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

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

Summit of Greatness 2024 | September 13-14 | Los Angeles, CA


Ido Portal, Carl Paoli, Wim Hof and Laird Hamilton

Become the Master of Your Body and Health

“We are designed for movement. Athletics is simply an exaggeration of playing.” -Carl Paoli

Most of you know that health, fitness, and wellness are important to me.

It’s the reason I work out almost every day (I never go more than two days without working out).

I’m constantly mindful of the food I eat, the sleep I get, and the environment I put myself in everyday because it’s key to living an abundant life.

If your health is at risk right now, then you know how it holds you back.

You have to have the endurance and the stamina to take on life’s greatest challenges.

Mastering your health and body will help you have success in your relationships, in your career, and in your personal life.

Are you challenging your body, putting it to the test, and really paying attention to the results?

I’m not saying it’s going to solve every challenge, but it definitely helps.

For this episode of the School Of Greatness, I hand picked some of the best body and health experts I know: Ido Portal, Carl Paoli, Wim Hof and Laird Hamilton.

They gave me some exercises to get rid of stress, connect to breath, and work out smarter.

These are some powerful tools, guys.

You don’t have to be an athlete to appreciate it.

I’d love to hear what you think about this episode, and how these exercises worked for you – so don’t hesitate to reach out to me on social media and let me know.

You’ll be learning how to reconnect with your body on Episode 686.

“Victory Through Attrition: you don’t even need to be any good, you just have to be the last one standing.” @LairdLife  

Some Questions I Ask:

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why the story you tell yourself is more important than reality (5:58)
  • A four minute exercise to eliminate stress (15:42)
  • The importance of controlling your breathing and the effect it has on your entire body (20:08)
  • The importance of challenging your body, putting it to the test, and really listening to the results (20:52)
  • Plus much more…
Connect with
Ido Portal, Carl Paoli, Wim Hof and Laird Hamilton

Transcript of this Episode

Lewis Howes:                 This is episode number 686, Become The Master Of Your Body And Health.

Welcome to The School of Greatness. My name is Lewis Howes, former pro-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.

Jim Rohn said, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

As most of you know, health, fitness, and wellness is an important part of my life, and it’s one of the key principles to living a greater life and living an abundant life. If you want to achieve success in your relationships, in your career or business, in fun, adventure, play, you’ve got to have the endurance, the stamina, the energy, in order to take on life’s greatest challenges.

And if your health is at risk or at stake, right now, then you know how it holds you back. When you’re climbing up stairs, it holds you back; when you’re tired throughout the day, it holds you back. Health and mastering your body is a key. It’s one of the reasons I work out almost every single day.

I’m constantly mindful of the foods that I eat, and the sleep that I get, and the environment I put my body through, so that I can have an optimal mind and optimal life. I’m not saying it’s going to solve every problem, but it definitely helps overcome many challenges when you master your health.

And, in today’s episode, we’re talking about some of these key points: Why the story you tell yourself is more important than reality. Also, the importance of challenging yourself and your body, putting your body to the test, and really listening to the results.

I’m going to give you a four-minute exercise to help with overcoming stress, which a lot of us face right now, and the importance of controlling your breathing, and the effect it has on your entire body.

I just did an exercise yesterday, actually, that helped completely relax me within a couple of minutes, and I’m going to talk about some of that today. We’ve got some of the big body and health experts, Ido Portal, Carl Paoli; we’ve also got Wim Hof and Laird Hamilton who are going to be sharing some of these principles with you in just a moment.

But, before we dive in, have you guys signed up for your tickets to the Summit of Greatness yet? We’ve got some of the most inspiring speakers in the world. Incredible workshops, incredible workouts with world class competitors and athletes, all coming for you to experience it.

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Without further ado, let’s dive into this episode.

* * *

Ido Portal:                       So, what we are doing is, we are attacking different subjects, and we go into a place inside the big cloud of movement, because there is no one entry door. So we just step into the cloud and we attack a specific subject.

For example, we go at a subject like co-ordination, and I expose some drills, exercises, scenarios, games, challenges. And we try to see what can we learn about this weird concept, or we go at a tactical game, like a fighting game, or we can go at strength development.

Strength is a concept, not defined by one specific practice like, “I’m strong.” One moment you’re strong, another moment, you’re the weakest person there, you know? It’s like you will meet the gymnast, you will feel extremely weak in the perspective of gymnastics, but the gymnast will meet you in collision, that’s a bad day, it’s a bad day.

So, strength is not one entity. And we keep on simplifying it. People keep telling me, “You’re really strong.” You don’t know what I am, and you don’t know in which scenario. I’m also extremely weak in all kinds of areas, you know?

So, we just attack some of these subjects, and we go at it and we just discover, and we really practice hard, like it’s not just an open thing where you’re just floating around in a hippy way.

Lewis Howes:                 Sure. You create a context, you create a container, a challenge, a target for a period of time, and then you move to the next challenge.

Ido Portal:                       Exactly, and that thing is the beautiful part of this practice, like, “Okay, let’s dig into this subject.” You really go at it and you’re fully involved and then you kind of disconnect from it and you go to a different perspective.

Lewis Howes:                 When someone takes on a training method in this way, as opposed to a 30 minute run, or a hit workout, or a lift or whatever, what’s available for them on the other side?

Taking on all these different things of co-ordination to stick games and tennis ball games and all these other things you guys do, strength games, whatever it may be, balance games. What’s available in their lives that’s different than just a normal type of training that we usually see at a gym?

Ido Portal:                       First, there is no better or worse here, there is just like, I think you can bake bread and you can be happy. So, like happiness is not the orientation of the practice, nor is it an attempt to be better at something, besides the understanding of the general concept of movement. And that’s what you will get from the practice.

You will get more of a bird’s eye understanding of who’s who, what’s what, when, where, how much. And that would give you something. So, it means I can work with fighters one day, one week, and I have an understanding of what’s going on there immediately. I’m not good at it, I can’t fight like them, I can’t fight [against] them, but I have an understanding of what’s going on, what is needed, where is missing.

And then the next week I’ll be with contemporary dancers, next week I will be with professional acrobats, next week I’ll be with tennis players, soccer players, et cetera.

So, there is a general understanding of physicality and movement and how the body operates, in all kinds of different subjects, and then there is a lot of humility that comes with it, on the level of a practitioner and as a teacher.

* * *

Carl Paoli:                        So these symbols are supposed to represent basic body shapes. You get straight lines, like when we’re standing, that’s a very basic body shape; you’ve got 90° angles which is almost like sitting in a chair or bending over to pick up the groceries; and then you’ve got these kind of semi-circular shapes which are basic body positions that we get into.

We flex into a little ball, or we extend into different positions, depending on what we’re doing, like if we’re throwing or swinging, we get into these positions. And, here, on the cover, they are represented separate, but, as you go through the book, you will realise that we live in the crossover of all those shapes.

And for people that are not athletes, they must realise that, just like you said, we are designed for movement, and athletics is simply a high-level expression of how we move. It’s an exaggeration of reality, it’s an exaggeration of plane. And I think that motivation of playing something because it’s fun and because it feels good, is what I’m also trying to inspire people to do.

And I think a lot of us take who we are, as physical beings, sometimes for granted. We just kind of go through our life thinking, “Oh, this is normal,” but I think you should ask yourself, is it really normal?

And if it’s not normal, what else is there? Can I go a little further? What can my body really do? Can I be pain free? Can I perform something with my body that I didn’t know I could? And how do I get there, is what I’m trying to solve as well.

So, I’m trying to encourage people to develop their lifestyle, but to understand that, if you just study a little bit how your body moves, simply by listening to it, and by paying attention to it, you will learn some things about yourself that will get you a little further, and closer to being something and someone you just dream of.

Lewis Howes:                 Right, so for those looking to take their performance in life to the next level, whether that’s their energy levels, whether that’s their business, their career, their relationships, just having more energy throughout the day, being clearer, being more focused and really just optimising their human performance, their life performance, what are some things that they should be doing or should be focusing on?

Let’s just say they’re an average weight individual, not overweight, not really fit, but what’s something they can do to start optimising their life, through these movements and through what you talk about in the book?

Carl Paoli:                        Yeah, I think the first thing is just becoming aware of who you are as a physical being. And this is something you can do in the morning, and I try to do it as often as possible.

Just to share a little personal story, with all the work that I’ve been doing, and all the travelling, I suffered from a little bit of anxiety, and I was very stressed and nervous, and just wasn’t eating well, wasn’t sleeping well, constantly at hotels.

I would suffer from some anxiety, and I would just start going down this spiral and what I realised is that one very basic thing to do, and this is something everyone tells you, “Oh, just stop and take a breath.” What they’re really saying is, “Stop for a second and feel your body.”

And one of the things I do in the morning is, right as I wake up, as I realise that I’m waking up, before I even open my eyes, I become aware of who I am. And before I even open my eyes, I think about, “Oh, yeah, I’m lying here in bed, this is where I am. I feel the sheets, I feel the bed. I’m warm, or cold, or I have to go to the bathroom,” or whatever it is.

And it’s as simple as that, just that brings you to that present moment, and then I proceed to open my eyes. And just that, right there, will change everything, because, immediately you feel like you’re in control. So, that’s something that you can do, even through the day.

Let’s say you’re at work and you’re just sitting there by your desk – or hopefully standing now, because you have a standing desk – and just becoming aware of where you’re standing, what’s the ground below you, how do you feel the ground under your feet.

How are you standing? Are you standing with your legs straight? Are they kind of bent? Are you posting on one leg or the other? Are your hands in your pockets? Are you crossing your arms? What does your posture look like?

Small things like that, now, create a presence, and that’s number one.

* * *

Wim Hof:                         Conscious breathing is during the day. Of course, now I know it’s learning to control the alkalinity, the pH level within the body. It’s good for that. And if you really have nasty matters, issues, in the tissues, like depression, anxiety, then you are able to tap in, and you know that this one works.

We are doing neurological, brain, research very soon, and it’s because they see this works.

Lewis Howes:                 If someone’s feeling overwhelmed and stressed on a day-to-day basis, and they can never seem to get rid of the stress – they try to meditate, they try to get massages, they try to do all these other things – but they don’t try to breathe, what’s something they could do if they have a minute throughout the day?

Wim Hof:                         A minute?

Lewis Howes:                 A minute or two?

Wim Hof:                         Four minutes!

Lewis Howes:                 Four minutes. Cool!

Wim Hof:                         Okay! Four minutes! I got a great exercise for four minutes!

Lewis Howes:                 They’re overwhelmed, they’re stressed, they’re freaked out.

Wim Hof:                         Later I’m going to do this with you, four minutes.

Lewis Howes:                 Okay, four minutes.

Wim Hof:                         I just make you relax, you know? You are not relaxed, because you’re full of stress, but anyway, I say, “Just loosen up the body a little. Stand, just mind your body, for now. Just four minutes.” So you shut up there, just be and feel who you are.

You feel your feet on the ground, your arms, and that’s it. And now breathe in. And let go.

Lewis Howes:                 Shall we stand up and do this? Is this standing? Or is it sitting?

Wim Hof:                         Shall we do this?

Lewis Howes:                 Let’s just stand up right here and keep the mics on.


Wim Hof:                         You should be able to do push-ups. And what you do right now, is make a physiological reset of the nervous system, and the shape of the body is becoming better, and it is no effort. It feels like, “Hey! I can go on! What’s happening?” That’s chemistry. Going into the deepest [parts of the] body, and learning how to control stress hormone.

So, if we are too stressed, we’ve got to go the mechanism which is producing the stress, and we have no control, with this one, you reset the stress hormone mechanism, the brain stem. Within four minutes. And afterwards, you feel good! Because the connection is there. Feeling is understanding. Okay, there you go.

Lewis Howes:                 Sarah’s going to test it as well.

Wim Hof:                         Okay, I say, now, breathe in. Let go. Twenty-eight. Get it in again, just go with the flow. No minding, just go. You feel what you feel as you’re breathing.

We are oxygenizing the body right now. It’s getting in to all the cells, not only the carbon dioxide is going down, oxygen is getting in, body becomes alkaline. What do you need to perform? You need alkalinity. Because of the oxygenation, alkalinity comes in. That’s what you need to perform.

Now, because you are so stressed, you are not connected to the brain stem. In the brain stem is the directory of the hormonal system. We will consciously go into a physiological state of not having oxygen, because we’re going to do push-ups, after exhalation, that turns on the brain stem and resets whatever is causing the stress, the hormonal system; the stress hormones, adrenaline, epinephrine, cortisol, and it is controlled. It resets it.

Okay, and you get a good figure out of it. Right, you got it already, a good figure? Okay, no minding about that. Go on.

I do my best, the best will come about. And it’s no competition, it’s just going into the depth of the body and the brain. Eleven, ten, nine, take in air! Come on, Lewis! And how? Lewis Howes! Haha! That’s the way! Yeah, it’s fun, too! Three, two, one. Here comes the last one, pull it in. Let it go. Stop.

Looking good, no air in the lungs, mind is resetting, hormonal system is resetting, there is no doubt. Amazing! Good! Good! And relax. This is the way to get into the depth of the brain, the directory of stress hormone and all cells.

Lewis Howes:                 Wow!

Wim Hof:                         Yeah, man, it’s the adrenal access completely under control. Four minutes. How much did it take? Oh, less than four minutes. So, anybody can do this, gets a good figure, resets the nervous system, great job! You know?

Lewis Howes:                 So, how many did you do? Twenty push-ups? What? How many can you usually do? Three?

* * *

Laird Hamilton:              It’s more about creating something that’s doable, and how high, far, can we push that? And, again, individually, push your barrier, you know? And it’s interesting, because that’s total Wim Hof philosophy, that’s total Natural Born Heroes philosophy, like, I see it, and when you start to see it, in a way that’s Tough Mudder’s philosophy, that’s Spartan Race philosophy.

I mean, these are all about getting the collective through, and ultimately that really is the most primal system, because that’s how we made it, because, without each other, in our evolution, what match are we against all the things in the world? We’re no match, except together.

Lewis Howes:                 Yeah. It’s kind of like, “Nobody wins unless we all win,” mentality.

Laird Hamilton:              Absolutely! Well, that’s right, nobody survives unless we all survive. And so, it doesn’t mean I don’t like healthy competition and the fun of a little paddleboard race or some basketball or something.

And my competition concept used to be more related to, like, “Okay, you want to compete with me and you think you’re courageous, well then we’ll go to a big cliff and we’ll just keep going up until one of us doesn’t jump and whoever jumps higher is the winner.”

See, I always thought that was a real defining…

Lewis Howes:                 Through courage. Oh, wow!

Laird Hamilton:              Courage. So, for me, I go, “You want true competition, we have competition with courage,” and I think that’s part of the process that brought me to riding giant waves. That I thought, “If I ride the biggest waves in the world, and I ride bigger waves than anybody else has ever ridden, and most of the waves I ride, no one wants to ride them, that kind of puts me in a unique position.”

And, I mean, I always loved the term, “The victory through attrition.”

Lewis Howes:                 Through attrition? What’s that? What do you mean by that?

Laird Hamilton:              The last guy standing. At the end, you don’t even need to be any good. If you’re the last guy, and everybody else is laid out, in the three hundred, where there’s only one guy standing, you’re the winner.

Lewis Howes:                 It’s interesting. And through that approach, you can give all your secrets away, you can give all the information away, it’s still who’s got the most courage. So you can be just as good as me, technically, all the information you need, but are you willing to go above and beyond me.

Laird Hamilton:              That’s right. And then it becomes a skill thing. So then you add skill to that, too. So the added element of, because there’s always some crazy guy who will do anything stupid, too. But then, will they survive, which, again, that’s part of the thing.

That’s the part about the survival thing, so the guy might be able to go higher, but if you go up to a cliff and the guy jumps higher than you, but he dies, then you’re still, you went higher, right?

So, again, it has to do with people, you have to still have, you can’t have element of who’s the craziest, because…

Lewis Howes:                 You’ve got to have skill, yeah.

Laird Hamilton:              And you also have to have understanding. You have to have experience to know where the line is, where your line is. Where your line is, right? Because you always have somebody that’s willing to be a little bit crazier, but then, can they do that? Year in and year out.

Lewis Howes:                 Right. So what got you into big wave surfing in the first place? What got you inspired by that sport?

Laird Hamilton:              Environment. I was in Hawaii.

Lewis Howes:                 Yeah, you grew up in Hawaii, right? Oahu?

Laird Hamilton:              I mean, I was on the North shore of Oahu, when I was very young, and exposed to the biggest waves in the world, and then exposed to the greatest big wave surfers in the world, and then having a natural thing about a bit of a daredevil, little thrill seeker, like, I just had a thing. You just have it, it’s like a mechanism.

I think there’s some science behind it, certain guys are born with missing, they’re just missing something, like the thing of…

Lewis Howes:                 A little screw loose.

Laird Hamilton:              Probably not. Where that line is of not to do it. And I think there’s a certain amount of us that it was important that we had that, because we needed to be able to do that. I said, yesterday, in a conversation, that there needs to be an expendability aspect to a certain group in our species.

We have to have that. That’s sort of what we needed in order to survive.

Lewis Howes:                 No one’s willing to go against the tiger, or whatever, then we all die. You know, if no one’s willing to figure it out.

Laird Hamilton:              And while he’s getting eaten, we can all run and maybe we can pull it off. And so we have that, I mean, that happens a lot with the young, and that’s why most of the wars are with young males. Young males have it and then maybe some of us have more of it, and we keep it longer, but at the end…

We were talking about dolphins, how they protect themselves when they’re being attacked. And the put the babies in the middle, the mothers around the babies, the old people around the mothers, then the fathers, and then the adolescent males around the outside, because they are the ones that are the most aggressive and they’re the most willing to take risk.

And you look [at this], and I go, “Well, human species aren’t too far away from that.” We’re the ones that are young male, you know, and then there’s the ones within that group that have that little mechanism that drives you.

So that’s what drove me to big waves, because I had something inside of me.

* * *

Lewis Howes:                 And there you have it, my friends! Mastering Your Body And Your Health, Share this out with your friends, tag me on Instagram stories, if you’re listening to this right now, go ahead and share it out. Let your friends know some simple tools to help optimise your body and your health. We can always improve our health to help us live much longer, healthier, energetic lives.

Again, a big thank you to our sponsor, Go there right now to get the Crushing The Five Barriers To Growth guide, at If you want to learn how to acquire new customers, increase profits, and finally get real visibility into your cash flow, get the guide, right now, at

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I hope you enjoyed this one. Again, if you’re not doing something every single day that is helping maintain the health of your body, your energy, to extend your life and have an optimal body, then you’ve got to start applying this.

You’ve got to make this a priority and something where you have accountability. It’s hard to do it on your own, so find a buddy, find an accountability partner, find a coach, someone that guides you to stay accountable on optimising your health.

Again, check out, get yourself some tickets for The Summit of Greatness, because it’s coming up October 4 through 6, Columbus, Ohio. You’ve got to get there! Be there! Come say hi to me, and meet some incredible people.

And, as always, you know what time it is: It’s time to go out there and do something great!

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