The Two Wolves Fable and the Neuroscience of Progressive Action

September 15, 2023two wolves running

The Two Wolves Fable as a Catalyst for Success

This article explores the fascinating interplay between neuroscience and personal growth. In this post, we delve into the power of emotions and how they influence our behaviour. We unravel transformative lessons hidden within the timeless fable of "The Two Wolves" and discover how it can serve as a catalyst for success in our lives.

The Neuroscience of Emotions and Behaviour

Our emotions are not mere fleeting sensations; they hold the key to shaping our actions and decisions. By increasing our awareness of the intricate workings of our brain, we can unlock the potential to harness emotions for our benefit.

Neurologically, emotions serve as signals that guide us towards either continuing with our current behaviour or initiating a change. Positive emotions activate the Dopamine Reward System, fuelling approach behaviours, while negative emotions trigger the threat response, leading to avoidance behaviours. This interplay between reward and threat systems, regulated by the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex, influences our behaviour based on the activity across these brain regions. This can be easily demonstrated when one considers ‘higher-risk’ activities such as sky-diving, bungee jumping or fairground rides, which will activate threat and reward systems in the brain, demonstrating that we can choose to do something that threatens us, if we decide the reward is great enough.

Unleashing the Power of Positive Emotions

Now, let's explore how we can leverage our understanding of neuroscience to optimise our emotional state and drive personal performance. By cultivating awareness of our emotions throughout the day, we can consciously focus on the positive aspects of our lives.

By shifting our attention to what we have, expressing gratitude, cherishing the simple pleasures, celebrating achievements (no matter how small), embracing the wonder of nature, and acknowledging our influence over what we can control, we activate the Dopamine Reward System in our brain. This fuels our motivation and empowers us to take steps towards our goals each day.

Choosing the Wolf We Feed

In line with the wisdom of the "Two Wolves" fable, let us be intentional about the emotions we nurture within ourselves. Just as we can choose to feed either the positive or negative wolf, we have the power to shape our emotional landscape.

By consciously directing our attention towards positivity, gratitude, and opportunities, we feed the wolf of optimism and resilience. This, in turn, primes our brain for success, propelling us towards the realisation of our goals.


As we conclude this exploration of emotions and behaviour through the lens of neuroscience, let's embrace the valuable lessons offered by "The Two Wolves" fable. By recognising the influence of our emotions, cultivating positive states of mind, and consciously choosing the wolf we feed, we unlock the incredible potential within for personal growth and success.

Remember, every day presents an opportunity to nourish the wolf of positivity within us. When we make a conscious choice to feed the right wolf, we embark on a rewarding journey of transformation. Let us choose to focus on the good in our lives, celebrate our achievements, and embrace the wonder of the world around us. Besides the personal rewards this will facilitate, we can create a ripple effect of positivity that spreads far beyond ourselves. With practice and persistence in feeding the wolf of optimism and resilience, we will reap the rewards of a life filled with purpose and continued growth!

two wolves fable

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