#1449 The Battle Within

Wolves and Lawyers in Combat (Who’s Winning?)

In the last few +1s, we’ve been having fun mining some wisdom from Brian Tracy’s great book, No Excuses!

As you may recall (but I’m deliberately reminding you to help you remember—spaced repetition meets recall for the Learning 101 win, folks!), we started with a quick excursion to Someday Isle, then we reminded ourselves that we’re teleological beings and that successful people think long-term and that they also take action in alignment with those goals NOW.

Today we’re going to chat about the battle within then we’re going to head back over to Seth Godin’s wisdom on The Practice.

Here’s Brian Tracy’s take on the eternal, internal battle EACH of us faces all day every day.

He tells us: “Every day, and every minute of every day, there is a battle going on inside of you between doing what is right, hard, and necessary (like the angel on one shoulder) or doing what is fun, easy, and of little or no value (like the devil on your other shoulder). Every minute of every day, you must fight and win this battle with the Expediency Factor and resist the pull of the Path of Least Resistance if you truly desire to become everything you are capable of becoming.”

Of course, we talk about this battle ALL THE TIME.


Because WINNING it is, essentially, THE ULTIMATE GAME of life.

Let’s refresh our perspective on the subject.

First, the wolves.

You’ve almost certainly heard this story many times, but it’s worth repeating.

Mark Divine wrote a whole book about it called Staring Down the Wolf. Marci Shimoff tells the story of the wolves well in Happy for No Reason.

Here’s how she puts it: “One evening a Cherokee elder told his grandson about the battle that goes on inside of people. He said, ‘My son, the battle is between the two ‘wolves’ that live inside us all. One is Unhappiness. It is fear, worry, anger, jealousy, sorrow, self-pity, resentment, and inferiority. The other is Happiness. It is joy, love, hope, serenity, kindness, generosity, truth, and compassion.’ 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.’”

In Why Your Life Sucks (best title ever? 😂), Alan Cohen has a great way of describing the battle going on in your head.

He tells us: “Imagine two lawyers in a courtroom inside your head. One is arguing for your possibilities and you achieving your goals. The other is arguing for your limits and why you don’t deserve what you want. Who will win? The lawyer whom you pay the most. The way you pay these lawyers, however, is not with money; it is with your attention.”


Socrates is always a reliable source of wisdom on the subject.

He tells us: “I desire only to know the truth, and to live as well as I can... And, to the utmost of my power, I exhort all other men to do the same...I exhort you also to take part in the great combat, which is the combat of life, and greater than every other earthly conflict.”

Of course, I like to describe the angel on our shoulder as our daimon or inner soul. The other guy with the bad advice? That’s our demon—which, as we’ve discussed, is simply the diminutive of daimon.

Today’s +1.

Who’s winning your battle?

What’s ONE little thing you can do to give The Good Guys a chance to win today?

Day 1. All in.


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