A lesson from the Bison...

There are many great lessons on leadership and success in life, and one of my favorite is about the buffalo. A full size buffalo weighs approximately 2000 pounds, has an enormous head, a considerable shoulder hump and has an extremely thick and wooly coat.  He has massive muscles. Interestingly enough, he uses his head like a snow plow, often swinging his head from side to side to clear away wind blown snow drifts so that he can more easily walk through them.  

Most storms come from the west and roll across the Rocky mountains to the east.  Cattle living on the plains cope with storms very differently.  They have a natural sense that a storm is coming and they turn and run from the storm.  Now, they are slow animals and are walking with the storm prolonging their pain and this makes them stay in the storm much longer. The buffalo are very unique in the animal world. They turn their faces into the storm, go to the top of the ridge and wait it out.  When the storm rolls past them, they have minimized their pain because they face it and are quickly through it.  They simply “tough it out.”  

We all have things in our lives that we hate to do.  We hate getting up early to work out.  Very few people really want to get up at 4:30 to be at the gym by 5:00 am.  But, it hurts just as bad to get up at 4:30 am as it does at 5:30 am.  It’s the first 10 minutes or so when we need to put our face to the pain and be done with it.  

We would rather spend money than save it.  We need just a little discipline to say ‘no’ to a purchase and put money aside to save for another day.  Can we choose the salad over the hamburger and fries? What will make us feel better and give us more energy? Naturally, we most often want to take the easier path…we are human. Most important is the choice we make and how we respond to its outcome. Do we use our buffalo mentality in everything we do in our daily lives?  Do we take the stairs? Do we create a savings plan?  Are we aware of our triggers and our hot buttons that set us off on the wrong track?  Do we choose TV over a great motivational book?  In what direction are we headed?  What do we want out of life? Ultra performers decide to face the storm by making better choices. They weather it out and minimize the painful things in life. Let’s put our faces to the storm and embrace it!

Our bison reminder in the office.

Our bison reminder in the office.