New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!

New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!


Chris Lee

7 Keys to Being Present In Your Life


All of us are trying to do too many things at once.

We’re on the phone while doing something else.

We’re on a date but we’re distracted.

We’re responding to text messages at red lights.

When we live like this, we never fully experience anything. We’re half-living.

It’s hard to build relationships, be joyful, and be open to opportunities when you’re not present.

You may even be putting your life in danger.

On today’s episode of The School of Greatness, I talk about the power of presence with a coach and mentor who has grounded me throughout my adult life: Chris Lee.

“Indecision is a decision.” @ChrisMotivador  

Chris Lee has spent the last 27 years leading powerful Leadership Seminars around the world. A pioneer in emotional intelligence, Chris Lee has trained and developed people at the top of their game such as Olympic athletes, Fortune 500 Business leaders, celebrities and individuals with a desire to elevate themselves. Chris Lee also serves as a collaborator on TV and radio shows for Univision and The Fox Network.

Chris says that we need to realize that life has an ending. What you’re experiencing now will soon be over- this is your one shot!

By taking ownership of your life and your environment, you can stop your resentments of the past and anxiety about the future.

So get ready to learn the Seven Keys to Being Present on Episode 818.

“You’re either all-in in life, or you’re all out.” @ChrisMotivador  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • How do we be more present? (7:00)
  • How do we lead a more joyful life? (13:00)
  • What’s the difference between appreciating where you’re out and realizing you want something better? (14:50)
  • What is a lesson you’ve learned in the last six months? (36:00)
  • What’s a lesson you still need to learn? (38:00)

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Seven keys to be more present (9:00)
  • Why we stay stuck in situations we don’t want to be in (16:00)
  • Why you need to hold other people accountable for being present (18:00)
  • The importance of setting intentions (24:00)
  • Plus much more…
Connect with
Chris Lee

Transcript of this Episode

Lewis: This is episode number 818 with Chris Lee. Welcome to the school of greatness my name is Lewis Howes a former athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today, now let the class begin.

Deepak Chopra said “Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment.”

It’s all about being present. For some reason I keep on hearing this theme lately, obviously, there’s been books written about this for years. People talked about this constantly but we seem to miss out on the present moment. We’re so focused on the past or we’re focused on what we want to create in the future.

I’ve been susceptible to this many times where I’ve let past experiences take place in the moment where I have repeated the past in my mind or allow the emotions to come up in a different time, but that moment is over and I’m such a goal-oriented high performing achiever that I am focused on a future vision. I think that’s important to do is to focus more on the future and vision but bring it back to the now and be present as much as possible.

We drive most of our stress and anxiety and anger and resentment living in the past or in the future, but when we bring our present moment into the now that’s when we start to feel at peace and that’s the only way we can get in the zone when we live in the now.

Peak performers those that achieved the unachievable only to do it by being present, by being in the zone.

Today we got Chris Lee who’s been on the show I believe over 14 times now. He’s a transformational trainer, coach, best-selling author. He’s been doing transformational work for 30 years traveling the world leaving seminars and workshops for over a million people, teaching them the art of living abundant, extraordinary and successful lives.

He’s worked for top companies worldwide and he’s been on TV and media press and he’s here today talking about how being present can literally save your life. The importance of living with a sense of urgency in the moment, taking responsibility for your environment at the moment.

The power of setting an intention for yourself and for the people around you. Why so many people are unfulfilled and how to break the habit and the 7 key steps for staying in the moment. This is a powerful one.

Before we dive in a big thank you to our sponsor lending club. Now, I know life is crazy and there’s never enough time there are too many things to keep track off and sometimes it’s pretty hard to juggle all the bills and make sure you pay more than the minimum on your credit cards. 

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Also summit of greatness. We just announced a few more speakers Marissa [?] which is one of the top 10 most downloaded episodes on this podcast. We did an interview called ‘your thoughts will heal you or kill you.’ And it just took off. I was fascinated the entire time and she is coming to speak keynote at the summit of greatness.

Jesse Itzler this guy is such an inspirational, he’s always one of the most favorite speaker at every event. We got a couple of announcement as well make sure to go to

You’re gonna meet other inspirational speakers around the world.

Without further ado the 7 keys to being present in your life with the one and only Chris Lee.

Lewis: Welcome everyone back to the school of greatness podcast we’ve got Chris Lee.

Chris: How’s it going?

Lewis: Very grateful that you’re here. You’ve transformed a lot of people’s lives in person. I think we calculated a few years ago you worked with over 30 years?

Chris: 30 years.

Lewis: 30 years training.

Chris: Doesn’t look like it.

Lewis: 30 years training in-person workshops 3 and 4 and 5 workshops.

Chris: Day in and day out with people.

Lewis: All day.

Chris: You were at one.

Lewis: 6 years ago that transformed my life. I talked about my life before the opening of expression of that workshop and then after that workshop of how things have shifted. You’ve also written a book called ’10 principles of abundance and prosperity.’

Chris: The outcome of a podcast here.

Lewis: And today we’re going to talk about being present and the power of presence and you were saying you got a funny story on the way here.

Chris: Lately a lot of things have been happening where I am seeing how by people not being present there’s a lot of drama and there’s also a lot of miss opportunities. So, I’m awake here and the Uber driver was spaced out somewhere and literally crash to the car in front.

Lewis: No.

Chris: I literally walked out of the car and I walk. She was not present and so when you think about not being present we cause a lot of unnecessary drama. Another friend of mine was in the hospital because she wasn’t watching where she was walking, she was somewhere in her mind.

Lewis: On her phone or.

Chris: And she stepped into a pothole and fractured a leg in 3 places. So, just one specific moment can set you back financially, health-wise. 

Lewis: Yeah, I think a lot of us try to do things 2 at once.

Chris: Yeah.

Lewis: We try to text and drive.

Chris: I’ve seen dinners where everyone was on the phone. 

Lewis: So it might not be as obvious as that but [?]. Something that I have been really focusing on over the last 6 months in a relationship and it is long distance. I guess the beauty of that when I’m with her I don’t take my phone anywhere, I’m present and she will quickly say ‘I am not paying attention to her’ for one moment I check my phone.

Chris: Because you navigate. So we live in a constant state of fear of missing out, we’re always thinking about what we have pending. There’s like this ADD quality life now especially with social media and all the things that are coming at us so fast.

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: If you are committed to bringing results in your life you have goals and plans, but a lot of that steals time and steals moments from us. So, it doesn’t allow us to be present in the moment and the magic is in the moment. The magic is ‘I’m here all in and I’m engaged with you.’

Lewis: Yeah, we were talking before how the last 5 years a lot of people in your life have passed away. And it’s a reminder I think.

Fear of the moment because of how I was or what has happened to me in the past or I don’t want things to repeat. So we live and fear the moment because we are thinking of the past or we are afraid of what’s coming in the future that we are not gonna meet some desired result or some things are not gonna happen. So how do we focus our attention now so that we can live more fully?

Chris: It’s an obsession that we are in, we obsessed over the past. 

Lewis: Why do we obsess over it so much? 

Chris: Because we don’t let it go.

Lewis: Why we don’t let it go?

Chris: Because we are attached. It’s an addiction and I think that one of the biggest problems that we had is that we think that where we are isn’t it. So, we think that happiness or joy or fulfillment is in the future or it was in the past and we lost it.

So, either we had it or we lost it or it’s in the future.

Lewis: We’re waiting anxiously.

Chris: One of the things that we do is we miss out on the moment and we don’t realize that happiness is right now, because the only moment that we really have is this one. The next moment is a promise.

Lewis: Right.

Chris: It’s a memory.

Lewis: The future is a future idea or a potential moment in the future that hasn’t come yet.

Chris: When it comes it will be the present.

Lewis: So how do focus on being happier in this moment?

Chris: So, I think there are 7 things that I’ve discovered or uncovered by going through research or being through trainings. The first key is to realize that this is the moment we have. Realizing that this is the only moment we have is realizing that by living in this present moment I get to bring all of me to it. So, by living in the present moment is realizing that the past is a memory, the future is an illusion and I am gonna make it count.

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: When I live in the present moment back to the point I’ve lost a lot of people. It’s realizing our moment with mortality like we live life [?]. So, when I live life from this is the only moment I have I’m living life from the urgency and so I may not see you again so let me be present.

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: We may not pass this way again. So, when I live in the moment what I am doing is celebrating it and acknowledging it and I am able to be present in it. So, what stops me from that is the guilt of the past and the anxiety of the past and the resistance of what I’ve been through. So, that leads to the 2nd key which is to embrace and accept where you are.

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: What’s happening right now is your benefit. Being in gratitude of what’s happening right now is a moment or I can choose happiness.

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: So my enjoying of this moment is up to me. So, when I am able to embrace the moment and live in it then I am present because by not being present I miss out on relationships and life. 

Lewis: If we are always focused on the future we never experience anything really we’re just waiting for something or life half living.

Chris: Right.

Lewis: Half present but always thinking about the future. I don’t live the fullest moment, I don’t get to experience life with all the joy and pleasures and the same thing when we think of other people. It’s a powerful reminder to realize we only have this moment and realized it and embraced and accept it. It’s to say this moment is for me when you’re feeling desperate when you’re feeling like the world is against you. So, how do we do that?

Chris: Well its interpretation its back to about living a bulletproof life which is choosing interpretation empowers you. What doesn’t allow me to be in the moment, what doesn’t allow me to be present with you or be joyful in my life is thinking that what’s happening is against me. 

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: It may be something you get away in your life but you make a choice to choose happiness, to choose to see the good in it. So that allows me to be present and when I am able to be present then I’m able to enjoy my moment.

Lewis: Sure.

Chris: So many people go through people’s lives and they were never present and never there. A whole lifetime can be summed up in 2 conversations, where there were some moments you were with somebody [?] and most people are not in the moment and it is really challenging.

The next principle in terms of being present is the [?] of your thoughts, to be aware where is your mind going when you are with somebody.

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: You know kind of like your mind is saying ‘hey come back.’ Monitoring your thoughts is noticing where your mind is going and noticing what you are thinking, and what you are thinking of taking away from the moment is what you’re thinking driven by the past.

Lewis: What’s the difference between appreciating where you are at and also recognizing it ‘well I’m in a toxic relationship and I don’t want to be in this.’ 

Chris: You have several choices one accepts it, the other is change it.

Lewis: You accept the relationship?

Chris: Yeah like accepting. You know a lot of people complain where they are and they don’t do anything about it. Either accept it and embrace it and find joy anyway in it or move on.

Lewis: Why do we have such a hard time accepting and changing?

Chris: Because we think that things should be different than the way they are and we also think it has nothing to do with us, but we’re the ones creating it. So, by not being present with the responsibility with what I am creating then what I’m doing is I am always thinking that this is different.

Lewis: We all live in the present either.

Chris: So number 3 is to be all in. You’re either all-in in life or all-out. My point of view is I am either all-in in my relationship, there’s no half. 

Lewis: That’s kind of what people are doing when they are not accepting the moment or complaining about it or not changing it.

Chris: Or they are not really in. And to me, it’s either all-in or not. So by being all-in I am bringing all of me into it. So, that’s a key to being present being all-in and being all of me.

Lewis: Right.

Chris: Most people are kind of like waiting for a circumstance to change.

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: Are you all-in in your relationship?

Lewis: Yes.

Chris: Is your partner all-in?

Lewis: Yeah, it’s amazing.

Chris: How does that feel?

Lewis: Here’s the thing in my last relationship I was emotionally trying to unwind in getting out for years, and it was more stressful because I wasn’t all-in-all the time.

Chris: And you want it too. But the wanting too is not the same as being and when you come from that criteria then you can make some decision, it becomes easier.

Lewis: The worst thing is indecision. When we lack the courage to just make it a decision that’s when we suffer the most I feel like. 

Chris: We don’t know that indecision is a decision. You’re deciding not to decide and so you are making a choice to be in limbo, which is why so many people are unfulfilled because they are not doing what they want to do. If you’re in career that you’re not all-in then get out.

Lewis: Or accept it and go all-in.

Chris: Yeah. So that allows you to create fulfillment in your relationship and in your life. So, by being all-in then you can bring your energy, you could bring your joy, your passion.

Lewis: Step 4?

Chris: Step 4 is being ownership of whatever moment you are in. Most people are spectators. There’s a beginning and there’s an end, we don’t know what stage of beginning or end. So, we don’t know where we are. So, the important thing is when you take ownership for where you are whether it’s a restaurant or ownership of being there and notice what is happening around you and you’re present and taking ownership of the conversation. When we are watching we’re observers we become a judge or jury.

Lewis: Gossiping.

Chris: We start making up stories about why we can’t be present. So, when I’m in ownership, it’s so funny because where I go people think I work there. 

Lewis: Walking through everyone.

Chris: I walk through life present like I’m engaged. When you are present with people and this is one of your gifts ‘people feel around you like they’re the most important person in the world.’ You have that gift. People feel like you’re their fan.

Lewis: Right.

Chris: And that’s what makes a great interviewer, that’s what makes somebody who inspires other people because people feel like you’re present with them. So, being in ownership allows you to look at the entire aerial view of what is happening around you and then it allows you to be present.

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: So if I am in ownership of where I am then I’m able to be present versus I walked on eggshells wherever I go and I’m nervous and you know I’m not in the ownership of my life.

Lewis: You talking about the environment a lot in the last 6 years since I’ve known you and I really appreciate the reminder because I think it was something I was doing organically, but the more address environment and how we are in ownership of our environment we are in charge of how it thrives or dies.

Chris: Yeah.

Lewis: I think that’s something that you do really well is obviously showing up with energy and light and joy that shifts an environment.

Chris: It’s like I was always saying you walk into a room or you walk into a house or into a store and you can be an observer of it like and judge it or you can be that environment.

Lewis: That’s it.

Chris: Part of what I commit to myself is to be responsible for the environment I am creating around me.

Lewis: And the experience you want to feel?

Chris: The environment what I want to see around me. In addition to having ownership having an intention. So, the intention is what is your intention when you are sitting down with your significant other?

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: What is your intention when you go into a board meeting? So, what’s the experience that you want to create when you’re with that person?

Lewis: So I have to have intention every 10 minutes of my life? 

Chris: I don’t think it’s so much so specific I think it is the general intention. So it is all really intentional.

Lewis: that’s why it is so effective in the morning to set a clear intention that day.

Chris: Of course. In addition to being [?] and grateful for being alive I get clear about my intention the entire day, but sometimes intentions can be broken into smaller intentions.

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: So leaders come from intention.

Lewis: I think in the morning you should have the intention for that day and you can ground yourself beforehand.

Chris: Think about before you have a big event, one of the things I ask you is what are you gonna create? And it gives you the power to let you create what you want in an environment.

Lewis: That’s it. Number 6?

Chris: Number 6 is to hold people accountable in being present.

Lewis: What’s that look like?

Chris: Guys can we take a moment from our phone and let’s be present? So, it’s not people accountable.

Lewis: Not screaming at them?

Chris: Accountability. Let’s be clear holding people accountable is saying ‘I love you.’ It’s like saying ‘you are capable of a bigger game.

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: So holding people accountable is clear on the environment around you and you’re ensuring it. If you don’t want in your environment people disrespecting you when they disrespect you then you actually stand for that boundary.

Lewis: Sure.

Chris: It creates the environment of people being present. I have a very close friend and for the longest time I was afraid to speak up, but I notice when I was with her she will be playing candy crush. It got to a point where I said ‘when we are together can you play later?’

Lewis: Wow.

Chris: That completely shifted the relationship and that person knows when they’re with me they’re gonna be present. I don’t think people do it in a bad way I just think to get caught up and it goes back to the point that where we are is where we think we should be instead of enjoying the moment.

Lewis: Powerful. Number 7?

Chris: Be mindful of your physical space and your movement. So your body whether it is driving the physical, look we are all physical beings and millions of people are moving at the same time. So by not being present where I am stepping, I could literally kill myself.

Lewis: That’s true.

Chris: A friend of mine she was stepping off a helicopter, her brain was somewhere else and miss a step back surgery. 

Lewis: Oh.

Chris: I don’t know what the statistics are of how many people slip in a bathtub. You’re not conscious of where you are not stepping, so you hear watch your step literally watch your step. So be aware of where you are walking and what you’re doing as you are moving. So just being conscious of that and mindful of that.

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: It will happen to you. One moment that you are not present can affect your life or could affect your relationship. Many relationships end because they were never present with each other and being present also implies being present with yourself.

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: Listen to what is going on. The point of this is living life present could literally not only save your life but transform your relationships, it could transform your businesses. I think most people nowadays with social media, the misuse of social media.

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: Being so engage and being constant engage in other things we miss these moments and this moment is the most important you have because you may not have another one.

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: I don’t take a moment for granted and so I think if we live more consciously present and be present with the people that we love and express how we feel today and make every moment count, this will elevate people’s lives.

Lewis: Do you think it’s gonna get easier for people or harder?

Chris: It’s getting harder because there’s so much more coming at us.

Lewis: Distraction and information.

Chris: All these. Also, there’s the whole thing of wanting more and more. We don’t realize that the key to joy and happiness is happening right now, because all of those things will never bring fulfillment and bring people back and memories back.

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: Even parents like I’ve heard this in a training room ‘I was never present with my children.’ That happens in everything. So, I am the guy in your life that’s like ‘look at me’ like I live that way.

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: Because I live a way that one day you’ll be watching this podcast and I won’t be alive. This will be recorded forever.

Lewis: Right.

Chris: We’re gonna be a memory. It’s scary at the same time it inspires me to want to make every moment count.

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: To want to be present.

Lewis: The 1st one is realizing that this is the only moment. 2nd is embracing or accept where you are and it is for you.

Chris: When you resist you are missing out on the moment.

Lewis: The 3rd one is to not dabble in the moment to be all-in. 4th thing is to be in ownership of the moment you are in and 5th is having an intention of what you want to create for the day. 6th is to hold people accountable to be present. 7th is to be mindful of your movement and physical space.

Chris: Correct.

Lewis: I love these keys, I want to ask you a couple of final questions. It’s been a half year mark and you’ve done 30 years of training but what you learned in the last 6 months that’s new or reinforced for you in your trainings. 

Chris: One of the biggest things that is really landing this year for me is taking care of me is self-love and taking caring of me is everything from releasing relationships that don’t work, taking care of my body. There are just things that are ways of me loving myself and I think as productive people and leaders and people that are committed to making an impact we forget about ourselves. So I am really big on loving yourself and taking care of you, you know to create the space for you to disconnect. So that’s really landing for me in a big way, I am doing things that I haven’t done my entire life.

Lewis: Wow. 

Chris: I’m connecting more and spend a lot of time with my mom this year. I am doing things that come back to fulfilling me, not so much about making the money or getting the deal. So that’s the biggest key for me that I am learning, it’s really landing in a big way. 

Lewis: Yeah.

Chris: People would rather take the shirt off their back.

Lewis: Help someone else out.

Chris: Do whatever they need for other people but they don’t do it for themselves.

Lewis: That’s powerful. What’s a lesson you still think you need to learn?

Chris: My learning to say ‘no’ because I just love what I do. I love to be in service, I already have my schedule for 2020.

Lewis: Book the whole year.

Chris: There’s people that want me to do stuff and I feel bad because I want to do it for them.

Lewis: Yeah. This year I’ve been pretty good at it, but people still get to me direct. I felt like I was put in a really bad situation that this person want to do something for them and I just felt so uncomfortable. 

Chris: I think I know who you are talking about and I think you shared a part of that.

Lewis: It happened again recently.

Chris: Right.

Lewis: You don’t want to lose a relationship because of that. So it’s like how do you say ‘yes’ to please people.

Chris: But then it goes back to my first lesson which is self-love, saying no is sometimes saying yes to you.

Lewis: That’s true.

Chris: Chris Lee motivational trainer and Instagram @chrismotivador.

Lewis: I am so grateful thank you for being here.

Chris: Thank you too always.

Lewis: There you have it my friends I hope you enjoyed this interview with Chris Lee on the 7 keys to being present in your life. 

The more you share this the more we can impact the world and grow together. We are constantly bringing you the best people and idea in the world to help you improve your life.

My mission is to continue to bring the most inspirational people for you get them to open and share.

A big thank you to our sponsor lending club. You can go to you can check rates and minutes and borrow up to $40,000. That’s and lending club is the number 1 peer to peer lending platform with over 50 billion dollars in loans issued.

Get your tickets my friends to the summit of greatness. Many of you have listened to that episode multiple times.

Jesse Itzler just announced as well and one of the favorite speakers at every event he goes to. Make sure to go to and check the speakers.

It’s gonna be a huge party and celebration.

Deepak Chopra said “Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment.”

If you want to get rid of anxiety, stress, fear, insecurities be present. If you want to eliminate worry and uncertainty stop focusing on the past because it is not here right now, the only thing that is here is now. The future is coming it will be here, you want to have dreams about the future but you don’t want to have stress about it. You want to live urgently but you don’t want your future to dictate everything in your emotions. 

Live with joy but be present.

I love you so very much and you know what time it is, it’s time to go out there and do something great.

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