As you may have noticed, I am on a little bit of a tear about using mindset to overcome the adversities of life. Last week’s piece, The Biggest Disability, was about Nick Santonastasso’s life and how each of us can rise above our challenges no matter how they manifest (even from birth). The prior week’s piece on the Necessity of Pain and Suffering reminds us that we are not special: no one is immune from suffering.
This week I want to share a story about the fight within each of us. I had a challenge sourcing this story. Some say it stems from a quote attributed to Sitting Bull. Others tell a similar story using wolves and ascribes it to an old Cherokee fable. Here’s my retelling from memory:
A father is trying to teach a lesson to his son about life:
“A constant fight is going on inside me,” he said to his son.
“It is a terrible fight between two dogs. One is evil. He is spiteful, angry, greedy, envious, arrogant, resentful, he lies, and is full of ego.”
The father continued, “The other is good. He is full of love, joy, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, authenticity and faith. Son, that same fight is going on inside you and inside of everyone.”
The son thought for a minute and then asked his father: “If they are fighting, which dog is going to win?”
The father replied simply, “The one you feed.”
This story is a simple reminder that our thoughts do end up defining us, and we need to make choices and take “actions” every day to feed the right “dog” regardless of the adversity that the world throws at us.