The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes
What does it take to achieve greatness?
Start reading Lewis Howe’s The School of Greatness to find out. Mobilizing your energy towards your passion and turning it into a business is not easy; you have to work each day to sustain the hunger for greatness.
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Take a look around you. Every person is entitled to be the ruler of their own destiny. But you have to work for it. It’s sad that only a few of us are relentless in their quest to live out their dreams. This dream is usually born from a defining moment in our childhood, something that sets the wheels in motion and puts us on the path towards achieving that goal. Pain, misery, and barriers tend to keep us off-track.
NEW WAY IN LIFE / THE SCHOOL OF GREATNESS
“Greatness is what remains when that talent and vision meet adversity—and persist in the face of it.”
Lewis Howes wrote The School of Greatness with the sole purpose of inspiring people to begin or renew their journey to greatness. Here’s a teaser of what you’ll learn: how sharing has a healing factor; how learning from your peers changes your perspective; and how to live in sync with your principles.
To summarize the basics of the volume in one nugget:
“The School of Greatness is not a bag of tricks and hacks. It’s not a boot camp. It’s a way of life, a way of living.”
The man who created the concept of The School of Greatness was raised in Ohio and is a former pro athlete. He suffered a career-ending injury, hit rock bottom, bounced back, and since then he’s been unstoppable. Lewis Howes’s life story is mindboggling, to say the least. His job description is this: teaching others how to make a living by pursuing their passion. With no prior business expertise, Lewis hustled his way into that world by making it big: New York Times bestselling author, global speaker, lifestyle entrepreneur, investor and adviser in startups, president and sports affiliate manager of Inspired Marketing, and many more.
More impressive is Howes’s desire to learn, which at the start of 2013 metamorphosed into The School of Greatness podcast. The stories told by teachers, mentors, coaches, and colleagues reflect a precious awareness of what it takes to reach greatness. The idea of this book was born in an exercise of sharing experiences and helping others to find the answers.
In the introduction, you’ll find out about the author’s background, and the 8 areas of focus of The School of Greatness, which are explored in detail in 8 chapters. Also, you’ll stumble across notes from the author, quotes, and the actual stories with valuable insights, helpful exercises, and coaching tips. It offers actionable resources and tools for you to put in practice the newly found information.
It encourages you to see that:
“By creating an inspiring life that works, you inspire others around you to do the same. This ripple effect is powerful.”
The writing’s dynamic comes from intertwining the experiences of the author with those he interviewed. It makes a compelling case against living idly. You’ll have no excuses whatsoever after you finish this book.
The key concepts, which coincide with the areas of focus from The School of Greatness, are these:
- “Creating a vision.” Identity is born from your vision. Pinpointing a goal, making a precise plan of action, and believing that you deserve it are all essential. Build a life of which you are proud by your own blueprint, your own vision. Ask yourself: “What do you want? Why do you want it? When do you want it to happen?”
- “Turn adversity into advantage.” Embrace adversity. When you encounter roadblocks don’t freeze and dwell on your bad luck. Instead, go on and face off whatever comes your way. Transform adversity into advantage, which will help you to carry on toward your vision. Accept hardship as part of life. The sooner you’ll make your peace with this reality, the sooner you’ll be able to deal with it when it happens. At the very least, be mentally prepared for the inevitable: getting sidetracked.
- 'Cultivate a champion’s mindset.' @LewisHowes Click To Tweet A particular mindset which makes you to seize every ounce of energy towards the peak of your mental, emotional, and physical state. Athletes frequently display the “laser focus” mentality, but anybody can tap into it. Maybe you’ll even experience a “flow state” where you focus solely on reaching your goal.
- “Develop hustle.” Those who consider themselves underdogs are the best hustlers because they have something to prove, working day and night to surpass everyone else. Despising the waiting game, the hustlers get the job done while you just hope for your dreams to come true.
- “Master your body.” Stop eating unhealthy foods. Sleep enough. Start exercising. You’ve heard these more times that you can count, but are you doing them? Taking care of your body should be your number one priority.
- “Practice positive thoughts.” Positive thinking is a habit, as is self-discipline. What separates the laid-back person from the doer is “the power of habits.”
- “Build a winning team.” You can’t conquer mountains on your own. Forge strong relationships and surround yourself with positive, driven people who support and understand your hunger for greatness. Reevaluate your connections from time to time, to determine if both your interests are still aligned.
- “Be of service to others.” Don’t wait to “make it” in order to give back. Think about setting up something that will serve long term. Or just be kind to strangers. Whatever you choose to do – don’t expect anything in return.
Also, know that:
“There is no right or wrong level of giving; the key is just that you give from a place of love instead of guilt.”
Continuing our journey to greatness, Howes lists five actionable things:
- Write down your goal. Grab some paper and a pen. What are you scared to mention to someone you hold in high esteem? It needs to be doable in a decent timeframe. You’ll have a crystal clear vision, a plan of action, and a purpose. Pick another goal when you achieve this one.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Failures, as well as achievements, are welcomed in the pages of your diary. Keeping track of your thoughts, events, and future endeavors encourages you to be accountable. Also, it’s good for soul searching at the end of the day, analyzing what went well, what didn’t, and what you can improve next time. It gives you perspective. In time, you’ll discover similarities in your actions that you can change accordingly.
- Visualize your future interactions. Before making a phone call or going to a meeting, imagine what you want to achieve and how you’d do it. Focus on positive outcomes, stating clear objectives, and do a rundown of the actions which will help you in the future. Maybe you’re used success due to nothing except your natural talent. Spoiler alert: it will be harder and harder as the time passes, and without a safety net it’ll be difficult to maintain the same results.
- 'Say 3 things of which you are grateful for ' @LewisHowes Click To Tweet at the end of each day, to the person who happens to be there. By slipping into conversation these little tokens of appreciation, you’ll acknowledge that something good took place today. It’s a push for going forward. Even on the darkest days some dim rays of sunshine will reach you, offering a glimmer of hope and a promise of tomorrow – when you’ll pick yourself up.
- Include a new habit in your morning routine that will support your grand journey. Having a routine doesn’t diminish spontaneity for your a-ha moments. A routine only gives you time to contemplate on other things, while you go through your established morning motions. It will get you into gear for the rest of your working hours. Here are some ideas for new habits: making your bed, doing a 10-minute training session, drinking a glass of water, or meditating.
Furthermore, here are some theories from The School of Greatness, which you can start applying immediately:
- Breathing. Highly underrated as it’s a crucial process for our survival. Has your mind ever gone blank in the moments before an important meeting? The sheer panic and stress you felt can’t be described, although the image of thousands of bees swarming towards you comes pretty close. A few gulps of oxygen can help you relax. It’s a 15-Second Centering Breath Process, which starts with counting from one to five, gradually inhaling through your nose. Hold your breath for two seconds. Then steadily exhale through your mouth, from eight to one. Try it for 60 seconds before any anxiety-inducing event, or even before bed. While you concentrate on your breathing everything else disappears, including fear, stress, and other negative emotions.
- Personal Principles Declaration. Most of the times the cosmos is out to get us, to interfere with our best-laid plans and muck it all up. That’s an accurate definition of life. So, to keep your head in the game and not go down the rabbit hole, an anchor is necessary. A declaration of five principles which you’ll abide by, no matter how badly life decides to ruffle your feathers. Stand by your Personal Principles Declaration during hard times. Don’t fall into the temptation of blaming the stars and all that’s holy for your failings.
To sum up The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes: it will rock your world. The stream of experiences of those who excel at greatness, each day, every day, is eye-opening; they are human beings just like you. They fell down and then picked themselves up again.
Greatness is endurance, learning, and never giving up. That’s my take on this extraordinary yet, at times, heartbreaking volume. It made me wonder how some people never find out how tough and driven they really are.
Keep in mind that:
“It’s our past that makes us who we are and our adversity has the potential to become our greatest advantage.”
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