Tomorrowland: Two Wolves – the real Cherokee story

Tomorrowland Two Wolves Original Quote

I posted this because I found the story to be very powerful after watching Disney’s Tomorrowland (2015) and wanting to know the two wolves story.

An old Cherokee is 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.” 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 grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”

You might heard the story ends like this: The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

In the Cherokee world, however, the story ends this way:

The old Cherokee simply replied, “If you feed them right, they both win.” and the story goes on:

“You see, if I only choose to feed the white wolf, the black one will be hiding around every corner waiting for me to become distracted or weak and jump to get the attention he craves. He will always be angry and always fighting the white wolf. But if I acknowledge him, he is happy and the white wolf is happy and we all win. For the black wolf has many qualities – tenacity, courage, fearlessness, strong-willed and great strategic thinking – that I have need of at times and that the white wolf lacks. But the white wolf has compassion, caring, strength and the ability to recognize what is in the best interest of all.

“You see, son, the white wolf needs the black wolf at his side. To feed only one would starve the other and they will become uncontrollable. To feed and care for both means they will serve you well and do nothing that is not a part of something greater, something good, something of life. Feed them both and there will be no more internal struggle for your attention. And when there is no battle inside, you can listen to the voices of deeper knowing that will guide you in choosing what is right in every circumstance. Peace, my son, is the Cherokee mission in life. A man or a woman who has peace inside has everything. A man or a woman who is pulled apart by the war inside him or her has nothing.

“How you choose to interact with the opposing forces within you will determine your life. Starve one or the other or guide them both.”

–Cherokee Story



Beyond the Conflict of Inner Forces, by Cherokee Story |

There are Damn Good Reasons Why I Live in Reno

[Update 2016]: **Make sure to check out the comment threads below -AND- Many people find this other Reno post even more helpful**:

What it’s like living in Reno? – Lifestyles answer

I know what you’re thinking; there are too many casinos, too many bums, its too dry, I want some more local stores, give me some more trees…

Shut It!… I don’t care what you say,
this is a damn good place to live!… 🙂

This topic is something that has been firing me up for years. I moved down to Reno in 2009 in need of a larger market than Truckee to satisfy my career needs, and while I was sipping the Reno haterade for years, there is a fresh growth of revival taking over the city and I love it. As I wrote on the MadeInReno blog a few months ago:

We the people of Reno know that we live in Reno for a number of glorious reasons. We know that Reno’s perception around the globe is not the truth we know it as. No one is going to pull Reno up, we know that. We are left to our own devices, our own grass-roots means. We have to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. “Made in Reno” is the place for Reno made businesses, entrepreneurs, and all-around real people to tell their stories, to share what is happening with real people and real businesses Made in and successful because of Reno.

There are thing happening, people moving and shaking to help pull Reno in a new direction. My favorite Reno band Jelly Bread definitely knows it (I hope I can get them to jam at my wedding). As does my favorite new bar Craft. And who doesn’t love our own home-grown, started in a garage, local, state-fossil, dinosaur-named beer: Icky by Great Basin Brewery.

“People need to know that Reno is not about the 4-blocks downtown,
there is a lot more to Reno.”
– Rick Reviglio, CEO of Western Nevada Supply

If you haven’t seen it yet, Bungalow Mike does a great job of covering new developments in downtown and mid-town Reno. He must spend hours upon hours in county and city meetings digging up all the great information he has on that website (PS, did you know he’s pulled together a Downtown, Midtown Reno App now?). On top of  that Michael, Chris and Zach have started the Reno Rebuild Project which is a revolving loan program funded by downtown businesses for more new downtown businesses.

We’ve Started Telling the Story

I am looking to pull together people that want to help me share those stories of why Reno rocks. Kristen Stith and I have started and we invite you to check it out:

I’ve started by sharing the stories of Better Green Building, Western Nevada Supply and Moment Skis, but there are lots more great stories to share about Reno, and I would love your help. We’ve made a list of local business whom we believe help capture the essence of what is making Reno, Reno; and we would love to talk with each of them:

  • Midtown Eats
  • Sup
  • Craft
  • Public House
  • Hiroba
  • Reno Collective
  • Scolari’s
  • Girl Farm
  • Great Basin Brewery
  • Silver Peak
  • Jimmy Bean’s Wool
  • Great Basin Food Co-op
  • Organic Tea & Herb
  • Sierra Eco Systems
  • Wells Avenue Stores
  • The Lil’ Waldorf
  • Truckee Sourdough Company
  • Fallon Farmers
  • QCS
Kristin has already covered a ton of great stories to date and I am looking forward to collaborating with her and pulling some over those posts over to the MadeInReno Blog (including her awesome video):

Why Millennial Need to Do, Not Try: A Lesson for My Peers

Its not what you know or who you know;
but how you create value out of the world around you

A quick lesson for my peers, while you are bowing out, playing video games and making excuses, those of us with determination to play the game are changing the rules in the job market. One more piece of paper or letter behind your name won’t get you anywhere; demonstrated experience, determination and connections (on and offline) are the name of the game.

Background: Our Families

The priorities of our grandparents following the great depression, and resonating through today have been, “It is your responsibility to do whatever must be done for the good of you family, your community, and your country without question.” This idea sprang from the shortages in life, the demanding times, the hard losses experienced and the need for a solid footing in an ever-changing world. Our grandparents laid new foundations for the war-ravaged world.

Our parents, having the liberty and luxury of a solid foundation, grew to question everything regularly accepted and provided for. Many of their priorities focused internally with, “How can I  be the best version of myself by seeking out adventure, practicing self-control, mindfully contemplating, and questioning reality?” They swore that they would not be so regimented as their parents. They swore that they would show their children the love and adoration they constantly sought and seldom knew.

Our School of Thought

As young children we discredited our grandparents as being old-school depression children in a high-tech world that was booming and would be forever. We bent our minds trying to convince them that it was okay to waste, that they needed technology, and that we were in a new peaceful and endlessly profitable world. Boy were we wrong.

Turn to the present, end of May, 2012… News media is saying, “The Great Recession is over,” though in real life we aren’t so sure. Everyone is holding their cards close to their chest as they have seen, experienced, or heard the stories of life-long homes lost and friends and family that cannot find work within the past few months and years. “You can tell me its over; buts its not over until I say it is.”

Where does that leave my generation (Millennial, Gen-Y, whatever you want to call us)?

We are inheriting a world that has been sold to us as a lie. “This is a new world. Growth is endless. Styrofoam, paper plates, and plastic silverware are the way to go. Growth is sustainable. Build fast. Triangle Schemes. Blah blah blah. Buy Real Estate. Find a way to make a quick buck.” Deep down our generation respects Gen-X (between us and our parents) as they are working hard to build from the ashes and unlearn the traditional approaches handed down in the workplace to them by our parents. In the end, however, we know that they mostly have 10-15 years of productive work left in them before they start looking to retire and move on as well.

The Lazy Hero Complex

Overall my generation has a lazy hero complex. We have been told our whole lives that we are special, that we deserve a trophy and should get credit just for trying. Today and in the midst of global financial crises my generation has largely made excuses, said, “I’ve tried to get a job, but in this economy…” My generation has been taught that to try is to succeed. Perhaps a quick lesson is needed from Yoda:

Do or do not, there is no try
– Yoda

So instead of fighting the good fight, my generation is making the excuse (though few will accept this point), bowing out for the time being, living with parents and waiting for their extra-ordinary situation to force them to be a hero in their own eyes. “If only I could get a lucky break like Mark Zuckerberg,” comes the thought. “Maybe if I just get another degree at this University, someone will recognize my talent and pay me a huge salary.”

The Lesson

A quick lesson for my peers, while you are bowing out and making excuses, those of us with determination to play the game are changing the rules. One more piece of paper or letter behind your name won’t get you anywhere; those of us fighting the fight know that demonstrated experience, determination and connections (on and offline) are the name of the game. So go ahead and boost your resume and email it off to another garbage bin, because what you don’t realize is, you don’t have a job because you aren’t trying hard enough. Survival of the fittest my friend. Make opportunities for yourself where they did not exist before out of your own determination and passion. In my humble opinion:

Its not what you know or who you know;
but how you create value out of the world around you

Thank you for reading my blog – Daniel S. Herr.
I invite you to connect with me on Twitter @DanHerr
Or follow to my blog