Our son named his coaching practice Good Wolf Coaching. He’s an endurance athlete. A triathlete and IronMan. He’s had a number of coaches over the many years he’s been competing and has tried to incorporate the best practices of each into his practice.
The name, Good Wolf, comes from an old Cherokee parable that recounts a conversation between a grandfather and his young grandson. As they were walking through the forest one morning the old man turned to his grandson and said, “Within each of us lives two wolves. A good wolf and a bad wolf. The good wolf is everything we strive to be. Steadfast. Loyal. Courageous. Generous. Happy. Honest and true.
“The bad wolf is quite the opposite. Selfish. Arrogant. Angry. Greedy. Filled with hate and fear.”
The young boy looked up, squeezed his grandfather’s hand, and asked, “Which wolf will win, grandfather?”
The old man stopped, got down on one knee, looked deep into his grandson’s eyes, and answered, “The one you feed… my son.”
It would be wonderful if life was that simple. If we were truly presented with a binary choice of one path or the other. But, in most cases, it’s not. There is a lot of gray that lives between the black and white choices presented by the parable. Blurred lines and complicated decisions. Decisions that will determine whether you focus on feeding your stomach or feeding your soul.
Like so many things in life we, are forced to exist between the lines of uncomfortable compromise. Forced to feed the stomach in order to feed the soul, trying to remain true to all the things the good wolf represents. Attempting to hold close to those principles and values while striving to make a life out of making a living.
Which Will You Feed?
So, which will you feed? The good wolf or the bad? Your stomach or your soul?
The good news is this doesn’t have to be either or… The choice is not binary. Most things in life aren’t.
You can feed the stomach without compromising your morality. Ethically. Without taking advantage of anyone. You can feed your soul — the good wolf — and still achieve success.
You do that by considering all the seemingly small, almost insignificant decisions we are confronted with every day, recognizing the impact they are likely to have on us and everyone around us. By pausing for a moment to consider how one influences the other. The wolf you celebrate. The one you choose to feed…bad traitsbad wolfgood traitsgood wolfsoulstomach