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Lessons From My Dog, Cesar Millan and John Travolta. Insights Into Becoming a Great Leader.

By Jana Martinez

Some of you may know I recently got into a new relationship.

After 2+ years of going solo and having experienced a true soulmate relationship which lasted 12 years, I took the plunge.

Easy is not a word I can use to describe our relationship; Tumultuous, YES.

You see, having a new puppy takes a lot of work, but having a hyperactive, dominant puppy is truly a gargantuan task for me.

I heard Cesar Millan talk about energy. Interesting, since that is my specialty.

He explained it’s not about breed, it’s about energy.

High with high, great! High with Medium or Low, not so great.

I’ve worked so diligently and intentionally at finding my calm. At creating a serene and peaceful, almost zen-like environment and I bring in a fireball.

I am still unsure about what the future holds for us. But I can tell you I’m giving it my all and I am blessed to have the support of my friends, family, and even my clients.

This puppy, however, is stretching me in all ways, I am becoming more patient, tolerant, compassionate, and understanding, all through screams, frustration, and tears. I really didn’t want these lessons, but I am sure I needed them.

Whether Violet stays or leaves, I am determined to become a great leader.

In the meantime, I’ll share some lessons I’ve learned:

The other day in frustration I asked her: “Why don’t you let me love you???”

Shortly after, I understood. I saw a video of Cesar Millan explaining the order of things:




Dear God, I could see my flaws as a parent – dog or otherwise.

I am all about Love.  And as my coaches would ask “How’s that working out for you?”

The sad truth is, it hasn’t.

I realized why most of my relationships have failed. I’ve given too much love and freedom, and never laid down the law.

And that brings me directly to my next awareness that came from John Travolta, and I quote: “One should never confuse kindness with weakness. EVER…”

A lightbulb went off in my head. Even I, have suffered from that confusion and allowed myself for years to become a doormat.

Kindness and weakness are NOT in the same polarity. They’re not even close!

That is why, when pushed to my limit, I can really surprise people (myself included) as they find out I am not the weakling they thought I was.  And they’re sent into a tailspin and subsequent shock.

As I dive head-first into my new adventure, a few things are clear:

• I can be kind AND strong

• I must create an environment where we can all thrive

• Love comes last – it can only happen when the right environment has been created with exercise and discipline. That is the sacred soil. Then, and only then, can the seeds of love grow.

Now, who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks?