I’ve been thinking about cheetahs and hippos recently.

My friend Kyle Wilson is a cheetah in his thinking, and I am at best a hippo. I don’t like change and prefer things to stay the same. Kyle, however, is always thinking and challenging the status quo.

Recently, I joined Kyle’s mastermind group called “the inner circle.” Little did I know that when I said “yes” that I would be introduced to cheetah-like thinkers. After spending a full day at Kyle’s house surrounded by thirty other individuals, I realized that it was time to evolve in my thinking. What about you? Are you in a room with a mastermind group of individuals who challenge you to grow?

By now, I’m sure you’re wondering about the reference to cheetahs. What makes them so fantastic?

The cheetah is indeed a truly amazing animal. According to the Cheetah Conservation Fund, the cheetah is the swiftest land mammal on the planet and can reach speeds of 70 mph in mere seconds. It covers 20 to 25 feet in a single stride, with only one foot touching the ground at a time. In fact, at two points in the stride, none of its feet touch the ground! However, what most fascinates me about this protected species that lives primarily in Africa are its unique physical characteristics:

  • Flexible spine;
  • Oversized liver;
  • Enlarged heart;
  • Wide nostrils;
  • Increased lung capacity; and,
  • Black “tear” marks under its eyes.

For just a moment, reflect on these characteristics of the cheetah and how you can apply this thinking to your daily life and business.

Embracing flexibility is the key quality of all globalization and life post-pandemic. As you encounter and experience change personally and professionally, can you mimic the cheetah? Can you contract, expand, bend and turn in any direction? Increase your personal productivity in business by being flexible in your decision-making and moving swiftly to meet the needs of your external and internal customers. If you don’t, they will find someone else to do it for them.

The liver has an almost miraculous ability to biochemically transform virtually any chemical it is exposed to. It not only breaks down, stores, and eliminates toxins, but also produces beneficial chemicals the body needs in order to function. The cheetah’s oversized liver is a crucial component in its highly efficient and effective physiological system. What about you?

Make transformation a part of your daily language and consciousness. Are you able to transform yourself so that you can efficiently and effectively adapt to any given situation? Never be satisfied with the status quo. Instead, be a seeker of the unknown and commit to ongoing transformation. 

While the cheetah’s enlarged heart pumps more blood to give it additional speed and power, an enlarged human heart overflows with abundance. It seeks to give rather than receive, to serve rather than be served. Enlarge your heart and infuse those around you with your spirit of optimism. Infuse your community with a spirit of service. Infuse your business culture with a “can do” attitude.

How big is your nose? Smile! Having wide nostrils is in vogue. Why? It means that you can pick up on the scent of opportunity and the smell of possibility.

Get a sense of where things are heading and make split-second course corrections that will take you into the future. Improvise and innovate. Stop waiting for someone to give you the green light. You have to make something happen for yourself.

The cheetah strategically stalks its prey. It carefully maneuvers into a position to pounce and then gives chase with a burst of blinding speed made possible by its increased lung capacity. Do you methodically stalk what you want? Are you expanding your capacity so that when the time is right, you can muster the speed and the skill to give chase and capture your dreams?

Expand your capacity by improving yourself one day at a time. Identify the cheetahs in your life and learn from them. Do what is in front of you with all your might. Take on what you have rejected in the past for what you will become in the process.

You may be wondering about the black “tear” marks that run from the inside corner of the cheetah’s eyes, down the sides of its nose to the outside of its mouth. Their purpose is to keep the sun out of the cheetah’s eyes to aid in hunting. How do you keep the sun – i.e., distractions – out of your eyes so that you can stay focused on your heart’s desire? Ignore the naysayers and Brilliance Blockers. Rid yourself of all excuses that prevent you from stepping into your brilliance. Accept personal responsibility for where you are and how you think.

The cheetahs are coming – into your organization, your community, your social circle – and they are hungry, focused, and willing to step up. Will you be one of them? In fact, I believe every cheetah needs a hippo and every hippo needs a cheetah. Why? Because their thinking and actions rub off on each other.

If you’re not one already, decide today to become a cheetah and think like a hippo. Move it…Move it…Get to it!