A great lesson about success and leadership comes from studying the way bison and cows respond to storms.
In Colorado they are famous for the Rocky Mountains, but what people don’t realize is that the state is divided almost exactly in half. And to the east are the great Kansas plains.
Because of the unique landscape Colorado is one of the few places in the world where both bison and cows roam in close proximity.
When storms come across the county they almost always come from the west and blow to the east⛈…
What cows do is natural. They sense the storm coming from the west and they start running towards the east. The problem with this is cows can’t run fast.
So the storm catches up with the cows quickly. And with out knowing any better the cows continue to try and outrun the storm. But…
Instead of outrunning the storm, they actually run right along with the storm. Maximizing the amount of pain, time, and frustration they experience from the storm.
Not the smartest thing to do, right?!
Humans do the same thing all the time.
We spend so much of our lives constantly trying to avoid the inevitable challenges that come along with the difficult circumstances that our very own choices have led us to be in.
And it’s natural, humans are built to avoid pain.
- Those who are in debt constantly try to find a way out of paying their bills. People who are unhealthy and overweight make rationalizations why they can’t do anything about it or why it doesn’t matter.
- Those who are struggling in their marriage or relationships avoid the difficult meaningful conversations that need to be had to reconcile that relationship.
- People avoiding a conversation with a co-worker in the office over a disagreement.
- Sales people doing everything to avoid making a sales call or asking for the sale.
The key insight that high performers have made that not yet everyone else has is this…
High performers realize that when you procrastinate dealing with problems, they’re only amplified…I can attest to that, how about you?
Waiting almost always makes it worse.
What bison do on the other hand is very unique for the animal kingdom.
Bison wait for the storm to cross right over the crest of the peak of the top of the mountain and as the storm rolls over the ridge, the bison turn and charge directly into he storm.
Instead of running east away from the storm, they run west directly at the storm.
By running at the storm they run straight though it, minimizing the amount of pain, time and frustration they experience from that storm.
Notice, it’s the exact same storm. Everyone is dealing with the same types of storms.
We have a relationship issue…a battle with weight… some other health issue… financial issues… family issues, etc…
And we don’t always get to choose whether or not we have storms, sometimes they come at us.
The only choice we get is how we respond to those storms.
And when we respond to those storms.
Let me say that again. It’s our choice, we are in control not anyone else, how and when we respond to storms.
The bison mentality is representative of the “take the stairs” mindset of high performers.
They charge directly into problems because they realize that procrastination and indulgence are simply creditors that charge you interest…really high interest that wears on your mind and body.
Be the bison!
Which direction are you heading today?
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* adapted from notes I had from a short story I read. Credit to the author who I can’t remember who it was.
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