The wolfpack is those people you spend the most time with and those that have a strong influence on your mindset, the events in your life and how you engage with them. We all have wolfpacks.
But the key questions are whether the pack is enhancing your sense of self? – leading you to become an even better you? OR is your wolfpack a compromising influence within your life – leading to the lowest common denominator?
A negative group think lessens your true sense of self and, of course, as a member of the wolfpack, this influence is two way. Who are you influencing and how?
The wolfpack maybe two or three highly significant individuals (men and women) whom you trust and can share deeply with or it may be a larger group; those you surround yourself with who share your values and approaches to life.
The wolfpack takes on many roles. Obviously, there is a key personal and professional support role. In the midst of life, it is great to know that we are not alone and that the questions and challenges we face – others share as well. The true wolfpack is those we can reach out to when we need to and know they will, as far as humanly possible, be there for us. They are not just “fair weather friends!”
The wolfpack will call us to be our best selves, to march to our own drum and for that drum to be the beat that only we can play. The wolfpack never becomes a herd of sheep blindly following the other into a meaningless existence. When the wolfpack challenges us we respond because we know that the other has our best interests at heart. These challenges can take many forms from the physical as they workout beside us in the gym encouraging us or having the credibility to ask us the difficult question that we avoid and so inviting us to a level of reflection and introspection from where our wisdom will emerge.
The wolfpack will have a strong influence on who you meet, who you associate with, what you read and the challenges you set for yourself. A positive circle of influence all around you will open quality doors within your life, provide opportunities, influence how you spend your time, what your mindsets and heartsets are as you view the world.
But as we stated previously the wolfpack can be a negative group too and the flip side of each of the elements just named can compromise you and lead you down a path of a negative or victim or blame mentality that will rob you of ever being your best self.
Because your energy will be flowing in this supportive and challenging environment the effect on our physical and mental health is pervasive. The flow on to professional and financial success is obvious. Michael Jordan would often reflect that he would prefer a champion team to a team of champions. The wolfpack is the champion team that enables and ennobles each member to be their own champion individually and collectively.
You will know when you are part of a lifegiving wolfpack. There will be a positive energy around it, there will be a sense of brotherhood, of true welcome and acceptance, of freedom to be yourself and of seeking the highest in every form that it takes. The wolfpack will be drawing the best out of you and you will find yourself growing more and more into who you truly want to be. You do NOT lose yourself in the midst of the pack; rather – in a seemingly contradictory, paradoxical way – you find your best self.
The lone wolf will surround themselves with sheep and ultimately this mindset will lead to a win-lose dynamic (in reality lose-lose), to negative competition and to a focus on external goals and criteria that ultimately undermine true inner growth and courage.
This topic of the wolfpack invites us to some really healthy but difficult personal reflection. We invite you to explore some of the following questions and suggestions;
In the wolfpack there are no shoulds. The pack leads us to march to our best drum as we do them. There is something special in the midst of battle to know you are not alone; that someone has your back emotionally, psychologically even physically. There is a true and deep sense of belonging within a Wolfpack; a belonging that leads us individually and collectively to seek our highest.
“NOW this is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky,
And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth forward and back;
For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.
Wash daily from nose tip to tail tip; drink deeply, but never too deep;
And remember the night is for hunting and forget not the day is for sleep.
The jackal may follow the tiger, but, cub, when thy whiskers are grown,
Remember the wolf is a hunter—go forth and get food of thy own.
Keep peace with the lords of the jungle, the tiger, the panther, the bear;
And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the boar in his lair.
When pack meets with pack in the jungle, and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken; it may be fair words shall prevail.
When ye fight with a wolf of the pack ye must fight him alone and afar,
Lest others take part in the quarrel and the pack is diminished by war.
The lair of the wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home,
Not even the head wolf may enter, not even the council may come.
The lair of the wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain,
The council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again.
If ye kill before midnight be silent and wake not the woods with your bay,
Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop and thy brothers go empty away.
Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need and ye can;
But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill man.
If ye plunder his kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride,
Pack-right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide.
The kill of the pack is the meat of the pack. Ye must eat where it lies;
And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies.
The kill of the wolf is the meat of the wolf. He may do what he will,
But, till he has given permission, the pack may not eat of that kill.
Lair right is the right of the mother. From all of her years she may claim
One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same.
Cub right is the right of the yearling. From all of his pack he may claim
Full gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same.
Cave right is the right of the father, to hunt by himself for his own;
He is freed from all calls to the pack. He is judged by the council alone.
Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw,
In all that the law leaveth open the word of the head wolf is law.
Now these are the laws of the jungle, and many and mighty are they;
But the head and the hoof of the law and the haunch and the hump is—Obey!”
– Rudyard Kipling