Consider the following passage:
One evening an elderly Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandson about life. He said to him, “A fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves.
One is Evil.
It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, dishonesty, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good.
It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The elder told his grandson of how these two wolves engage in constant battle, and he said, “My dear boy, this same fight is going on inside you. And it is going on inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about his grandfather’s words for a moment, and then he asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee replied matter-of-factly, “The one you feed.”
…I have come across this passage numerous times over the past few years, and each time I read it, I find myself asking, “Which wolf have I been feeding lately?”
Like most of you, readers, I like to think that I spend most of my energies feeding the good wolf. I like to think this because I believe that our thoughts really do make our world. I believe in maintaining an optimistic outlook on life, and I believe in the power of love, kindness, peace, authenticity and all other traits that the Cherokee elder said the good wolf embodied. And because I believe in this, I also believe that investing my energies in the good wolf will undoubtedly lead me to a more fulfilling reality than its evil counterpart ever will.
Yet, if I am to be completely honest with myself, I must admit that the evil wolf has gotten the best of me from time to time. By investing my energy and feeding into this evil wolf, I have allowed it to cloud my perspective, harbor hard feelings, and lead me astray. Again, if our thoughts make our world, feeding the bad wolf, and thus allowing him to win, will lead to nothing but discontent.
…I encourage you to take a moment out of your day today and think about which wolf you have been feeding lately. Is your good wolf, your wolf of love, strength, honesty, compassion, and benevolence, alive and well? I hope for you that it is. However, if you find that your evil wolf of insecurity, anger, sorrow, resentment, or self-pity has become more powerful, remember that you have the power to change that. By feeding the good wolf and investing yourself in positive thoughts, feelings, and actions, the return on your investment will surely be more rewarding than anything that the bad wolf will ever have to offer.