Do you ever feel like there’s certain things that just set you off? Certain subjects that send you into a blind rage?
We all go through it. There was a period in my life, well honestly it was most of my life, I was explosive. Even if a little thing would trigger me, I found myself exploding. In those moments, I would reflect – and I know that wasn’t me.
The truth is, it wasn’t me. It was my reaction. More importantly, it wasn’t my reaction to what was really happening. I was reacting to things in my past.
Previous events I was holding on to, and constantly judging, were making me react in an explosive manner. Events would trigger these memories on a subconscious level, and everything that built up would come out all at once.
I was able to find a place of peace with my past and find a place of neutrality, thanks to the help of today’s guest: Chris Lee.
Chris Lee is a transformational facilitator and coach (and TV personality) that has been doing deep work for 30 years. This is also the 14th (yes, 14th) time he’s been on the show.
On this episode of The School of Greatness, we discuss how you can achieve a neutral mindset. Not only will you get the theory behind the work, but you’ll also walk away with actionable steps you can take today to make that happen.
Don’t be caught reacting to your triggers, creating an image of yourself you don’t want others to see ever again.
Chris has been my coach for years on this exact topic, and I’m so excited for you to hear his wisdom as well.
Learn how you can create a neutral mind-frame that allows for clarity on Episode 646.
Lewis Howes: This is episode number 646, with Chris Lee.
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.
Wayne Dyer said, “You can’t always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on inside.”
I am so excited about this episode because there have been too many times in my life where I’ve allowed outside forces to control my inside emotions. And those emotions, without having the right tools, could damage my life, could damage me, by me reacting in those situations, by responding, by diminishing people, by being negative towards people or just getting angry and frustrated and upset.
And have you ever gone throughout your daily life where someone does something to you where they trigger you? They say something, they leave a comment on something, they cut you off in traffic, and they trigger this emotion that makes you want to react and get angry and upset in that moment.
I think all of us have had that. The challenge is, that may make us feel good in that moment, to defend ourselves or to lash out back, or to make sure that we’re not being taken advantage of, but what it really does is, it robs us of our joy, our freedom, our power, when we give that power away through a reaction, in anything that’s happening in the world.
Chris Lee is here today, to give us some practical tools, and a deeper understanding, on how to become the Jedi Master of stress, of not reacting to anything in the world, but being the master of your own life. For those who don’t know who Chris Lee is, he’s a transformational facilitator, coach and TV personality.
He’s been doing this deep work for 30 years, with over 100,000 people, one on one and in small groups. He’s travelled the world, teaching and empowering people on how to use these tools to better their life, including world business leaders and Hollywood celebrities, et cetera.
And this is his fourteenth appearance on this show. Every time he comes on, he’s got something practical that you can apply for your life. In this episode, we talk about how reacting to unmet expectations causes the stress in our life. Also, the first key to creating a peaceful life. Every single day.
What happens when we do react to ourselves and what happens when we react within the world. Also, what to do when you get triggered by someone else that you love, and how neutrality combats disease. That’s right. This is a juicy one.
There are some practical steps throughout, and I really believe you’re going to get so much value out of this one if you actually follow through on the principles and start practising what we talk about, specifically the challenge we give you at the end.
Again, a powerful one, make sure to share this with your friends, lewishowes.com/646, to share it out. Tag me on Instagram and @chrismotivador as well.
Before we dive in, a big shout out to the Fan of the Week! This is from Brit Ullah, who said, “I love starting my day with these podcasts, even if it’s just driving and walking my dog. These podcasts give you inspiration to go after your goals, but also to change the way you think, and I feel more mindful and grateful after listening to these episodes. I love the mix of guests or just Lewis’ episodes. But I also like 5-Minute Fridays! If even need a few minutes of inspiration. If you haven’t listened to these podcasts yet, you definitely should.”
So, Brit Ullah, thank you so much for being the Fan of the Week! And, again, we’ve got over 3,000 five star reviews over on iTunes. If you haven’t left your review yet, get a chance to be shouted out as the Fan of the Week. Go open up the podcast app and you can just scroll down and leave us a review right there.
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So, make sure to go to sunbasket.com/greatness today, to learn more and get $35 off your first order. That’s sunbasket.com/greatness for $35 off. Check it out right now and let me know what you think.
Also, if you guys have not got your ticket to The Summit of Greatness, make sure to go to summitofgreatness.com right now. Our annual event – thousands of people from around the world are flying in to be a part of this once-a-year experience. Think of it as an explosion of the heart and the mind and soul, bringing together the most inspiring speakers in the world, and the most interesting people as attendees.
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Alright, guys, this is all about overcoming stress, being the Jedi Master, how to claim your power in any stressful situation, with the one and only Chris Lee.
Welcome, everyone, back to The School of Greatness Podcast, we have the legendary Chris Lee in the house for the fourteenth time! Super excited!
I was just talking about you earlier today, someone was interviewing me for their podcast, and I told the whole story of me coming to a more self-aware place, with my own emotions, from sexual abuse trauma, to that always triggering me throughout the years, and when I started to understand my triggers and things that I get defensive with.
When I started to understand that and heal from those things, that’s when I was able to have a more calm environment whenever someone was throwing anything at me in any situation, with relationships, business partners, whatever it may be. I was able to, in the last four years, have more peace and calm because of what you taught me.
And this is something that we wanted to talk about today. Because we realised that, when people react to situations, or their triggers, that’s typically when they don’t get the results they want. So, how can we have more results in our life, bigger results, and more peace in the process.
And we’re talking about that today, which is how to really overcome stressful situations through, what you call, neutrality. So, let’s talk about, what is neutrality, and how can we own and own all of our emotional energy throughout any situation in our lives, so it doesn’t control us, but we are in control of the situation?
Chris Lee: It’s an incredible thing to talk about because I think that, nowadays, with so much happening so fast, at a rapid pace, we are being triggered by so many things at the same time, and so, many times, we go to our mechanism to cope with stress and anxiety and situations, where we usually go, which is to react.
And so, we react, and when we react, there’s a false sense of power. So, when you’re screaming at your children, or you’re screaming at the person in front of [you in] the line, or in traffic, or you’re having a reactive moment. Those are patterns that give us a false reward, and that false reward is a sense of power.
So, the truth about it is that it’s the opposite, because, what we end up doing is, we end up giving our power away. And so, instead of being empowered, you’re actually disempowered. And I think that when you implement the tools of transformation and when you use what I want to talk about, it’s going to save you and spare you a lot of stress.
Because it’s not just about positive thinking. Positive thinking is great, and positive thinking, I’m the first person to say that positive thinking is going to get me to where I want to go in many occasions, but sometimes it takes taking a step back and do what I call neutral thinking. And when you come from neutrality, what you’re doing is, you’re accessing your inner wisdom.
You’re going beyond the judgement of right/wrong, good/bad, and so you’re not giving the significance to the events that usually you would give them. Because what you’re reacting to usually in life, is that whatever your expectations is, it’s not being met.
And so, if you expect your children to behave a certain way, and they don’t, then you react. You expect that your spouse or your employees or the people around you respond in a certain way, then what you end up doing is being frustrated – expectation leads to frustration. And so, when you come from a neutral place, which is not looking at life through judgemental filters.
Because, many times, expectations are just judgements. You know? I’m having a judgement of what should be, “It should be this way.” Well, you know, life isn’t the way it should be, life is the way it is. I love one of your favourite sayings. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that you say it a lot: “It’s all good.”
Lewis Howes: I do say it a lot. “It’s all good.”
Chris Lee: Yeah, “It’s all good.” Like, if you’ll tell me about an accident that happened, or someone that…
Lewis Howes: “It’s all good, though.”
Chris Lee: And you’re like, “It’s all good.” But that’s a perfect gateway to neutrality, because you’re basically saying it’s okay. It’s not necessarily good, it’s not bad, you’re basically remaining neutral about something.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, and I learned this lesson from you, four or five years ago, whenever this was, now. Because I had an event that I had associated with, my entire life, as something that was really bad and terrible.
And yes, I can say it’s really bad and terrible, and I don’t wish these things on anyone – any negative thing I don’t wish on anyone – but I held onto that as a judgement for 25 years and that judgement is what left me suffering and reactive in other situations that I felt coming up in that way.
Chris Lee: And not only was the event bad and terrible, you were bad and terrible. And you were wrong. There was something wrong with you. So all that judgement.
Lewis Howes: Right. Exactly. And I think holding onto that judgement is what kept me from being more neutral in other situations where I was more reactive, because I was being defensive, or trying to protect myself.
And when I realised that that event was a neutral event, or I decided that it was a neutral event in my mind, it no longer had power over me and no longer made me feel like I needed to react and defend myself in lots of situations, with my girlfriend, or business relationships, or family. It made me more neutral in every other situation, which gave me more power and control.
Chris Lee: That’s the whole key point. Because the facts are that every event in life is neutral.
Lewis Howes: If we choose to believe that.
Chris Lee: No, it is. Birth, dying, accidents, success, all the stuff that we label as good or bad or horrible or awesome. Even awesome’s neutral, you’re just interpreting it as awesome. And horrible is neutral, you’re just interpreting it as horrible.
And so, my point of view is, given that we’re interpreting, and given that we’re putting a label on things, why not choose something that empowers you so that you can use your energy towards growth. Which is the whole purpose of this podcast, is to give people tools to elevate themselves in life, and to grow with every situation.
And so, by seeing what happened to you, your abuse, as a neutral event, gives you the power to make whatever choices you want to make, and you’re not any more in reaction or defined by it. And so, we’re so defined by the fight with our spouses, or by a bankruptcy. Look, a bankruptcy is a bankruptcy, a cancer diagnosis is a cancer diagnosis. Whatever it is that happens in life, we’re the ones who add the drama, we’re the ones who add the importance, the significance.
And so, by looking at life through a neutral set of lenses, called, “it’s not good, it’s not bad, it just is,” then you’re able to use your energy towards what you do want. Because as long as you’re in reaction to whatever that trigger is, then you’re giving your power away.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. And the more we react in these situations, the more residual the negative energy becomes. If we are in an argument with someone and we decide to react and fight and argue and drag it out for days, we are draining our energy from doing something that is focussed on our vision, or helping people.
We’re just hurting ourselves more and we’re hurting the other person in that situation.
Chris Lee: Well, we’re creating an environment. So, when you look at, everything is context. And so, who Lewis is, when he goes into the world, is an environment. Who Chris Lee is, I’m an environment, and so, if my environment is a reactive, trigger happy, upset, dramatic, then I’m going to create those kind of situations, because we attract what we are.
And so, the first key, I would say, to creating a neutral life, or a life where you don’t give your power away, or a life where you’re in a peaceful state, where you’re at peace, is to clarify in a chaotic world – because the world is chaotic and stressful – is to clarify what environment do you want to be in the world. That’s the number one.
And so, yes, it’s vision, but vision more in terms of context. Vision in terms of, “Before I go into a room,” or before I go to my wife, or before I go to my children, or my boardroom, or wherever it is, the playing field, the court, “what’s the environment that I’m going to create around me?”
And so, is my environment one of peace and joy and love and connection and passion? Or is it an environment of anxiety and stress and reactivity and problems and drama. So, [when I] clarify my environment, that allows me to go back to that environment, no matter what happens.
So, when the world cuts me off, or when the world flips me the finger, or when whatever happens, I’m the one who chooses to uphold that environment, that safe place. So, your environment, your vision for you and what you want to create is that safe zone, that no matter what comes at you, you can go to it and you can draw a power from it.
Lewis Howes: You’re cultivating it, no matter what. You’re cultivating peace and joy and happiness, even in chaos, you’re going to start recultivating, planting the seeds again, even if something’s been fully wiped out in that experience.
Chris Lee: No matter what. And I don’t want to sound like to be indifferent over situations that happen and we have a natural process of responding and mourning, et cetera, et cetera.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, and anger and all those things.
Chris Lee: But either way, you need to handle whatever the situation is. And you’re less likely to be effective when you’re in reaction.
And then, the other thing is – I just want to talk about when I’m reacting – when I’m reacting to my wife, or I’m reacting to my kids, or I’m reacting to the employees… You know, I coach a lot of people, and I hear about the situations that they feel like life is going at them at 200mph and there’s all these things happening at the same time, and so, when I’m reacting, I don’t have the power to organise what’s happening.
I don’t have the power to create what I want to create, because all I’m creating is a reaction, repeated action. And so, I don’t create, I don’t cause, I’m just simply surviving. And so, if you want to get out of survival, and you want to truly live and thrive, then you got to really master this principle of neutrality, which is to go to that place that’s not either happy or sad, or good or bad, or negative or positive.
I would call it that spiritual centre of all wisdom, you know, the source. And then really get clear about, “Okay, what’s that, that I’m going to create around me. And so, by honouring that vision, whenever anything doesn’t come along with that, or doesn’t line up with that, then I’m able to make a wise choice. And just take a step back, and breathe. And see things for what they are.
Lewis Howes: Right. And so step one, you’re saying, for this, is to understand what the environment is you want to create first, or who you want to be in that type of environment. Is that step one?
Chris Lee: Yeah. To clarify your vision. To clarify what it is that you want in your relationships. What do you want at work? What do you want in the world? What is it that you want to create around you?
The second step is to identify the triggers. So, now, “What situations trigger me?”
Lewis Howes: Piss you off, frustrate you.
Chris Lee: What situations have me go psycho-postal, I want to get the baseball bat from the car and hit other cars, you know, and some example situations is, “I can’t handle people that are slow. I don’t like to be screamed at. I don’t like people when they break their word with me. Or when people say they’re going to do something and they don’t do it.”
There’s so many triggers that we have as human beings. Like, give me an example of a trigger for you.
Lewis Howes: Well, for me, well, I was just thinking of a friend of mine, who – and I know it’s hard for parents with kids that are young kids, they’re not in routine, they don’t do what you tell them to do. You try to put them to sleep, they wake back up, they’re screaming at night, you you get off your rhythm, because you’re constantly needing to react or respond to your kids. That’s what I hear from them a alot.
Chris Lee: I just spoke to somebody about that. A friend that I spoke to about that said that his kids were going crazy and he went psycho and he lost his patience, and he just forgot who he was. And so, my coaching to him…
Lewis Howes: So how do you handle that? Your kids, you’ve got two, three kids, or even one kid and you just, they’re kids and they’re running around.
Chris Lee: Well, how I handle that is, realising they’re not the issue. You are. You’re the issue. Because they’re just being kids. You’re the one who’s reacting to an expectation that’s not being met. You’re expecting them to be calm and to do what you want them to. And you’re expecting them to go to bed and to stay sleeping, and kids are kids.
And so, it’s like fighting against a current, or fighting against a wave. You could resist it, or you could surrender and accept that the kids are that way and then, with that neutral, calm energy, you could redirect the wind.
It’s like, if the wind is going against you, you can’t fight the wind, you know? So you redirect it. Like martial arts, Haikkido. It’s about using the opponent’s energy and using it in your favour, so redirecting the energy. And so, neutrality is, once again, not indifferent. It’s keeping a peaceful viewpoint of everything in life, and seeing the opportunity in it.
So, when there’s a negative situation, what you would identify as negative, or a situation that doesn’t work, with your kids, you can resist it, but it’s only going to get worse. And so, if I clarify, “What’s my vision?” my vision is a peaceful family. Okay, so when there’s not peace in front of me, I still get to uphold my end of the bargain and create peace anyway.
And standing in that power of neutrality, then, pretty soon, before you know it, the kids will relax.
Lewis Howes: Right, because you’re not going to create peace by being in chaos. Or by reacting to chaos.
Chris Lee: Right. And so, it goes back to step number two, which is, be aware of your triggers. If I’m aware that I have very little patience level. You know, some people just have zero patience, and anything just triggers them.
Then when situations occur, that have me lose my patience, I go, “Oh wait, that’s a trigger, so let me be mindful of that, let me take a deep breath, let me be bigger than my trigger and let me choose something different.”
Lewis Howes: Yeah. Do you recommend having a mantra then, during that process? If it just seems too out of control and you want to react, what if breathing isn’t enough? Is there something else that people can do?
Chris Lee: That’s the third step. Replace the trigger with something that’s going to support you in that moment. So, if I’m being triggered because somebody is abusing my social media and they’re using my name to promote themselves, which I’ve heard you sometimes be upset with me on the phone, like, “Chris, I’m going to kill somebody.” You’ve got to replace that with another energy, because that’s an energy.
So, being triggered is one energy, but then what you do, an access to your neutral state, is through affirmations. And so, one affirmation you can use is, “I am the king,” or, “I am the queen of neutral.” I’ve been giving that to some of my clients and it sounds outrageous, or it sounds simple. It shifts you.
Because you’re so not in that moment. Like you want to kill somebody and you’re in reaction and you’re seeing red, you’re like a bull. And for you to say, “I am the king of neutral. I am the king of neutral,” or, “I am the queen of patience,” or, “I am a patient, loving woman,” just using words of affirmation will make a big difference.
Lewis Howes: But not responding until you come and own that environment. Like, using the mantra over and over and not saying anything until you’re ready to talk. Which I think would be a powerful next step.
Chris Lee: Well, you definitely do not want to speak to anybody when you’re having a reaction. And so, by using the affirmation, it will serve you. Another step would be to write down what you’re feeling, and then make a choice as to what you want to feel.
So, “I’m feeling sad/upset. I’m feeling I’m being taken advantage of. But I’m the king of neutral. And so, what I’m committed to feeling is peace and joy and love,” and pretty soon your energy shifts. Because, remember, what you think about in your mind, expands.
That’s the nature of thought. Whatever you think about expands. And if you think that, “I’m being taken advantage of and people are just trying to hurt me,” that’s all you’re going to see.
And so, when you choose to be neutral about something, you’re choosing to access that inner wisdom, that inner power place, to support you in working through the situation, so that you have a much more peaceful outcome.
Remember, I’ve talked about this in other podcasts here, that how people treat you is one thing, and how you respond is yours. That’s the law of life. You have no control over other people, but you have total control over yourself.
And part of what’s causing me to have those triggers, is the interpretation I’m having of it. I’m seeing it as good, as bad, as right, as wrong, and so I could see it in another way, I can see it all as an opportunity. As a blessing. So, what’s the blessing? What’s the gift in this?
I think another thing that we do is, we tend to make, when we accomplish something, king, and when we don’t accomplish something, we’re worthless. And I think that even in accomplishments there are things that are missing. Even when you accomplish something.
Coming from neutrality in all situations will make a huge difference in your life. Not just when you’re being triggered, but just seeing life through neutrality. So, you landed the biggest contract of your life and you’re so filled with yourself and you’re so happy, but what can you learn about what worked? But also, what can you learn about what was missing, or what didn’t work.
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Now, lets get back to the conversation.
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Lewis Howes: Some of the greatest athletes in the world are neutral when they win the biggest games, except for maybe the last game. Like, if you win the Superbowl, then they suddenly celebrate at a bigger level.
Chris Lee: And they let go.
Lewis Howes: They let go. But every week, every game, you kind of see them in this neutral pace, whether there’s a bad loss or a big win. It’s kind of just, like, “Yup, we’re on the track to getting where we want to be.” And that kind of neutral energy, you always see the greatest quarter backs have this, nothing can phase them. There’s nothing too big to celebrate, and nothing to bad to get your head down on.
Chris Lee: Well, if you look at me, when I train you in a training room, you’ll see me pretty much be neutral. So people will scream at me, and I’ll be, like, “So… What’s going on?”
Lewis Howes: Yeah. If you give your energy away too much, you’re not going to have any left.
Chris Lee: Well, I have no way of impacting you or supporting you. And so, back to neutrality in your own life. So, if you want to be, I call it, a Jedi Master of Neutrality, you’re basically a Jedi Master of Stress. And so, when stress comes at you and you’re being bombarded and you’re like, “Ah!” you have no power.
But if you access that vision for yourself, that neutral place where you are completely at peace in the middle of the storm, then you can guide whatever it is that you need to guide. Whether it’s a relationship, or your children, or business, and that affirmation, “I’m the king of neutral,” or, “I’m the queen of neutral,” or any other affirmation that works for you will make a difference.
Identifying your triggers lets you know what are those potential situations that might take your power away. Why is it important to identify? I’d make a list, make a list of all your triggers. What are those situations or things that trigger you? For me, it’s being taken advantage of.
Lewis Howes: Mm-hmm, me too.
Chris Lee: I don’t like that. It pushes my buttons. Another button for me, is feeling that I’m not getting back what I’m giving. Like, I feel like I go out of my way and I bend over backwards for people and sometimes I feel like they don’t respond, they don’t even say thank you. Or they focus on what they do for you, like, “What have you done for me lately?”
So, there’s different triggers for me. In a relationship, of course, being abandoned, in friendships – don’t abandon me – in friendships those are triggers for me. And those are potential situations that will have me react. And so, by being aware of it, not only am I aware of it, and I’ve journalled about it, I also gain power over it.
And another thing that I recommend for people is to heal those triggers. The more work you do on yourself, healing your triggers, healing the things that likely tend to have you respond in a negative way, then it gets to a point where those triggers are no longer powerful. So, those triggers, I have those triggers, but they don’t have me.
There was a time when those triggers had me.
Lewis Howes: Owned you.
Chris Lee: They owned me, like, I had zero control over them, I was like a crazy person, and I think that most people are like that. And so, taking the time to heal those triggers will make a big difference, you know?
And how do you heal triggers? Meditation. Meditation is something that is absolutely the direct access to neutrality because when you’re meditating you’re basically clearing your mind. And then what happens in neutrality? You enhance health, you enhance energy, you feel better, you have power.
Lewis Howes: Awareness, everything, yeah.
Chris Lee: Meditation is one way to heal triggers and to access neutrality. Also, journalling.
Lewis Howes: I think, also, clearing with people. You know, clearing with people that maybe have been a part of certain triggers for a long time and, making requests of people, clearing with them on how it made you feel, processing those things, talking about it.
Chris Lee: Sure. That also helps. Sometimes you can clear with people without even seeing them.
Lewis Howes: Right, just writing a letter to them.
Chris Lee: Just writing a letter. “Dear -blank- , here’s what I need to clear up,” and burn it up.
Lewis Howes: Burn it up. Exactly, and just let it go.
Chris Lee: Another thing that will support is having a neutral accountability buddy. People that will support you. I have you, I have so many people in my life, that when I’m not being my loving neutral self, or when I’m giving my power away, I got people in my life that are there to remind me.
Lewis Howes: I think people underestimate the power of having accountability, and that there’s no way I’d be where I’m at without accountability in multiple areas of my life. You know, like you said you’ve been accountable for me in a lot of areas I’ve needed support with.
But even just having coaches. In sports I wouldn’t have been able to do that in sports, also coaches in business, there’s just no way I would have been able to achieve what I would right now without accountability, consistently. It’s really challenging for my health if I don’t have a trainer.
You know, I can be good for so long, but it’s hard for me to consistently be good for a long time without constant accountability. So, I think, like you said, it’s a huge thing I think a lot of people miss out on, is having accountability, and we really should be setting ourselves up in all areas of our life, especially our triggers, for being accountable on that.
So, have someone, a friend of yours, a girlfriend, a spouse, whatever it may be, and say, “I want you to hold me accountable. Every time you see me react, write me a note and give it to me that night,” maybe.
Chris Lee: Yeah, “Every time you see me, that I’m losing my balance, that I have that face,” you know? Some of you have a face that you put on when you’re not neutral. There’s the face. You get tight, you get anxious, or you’ll say things that you shouldn’t say, or you behave in a way that doesn’t work.
It’s great to have, and I have people in my life that, when they see me, the times I go there, because I’m human as well, and I have moments that I forget my tools, and I forget what’s neutral, you know, I forget it, and I’ve got people in my life to hold me accountable. And because of those people, and of course, I’m committed, because of the support, I’m able to continuously strive to be the best version of myself possible.
Lewis Howes: That’s great.
Chris Lee: And we get to be that for each other.
Lewis Howes: What’s the next point for staying neutral under stress.
Chris Lee: The next point in staying neutral is, really identifying it in other people.
Lewis Howes: Identifying what?
Chris Lee: The reactions in other people. So, by seeing how people respond, you can see yourself reflected in them. Sometimes it’s easy…
Lewis Howes: For example, you see me reacting at something, and I’m freaking out about it.
Chris Lee: Right. I’m seeing there, a mirror of me. And I’m able to learn from that, because I’m going, “Well, okay, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to go there.” And so, by identifying people in their reaction, it says a lot for me, it does a lot for me, I’m able to learn from it.
Lewis Howes: Being aware of it, and saying, “Oh, I’m aware of someone reacting there and there,” and being neutral in that awareness of just saying, “Okay, this is how it looks, this is how it’s showing up and I don’t want to be that way.”
Chris Lee: And, “Here’s how I can relate to it.”
Lewis Howes: Right. So, having compassion for someone else.
Chris Lee: Yeah, having compassion. And I would say that part of that is being aware of people’s reactions helps me learn a lot for myself, but also, not judging. Practising not judging.
Lewis Howes: It’s hard.
Chris Lee: You know, “She’s fat/skinny/ugly/tall/short,” coming from neutral in your observations. That’s a very challenging practice. Because not only do we judge, but we then share our judgements.
Lewis Howes: We gossip.
Chris Lee: “Did you see her? Oh my gosh, she’s so overweight!” or, “Did you see him? He’s so angry all the time.” We put a lot of words out there. And so, I would say that part of not judging and being aware of how people react and how people are, is by choosing to use whatever thoughts and whatever energy you have in a constructive way, and an accepting way.
So, practising acceptance, and practising awareness of that. Because we tend to judge a lot.
Lewis Howes: Any other points for this? Was that the last point?
Chris Lee: I think, in a nutshell, I would say that neutrality is a practice. So, just don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself falling off the wagon or if you have moments. You know, I have this person I’m working with, she’s like, “You would not have been proud of me the other day, because I lost all my neutrality and I wanted to eat alive the people around me.”
And I said to her, “You know what? That’s perfect. I think that there’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t judge yourself because you judged. Don’t beat yourself up because you’re not perfect.” And I think that it’s a lifestyle and a practice, and it’s something that’s going to require a lot of rigour, a lot of discipline and commitment.
But if you want to have your power and you want to be effective in your relationships, and effective in your businesses and effective as a human being, and also live a longer life. Because think about the reactions, and when you’re in stress, how that affects your blood pressure, how that affects your health.
You’re tense, your whole body’s tense, versus neutrality, is really about being at ease. And the opposite of ease is dis-ease. So, neutrality is ease, and stress is dis-ease.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, and reaction is dis-ease.
Chris Lee: And reaction. So if you want to be healthy and you want to have a life that’s peaceful, then it just takes being mindful of that.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. So, I would say, an action step for anyone listening or watching, would be, for seven days, to practice this, while writing it down at the end of the day, or writing at the beginning of the day, the environment you want to create.
Chris Lee: The environment you’re committed to creating. And then at the end of the day, I would check in with what worked and what didn’t work.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. “Did I react? What did I react to?”
Chris Lee: Right. “What were the triggers that I reacted to? What situation set me off? And what can I learn from that?” And then part of that, of course, is forgiving yourself so that you’re not in judgement of yourself. Practising forgiveness of other people, that we’ve talked about a lot.
Forgiving yourself, forgiving others, doesn’t make it right, doesn’t make it wrong, it simply allows you to keep your energy and to use that energy to create neutrality. And so, journalling that, that’s a great idea.
Lewis Howes: Practising for seven days, and then reflecting on what you learned and have someone keep you accountable as well. Do it with someone.
Chris Lee: And also create a mantra for yourself. Whether it’s, “I’m the king of neutral,” and actually, every time something happens, that is triggering you, use that mantra. Also the accountability. Let people know, “Hey, I need support with this and I want you to support me.”
Lewis Howes: Yeah. And, I think, doing that with a partner or a friend for seven days will be really powerful. So, make sure to send this to someone who you want to hold you accountable, or that you want to hold accountable, or just to try this with.
Send this podcast to them and say, “Hey, let’s try this for seven days,” what Chris is talking about, and let us know what worked, what didn’t work, your results. And keep it going. Keep it going for thirty days if you can.
Because I think once you start really working with this and being mindful and aware, like you said, every time you see yourself or someone else reacting, you need to be mindful and say, “How do I show up in that situation?” I think it’ll really benefit you for a long time.
Chris Lee: Which is the value of noticing it in other people. Like, if I’m watching TV and I’m watching a politician berating the world, or I’m watching somebody that’s doing a mass shooting, or a parent screaming at their kids in a line at a grocery store, it really raises awareness, versus just judge them.
I don’t want you to judge people when they’re doing that. Just ask yourself, “How am I like that? Or what part of me can go there? And what will it take for me to keep my calm and my peace?” Because the goal is to have a peaceful life.
Lewis Howes: That’s it, that’s it. I love this! If you guys love this, let us know in the comments, @lewishowes on social media, @chrismotivador on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Let us know the most powerful part of this for you.
I want to ask one final question for you. You’ve been doing work for thirty plus years now, almost?
Chris Lee: I know.
Lewis Howes: Thirty years you’ve been in transformation, teaching this, leading workshops every weekend all over the world. You’ve worked with over 100,000 plus people in workshops, intimate three to five day long workshops, and, like you said, there’s a lot of things you still work on, triggers that come up for you, you’re a human being.
But what’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned in the last year about yourself that you were surprised about, or that it’s been really powerful for you in moving forward? After all this work you’ve done.
Chris Lee: I’m a work in progress. It surprises me every single time how I feel like I’m a beginner. And I hear people say, “Oh, thirty years,” and I’m known as an expert in what I do, but I’m always learning that there’s more to learn and that my ego, which is really the anti-neutrality, the ego which wants to be right and wants to look good and wants to be in control, every time my ego kicks in, I realise how little I do know.
And in the world of spirituality and connection and information and transformation, there’s so much to discover. And so, my biggest lesson is that I’m a work in progress and that keeps it fresh for me and alive for me and new for me.
And the other thing that I continue to learn is: Life happens for me, not to me. And I see everything in my life as happening for me. And I keep seeing that in such magical ways by working with people, how everything happens for a reason.
Lewis Howes: Powerful. There’s a quote from John Wooden – I’m going to butcher it – but it’s something along the lines of, like, “Once you know it all, that’s when the real learning begins.”
Chris Lee: Yes! I love that!
Lewis Howes: I can’t remember if that’s exactly it, but it’s like, “Once you feel like you’ve learned everything, that’s when the real learning actually begins.”
Chris Lee: Something I say in my trainings, and I’ll share this with everybody: There’s what I know I know, there’s what I know I don’t know, and we pretty much hang out there. We hang out on, “I know, this. I know my name, I know I know how to drive, I know Lewis’ last name, and I know I don’t know quantum physics, I know I don’t know how to pilot an aeroplane.”
But we hang out there and those two places is only 10% of all knowledge. There’s another 90% of what I don’t know I don’t know. And what I don’t know I don’t know, your brain can’t even catch it because, how would I know if I didn’t know it?
But that’s where the magic happens. And so that’s what inspires me, is discovering what I didn’t even know that I didn’t even know, and that opens a whole world of possibilities.
Lewis Howes: What do you think is the thing you’ve got to master still that will take you to another level?
Chris Lee: The thing I need to master? Self discipline. Because my mind is everywhere and I want to be everywhere, and I love everybody and I want to support everybody in their dreams and then sometimes I forget about myself. And so, that’s something that I’ve got to continuously master. And because I’ve mastered it at the level I’ve mastered it, I’m able to have the career that I have.
But in the areas I’m not mastering it, is where I need to really continuously work. Which is to say no, and to organise myself and stuff like that.
Lewis Howes: So, we need to get you a coach, now.
Chris Lee: I already have a coach.
Lewis Howes: We’re going to get you multiple coaches, to keep you accountable.
Chris Lee: I have coaches.
Lewis Howes: That’s good!
Chris Lee: Yeah. I have coaches, just like you have coaches. I support people and people support me, and I think coaching is what’s going to always get you to what you don’t know you don’t know. Which is why I love coaching you.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. Well, I love you coaching me.
Chris Lee: Yeah. And I bring you to a place that you haven’t been before.
Lewis Howes: Yeah.
Chris Lee: Because you don’t need coaching on what you already know.
Lewis Howes: Right. Unless I forget it.
Chris Lee: Right!
Lewis Howes: This has been powerful! I appreciate you, you’re always amazing, powerful. I love you for being out here. Fourteen times! It’s the world record on The School of Greatness. And this is a powerful topic. So, thank you for your wisdom, and making the complex simple, like you always do.
Everyone, make sure you guys go follow Chris Lee. You’re the best, thank you.
Chris Lee: Thank you!
Lewis Howes: Alright, my friends, you are now the Jedi Master of overcoming stress. I hope you enjoyed this episode with Chris Lee. If you did, tag me on Instagram right now, lewishowes.com/646 is the link. Share it with a friend who you think could benefit from this wisdom as well as it’s practical strategies. Tag @chrismotivador as well to let him know that you enjoyed this. Check him out on Instagram and all the places online.
And you can watch the full video interview back at the website and also all the show notes and resources that we talked about at lewishowes.com/646 as well. I loved this episode, let me know what you thought about it, I’d love to hear your thoughts, because you have the power to overcome any of these obstacles in your life, once you know the tools and you master them.
Again, if you haven’t signed up for the summitofgreatness.com, go there right now because the price goes up this week. Check out the first few speakers we’ve announced. They’re going to blow your mind! You’re going to want to make sure you get there. Sign up early, get your friends to come, it’s going to be a massive experience, and I want to see you there.
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Again, if you enjoyed this episode, make sure to share it with your friends! You have the power to control what is happening inside you. You don’t have the power to control everything on the outside, but you do have the energy and the tools to reflect, be mindful, be aware, and respond in specific ways, as opposed to reacting out of fear, anger and stress.
Use this information and apply it to your life, to improve your life, to improve the lives of those around you. Be an example of inspiration, be the example of what’s possible in this world, not being like everyone else who continues to be stressed out in these situations that cause them anxiety. You are the one, you are the example.
Be the symbol of inspiration for your friends, your family and the world. I love you. I believe in you.
And you know what time it is: It’s time to go out there and do something great!