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TMHS 516: Why Health Is The Foundation Of Greatness – With Lewis Howes
“Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.” – Lou Holtz
It’s in our nature to avoid discomfort and adversity, but hardships are an unavoidable fact of life. But the good news is, if we allow it, our challenges can also hold some of our most powerful lessons and opportunities. In fact, in order to grow, we require some level of challenge.
Today’s guest, Lewis Howes, is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, and dynamic podcast host. On this episode of The Model Health Show, he’s sharing powerful insights on how to find opportunities during hardships. He’s also sharing tips on healing, creating boundaries, and how to unleash your power by pursuing your dreams.
You’re going to hear powerful lessons on health, happiness, relationships, and growth. Lewis is sharing the four things you can work toward every day, even in the most chaotic of circumstances. You’ll learn about how to show up more authentically, and so much more. I truly hope you enjoy this episode with the one and only, Lewis Howes!
In this episode you’ll discover:
- The four things you should track every day.
- Why creating boundaries and setting new standards helped Lewis heal.
- An exercise for connecting with and healing your inner child.
- How to attract abundance.
- Why so many people are abandoning themselves.
- The importance of being happy, healthy, and whole.
- What we can learn from being alone.
- How to strengthen through stress.
- The importance of finding mentors with a model you can mimic.
- Why focusing on your health can allow you to listen to your heart.
- How mental stress can manifest physically.
- What it means to find a healthy balance with being competitive.
- How healing from your past can allow you to show up in a more authentic way.
- The power of pursuing your dreams and expanding your life.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
- Organifi.com/Model — Use the coupon code MODEL for 20% off!
- PiqueTea.com/model — Use code MODEL at checkout for 10% off!
- The School of Greatness Podcast
- The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes
- The Mask of Masculinity by Lewis Howes
- The Muscle-Brain Connection – Episode 331
- The Mind vs. The Brain with Dr. Caroline Leaf – Episode 463
- Defeat Stress & Master Your Mindset with Prince Ea – Episode 90
- How to Upgrade Your Brain & Burn Body Fat – Shawn on The School of Greatness
- Connect with Lewis Howes Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!
SHAWN STEVENSON: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning into me today. On this episode, we're going to be talking about opportunity, we're going to be talking about possibility. Right now, a lot of people are feeling like they're being pushed in a direction that they might not have signed up for. It might be experiencing changes with their job or with their children's education, or just the landscape of health in our world today, a lot of things are in flux. A lot of things seem to be in a lot of chaos. But the truth is, within every single challenge that we're faced with, every obstacle, there's also opportunity; it might be a new way of being, it might be new character traits, it might be new strengths. So today we're going to focus our attention on solutions, on opportunities, on a shift in our thinking from this kind of stagnant problem mindset of focus on the problem to a growth mindset, to a focus on possibility and solution.
And I brought on somebody who knows a thing or a thousand about that subject matter for you, to again, evoke within you a remembrance of how powerful you are to effect change in your own life and your family's lives, and the lives of our communities, but it starts with you first and foremost. Now, here at The Model Health Show, of course, we focus on the things that matter most. If we're talking about health, if we're talking about immune system function, if we're talking about biology, biochemistry, you've got to look at the foundational pieces. What actually makes up all these systems, what are our bodies made of what are our cells made of, what are our immune cells made of? Our immune cells, like every other cell in our bodies, our heart cells, our brain cells, our muscle cells, they're all made from food.
Our nutrition is of the utmost importance right now. It's definitely not getting a lot of attention. That's why we got to take it upon ourselves to make sure that we're fortifying our nutrition and providing the building blocks for our immune system more than ever before. Just our body overall, our health is so important. And so, a big part of that is making things simple and easy. For many years, I was over there, I was checking out Jack LaLanne, alright, legendary Jack LaLanne. He was on TV teaching fitness when there was only like two stations. When the television was in black and white, Jack LaLanne was on there doing his thing, and part of his longevity was juicing. And I looked at people that actually have that longevity, that have that vitality. For his 70th birthday as the legend has it, and there's actually some documentation, if you want to go to Dr. Google then check it out. Or another search engine, by the way, that might show you better stuff, DuckDuckGo. Shout out to DuckDuckGo.
But my guy swam from Alcatraz, he pulled like 70 row boats to celebrate his 70th birthday. Crazy stuff. So, he's about that juice life. Now, juice life is fantastic, but it's not always easily accessible, and that cleanup, I mean, come on. If I had somebody that would just clean the juicer for me, that was just their standby thing to do, I'd definitely be all for it a lot more. But besides that, if we're going to take these powerful concentrates of nutrients that we might find in juicing, and what if we upgrade them? But not just that, actually do it in a way that we're cold temperature processing to retain the nutrition in those foods, in those superfoods, then I think we've got something really special. So, for me, taking it up a notch from a green juice, for example, what are the superfoods that are concentrated with chlorophyll, with rare nutrients like phycocyanin, it's like a blue-greenish color.
You know, back billions of years ago when the earth itself had a different hue to it, so these ancient, ancient nutrients that, funny enough, phycocyanin has been found to stimulate something called stem cell genesis in the human body, which is the creation of new stem cells. What do stem cells become? Anything the body needs. Need some meniscus? You need some new neurons? Stem cells are the seed of these new cells getting made. So, pretty cool stuff. Where do you find compounds like this in high concentration? Spirulina. But, making sure that it's organic. Chlorella, it gets its name from the fact that it's so dense in chlorophyll. It also has other rare nutrients like Chlorella Growth Factor, for example. It's been found to be an excellent chelator of heavy metals. So, the list goes on and on. Moringa, ashwagandha, all of these are concentrated together, an easy source that I always travel... When I travel, I'm bringing along my packets of Organifi, their Green Juice formula and their Red Juice formula are absolutely in a league of their own.
Again, cold temperature processed organic, thus the name Organifi, and easy to use and it tastes great as well. Head over to organifi.com/model, that's O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I.com/model. You get 20% off their incredible Green Juice formula, alright? This is a true super food concentrate to fortify our immune system in our bodies right now, more than ever. Hop over there, check 'em out, organifi.com/model. Now, let's get to the Apple Podcasts review of the week.
iTunes Review: Another five-star review titled, Phenomenal Information by “Stratalight”. “The world would be a better place if everyone tuned into this podcast. The content is always unbiased and practical. The host deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for researching the science and reporting the truth.”
SHAWN STEVENSON: That's an incredible compliment. Thank you so much for sharing that review over on Apple Podcasts. I appreciate it immensely. And listen, if you have yet to do so, please pop over to Apple Podcasts and leave a review for The Model Health Show. Alright? And on that note, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day. Our guest today is New York Times and best-selling author, Lewis Howes. Former professional athlete whose world was turned upside down, was forced to find another way to achieve his success and happiness. And through his own adventures in his own journey, he's uncovered some of the most powerful insights, enough to create one of the most remarkable platforms for demonstrating and teaching greatness at all levels, whether it's from the domain of athletics, the domain of business, the domain of relationships, he highlights some of the greatest minds in the world and brings it all together in one place for us all to gain access.
His show, the School of Greatness, is one of the most popular podcasts in the entire world, and also, his New York Times best-selling book by the same name, The School of Greatness, his most recent book, The Mask of Masculinity, are all great additions to your library. So let's jump into this incredible conversation with the amazing Lewis Howes.
Well, I was thinking about who could I talk to, to bring for people that knows a thing or 20 about overcoming obstacles, about dealing with life's curve balls, and when you think your life is going one direction and then you're forced to go in a different direction. And you, man, you're that guy, you've been that guy for me as well, always helping to shift perspective every time I talk to you.
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah, for sure.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And so, a lot of people right now are dealing with unforeseen changes in their lives, they're getting forced out of their jobs, their businesses have closed, they're just faced with a lot of challenge. So, what could we do, man? I want to talk about solutions for people, and I really believe that it starts with their perspective and their mindset about it.
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah. They got to be tracking things better, and I try to track four different things in my life on a daily basis. Even when things are in chaos or when things are in transition or when I feel stuck if I'm tracking and consistently doing these four things, I'm at least moving forward in a positive, powerful way. And the first one is tracking and measuring my health, and am I doing something on a daily basis to move my body to eat something that's going to help my health? Just the fact of me knowing I'm doing something and then I did something at the end of the night that's supporting my health, makes me feel more confident and peaceful under stressful times or under chaos or under transition or adversity.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Before you go on, I got to say this. So, you're telling me focusing on your health is going to help you to make better decisions and to be empowered.
LEWIS HOWES: Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely.
SHAWN STEVENSON: I know it's The Model Health Show, but I didn't know you would lead with that, man. That's awesome.
LEWIS HOWES: Absolutely, yeah. Taking steps actively and tracking it, really reflecting at the end of the day, did I do something for my health today? And if you can go to sleep knowing you did something for your health, you're going to be more at peace just knowing, 'cause over time, the small steps will lead to bigger results.
The second thing would be, are you doing something for your heart? Are you doing something for the relationships in your life? Am I connecting with a family member? Am I reaching out to a friend? Am I having a meaningful conversation with my loved ones or someone in my life that's meaningful to me? Am I increasing the quality of my heart through relationships, conversations, interactions, at least one interaction a day that is meaningful to your health and your heart? And can you track it? At the end of the day, can you say on a scale of one to 10, did I do this? Did I do this at the best of my ability? Yes, or no? And really track this consistently. If you do this every day, those two things.
The third thing will be, "Am I doing something for my mind?" Am I doing something to learn? From all the great people that I've interviewed, you as well, they're constantly reading or learning or consuming something to improve the quality of their mindset. So, when you're doing something for your mindset as well on a daily basis and you're tracking this, you feel more peaceful, more confident, more believing in yourself that you can take on the challenges of life.
And then the fourth thing would be, "Am I doing something for my dreams?" I think a lot of people don't take action on their dreams, they keep thinking about their dream when they say, "Well, next month I'm going to do this. Next year, I'm going to do this." They tell people about it, but they don't act on it. Even 10 minutes a day. So, am I doing something for my dream? And can you at the end of the night, reflect back and track and say, "Did I take the action, 10 minutes of writing one page in my book today?" I don't care, you don't have to write chapters, but did I spend 10 minutes today? Did I spend an hour? Whatever it is, on a scale of one to 10, how effective was I on taking action towards a dream in my life? When we feel stuck, when we feel like there's adversity or going through a breakup or a breakdown, if you can continue to do those four things on a daily basis, you're at least moving forward in a positive way.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Alright, I love that. I love those four. They're four very specific actionable things. I want to dig into these a little bit more, because I think that a lot of us, especially people who are entrepreneurial spirits, or people who just are hard charging, they've had their life set in a certain way to get things done and execute, when challenges like this take place, we tend to take a lot of the burden on ourselves and start having like a Olympic-style ping pong match in our head of just going back and forth. So, our relationships, we're not alone, and we have to, I think, and I've had to work on this myself to communicate, to reach out. But this comes with a caveat, and this is what I want you to talk about, because the matters of the heart, so making sure that your heart is fortified for the challenges ahead.
LEWIS HOWES: Yes.
SHAWN STEVENSON: We have to have some boundaries and standards with the people that we're allowing in.
LEWIS HOWES: I have a photo on my phone that is... I don't know if I showed you this, but a photo in my phone of my... Not my son, I don't have any kids, but this is myself when I was like five or six. I don't know if the camera can see this, but it's a photo of me...
SHAWN STEVENSON: It just went off.
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah, it's a photo of me when I was probably five or six years old. And at the beginning of this year, so I don't know, eight, nine months ago, I started a new therapy experience, and I realized that for my entire life, I had been too much of a people pleaser, too much of a giver, without creating boundaries for myself. Even when someone would do things that would hurt me, I would keep giving and giving and giving, specifically in intimate relationships, not necessarily in business relationships and friendships, but more specifically in intimacy, people that I was in a relationship with.
And I started doing this therapy where she said, "Lewis, I want you to put this photo of... Find a photo of yourself when you were a child, put it on your phone, and I want you to look at this photo throughout the day and ask yourself, "What does this child need when someone is doing something that feels that's not good to your heart? When they feel like they're taking a little bit, when they're saying something that you don't feel like you believe in this you... When you feel taken advantage of, when you feel like you're under attack or you feel like you're in that abused state, I want you to look at the photo of your child and have a conversation of yourself when you were a child and have a conversation and really reflect and figure out what did you need then? Do that for yourself now. Stand up for yourself now to give your five, six, eight, 10-year-old self what he needed then and start to heal that process."
And it's been an incredibly powerful exercise for this entire year, the last nine months to do this because now I can create boundaries and set a new standard for myself for what that child needed, and I can continue to integrate the healing process with my inner child, the child that didn't get what he needed at those years. And creating those boundaries and allowing myself to heal has created so much inner peace, it's like there was a pain in my chest at different times that just went in one, a ball, literally in a moment, I felt this pain go into a little ball and then just disintegrate, and I was like, "There's no more pain." Once I started to integrate this and realize the concept in my mind and then feel it in my body and just decide that I'm not going to allow people to do that in intimate relationships, that I'm okay on my own, if that's the price, that I'll find someone that's healthy and more conscious, that I can set a standard for myself and not keep abandoning my inner child. When I started to do that, it felt like everything started to come my way effortlessly, unexpectedly, because I created a new boundary for myself.
So, I think not abandoning yourself is one of the most powerful things you can do, it's one of the ways that you can attract abundance in your life, abundance of health, abundance of love, abundance of wealth by having the energy to not feel stress and pain internally, consistently; it's extremely powerful. And it's a practice that took me a long time to realize how to do, but now that I'm doing it, it feels amazing.
SHAWN STEVENSON: That's so great, man.
LEWIS HOWES: But I feel like a lot of people abandon themselves, they don't know what boundaries they need to set for themselves, because they get confused around love, around what a friendship should be, or what a family member should be, and they feel guilty or shamed if they're not doing something that someone else expects. But the first thing we need to realize is how to take care of our own self-love, and that starts with boundaries for what you need to be healthy, happy and whole. If you're not healthy, happy and whole, how could you give fully to someone else from a depleted place? So, it's really, it's a lot of self-work for ourselves in order to get there.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. We have all these emotions, and I know you've talked with Dr. Susan David as well. And we have such an array of emotions and they're amazing, we have this spectrum of human emotion, and rather than classifying them as good or bad, they're each giving us different data subsets, they're giving us feedback about our needs. And so, we have an emotion or a feeling tone tied to shame for a reason, it could be valuable data. However, we have to understand, and I want you to talk about this, that if somebody is intentionally invoking shame or using that as a leverage to try to get you to do something, creating some boundaries with that, for example, having standards where you don't allow energy like that, especially when you're trying to be successful.
LEWIS HOWES: Right. Yeah, I think it's hard to do it because we want to belong, we want to fit in, we want to be friends with people, so we don't want to lose the friendship or the family member that we care about and that cares about us, we don't want to lose that bond and feel alone. For years, I practiced being alone so that I could feel okay on my own, because it's scary if you don't know the feeling of going out to dinner by yourself, you don't know what it feels like to go to a movie alone, if you don't know what it feels like to go on a walk by yourself, to go to a park by yourself, to go on a bike ride alone, it's scary if you don't know how to live alone in your own thoughts, in your own world. And that's why in my 20s, I said, I'm going to do this 'cause I always needed to be around people, and then I was pleasing others and doing things I didn't want to do.
So, I learned in friendships and with family in my 20s how to not be a people pleaser, but I still didn't know how to do it in an intimate relationship, because love was like another level of like, I just want to keep feeling this. And then I realized I didn't fully love myself, and so I think a lot of people don't fully love themselves because they're willing to lower their standards of what is acceptable for people to treat them.
And you're going to get exactly, and you deserve exactly the way you allow others to treat you. So, if you don't want to be treated a certain way, you got to start treating yourself a different way, and start setting a new standard. So that's... It's all scary stuff that I feel like we need to learn how to practice by doing it, by putting ourselves in those uncomfortable situations. That's what's worked for me, is constantly putting myself in an uncomfortable situation.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Wow, that is some really, really good advice. I don't want to miss this, because I think that, especially with all that's going on in the world, there are certain folks who are really rising to the occasion; they feel like their lives have built them for this. And in a sense, life has kind of qualified them for the challenge in a sense.
LEWIS HOWES: Right.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And this is where we can realize that this is taking place where we can proactively give ourselves these stressors, put ourselves in these uncomfortable situations, grow that resilience.
LEWIS HOWES: Yes.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And we know people who are the world leaders in these things, whether it's like Wim Hof and getting yourself uncomfortable with that very visceral thing, or a workout, or just putting yourself like you just gave an example of, like being alone with yourself.
LEWIS HOWES: Yes.
SHAWN STEVENSON: For some people, that is the scariest thing in the universe, but leaning into those things to make us more resilient.
LEWIS HOWES: I just think it makes you a better human. Living in fear... Like you said, I feel like I was built for the last year and a half, because I went through so much adversity 10, 11, 12 years ago in 2007 and 2009 during the last recession, going through a transition of playing arena football, losing my dream by getting injured, and then not having money for a year and a half, living on my sister's couch. I felt like that was a miserable place to be in, but it developed me, it created character, it gave me strength to overcome adversity in the future. So, I remember saying, "This will happen sometime again in the future. I don't know if it's going to be in two years or 10 years or 30 years, but something like this in America or in the world's going to happen again, and I'm going to be prepared. So how do I need to train my mind, train my body to be prepared for adversity?"
I think a lot of people just play it so safe, they're not trained and prepared for adversity. So, we got to put ourselves in very uncomfortable situations so that when this happens again, or continues to happen, this period of time, it doesn't break us. 'Cause I think mentally and physically, people... A lot of people are broken 'cause they weren't prepared. They played it too safe in life, they didn't train their mind, they didn't train their body, their relationships weren't strong enough, and therefore they are... Their body, their mind is suppressed from how strong it could be.
So, we've got to strengthen it by stressing it, actively putting yourself through safe pain, controlled pain on a daily basis. This is why working out, like you talk about and you doing consistently, is a safe container to create stress in the body to allow you to grow and be stronger against the pains of the world. This is why having difficult conversations with loved ones is a safe, controlled way of building strength and character in relationships, where you don't lie, where you're not out of integrity, and when you're not letting someone take advantage of you and cross your boundaries, 'cause you're consistently having the challenging conversations.
I was talking with someone yesterday who was mentioning about relationships. I can't remember if it was Jay Shetty or Dr. Phil, 'cause I had a conversation with both of them back-to-back. But I think it was Dr. Phil that said, "Any time we have... " And he and his wife have been married for 45 years and been together for 50 years. He's like, "Every day, I feel like I still don't have enough time with her. I love her so much. I feel like it gets stronger." And I go, "What are one of the keys?" and he said, "If there's a little crack, we don't let the crack get bigger. I focus on the crack right in the moment we have the uncomfortable conversation right in the moment. Maybe it's uncomfortable, but we do it consistently so much that it doesn't spread, and it doesn't get wider. We're addressing it now, head on, not hiding. It might be a little frustrating and scary for a moment, but then it's over."
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
LEWIS HOWES: And the more we do that in our relationships, the more we are saying, "I love myself, because I'm willing to have authentic conversations of integrity." So that's why I think, if you do those four things on a daily basis, you're building self-belief, you're building confidence, you're building inner strength, you're creating more inner peace, you're strengthening your body, you're pursuing your dreams, which allows you to have, again, more of this momentum and belief in yourself that, "I can do anything." And I think people just don't have that belief 'cause they're not actively taking action on the things that matter most.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. I love that, man. The thing about you too, is that you're also a sponge for all of this other greatness from these individuals, like that conversation with Dr. Phil.
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: He's been married longer than we've been alive.
LEWIS HOWES: I know, man. It's crazy.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So, he might know... And feeling that passion, he might know a thing or two about successful relationships, and that simple principle... The funny thing is, when you were talking about it before, I was thinking about when you're saying how people are being broken, and I was thinking about kintsugi, the Japanese tradition of, if a vase breaks, sealing it back together with gold. Now, I might be messing up the dictation of this, but...
LEWIS HOWES: It's more beautiful and it's stronger.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And it's more valuable, right?
LEWIS HOWES: Yes, more valuable.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And so, if you felt broken through this process, please know you can get put back together better than you've ever been and more valuable.
LEWIS HOWES: Absolutely.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And a part of that is, from learning the lesson, let's not let things get too broken. He's just like... And the funny thing is, that's with me and my wife, if there's any kind of weird energy at all, we address it. We got like, "I don't like it." If she doesn't like it, we've got to be straight. And we've created an atmosphere in our lives, in our home where my youngest son, if he senses any of that, he's like, "Hey, you two... "
LEWIS HOWES: Talk it out.
SHAWN STEVENSON: "Let's get it together."
LEWIS HOWES: It's funny, I was having a conversation with Rob Dyrdek as well a couple of weeks ago, and he said... I said, "What's your relationship like with your wife?" and he goes, "It's 99.9% peace all the time." I go, "What? That's amazing. There's no arguments?" He's like, "99.9% peace." I go, "How and why?" He said, "One of the... There was many reasons why, but one of them is, every two weeks a therapist comes to the house, even when everything's great and there's nothing to talk about, just to come and say, 'Do we want to talk about anything? You want to get anything off? Do you have anything you want to share? Let's talk about it right now.'" Scheduled time. It's just consistent open time to have a safe space for discomfort. I think we need a safe space for discomfort on all the things in life to make us stronger. Working out is a safe space. Don't hurt yourself, but find a safe way to do it, to move your body. These hard conversations with family members, friends, business colleagues, loved ones, finding a way to do that is uncomfortable, but it's a safe space. Do it consistently, it'll make you stronger.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: A couple of years ago, I did a master class on the mind-muscle connection, and we'll put it for everybody in the show notes, but one of the things I've seen in the data is that strength training does in fact translate over into resilience in the real world.
LEWIS HOWES: It does.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right? Yeah.
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And so... And I shared that... I did a talk for Tom Brady's company, The TB12, and there's a bunch of trainers who are a part of the organization, and they're just blown away by it as well. Because it's something that we kind of know, but then we have data now to affirm these things that we know. And we can proactively do these things, because our ancestors, that was just life. And so, it's also part of their systems of, for example, there's so many different traditions that used heat, like really hot circumstances as a rite of passage or as a part of overall health and resilience.
LEWIS HOWES: Sweat lodges, things like that, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right. And so, we can use that. And now we know heat shock proteins, and we know certain viruses, not going to drop any names, but they don't really do well under hot conditions, a lot of different viruses and pathogens. And it's something that also it's a mental thing where you have to get a rein on your mind to know that "I'm okay, I can make it another five minutes in this infrared sauna," whatever the case might be. But of course, we're not putting ourselves in position where we're in a state of danger, but you get to train your mind to know what's truly dangerous and what isn't. And I think a big part of all the fear happening is people not really understanding what's truly dangerous, when the real danger is losing your sense of sovereignty and losing your sense of peace, like you've been talking about.
LEWIS HOWES: Absolutely. Inner peace is the key, man, in every situation. Whether it be the career you're at, do you have inner peace? The relationships you're at, your family, do you have inner peace? Not saying that you can control what other people or certain circumstances, but can you have the peace within the circumstance? With the chaos, the craziness that's happening around your world, whatever it be, personal world, career world, can you create and stay at peace? It's really hard to solve a problem from a chaotic state of mind. It's really hard to make quality decisions and say good things from a stressed state. So, the practice of being peace, saying, "I am peace," being peace under chaos allows you to be a better leader for yourself to make more conscious decisions, healthy decisions, and not hurt yourself or the people around you in the process. And I think that's what we need to train ourselves for. I don't see the world becoming more peaceful. I don't see it happening anytime soon. I don't see it happening anytime soon. I feel like everything kind of swings on a pendulum. It's like you go back and forth on extremes.
Right now, we're in a more extreme state of chaos, emotionally, mentally. And I feel peace because I set myself up. There's moments where I feel stressed, but overall, I feel peace because I'm setting myself up for an environment of peace, I'm setting myself up for relationships of peace. I'm doing the challenging things that are not fun, so they do not build into more stress and chaos, I'm addressing them right away. And I'm maintaining those four parts on a daily basis, like, "What can I do to eat something healthy and move my body? What can I do for my mind to learn and grow my mindset and expand? What can I do for my relationships? And what can I do for my dreams?" And I feel at the end of the day that I can go to bed and be grateful for all those things and fall asleep in peace, and then wake up and do it again. And that's a beautiful state to be in. I haven't always been that way, but it's a beautiful place to be right now.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, for sure. And that's the example for all of us, for sure...
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: That that's possible. And I think that's... I know it is always the first tenet, is just realizing that a thing is possible.
LEWIS HOWES: Absolutely.
SHAWN STEVENSON: "With all that's happening in the world, I can still experience peace," just to plant that seed. So, I want to go back to young Lewis Howes, just injured, his vision of life is dedicated to sports performance, he's on the field, it's his joy, it's his expression, it's what he's invested his life into. And now, here you are on your sister's couch, and your reality, what you thought life would be, is broken, as we talked about.
LEWIS HOWES: Yes.
SHAWN STEVENSON: What was it? What was the thing that got you to get up off of that couch? Because... And I'm asking you this because all of the nurses reaching out to me right now, who were being pushed out of their jobs because of them not wanting to follow a particular mandate, and they've invested so much of their life into service, and they're not trying to be a miscreant, they're just being cautious, and they also value freedom.
LEWIS HOWES: Right.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And being in that position where now their reality, their path of life is being shifted, what was it for you that got you in that state of brokenness or just confusion to get up off that couch and to change your life?
LEWIS HOWES: I think it was two things that are coming to mind. One was kind of just an inner calling, it might be weird, but just like a pull. Like there's something more for me, I don't know what it is, but this is not it. After the stage of denial, like, "I'm going to go back and play football again," after that was like, "Okay, no, that's not a possibility anymore," or to the level that you would like to do, after that phase of kind of the sadness and the depression, whatever you want to call it, denial, I was like, "There's something more for me." So, I was just kind of listening to the still small voice, whatever you want to call it, something was like holding me from here, to like, "You're supposed to do something more," but I didn't know what. I had no clue. So that was holding me to take action on something. I didn't know what the action was.
The second thing that supported me was finding these mentors, finding models of people that had created something of life that I would like to create. So older gentlemen that I looked up to, that I was like, "Man, they've got a great relationship, they've got a great family life, they've got a career or a business that's inspiring to me." So, meeting them and learning about their life and how they overcame adversity showed me, "Okay, these people have all been through some type of adversity as well, and look where they are." So, it gave me a place of like, maybe there's a way that I could get something like that. So, I found mentors with a model that I could mimic, mentors with a model that I could mimic, a model of a business, a career, of a lifestyle, of a family, of values that I can mimic. 'Cause I was kind of all over the place. "What are my values? I don't know who I am. This was my life and now I'm not sure." So, they had these values, they had this lifestyle, their family, careers, business, that I was like, "Oh." There wasn't one of them I wanted to be exactly them, but I was like, "I kind of like what they're doing here. I like what he's doing. I like what he's doing." So, I just said, "Why don't I try a lot of different things and see what I like?" 'Cause I wasn't sure; I wasn't clear what this thing was supposed to be.
And so, I tried a bunch of different things and I kind of did some internships and mentorships with them and just started learning and working with them, and I realized what I didn't like and what I liked quickly by taking those action. So, within a couple of years, it just became clearer and clearer the direction I was supposed to take, until that direction wasn't my path anymore. And I said, "Okay, what's the next thing? And what's the next thing?" It's interesting, I was talking to Dr. Phil yesterday, he's on his 20th season of his talk show, Dr. Phil. And I go, "You're a machine. You're a machine right now. You're 71. You just had a 71st birthday." I go, "How much longer can you keep doing this? Or do you feel like there's another chapter for you, another season?" And he said, "I feel there's a calling, I don't know what it is though. I feel like within the end of this year, next year, there's something else I'm supposed to do. I'll probably keep doing this, but there's something else I'm supposed to add to my life. I don't know what it is yet, but I feel something pulling me."
So, I think keeping a peaceful mind, having a healthy body, allows us to listen to what our bodies are pulling us, where you can be observant to ourselves of what we're being drawn to. It's hard to do that when we're in a chaotic state. It's hard to listen to that small voice. And so, it was cool for me to be like, "Okay, he's at a whole different season. After all the success he has, he's being pulled slightly into another direction." And I think we should always be listening to that inside, "What is attracting me? What is drawing me towards another lifestyle, another career?" whatever it may be. So just be a listener of your thoughts, a listener of your feelings, of where should you be drawn to, and start testing it, say, "Do I want to try this out?" and try it out. And if it doesn't work, then try the next thing. That's what I did for many years.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, that's worth the price of admission. Just you coming here and sharing that in and of itself is absolutely game-changing, and I really want folks to get that. So, number one, and it still goes back to health again, which is...
LEWIS HOWES: Absolutely, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: The better you feel... It's not that it's impossible to get that intuition and to listen to your heart, to have that internal guidance system on point, it's just harder.
LEWIS HOWES: Harder, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And so, I want everybody to really think about this right now and really turn within, and listen to your inner calling, your heart, your intuition. And I'm a scientist, so even when we get into the realm of things like intuition, but we can talk about this in terms of other species of animals, for example, the connection that we might see like with bees or something like that. But there's an inherent connectivity, there is an inherent internal guidance system, we call them instincts as well, and your body and your mind, you already know, but today there's a lot of suppression or oppression of you listening to your heart and what you know to be right. And so, I'm asking you, everybody listening, to listen to your gut, listen to your heart, listen to your intuition on what's going on in the world, what feels right to you, and to move in that direction to what feels right.
LEWIS HOWES: You know what's interesting, there's a lot of things we... It's hard to see the signs sometimes until they're right in your face. Even when they're right in your face, it's hard to pay attention. I'll give you an example. All of last year, I don't know if I told you this, but all of last year, I had this bright red, kind of... I don't know if it was eczema or what it was, like a bright red patch right here on my skin, and it's almost completely gone right now, it's almost... I can't even see it right now. And I can't even tell where it was, but for a year it was there, and it wasn't going away. And I did every test. I went to all the doctors and the natural doctors, and I was like doing the blood work of like, "Okay, I must be having too much almonds, or is it chicken?" I don't know what it is. There's something that's a negative effect.
It's got to be something I'm eating... Dairy, I don't know, cheese. What is this? Nothing I was allergic to, nothing I was allergic to. And I was like... And then I started to get it spreading on my stomach and near my groin. And I was like, "Do I have some disease? What is this?" And it was like bright red. So, it was kind of looked uncomfortable. I was like, "Oh, this is kind of weird." And nothing changed. I was like, "I guess I'm just going to have this forever." Like some days it was less and other days it was not. I was like, "I guess I'm just going to have this forever."
And it wasn't until I started to stop abandoning myself in my intimate relationship. When I actually stood up for my peace and my boundaries emotionally, it started to go away. Literally, it was when I started to heal the inner child, do the inner child work, when I went to therapy, when I got the tools and the training to practice and integrate healing emotionally, things we can't see, that's when this disappeared. And I was like, "What?" And it disappeared on my stomach, I was like, I thought I was going to have this for the rest of my life. But I started creating boundaries like we talked about, I started stepping up for myself, doing what I needed, doing what my five-year-old self needed when I was sexually abused and felt taken advantage of, I started to integrate that into my adult self, into my life and create harmony with my heart, my emotions, and my thoughts, and it went away. I was like, There's something to the unseen, there's something here, you can't hold on to it, it's hard to measure it in science. These thoughts, the emotions, creating boundaries, healing something, it's hard to really measure that, but it's gone, and it's consistently gone and I'm like... And I don't feel the pain in my chest anymore, which I was feeling like every other day, and I didn't know why.
But when I started to integrate the healing work, that's when the magic came to life. And when I start to start to listen to myself more and more, it gets clear on what are the relationships that are good for me, what's the actions I should be taking towards my dreams, it becomes more and more clear, the steps I'm supposed to take when I take care of my health. So that's why health is important, but physical health will only take you so far, the emotional health is everything as well. Because sometimes... I've heard many stories, I don't know if you've heard this as well, but a lot of people, they work out the right way, they eat the right way, they sleep eight hours, they still can't get the weight off, until they finally end that relationship that they know is toxic for them, or they create boundaries, or they love themselves the way they need to love, they don't beat themselves up emotionally, then it just starts coming off. I'm sure you've seen that case after case.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
LEWIS HOWES: And I think the emotional side of things plays a big part in our physical health as well, and it's a beautiful thing to witness for me physically with the emotional side.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Got a quick break coming up; we'll be right back. Our microbiome plays major roles in regulating our metabolism, literally playing a role in determining how many calories are absorbed from our food, for example. Our microbiome also controls so much about our mood with the vast majority of our body's serotonin being produced in our gut. And our microbes interact with these enterochromaffin cells and enteroendocrine cells that produce our hormones and neurotransmitters in our bellies. And one of the biggest issues we're seeing today is gut dysbiosis, where friendly microbes are getting overrun by opportunistic bacteria. One of the few amazing sources of nutrition that's been found clinically to reverse gut dysbiosis is highlighted in a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. It discovered that the traditional fermented tea called pu-erh may be able to reverse gut dysbiosis by dramatically reducing ratios of potentially harmful bacteria and increasing ratios of beneficial bacteria. Another peer-review study published in the journal of Nature Communications, uncovered that a unique compound called theabrownin, found in traditional fermented pu-erh has remarkable effects on our microbiome as well.
Now researchers found that theabrownin positively alters gut microbiota and directly reduces hepatic, aka liver fat, and reduces glycogenesis, which means the creation of fat. Pu-erh is absolutely amazing on so many levels, and is also a powerful adjunct to any fat loss protocol because it's been found to support fat loss while protecting muscle at the same time. And this was documented in a recent study featured in clinical interventions in aging. Now, the key is the source of the pu-erh matters a lot. And the only pu-erh that I drink, uses a patented cold extraction technology that extracts the bio-active compounds in the tea at cold to low temperatures for up to eight hours. And this process gently extracts natural antioxidants and vital nutrients and preserves them in a whole bio-available form, and this is the purest way to extract the vital nutrients from maximum efficacy. This pu-erh is also wild harvested, making it even more concentrated in the polyphenols that we see having benefits in those clinical trials. Also, triple toxin screened for one of the highest levels of purity, tested for pesticides, heavy metals and toxic molds, and making sure that is not in your tea, which is common in most other teas.
This is why I'm a massive fan of Pique Teas. Go to piquetea.com/model, that's P-I-Q-U-E-T-E-A.com/model, and you get 10% off their amazing fermented pu-erh and all of their other incredible teas. These teas are in a league of their own. Their pu-erh is amazing, I'm a huge fan of their ginger tea as well. Go to piquetea.com/model. Again, you get 10% off of everything that they carry, one of the best investments in your health, supporting your microbiome, supporting your metabolism, it is absolutely amazing. Head over to piquetea.com/model. And now, back to the show. You know what's been great is having the opportunity this past year to talk with people like Dr. Caroline Leaf.
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah, she's great.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And to look at just how much our minds actually control our biology. We talked about this when I was on your show last.
LEWIS HOWES: Yes.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And I just kept reiterating that piece of, "Your mind creates your brain," and we think that the brain is the mind, and she went in... She's a neuroscientist, 40 years, she's faced so many obstacles, but she's impacted lives of more people than just about any person in the field from her meta-perspective, taking a broader perspective of these things and then being able to zoom in on parts. But the process of thinking itself is creating your brain. And it's incredibly empowering because we get to think the thoughts that we want, but we might be living life feeling a victim of our thoughts and a victim of the environment, thinking what the environment is telling us to think. So, when you make that break to realize how powerful you are, and your thoughts are creating your body as well, so your chemistry, so what you were experiencing, that emotional mental state, it's just a constant cascade of chemicals getting creative in your body, you're changing your biochemistry in such a way, there was like some kind of...
LEWIS HOWES: From thoughts.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Auto-immune reaction. Yeah. Just from thinking.
LEWIS HOWES: From thoughts. I was still working out, I was still eating healthy, I was... All these things I was implementing, but the thoughts were making me sick, at least the skin looks sick, it's like... That's crazy man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It is, it's nuts. In Eat Smarter, I don't know if we talked about this, but there's a study that I decided to kind of highlight the negative side of... We talked about this, how our thoughts can affect in a sort of positive way, affect how food impacts our bodies, but it can also do the opposite. If, for example, in this particular study, it was Dr. Alia Crum and her team, and I believe she was at Stanford at the time, and they did a skin prick test. Did I tell you about this one?
LEWIS HOWES: No.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So basically, they let somebody know, "Hey, we're going to prick you with this, and it's going to create an allergic reaction." And so that was part one of the study. The other part was, "Okay, now we're going to apply a cream."
LEWIS HOWES: Alright.
SHAWN STEVENSON: "Some people were told that this cream is going to make your rash go away, and some people were told that this rash is going to make it even worse," and sure enough, with high probability, people who were told, that is going to put this cream on your skin is going to make the rash worse, their rash got worse. And it was an inert cream, it had nothing to do with...
LEWIS HOWES: Nothing. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It was the same thing that everybody used, and while other people's... Their rash went away within minutes.
LEWIS HOWES: 'Cause they believed it.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It was in 10 minutes...
LEWIS HOWES: Yes.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Just based on our belief.
LEWIS HOWES: Yes.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And also, they found that the more rapport that they had with the physician or the researcher who was administering the test, the more the reaction was.
LEWIS HOWES: The more they trusted and believed the person, the more... Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Yeah. So, we've got to be careful who we're outsourcing our authority to...
LEWIS HOWES: Absolutely.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Especially at times like this, in time of stress, and that brings us to number two there, of those strategies. So, number one, listen to that internal guidance system. Number two is modeling. And that is so powerful, man, I'm so glad that you brought that up, because you were in a discombobulated situation and you were looking at, okay...
LEWIS HOWES: Right. Or models you can...
SHAWN STEVENSON: Who has the life or the success or the... Whatever it is, fill in the blank...
LEWIS HOWES: Peace. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: That I aspire towards. The peace, let me follow their work, let me immerse myself in their world. I did the same thing man; I did the same thing. That is the biggest value, I feel like tangible actionable value we can use right now, 'cause even that can help you to listen to your intuition more...
LEWIS HOWES: Absolutely. Or you can just learn from what not to do with that model. Okay, here's the steps I did and here's the things I didn't do, and here's the lessons I learned. Just follow that model. Tony Robins talks about finding a model as well that works, I think it's find a mentor, the authority that inspires you, and then they have a model, you're going to believe. Oh, this is what they did. I'm going to believe that if I do that model, that I could be like this or accomplish X and just show up for it every day. So that's why I find people that I'm inspired by and what was their model? What was their process? Let me go do that. That worked for them. It could work for me too.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. You built your life around interviewing these people.
LEWIS HOWES: People that I'm inspired by...
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's incredible.
LEWIS HOWES: And then implementing a little bit here and there to just improve the quality of my life.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, yeah. So, something else that I know about you that definitely helped you to get from that couch to being just this light in the world for millions of people, is you're competitive...
LEWIS HOWES: Yes.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You know, you're a competitive guy...
LEWIS HOWES: Oh, yeah, man, I am. We played some basketball together. You know my competitiveness.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh, man, yes, yes. We got to share...
LEWIS HOWES: Did you score? Did you score a point on me? I can't remember.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Are you serious? That is so disrespectful.
LEWIS HOWES: I'm teasing. I'm teasing.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Alright, so I got to share this, because so you came to St. Louis, we went to work out, we were going to just lift, and then I was like, "Hey you want to shoot a round?" And then it went from shooting a round to like...
LEWIS HOWES: To the one on one.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You say, "Oh you want to play one on one?" And then the next thing you know, we're drenched in sweat.
LEWIS HOWES: Drenched on the floor diving for balls.
SHAWN STEVENSON: The first game that we played, which again, we were supposed to just be warming up. I think we're playing... Maybe we'll just say to 12.
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And you beat me. It was 12 to 6, and I was like, "Okay." And then you was like, "You want to play again?" And I came out the gate the second game because obviously your 6'4 you're a big guy, I was like, "I'm not going to fiddle with him down low, I'm just going to hit these jumpers," and I was winning like 10 to 4. And then in my mind, my mind jumped in, and I was like, "If I win, he's going to want to play again. This is Lewis, he's not going to let this ride." And I was like, "I don't want to play again." I hadn't been that tired in so long.
LEWIS HOWES: It was tiring man; I was tired too.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And then you came and won like 12 to 11. And then we went to lift.
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah. No, I was so tired.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And at that point, I was just going a little bit harder than normal, just want to... An extra rep, and we completed our work out man, and when I left there, and I think I told you this, but I drove for like 20 minutes, I felt so nauseous...
LEWIS HOWES: Oh, man... I was exhausted.
SHAWN STEVENSON: I pulled over and I took a nap in my car... On the side of the road.
LEWIS HOWES: I don't think I'd played basketball in like a year or something also. I was like... We were crashed. We were exhausted.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Me too man, I hadn't even really, like I might shoot a round, but then...
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah, we were going hard.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It was fun man, but man...
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah, competitive.
SHAWN STEVENSON: I've never taken a nap on the side of the road, till I played with Lewis Howes.
LEWIS HOWES: I'm very competitive, that's funny. Yeah, I'm very competitive, but it's interesting, in the last few years, about the last four or five years, I've learned to be... Competitive still, but still have fun with it.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
LEWIS HOWES: And not be like, "I need to win at all costs." I'm a better loser now, 'cause I'm more about what's... "How can we have fun? How can I get a great workout? And how can I have a friendship still?" It's like sometimes when you're competing with someone, it's super competitive. It's like, "I don't want to hang out with that guy anymore."
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
LEWIS HOWES: So, I'd rather collaborate than compete, and I think we can create so much more good in the world with collaboration. So, it's fun to compete... It's funny because my girlfriend... We did this like... We were in a pool and... With another couple, a few other couples, and they were, at one point, this other couple was like, "Oh, we're going to do this racing game, like where you put your girlfriend on your back." And so, everyone had their girlfriend on their back, and let's race from one side of the pool to the other. This like a dumb little game. And I'm like, "If I'm going to play a game, I'm going to play to win, right?"
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yup, yup.
LEWIS HOWES: Right. I'm like, not just going to go, "We lost." No, let's go win this thing." And so, I put her on my back, we'd just started dating a couple months before. We'd never done something competitive yet, and of course I win. No one could beat me, I'm a giant, I'm taking huge steps, I'm like, "They can't beat me." This silly little race in a pool, but at the end, I turned to her, and I say, "As long as you're with me, we will never lose." I looked at her and I said, "Girl, as long as you're with me, if we do games like this, that are athletic, we will never lose. If we play scrabble, we're losing." I'm not even going to act competitive of things I know that I can't win. But if we do stuff like this, we will never lose." And she was like, "I like that about you," but it was all fun though, you're like, "It's a silly little game."
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. That was a Vin Diesel moment, though, for you to do that... You got family.
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah. We'll never lose, I've got your back. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Man, I think it might have been right before I saw you in St. Louis or right after you played basketball with Prince E...
LEWIS HOWES: Yes.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And he was like, "Yeah, I think he won."
LEWIS HOWES: It was two on two.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right. But then he was like... He was like, "We got to play again." And so, I think that crept into my mind, but I don't know if I told you this, him and I went to the same school in St. Louis, that's where we met each other, I had no idea he had aspirations like he did and talent like he did. But I was... I walked into the gym one day.
LEWIS HOWES: Where'd you go to school again?
SHAWN STEVENSON: UMSL, University of Missouri-St. Louis. And there was like this... It was kind of a big basketball tournament, and some... This team and it was just getting started, and one of the players didn't show up, and I walk in, it was like, "Yeah, do it." And I got on and it was like, it was a few weeks of this tournament, we won a championship.
LEWIS HOWES: Wow, that's cool.
SHAWN STEVENSON: No big deal.
LEWIS HOWES: No big deal.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But he was there as well. That's when I first saw him, but again, I didn't know that he had these great aspirations. Yeah, a great hooper, super... One of these big things and... We'll link... We had him on maybe six years ago, we both were in St. Louis...
LEWIS HOWES: And you guys are doing podcasts right now... Yeah. Right. That's right.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. But we'll drop his episode, he's super, super brilliant and talented, thought provoking. And now a lot of the content he's doing, I don't know if you notice, is about health.
LEWIS HOWES: Right. He's obsessed about it.
SHAWN STEVENSON: That's really where he is putting his positive… Yeah, we talk about it, we text and message all the time and we chat about this stuff because he knows, like you said, you started the show with being healthy, makes it easier or for fill in the blank.
LEWIS HOWES: Health is the foundation of greatness, in my opinion. If you don't have your health, you don't have the energy to accomplish something you want. You don't have the energy to be a good person, you don't have the energy to be calm under chaos, you don't have the energy to deal with situations in general. You don't have the energy to give, and I think that's the foundation of greatness.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Absolutely, man. So, you had a world record, right?
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah. For like 11 or 12 years, I think it was. The most receiving yards in a single football game... 418 yards.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Incredible.
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah, I think it's 425 now, someone broke it.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So, was this... What year was this?
LEWIS HOWES: It was 2002...
SHAWN STEVENSON: How long for you in your career was that...
LEWIS HOWES: That was the... I'd only been playing football since I was a sophomore in high school. So, I’m a junior/senior, it was my fifth year of playing football.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So, you as a freshman in college?
LEWIS HOWES: Sophomore in college.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Sophomore in college.
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Incredible. Man...
LEWIS HOWES: Fifth year of playing a sport... Yeah. That's crazy to think about.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. So, now with that, I'm bringing all of these theses up to say that... And here's the truth, we all have a competitive spirit. It's ingrained in our DNA, but there's of course levels to levels to it, but what I want to evoke, and I know a part of that reason you got off the couch and the way that you did eventually, was that competitive spirit.
LEWIS HOWES: Yes.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And so I want to ask folks to evoke that within themselves to get out here and compete.
LEWIS HOWES: Absolutely man. Absolutely.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Don't just let stuff get handed to you and pushed in your face, that this is how your life is going to be, really evoke that competitive spirit.
LEWIS HOWES: And there was... If I'm thinking back about right now, it's funny because I've just changed the mentality of how I take action to make decisions. But if I look back at then, I remember thinking, "This isn't going to be my story, I still need to prove people wrong." You can either prove people wrong or you can prove yourself right. And I was living in a state then to prove a lot of people wrong, mostly the kids that picked on me when I was a kid. Isn't it funny that we remember the three to six instances when we're in school or someone says something and we're like, "I'm going to show you little Billy or whatever," it's like we hold on to these things? In some ways, it drove me to survive, it drove me to be like, "Okay, I'm going to prove people wrong." And that competitive drive allowed me to take the most extreme actions, overcome fears, deal with insecurities...
Stay up all night and just work. Put myself in uncomfortable situations, 'cause I was like, I'm going to do whatever it takes to prove these people wrong about me, that I couldn't do something meaningful with my life. And it gave me courage to do the challenging things, to get to where I wanted to be, to accomplish my dreams. It gave me the courage to write my book 'cause I would think about these people and be like, "They're not going to hold me back," mentality, but what I realize is after years and years and years of living in that space, there was no inner peace. I was doing things from a place to prove people wrong, and it was the second most powerful fuel in the world to drive me to create, to build certain things that I wanted financially, accomplishments, awards, all that it drove me to accomplish, but it left me feeling like I still didn't love myself and I didn't have inner peace.
That's when I started to go on a journey when I was about 30, 31 when I started to heal the things from my past that were keeping me up all night where I couldn't fall asleep, where I was stressed and anxious and worried. And I had many breakthroughs and still I'm having them on how to continue to heal, integrate the healing process emotionally. And now I choose... I'm competitive, but I'm not like I need to prove people wrong. I'm more like, "Can I just have fun in this moment and have a competitive moment? Or can I create from a place of love and inspiration to serve? Not to put people down or to prove the people wrong who try to put me down, but to serve and lift people up." And that fuel is the most powerful fuel because it's sustainable, it's renewable, it's abundant, it doesn't burn out, and it allows me to show up every day with a big heart, not from a wound or hurt. And that has been an incredible shift in the last eight years, and I'm developing that skill set more and more.
So, it's yes, I can be competitive. I played basketball for the first time a few weeks ago, and it was fun to compete, and of course our team won. It's fun to win. I love competing, but when someone hits me in an elbow, I'm not like, "I need to fight you and win at all costs." I'm like, "Okay, if we lose, we lost, but I gave my best and I'm having fun." And I didn't injure myself. It's like now at our age, it's like, "Can we play and not get injured?" That's a huge win. It's like competing with yourself. So, for me, that's been the process. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: I love that, man. And you brought it too to that ultimate level. Level one, I think we... I don't think that we can skip phases of evolution. I think that a lot of people experience early on in this situation, this feeling of like, "Why is this happening?" Just confusion. Then maybe it evolved to, "Wait, I thought that we were better than this, or I thought that we were smarter than this," or whatever the case might be, and then it might go to a place of just sadness or depression like, "Why is this happening? Why are we not who I thought we would be in this moment?" And then it gets to a place of anger and resentment and all these different things, but ultimately just to skip through to the final stage is a place of enlightenment and understanding that all humans... I know the greats throughout time, the people we talk about, write books about, Hippocrates and Socrates and any -tes, whatever, whoever... Buddha, whoever the case might be, at some point they realized that we don't really know anything. And at the same time, we know everything. We know everything that we need to know, it's kind of built into our DNA. We're connected to everything in the universe, but we consciously, we know nothing about how it all works. Right
There are billions of other galaxies, not planets, galaxies of planets, and we are here on this little, tiny slice of reality, and we think it's all so important and so urgent, and at the same time our micro world is everything. And so, I know that these great leaders had these epiphanies and realizing people are just trying to figure stuff out, and the way they go about it can be detrimental or it can be advantageous. And so, it creates this sense of peace and understanding. And so, I'm saying all that to say that, and I'm so grateful that you said this, this evolution to heart, even with that competition. So, I'm evoking people to go through that phase, compete, stand up for yourself, and this ultimate place...
LEWIS HOWES: Do it from love.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yes, yes, yes. Do it for love, for yourself and for others, and having... Practicing more understanding, resilience, compassion, these qualities, because we need a lot more of it now. Because I think, and I know you've experienced this, that lack of empathy and understanding, and the reverse, shaming people and making them feel like they're not whatever, fill in the blank, they're not intelligent, that's not going to help anybody. And so practicing compassion, especially with people who operate that way, but that doesn't mean you have to tolerate it, though, at the same time. Get yourself around people who remind you of how amazing you are, and the greatness within you with the man of greatness himself. And the last thing I want to ask you about, man, is that four-part approach to things. So, we've got health, we've got mindset, we've got heart...
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah, relationships. And the dreams.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And the dreams. So, I think that this is... And I dabbled in this at the very beginning of this, I was talking to people, like I brought on Amy Porterfield, like there is an opportunity here, there's a calling that you have in your heart that you've always wanted to do. The picture of how it might go might be different, the path getting there, but this is an opportunity. With life kind of trying to force us to do things we didn't plan on, it's an opportunity to evoke that dream.
LEWIS HOWES: Absolutely, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So, let's talk a little bit about that.
LEWIS HOWES: About dreams? I just feel like, what's the purpose of us being here if we're not pursuing some dream? I feel like we're here to pursue dreams, to make something greater, to move something beyond. As the universe keeps expanding, we need to expand. So, if we're not expanding in our personal lives, what are we doing? What's the point? It would feel meaningless to me if I didn't have dreams. I'd be like, "Why am I here?" Just to kind of show up every day, and rinse and repeat? So, it's the pursuit of something unknown, going on my own adventure, seeking beyond something I've never done before, and seeing who can I become, who am I being in this process, that gives me inspiration, that gives me... That makes me feel like, "Wow, I'm overcoming something, I'm accomplishing something. I feel a deeper sense of love for myself." I don't know why I'm here, but I want to find out, and I feel like in the pursuit of my dreams, I discover who I am in that pursuit, and I find out why I'm here, and I think that's what we're all trying to do. If we all had questions that we couldn't answer, one of them would be, why am I here? Is there a God? What's the point of all this? Is this real? These are questions that I think about all the time, and we may never know the true...
The fact and truth of certain answers. We can have a belief, we can have a faith, we can have a... Maybe an understanding that religions or societies tell us, but is it 100% true? Are we 100% scientifically, factually, spiritually true on all these solutions? I don't know. So, if we don't know, then it's us going on our own pursuits to figure out what that is for us, and that's where dreams come in. For me, it's the most important thing to do, is to pursue the dreams.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And that's what you teach, man. That's what you bring for your audience, and you let everybody know about your epic show and where they can follow you on.
LEWIS HOWES: Yeah, School of Greatness. Check out my interview with you, it's incredible, and Lewis Howes everywhere online.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Perfect man. You're one of my favorite human beings, man.
LEWIS HOWES: Appreciate you, brother. Love you man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Appreciate you. Love you too. Lewis Howes, everybody. Thank you so much for tuning in to the show today, I hope you got a lot of value out of this. So many nuggets of wisdom to take away, and obviously it's an incredibly turbulent time, complex time, but I truly do believe that every obstacle we face is ripe with opportunity. In fact, oftentimes our problems are innocence pregnant with solutions, but we tend to think that those solutions are one-sided. We tend to think that those solutions are... Some of them we got to force our way into, when in reality, oftentimes there's multiple solutions. I often say that when there's a will, there's 10,000 ways, not just one way. And so, opening ourselves up to possibility, listening to our heart more than ever, that internal guidance system, listening to our soul, listening to and honoring our dreams and the things that we want to create in this life, this is the time to do it. There's so much in flux, there's so much just going on, there's a lot of turbulence, a lot of things are very malleable right now as well, and they're easier to change, things are a little bit more plastic, like the plasticity of our minds, for example.
Reality has the same plasticity to it, and we get to create what we want. But we got to get clear on what that is, we've got to arm ourselves with strength. Lewis kicked things off, I didn't know he was is going to do that, talking about health being that first tenet that he's paying attention to, but if you look at the results that he's created in his life, it's really remarkable. And I know him well, we've known each other for a long time, both being from the Midwest. And seeing him implement these things, because again, it's not that we can't listen to our intuition, listen to our inner guidance system, honor our heart, have integrity and strength, when we're not feeling well, or when we're not in a good state of health. We can definitely do it. It's just harder, it's stacking the odds against us to activate those things. And so, right now I want us to fortify our health, become stronger in mind and body than ever and continue to bring empowering messages like this to remind you of how capable you are to create the life that you are here to live. Regardless of the circumstances, how things might look in the external world, your outer world is a direct reflection of your inner world, and so keep that in mind.
And so remember to focus on your own health and well-being, and encouraging that in the people around you, focusing on your own mindset, building those mental muscles of resilience and possibilities, building and supporting your healthy relationships, and of course, honoring your dreams. I appreciate you so much for tuning in. If you got a lot of value out of this, please share it out with the people that you care about. And you can tag me, I'm @shawnmodel, and tag Lewis, he's @lewishowes on Instagram and other platforms, and let him know what you thought about this episode. I appreciate you so much for tuning in. Take care. Have an amazing day and I'll talk with you soon.
And for more after the show, make sure to head over to themodelhealthshow.com, that's where you can find all of the show notes, you could find transcriptions, videos for each episode, and if you've got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that this show is awesome, and I appreciate that so much. And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.
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