and the persevering spirit, you, the Bulldog, must have the following non-negotiable attitudes settled deeply within you now. There are five commandments that will keep you from getting Poodle-weird when your victory comes. Here are the first three:
1. Thou Shall Not Be an SOB. Determine now that you will not ever become an SOB after you’re living in your newly attained prosperity. Success has a weird way of completely ruining people once they get it. I’m sure you have seen it before. You know the story . . . once someone achieves something, finally gets a little notoriety after years of hard work, he ends up dumping his spouse, starts neglecting his kids or discards his true friends and begins to develop a wicked Poodle attitude.
Some of the telltale signs that you’re becoming a jerk are:
– You speak about yourself in the third person. Bulldogs who do this almost never recover—unless life violently kicks them in the butt.
– You begin to believe people when they tell you how great you are, which inevitably leads you to think you can get away with murder.
– You start demanding Evian, and only Evian, in your diamond encrusted dog dish.
– You become extremely anal about the brand of dog food you’ll eat.
– You begin to lose your high quality Bulldog friends, and you start attracting Shih Tzus, Pekinese and self-obsessed Poodles.
Remember the words of that old Bulldog, King Solomon, in Proverbs: “pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” To keep from getting destroyed and from doing a face plant into the concrete after you succeed, stay humble—and if need be—duct tape your feet to the planet to keep yourself from floating off the earth, Your Loftiness.
2. Thou Shall Not Gloat Over Thine Enemies. Another way to stay the big boy and not stoop to the pathetic Poodle level is to never gloat over your enemies when your success comes.
A Bulldog will have an abundance of enemies. Envious Poodles will hate the Bulldog simply because they have chosen to settle for the rut, and the Bulldog has his sights set on the stars; therefore, there will be plenty of ill will wished upon the Bulldog by the Poodles. And that is my point: Envy, jealousy and the ill will it wishes are part of the make-up of Poodles and wimps and not, I said, not, Bulldogs.
Understand, Bulldog, that like a football, the harder you are kicked the higher you will go. That’s why you can show largesse towards those who hate you and try to harm you. They are life’s tools to forge your indomitable spirit. They are God’s hammers to beat you into the overcomer that you need to be.
Think about it.
What if you didn’t have their opposition? What if you didn’t have their curses and threats? I’ll tell you what would happen: You probably would have never developed your Bulldog attitude.
And trust me, your prosperity is punishing them enough without your having to say or do anything against them.
3. Thou Shall Not Sit on Thy Butt Praising Thyself. Hey, Bulldog, enjoy your success and congratulate yourself for your accomplishments—but do not sit there for too long, or you’ll rot. You’ll start getting fat. You’ll start thinking that nothing can go wrong and that you’ll always be at the top of the world looking down on creation.
Stop that immediately, or you’ll become a passive Poodle.
Bulldogs do not sit around for too long looking in the mirror and telling themselves how pretty and how great they are. They are looking for the next battle, the next obstacle to conquer and are always cautious of taking too long of a break between achievements.
The Bulldog, after attaining his goal, will move on to the next challenge. The Bulldog will not set up an altar around an award he won and worship it. That’s what pathetic Poodles do. The Bulldog understands that if he is not careful his prolonged enjoyment of his current accomplishment might keep him from future greatness.