From the outside looking in, Dr Michael Buffington looked like he a man that was living the perfect life. That is, until he discovered how much he was still lacking because he was not leading from within the home. Dr Buffington joins Coach Sam on this week’s podcast to discuss the significance that no matter where we’re at in life, we can always improve, and the most crucial place to focus that in is as a father and at home.

Parable #1: A Crack In the Armor

  • Dr. Buffington: From all outward standards and appearances, I had always been a good guy doing good things throughout my life, falling into the mode of doing what I thought everyone wanted me to do. Within the first 5-10 minutes of Warrior Week 27, reality began to shift for me where the cracks in my armor were immediately exposed and a drastically different perspective was quick to end up on my doorstep.
  • Coach Sam: If most of your life you are caught up with being a good man vs being good at being a good man, you are pretty much a well behaved fucking slave – not feeling immediate pain but experiencing boredom, lack of clarity, and not understanding the meaning of the Purpose of life.

What and who are the cracks in your armor exposing?

Parable #2: A Powerful Man Out of Fucking Power

  • Coach Sam: You had been living the Warrior’s Way for a year and had experienced growth in all areas of your life. Your son went to Warrior X10 where he had his own experiences. Deep down inside though, there were still issues in your life that were robbing power from you on a daily basis; there were unanswered questions from your experience with WW 27 that led you to come back and knock at the door of WW 39.
  • Dr. Buffington: My son, Drake, had gotten into a situation where he was struggling with addiction. Although I served my patients well at work all day, when I came home I couldn’t show up for my two other boys or for my wife, nor could I physically hold a conversation on the telephone with therapists and others because I was so wound up and distraught with what was going on with Drake. I just couldn’t function.

What does taking ownership of leading your sons and daughters look like vs delegating that responsibility to others?

Parable #3: Put Your Oxygen Mask On First

  • Coach Sam: Life and adversity show up at your fucking door and take your son into a dark place. Nothing you are doing to help him is working and you eventually find yourself  in a place of deep, paralyzing pain and darkness. What was the pivoting point for you where you actually found the light inside of this fucking dark room?
  • Dr. Buffington: It was a process. To help keep my sanity, I just continued doing the work and following the daily disciplines. If I didn’t personally get myself in a position of power, my son had absolutely no shot. The pivoting part for me was when I saw the fear that it was going to cost him his life. I came to the realization that while everybody was doing their best to help, it had to start with me. Once I recognized that, I went to work and the whole conversation in our entire family began to shift.

What does putting your oxygen mask on first look like?

Parable #4: Reframing the Story Changes Everything

  • Dr. Buffington: The truth today at this moment: Drake is doing as well now as he has ever done in his life. He’s working at his job, he’s been sober for the longest period of time ever since he was 14, he’s getting healthier and he’s doing the work. Our conversations are now founded in the verbiage and doctrine of Warrior, and doing the work together has totally changed our relationship.
  • Dr. Buffington: Drake created a story around him questioning his path while halfway through his doctorate. “I’m 24, I don’t have shit, I have nothing to show for my time, I am $160k in student loan debt, I’m just a fuck up.” I would have piled on that in the past. Instead, I reframed his story: “You’re 24 years old, you have invested $160k in your two bachelors degrees, and you’re healthier today than you’ve ever been!”

Where in your life or relationships would a simple reframing of your story shift and change everything?

Parable #5: Be the Man

  • Dr. Buffington: On the first night of WW 39, the Pit came alive and I felt the heaviness of the guilt and shame from an incident that had taken place 30 years ago, physically feeling the weight on my back as if an elephant were standing on it. Through a very long night, I found the path to release the pain. In the mountains the next day, the message I felt at a deep spiritual level was: I am enough.  I am enough to show up to be the man that can find a way.
  • Coach Sam: You have all the answers and you’ve gone to fucking war to get the answers. You are sitting here today with the power of clarity, purpose and  truth. You’re sitting here with all of this shit in your hands, and from this place you have become the Transformer, the Healer – the person who actually takes the truth and shares it.

Are you willing to go through the night to find power, clarity, purpose and truth?


Parable from the Pit:

“This is a painful show. It’s all about the truth. There is no pretending in the truth. Among what you are hearing inside of this conversation, there is painful truth that resonates. What is your child struggling with? How much do you know about your child’s pain? What do you see in your child? Forget the typical checklists, are you aware of the struggles of your child? If you are out of power and stuck in your own gdamn fucking struggles, the answer is fucking no. You are not some hero because you have gone through the checklist of being a dad. You are a great dad if you feel your child’s pain. Allow yourself to live inside their pain.”

— Coach Sam Falsafi


“Here we are. The game is on. I can see the possibility of me as an older man with grandkids on my knee, and if they are boys, my sons will be leading them to pass this along to where they won’t have to go into the depth of the Pit that I had to go.”

–Dr. Michael Buffington




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