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.”
A friend of mine recently sent me a nice comment saying that she remembered when I told her about the parable of the Two Wolves. This meant a lot to me because I didn’t know it had such a positive impact on her. I’m so thankful for her kind words and that’s why I chose to share the story of the two wolves with all of you.
It’s a fight. Every waking minute, it’s a fight. For me, my fight with the bad wolf begins as soon as I open my eyes in the morning. It’s the first voice I hear, “Don’t get out of bed yet… hit the snooze button. You exercised yesterday, you don’t need to run today. Sleep longer, you don’t need to eat breakfast. Who likes oatmeal with blueberries anyway? There’s a McDonald’s right by your office. You can get an Egg White Delight (with cheese) and a large coffee. The coffee there is much better than the coffee you make here at home in the Keurig. I know McDonald’s is not part of the budget, but who cares? Dave Ramsey doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
All of this happens in the first minute of me being awake, and for the record, Dave Ramsey does know what he’s talking about. The bad wolf is relentless and no matter how motivated and inspired you are, he’s always there. His goal is to make sure that you don’t reach your goals. He wants you to surrender every day and his favorite words to hear you say are, “I’ll just start tomorrow.”
You have to starve him. If you are going to close the gap from where you currently are versus where you want to be, you have to feed the good wolf and not the bad one. So each morning when my alarm clock goes off, I make the decision to feed the good wolf, “Get up, don’t hit the snooze button. You are going to feel great after you finish running. Man, I actually like oatmeal with blueberries and this Keurig Folgers Classic Roast coffee is awesome. You are dominating your budget this month. Keep it up. Dave would be proud.”
Two totally different mindsets, two totally different results. All within the first minute of a brand new day. The choices made in that very first minute will set the tone for the next 16 hours and it doesn’t get any easier. You can silence the bad wolf before you get to work, but once you get to work… it just so happens that someone put some doughnuts in the break room. He’s back.
“John, go ahead and grab a doughnut. You deserve it. You ran 3 miles this morning.”
He’s got all day. You haven’t even sat down at your desk yet. So as the Cherokee taught his grandson, the wolf you feed is going to win… Feed the good wolf.
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