A wolf standing looking at you
Employee Benefits

Which Wolf Do You Feed?

Colin McLain
Colin McLain
Vice President

For those who know me personally, you know I’m a BIG believer in the practice of positivity. It is simply that, a practice — an exercise if you will. It’s no different than any skill or behavior. You must intentionally practice being positive for it to become routine and easy. If you’re proficient, it then becomes second nature. You don’t even have to think about it; it just happens. Truth be told, I’m certainly not proficient, but I’m often practicing!

We’ve all come across those people in our lives who appear to be exponentially happier than the rest of us. From my experience, they almost always have one thing in common — positivity.

You’ve heard of the “glass half full” analogy? I met a gentleman once who even took that a step further. He said for him, the glass was always full — half water, half air — but completely full. Now, that’s an intriguing and positive perspective.

I believe that both positivity and negativity are highly infectious. Both will spread rapidly. The cool part is, it’s our choice. We have the power to choose which one we will spread, but it starts with us. It starts with how we “feed” ourselves first. Whichever one you “feed” yourself with, will be the same with which you feed others. This belief reminds me of an old Native America proverb:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “my son, there is a battle 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.”

So how does any of this correlate to employee benefits, health, or company culture? Well, many employers are adjusting to a new frontier in this new post-pandemic (or unfortunately, mid-pandemic) world. Whether you’re considering your return-to-the-workplace strategies; virtual employee engagement; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives; or the new focus on mental health and wellbeing — maybe it’s as simple as starting with one question. Which wolf am I feeding?

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