Self Help

The School of Greatness - Lewis Howes

Author Photo

Matheus Puppe

· 49 min read
  • The book is dedicated to the author’s family members, Diana, Ralph, Chris, Heidi, and Katherine, who have supported and guided him.

  • The author has spent years interviewing and learning from some of the greatest people in various fields. He calls this experience his education at “The School of Greatness.”

  • The author has always chased big dreams, starting from wanting to become an All-American athlete. He eventually accomplished this goal but found that it did not fulfill him. He went on to play professional football but had to retire early due to injuries.

  • At his lowest point, broke and injured, the author started reaching out to mentors and building connections on LinkedIn. He turned this into a successful business, making over $1 million in sales within a few years. However, he still felt unfulfilled.

  • The author’s goal became to learn from truly great people who wake up wanting to accomplish amazing things. In 2013, he began interviewing successful and inspiring leaders, in part to satisfy his own desire to understand greatness.

  • The book aims to share the lessons the author has learned about achieving greatness from these mentors and interview subjects. The key concepts include creating a vision, overcoming adversity, developing a champion’s mindset, hustling, mastering your body and habits, building a team, and serving others.

The author seeks to share the wisdom and lessons on greatness that he has learned from inspirational leaders and mentors. His podcast, The School of Greatness, has resonated with many listeners by providing these kinds of insights and life lessons.

The core message of the book is that greatness comes from within. The eight lessons focus on:

  1. Developing a vision and purpose. Knowing what you want and where you want to go.

  2. Turning adversity into advantage. Using challenges and setbacks to motivate your journey to greatness.

  3. Cultivating a champion’s mindset. Developing the habits and perspective of highly successful people. Things like visualization, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence.

  4. Developing hustle and hard work. Pushing through obstacles and never stopping the grind. Maintaining high energy and motivation.

  5. Mastering your body. Taking care of your physical health and fitness. Thinking, training, and eating like a champion.

  6. Practicing positive habits. Repeating good habits and skills over and over. Having a strong set of beliefs and values to support those habits.

  7. Building a winning team. Finding mentors, coaches, partners, and supporters to help achieve your goals. Developing mutually beneficial relationships.

  8. Being of service to others. Giving back, helping others, and participating in your community. Making an impact and contributing to something greater than yourself.

The book aims to help readers uncover their inner greatness, pursue their dreams with passion, and achieve more than they imagined possible. By following the eight lessons, people can cultivate their best selves and reach their full potential.

  • The author describes the importance of having a vision to achieve greatness. Vision unleashes extraordinary power and potential.

  • The author shares a story about meeting a new friend, Steve, who was unsure of his vision and future career path after graduating physical therapy school. Through a series of questions, the author helps Steve identify his true vision: to have his own private practice near the beach where he can work 5 hours a day and spend time with his family. However, Steve says he doesn’t know if that’s possible.

  • The author argues that Steve’s vision is possible because success depends on one’s desires and vision, not abilities. He cites leadership expert John Maxwell who said “Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.”

  • The author shares the story of Angel Martinez, CEO of Deckers Brands, as an example of someone who achieved an extraordinary vision. Martinez had an unconventional path to becoming CEO and grew Reebok into a dominant company through vision and passion.

  • The key lessons are: 1) Develop a clear vision for your life and what you really want. 2) Success depends on your vision and desires, not just your abilities. 3) Extraordinary visions are possible when you unleash your potential. 4) Finding a vision and purpose gives life deep meaning.

The overall message is that creating a vision for your life is essential to achieving greatness and living with purpose. A powerful vision can drive success and meaning.

  • Angel Martinez was born in Cuba in 1955 but sent to live with guardians in New York as a toddler. He grew up poor in the Bronx, raised by his aunt and uncle.
  • His first encounter with the power of vision came in grade school when he desperately wanted a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers that cost $6.99. He collected bottles for months to earn enough money to buy them. Getting those sneakers taught him the power of having a clear, specific vision and dreaming big.
  • That early vision shaped Angel’s life and career path. He went on to work for Reebok, help found Keen footwear, and become CEO of Deckers Brands, growing the company’s revenue from $200 million to $1.5 billion. His story shows how a vision, even for something small, can influence your entire life.
  • A vision is a dream combined with clear goals. It gives you an identity and sense of purpose. For Angel, the sneakers represented being like other kids and overcoming feeling like an outsider. Achieving that vision helped shape his identity.
  • Having a vision means being specific about what you want and who you want to become. A real vision provides identity; a fantasy or dream without goals just leaves you wandering without purpose.
  • Angel’s story demonstrates the power of vision in achieving greatness and finding success on your own terms. With hard work and perseverance, “people are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”

The key lessons are: have a clear and specific vision, let your vision shape your identity and sense of purpose, combine dreams and goals to create a powerful vision, and believe that you can achieve what you set your mind to. With vision and hard work, great things are possible.

  • The key character in the story, Angel, grew up in difficult circumstances as a child of Cuban immigrants. He had a strong desire to forge his own identity and success in life, not conform to what others expected of him.
  • Angel displayed a relentless drive to achieve greatness, but on his own terms. His ambition was to live a full, meaningful life, not just achieve traditional measures of success.
  • Angel used the metaphor of looking through the wrong end of a telescope to describe how people often view their biggest dreams and goals as far off and unattainable. In reality, those dreams may be much closer than they appear if you can turn the telescope around and look at your life from a different perspective.
  • The key lesson is that creating a vision involves not just identifying your goals and dreams but envisioning what it will feel like to achieve them. As Angel put it, “You become what you envision yourself being.”
  • To achieve your vision and pursue greatness, you must become the author of your own destiny. Four key exercises can help:
  1. Write down your specific goal, print and frame it, and display it where you see it daily. This helps clarify your vision and commitment to it.

  2. Create a “Certificate of Achievement” for 6-12 months in the future, as if you have already achieved your goal. This envisions what achieving it will feel like.

  3. Identify why achieving this goal is meaningful and important to you. Connecting your goal to a deeper purpose fuels motivation and resilience.

  4. Share your vision and goals with others you respect. This accountability helps drive progress and overcome obstacles.

  • Applying these principles and exercises has helped the author overcome challenges like a fear of public speaking and achieve life and business success. A clear and compelling vision of what you want to achieve is essential to pursuing greatness.

The author’s original goal of “getting better” was too vague. He made it more specific by setting a scary goal to make $5,000 for a speech within 9 months. He wrote it down, framed it, and saw it daily. Not only did he achieve it, but now earns over $25,000 for speeches.

He recommends four vision exercises:

  1. Certificate of Achievement: Write down a specific goal, date to achieve it, frame it, and see it daily. Helps create focus and accountability.

  2. Perfect Day Itinerary: Map out your perfect day at a macro level (how you want to feel, who you’re with, what you’re doing) and a micro level (detailed schedule for the next day). Helps validate your vision and set you up to achieve it.

  3. Personal Principles Declaration: Declare 5 principles you live by no matter what. Helps ensure you stay on track even when facing adversity.

  4. Personal Statement Plan: Bring your vision together into an actionable 6-12 month plan with goals and steps under categories like family, relationships, business, health, etc. Makes your vision more concrete and achievable.

The key message is that achieving your vision demands time, dedication, and action. These exercises help provide the clarity, purpose, and planning to turn your vision into reality.

Goal #1 (Sales): Generate $50,000 in sales per month. This works out to about $2,500 in sales per day or $17,500 per week. To achieve this, host one webinar per week for current prospects to generate these sales.

Goal #2 (Health): Lose 15 pounds in 60 days by following an exercise plan, finding an accountability partner, and scheduling workouts. Review goals every 6-12 months to stay on track.

To accomplish big goals, envision the type of person you need to become, the breakthroughs required, and revisit your vision document regularly. Let go of reacting defensively, understand that challenges are part of success, and use them to your advantage.

When facing adversity, you have two choices: do nothing or embrace the challenge. Prepare for challenges because they will happen. Learn to overcome them and use them to your advantage.

Study people who overcame adversity like Kyle Maynard. His accomplishments (football player, wrestler, climber, MMA fighter) are impressive especially given that he was born without fully formed arms and legs. He did not make excuses or wish for change but took action and persevered. His breakthrough came at age 11 when he made his first tackle in football. He stopped worrying about the future and focused on action. Putting himself in uncomfortable situations and persisting helped him overcome concerns and fears. At 19, he gave a speech to business leaders, showing how facing adversity builds confidence over time.

The key lessons are:

  1. Envision your goals and the person you need to become. Review regularly.

  2. Expect and embrace challenges. Prepare to overcome them.

  3. Take action and persevere. Do not make excuses or wish for change.

  4. Face adversity to build confidence over time. Staying in discomfort helps overcome fears.

  5. Study inspiring people who overcame adversity. Their stories can motivate you.

Does this summary cover the key highlights? Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any part of the summary.

  • The author started this section by describing Kyle Maynard’s journey from being paralyzed by self-doubt and worrying himself to sleep every night to becoming an acclaimed public speaker and entrepreneur. Kyle overcame tremendous adversity through changing his perception and mindset.

  • The author then shares that adversity comes in many forms, not just external or physical. He learned this through conversations with Chris Lee and Nicole Lapin. Nicole helped the author recognize that adversity is like learning a new language. It is challenging and uncomfortable at first, but once you become fluent, you feel empowered.

  • The author discusses how adversity is inescapable in life and the pursuit of greatness. No one understands this better than Kyle Maynard, who has overcome tremendous adversity due to his congenital disability. While the author has faced less severe adversity than Kyle, he still had obstacles to overcome in his life.

  • The author shares an example of facing adversity in his childhood dream of becoming an All-American athlete. In his senior year of college, he transferred schools to pursue this dream, only to suffer a severe rib injury two games into the season that ended his season and crushed his dream. The physical pain was intense, but the emotional pain of his vision being shattered was even worse.

  • In summary, the key messages are: 1) Adversity comes in many forms, not just external or physical. A lot of adversity is internal. 2) Adversity is inescapable in life and essential to personal growth and progress. 3) Overcoming adversity is about mindset and perception. We can be our greatest allies or our greatest obstacles. 4) No one is immune to facing adversity, even if some face much more severe hardships than others.

  • The author was disappointed after his football season ended and he failed to achieve his goal of becoming an All-American wide receiver. He needed a new goal and vision to motivate him.

  • He decided to try to become an All-American in the decathlon, a 10-event track and field competition. This new vision gave him motivation and purpose. With intense training over 6 months, he qualified for nationals and achieved All-American status.

  • He then earned another year of NCAA eligibility and returned to football, achieving All-American honors in that sport as well. His initial injuries and setbacks actually enabled him to reach his goals in a bigger way.

  • Adversity and obstacles are inevitable in life. How we view them—as tragedies or as opportunities—is a choice. Many successful people, like Stoic philosophers, saw adversity as fuel for their ambitions and determination.

  • Kyle Maynard, a wrestler and MMA fighter born with no arms and legs, is an example of this mindset. He did not let other people’s doubts, fears, and perceptions hold him back. He used their negativity as motivation to pursue his passions and test his limits.

  • Overcoming adversity and obstacles is key to achieving greatness. Fear can either stop us in our tracks or push us to work harder toward our goals. The great ones view adversity as a challenge to grow and learn, not an impediment. They ask themselves how they can accomplish what others say they cannot.

  • In summary, having a vision and facing adversity with determination and the right mindset are essential to success and greatness. Obstacles often end up propelling us closer to our goals, not preventing us from reaching them.

  • Kyle Maynard was born without arms and legs. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain, in 2012. His achievement demonstrates an extraordinary perseverance and positive mindset in the face of adversity.

  • Maynard feels grateful that he was born without limbs rather than losing them later in life. This gratitude allows him to appreciate what he has and not dwell on what he lacks. His attitude inspires the author.

  • Successful people understand that adversity itself is not the obstacle. Rather, it is one’s mindset and response to adversity that really matter. By facing difficulties, one can learn perseverance and clarity of vision.

  • Like Maynard, Angel Martinez faced physical limitations as a child but overcame them through hard work and perseverance. He learned from running that success requires commitment and self-belief. His son internalized this lesson.

  • Everyone faces adversity at some point. Overcoming it requires mental toughness, connecting to one’s inner resolve, and pushing forward positively. Kyle Maynard and Angel Martinez exemplify this attitude.

  • The author draws inspiration from Maynard and Martinez when facing difficulties. Their examples remind him to maintain an attitude of gratitude and resilience. Though life has its hardships, focusing on overcoming them yields perspective and strength. The obstacles themselves often show the way forward.

  • In summary, developing a mindset primed for overcoming adversity is key to success and inner peace. Maintaining gratitude and learning from difficulties help turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones. The greatest achievements are often born of hardship. With determination and the right perspective, one can summit life’s mountains, however high they may be.

• Adversity is inevitable in life and happens to everyone. It comes in two forms: daily minor struggles and major singular hardships.

• The key is to embrace adversity rather than avoid or ignore it. Accept that it will happen and prepare to deal with it in a constructive way.

• Become aware of the specific adversities you are facing. Identify whether they are chronic daily issues or major singular events. Look at how you have handled similar issues in the past and determine what has and hasn’t worked.

• Write about your feelings regarding the adversity or share with a trusted friend. This helps release the negative and toxic emotions surrounding the issue.

• Acknowledge yourself for your accomplishments and the progress you have made in life. Don’t compare yourself to others. Give yourself credit for where you are in your journey.

• Express gratitude for what you have. It is hard to remain upset when you focus on things you are thankful for. Share with others what you are grateful for and ask them to do the same.

• Refocus on your vision and take action. Getting momentum going again builds confidence and positive feelings. Figure out your next step and take it.

• Learn to see adversity as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. Approach it with a growth mindset. Give yourself time to work through the difficult emotions but don’t beat yourself up. Take care of yourself.

• Surround yourself with a strong support system of people who lift you up. Return to your vision and principles to stay motivated. Once ready, take that next step toward your dreams.

• Adversity can be overcome by shifting your perspective and using the proper tools and strategies. You have the power to turn adversity into greatness. Fall in love with the process of growth that comes from working to achieve your vision in the face of life’s struggles.

  • Developing a champion’s mindset requires cultivating focus, flow, belief, and emotional intelligence. It means committing fully to your vision of success.

  • Accessing a state of flow or being “in the zone” allows you to focus intensely on the task at hand. In flow, time speeds up or slows down, your sense of self fades away, and your performance improves dramatically.

  • The author first experienced this flow state as a college athlete while pole vaulting at the national championships. Though he missed his first two attempts, visualizing his lifelong goal of becoming an All-American helped him achieve a state of flow on his third and final attempt, allowing him to clear the bar and finish among the top athletes.

  • The science of flow and peak human performance, as explained by Steven Kotler, shows that accessing flow leads to optimal performance and experience. In flow, we become completely focused on the task at hand, and our mental and physical abilities are heightened.

  • The difference between good performance and peak performance in the zone of flow is crucial to achieving greatness in sports, business, and life. Not everyone has experienced this state of flow and peak excellence.

  • The formula for a champion’s mindset involves belief, skill, challenge, and luck. Belief that you can achieve greatness, learning the necessary skills, taking on challenges that test your limits, and getting the right breaks at the right time. But belief and skill are most within our control.

  • Visualization techniques can help clarify your vision, build belief in your abilities, and teach your mind and body what flow and peak performance feel like so you can more readily achieve that state under pressure. With practice and consistency, you can develop an unshakable champion’s mindset.

The author describes experiencing a state of flow during a record-breaking football game in high school where he felt unstoppable and caught 17 passes for 418 yards and 4 touchdowns. Although his team lost the game, his coach told him he had broken the world record for most receiving yards in a high school football game. The author says this experience of flow made him feel like Superman and want to experience that state all the time.

According to the author’s mentor Steven, flow happens for two reasons:

  1. Out of necessity, such as in dangerous situations where optimal performance is required for survival. For athletes, not achieving flow could lead to injury.

  2. By surrounding yourself with triggers that induce flow, such as the neurochemicals released during flow: norepinephrine, dopamine, anandamide, serotonin, and endorphins. These chemicals increase motivation, performance, learning, and productivity.

The author says achieving flow is about mindset - how you perceive situations and receive information. To achieve flow, you need a “champion’s mindset” - the ability to navigate adversity and move toward your goals. The author’s mentor Bruce Lee described this as “being like water” - adapting to your circumstances.

The author met Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson, who demonstrated this champion’s mindset through intense training and focus at a young age. Although much smaller than the author, she beat him in a CrossFit workout through her determination and skill. The author says her success comes from her mindset, not just her physical gifts.

The author says the champion’s mindset comes from belief - belief in yourself, a higher power, or a purpose. Champions believe they will achieve their goals and overcome failures and obstacles. Although the author has achieved success, he lacked belief in himself for a long time, preventing him from achieving flow and greatness. His mentor Chris Lee says the most powerful work we can do is develop belief in ourselves.

Here are the key strategies to uncover, redesign, and reinvent your belief system:

  1. Evaluate your current beliefs. Look at your beliefs about yourself, your abilities, your relationships, money, health, and so on. Identify any limiting beliefs that are holding you back. These are often beliefs that make you feel unworthy, incapable, or not good enough in some way.

  2. Challenge limiting beliefs. Once you’ve identified limiting beliefs, challenge them with alternative thoughts that are more empowering and supportive of your goals and vision. Ask yourself questions to see if there are other perspectives. Limiting beliefs are often irrational anduntrue. Replace them with beliefs that motivate and inspire you.

  3. Develop a positive belief in yourself. Cultivate beliefs that you are capable, that you can achieve great things, and that you have unique talents and skills. Believe in your ability to overcome obstacles and learn from failures or setbacks. This self-belief is key to success and greatness. But temper it with humility.

  4. Pursue excellence over results. Focus on constantly improving and doing your best rather than just winning or achieving a certain outcome. Results are often outside of our control, but excellence is something we can pursue each and every day through continuous practice and refinement.

  5. Practice visualization. Visualizing the outcomes and results you want to achieve helps train your mind to believe they are possible. Visualization activates the same areas of your brain that are engaged when you are actually achieving something. Use all your senses to make the visualizations as real as possible.

  6. Reframe failures and mistakes. When you encounter failures, setbacks or mistakes, avoid labeling yourself as a “failure.” Instead, reframe them as learning experiences. Ask yourself what you can learn and how you can improve for next time. Failure is often just feedback in disguise. With the right mindset, you can use it to your advantage.

  7. Challenge yourself continuously. Continuous self-improvement and progress helps build belief in yourself over time through the accumulation of small wins and achievements. Set goals and challenges that push you outside your comfort zone and allow you to expand your capacity and confidence. Celebrate all progress and wins, no matter how small.

  8. Practice gratitude and mindfulness. Appreciating life’s blessings and being fully present in each moment helps cultivate a positive and empowering mindset. Make gratitude and mindfulness a daily habit. Notice little details in your everyday environment. Your thoughts and beliefs are influenced by your state of mind and focus of attention.

Take a moment to visualize what you want to create before acting. This helps you focus your mind and intentions.

Practice meditation and deep breathing. Specifically, try the 15-Second Centering Breath: Breathe in for 5 seconds, hold for 2 seconds, breathe out for 8 seconds. Repeat for 1 minute. This helps clear your mind and relax your body.

Keep a gratitude journal. Write down things you’re grateful for and proud of each day. Note what’s working and not working. Plan how to build on successes and improve failures. This helps you become aware of what you’re creating each day and spot helpful patterns.

Develop your emotional intelligence. Know yourself - identify your strengths and weaknesses. Ask others for feedback. Compare how you see yourself vs. how others see you. Work to understand and manage your emotions and reactions. Use your self-awareness to guide your thinking and behavior.

Believe in yourself. You are unique and special. Don’t doubt yourself or your abilities. Have confidence in who you are.

• The author’s brother, Christian Howes, was sentenced to prison for 6-25 years when the author was a young child. This was traumatic for their family.

• Despite the difficulties, Chris rededicated himself to music while in prison. He practiced relentlessly and earned respect for his talent.

• When Chris was released, he had to overcome stigma and barriers due to being an ex-convict. But he did so through passion and hustle.

• Chris was willing to perform anywhere to build his name - restaurants, hotels, dive bars, wherever. He gave 100% at every show, no matter the venue or audience size.

• Chris showed “shameless urgency” - he was not too proud to promote himself and do whatever it took to succeed. This willingness to sacrifice and persevere against obstacles led to his success.

• The key lesson is that hustle, hard work, and perseverance are required for greatness. No one will hand you success - you must go out and earn it yourself. Hustle means doing what others won’t to achieve your goals.

• Chris’s story shows that you can overcome setbacks and stigma through dedication and hustle. His journey has inspired the author in his own life and career. Hustle and hard work can lead to unlikely success against the odds.

The main points are that success requires hustle, hard work, perseverance, and a willingness to sacrifice. No matter what obstacles or setbacks you face, you can achieve great things through passion and dedication. Hustle means doing whatever it takes to accomplish your goals, even tasks that others may see as beneath them. With enough hustle, even unlikely success and overcoming stigma are possible.

  • Chris said: “Most people can’t get over the fear of promoting themselves. As an artist, you’re supposed to just focus on your craft, and success will come. But I rejected that. I knew I wanted to become a great jazz violinist and perform with accomplished musicians.” So Chris vigorously promoted himself at his shows and sold his CDs to audience members, shamelessly putting himself out there.

  • Chris believed you have to do things other people aren’t willing to do to become the best, like Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps training rigorously. Chris hustled and took any opportunity to achieve his goal of becoming a professional violinist.

  • The author had a difficult childhood and adolescence. He was unhappy, felt like he didn’t matter, and even said he wished he was dead. But when Chris was released from prison, it transformed the author’s life. Chris didn’t wallow in self-pity over his circumstances. He hustled relentlessly to build his music career from nothing. Watching Chris inspired the author and showed him what was possible.

  • Years later, after a career-ending injury and surgery, the author was lost and depressed. But he realized his depression was because he hadn’t hustled to figure out his next step, not because his vision was gone. He reached out to mentors for guidance, including Stuart Jenkins, who suggested he network on LinkedIn.

  • The author started hosting networking events, gaining 10,000 LinkedIn connections in a year through hustle and hard work. He applied the lessons from watching Chris build his music career. The author had no background in business but built a successful company through determination and grit. His early struggles and setbacks fueled his motivation and hustle.

The key message is that overcoming difficulties and setbacks requires hustle, hard work, and persistence. Giving up in the face of challenges and adversity leads to regret, but continuously pushing forward can lead to great success and overcoming fears and self-doubt. With vision and determination, you can achieve remarkable things.

The key drivers behind the hustle are:

  1. The desire to not be a failure or remain unseen. The hustle is powered by the vision to inspire others and push through difficult times.

  2. The underdog mentality. Viewing yourself as the underdog gives you something to chase and judge yourself against. It provides extra motivation and intensity. The best hustlers have a chip on their shoulder.

  3. Doing both working hard and smart. Hustle is about putting in maximum effort and working intelligently. Hustlers take action and make things happen rather than waiting for opportunities to come to them.

  4. Falling in love with the process. Achieving greatness requires vision and action, but most people only have the vision. Greatness comes from embracing the hardship and suffering required to achieve the vision. It means training, practice and repetition, even when you hate it. Suffering now to live as a champion later.

  5. Focusing on passion over talent. While talent is useful, passion and work ethic are more important drivers of success and results. Loving what you do and working hard for it will produce better outcomes than talent alone.

The key is to develop an underdog mentality, fall in love with the process, focus on passion, and work both hard and smart in pursuit of your vision. That is the essence of the hustle.

The key to success and greatness is hard work and hustle, not natural talent. The author’s brother achieved great things through hard work and grit after wasting years of natural talent. The difference between mediocrity and greatness is how hard you work.

But it’s difficult to embrace the hustle mindset because of fear - fear of looking bad, failing, or even succeeding. To overcome fear, understand that greatness comes from “being great in little things” through baby steps and consistency. Do exercises like writing down your fears and “what if” scenarios, then reframing them into potential positives.

Hustle is a muscle that must be developed through consistent action in four areas:

  1. Your body - Do something daily to push yourself physically and increase your pain threshold.

  2. Your mindset - Daily do something to improve your thinking, like reading, listening to podcasts, learning from a mentor, etc. Question everything and see endless possibilities.

  3. Your relationships - Connect with new people in your industry, influencers, and share meals. Attend networking events and join masterminds.

  4. Your skills - Consistently improve your skills through practice, study, and application. Skills compound over time through repetition and consistency.

In summary, stop waiting for natural talent or the “right opportunity” and start hustling in these four areas. Hustle will build momentum to achieve great things, even from difficult circumstances. Through daily consistency in self-improvement, you can develop an unstoppable mindset. Success comes from living intensely for years, so you can enjoy life’s rewards. The journey of hustle and self-development, not the destination, is what creates a meaningful life.

•Mastermind groups have been key to the author making seven figures in business. He discusses how to join or start a mastermind group in Chapter 7.

•Send video messages to your connections to show you care. Don’t just do this on birthdays but regularly follow up and ask how you can support them. For example, send an email saying you appreciate the work they do and mention something specific they’re doing. Do this to show you care, not to ask for anything in return. This will strengthen your relationships.

•Ask questions and make conversations about others, not what you want. When you support people you trust, they will likely want to support you in return.

•Attend industry conferences, trade shows, and summits. This may be outside some people’s comfort zones, but stepping out and developing a stronger mindset is important. Start with smaller events if needed and build up from there.

•Constantly learn new skills. The more skills you have, the more you can offer in any situation. Come up with a list of 10 skills you want to learn over the next six months. Start with the most exciting one and make a plan to learn it. Consider skills to support your relationships, mindset, and body as well.

•Rich Roll overcame unhappiness and poor health by making major lifestyle changes. At nearly 40, he could barely climb a flight of stairs. He chose to change, cleansing his body and adopting a plant-based diet. After a week, he felt better than he had in 20 years. Small changes are too easily forgotten; make a real commitment to change.

•Billionaire Richard Branson says exercise is the best business advice. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of business. Most successful people emphasize health and fitness.

  • There is a strong connection between physical health and business success. Entrepreneurs like Tim Ferriss recognize this and prioritize exercise and fitness.

  • Tim Ferriss emphasizes the importance of exercise as a way to energize yourself and organize your time. Many successful business leaders adopt vegan or plant-based diets to optimize their health and productivity.

  • The example of Rich Roll, an author and podcaster, illustrates this well. He overcame addiction and health issues by adopting a vegan diet and intense exercise regimen. This transformation inspired him to pursue an ultramarathon, which he completed successfully. His new healthy lifestyle led to success and fulfillment in his work.

  • Your physical and mental health are connected. Poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, and lack of sleep can negatively impact your brain and cognition. This in turn affects your emotions, productivity, and decision making. Improving your health and optimizing your brain can lead to greater success and well-being.

  • The example of the author gaining weight and declining health during a stressful period illustrates this. By adopting a very strict diet for 30 days, he lost 28 pounds and felt much better. Maintaining a balanced diet and exercise regimen has allowed him to sustain his health and success.

  • Ameer Rosic is another example of someone who overhauled his health and sleep habits, which led to greater productivity, success in business, improved cognition, and a massive increase in energy. Optimizing health and sleep is key to peak performance.

  • In summary, adopting a healthy lifestyle with good diet, exercise, limited harmful substances, and high-quality sleep can transform your health, brain, and ultimately your success and productivity. The mind and body are deeply connected, so caring for your physical health will support your mental and cognitive health as well as your business or work success. Overall wellness lays the foundation for peak performance and achievement.

  • The writer tells the story of his friend Ameer who suffered from depression, addiction, and a lack of purpose. Ameer realized that improving his sleep habits led to major life changes. He learned about the importance of sleep for health, mood, immunity, and cognitive abilities. By improving his sleep, Ameer raised his IQ, became a champion athlete, and built a successful business.

  • The writer emphasizes how foundational good sleep habits are, ahead of diet and exercise. Lack of sleep can have severe negative health consequences and hamper success and productivity. Many entrepreneurs sacrifice sleep in the pursuit of success but end up compromising their health and performance. The writer quotes experts who compare lack of sleep to oxygen deprivation and say “sleep is something our genes expect of us.”

  • The writer acknowledges that it can be difficult to prioritize self-care with demanding jobs and commitments but says it is necessary to achieve greatness. We have to be “selfish” and make our health a priority in order to have the energy and ability to help others. The analogy is given of putting on your own oxygen mask before helping others in an airplane emergency. When people take care of themselves, they become better spouses, parents, and community members.

  • The writer’s friend Chalene Johnson says that while change can be hard, “anything and everything is possible with a plan.” People have to decide what they are willing to give up in order to improve their health and performance. When people make their health a priority, their relationships and success in other areas of life improve.

  • The writer says lack of self-care and poor health are major reasons why people don’t achieve greatness. To achieve a vision and overcome obstacles requires energy, stamina, and mental focus which come from good health habits. It’s never too late to start, and we can choose our path forward even if we’ve made poor choices in the past.

  • The writer gives three action steps to start mastering your body: 1) Take a naked photo of yourself to evaluate what you like and want to improve. Accept your body as the first step. 2) Do high intensity interval training which provides an efficient workout in a short time. 3) Practice intermittent fasting like limiting eating to an 8 hour window each day. This can lead to weight loss, improved metabolism, and other benefits.

Without accepting your current body, negative feelings can negatively impact your results. Loving your body leads to positive energy and commitment to fitness. Choose weight loss for yourself, not others.

Develop a fitness plan you love:

•Schedule 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. Pick a consistent time. Do what you enjoy. •Start moving. Walk, jog, stretch. Any activity counts. This is a journey, not a destination. •Find an accountability partner for support. Make it fun. •Do one uncomfortable exercise each day to expand your comfort zone. Try interval training with pushups, air squats, jumping rope, lunges, situps. Adjust as needed.

Find what’s MISSING from your health:

M—Mineralization. Eat organic, locally-grown, grass-fed foods. Use Himalayan salt which has 65-85 minerals. I—Inflammation. Manage inflammation which can lead to disease. Use proteolytic enzymes to break down dead proteins causing inflammation. S—Stress. Manage stress through exercise, meditation, deep breathing. Stress releases cortisol, reducing immunity. S—Sleep. Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Limit light/screen time before bed. Track your sleep. Sleep repairs and restores.

• Go to bed early and get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Make this a habit.

• Focus on your breathing, especially taking deep belly breaths. Your breath powers your health and many bodily functions. Make a habit of pausing to take some deep breaths.

• Eat a diet high in nutrients, not just calories. Focus on nutrients from whole foods like vegetables, fruits, lean proteins. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Make healthy eating and drinking water daily habits.

• Pay attention to your gut health. Your gut is essential for digestion, immunity, and mood. Develop habits that support gut health like eating fermented foods, reducing sugar, and managing stress.

• Develop positive habits and rituals. Successful people have habits and daily practices that contribute to their success and wellbeing. Some good habits to cultivate include:

› Meditation › Exercise › Listening to music › Spending time outdoors › Limiting technology/screen time › Journaling › Reading

• Avoid negative habits like smoking, excessive drinking, overeating, or being overly sedentary. Replace bad habits with good ones.

• Preparation and practice are key. Don’t rely on luck or talent alone. Put in the work to prepare properly and practice positive habits and skills. Success comes from persistence and consistency.

• Learn from mentors and examples of others who have developed optimal health and success habits. Find inspiration and accountability.

• It’s never too late to change your habits and behaviors. Start now to build the habits and daily practices that will support your vision and goals. With time and consistency, you can achieve great things.

Does this summary cover the key points? Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any part of the summary.

  • Talent is not destiny. Greatness comes from developing positive habits and persevering despite adversity.

  • Graham, a naturally talented athlete, failed to cultivate good habits and achieve his potential. He was “treading water” and going nowhere after high school.

  • A tragedy—his cousin’s death—prompted Graham to change his life. He developed positive habits like faith, coaching, and fitness. He built “the world’s fittest man.”

  • The author examined his own habits and made changes. He realized bad habits like being ungrateful, judgmental, and disorganized. He added good habits like gratitude, health, and preparation. Staying consistent is challenging but important.

  • Habits, good or bad, are powerful when combined. People with self-discipline build good habits to become their best selves. They learn from failures and add new good habits.

  • Examples: Michael Jordan practiced diligently and added new moves. James Altucher developed habits to rebound from failures, like writing ideas daily. Eric Thomas avoids distractions when working by not allowing interruptions.

  • The key message is: Develop positive habits and persevere to achieve greatness, regardless of natural talent or adversity. Talent and circumstances do not determine your destiny. Your habits and determination do.

•The author highlights the importance of cultivating positive habits to achieve success and reach your full potential. He cites examples of influential people who have developed effective habits and routines.

•One key habit is making your bed every morning. This helps start your day with a sense of accomplishment and discipline. Establishing simple yet consistent habits like this can help put you on the path to success.

•The author shares some of the daily habits of very successful and wealthy people, including maintaining a to-do list, waking up early, reading, exercising, and limiting TV and junk food. While these specific habits don’t guarantee success, establishing good habits and a routine can help propel you forward.

•The author focuses on several key habits in his own life, including waking up early, making his bed, meditating, eating healthy, exercising, limiting TV, focusing on goals, networking, expressing gratitude, working with a coach, and constantly learning.

•Two other important habits are “being your word” by doing what you say you’ll do and focusing on gratitude. Keeping your word builds integrity and helps you achieve your goals. Practicing gratitude helps cultivate a positive mindset.

•The author emphasizes telling people how much you appreciate them while you have the chance. Expressing gratitude and appreciation for others can have a hugely positive impact.

•In summary, establishing positive habits and a routine, like making your bed each day, can help put you on the path to success and achieving your full potential. Practicing habits like being your word, expressing gratitude, and continuous self-improvement are key to personal growth and development. Focusing on simple yet consistent habits and making them a daily practice is what really matters.

The author discusses the importance of developing positive habits to achieve greatness and success. He highlights several key habits:

  1. Have a morning ritual. The author follows a simple ritual of expressing gratitude, meditation, light exercise, making the bed, etc. A consistent morning routine frees up mental energy and sets the right mindset for the day.

  2. Let go of reaction. Develop the habit of not reacting negatively to situations outside of your control. Take a breath and focus on what you’re grateful for. This reduces stress and leads to better outcomes.

  3. Express your wants and needs. Communicate openly about what you want and don’t bottle up feelings. Ask questions and speak up to have a clear understanding.

  4. Acknowledge others. Make a habit of acknowledging the contributions and humanity of others. This builds strong relationships and support systems, which are necessary for success.

  5. Be vulnerable. Discuss difficulties from your past openly instead of avoiding them. This allows you to learn from mistakes and Grow. Vulnerability also builds confidence and strong relationships.

The author provides three exercises to help develop these positive habits:

  1. Express gratitude daily. List three things you’re grateful for each day. This shifts your mindset and helps you appreciate life’s simple moments.

  2. Write your own habits manifesto. Review the author’s habits manifesto and make your own based on what resonates with you. Then choose three habits to focus on for two weeks.

  3. Do a 28-day morning routine challenge. Reset your morning routine by choosing small changes to make each day over 28 days. A good morning routine sets the right mindset and pace for the whole day.

In summary, developing positive habits like expressing gratitude, clear communication, acknowledging others, and pushing past discomfort leads to growth and success. While it can be difficult, focusing on your vision and taking action to build good habits pays off.

  • The challenge is to choose one morning routine to do for the next 4 weeks to build good habits and work toward your vision. Options include:
  1. 30 minutes of writing
  2. Make your bed
  3. Make a to-do list
  4. Exercise
  5. Eat breakfast
  • Establishing a good morning routine sets the tone for the day and helps achieve your goals and vision. Weigh the price and rewards of your daily habits and decisions. Good habits lead to growth, bad habits lead to instant gratification. Connect to your vision and build positive habits.

  • Build a winning team to achieve greatness. Play solo and go fast, play together and go far. Justin Bieber’s success is attributed to his manager Scooter Braun building a winning team. Scooter learned from Phil Jackson’s book about creating winning teams.

  • Cultivate strong relationships. Scooter built strong relationships from a young age. Strong relationships have been key to achieving greatness, especially in business and sports. Toxic teams can be demoralizing, while great teams lead to success. Get everyone working together in the same direction. This applies to workplaces, families, sports teams, etc.

  • Surround yourself with greatness. Evaluate what makes a good vs bad team. Connect with mentors and teachers to build a winning team. Learn from those already achieving great things.

  • Key lessons: build positive habits and a vision, build strong relationships and teams, surround yourself with greatness. Achieving greatness is a team effort, not a solo act.

  • According to Don, your capacity for success is determined by the people around you, i.e. your inner circle. If you want to achieve greatness, surround yourself with great people.

  • It can be difficult to cut off people from your inner circle, even if they are not helping you achieve your goals. Don suggested spending less time with such people rather than cutting them off completely.

  • This insight applies not just to sports but also to business, relationships, and life in general. Success in any endeavor requires surrounding yourself with excellent people.

  • Scooter Braun, a successful music manager, has multiple mentors who have guided him, including Jermaine Dupri, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Lucian Grainge, and David Geffen. Mentors are invaluable for helping you navigate challenges and stay on course to achieve your goals.

  • According to Scooter, it is more important to surround yourself with positive people than just smart or talented people. Positive energy and teamwork are more significant for success than individual talent or intelligence alone.

  • Balancing talent and positivity is important for a successful team. Talented, ambitious people need to work together rather than compete against each other. Defining a shared vision of success and understanding each person’s role help turn competitive drives into positive energy.

  • Average players who work together as a team, stay positive, and stick to the game plan can beat more talented players who do not work well together. Success comes from teamwork, not individuals trying to win the game alone.

To build a winning team, you need positive people around you who support and believe in you. Surround yourself with dreamers, doers, believers, and thinkers. Build a network of these people who can help you achieve greatness.

Communication and resolving any issues or frustrations among team members is key. Be transparent and make sure everyone is on the same page. Delegate and empower others, even if they do things differently than you. Realize individuals will have their strengths, so let them thrive.

Have a game plan and strategy. Let your team know what’s important and their roles. Create an environment where everyone can succeed. There may be competition, but focus on the shared goal.

See your team as family. Support them through challenges and be there for them. Think of how you can serve them and set them up for success. Together, aim for and achieve greatness.

Don’t settle for poor relationships. Take inventory of who energizes and inspires you versus who stresses you out or has a negative mindset. Surround yourself with people who pursue greatness and support your success. Build a team of role models and mentors to help you achieve your dreams.

Here’s a summary:

  • Having clear and compassionate conversations with the people in your life can help strengthen your relationships or set healthier boundaries. Come from a place of love and make requests rather than accusations. If the relationship does not improve, you may need to limit contact.

  • Joining or creating a “mastermind” group of like-minded, goal-oriented individuals can help accelerate your success. A mastermind provides support, accountability, resources and connections. The key is having the right mindset and selecting the right members.

  • Chris Ducker’s “Three Lists to Freedom” exercise helps identify tasks that drain your time and energy so you can outsource or automate them. The three lists are:

  1. Things you don’t like doing: repetitive tasks you procrastinate on
  2. Things you can’t do: tasks you lack skills or expertise for
  3. Things you shouldn’t do: tasks that are beneath your pay grade or skill level

Outsourcing or automating items on these lists frees up your time and mental space so you can focus on high-level priorities. This applies to both business and personal life.

The summary outlines some practical strategies for improving your relationships, accelerating success and freeing up more time for the things that really matter to you. Applying even one of these approaches could have a big impact. The key is taking that first step to make a positive change.

Chris Ducker recommends regularly reviewing and updating lists of tasks you don’t like doing, can’t do, or shouldn’t do. These lists help identify jobs you can delegate to free up your time and focus on higher-impact work.

Ducker started doing this early in his business and was working 15-hour days trying to do everything himself. When he began delegating tasks he didn’t need to do, his stress decreased, efficiency increased, and he could focus on what he enjoyed. This approach works for both business and personal life.

Examples of tasks to add to the lists:

Don’t like doing: Checking email, managing social media, handling customer support Can’t do: Graphic design, developing a website, editing podcasts Shouldn’t do: Bookkeeping, yard work, cooking, cleaning

Even if you can’t outsource a task now, add it to the list. New tools and services are always emerging to help at lower cost.

Delegating and focusing on your strengths leads to improved productivity and well-being. But avoiding any one personality style exclusively is also important for successful teamwork and relationships. Chris Lee’s Personality Matrix describes four main personality types:

  • Promoters: Enthusiastic, relationship-focused, spontaneous
  • Analyzers: Detail-oriented, logical, structured
  • Controllers: Driven, decisive, confident, goal-oriented
  • Supporters: Emotionally attuned, people-pleasing, vulnerable

Each style has strengths, but taken to an extreme can be off-putting. Flexibility and balancing the styles leads to understanding, valuing, and connecting well with others.

Ultimately, “we are all in this together.” Focus on continuous self-improvement, build win-win relationships, show you care about others, and work to improve the lives of people around you. Giving back and living a life of service leads to fulfillment and meaning.

  • The author’s brother has been instrumental in his life. So he found it fitting that he met Adam, someone who has dedicated his life to helping others, at a conference.

  • Adam Braun is the founder of Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit organization that has built over 300 schools and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of children around the world. Adam prefers to call it a “for-purpose” organization. Its purpose is to help children in need get access to education and follow their dreams.

  • Two events shaped Adam’s path in life. First, when Adam was 17, his parents took in two student athletes from Mozambique and gave them opportunities to fulfill their potential. This expanded Adam’s view of family and exposed him to different cultures and life experiences. Second, as a sophomore in college, Adam went on Semester at Sea, an around-the-world study program. A near-death experience on the trip and meeting people with little material wealth but much happiness changed his perspective.

  • On the trip, Adam asked one child in each country what they would want if they could have anything. A boy in India said he wanted a pencil so he could go to school. This stuck with Adam.

  • After college, Adam took a job at a consulting firm, Bain & Company, to gain skills and connections to achieve his vision of helping children in need. He realized nonprofits lacked business acumen and that he didn’t want a boring, self-serving job.

  • Adam left Bain to start Pencils of Promise to build schools for children in poor, rural communities around the world.

  • Bain & Company allows employees to take 6-9 month “social impact externships” after 2 years of employment to work on education and development issues.

  • Adam Braun did an externship and was inspired after attending a symphony performance to start Pencils of Promise, an organization that builds schools in developing countries.

  • Pencils of Promise has local communities build the schools so they have a sense of ownership and pride. This follows the principle of empowering people rather than enabling them.

  • Adam filters decisions through whether they will provide long-term value to those the organization serves. This is an example of great leadership - focusing on serving others rather than yourself.

  • Being of service to others, whether through traditional charity, following your passion, or random acts of kindness, leads to a longer, more meaningful life.

  • Examples of people who are of service in their own way include:

    • Ron Finley, the “guerrilla gardener” who plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA.
    • Kyle Maynard, who inspires veterans and others through his challenges and goals.
    • Shawn Johnson, who speaks on behalf of the Women’s Sports Foundation to help girls through sports.
    • Aubrey Marcus, who tries to help people optimize human performance and happiness through his fitness company.
  • The author feels a sense of service in sharing lessons from influential people through his podcast. Following your passion and contributing to something greater than yourself is a first step to being of service. But doing more to help others directly can lead to an even more meaningful life.

The key message is that you should find ways to give back to others and make a positive impact without expecting anything in return. Successful people are often asked for free advice, mentorship or help, which can be draining. However, choosing to help others in small ways, through your time, skills or money, is crucial to achieving greatness. It contributes to living a life of purpose and dignity.

Some suggestions for ways to give back include:

  • Doing small acts of kindness each day like smiling at strangers, helping someone in need or donating to a cause you believe in.
  • Volunteering your time for an organization or cause you care about. Consistency is key.
  • Using your skills and talents to help organizations in need, e.g. offering graphic design or web development help.
  • Donating money to make a big impact, especially for small local organizations. Even small amounts can help significantly.

The key is to start small with simple acts of kindness and build from there based on what inspires you. Make giving back a habit and part of your daily life, rather than an extra task. Share your experiences on social media to spread the message and inspire others.

Remember that you need to take care of yourself first before you can help others. Make sure your own needs are met so you have the energy and ability to contribute. Adversity and struggles often shape your character and ability to achieve greatness. Difficult experiences teach you lessons and help you grow.

In summary, develop a habit of giving back to others through small acts of kindness and bigger contributions of time, skills or money. Make it part of your daily purpose rather than an extra burden. Take care of yourself so you can positively impact others. Learn from adversity and struggles which help shape your ability to achieve greatness.

  • The author got into a fight during a pickup basketball game and severely beat up the other player who had headbutted him first. This fight brought up traumatic memories of a fight he had as a 12-year-old. He realized he had anger issues he needed to address.

  • Two months later, the author attended a leadership workshop where he learned about emotional intelligence and the importance of being vulnerable. He opened up about being raped at age 5 by his babysitter’s son. This was the first time he had told anyone about this traumatic experience.

  • Sharing this story was freeing for the author. He realized we all have past traumas, but we can still achieve greatness. Our past experiences shape who we are, and we can turn adversity into our greatest strength.

  • The author started his podcast, The School of Greatness, around this time. In the first episode, his guest Robert Greene talked about mastery and achieving greatness, which inspired the name of the podcast.

  • After the leadership workshop, the podcast took on a new energy. The author had learned a lot about himself and was now focused on personal growth and achieving his vision. He brought on influential guests to help him in this journey.

  • The key lessons were: face your past traumas; be vulnerable; turn adversity into strength; constant self-improvement and mastery; follow your vision.

The author expresses gratitude for the many lessons he learned from various thinkers, leaders, and achievers in the world. He considers himself a student of their wisdom and experiences.

From Angel Martinez, the author learned the power of having a clear vision and becoming what you envision.

From Kyle Maynard and Nicole Lapin, the author learned that there are no excuses for not achieving greatness. Greatness requires persistence in overcoming adversity and learning new things.

From Shawn Johnson, the author learned that greatness is a mindset of believing in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals. It’s not about winning medals or accolades.

From the author’s brother, Christian, he learned the importance of hard work and perseverance. When faced with failure or rejection, you have to pick yourself up and try again.

From various health and wellness experts, the author learned that physical health is essential to achieving greatness. The choices you make about exercise, diet, and sleep can either enable or hinder your success.

From Graham Holmberg, the author learned that it’s never too late to develop positive habits, no matter your natural talents. Those habits, built daily, inch you closer to greatness.

From Scooter Braun, the author learned the importance of building a strong team of positive people to achieve great things.

From Adam Braun, the author learned the power of serving others. You don’t have to wait until you’ve “made it” to make a difference in people’s lives. Serving others can be the path to success.

The author emphasizes that the journey to greatness never ends. The lessons in the book are meant to stay with you and guide you continually. While there may be setbacks, you can never be “kicked out” of the school of greatness. It is an ongoing, self-guided degree in life that requires active participation and constant learning. The hope is that we can all support each other on this journey.

Lewis Howes is an entrepreneur, author, and former pro athlete dedicated to inspiring the world. In his book The School of Greatness, Howes shares his journey of overcoming adversity and maximizing his potential to achieve greatness. Through stories of struggle and triumph, Howes motivates readers to develop a growth mindset, follow their purpose, and make a positive impact. Overall, the book inspires you to unlock your inner greatness, elevate your life, and make a difference in the world.

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About Matheus Puppe