Which Wolf Will You Feed?

How to Change Your Life by Changing Your Thoughts

Non-Fiction - Self Help
63 Pages
Reviewed on 12/28/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Marie-Hélène Fasquel for Readers' Favorite

Which Wolf Will You Feed? How to Change Your Life by Changing Your Thoughts by Michael Stribling is a concise self-help volume that allows you to step back, think, and change the thoughts that are not nurturing yourself (quite the contrary actually !). It focuses on what is hurting us, what can be done, and is perfectly completed by a comprehensive and fun appendix including mantras. The author also shares the link to the book’s website as well as the Native American story telling us that two wolves are fighting for supremacy within us and that our happiness and well-being depends on which one we feed.

Which Wolf Will You Feed? by Michael Stribling is a fantastic self-help manual that will help you grow, believe in yourself, and most importantly try to change some negative thoughts that are keeping you stuck in a vicious circle, and which are bound to encumber your mind, cause you pain, stress you out. Yet, as Michael Stribling reminds us, stress and negative thoughts are extremely detrimental to our well-being. That is actually why he wrote this book. Being a licensed psychotherapist, he knows what prevents most people from really enjoying their lives. This work is comprehensive and includes challenges and opportunities, practical points to ponder, an appendix focusing on deep breathing, mantras (and how to write your own mantras), being positive.

I thank the author for this book, for the way he wrote it, making the reader an active reader by including simple but powerful reflection questions after each part, thus allowing us to grow. He also stresses such things as the fact that we become addicted to our feelings and that it is difficult to change and that is something I had not taken into account. In short, a must-have for anyone who wants to be less stressed out.

Jack Magnus

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.

Asher Syed

Which Wolf Will You Feed? How to Change Your Life by Changing Your Thoughts by Michael Stribling is a self-help book that covers the mental and emotional wellbeing by and from the experience of a seasoned psychotherapist. Stribling harnesses a combination of New Age thinking and historical holistics to assist in readers understanding their challenges and channeling that energy into positive outlets. He also employs well-known verses, such as how we reap what we sow, that have a genuine place in our thoughts and actions, alongside new nuggets of wisdom such as “Avoid spending time in Chernobyl,” a nod to the Ukrainian nuclear reactor meltdown in the parallel with toxic, negative people in our lives. He also offers authentic case examples and reflective exercises at the end of each chapter. The book is broken down into five different sections, with a conclusion and appendixes as guides to use with his thoughtful, meaningful exercises.

Michael Stribling opens by letting the reader know that what he's presenting in Which Wolf Will You Feed? isn't a re-invention of the wheel. Still, as a reader, I am able to recognize that what he is presenting in its entirety is relevant, and the first time I have seen as many foundational exercises compiled in the same volume. This is what made the book a stand-out to me, particularly in the sense that the directives he provides can be initiated almost immediately. My favorite was in the section titled The Importance of Critical Thinking. Having grown up in a third-world country, I find that so much of my understanding of things is based almost exclusively on tradition instead of facts, and ideas that were ingrained in my mind from a very early age through rote repetition and the unwavering belief of everyone around me. How much it felt like Stribling was speaking to me directly as he pulled the cover off indoctrination, a veil that has taken me a very, very long time to push beyond so that I do not pass this on to my children. This is an excellent book and I believe there is good in it for everyone.