The Power of Attitude: A Cherokee Legend

March 5, 2012

By Laurie Clarke, COO, The Tatham Group

As a coach, motivation is a big part of the job.  We help people and organizations reach their true potentials.  Sometimes the path appears daunting and our teams start to doubt themselves and their ability to affect change.  Are there large obstacles thrown at them?  Is transformative change a daunting task?  Can a million and one things go wrong to impede their success?  Yes, of course.

However 90% of what they worry about doesn’t happen. And it is our job to keep them focused on the tasks at hand as well as helping them maintain a positive attitude.  Find the problems, clearly define them, know the root cause of why they are happening and then move on to what you can do about fixing them once and for all.  The key is not to dwell on everything that either has or might go wrong.  As Brian Tracy says, ‘that which you dwell upon grows and increases in your life.’

Here is a wise Cherokee legend that explains how to think about shifting your attitude.

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”