Which Wolf Are You Feeding?

I frequently quote this poem in my keynotes and workshops:

“A Cherokee elder was teaching his children about life. He said to them, “A terrible fight is going on inside me. It’s is a fight between two wolves. One is the wolf of joy, love, hope, kindness, and compassion. The other is the wolf of fear, anger, cynicism, indifference, and greed. The same fight is going on inside of you, and every other person, too.” The children thought about it for a moment, and then one child asked, “Which wolf will win?” The elder replied, “Whichever one you feed.”

So, I’ll ask you: which wolf are you feeding?


Have you identified the fight, the struggle, that is going on inside of you? If you don’t believe or feel you share in this inner turmoil, then it’s likely you are not challenging yourself or you are not aware of this fight.


Whether you struggle or not, it’s good practice to take time to analyze some daily habits that impact your natural tendencies, intuitions, and emotions.


By answering these five questions, you can gain a sense of what you are feeding yourself on a daily basis.


  1. What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?  Do you find yourself reading, listening, or watching anything in particular most mornings?

  2. What happens when something doesn’t go as you planned? Do you find yourself saying, “Why do bad things always seem to happen to me?” or having emotional outbursts that tend to degrade and devalue yourself and blaming others? Or, do you find yourself calmly saying, “Oh well, let me figure out what happened,” or perhaps, “That must not be for me right now,” or something similar? 

  3. What type of words do you speak most often about yourself and to others? Do you call yourself stupid, hideous, or use other mean, ugly and hurtful words to describe yourself and what you do most days? Or, do you recite positive affirmations to yourself? Do you find yourself talking negatively about others, being petty and gossiping? Or, do you find ways to see the positive in others and speak uplifting words to describe others?

  4. What type of music, television programs, and books and literature do you read or watch most often? Are they mostly about bringing others down, revenge, negative drama, killing, sexual exploitation, or other illicit activities? Or, is it encouraging, inspiring, uplifting, heart-warming, moral, and spiritually fulfilling? 

  5. What do you do before you go to bed? How do you close your day? What’s your normal nightly activity? What do you read or watch before you go to bed? What other activities do you do most evenings? Do you ever give yourself time to remind yourself of the positive things going on in your life, and what you are grateful for? Or, do you spend most of your time focusing on what’s going wrong with your life, and wishing your life was different?


Are you seeing a pattern here?


When you examine your daily habits, you’ll be able to figure out which wolf you are feeding.


TAKE ACTION: Add it up. Use your own judgment and mark below where you see yourself.


joy love ___________________ fear anger


hope kindness_______________ cynicism indifference


compassion_________________ greed


What habits do you need to adjust? What changes can you make today to feed the wolf of joy, love, hope, kindness and compassion? This doesn’t just come naturally. You have to take action.


If you are looking for some good nourishment, continue to follow me on social media and I’ll keep feeding you a healthy dose of encouraging and inspiring food at #dpinspires.


Follow Diana on social media through #dpinspires for daily challenges on how to rise and commit to living your very best life. Download a free chapter or an audio sample of her book, Inspiration in My Shoes by visiting her website.
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© 2019 by Diana Patton