Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Which Wolf Will You Feed? How to Change Your Life by Changing Your Thoughts is a nonfiction self-help book written by Michael Stribling. With the specter of Covid-19 dominating life around the globe, stress, fear, and general nervousness are fairly widespread. The author argues, however, that even in better times, far too many people experience diminished returns of satisfaction and happiness due to the negativity of their approach to life. The author counseled inmates in prison and was successful in getting them to approach their lives, even in their difficult circumstances, with a positive state of mind. He likens the general population as being similarly imprisoned by their mindsets and utilizes the same techniques developed in working with his inmate clients in dealing with clients outside the prison setting.
His inspiration has a Native American legend at its heart, which posits that each human being carries two wolves within them: the Ego Wolf and the Spirit Wolf. One is fed by negative emotions; the other by a positive outlook on life. Whichever wolf is fed the most becomes the dominant factor of a person's personality; becomes the victor of a lifelong struggle. How then to ensure that one feeds the Spirit Wolf and not its adversary? The author helps readers identify ways in which they feed the Ego Wolf, which are sometimes surprising, unwitting, or innocuous. Stribling helps you see how easily one can end up feeding the Ego Wolf and gives you strategies and examples on how to change that behavior and make feeding the Spirit Wolf an automatic and instinctive process. He cautions readers to be aware that most of our responses are, as he terms it, akin to being on autopilot, but feeding the Ego Wolf under these conditions doesn't have to be the case.
Which Wolf Will You Feed? caught my eye as I have been dealing with grief issues as well as the stress, isolation, and uncertainty of the pandemic. Michael Stribling's book is well-written, and his arguments are persuasive. I especially liked the reflection questions he poses at the end of each section. Far too often books that deal with issues such as this don't give readers the opportunity to reflect on what they were just shown and make it their own. His questions often had me delving back into the text to work on aspects and concepts I had missed. Working through each question posed was definitely time well-spent for me.
I was also impressed by the scope of his text; he addressed issues I had in everyday life and showed me how I was indeed feeding that Ego Wolf unwittingly. And yes, I've discovered far better ways to deal with some everyday irritants which don't seem to bother me as much anymore. His Appendix also includes information on Deep Breathing and a set of individualized personal mantras which will be quite useful for those who've not gone through Transcendental Meditation or in another way gotten a mantra. While I do have a TM mantra, I am finding the author's mantras to be useful as well. Which Wolf Will You Feed? is most highly recommended.