We talk to ourselves and listen to ourselves more than we talk to anyone else.
I was at a spiritual retreat recently that reminded me of that dynamic. The speaker described it. He used an old Indian story where a chieftain reminds one of his young warriors of the internal dialogue we maintain:
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The young warrior thought about it for a minute and then asked the chief, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Monitor what you say to yourself. If you feed the bad wolf, it sours your attitude. It impedes you as a leader.
Be mindful of what you say to yourself about yourself. It has a lot to do with whether you succeed.
PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.