The old man was wizened and ropy. The boy by his side was willowy and supple. The contrast was powerful. All differences recognized and observed, they moved in harmony, climbing a steep, narrow path which ascended at a challenging pitch. On journey’s completion, they entered a grass-carpeted promontory overlooking a valley burning with the early evening colours of autumn.
A zephyr of warming breeze riffled the aspen leaves and created a calming background ambiance for what was the old man’s holy place. A place of solitude where he and the boy would retreat to commune with mother earth.
The valley was split by a narrow ribbon of silver. This small river was the source of nourishment for the creatures who shared the area, and as they observed, the old man alerted the boy to movement below.
“See the doe emerging from the birches with her fawn? Watch how she never lets her infant out of sight, keeps her always by her side and safe.”
Once on the riverbank, the fawn spread its spindly legs to dip its head to the water. The serene scene continued for minutes until something seemed to disturb the universe. It went unnaturally quiet - suddenly. Birdsong ceased then birds took flight.
There was a ripple in the grasses by the river’s edge. Both the old man and boy stood alert to the realization that a grey wolf had been for many minutes stalking the doe and her fawn. He continued to draw closer while the deer seemed blissfully ignorant of their peril.
All stood still. The wolf as silent as a burglar behind a curtain.
The doe quickly raised her head. Hooves pounded the turf. She was on to the threat, and the truth of danger flared in her head like a flame. Moving gracefully at speed, the deer melted back into the forest where they found sanctuary in a thicket of thorn-clad Honey Locust trees. A brief pursuit thus ending with the wolf left hungry and frustrated.
“Do you know the story of the two wolves that are always battling within each of us my son,” asked the elder?
“One is FEAR. He brings anxiety, concern, uncertainty, hesitancy, indecision, and inaction.
“The other is FAITH. He offers calmness, conviction, confidence, enthusiasm, decisiveness, excitement and action.”
The young lad pondered then asked, “Which wolf wins?”
The elder responded simply.
“The one you feed.”
— Native folktale, author unknown
I enjoy this story of the two wolves fighting in everyone’s mind. We all experience intense personal battles between our positive and negative thoughts. This story contains a very simple yet powerful message for all of us:
The more we feed one voice at the expense of the other it forms a habit which starts to dominate our thinking and behaviour and how we experience life and the level of happiness we enjoy.
Are you aware of the two wolves continually battling each other for dominance in your mind? Are these battles seriously affecting your thoughts, behaviours and how you experience the world you inhabit?
How are they affecting your career and your relationships? Could they be holding you back, from achieving your career aspirations and peace of mind?
If so, give me a call, and we can explore whether coaching would be right for you.
Together, we can discover which wolf you may be feeding.