Which Wolf Will You Feed?

Which wolf, you say? You may be wondering if you’ve mistakenly stumbled upon a re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood, but fear not – you’re right where you’re supposed to be. Yes, I am talking about wolves, but these wolves come from a traditional Cherokee story:

An old Cherokee was teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

If you’re wondering what this has to do with leadership or life, consider a few ways the question – Which wolf will you feed? – is such an important question to ask and answer.

First, the Cherokee story is directly applicable to questions about your personal journey in life. How you choose to live and impact others in your life is most importantly a question of which wolf you feed. Second, in your business or leadership world the wolf analogy is equally applicable, with perhaps different connotations or circumstances (although I could make a compelling argument that the two wolves are just as directly applicable to business as they are to your personal life).

What you also must understand, though, is this simple truth – which wolf you feed is important, but just as important is how you feed the wolf. Specifically, you don’t feed the wolf with your words or thoughts (what you say, what you plan to do, or what you need to do). The choice of wolves comes from one thing – your actions. You pick a wolf with your choices and your actions, not your talk. Today and every day before today, you’ve chosen a wolf to feed based upon your collective actions. Which wolf you choose tomorrow will depend on the choices you make and the actions you take as evidence of those choices.

Which wolf will you choose? Which wolf will others see in you and from you? Which wolf will lead the way in your journey of life and leadership? As always, choose (and act) wisely!

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Two Wolves



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