This week I wanted to bring you something new.
I’ve recorded well over six hundred episodes at this point. There’s been so much knowledge and wisdom from the brightest minds on the planet shared on the show.
I know it can be overwhelming to try to take it all, so I’m bringing you a recap of some of the strongest wisdom I’ve received over the years of doing this podcast.
This week I wanted to bring you something new.
Each of these guests has reached the top of their game, and the biggest factor in that has been their habits.
They set their mind to achieve something big and found a way to persevere even at some of the worst times. So what makes them different than you?
They aren’t super human and they aren’t luckier than you.
If you take their words of wisdom, you’ll find how to overcome what’s holding you back.
I hope you enjoy these nuggets of information I hand selected so you don’t have to dig for them.
Please let me know what you think of this new format on social media.
Now get ready to learn high performance habits from the masters, on Episode 635.
Some Questions I Ask:
- Why do so many of us just focus on our strengths? (10:05)
- What’s the habit you take on with clarity for your life? (14:44)
- What’s slowing people down from being their best? (18:53)
- Why do we fear not being good enough? (19:37)
- How can we train our minds to overcome fear? (22:05)
- What are your personal philosophies? (22:47)
- How does someone continue to stay hungry? (31:42)
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
- What’s really correlated with high performance (4:40)
- 6 most important habits for high performance (6:00)
- Why you can’t just focus on your strengths (12:03)
- What your relationship with fear should look like (18:02)
- How to get to your personal best (21:38)
- Why you need to be clear about your philosophy (25:00)
- What makes us grow and what makes us change (27:18)
- The one common denominator among all successful people (30:00)
- What you can count on in life (32:41)
- The two states of life we live in (33:48)
- Two of my most significant life experiences so far (36:01)
- What happens during our highest experiences of life (37:28)
- The thing everyone you admire does (40:31)
- Plus much more…
Lewis Howes: This is episode number 635, The High Performance Habits From The Masters.
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.
“I can predict the long term outcome of your success if you show me your daily habits.” John Maxwell said that, and this episode is a little different. We’re trying something new. We’ve got over 620 plus episodes on The School of Greatness Podcast and for some of you who are just joining us, it could seem daunting.
There’s 600 of these episodes out there, you’ve got some of the greatest world leaders, world changers, world class athletes, rock stars, celebrities, influencers, doctors, revealing some of their greatest insights. The wisdom from the biggest mentors in the world, it’s all here, in these episodes, but what do I do? Where do I start? And if I’ve listened to all of them already, what’s a great recap for me to sharpen my mind and move forward into action, to create extraordinary results in my life.
So I wanted to start featuring some of the biggest nuggets of wisdom that I’ve heard, that maybe you’ve heard as well, but you might have forgot, or maybe you just missed out on, because you just didn’t hear that specific episode. And I wanted to get you the best support in your life, right now, to help you get to the next level, with some amazing coaches and wisdom that’s really going to support you.
So this episode, on this series, is a mashup of some of the best wisdom I’ve heard on creating and keeping the habits that turn you into a high performer. So, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. I think it’s mind-blowing and powerful what these individuals are about to share with you, because we’ve got some featured moments from people like Brendon Burchard, Tony Robbins, Mel Robbins and Michael Gervais. These are going to be some powerful nuggets right here.
So, make sure to take a screenshot while you’re listening to this. Tag me on Instagram, send a tweet on Twitter, let me know the thought or the quote that you enjoyed the most, lewishowes.com/635 to share out all the information that’s on the show notes there.
Before we dive in, I want to give a big thank you to the Fan of the Week. This is from Steven Boma, who said, “To listen to The School of Greatness is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I listen to the podcast almost every day, and I’m filled with positivity. Lewis is an awesome human being who has meaningful conversations with other human beings for the purpose of our learning. Thank you so much, Lewis, and keep being great.”
So, Steven, thank you so much for your support and you are the Fan of the Week. Again, if you guys haven’t shared your review on iTunes yet, we’ve got over 3,000 five star reviews over there. So, go ahead over there, leave us a review, for your chance to be shouted out as the Fan of the Week.
And for those that know me, or who follow me on Instagram or social media, you see me travelling constantly. I’m always travelling the world whether it be speaking at an event, hosting one of my own conferences, workshops, or travelling for fun. And one of the things that I use the most, on my phone, when I am travelling, is Yelp.
Yelp connects people with great local restaurants. For me, I want to make sure I’m eating healthy and eating clean wherever I go, so that I can perform at a high level in my life as well. And the thing that I like about it is that you can get anything delivered or grab take-out from your favourite place, whether you’re local or you’re travelling the world. There’s millions of reviews and photos from past customers so you can really see what you like.
I was just in Tulum, Mexico and I was Yelping everywhere I went to see what I wanted to eat. It’s a free app. If you need food now, you want to broaden your delivery option, or you’re itching to find a new favourite restaurant, go to yelp.com/podcast, again Y.E.L.P. doc com slash podcast.
Again, every day is a new opportunity to increase our level of production, our performance, increase our mindset, our positivity and our impact in the world. And this episode is all about how to increase that high performance in our life and to inspire those around us to do that as well.
So, without further ado, let me introduce to you, the masters of high performance habits.
Brendon Burchard: Creativity is not strongly correlated with high performance. And if you told me that seven years ago, I would have fought with you for, like, two or three hours. But then, in one interview with one of the world’s largest CTO’s, he’s a Chief Technology Officer, he said, “Brendon,” they’re a top ten brand in the world. He said, “My team, I’m not creative, my team’s not creative, but we know how to execute in scale.”
And execution in scale is really important to long term high performance. Creativity might get you in the game, but a lot of people are creative, but can’t work their way out of a bag. And I would argue that forever because I’m a creative writer and a coach and I would have never thought that. Age, nationality, ethnicity, and, here’s a big one, compensation, and, here’s a big one, personality, here’s a big one, strengths, they are not correlated, strongly, with high performance.
Some of them have weak correlations and all those things, by the way, because if academics were listening to that, they’d be, like, “No! He’s wrong!” And this is tied towards high performance. It’s not that those aren’t important, those things can shape your mood, they can shape lots of important life outcomes, well-being, health, happiness.
But when we’re talking about high performance, those are less important than these six. And what I keep telling people is, “I’m not saying those aren’t important. These just happen to be more important.” So the six habits, do you want me to do the whole list?
Lewis Howes: Yeah, yeah, sure.
Brendon Burchard: So the personal habits, and these are the ones we need the most. Number one (you’ll like this one): High performers seek clarity more often than their peers. And what that means for them is, every situation they go into, they are seeking clarity and setting intention. And it’s not once in a while, they’re doing it way more often. It’s like, I’ve been blessed to work with Oprah Winfrey. When she has a meeting, at the start of every meeting, she asks, “What’s our intention here? What’s the intention of this meeting?” Not, “What’s the agenda?” What’s the intention. That’s every meeting.
So she’s seeking clarity at the beginning of every meeting. That’s why she’s so amazing, right? If you think about her whole career, she was always trying to have people seek clarity on who they were, so they could be themselves. That’s what high performers are doing. They just do it more often. They seek clarity before they shoot that video, before they have that podcast interview, but specifically we found three practices help you get better at seeking clarity.
Number one, they are seeking clarity in what we call the future four, so you’ve probably heard that successful people are more future minded. It’s true. And specifically, what they’re looking at, if you talk to high performers, they’re more clear about who do I want to be in this upcoming situation? And again, it’s not about who I am, it’s about who do I want to be, if they’re more future oriented.
They’re more intentional about who they want to be in social situations. So it’s like, “I want to have this type of interaction with Lewis today.” That’s intentional.
They’re more clear about what skills they need to develop to reach their next level of success. Here’s how you really know an underperformer, open up their calendar and look for any evidence that they have planned their own curriculum for greatness. If they don’t have classes or courses, if they’re not actively skill building, there’s no chance of high performance. I mean, maybe they can dumb luck into it, for initial success, but high performance is long term success. You got to be building your skill set.
Lewis Howes: Constantly growing, constantly learning, constantly growing.
Brendon Burchard: Yeah, being aware of it. And the last of the future four is, I know the service I want to provide in the future. Talk to any high performers, I’m sure you’ve interviewed them. They kind of know their service and the difference they want to make, maybe not precisely, but they’re asking the question. So that’s some of what we know, they seek clarity. And that’s kind of what the first practice is: Asking questions in those areas.
And the other two, real fast, is when you’re seeking clarity, they’re more clear about the feeling they want to have. Like, an Olympic sprinter, who has won gold, is more likely to have said, before he or she went on the track, “How do I want to feel out there?” Not just the result, like, “When the foot’s in the block, and I’m arms down. What do I want to feel?” They’re very aware of the feeling they’re trying to get.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, I don’t want to feel nervous and stressed, I want to feel calm and clear and smooth, and all that.
Brendon Burchard: Yes! And they’re doing that self-talk, which is seeking clarity. And then the last one, which is really important, they’re clear about what’s meaningful to them now, and what might be different in the future. Which is something I didn’t know, until we did a lot of the interviews and the conversations, is a lot of people kind of know what they like, now. They know what their passion is, but it’s like, “What’s going to be meaningful to you later? Like, in five years?” They’ve thought about that. I would say, they’ve done the work. And so, that’s just the first habit.
And so the book kind of opens with that story of finding what’s… We all have to decide who we are and what we want and how to get it at this stage of our life. And when we don’t know that, you know, reaching high performance is going to be really hard.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, it’s all about clear vision for me. It’s the first chapter in my book. The greatest leaders in the world have a clear vision.
Brendon Burchard: Love that. That’s it. And they got that vision, by seeking clarity. That was the habit that gave them the vision. They were consistently seeking, they were like, “How do I…? What do I…?” I mean, they asked themselves more questions. That’s one of our findings in that, they literally are doing more of the self-talk, asking more of the questions, which is so important.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. Awesome. And I love how you talked about this: you said, “The world cares less about your strengths and personality, than about your service and meaningful contributions.” Then why do so many of us focus on our strengths and personality?
Brendon Burchard: Yeah. That was a huge finding. And I would have, that’s another one! I would have completely freaked out on anybody!
Lewis Howes: Strengthfinders, all these other books out there. They focus on our strengths.
Brendon Burchard: Yes! And unfortunately, in the history of personal development, that is the greatest false dichotomy that has ever been. “Focus on your strengths,” it’s like, you have to do both. You have to do both. But what we found, in research, which surprised me, high performers do not report working on their strengths any more than regular people. So, that’s not what gives them the edge.
One of the chapters opens up with this guy, he wrote this e-mail, really highly successful guy, and he wrote this e-mail to me and he says, and I had put him through Strengthsfinder, through Birkman, the Kolbe, the Myers-Briggs, put him through everything, one of my first coaching clients ever. I knew everything about him. We knew all his background, we did all the homework, had his peer review, you know, his 360 assessment from work.
And then I watched him fail for two years. And he wrote me this e-mail, and he said, “Brendon, stop telling me what successful people are like, because we know my strengths, and we’re not getting ahead. And start telling me what they do.” And that’s what this book became about. It’s like, “What do you need to do?”
Because in this e-mail he wrote this, which is where that finding came from, he said, this was so good, listen to this line, he said, “As a leader I have to be honest with myself, that my mission and vision should never be made to bow down to my limited human strengths. I should have to rise up to my mission or vision.” The strengths aren’t the relevant thing, the question is, what is necessary for me to develop into, to reach that mission?
It’s like, your strengths are great, and yes, of course do your strengths, but that’s kind of like, what I tell people is, let’s imagine you have a bear, and that bear wants to go on top of this cliff over here and it sits at the bottom of the cliff and it wants to get up to that new honey up there. Telling the bear to focus on it’s strengths to go somewhere it’s never gone before and do something it’s never done before is stupid.
It’s like saying, “Hey, you know what? Just try being more of a bear.” If I say, if you say, “Brendon, I’ve got this big new vision!” say, “Just try being more of Lewis.” I mean, at a spiritual level, that feels good, but you and I both know you’re going to have to develop far beyond your comfort zones, and strengths are, typically, comfort zones. We got to overcome that and go to the next level.
Lewis Howes: And develop new skills and overcome certain fears and all these other things that are going to help us get to the next level.
Brendon Burchard: Yes. Yeah, the whole conversationof beyond the comfort zone really requires us to go beyond our strengths. It really requires us.
Lewis Howes: That is our comfort zone, where we already know what we’re good at.
Brendon Burchard: And the problem about the Strengthsfinder and all of the strengths based movement is, and they were all written academically this way, based on what are called innate strengths. And innate strength is the assumption that you had that from birth. And that those innate strengths are what you focus on.
And I’m like, “Well, if you had it at birth, then you probably had it at fifteen years old, too. So if it’s innate, you had it at fifteen, are the strengths you had at fifteen sufficient to serve you at fifty?” Hell, no! You have to develop beyond what’s innate and go to a whole other level. And so, I take on strengths in the book in that way, because, but I also say, it almost doesn’t matter.
Because a lot of people have strengths and they suck at work, because they’re not doing these habits. How many people do you and I know, who are amazingly strong and their Strengthsfinders are amazing and they don’t do anything all day?
Lewis Howes: Yeah. A lot of people. In the sports world there’s a lot of great, talented people who had the greatest gifts, but they still weren’t able to win, or they were lazy, or they wouldn’t hustle or sacrifice their body, because they just relied on their talents, their strengths. And so they were never able to get to the championship game, or get on the best teams, because of that. And they had all the talent in the world, and, it was like, “If I was as gifted as this person, I would be incredible,” you know?
Brendon Burchard: And that’s the whole thing about the talent code or a whole lot of newer research in performance, it just says, “What’s more important is what you do with what you got to develop into the vision of the mission you need to serve.” And so the book kind of lays out a lot of the science behind that, and then goes into, you know, most of it’s oriented towards the six habits.
Lewis Howes: So, in terms of clarity, what is that habit that you take on, on a daily or monthly basis, with clarity. What do you think about? Like, every morning, “What am I clear about?” or how do you apply that habit to your life.
Brendon Burchard: I apply it in a couple of ways. First, for me, every situation I go into, I’m consistently asking, “What’s the feeling I want to have here?” If you ever see me teach, I’ll say, “Bring the joy,” so I have joy triggers that I’ve set up in my mind to have me more intentional about things. So, for instance, a door frame trigger. Whenever I walk through a door, I say, “Bring the joy.” So, when I walk through that door right there, it’s like, “Bring the joy into this room.”
It’s just a mental trigger that I’ve set up for myself. Every morning, in the shower, I ask myself three questions. Not that I shower every morning, but the ones I do. The first question I say, “What can I be excited about today?” So it forces me to be clear about what’s going to draw joy and enthusiasm from me. Number two, I say, “What might trip me up today?” Because usually I know what’s going on in the day, what might mess me up in the day, like where I might not perform well, what might bother me.
And number three, I say, “What can I do to surprise somebody today?” To give a gift of appreciation or acknowledgement today. And so, I think through that in the morning and I think that’s what helps me begin my day pretty clear.
Then, when I sit down before I do work, I literally look in my calender of the day, this morning, and I look at whatever is going on in the day, and I think about it for twenty minutes. That’s one of my twenty-minute routines in the morning. I literally think about my calendar, for twenty minutes a day.
People think that’s crazy, but what I’m thinking through when I look at the calendar, I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to have that call, what do I want to have on that call?” You know, what’s my intention for that call? What’s my goal for that call? What’s the feeling I want for that call? How am I going to end that call?
You know, “I’m going to have that time with Lewis, like, “How do I want to be there, and how can I make sure I enjoy it?” Because it’s a big deal! I love your show! I want to do a good job, I want to share something for the people, you know, I have no idea what you’re going to ask, and I want to be present for that and make sure I’m really there, even though, maybe, I have a head cold today. It’s like, just thinking through it. I think that helps me, it keeps me asking questions.
Every Sunday I do a life arenas assessment, that just means, I think there’s ten areas of our life, and I score myself in them. And this is about my eleventh year of doing this. So, each area in my life, from emotional quality to happiness to relationships to time to hobby, et cetera, I just give myself a score of one to ten. One means I suck, and I was horrible in the previous week on that. Ten means I did a good job and then I ask, “How can I get better?”
And it just keeps me clear. And it’s not like I don’t, sometimes, like everyone else, wonder what’s going on, or what I’m doing, but those habits, those are my habits. You have to establish your own for seeking clarity, but if you have them, you weaponize your life.
Michael Gervais: If we get the fear thing right, and we have a relationship with fear, and we look for moments that challenge our relationship with fear, I can talk a lot, I’d love to talk about that with you. And the other is getting the fatigue thing right. And we’ve come, in modern times, to believe that we need to do more to be more. And it’s broken, right? It’s fundamentally broken.
The idea is that we need to be more and let the doing flow from there. Be yourself. Be your authentic self, be here now, be grateful, be present, and let the doing flow from that orientation, is a completely different model that it’s like, I’m spending my life efforts, I think, working to share that and to help some of the best doers and thinkers in the world to reorientate what got them good, but is slowing them down from being their absolute personal best.
Lewis Howes: What’s slowing them down? Fear and fatigue? Still?
Michael Gervais: Yeah, well, the idea, the psychological framework that I need to do more to be more. And that’s born out of anxiety.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. Not doing enough, could be doing more, and stressing about that.
Michael Gervais: Yeah! Flat out, and the trick, though, there, is that that’ll get people good, “I need to do more. Damn, I missed that jumper. I’m not going to miss that jumper, let’s keep it.”
Lewis Howes: Drive them to practice more, yeah.
Michael Gervais: It’s like, just enough anxiety will get you good, but it will slow you down for being your absolute best at some point.
Lewis Howes: But why do we fear so much about what could go wrong, what other people think about us, who we’re going to let down, that we’re not worthy enough, good enough? Why do we fear that so much? And for our life?
Michael Gervais: That’s a great question, that’s a really great question. Yeah. So, there’s some biological things we can take a look at, and then there’s also psychological. So, it’s the interaction of those two. So, biologically, our brain, as best as we think, and it’s three pounds of silly putty that sits in our skull that’s more complicated than, like, the brightest minds in neuroscience are amazed by how our brain works.
But we think that our brain is designed to scan the world and find what’s dangerous. And so, our ancestors passed that gift on to us. Your lineage passed that gift on to you that they were able to survive, and how to survive way back in ancient times that they could scan the world and easily discern how to be ready between, no, let me say it more eloquently. They could scan the world and find what was dangerous and what was threatening. So that they wouldn’t be eaten. Eaten by the sabre tooth tiger, as the story goes.
Lewis Howes: Or they wouldn’t eat something bad, or whatever, to protect themselves. Yeah.
Michael Gervais: That’s right, so, and then, not only was nature dangerous and all the other elements of nature, but other humans became dangerous to each other. So, now, what we’ve created is the heightened ability to read micro-expressions. And micro-expressions are the small, squinting of the eyes, the frontalis muscles between the eyes, and when those squint or don’t move, it’s a sense of threat. Because we don’t know what’s happening from that person.
And so, if you’ve got this ancient brain that’s programmed beautifully to find what’s dangerous and we scanned, in an undisciplined way, our environment around us, we’re going to find dangerous things. And in modern times we’re not chased by sabre tooths any more, the new modern sabre tooths are other people’s opinions.
And so we’re well conditioned from an early age and this next generation is going to be even more well conditioned, with Insta highlight reels for everything. “My life is better than yours,” and I show you via a snap picture. So we’ve got this real challenge that to pursue a path of our personal best, we have to override our DNA.
That’s hard to do. That’s really hard to do. It requires deep commitment to training, and that’s what psychology, the optimal opportunities that psychology offers us is just that. How to train our minds, override our DNA, and to use the smaller parts of our brain to scan the world and find opportunity.
Lewis Howes: How can we train our minds every single day, throughout the day, to do that? To overcome this fear? What are the things that we could be doing.
Michael Gervais: I could, I will, not I could, I will rattle off as many as you want to hear.
Lewis Howes: Shoot.
Michael Gervais: Like, tactics. And then I’ll want to put a small little asterisk next to this, is that tactic alone in not enough. It’s the stitching of the tactics. It’s the stitching of the mental skills training, to each other, and to one’s personal philosophy. So without a personal philosophy, we end up just trying all these different things to get better, but what are we getting better at? What other people want us to be? So there’s a fundamental piece of work first.
Lewis Howes: Got it. So, what would be your personal philosophy?
Michael Gervais: I’ll share mine. I’ve spent a lot of time with it, and if I could tell a story of how it worked I think it will harden it a little bit.
Lewis Howes: Sure, go ahead, yeah.
Michael Gervais: So, I needed a mentor when I was growing up, and I’m thankful. What’s up, Gary? Like I’m thankful for Gary in so many different ways, even currently today. And so one day he says, “Hey, Mike, I want to introduce you to my mentor.” I go, “Well, great! I didn’t know there was such a thing as a grand-mentor,” like, “Am I ready?” And it’s like, “Okay, well here we go.”
And it was this, to my surprise, it was the small, three-bedroom, two bath home, and it was well manicured and it was the pleasant, seventy-eight, eighty-two-year-old woman comes out, and I was just so pleasantly surprised, like, “Okay, this is going to get good.” She just had that sense of “wise woman”.
And it’s the setting you would imagine. The shag carpet was a little bit long, the drapes were just a little bit outdated. And so we sat at the table, and she’s pouring me tea, and she says, “Welcome,” and, “Interested to meet you,” and we sat down and she said, “So, tell me what you’re about?”
And I said, “Okay, well, let me start this way,” and she looked at me and she looked at my mentor and she said, “I thought you said he was ready.”
“I am ready. No, no, no, wait, wait, wait, I want to answer that!”
And she grabbed my tea and she said, “You know, when you’re ready, sweety, I’d like to share this tea with you.”
Lewis Howes: Ooh!
Michael Gervais: Yeah. So I was super embarrassed in that moment, and I thought I had let my mentor down and it was this really intense experience.
Lewis Howes: Wow. How old were you?
Michael Gervais: I was, at that point, it was like, twenty-six, twenty-seven, somewhere in that range, and so I didn’t know what to do. And so it was this awkward moment, but I knew that I was not prepared to even answer the most basic question, “Who are you?” I just want to anchor that, because I think that that captures what most of us feel like a lot.
Lewis Howes: Most people don’t feel like they know who they are.
Michael Gervais: Yeah. And so I had this dramatic moment, for me, but I think it’s a really important process to go through. So, let’s call it a personal philosophy. But then, let’s extract one level out from that. The greatest and the most influential people across the globe, are very clear about their philosophy. The greatest movers and shakers and change makers and spiritual leaders and political leaders, for the most part. And now we’re starting to see business leaders who do that.
What was Confucius’ philosophy? What was Buddha’s philosophy? What was Jesus’ philosophy? They’re really clear. Jesus was, and I don’t want to over simplify a beautiful set of traditions, but Jesus was more about love and service, Buddha was more about that all people are suffering, and so let’s work through compassion to live with love and kindness.
What was Martin Luther King Jnr’s? Dr King Jnr’s was about equality, you know? Malcolm-X, equality. Totally different tone, totally different approach. Mother Theresa? Heller Keller? What was Hellen Keller’s? Like, “Okay, I’m going to go for it. I deserve to be educated as well.” She changed the educational system.
So the most influential people were very clear. Why? Because they lined up their thoughts, their words and actions to the thing that means the most to them. And that’s what a philosophy is about. Everybody already has one. You have one, I have one. Whether we can articulate it at knifepoint in a dark alley? Totally different element.
And so, I think that’s a nice litmus test. Could you get it out in front of a deranged person who’s got a knife to your throat? Are you that clear what you stand for? And do you have your personal philosophy. So that’s the litmus test for folks I work with.
And I’ll share mine. It’s, every day is an opportunity to create a living masterpiece. And so there’s optimism embedded in there, there’s creative juices embedded in there, and then there’s this idea of a living masterpiece.
And so, when I met Coach Carrel, head coach of the Seattle Sea Hawks, about six years ago, six, seven years ago, one of our first conversations, it was over dinner, a mutual friend put us together and we had this really wonderful conversation and it was born out of, “What is your philosophy?” So, he had been on the same, similar journey, I should say, where he was fired from two head coach jobs in the NFL and on the second time, he was fired.
So, from pain, creates change, uncomfortableness is how we grow, but pain is why we change. So, he experienced pain and said, “If I get another chance, I’m going to do it exactly the way that is authentic to me. But I got to figure out what that is.”
So he just went and scratched down in multiple, old-school, spiral notebooks, just wrote and wrote and wrote, took a second pass at it, and said, “What are the words that keep showing up? Circled those words, wrote more about those words, and that’s how it eventually spilled out of him. His philosophy was, “Always compete”.
“Always compete for what?” you say. Always compete to be a great dad, to be a great coach, to be a great friend, to be a great partner. Always compete. And so he says at his core he is a competitor and he’s always trying to become better. And so he’s built his whole life around that, including the Seattle Sea Hawks, and then USC before that. So, philosophy is really important to us. And so, that would be the most significant investment first.
Lewis Howes: Hey guys, I wanted to take a quick break from this episode to tell you about one of the best sources I’ve found for running your business online. Again, if you want to expand your horizons in the online world, I know it can be crazy and more than one fourth of Americans say they’d start their own business in the next year, if they could, but only a fraction of those people actually do.
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Tony Robbins: The capacity to strengthen and increase your hunger is the one common denominator among successful people. Richard Branson is a good friend of mine, Peter Gilbert, Steve Winch all these guys, they’ve never lost their hunger.
Most people are hungry to achieve a certain amount, make a certain amount of money, and then they get comfortable and relax, or to get a certain level of fitness and then they relax, but Richard is as driven today as when he was sixteen years old, he’s on fire and he’s sixty-five years old. Warren Buffett is eighty-five years old. He’s as driven today as when he began the journey, right?
And so, people that have that hunger, I believe intelligence, I love people that are wickedly smart, and I work to be wickedly smart, by educating and training myself and so forth, and training my brain. But there’s a lot of intelligent people who can’t fight their way out of a paper bag, right? Hunger is the ultimate driver, because if you’re hungry, you can get the strategy, you can get the answer. If you can’t model it, you can find it.
So, hunger, modelling would be maybe the next best skill, knowing that success leaves clues. Like, why reinvent the wheel? If someone took this plan, or Mickey’s plan, who owns the Miami Heat, and owns Carnival, right? I mean, you can learn so much from Mickey it will blow your mind what this man has been able to do in his life, and so why would I go learn by trial and error and maybe take ten or twenty years, when I could learn from somebody, in a few weeks or a few months or a few hours, something that could save me a buck.
Lewis Howes: Or reading a book, yeah.
Tony Robbins: That’s what it is, yeah. That’s why I read 700 books in the first couple of years, because it was like, if somebody takes ten years of their life and pours it into a book, and I can read that an hour or two or three or four, why wouldn’t I?
Lewis Howes: So, how does someone continue to stay hungry? Or rediscover what their hunger is about?
Tony Robbins: The best way is, get around things to where it’s better and things will hit you. Who you spend time with is who you become. So, you know, when I started coaching all these billionaires, there was a part of me that said, “I’m not as smart, in certain areas, as they are. I got to step up my game. It’s not about the money, it’s about, ‘How can I take the invisible and make it visible? How can I find a way to add more value to other people, to such an extent, where economics are not a question whatsoever and then I can take those economics and do even more when I’m not there?'”
I look at money as portable power. I can leverage my money to do things for people even when I sleep. I love doing this for people and I work eighteen, twenty hour days now. But it’s real nice to have the leverage of that as well.
The most important decision of your life is to decide whether you’re truly committed to being happy no matter what. Because life is going to throw all kinds of curve balls at all of us. There’s one thing that’s common in this lifetime is extreme stress. You’re going to experience it, if you haven’t already, and even if you have, you will in the future, unlike this positive thinking. But it’s just true.
Somebody you care about is going to die. Someone’s going to take advantage financially if you’re not careful. You’re going to find yourself in a position, the government might change the rules and you can’t do what you were doing before. Somebody calls, a doctor might call saying you’ve got a tumour in your brain. Those days alter you and if you decide that you’re going to live in a beautiful state of mind, that doesn’t just mean happy, it means…
You know, people say, “Oh, I’m committed to be happy, but then my wife left me!” Well then you’re not committed to be happy, you’re committed to be happy unless your wife leaves you. And you can’t control that, and you can certainly influence it, but you can’t control it. Or, “I’m going to be happy except, my friend died.” Your friends are going to die. Your family are going to die. So the greatest gift you could give yourself besides making this life about love and making this life about giving, because to give, you have to keep growing, is, I believe, to make that decision and say, “Life is too short to suffer.”
And most achievers, like you and I, we never use the word, suffering, but we get stressed, we get pissed, we get overwhelmed, some people get sad or depressed and those are all forms of suffering, and your entire life, you live in one of two states, states of suffering or beautiful states of being. And beautiful states of being, it doesn’t matter what happens, you’re going to find something to enjoy and appreciate.
And you might interviewed people, I’m sure you have, that have no arms or legs or they’ve lost their sight, and they’re happy! And then you meet billionaires, or people, families, they’ve got beautiful kids, beautiful husband, beautiful wife and they get miserable over anything.
I really believe you have to make that [decision]. It’s the most important decision of your life, is that, “No matter what happens, I’m going to live in that state.” And then you have to do the work. Which is, I’ve got a 90 second rule. When I get pissed off or frustrated, suffering comes up, it always shows up, but what I decide is, within 90 seconds I kill it. Because in that suffering state, I’m not going to be there for my wife or my kids. In that suffering state, I solve it, I’m going to be miserable even though I solve it.
I realised I would give away my happiness so easily, because, look, I’ve got twelve hundred employees plus, in eighteen companies, on multiple continents, in multiple industries. What are the chances that today somebody’s going to screw up something? A hundred percent. And so I would be like, “Ah, I was so happy and then John did this,” or, “This person, what were they thinking?” or, “He opened the door in the middle of the year review!”
There was always something, and so I decided, that’s the s**t that’s going to happen. That’s part of having multiple companies and lots of industries. So, I’m going to enjoy it, and when something doesn’t work out, we’ll learn from it, we’ll grow. It’s all small stuff, don’t sweat the small stuff, it’s all small stuff. So I’ve really experienced, in the last year, that’s probably been the greatest growth for me, is not letting that suffering last and calling it suffering, because it’s inconsistent with my identity and probably yours as well, right? So I never do that stuff, so I don’t, and I call a spade a spade. Pissed off is suffering, worried is suffering, stressed out is suffering, and so I know it sounds esoteric because we’re doing this in two minutes, I usually take people, now, through a day of experiences where they uncover this. I ask people, if I asked you, “What are two of the most magnificent experiences of your life?” So far.
Lewis Howes: The first two things that came off the top of my head was visiting a third-world country and building a school for kids and seeing their joy and being in that experience, and then two others was achieving a dream of being an All American Athlete, when I wanted to early on, when I worked for it for so long and then also now to pitch myself at writing a New York Times bestselling book, and having a dream and creating that dream.
Tony Robbins: And then there’s a pattern to those examples. I’m not just listening to the content, I’m listening to, “Tell me what you felt. What did you feel when you built that school?”
Lewis Howes: Incredible joy! It’s like I was able to give, I was able to use what God had created for me to give back and support other people. And that contribution, that service, for me, was a major thing to see what I was capable of doing for so many other people, beyond myself.
Tony Robbins: And when you became an All American, what did you feel?
Lewis Howes: I felt a sense of, well, actually, the first time I was an All American, I was really happy, and then I was really sad. I was really upset, because I was driven, by anger, to prove people wrong that I would become it, so I made it happen by this willing it and this commitment to proving everyone wrong, and all the people that screwed me over, like, “Here’s why you got to accept me and why you got to love me.”
Tony Robbins: And it didn’t work, evidently.
Lewis Howes: And it wasn’t fulfilling. It was for a moment, and then I was like, “This sucks. What’s the point of this.”
Tony Robbins: So you just so beautifully demonstrated what I want to get across. Whenever we have our highest experiences of life, two things are involved. Some kind of growth within ourself, and some form of contribution beyond ourself. I could ask a hundred people, as I have done this with thousands, and they all will tell me something where they faced the fear, overcame something but also, in doing it, it benefited their family, or benefited somebody else, or, like what you did with the building. Whenever I ask people the worst experiences of their life, they will tell me something and it was all about them.
Lewis Howes: What happened to them.
Tony Robbins: Yeah. So, one of the reasons you value that experience is that there was growth in that experience to become the All American, but because you did it all just about you, it wasn’t fulfilling.
Lewis Howes: Exactly.
Tony Robbins: That’s when I say, “Life’s not about me, it’s about we.” And that’s also why, when people are suffering, it’s always because you’re obsessing about yourself. You’re obsessing that something happened and now you have less. You think you have less. Or something happened and you’ve lost something. Lost love, lost money, lost significance, lost attention, lost something. Or because you did this or said that, or because I did something myself, I’m never going to have something. Lost, less and never are the sources of suffering.
And when you say, “No, I’m suffering because my children aren’t doing well,” no, you’re suffering because you failed your children in your mind. It’s about you still. When you get that all suffering is obsession with self, you can snap out of it, and all you have to do is stop expecting and start appreciating. You look around and appreciate things outside yourself, the people around you, the friend sitting across from you, anything of that nature, and then start to enjoy something. If you start to learn or grow from that.
If you love, which to me, is an action, if you love, if you give, if you’re grateful, something disappears instantly. But you have to tell yourself the truth. The only suffering is in your mind, it’s because this brain is not designed to make you happy. It’s 2 million years old, it’s designed to make you survive. Happiness is your job and happiness is a decision and it’s a daily set of practices.
And the difference, for me, before, if you’d said, “You have a magnificent life,” I would have said, “You kidding me? I have this incredible mission, I work with millions of people, I have this beautiful family, I love my wife, I’m physically strong and healthy,” but, it’s like a business. If you measure a business annually, you’ll feel good about the business, but you’re going to have some bad years. If you measure it monthly, the worst you’re going to have is bad months.
Then when I do a company takeover and turn around, I find usually a dozen elements of that business, and I’ll measure five times a day, in the beginning. Because the more you measure, the more you can adapt and change, and I can make everybody have to focus on. Well, what I’ve done with this area in my life is, instead of saying, “Is my life beautiful?” Of course it is! “Is my life meaningful?” Of course it is! I now measure it moment to moment.
So, if I feel that suffering, that frustration, that whatever’s coming up, I go, “This is the mind,” I breathe in my heart, I find something I can appreciate, I become entertained by the experience and go, “You know what? I’m going to live in beautiful state no matter what, because not everything can I control and the things I’m most upset about, they’re fleeting, anyway.”
Mel Robbins: Everybody that you admire is doing the exact same thing. They actually listen to their inner wisdom. They have figured out how to tune out the critic up here, and trust the instincts. And you know, I have this saying about confidence that I’ve only recently stumbled into. As I’ve been digging into more research around the science of confidence, and the skill, of confidence.
Because a lot of people think that confidence is a personality trait. It’s not. It’s actually a skill that you build through action. And a lot of people think confidence is a state of belief. It can be, but that’s not where it begins. And so, I say that confidence is the willingness to try. That’s all that it is. Knowing that you may succeed, or survive, but you’ll still try.
And to me, all those people that we admire most, that’s what they’re doing. They have the ability to tune it to those instincts that are true for them. Because, the fact is, there’s only one you. And you matter because there is only one you, and there’s only ever going to be one you. And your instincts and your experiences and your inner wisdom is a gift to the world.
And every time that you tune it out because of the habit of hesitating or the habit of self doubt, or the habit of worrying, or the habit of over thinking, you are robbing the world of that gift that you have to give to everybody. And you can use this simple, stupid, silly tool to train yourself to not only hear it, but also to develop the skill of courage to act on it.
Lewis Howes: There you have it, my friends! Powerful wisdom from the top performers in the world, on high performance habits. And again, your life is a direct result to the habits you have. The results you create in your life, the feelings you have, the relationships you create, the income you create, your health, your energy levels, all of these things are a direct result, based on how you show up in your habits. The habits you choose to do, the ones you choose not to do. So if you want to increase the level and the quality of your life, make sure to increase your habits and the quality of them.
Again, a big thank you to weebly.com/greatness. If you’re looking to build an online business, or you’ve got an idea or a product that you want to share with the world, make sure to check out weebly.com/greatness. You can have a beautiful, powerful online store running in a matter of hours, and because you listen to this podcast, all you need to do is go to W.E.E.B.L.Y. dot com slash greatness and you get 15% off your first purchase. Again, a great way to build an incredible looking website, full e-commerce platform packed with tools to help you sell your products, process payments, and all that other good stuff of growing a business. Check out weebly.com/greatness for more.
And I am a huge fan of Yelp. Make sure to download the app right now, at yelp.com/podcast. It’s my go-to place anytime I’m looking for food here in L.A., for healthy food options, anytime I’m with my vegan friends, it’s quick and easy way to pop up vegan restaurants near me that I can make sure that I feed them well and that I get something I like as well, with all the reviews I see.
When I’m travelling the world, this is my go-to app when I want to make sure I get healthy food in my system, because part of my habits for nutrition and energy, is eating the right things. Make sure to check it out. They’ve got all grade reviews to see what’s good and what’s not good, all from users who are actually eating the food. Again, one more time, go to yelp.com/podcast right now, if you need food now, want to broaden your delivery options, or are itching to find a new favourite restaurant, yelp.com/podcast.
Again, check out the full show notes, over at lewishowes.com/635. Let me know what you thought of this, share out the tweets over there, on your Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook, and tag me on Instagram, and tag me on all these places, letting me know who you enjoyed the most. Whose wisdom or habits you enjoyed the most and what you’re going to apply to your life, based on what you’ve learned today.
Again, John Maxwell said, “I can predict the long term outcome of your success, if you show me your daily habits.”
You know what time it is: Increase your habits, make them better, tweak and test things, continue to optimize your life, it’s time to go out there and do something great!
Continue Seeking Greatness
Adventures by A Himitsu