• Tribes Team

The highest success takes discipline and a strong life partner while surrounded by temptation

Recently, I saw a beautiful lady win 2 rounds of the Indian National Finals barrel racing and at the awards ceremony after, she was poised, confident, and lacked any sense of stress. I also saw a young man win 2 rounds and ride every bull all 4 days of the rodeo. He was also poised, friendly, confident, and relaxed. I also found out at the end of the rodeo, the lady’s daughter won the Junior nationals in the same event. The young man is my daughter’s boyfriend Wyatt Nez and he also won the national championship for bull riding.

In my observations, I thought about what it takes to succeed at the highest level, under the type of pressure most people couldn’t handle, especially under the bright lights of Las Vegas and all of Indian Country watching.


To begin with, we have choices everyday such as to get up early or not, to meditate and pray or not, to eat good or bad, to think good thoughts or bad, to run and exercise, to date a good person or not, to work hard or not, and so forth. Choices that can help us achieve the biggest goals or almost make it. At the highest level such as National Finals, a top athlete can choose to either celebrate out on the town drinking and celebrating or to treat the victory as just another day. The second choice is a disciplined one that few, I mean few in any profession or sport will choose which is to celebrate in a way that supports success: to relax, rest, pray, and have a nice dinner with family.


Another choice which I observed as one of the most critical is who one makes life with and has in their corner everyday and at the end of the evening whether it be a boyfriend, wife, or partner. The young man gets full support from my daughter, his parents, myself providing a home, good food and uplifting discussion, and many others. Imagine the life of the barrel racer: she has to train, haul livestock, take care of her daughter who also is excelling, and be on top form. She has tremendous support and offers her own support of her daughter. Its important in whatever field, to achieve at the highest level, that one gets the right type of support from your significant other, your family and friends. If your partner wants to party, to go out evey night, to spend and spend, to enjoy the fruits of success, it is not sustainable. In the long run, things will start unravelling. If you have the right partner, you both share in the vision and the goal. You also need to relax and not make your partner feel like they have to win. Your partner has to be regal and know what winning and success is. The partner cannot at all show any jealousy towards your success track and towards your vision.

There are so many temptations. Especially in a place like Las Vegas and the INFR. Many come to enjoy rodeo and many come for the party and the glitz. The party won’t work if your on a success track. Winners find ways to stay humble, to rest, to meditate, to be grateful and get stronger, even in the midst of competition.



As a successful person, you have to have a soul that is fed the proper nutrients. For a Native American, the most important way to feed your soul is to know who you are, to be close to your elders and family, to practice ceremony and prayer, to help others, to be positive and kind, to give back to your community.


So work hard and follow the honorable path of your tribe. When you make it to the big show, the big race, rodeo, stage, ceremony, dance, venture, be calm and continue to keep up the momentum. Be very careful on over celebrating when there still is work to be done. Make sure you find the right partner and supporters in life who truly lift you up in the best ways possible. Blessings to you and your success!

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