12 Ways To Feed The Positive Wolf
One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
“My dear one, the battle between two ‘wolves’ is 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 moment and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”
Jesus reminds us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness.” (John 10:10) Two approaches . . . two contributions . . . one negative and one positive. The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy . . . all are negative. Jesus comes to give life that is abundantly overflowing . . . all positive.
We all face the “two wolves” . . . good and evil, positive and negative, humility and pride. Two opposing forces in every day of our lives is a reality.
Stressed or blessed?
Obstacles or opportunities?
Fear or faith?
The one that wins depends on the one we feed. Consider 12 ways to feed the positive wolf.
- Embrace learning, don’t escape it. Victor is an 82 year old, retired hotel owner. Every time a new smart phone is released, he is the first to get one. New technology is something he embraces, not escapes. Positive people are always learning . . . a new technology, a new book, a podcast or a blog. Negative people believe they have learned all they can. For the negative person, new ideas are non-existent. For the positive person, new ideas are never-ending.
- Be grateful in challenges, don’t gripe about them. Positive people accept the challenges in life, they don’t abandon them. They know that growth is the outcome of every struggle. They see the good. Positive people will take the road less traveled, while negative people find the easy path. Positive people rebound, rebuild and resource from failings. Negative people look to reroute in order to find an easier path. Positive people see the rays of sunshine peering though. Negative people only see the clouds.
- Allow fear to push you forward instead of paralyzing you. Positive people are always in drive. Negative people are in perpetual park. Positive people realize that fear jolts their heart to beating. Negative people allow fear to stop them dead in their tracks.
- Walk through the valleys of life, instead of wallowing in the valley. Positive people are moving from mountain top to mountain top experience, knowing that the valley between is where they grow, rest and heal. Negative people get stuck and comfortable in the valley. Positive people see the valley as part of the journey. Negative people see it as the destination.
- Live by giving, not getting. Positive people give their best to help others. Negative people use others to get the best from them. Positive people know that giving can be sacrificial, significant or simple. Negative people want things to come easy with little sacrifice or effort. Positive people give when no one is looking. Negative people give for all to see.
- Reinforce communication, not reject communication. Positive people practice two-way communication. Negative people only drive on a one-way conversation highway. Positive people welcome feedback. Negative people believe feedback is a waste of time. Positive people respond to correction. Negative people reject correction.
- Value who people are over what people do. Positive people understand that each person is uniquely created. The masterpiece is in who they are, not in what they do. We all honor what we value. Positive people value the person. Negative people value the performance.
- Build bridges to connect, instead of walls to protect. There is an old song that says, “You can build a wall, or you can build a bridge. It all depends upon the love you give. If you build a wall, your world is small. But, a bridge of love will conquer all.” Positive people build bridges to get from where they are to where they want to go. Negative people build walls to stay where they are.
- Live in humility instead of humiliation. Humility owns it. Humiliation blames others. Humility shares a “high five”. Humiliation points a finger. Positive people build up by saying, “I told you could do it”. Negative people tear down by saying, “I told you so”. Positive people give heart felt compliments. Negative people give back-handed compliments. Positive people promote a sense of duty. Negative people possess a sense of entitlement. Zig Ziglar writes, “Pride is the strangest of diseases. It makes everyone sick . . . except the one who has it.”
- Your EQ is more important than IQ. Positive people develop their emotional quotient. They use their empathy and understanding to guide them. Positive people are inspired and motivated by the success of others. They share in the emotion. Negative people become selfish in their emotions when others are succeeding. Positive people are thrilled . . . negative people are threatened.
- We over me. Positive people value team performance over individual effort. Negative people believe that if they don’t do it, it won’t, can’t and will not be done. Negative people depend on their own individual contributions so they can take credit. Positive people develop a team effort so they can share credit. Positive people get behind the ideas of others, even if it needs work. Negative people stand against the ideas of others that may not be “good enough”.
- Change is good, instead of “I hate change”. Positive people agree with Heraclitus, “The only thing that is constant is change”. Louis L’Amour reminds us that “the only thing that never changes is that everything changes”. Negative people believe that people are fixed and cannot improve. Positive people say, “What’s new?” Negative people say, “What’s the use?”
One wolf will kill, steal and destroy. The other wolf will give a full and ever growing life. Which one will you feed?