Activating Your Inner Champion: RAS, Buffalo Mentality, and Facing Adversity – Your Champions Brew

“If you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re probably right.” – Lou Holtz

Happy Friday, Brew Nation! 

Grab your favorite coffee cup, sit back, relax, and get ready to sip on some enriching and thought-provoking content that will equip you to thrive in all areas of your life:

  • Uncommon Leader Insights –  As we navigate the complexities of leadership and personal growth, the insights shared by Francine Ivey on Episode 109 of The Uncommon Leader Podcast resonate deeply with those on a journey of transformation. Here are three of my takeaways from our heartfelt conversation:
  1. Honor your Heartbreak – Francine’s emotional account of her husband’s tragic passing magnifies how adversities forge our character. By offering her pain to a higher purpose, Francine derives strength from her faith, emerging not weakened by grief but empowered to guide others through their strife. This act of radical acceptance reminds us that while life’s trials are inevitable, our response to them can lead to unexpected paths of service and leadership.
  2. Manage your Mindset – As demonstrated through the success story of a client who transcended the stagnation of the 25 million sales mark by overhauling her mindset, Francine underscores the power of perception. Mastery over controllable aspects of our profession often only delivers progress when coupled with belief in ourselves. The lesson here is transformative: Shift your mindset to welcome the fruit of your labor and allow acceptance of factors beyond your control to catalyze genuine breakthroughs.
  3. Guide your gifts – Confronting the tension between material prosperity and the desire to fulfill a higher calling, Francine clarifies that wealth is merely a resource, not an identity. As stewards of our success, the obligation to channel resources for a greater good becomes paramount. Francine contends that true leadership resides in the ability to recognize the broader implications of wealth and the potential for making an indelible impact on the world.

 As Francine eloquently stated it, “Do it afraid,” and in doing so, embrace the growth that surfaces when faith and action converge.

  • Work Hard – In an inspiring video by Brand Builders Group CEO Rory Vaden, he shared a fascinating insight about buffalos. When faced with intense weather, they instinctively turn and head into the storm. They are the only known animal to behave like this. By doing so, they minimize the duration and impact of strong winds in their vast open spaces.

Life often presents us with storms—whether we’re going into one, in the middle of one, or coming out of a storm. In the midst of howling winds and sideways snow, the buffalo chooses to face adversity, stride on, and keep going.

Take this as an encouragement. We all face storms personally and professionally. While we may not always choose the storm, we do have the power to choose our response. If you’re currently navigating a storm, be like the buffalo—face it head-on. Walking away or trying to go around it only prolongs the discomfort we must endure.

  • Read More Here we go.  We are traveling together on a journey with an inspiring speaker, and author, Ed Mylett, and his book “The Power of One More – The Ultimate Guide to Success and Happiness”.  As an avid listener of Mylett’s podcast, I’m thrilled to revisit this remarkable book that holds a special place in my Top Ten influential reads. Join me as we uncover the profound wisdom within its pages. Got your copy yet? Let’s dive in!

Chapter Two – “One More and Living In Your Matrix”

Admittedly, I have never seen The Matrix.  Many of you have seen the movie and know this scene with Keanu Reeves and Morpheus: “This is your last chance.  After this, there is no turning back.  You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.  You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” And, yes, that movie is now 25 years old!  Your ‘matrix’ also correlates with the network of neurons in your brain stem known as the Reticular Activating System (RAS).  Your RAS is the filter that gives weight to the important things in your life and filters out the things that are not.  Have you experienced this before?  You are interested in purchasing a new car.  Immediately, you start seeing that car everywhere.  They were always there, but you never really noticed them before.  But now you see them because they’ve become part of your RAS.

This chapter had a heavy science bend, but I did find myself nodding my head with confirmation that I had experienced the RAS at work! 

In the movie, they used over 100 cameras in a 360-deggree circle around the action, taking thousands of shows, and then stitching those shots together to make the viewer think they were moving around a slow-motion scene.  The key to this phenomenon is that we can learn to slow down our internal pace.  It is also important to note that the RAS does NOT interpret the quality or type of sensory input (aka, Garbage in, Garbage out!).  You must be intentional and work at it.  If you’re looking for things to offend you, your RAS will activate, and that’s what you find all day long.  This is why I choose to avoid the news.  On the other hand, if you’re looking for things to be grateful for, that’s what you’ll find instead.

Lou Holtz once quipped, “If you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re probably right.”  I wonder if he knew that was his RAS?!  Golfers, par 3 over the pond, elevated green, pin front left.  What do you see?  Focus on the water, that is where the ball often ends up.  Focus on the green and you give yourself a better chance of avoiding the hazard.

To train your RAS, you must be intentional.  The stronger your beliefs, or emotionally charged an issue is to you, the stronger your confirmation bias and selective recall will be.  For example, if you’re a quarterback, does it make more sense in a game to avoid receivers who are covered or look for receivers that are open?  When you train your mind to look for an open receiver, that’s what your brain looks for instead of the covered receivers. 

This is one of the reasons I find so much fulfillment in coaching and consulting.  My mind is trained to identify waste in processes, to see barriers to success in others that their mind is not trained to see or they have been in the middle of it for so long, they don’t realize they opportunities they are missing.

Shifting your mindset to a positive framework is essential.  Continuously and consciously fill your RAS with the thoughts you want.  Activations comes from preparation, courage, gratitude and more. 

Have you seen the Matrix? I think I need to add it to my watch list.

Next week – One More Try

Quote of the week:   In the gym, the weight doesn’t get easier to lift, you get stronger.  In life, events don’t get easier to handle, you become better equipped to handle them.  Keep growing.

What You Need to Do:

Call to Action:  Now, it’s time for action. Choose one actionable step today—a small shift in mindset, a deliberate focus, or a bold decision—that aligns with your goals and aspirations. Share your commitment in the comments and inspire others to join you on this journey.

It’s an honor to be your trusted “Friday Coffee Guy”.  Each week, I’m excited to provide yet another round of curated content that I’ve been reading, listening to, watching, or thinking over. The purpose of the Champions Brew is to inspire, equip and encourage you to become the uncommon leader you were designed to be. I am so grateful for your decision to invest a few moments with me! I hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of Champions Brew. If you did, I would appreciate it if you would share it with someone who might enjoy it as well and ask them to subscribe! I will make sure they automatically get this email every week.

Until next time, Go and Grow Champions!

P.S. – Are you a podcast fan?  Maybe the Uncommon Leader podcast is for you.    Are you interested in being a guest on the Uncommon Leader Podcast?  Do you have a story to tell?  Email me [email protected] and let’s have a chat and set something up!!


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To become Champion leader, we have to be on a continuous improvement journey for ourselves and others.  We have to be able to take advantage of the precious seconds that we have each day.  
There are things that I come across each week that help me, inspire me, relax me, motivate me, and are sometimes are just funny that I want to share with you so that you can smile more, build faith, think positively, network well, exercise often, eat healthy, and grow daily.

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