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Amy Purdy

How to Be Your Best Self

IF YOUR LIFE WAS A BOOK, HOW WOULD YOU WANT YOUR STORY TO GO?

Whatever it is that you want to do in this new year- declare it.

Tell everyone.

One of the scariest things you can do is to admit your goals. What if you fail?

But saying your intentions out loud allows the universe and those around you to make them a reality.

Holding yourself accountable to what you really want won’t be easy, but it will force you to dig deep.


No one knows this better than my guest on today’s special episode of The School of Greatness. I’m sharing a speech from this year’s Summit of Greatness with an inspirational athlete and author: Amy Purdy.

“My legs haven’t disabled me- they enabled me.” @AmyPurdyGurl  

Amy Purdy is a para-snowboarder, motivational speaker, clothing designer and New York Times bestselling author. She is a 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist, 2018 Paralympics silver medalist, and co-founder of Adaptive Action Sports. In 2013, She was named one of the top 15 most marketable para-athletes in the world by the International Olympic Committee.

Amy has competed on CBS’s The Amazing Race and ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, eventually becoming the show’s runner-up.

Amy used a tragedy that took her feet to push her to the next level. She teaches us to use obstacles not as a reason stop but as a springboard to new ideas.

So get ready to learn how to write your own story on Episode 743.

“The obstacles in our life can only do two things: stop us dead in our tracks, or force us to get creative.” @AmyPurdyGurl  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • What message would you give to other disabled people? (10:26)
  • What’s next? (15:28)
  • How did you become such a great speaker? (17:34)
  • What do you do to stay motivated? (22:43)

In this episode, you will learn:

    • How to use what you have (11:57)
    • How Amy is aware of her time (14:07)
    • Why it’s important to tell stories that make you feel vulnerable (19:00)
    • The power of intention (23:40)
    • Plus much more…

Transcript of this Episode

Lewis: This is episode 743 with the inspiring Amy Purdy. 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.

Elon Musk says “When something is important enough you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.” For me that resonates so loudly because every day I get messages from people online or people I meet in person who tell me that they’re not doing the thing they really want to do because of self-doubt, because of insecurity, because of different challenges and obstacles that they face in their life and they are really afraid to fail and afraid to let people down and for people to judge them. For me I feel like we weren’t just put here to play things safe to play small or to show up some of the time. Yes we want to protect ourselves, yes we want to have our needs met and we don’t want to put ourselves in physical harm’s way. But if we want to achieve or dreams and if we want to do something meaningful to us fulfilling that means you got to live messy at some times, that means you need to face different challenges; you got to break your heart, you got to break people and do things people don’t like. Not everyone is going to like what you do you’re gonna lose some people along the way, you’re going to feel some emotional pain here and there and I don’t think you’re supposed to coast and live the say life all the way from the moment you wake up to the moment you die, I just don’t believe that’s what it’s supposed to be.

Now I don’t want you to face emotional pain every single day that is not worth it either, but there are going to be moments in your life that you’re going to need to get stronger, not play smaller but build your strengths so you can take on the challenges not just on adversity. Today’s guest has taken on some extreme adversity and one of the most inspiring people I know, she’s a massive motivational speaker, she’s a Para snowboarder, she is a best-selling author. She won the bronze medal in snowboarding in the Paralympics in 2014 and in 2018 Paralympics she is a silver medalist just such a kind human being, one of the kindest human being I have ever met and she had a challenge when she was, earlier in her life when she lost the bottom half of her legs and she had extreme challenges and extreme adversity that she had to face and in this challenges she didn’t settle for a safe and comfortable life. She step up to the plate and started taking more action and she was the closing keynote speaker at last year’s summit of greatness which was mind blowing, she got a standing ovation and her speech was one of the best I have ever seen. And we sat down and did a Q&A afterwards and in this episode today is part of that Q&A that I felt really resonated that had people in tears and had people standing ovation and I want you to have access to it because of how inspiring it is. If you haven’t got any tickets to the summit of greatness it is going to be mind-blowing, so make sure to go to summitofgreatness.com get your ticket and for friends as well because it is going to be a great weekend in Columbus, Ohio.

In this episode we talked about the power of using what you have to the best of your ability, again Amy lost her legs below her knees and she didn’t have what she was born with anymore but she makes the most of what she has now and she is on fire. We also talked about what it takes to be your best self every day even if you don’t feel like showing up, she covers the power of vulnerability and sharing your story. So many people are afraid to share their story because they feel like it doesn’t matter that it’s not interesting enough or no one is going to listen, but I’m telling you it matters. How to keep going and stay inspired even when you’re doubting yourself and figuring out your own personal why. I talked about why a lot because that’s what keeps me motivated, you know I don’t need motivation I don’t need to watch videos or psych myself up out in the mornings to wake up. I wake up every day because I know what my personal why is and you need to know what your personal why is as well.

Before we dive in a quick thank you to our sponsor today netsuite. Now here’s the thing guys lots of companies battle with different challenges as they grow, I’ve been growing the last 3 or 4 years dramatically and I went from updating manual processes and replacing inefficient systems and trying to figure out like where my money coming in and how am I handling expenses. As you scale you’re gonna need a software that’s gonna handle that growth. Now, I want to introduce to you netsuite by Oracle, it’s the business management software that handles every aspect of your business in an easy to use cloud platform and with netsuite it saves you a ton of time, it saves you money and unneeded headaches and managing those sales, finance and accounting, orders and HR instantly right from your desk or even your phone. Thousands of fastest growing companies use netsuite to manage their business and now it’s available to you as well, the power of management system is more affordable than you think and right now netsuite is offering you valuable insights to overcome the obstacles that are holding you back for free. So don’t miss out they have this guide that is all about unleashing your business’s full potential and the free guide is called ‘Crushing the 5 Barriers to Growth.’ You’re going to learn how to acquire new customers, increase profits and finally get real visibility into your cash flow. So get netsuites guide called ‘Crushing the Five Barriers to Growth’ when you go to netsuite.com/greatness right now.

Also a big thank you to our sponsor organified. Right now currently I am in Israel, I was just in Luxembourg playing with the USA national handball team, I love this sport it’s a passion of mine we’re having some great times and great matches and we continue to get better as a team and when I am on the road travelling whether it’s playing with the US handball team or whether it’s just going to give speech in front of 10,000 people, wherever I maybe going I need this product and it’s all about the green juice. Now, organifi is how I upgrade my nutrition when I’m on the road and their most popular product the green juice solve the problem of juicing greens on the go, we all know the benefits of green juice and with organifi all you got to do is just add water to organifi. Every single person needs to have green super food supplement in their life or this greens in their life, but the challenge is even if you’re eating healthy your veggies lose a ton of nutritional values just sitting on the shelf for days before you eat them. Not all of us have the time and the means to get all natural and fresh organic vegetables every single day, that’s why I love using organifi it’s quick and easy but it also taste great, and my whole team has been drinking it at the greatness studio as well and my mom drinks it all the time. Right now you can go to organifi.com and use code Lewis at checkout to get 20% off your order and start the year clean and green.

Again a big thank you to our sponsors. Now I’m very excited about our guest so without further ado let me introduce to you the one and only Amy Purdy.

Amy: This is just incredible I mean the energy in this room is unreal.

Lewis: It’s electric right?

Amy: Absolutely.

Jacob: Hey Amy, my name is Jacob from Hawaii and you almost brought me to tears hearing your story and I believe there’s a purpose greater than anything we can even explain and I feel like this moment right now is something greater and just a quick. Basically my question is for the people I’m about to help which is I work with Mr. Wheelchair Hawaii and we’re making a disabled training app for her 12 week transformation and she got 2nd place in Ms. Wheelchair America and inspired hundreds of thousands of people just like you and you know we’re launching this next Friday and all these people are doing and I want to have you give them inspiration and tell them what it takes to take that step of one’s feeling powerless and to change your perspective in life and feel empower like how you are today.

Lewis: So you want to share a message?

Jacob: Share a message to all these people that will hear this message from you because your story is exactly what I want them to go through on how you were in your situation when you thought that your life was over and then but you were able to change your life and inspired thousands of people. So, I just want like what you can say to these people that are disabled or have this inabilities that you once face.

Amy: So, first of all I would say my Ted talk a very short version of some of the stuff that I spoke about today. But really I just think if you work hard enough and you’re passionate enough that the possibilities are endless, I never say that anything is possible because I think we all know not anything is possible I mean I’m not growing my legs back so somebody in the wheelchair is not going to get up and walk. But I think that if you work hard enough and you’re passionate enough that the possibilities of what you can achieve are endless and when I look back and look at that video of me dancing with my dad for the first time standing in my legs for the first time, who would have thought that I would go on to dancing with the stars.

Lewis: Crazy.

Amy: And that’s why you can’t give up on yourselves because you never know what life has in store for you and it really is just like I said about using what you have, using what you have to get ahead. You know I feel like every accomplish challenge in my life, I wasn’t prepared enough I was injured going into the last Paralympic games, I mean there’s always this things and challenges that are holding us back, it’s about using what you have. I don’t know if it’s possible to reach that but the idea that we have so much potential inside of us and just to try to use what you have today to the best of your ability, that’s what gets you ahead and that’s what I’ve really kind of learned and focus on in my life is just using what I have.

Lewis: It’s amazing.

Sam: Hi my name is Sam from Columbus, Ohio I am grateful for time and having time to do things with the information that I am getting here today with all these speakers.

Lewis: It’s good to be 14 right?

Amy: Yeah I know right.

Sam: My question is so I just started snowboarding a few years ago and on your mountain top literally and figure when you’re heading down whatever maybe that jump or you’re gonna start to program for the Paralympics and snowboarding, why don’t you just turnaround what keeps you at each individual moment to do that thing? Or whatever it maybe.

Amy: I think that you actually you said it, you talked about time and the thing is I am very aware that we don’t have time that can change tomorrow, your lives can change so fast. In fact for me I am very aware of my own mortality I know that what I’m doing today might not have the opportunity to do tomorrow. So every single day that I wake up that I’m healthy and strong I have a kidney transplant that keeps me on my toes and my feet, because with a kidney transplant you never know if it’s going to fail. I don’t know if I’m going to need 5 kidney transplant in my life or if this one last a lifetime. So every single day that I’m healthy I’m using what I have and I’m pushing myself and trying to figure out what the possibilities are because we don’t have time. But you know that’s what inspires me like every single day I’m healthy I’m working, I’m working towards my dreams my passion and goals, every single day that I have today.

Kim: I’m Kim from San Francisco, California and I’m grateful for all the stories like you said like the stories are so powerful. My question to you is man you got this resume that is so ridiculous, so my question is what’s next?

Amy: It’s kind of interesting like Lewis said so I travelled all over the world and I usually speak to corporate events, I will speak to 20,000 people at a time and it’s all corporate and it feels nothing like this. This is amazing I love what I do though to connect with so many people and to hear so many stories and share my stories. But there’s a bit of a disconnect because I almost live in a bubble even though I speak with thousands of people at a time I’m in this little bubble because if you’re not sitting in there with me you don’t get to hear it, I don’t get to connect with you. So, I’m actually learning so much just being here today because I am trying to learn how to reach out more to the followers that I have and I have little kids come up to me in tears and saying that my story change their life, like that’s what I want to do more, I am really inspired by our younger generation and I feel like they have more challenges than any of us have had with social media and trying to figure out where you fit in the world. So, I’m really inspired to reach out to more of this young kids but in order to do that there’s a little bit of bridge that needs to be made from my world of living in this bubble to being able to reach out more to my followers out there and be able to create the content of the younger generations going to actually get something from. So what’s moving forward is a passion and somewhat of a question mark so we’ll see how I do that.

Lewis: There you go.

Kendall: Hi my name is Kendall Crane I’m from Nashville, Tennessee. My question is I’ve talked to a lot of people this weekend and a lot of feedback that I’ve got, a lot of what I’ve heard is that we’re all kind of in the space where we’re learning to tell our story and I’m personally in a place where I’m transcending my pain and like you’ve gone through a lot transition and transcending. I would love some tips on how you learn to tell your story and any tips you have for the people here.

Amy: So I called my speaking coach this morning I haven’t talked to her in probably a year because this event had so much power to me that I was like I just want to make sure I’m on the right track, she’s so amazing she’s never helped me write my speeches at all she just reminds me of what’s important, she reminds me that being vulnerable that getting up here and even if your voice cracks and tears going down your face that that’s what matters. We think too much like our heads are constantly going especially in a room of game changers like you guys, we always have something to do and go and we’re educating ourselves and we’re on Instagram. It’s rare that we actually sit back and get to open our hearts. So that’s what so important to share our story and that’s why I say that the stories that you are most scared to share, the ones that you are embarrassed about those are the stories that you should be sharing. So I think just everybody has a story, we all have a story and sometimes people come up to me and they’ll say “I’m really inspired by your story but I don’t have a story. So how do I inspire other people?” And I think that’s wrong we all have a story but I think we have to be careful with the stories that we tell ourselves because those are the most important and powerful stories of all because those story shape who we become. So, I’m up here just as nervous and scared as any of you would be sharing your story. Every single time I share my story I relieve it and I do my best to kind of share the journey of it, it’s crazy that I’m called the motivational speaker because I don’t go up and do the Tony Robbins kind of stuff like I just share my experiences and what I’ve learned through them and I hope that somebody in the audience can relate and then that it impacts them to move on with their lives. So that’s all it’s about being truly you.

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Woman: I’m from Toronto, Canada my son is not able to use his legs he has disability and I’m trying to write my story and I’m trying to know if there is rich wall or something that you do or the last speaker said, what do you do every day to keep you going?

Amy: You know what so I want to write a 2nd book that’s all about inspiration and how you do just that, like how do you wake up every day feeling inspired and actually I think you have one of the best answers.

Lewis: What did I say?

Amy: You said it’s having the big picture it’s the big picture because you can get really caught up in the challenges of what we’re trying to accomplish here. Like every day I have to wake up and I have to sit up right, like all these stuff are hard it is not easy and nobody is making you do it. So like you have to do it yourself but if you have            that bigger picture of your why like if you know your why how will always figure itself out. You know you have to be clear on those intentions and for me my why is that I honestly the little kids that come up to me and say I change their life or the lady that comes up to me and says somehow hearing my story she lost a hundred pounds and later feel like she could follow her dreams as well. So you know there’s all of us involve and even though life can be very difficult, I think that it’s just having that bigger picture knowing your why and I’m just so inspired by who I get to meet like that’s my why.

Aly: Aly from New Orleans love you on dancing with the stars, I voted for you hundreds of times and I was fascinated by how you got through it and watching the show I see the vulnerability of the celebrities. So what was your biggest takeaway in your experience through dancing with the stars?

Amy: First of all I went to dancing with the stars I didn’t want to be the first one to be eliminated, I had no idea that anybody with 2 prosthetic legs has ever done that before dancing 7 hours a day for 7 days a week for 3 months straight, I didn’t know if my legs would move the way that I needed them to. But I was so motivated to just figure out what the possibilities were like I didn’t know what was possible but I also put a lot of pressure on myself because I knew people are watching me, because they too are trying to figure out what the possibilities are like what can somebody with 2 prosthetics legs actually do? So we had to get really creative and we made different beat every single week was challenge. Every single week I’m telling you as much as I want to say like “We got this positive thinking.” No, every single week we thought we were done, every week we were like how are we going to do this? It would get to the end of the week and it would be an absolute mess and I would have feet overnighted and we try to make them work. But every single week we figured it out, every week we figured out a way. So, I go back to like if you’re passionate enough and you know your why and willing to work hard enough then the possibilities of what you can do are endless and I had this why, well first of all there’s no way I’m gonna fall on my face on national television and that was one big why and you know also I really wanted to figure out what was possible so that little kid sitting back watching TV who has a prosthetic leg can say “If she can do that I can do that too.”

Lewis: And there you have it my friends I hope you enjoyed this episode, again behind the scenes powerful insight from my dear friend and the inspiring Amy Purdy who just continues to break boundaries and overcome challenges every single day and again a standing ovation on her speech summer of greatness closing keynote last year, she’s just at the light and an inspiration and make sure to check her out on Instagram and tag both of us and share with your friends. We are building a movement together my friends’ lewishowes.com/743 the school of greatness is almost 6 years old.

Again big thank you to our sponsor netsuite make sure you get the guide ‘Crushing the 5 barriers to growth’ when you go to netsuite.com/greatness

And I’m on the road right now and when I travel I’m using the green juice check out organifi.com and use the code Lewis at checkout for 20%.

Again my friends we are doing the thing together we are learning and growing together, we are messy together making some mistakes together we are impacting and changing lives together and we are impacting our own life together.

And as Elon Musk said in the beginning “When something is important enough you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.” And I tell you what the odds are never really in your favor when you think of it that way but when you start to manifest things and build momentum you can change your mindset and say the odds are always in my favor. I love you guys 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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