DAVID LALLY: Welcome to The Brian Buffini Show, where we explore the mindsets, motivation, and methodologies of success. My name is David Lally. I’m the producer of the show. I know we may be in challenging times, but that’s just why we’ve been working on shows to keep us upbeat and focused on the good stuff. Today, Brian shares brand-new content, created just for you in today’s world. Let’s listen in.
BRIAN BUFFINI: The top of the morning to you, welcome to The Brian Buffini Show. I was asked to keep the positive stuff coming, keep the encouraging content coming while people are hunkered down and dealing with a lot of difficult circumstances right now. I have a special message for you today and it’s entitled Dare to be Great in the Middle of a Crisis. Dare to be Great in the Middle of a Crisis.
I’m going to go old-school with you, old-school seminar speakers and trainers and teachers, we often like to use acrostics, so I’m going to use the D.A.R.E., D-A-R-E, as a way for you to remember the information after you listen to this episode — many of you are going to listen to this probably several times, that you can remember that. You can remember the D.A.R.E. and you can remember what the D stands for and the A stands for and the R stands for and the E.
The D in D.A.R.E. is discipline, the A in D.A.R.E. is attitude, the R in D.A.R.E. is relax, and the E stands for energize. I want to walk you through this, I’m going to tell you some stories, I’m going to give you some how-to’s, I have a few quotes for you. Hopefully, this helps you and it’s just good for what ails you. Maybe you’re listening to this and you’re doing an in-house workout, maybe you’ve got a bike or a treadmill, or maybe you’re just walking in place, or whatever it is you’re doing at home, yoga, whatever it is, hopefully, this podcast meets you where you’re at, as my mother would say.
Let’s talk about the D in DARE, and it’s for discipline. Discipline, it’s the practice of training people to obey a code of behavior, the practice of training people to obey a code of behavior. For us, what we did with our family was the first week in self-quarantine, if you will, active distancing, and everybody did what they do if they had a few days off. They were chilling out and watching their shows and doing puzzles and playing videogames and doing some of that stuff an then we’d come together and we’d have some meals together, which had been great. Everybody home from college, eat a meal at our house and home, it’s been fantastic. It’s interesting.
I go to the grocery store with Beverly, and we get all these dirty looks because we’ve got all these carts, and people think we’re hoarding. No, no. I got seven people in the house and a couple of monstrous college boys that eat a grocery cart themselves. It’s like, “Wow, no we’re not hoarding, we’re just keeping up here, people.” We did that for a week, we had great nightly meals and a good time to get together as a family and then we switched gears.
We had a little family meeting, and we’ve gone into full-on mode and things that we want to get done, how we want to operate. We’ve introduced discipline into our home and discipline into our schedules and discipline into our life. I’m doing a lot of current event interviews right now, so I need to stay informed, but I’m also limiting how much of the stuff I’m watching on TV. Some of it is great, and some of it is not.
You see a sausage being made, you never want to eat it again, I watch these press conferences and then I hear the press asking the questions. Wow, it’s a tough filter, so it’s very important that we make sure that we’re not taking it all in. Some of it is sensational, some people can’t restrain themselves. I am taking prescribed daily measures of it and then the rest of the time, I am absolutely committing myself, in many ways, to a more disciplined calendar than I have when I’m open going full-tilt.
The same for our kids and the same for our family and you know what, everything’s elevated, we get together at night after a meal, we sometimes do a movie, sometimes we’re doing games. The camaraderie is better, there’s night-time workouts we do as a family together. We’re really in the discipline game, and the discipline is making the time far more fun. What I want to do right now is giving you seven tips to develop discipline, and there are seven tips from the military.
Many of you know my affinity for many things that are in the military and our family’s relationship with that. I think when we think of this, we all think of the military in some regards. There’s ways that we can learn from these guys and girls and understand how they operate at such a high level. Here’s the seven tips, the first tip is self-control, your discipline is reflected in how patient you can be.
In a crisis, we tend to become impatient; people locked up in a home, we tend to be impatient; people in closed quarters, we tend to be impatient. We know that love is patient, that’s the definition. Isn’t it interesting here in the military guide book, your discipline is reflected in how patient you can be? By waiting, you manage your emotions when things don’t go the right way.
Self-control is the key ingredient to learn how to be patient. One of the ways to do that is be patient, then remove all temptations and distractions from your environment is the first crucial step when trying to improve your self-discipline. If you’re trying to have better control of your eating, you got to get rid of the junk food, right? Be patient and remove the distractions. Take those distractions and temptations out of the way.
If TV is a distraction, if the video game is a distraction, if Netflix is a distraction, this might not be the time to watch your third re-run of Breaking Bad. Just limit yourself. I’m going to watch one episode of something I like, do that.
Next, they have a principle called show up before time. No one likes when a person is late. In order to keep the patience as a disciplined soldier, you need to be expected to be somewhere at least 15 minutes before the actual time required. Here’s the thing, when you put a schedule together, even if it’s just for you, be disciplined with it. My wife is telling me, sometimes when I’m at home for three or four days, I’ll shave maybe once every other day or once every third day.
I’m up every morning and I start the day. I have my workout in, I get my exercise in and then I shave, shower and get ready for the day and then I begin my day in a disciplined fashion, being on time. First thing is to be on time for your own schedule. The third thing is respect rituals and routines. One of the things we talked about many times here, we have many episodes dealing with habits and how to exercise habits.
Habits, rituals, routines, that’s really a piece and I think the word they’re talking about is “respect.” Respect your rituals and respect your routines. The first thing is we want to make sure we have self-control, the next thing is we want to make sure we’re on time, and then third is we want to respect our routines and habits and give them the respect they deserve, which is self-respect. If you practice self-control and self-respect, you’ll have self-control, which is patience, and you’ll have respect for others, very powerful in the middle of a crisis.
The next thing is do the little things. This is a big piece in the military. A great way to cultivate the habit of being discipline is to focus on doing the little things, making your bed before you leave the house, keeping your environment clean, keeping your car clean, taking the garbage out, picking up after yourself. As you discipline yourself to do the little things, you become more disciplined in doing the bigger, more important things.
One habit I’ve developed is I’m doing a lot of work from my home office now, and I have a lot going on, and the companies are working from home. I’m having meetings, I’m building training programs, I’m doing live interviews. One of the things I’ve done is before I finish in my office at night, I am organizing and cleaning my office every night. When I come walking in the morning, my space is protected and I don’t feel a sense of overwhelm because I’ve taken care of the little things.
The next one then is forgive and forget. Again, this is military discipline. You will have ups and downs, fabulous successes and flat-out failures in the military. The key is to keep moving forward. When you have a setback, acknowledge for a cause, then move on. It’s easy to get wrapped up in guilt or anger or frustration. These emotions will not help you build self-discipline. Forgive people involved and also yourself and move on. This is hard to believe it’s a military manual. This is like a great self-help book, powerful stuff, powerful stuff.
Number six is finish what you start. This will show your seriousness towards the task being performed. You may think you’re serious and even tell others how serious you are, but only your actions really convey how genuine you are. Better you keep silent and get on with it than delude yourself and others. Respect yourself enough to keep your own promises to yourself, great stuff. Then lastly, stay focused.
Read your goals daily, review your reasons why, anticipate obstacles, and work on your new behaviors. If you get off-track, don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes it’s a three-steps-forward, two-steps-back. Just shake it off and relock on your goal. Now, this is not self-help stuff, this is from a military guidebook, powerful, powerful stuff. Practice self-control. Show before time, which means being on time. Respect your rituals, routines, and habits. Do the little things. Forgive and forget. Finish what you start and stay focused, especially on your goals, powerful, powerful stuff.
Wow, we could’ve done an episode just on that alone, but wait, there’s more. We know discipline’s powerful. My friend, the great Lou Holtz says, “Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.” Abraham Lincoln said, “Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” Then Jim Rohn said, “Discipline is the foundation upon which all success is built. Lack of discipline inevitably leads to failure”
Let’s move to the A in our D.A.R.E. D for discipline, A for attitude. Attitude, by definition, is a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something. Typically, it’s one that’s reflected in a person’s behavior, a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something. In times of crisis, we become unsettled, so it affects our attitude. In the time of crisis, we have to dare.
We have to have those disciplines, first, to hang on to. Now, we have the attitude. Twenty-five years ago at the very first Turning Point Retreat seminar that I ever gave, I would read out this poem by Dr. Charles Swindoll, and it’s called Attitude. He was inspired to write it after watching a performer on stage. Now, many of know David Lally, our producer, he’s a musician, and I’ve watched Lally, he really gets after it with his band.
I’ve watched Lally, on many occasion, snap a guitar string. On occasion, I’ve even seen him snap a couple. What happened was Charles Swindoll was watching a fiddle player. He lives down in Texas, and he was watching this fiddle player play in this fast-paced country music, and one by one, the strings on this fiddle player’s fiddle started snapping. One went and then another went till he was left with one string and he said the guy just kept playing.
He said his expression never changed, his energy never changed, his attitude never changed, he just kept playing on the one string he had. Following that inspiration, he wrote this poem. I want to share that with all of you today.
The longer I live, the more I realized the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude to me is more important than facts.
It is more important than the past than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.
It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.
It will make or break a company, a church or a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past, we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it and so it is with you.
We are in charge of our attitudes.
Wow, that was good 25 years ago, that’s still pretty good today. We’re in charge of it and right now, your attitude might be the one string you have. It might be the one string you have to go and act out some of these disciplines. By the way, when you do these disciplines like the military laid it out, guess what, it’s like restringing your fiddle. It’s getting another string, so you don’t just have one to rely on.
I have some nice quotes on attitude. Winston Churchill said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” He knew something about a crisis. Zig Ziglar said, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” Then Maya Angelou, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Certainly true for today. D for discipline, A for attitude. The third one is going to surprise you, especially as fired up and enthusiastic as I am today, bring this to you, I’m going to try to switch gears with you for a second here.
The third one is to relax. My brother, Dermot, our CEO, always says to me, “When things get hot, you get cool.” That is true. It’s funny, I’m more relaxed than I normally am. I’m more at ease than I normally am. When things get hot, I get cool. One of the reasons I’m able to do that is I have great faith, I have a great family and also because I’ve been around the block a few times, and I’ve had a lot of experiences, and I also practice a little discipline.
I practice a little discipline called contemplative prayer, which is a form of meditation in my faith tradition. It was interesting, as I was preparing for this, I looked up some papers published by the American Psychological Association, and one in particular caught my eye. It’s from Dr. Herbert Benson. He was sharing the power of the relaxation response. He was sharing this with a big convention of psychologists and how they could help their patients and how they could be even more effective in their work.
I’m going to read some of this to you. Some great stuff. It says, “One of the most powerful tools a psychologist can use is actually nothing new,” said Dr. Benson. At APA’s annual convention in 2008, he stated, “It’s actually an approach that’s been around for millennia, yet its full potential remains untapped.”
Benson was referring to the relaxation response, a physical state of deep rest that changes a person’s physical and emotional response to stress. Benson of Harvard Medical School and the Benson Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital discovered the relaxation response’s power to reduce stress in the 1960s, but his subsequent research found that the approach is really no different from what people have done for centuries through prayer, chanting, and repetitive motion.
Today’s scientists have shown that such practices lower heart rates, blood pressure, and oxygen consumption, and they alleviate the symptoms associated with a vast array of conditions, including hypertension, arthritis, insomnia, depression, infertility, cancer, anxiety, and even aging. Dr. Benson quotes, “US psychologists can use the mind like you would a drug.” He said, “This should empower you in your practices.”
His latest research published in the online journal, Public Library of Science, suggests that practicing the relaxation response can actually lead to genomic activity changes. In the study, his team of researchers looked at how the relaxation response affected each of the body’s 40,000 genes and found that compared with a control group, those who regularly used a relaxation response induced anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory changes that counteracted the effects of stress on the body.
This is wild stuff, and I know you’d never thought Brian Buffini would be talking to you about anti-oxidation and things like this, but here’s the bottom line, he’s just saying this is powerful, and he said, “Given that 60% to 90% of all healthcare professional visits are stress-related, the potential of the relaxation response to help people is enormous,” so this was something he promoted, and it was at a conference during the last economic crisis.
Again, during a crisis, be disciplined, have a great attitude, there’s powers in relaxation. Dr. Thomas Keating, I read books by him on how to do contemplative prayer. We know that there’s an app out called the Pray App, fantastic stuff in there. Headspace is a great meditation app, we have so many tools and resources today. Again, these are just modern technologies that are available that we can use, but it’s very, very, very powerful, and people have been doing it for thousands of years.
We had Hal Higdon on in one of our podcasts, the great running coach, and he said, “The most important day in any running program is rest, rest days give your muscles time to recover so you can run again. Your muscles build in strength as you rest.” Very, very powerful stuff, maybe you need to give a rest to all the news programs, maybe you need to give a rest to constantly worrying about a virus you have no control over, we want to dare to be great, discipline, attitude, we want to relax?
Lastly, the E and D.A.R.E. is to energize. I want to share a couple of quotes on this. “Your energy and the ability to energize others is more important and valuable than your time.” The late Jack Welch said, “If you can’t energize others, you can’t be a leader.” For many of you right now, you need to be a leader for your family, you need to be a leader for your clients, you need to be a leader in your community. If you can’t energize others, you can’t be a leader.
You first you got to put the oxygen mask on yourself. The recently retired quarterback, Eli Manning said, “I go crazy trying to energize people because that’s what I am. I’m a battery. If you’re down, you can plug into me and get charged up.” I think that’s a great illustration for all of us. I want to finish up here today with this podcast with a neat story, and it’s a story of a man by the name of Walter E. Johnson.
Walter Johnson grew up in rural Mississippi, I think he was born in 1902. He left high school at 16 to go work as a carpenter. He always wanted to get in the homebuilding business, so he got a project. Sure enough, like many first-time developers, he built his first house, and he sold it for $9,000, and it cost him $9,400 to make, and that’s his first effort at that. Losing $400 and all this time and effort and energy back in 1918, just finishing up World War I, that was a big loss.
He had to go back to high school, had to give up on the dream and got a “real job,” as they say. He was hired to manage a lumberyard. He’s 22 years of age, he was making $100 a month, which back then was big dough in 1924. When you think about 1924 and the Roaring Twenties, guess what was coming, the Great Depression, one of the greatest crises that this country or this world has ever faced.
Even while he was in the Roaring Twenties where everybody’s great, everybody’s doing the trials, and everybody’s making money, everybody’s drinking it up, he was studying at night to be an architect, and he was in architecture school. He was preparing for when the opportunity came. He gets fired one day. They’d come in, “We can’t keep you, the lumberyard is closed,” so he gets fired.
Initially, he’s got a family now, he’s feeling the crisis, but he says, “Okay, what am I going to do?” He decided he was going to dare. In this case, he was going to go back and pursue his dream. When preparation meets opportunity, you’re able to do some pretty powerful things. Buffini & Company, our staff, and our clients have been taken aback by how smooth and seamless everything’s been for us.
Our company went through this worldwide recession in 2008. It lasted six-plus years. We learned a few things. We diversified how we do business, we saved great quantities of our cash, we invested back in the company, whether it be our technology, our ability for people to be able to work from home, we already started working through this, creating protocols and so on, so forth. We already had 15% of our workforce able to work in many cases at many different states.
When this crisis came down, we were one of the first companies in Southern California to send people home. We sent hundreds of our workers home, and we’re able to tell them, “Hey, you’re good and don’t worry about losing your job, we’re good. We have the cash, we can keep going for years. We got you, you’re good to go. We’ve been prepared.” When preparation meets opportunity, you’re able to do some pretty powerful things.
Now, maybe you’re in a state right now where you feel like, “Darn, God, I’m not that prepared.” Here’s the thing, there’s another one of these common eventually. Now’s the time for you to learn to go and be prepared so that not only do you weather the next storm but you thrive in the next storm. I’m reminded of the story of Joseph in the Bible when he was managing the affairs of Pharaoh in Egypt, and they had seven years of planting, and he was storing up and storing up.
Then he had seven years of famine, and in the subsequent seven years, Egypt went on to control almost the whole Middle Eastern world and even part of the Eastern world because of how prepared they were. We’re only ever in between crises. They happen all the time, recessions come and go, it’s human history. If you were prepared, now’s the time to take action and grow and expand and develop; if not, you need to learn well right now and prepare for the next season.
That’s what Walter Johnson did. When the day came that he gets fired and he gets let go, he goes, “I’ve been waiting for this, and even though the times great just yet, I’m going to do whatever I need to survive, I’m going to live on my savings, I’m going to do a few odd jobs here and there.” He started doing a bit of construction work and then a magical thing happened when the FHA began financing single-family homes in the mid-1930s.
He jumped back into the construction business. If any of you’ve had a chance to listen to the recent interview I just did with Dr. Ben Carson entitled A Home for the Brave, one of my favorite podcast episodes ever, we also had the commissioner in charge of FHA, and I had a chance to tell him this story. He was just inspired and fired up himself. He hadn’t heard this story. Walter Johnson got into the business because of FHA back finances, and by the 1950s, he was a millionaire.
He partnered up with a man by the name of Kemmons Wilson Jr., and together, they started building small motels and then hotels. The company they founded is called Holiday Inn.
Holiday Inn corporation is now the largest hotel and casino chain in the world, founded by a man who dared to be great in the middle of a crisis, a man who never forgot where he came from.
Till the day he died at 86 years of age, he called himself the Little Poor Boy From Mississippi. When he’d sit in the meetings, “I’m just a little, poor boy from Mississippi.” He never forgot where he came from, he never forgot the lessons he learned. He had had major setbacks all along the way, but he dared to be great in the middle of a crisis. Walter Johnson passed in 1988, and his company continues to go on, be strong, and be powerful.
That’s what we want for you. Here’s what we know, I did a podcast episode with Dr. Lawrence Yun, Episode 201, entitled This Too Shall Pass. I hope, not only you’ve listened to that podcast episode, I hope you’ve sent it to everyone you know. I have hoped, especially if you’re in a real estate business, you’ve sent it to all your customers so that they can be fired up, they can be steadied, they can be secure in knowing how powerful an asset real estate is, what it is today, and what it will be in the future.
Again, to our specific real estate community, which makes up a smaller portion of our overall audience listening to these podcasts nowadays, I just wanted to remind you that if you go to buffiniandcompany.com/bcbonus, there is all kinds of free resources we’ve made available for you to be able to serve your customers at this time so you can dare to be a voice of value and be an encourager to your customers at this time. Go to buffiniandcompany.com/bcbonus and download the free resources that are there for everyone.
Last but not least, I normally finish the program with the Irish blessing. I’ve shared many poems with you and principles and quotes and so on and so forth, but I’ve gotten a lot of personal correspondence, a lot of feedback, a lot of questions on Facebook and Instagram, a lot of email. People ask me, “Brian, what do you do? What do you do specifically? Why are you always so calm in the middle of the storm? Why is it you sound so assured? Why are you talking about you’re buying stock right now and betting on the future and not selling?”
I walk a fine line because I never want to really ever share my political opinions, I don’t really share my faith journey in the greatest detail. I want to be a voice of value, and I want to reflect my faith rather than project my faith, but I also have to tell you where I get my stuff, otherwise, it’s all on me, and I’m all that and a bag of chips. I’m really not all that and a bag of chips, I’m a product of the very process that I push out through this podcast.
I’m a product of my faith, I’m a product of being a guy that was a personal growth and development guy, that in order to change my circumstances in life, I went to a seminar in 1986. I heard Lou Holtz, I heard Zig Ziglar, I heard Tom Hopkins, and I heard Jim Rohn, all in one seminar. It changed my life because from that day on, I became a student.
I listened to everything these guys recorded, I bought every book they ever had, I took every training program they ever had, and I eventually became friends with them all. It’s very important that I let you know I’m just a product of the product. I’m sitting here today, and I know I’m prepared. My family’s in great shape, my business is in great shape. I want to be that rock for you so that if you’re not where you want to be, you can use this time to be in that place in the years to come when the next one comes.
I want to share with you something that I don’t really need to read because I read this every morning when I wake up. It’s Psalm 23. Many of you are very familiar with it, but I want to finish with this today.
“The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his namesake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies. “You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely, your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
That’s where my strength comes from, and that’s what my confidence is in, not how much reserves I have in the bank or how much money is in the company’s bank. That’s where my strength comes from. Maybe that’s helpful for you today, maybe you can dust it off and read it for yourself or find something that’ll hold you together and help you be cool in a time of crisis.
I hope you dare to be great in the middle of a crisis. I hope your practice discipline, enhance your attitude, learn to relax, and energize and maybe you too will be the next Walter Johnson. I hope you’ve enjoyed today. It’s a privilege to be able to come to you at a time like this. God bless you. We’ll be pouring out more podcasts and more messages and more Facebook Lives to support you and encourage you during this time. Until next time, God bless.