Which wolf are you feeding?

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Which wolf are you feeding?

Attitude isn’t anything, it’s EVERYTHING! We’ve all heard the phrases, “turn that frown upside down”, “look on the bright side”, and “things could always be worse”, but hearing these quicker picker uppers is quite a different thing than living by their precepts. A Native American parable teaches:

An old Cherokee is 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.”


It may seem an obvious life lesson, but it can be easier said than done. When you have mountains of homework, your friends are AWOL, and you got grounded from the car, it would appear that being down in the dumps and without an ounce of good cheer would be appropriate. If you feed that wolf, it can spiral you into the great abyss of “whoa is me”, never to be heard from again. Stay off that train! There is nothing good that comes from being an Eeyore. It’s only cute in the movies. Pick yourself up by the bootstraps and march on! Every difficulty, handled with a positive attitude, yields the respect and admiration of observers and SELF respect and SELF confidence that will put strength in your stores for the next life challenge.


If you need a scientific reason to be optimistic, those that handle difficult situations with a smile on their face and a song in their heart, are more likely to have lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, and a lower heart rate.  Obviously, there are life events that can rock your world, but when you do your very best to BE your very best, you come out ahead in every way! Feed THAT wolf. Feed the one that embodies your capacity to handle change, your drive for good grades, your tenacity, your good humor, your hope for better days ahead, and your ability to see the good. The next time you run into a roadblock, take a breath and dig down deep for that “glass half full” attitude. When that is the wolf you are fueling, the sky’s the limit! 

Shelly Burton / Imagine College Coaching