The School of Greatness: A Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy – Lewis Howes

Here are 3 other points to the book:

How do you live bigger, love deeper and leave a legacy? In his book, Lewis Howes, entrepreneur, former professional Arena League football player, and host of The School of Greatness podcast where he interviews influencers, experts, and game changing people, shares his wisdom that he’s learned from the numerous people who he’s interviewed. Through what he’s gathered, it boils down to 8 things: creating a vision, turning adversity into advantage, cultivating a champion mindset, developing hustle, mastering your body, practicing positive habits, building a winning team, and living a life of service. Here are some of the points to the book:


1. Time and time again do I read/hear from influential people that having a clear vision is important to your success. Without a clear vision, getting to a destination is difficult. If you don’t know what you want, and you’re not crystal clear about it, it’ll take you significantly longer to become successful.If you want to be great at anything, you’ve got to have a clear vision of exactly what you want, why you want it, and when you want it to happen. All greats do this, including the greats you will hear much more from over the course of the rest of this book. It was an essential component to Shawn Johnson climbing the medal stand in Beijing, Kyle Maynard climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Rich Roll going from overweight lawyer to world-class ultramarathoner, Scooter Braun building one of the most successful music management firms in the industry, and my brother climbing the ranks of the world’s great jazz musicians, to name a few. Now, having a vision isn’t all you need to be great, happy, or successful, but it’s absolutely true that you can’t be those things without one.He later states, We focused first on creating a vision because it’s the most important step to getting anywhere and achieving anything you want in any area of life. But we also have to be clear about what a vision is. A vision is not just a dream. A powerful vision emerges when we couple our dreams with a set of clear goals. Without both, we are apt to wander in a clueless and purposeless fog, because a dream without goals is just a fantasy. And fantasies are the bad kind of visions—the hallucinogenic kind, not the real kind.


2. In order to succeed, get comfortable with the uncomfortable. On your way to becoming successful learning new things or skills will feel uncomfortable at first, however, that’s always the case. In the book The Secrets of The Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker, he states that your comfort zone is basically your wealth zone. The more you expand your comfort zone, the more you’ll expand your wealth zone. “Getting started is always the hardest part of doing anything new. You have to overcome all those fears and anxieties of saying the wrong thing or looking foolish. There can be a lot of shame involved, and shame has stopped more than a few people from doing important things—things they loved. Nicole recognized this and decided to jump in with both feet. She took a job on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. ‘When you start to speak that language, you feel you’re speaking Chinese in your own country,’ she confessed. ‘That’s what happened to me when I started on the floor of the exchange. I had to learn the language really quickly. When I realized that it was just learning a language and that if I learned it I could join the conversation, I felt so empowered.’ I knew exactly what she meant, because I experienced that exact feeling when I was learning how to salsa dance back in 2006. I was living above a jazz club that offered salsa dancing once a week, and I went down there committed to becoming the best tall, goofy, white-guy salsa dancer that I could be. I was petrified, but for 3 months, I trained and studied and had group classes, and I took private lessons, and I watched YouTube videos, and I practiced in front of my mirror by myself like I was dancing with a girl. If you think it’s weird when I talk about it, imagine how weird I felt doing it! But I remember the moment when I finally understood the language of salsa dancing, and believe me when I tell you that when I started, it seemed like a completely foreign language. Nicole nailed it; it was absolutely like speaking Chinese. When it clicked and salsa started to make sense, as though I could speak the language fluently, I felt like I could run up the side of a building. I could do anything I set my mind to no matter what obstacles—physical or mental, internal or external—stood in front of me.


3. Turn your negative experiences into motivators/drivers of your greatness. Think of these as small setbacks for a great comeback. Don’t just dwell on the past but rather, reflect on them so you can avoid the same pain in the future. I didn’t realize it then, but it all became clear when I spoke to Ryan Holiday, my friend and author of the book The Obstacle Is the Way. Ryan is a best-selling author, the former head of marketing for American Apparel, and the founder of a marketing and strategy firm that allows him to live the life he wants to live. Ryan has faced his own fair share of adversity. He dropped out of college at 19 years old; was virtually disowned by his parents; went to work for a string of high-profile, very difficult, and controversial clients; and spent the better part of the next decade working his butt off to get where he is today. ‘It is a timeless truth of history and philosophy,’ he told me, ‘that the hardships we face in life can be seen as terrible tragedies or opportunities.’ The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, one of Ryan’s great influences, was fond of reminding himself that ‘the impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.’ In fact, you can trace this foundational element of Stoic thought through many of the most revered individuals who ever lived. As young men, both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington read the Stoics—thinkers and leaders like Cato the Younger, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius—and it helped them with the adversity they faced during the creation of America. The explorer and writer Robert Louis Stevenson was a longtime admirer of Marcus Aurelius and Stoic thought. So were painters like Eugène Delacroix, writers and thinkers like Adam Smith, and statesmen like Bill Clinton. Tim Ferriss, the investor and entrepreneur and my personal friend, is also a public proponent of this line of ancient philosophy that has relevance for our modern lives. All these folks faced adversity on their paths to success. Sometimes it was big; sometimes it was quite small. As Ryan writes, there is ‘one thing that all great men and women have in common. Like oxygen to a fire, obstacles became fuel for that which was their ambition. Nothing could stop them, they were (and continue to be) impossible to discourage or contain. Every impediment served to make the inferno within them burn with greater ferocity.'”


4. Never stop pursing greatness. You may need to slow down but don’t stop. To become successful/great at anything, it takes a lot of hours (10,000 according to Malcolm Gladwell). Everyone faces challenges, however, the ones who overcome them are the ones who become great.If there is one thing you take from the School of Greatness about pursuing your vision and achieving your dreams, it should be this: You can go as slow as you need to go, but you cannot stop. You can never give up or drop out of giving your best in your life. Angel unwittingly taught his own son Julian, a cross-country runner at Claremont McKenna College, this lesson. ‘He had always heard me talk about all this,’ Angel said of Julian. ‘Then I went to watch him at one meet, and he was about halfway through the 5 miles when he felt a really sharp pain in his shin area. He started slowing down, and I could see something was wrong. I went out there and said, ‘Julian, what’s the matter?’ He was grimacing but he ignored me, and he finished the race.’ It turns out, Julian had broken his leg at the 2.5-mile mark. Two hours after the finish, he was in a cast. When Angel asked him why he didn’t stop, Julian’s answer was simple and obvious: ‘I don’t drop out, Dad.’ Make no mistake, true greats never drop out.


5. If you want something in life, you need to be proactive and go after it. You can’t expect for things to come your way. Just as the self-made billionaire has said, “The safest way to try to get what you want is to try to deserve what you want.” Become more deserving of what it is that you want by going out and hustle for whatever it is that you desire.Chris was tapping into something that I think 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps described best when he talked about his swim training with Piers Morgan on CNN: ‘If you want to be the best, you have to do things that other people aren’t willing to do.’ I watched with amazement as Chris pulled out all the stops, persuading customers to invest in his recordings and his future. It was about survival for him, about providing for his young family by doing work that he was fortunate enough to be exceptionally passionate about. He was willing to do whatever it took: ‘You have to chase opportunity whether you are an entrepreneur or an artist—especially for me, because I had to make up for so much lost time.’ The irony is, we’re all making up for lost time. That is the essence of hustle in the pursuit of greatness—doing whatever it takes and chasing opportunity with great urgency, like your life depends on it. Because it does. Greatness is really the survival of your vision across an extended timeline, based on your willingness to do whatever it takes in the face of adversity and to adopt the mindset to seize opportunity wherever it lives. After all, greatness is not something that comes to you; you go to it, and it’s always moving. You slow down, and it moves farther away. You stop, and it disappears over the horizon. Since those days in tiny jazz clubs and no-name festivals, Chris has toured the world, been on the cover of magazines, played Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and collaborated with greats like Les Paul, Greg Osby, D. D. Jackson, and Spyro Gyra. His list of collaborators and clients is literally as long as my arm. He was a professor at the prestigious Berklee College of Music and set up a highly successful jazz violin camp where professional violinists from all over the world come to learn from him. All of that should have surprised me, but it never did, because he understood the importance of hustle in the pursuit of greatness.


By Ryan Timothy Lee


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My rating:
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Check out the book here:
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  1. shaunwebb

    This was one of the first books I read in 2016. I had no idea the art of being uncomfortable to get what you need is necessary for success.

    I’ll have to re-read this to get some more points across and take notes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shaun, to become successful you need to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.


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