Do you have GUTS?

Everyone else seemed on top of their game. I couldn’t figure anything out.

Every other person knew what to do. I didn’t.

You know the feeling, that sensation that you are living a life that you shouldn’t be and you simultaneously don’t want to get found out but are too stuck to do anything else… yes, that exact horrible feeling.

I had a “great” job working with people who liked and supported me. I was failing. Sure, the business results were good, but inside I knew I wasn’t living up to what I needed to do. Not because of what I was doing, but because of what I wasn’t.

Something needed to change.

That needed change came from reading, pondering and then taking action.

Some people know how to move you to take action. Tony Robbins is one. Sam Brackenis another. I was first drawn in by his amazing life story turned must-have manual called “My Orange Duffel Bag” I still remember reading the book and thinking to myself:

“This is one of the most incredible stories I have ever read! Is he for real?”

So I reached out to him, he responded – so yes he is for real –  and he has been a mentor to me ever since.

Sam was sexually abused, beaten, drugged and homeless as youth.

Then he overcame those odds to start for the Georgia Tech Football team and become a successful executive, leader, coach, and speaker.

Just surviving is incredible. Thriving is inspiring. Sam now teaches others and helps everyone he can.

So what did he teach me? Tons. Most was not found in his book though

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Well, his 3rd book is coming out and it is better than the first 2. It is actionable, memorable and inspiring. You know a book is great when the entire time you are reading you want get out there and take action but can’t because you want to finish the book. That is this book.

Sam Bracken’s GUTS is filled with compelling real-life stories that are supplemented with tremendous research.

Some of the key takeaways are:


Your GUT already knows what you should be doing. You should “listen”.


Sam explains why you aren’t listening to your GUT and what to do about it. The main reason is because of fear. It requires courage to do what you know you should, it is easier to just not doing anything.

 “ They’d rather play games, text, surf, watch TV, party, even work—anything to silence that inner voice that challenges them to be what they were meant to be and do what they were meant to do.” – Sam Bracken

Your Life is Hard Because Your:

  • Mindset is Stuck
  • You Feel Overwhelmed
  • You Are Not Efficient
  • You Accept Loneliness
  • Fear Stops You

Main Solution

The ultimate solution to overcome fear and gain courage is LOVE. Sounds strange. It is not.

Why is love the great secret? –

  • Love sees the good in the world and in people.
  • The more you love, the greater your propensity to love.
  • Love breaks down barriers.
  • Love opens hearts and minds.
  • Love increases hope and belief in the future
  • Love sacrifices for others.

“Love is a gut instinct” – Sam Bracken

Following Our Gut is Difficult

Reasons we don’t change and follow our GUT:

  • Over Thinking
  • Lack of Purpose
  • Lack of Love
  • Lack of Change Process (Sam provides very good one in the book)

“GUT reactions and intuition . . . are neurologically based behaviors that evolved to ensure that we humans are able to respond in a split second when our survival is at stake.“ –Dr. Gerd Gigerenzer, Max Planck Institute

How to Know What you GUT is telling You?

You Must:

  1. Study First
  2. Ponder
  3. Listen

How to Follow Your Gut

Once you know what your GUT is telling you it is important to live with less baggage, learn the lesson and move on.

Then work hard to pay the price. Greatness is not easy.

Find joy in the hard things. Most physical fatigue can be overcome through mental strength.

Pushing past failure leads to success. All success is on the other side of failure.

In my life I have found that GUTS are needed in many situations:

GUTS are what you need when your boss tells you aren’t good enough.

GUTS are what you need when you know what you should be doing but can’t find an easy way to do it.

GUTS are what you need when the customer you have given everything to still doesn’t realize the value you bring to the table.

GUTS are what you need when your friends say you change careers too much.

GUTS are what you need when your boss asks you do something that has never been done before.

GUTS are what you need as you struggle and push every day to adapt to an environment that is new and unforgiving.

GUTS are what you need when senior decision makers decide that we could probably “do this in-house”, when everyone knows they can’t, and you still want them to succeed.

GUTS are what you need as your face your fears and dig deep to find your inner confidence.


What is that One Thing? It is GUTS. Your ability to listen and take action to your GUT(S) is what leads you to where you were meant to be.

One of the hardest decisions I had to make was when I was presented with an opportunity to work my mentor.

My GUT said no.

The same things my mentor taught me actually caused me to not take a very specific opportunity with him. That was hard. But by listening to my GUT, I know I am now where I am supposed to be.

Sam’s book GUTS It is a must read for anyone who wants to be little better today, even better tomorrow and a lot better the day after.

Sam Bracken’s new book helped me and I know it can help you find, listen, and follow your GUT.

Your Turn: How have you learned to listen to your GUT? What experiences can you share that might help others?