“Whatever you pay attention to and focus on, gets bigger. Attend to what you want, not what you fear or despise.”
After a speaking event last week, an audience member shared that over the past few months her son had simply lost passion for his life. We chatted about her son, what he used to like, how he’s acting today and the various reasons why he is so discouraged.
With a line of people forming behind her, she eventually summed it up by saying, “I think for him it comes down to this: He just doesn’t believe there are any good people left in the world.”
I signed a book for the son and gave her a big hug. I also provided my information to stay in touch, shared a couple resources to consider and included a link to a story my dad once shared with me.
The story’s been told countless times. There are many different variations to it, but my favorite claims to be part of a Cherokee legend and is titled, Two Wolves.
The story depicts the two natures within us and around us. It points out the clear divide between our good and our evil nature. As you read it below, I ask you to do so as if it’s your first time and as the lessons within might profoundly influence your life.
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil.
It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, 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 grandson thought about it for a minute. Then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed.”
My friends, it’s easy on a Monday morning to read something like this, write it off as being an old fashion fable and ignore it as not relevant for your current situation.
Instead, I challenge you to acknowledge the profound impact of intentionally choosing your focus each day. It turns out that whatever you choose to pay attention to most certainly gets bigger. [Tweet this]
You may choose to be like many of our friends in politics and media focusing on anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. And you’ll be utterly convinced there aren’t good people left in the world. Not even the one in the mirror.
OR (and this is the good news for all of us!) you can choose to view those around you making a difference, impacting lives, helping things get better. These are the individuals who focus on the good by living in joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. In seeking these traits and the kind of people who model them you’ll be convinced there are countless good people left in the world.
Including the one in the mirror. This is your day. Live Inspired.
2 replies on “Which wolf are you feeding?”
Your testimony at our Heartland Winter Conference touched not only my heart! But I had you sign a book for my son who was on his journey to be a professional baseball player. He was a left handed pitcher who threw 90 mile pitches and could switch hit and was leading his team to have fun while playing the sport!
I’ll never forget the day he was the clean up pitcher for a tournament, on a hot July day… he was on the mound , he wound up and released the pitch… all of a sudden he was flat on his stomach! Screaming in pain.. he was tall and thin and had been complaining of back pain for two/three weeks.. coaches had been putting him in ice baths .. but this was awful. Only a mom knows the difference between a cry of I’m up set & Im in terrible pain. My heart was pounding so hard as the ambulance came and took him to the hospital!
After a few hours of tests and x- rays … I saw that my son had four broken vertebrae and two budging discs!
I had to make a decision for my 17 year old son , who since he was 4 years old carrying a baseball and glove around , thought he’d be a professional baseball player … but now he had to under go a 13 hour surgery ! WOW!! I prayed for God to be with my son and the doctor doing the surgery.. fast forward two years .. my son was now hooked on pain meds which moved to other drugs.. we went thru therapy, praying and hard love all along holding on to our faith. He had finally cleaned up and got a good job as manager of a restaurant! Thank you lord..
Then at 10:30 pm one night in October 2017… a voice on the phone stated “ This is a courtesy call, I’m a Nuero Surgeon trying to save your sons life .. I’m getting ready to do brain surgery, your son fell at work. Come to the hospital and wait till my surgery is done and I’ll have a nurse explain when you get here! “ then the phone went dead!
My son fell in the kitchen at the restaurant hitting his temple , that fractured his skull , severing an artery in his brain … we weren’t sure he was going to live. Prayer chains started, family & Friends rally around !
He can walk and talk today after several counseling sessions and MANY days of him feeling in adequate, useless , hopeless…
I remind him daily he is a miracle and Hod has given him a story to tell! He made his first trip since his brain surgery this last week !
He has fits of anger at times , low self esteem.. but he is working hard to see the beauty around him and encourage others around him!
Thank you for signing your book to him! He is reading your book and you have touched our lives!
Wow….what canI say?
It’s one of the most beautiful, tragic, and hope-filled post I can remember reading here….thanks for writing it….and thanks for living it with your boy.
He, by the way, has every right to be angry and sad….but in time, and with your continued loving guidance, he is going to have these adversities redeemed and be such a powerful, living example to those lucky enough to know him. Can’t wait to see what he does with the life that remains ahead.
Thanks for sharing — and God’s continued blessings,, John