There’s a Cherokee story about two wolves, and it serves as an excellent parable. It goes something like this:
One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave 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 though about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “the one that you feed.”
So, which one are you feeding? I had never heard this parable until February 2017. Man, did it resonate within me or what?! I realized that I lived a life of constantly feeding the bad wolf. No wonder I was so miserable. I fed anger, sorrow, regret, self-pity, resentment, inferiority, superiority and ego. I would’ve liked to think I was feeding the good one but as I look at the list above I can honestly say that I wasn’t feeding one of those. At the time I thought I was “5 by 5”. I was not.
It wasn’t until this was all laid out in front of me and my own struggles were dissected. The most important part of that was when I realized how that came about and that I had the choice to move in a new direction. I chose hope. I didn’t realize that I was as bad as I was. I thought I was pretty normal given the life I had lived. Being a combat vet I used that as my excuse to pretty much be a jerk to everyone; including my wife and kids. I will say that the feeling of liberation from that person I was to the person I am now is almost unexplainable. It’s been a tough journey but one that gets easier everyday.
The point I want to get across with this writing today is that if you are who I used to be, you’re in luck. “They” say “You have to have a breakdown to have a breakthrough”. So true. I tell people rock bottom is a good place to be because that’s what makes a great foundation. Rock bottom. From there you learn and build up what you want to see through the vision that you have cast for yourself. You can truly do and be whatever the heck you want. If you cast that vision and think about it daily you will arrive at that destination. You have to believe it to be. It’s not easy and there are skills I use, daily, to help me on my journey. Belief is so very powerful and knowing that no one can choose our decisions. We own our choices and actions. Like Jocko Willink and Leif Babin talk about in Extreme Ownership. Own our successes and failures. Lead our own lives.
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