Who wins the battle of your two wolves?

Bruce Springsteen on Desert Island discs gave me a light bulb moment. He said that all artists are shaped by childhoods whereby they are both demonised and worshipped. His own experience was a mother who believed that he was the second coming of the baby Jesus, and a father who believed he wasn’t worth dirt.

Springsteen’s comments bring the well-told story of the two wolves to mind.

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside all of us,” he says to the boy. “It is a fight between two wolves. One is bad – he is hate, envy, greed, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority and jealousy. He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity and compassion.”

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.”

We all have experienced positive and negative responses. Of course if, like Springsteen, it’s about your parents, then the impact is deep. The reason Springsteen’s comment resonated with me was the similarity of my experience. My mother pretty much thought the sun shone out of my backside, while my father seemed to care more about where his next drink was coming from.

But which of these two win the battle is my choice. I have always chosen my mother.

It is not without difficulty – the negativity does slip in and this is where my support network comes in. I surround myself with people who believe in me. With those friends and the evidence around me I can believe in myself, as my mother still does to this day.

Who are your wolves and which do you chose to win the battle?

Here is the link to the Bruce Springsteen interview on Desert Island Discs


Talk these things over with close friends or you coach

  1. Who are your wolves?
  2. When are you most aware of them?
  3. What evidence do you have to support your good wolf?

How can you make sure you listen to your loving, kind and compassion wolf?

This article is focused on helping you build emotional intelligence, the more we understand ourselves to more able we are to understand and adapt to others and our environment.

Curious Minds Consulting – Closing the gap between potential and achievement