Tips for Staying Positive – Feed the Right Wolf

ClearPath has partnered with Karen Colligan, Founder and Principal, PeopleThink. Karen is a recognized expert in leadership and team development.  Karen founded PeopleThink in 2000, based on the core belief that “an investment in your people is an investment in your future.” Since then, her broad experience and progressive approach to dealing with the human capital issues across a wide range of business situations has suited her well in consulting in organizations in multiple industries, including Genentech, Oncopeptides, SAP Labs, Dell Technologies, AppFolio, San Francisco Ballet, and Havas. PeopleThink’s comprehensive suite of leadership and team development programs has enabled corporate executives, their teams, and individuals to significantly improve both their performance and that of the organization.  PeopleThink is and has always been a steadfast champion of new and emerging leaders. 

We’ve been through a lot over the past three months or so and it’s no wonder that many of us are feeling frustrated, sad, angry, stressed, worried, and/or any of the other emotions that tip the negative side of the scale.  Even Pollyanna might have difficulty finding something to be glad about today.

So what are we to do? Give in to the negativity? No! Despite what’s going on around you, you have a choice as to how you respond to it, just like in this Native American legend.

One evening an old Cherokee was teaching his grandson about life. “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.”

“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 grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

I’m here to suggest that you feed the right wolf. Make a conscious effort to focus on the positive, and increase what Shirzad Chamine calls your “Positive Intelligence®” Quotient  (PQ). Not only will you be happier, you’ll improve your relationships, increase your success at work, and, let’s face it, be a lot more fun to be around!

Here are some ideas for feeding the right wolf:

  • Think about one thing that is causing you a lot of stress. Now think of three ways you can turn that into an opportunity
  • Practice saying “Yes, and…” instead of “Yes, but…”
  • Keep a gratitude journal. Each day, write down something positive about the day
  • Surround yourself with positive people
  • Turn off the news and turn on a comedy
  • Get away from your computer and go for a walk, a hike, a run or some other activity OUTSIDE
  • Play
  • Watch kids at play
  • Meditate

And check out Karen’s podcastPlease and Thank You – words that are very easy to use.
Let’s make positivity (and courtesy!) “trending…”

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Karen Colligan, Founder, and Principal, PeopleThink, ( is a recognized expert in leadership, team, and organizational effectiveness. For more than 20 years, she has been successfully partnering with organizations to develop and retain their most precious asset: their PEOPLE. As a corporate leader, consultant, facilitator, and coach, Karen works with both large and small companies to improve leadership and team performance, employee engagement, and competitive advantage.