People who know me understand how much I appreciate analogies.

This blog is about how cows and buffalo handle the same situation in different ways and what we can learn about struggle, sacrifice and consequence. Give me a few minutes of your time and let me explain – I promise it’ll be worth it.


For context, I first came across this concept (the paradox principle of sacrifice) through Rory Vaden and knew that it was something that I needed to share with the world. He began with explaining that Colorado is one of the few places on earth where cows and buffalo live in close proximity. Furthermore, Colorado is a flat state divided almost in half by mountains which means that storms often form over the mountains and then roll into the flat plains.

Here’s where the cows and buffalo come in.

The Cows

When the cows see a storm approaching from the mountains, they run away from the storm. While this approach appears wise on the surface, eventually the storm catches up to the herd and they continue to run. This means that the cows end up being caught in the storm for a longer period of time than if they didn’t run at all.

The Buffalo

When the buffalo see a storm approaching from the mountains, they run directly into the storm. While it might seem counterintuitive at first, this actually means that the buffalo (running right through the storm), experience the storm for a shorter period of time than the cows.

Paradox Principle of Sacrifice

The paradox principle of sacrifice sates that easy short-term choices often lead to difficult, long-term consequences and that difficult short-term choices often lead to easy, long-term consequences. It’s a principle that, based in experience, I believe to be true in most circumstances. While it might make sense in theory, implementation can be challenging.

I want to leave you with some space to think and absorb this as it relates to your life. However, just know that we all have storms and that even though running away feels comfortable now, it only prolongs the pain and the problem. Let this be a challenge to stop, to turn around and to run right into your storms as it makes sense.


I hope that the cow and buffalo comparison was valuable for you and that you feel inspired to sacrifice now so that the storm can pass sooner than later. The process of running into storms can be frightening and overwhelming – if you’d like someone to help guide you as you run, I’m here and I would love to hear from you (contact me here).

“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

Lao Tzu

Run into the storm.

Joe Rinaldi

IG: @joearinaldi

P.S. If you enjoy my content and want to support me while getting access to my exclusive email and audio newsletter, please click here. I appreciate your time, consideration and support so much!

P.P.S. If you enjoyed this blog, I’d love for you to subscribe below (one email per month).

Blog Updates

Don’t miss a blog ever again.


  1. This sounds like bull-s**t to me. Why only two choices for example why can’t you go around the storm? Or running into the storm is not the direction I want to go in. I’m glad you are not a pilot. ) Uncle Peter

    1. You might be able to go around the storm – as with all things in life, “it depends.” I’ll be sure not to take you into any of my storms. I hope your sick cat is doing well 😉

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Listen to The Project Endure Podcast