There is an old Cherokee legend about a grandfather teaching his grandson an important life lesson. The grandfather explains to the young boy that we all have a battle going on inside of us. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ that live inside us all. The black wolf is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The white wolf is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee replied simply, “The one you feed.”
According to author, speaker and entrepreneur Mike Dooley, Thoughts become things. Your mind can be your friend or your worst enemy. Believe it or not, thoughts from our past have formed who we’ve become and our current life circumstances. We are always consciously or subconsciously thinking about something to the tune of 60,000 thoughts a day. The problem is that we usually think more about the things we don’t want than the things we do want. According to the law of attraction, we get what we think about most. Because you’re creating the future now, only the present is important. By choosing a happy and positive state of mind right now, you’re creating a happy and positive future. You can attract whatever you want in your life: happiness, wealth, health, love and great relationships. This doesn’t mean that it’s not without effort on our part, but it does mean that positive thoughts and focus along with action steps play a big part in the achievement of our goals and dreams.
The Power of Positive Thinking, is a timeless book by Norman Vincent Peale that explores key traits for maximum positivity. First and foremost, believe in yourself and in everything you do. Realize how powerful you are. If you know your purpose, and why you’re here, you’ll find the determination to fulfill that purpose. Establish personal goals, and strategies to achieve them, and revisit them on a regular basis. Ultimately, it’s our daily habits and choices that determine the success of our goals. Realize that worrying is a negative waste of time that robs us of our peace in the present moment. Look for ways to improve your personal and professional relationships. Take command of circumstances within your control. Practice self-compassion. Learn to let go of negativity. Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself for past and present choices and mistakes.
Have an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude shifts your mindset in a positive direction and creates solutions by taking you out of problem and complaining mode into a better outcome mindset. Gratitude is contagious – we’re all drawn to positive energy. Gratitude starts with each of one of us. Create a daily habit of starting and ending your days in a grateful way by keeping a journal or using an app to remind yourself on a daily basis of the many small and positive things that are easily overlooked throughout our days. Collectively, we can be the change that makes a positive impact in our world.
When a negative thought enters your mind, the first step is to be aware of it, and replace your thought with a constructive one. If the negative thought returns, replace it again with a positive one. Persistence with this will eventually teach your mind to ignore negative thoughts and think more positively. Transforming your mind takes repetition and time, as most habits do.
Do certain things trigger a negative mindset? Be aware of what those things are. When that black wolf starts tracking its muddy paws through your mind, be ready with some positive self-talk responses that will stop him in his tracks and send him on his way.
Shana Farrell has been with Fox Valley Technical College, Wisconsin for more than 21 years in numerous leadership positions including Business and Industry Services, Printing Services, Distance Learning, Adjunct Instructor for FVTC and Silver Lake College, and is currently a Project Manager within the Center for Instructional Excellence. For many years, Shana was actively involved as an IPMA member in her role as Manager of Printing Services; FVTC continues its membership today. Her professional experience includes management development, training coordination, marketing, advertising, fundraising, event coordination and sales. Shana holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Professional Communication from Alverno College, Milwaukee and a Master of Science Degree in Management and Organizational Behavior from Silver Lake College, Manitowoc. Shana has extensive leadership experience as a graduate of Leadership Fox Cities, the Wisconsin Technical College System Leadership Development Institute (WLDI) and FVTC’s LEAD Academy. She has been a Junior Achievement volunteer and is currently a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Outagamie County helping children who are abused or neglected. Shana’s newest role is as a Life Coach facilitator trained through the Life Design Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.