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How to achieve balance in life? - An Indian fable about two wolves: good and bad.

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

How to achieve balance in life, emotions, love, and work? Is the balance between our emotions even possible to achieve these days, and does it give us a sense of happiness and inner peace?

There is an old Indian parable that offers a solution and it sounds like this:

The Indian parable of the good wolf and the bad wolf

"An old Cherokee Indian was teaching his grandchildren. He told them thus:

- There is a battle going on inside me. It is a terrible fight.

Two wolves are fighting: one represents fear, anger, jealousy, sadness, grief, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, feelings of inferiority, lies, false pride, and a sense of superiority.

The other is joy, contentment, agreement, peace, love, hope, acceptance, willingness to understand, generosity, truth, kindness, compassion, and faith.

The same struggle takes place inside you and every other person.

The children thought about this for a while, then one of them asked:

- Grandpa, and which wolf will win?

- The one you feed," replied the old Indian."

Walka między złym a dobrym wilkiem. Legenda starych chirokezów o wilkach.

This old Indian story presents profound wisdom. The good and bad wolf is a metaphor that applies to our emotions, behavior, habits, and every other aspect of life.

Each of us is fighting an internal war between the bad wolf and the good wolf.

An eternal battle between fear and love!

The main lesson of this parable is that we can't get rid of any of the wolves, they will always be within us, and the battle between them will forever be fought, a battle between the negative version of you and the positive one.

As the old Indian says, the wolf you feed will win. Logically thinking, we should then feed the other wolf - the good one. Well, exactly, but how is it to be 100% good, full of love, peace, and kindness, to have only good habits? Those who have tried it know that it's not easy and it's much easier to feed the first wolf it doesn't require any effort at all - watching TV, procrastination, bad eating habits, laziness, yes it all comes quite easily to us - to me too.

I know from experience that going the other way is not an ideal solution either, i.e. obsessing about doing everything perfectly, doing sports 7 times a week, healthy food only, meditation, getting up at 5 AM because Robin Sharma says so, denying negative feelings because, after all, I have to be happy 24/7! Let's not get caught in the trap of "being eternally happy" - that's not the point.

All of us, literally all of us, have worse moments, feel sad or angry for some reason, feel like crying, or screaming, get a moment of doubt, and feel that we are not good enough.

The most important thing is, despite these doubts, the so-called pits continue to move forward, success lies in small victories every day. What does this mean? It's when you feel so bad about going for a run and would lie on the sofa in front of Netflix - you go and fight. You feed the good wolf. No one wants to feel overwhelmed. with this being a good version of yourself, eating healthy, working out 3-4 times a week, and starting your new business. Transformation is also supposed to be fun. The key is to take it one step at a time:

- You want to lose that extra 5kg and you're not the athletic type, so start with a commitment to walk for 20 minutes every day

- You want to start your own business, a blog - start with one post, a post, a product for a client, just get started

Action is an essential factor in achieving your goals. Action, that's feeding the first wolf, acting even though you don't want to, you don't have time, you don't have money, ....... (insert any other excuse). Remember it is your choice which wolf you want to feed.

How to achieve balance and have a happy life?

Kamienie ułożone jeden na drugim ukazujące balans w naturze.

What if I told you that it is and that you can feed both wolves?

In the world of the Cherokee, there is a second version of this story and it ends this way:

Old Cherokee answered simply: "If you feed them well, they both win." - and the story goes on:

"You see, if he decides to feed only the white wolf, the black one will hide around every corner, waiting for me to scatter or weaken and jump to get the attention he craves. He will always be angry and will always fight the white wolf."

"But if I acknowledge him, he is happy and the white wolf is happy and we all win. For the black wolf has many qualities - perseverance, courage, fearlessness, strong will and great strategic thinking - that I sometimes need. These are the very things that the white wolf lacks. But the white wolf has compassion, care, strength, and the ability to recognize what is in everyone's best interest."

"You see, son, the white wolf needs the black wolf by his side. Feeding only one would condone the other and they would become unmanageable. Feeding and caring for both means that they will serve you well and will not do anything that is not part of something bigger, something good, something of life."

"Feed them both and there will be no more internal struggle for your attention. And when there is no inner struggle, you can listen to the voices of deeper knowledge, which will guide you in choosing what is right in all circumstances."

"Peace, my son, is the mission of the Cherokee in life. A man or woman who has peace within himself or herself has everything. A man or woman who is torn apart by the war within them has nothing."

"How you choose to interact with the opposing forces within you will determine your life. It will starve one side or the other, or guide them both."

To maintain proper mental health, it is important to be able to recognize your feelings and emotions. Allow yourself a moment of sadness or anger, to talk to yourself. To think: Why am I sad, jealous, angry? When you experience a moment of joy, be 100% happy. Savor the moment.

On the other hand, if we always smile and pretend that everything is OK, and hide our troubles, and sorrows under the rug, it will only make us sick and shorten our lives, when we only expect pleasure in life, indulge in laziness, addictions, procrastination we will only feed the bad wolf and will not achieve peace.

So, PAY, SPEAK WHAT YOU FEEL, and get it out of yourself. Take time to feel and observe both good and negative emotions, but when it's time to work and discipline, diet, kindness, and love - give it your all, open up, and bring peace into your life using balance. Feed both wolves.



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