March is a month of hope. For many, it is the last month of snowstorms when an occasional bird can be heard serenading the morning sun.
I’m one of those jerks who lives in 80-degree weather all year ’round. I said goodbye to snow about a year and a half ago.
But 80-degree weather all year ’round doesn’t guarantee happiness all year ’round. I still have to work at it.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned since I moved to incredible Hawaii is that misfortune is a concept I create in my mind when things don’t go my way.
And when I sit and sulk about the things that aren’t going my way, I feed that feeling of misfortune and give it power over my thoughts and actions.
One of my favorite proverbs that explains this is the Old Cherokee Tale of Two Wolves:
One evening an old Cherokee Indian told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other 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 simply replied, “The one you feed.”
When we complain, we feed the evil wolf. When we gossip, point-fingers, and lie, we feed the evil wolf.
When we sulk in our sorrows, neglecting gratitude, we feel the evil wolf.
And that evil wolf will eat us whole one day because we’ve fed it for so long and made it strong.
This ancient wisdom stands the test of time.
The Buddha knew it, as did Jesus.
Eckhart Tolle gets it (see picture quote above).
So does Dr. Joan Yamasaki who works at the Hawaii State Judiciary Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution. Joan taught me how complaining creates a self-perpetuating negative mindset. (Check out more of Joan’s insight here.)
This week, let’s not get caught in the trap of complaining, blaming, and self-pity. Let’s instead focus on gratitude, generosity, and happiness.
Let’s think things and do things that are good for our mind and body.
Above all, let’s not feed that insatiable, evil wolf.