The dogs may bark but the caravan moves on

Barking dog

Photo: Marj K CC-By-2.0

Don’t be taken off of track

There’s an Arabic proverb that goes “The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.” I remember the first time that I heard that. I was in a business meeting. My reaction was, “Whaaaaaaat?” I couldn’t wrap my head around what that meant. What do barking dogs have to do with anything other than waking me up at 2:30 in the morning? (Damn neighbors!)

Recently I heard this phrase again on the radio. I couldn’t take it any longer-I had to summon the powers of Google.

It seems that dogs rank extremely low on the significance scale in the middle east. To put our adage into perspective, trivial things shouldn’t disrupt the course of important things.

Little yappy dogs

It happens all the time. We get distracted from doing our workout. Work or family may get in the way. Maybe it’s just a case of the lazies. We talk ourselves out of doing exercise.

Somebody brings in donuts to the office the one day that you forget your snack. Or your running late and need a lunch. “This one time at the McFast-Food won’t hurt.” In a moment of weakness, we stray from what we know is right.

These are the trivial things spoken of in the proverb. These are the things that we allow to get in our way-to slow our progress. We let the caravan grind to a screeching halt.

Are their barks worse than their bite?

How many times have you been told that you can’t do something? I’m not talking about your mom telling you that you can’t put a fork in the outlet (seriously, don’t do that).

Friends, family, coworkers-they make comments. Sometimes negative comments. Most of the time they don’t mean to hurt you. Intentional or not, negativity is a distraction.

These aren’t insignificant people. Often, they are people that we like, love, and sometimes even respect. This fact makes their comments difficult to deal with. These are the comments that plant a seed of doubt.

If you are not firmly rooted in your convictions to eat right and be fit, those doubts grow into excuses, choking your progress like a weed. Before you know it, you have been distracted by some barking dogs.

Put a muzzle on Fido

Commitment is what you make of it. If you’re serious about what you eat, and getting all of your exercise in, this should be a priority. Schedule your time. Stick to it. Plan and make your meals ahead of time. Do not deviate.

Social situations are often the hardest. If you let those that you’re with know that you will be with them, but that you need to eat the food that you bring, they’re more likely to be supportive. For that matter, ask for their help. Getting them involved often lets them feel like part of the solution.

Sometimes, things just happen-an emergency comes up and you can’t get your workout in, or you aren’t able to bring your food. Don’t punish yourself. Make do the best that you can. Let the dogs bark, and the caravan keep moving on.

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4 Responses to “The dogs may bark but the caravan moves on”

  1. I agree totally with the statement “Commitment is what you make of it”. I am always getting questions about how I stay so dedicated and motivated. I simply say I just do it because it is a priority to me. I tell people once you make health and fitness the guiding compass to your decisions, you can’t go wrong.

  2. Never heard that phrase or adage before in my life. See you always learn something new here on PhitZone :-)

    By the way great segway from dogs to working out, your da man!!!

  3. Todd says:

    @Pamela That’s exactly right. It’s hard for some people to grasp, but that’s the only way that I can put it.

    @ MOB I head it a few times, and it made zero sense. :) Thanks for the segway comment. I was especially proud of that one. I get some of my best ideas from copyblogger.com.

  4. [...] Life is made up of peaks and valleys. Like a rock, we get tossed and tumbled in the valleys. It builds character, strength-making us shine on the peaks. [...]

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