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Jesse Itzler

Building a Healthy, Wealthy, Wise Life

Set aside time to build your life resume.

There’s one resource in this world we all take for granted: time.

We’re only on this planet for a small amount of time, and we tend to build routines in our lives that makes the days roll by.

The next thing we know, we look in the mirror and we’re 70. When you look at that face do you want to see a life of missed opportunities or one filled with experiences you are proud of?

If you want the latter, you need to make sure you schedule time for you. Take the time to build your life resume, because that’s what makes our lives much more interesting.

When you talk about someone, do you talk about how they clock in to work on time everyday at 9 am and work late hours? Or do you talk about the places they’ve been to, and the experiences they’ve had?

On this episode of The School of Greatness, I bring you back someone who has decided to build their life’s resume: Jesse Itzler.

Importance of taking advantage of time. Routine make life fly by. Make time for yourself – building life resume instead of business resume.

“I learn best by jumping into the unknown.”  

Jesse enjoys living life “out of the box.” In fact, he doesn’t even have a box. The author of the New York Times bestseller, Living with a Seal, co founded Marquis Jet, the world’s largest private jet card company which he and his partner sold to Berkshire Hathaway/NetJets. Jesse then partnered with Zico coconut water, which he and his partner sold to The Coca-Cola Company.

He’s also the kind of person that when he wants something he grabs onto the opportunity without delay. He recently decided he needed to detox his mind from electronics and the constant multitasking of today’s world.

He ended up living with monks, living in a room as small as a table, and unable to communicate with his family, just to find himself.

The lessons he learned most were about the need to make time for yourself and the people around you that you care most about. In the end, that’s where you’ll have the most impact and where your true legacy will come from.

Learn more lessons from Jesse’s isolation and time with the monks, on Episode 652.

“Praise the effort, not the result.”  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • How was your 15 day digital detox? (8:45)
  • What are you not waiting for? (20:09)
  • If you could go back 20 years, what would you eliminate or add to your life? (21:41)
  • Do you still take 3 hours for yourself every day? (24:44)
  • What do you think you can learn from pain? (29:14)
  • What did the monks teach you about overcoming personal challenges? (32:52)
  • What did the master’s say (about death)? (36:34)
  • Have you and your wife ever struggled with competing with one another? (44:47)
  • Do you ever have a fear that your kids are a little soft? (47:04)
  • What are the things you’ve learned from your time in your monks you didn’t know before? (48:13)

In this episode, you will learn:

  • When he had the idea to live with monks (10:50)
  • What Jesse didn’t miss during his time away (14:51)
  • How Jesse worked in the music business (17:07)
  • The Kevin Rule (22:28)
  • When Jesse started living this type of life (27:37)
  • The biggest personal challenge he’s faced (30:29)
  • Why death kept coming up in Jesse’s mind (34:40)
  • How he maintains the spark of sexual desire and dynamic of business in his relationship (41:26)
  • The greatest lessons his kids have taught him (45:40)
  • Plus much more…
Connect with
Jesse Itzler

Transcript of this Episode

Lewis Howes:              This is episode number 652, with New York Times bestselling author, Jesse Itzler.

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.

Leo Christopher said, ” There’s only one thing more precious than our time, and that’s who we spend it on.”

I am excited about this episode, because I learned so much. I really dove in and asked Jesse about reflecting back on his life, now almost fifty years old, what are some things that he would do in his business, in his relationships, differently, if he was 35 years old, my age right now? Really leaned in on some of the perspectives he learned over this last year and so many things he’s been up to.

And if you don’t know who he is, he’s the author of the New York Times bestseller called, ‘Living With A SEAL’, where he had this extreme Navy SEAL live with him, his kids and his wife, for a period of time, in his home, and train him to have a tougher mentality. And this is a guy who has already an extreme mentality.

He co-founded Marquis Jets, the world’s largest private jet card company, which he and his partner then sold to Berkshire Hathaway and NetJets. Jesse then partnered with Zico Coconut Water, a water that I love, which he and his partner then sold to Coca-Cola. He’s an owner of the NBA’s Hawks, with his wife, Sara, and his new book is called, ‘Living With The Monks’. It’s out right now and it chronicles his 15 day stay with Russian Orthodox monks in a monastery in New York.

And in this episode we really dive into what made Jesse, rethink about his entire relationship with time, and what he wants to do with the rest of his life, now hitting 50. How much time, each day, you should be setting aside for yourself, because there’s a lot of people that don’t give themselves any time, and there’s other people that only do things for themselves. We talk about that.

We talk about a new definition of happiness, and how sometimes suffering can support happiness. Also, what Jesse learned living with monks for these two weeks, and how he and Sara have created such a strong marriage; Sara Blakely, his wife, who has been on the podcast as well.

And, as always, make sure to share this with your friends, tag me, @LewisHowes, on Instagram, tag @jesseitzler, and the link for this is to watch the full video and share it with your friends on Twitter, Instagram and social media.

I want to give a shout out to our Fan of the Week! We’ve had so many incredible fans reach out lately and share about their stories, their success stories, about how the podcast had changed their life, had impacted them, had helped them lose weight, find the relationship of their dreams, live more purposeful, fulfilling lifestyles.

And this one’s from Tori-Lee, who says, “Lewis, they say you can become similar to the five people you spend the most time with. I have been at a point in my life, where inspirational and enlightening influencers are lacking. I love this podcast and listen every day, hoping that I become more and more like the many people you bring on the show. Thank you! P.S. I think it would be great if you could gather quotes from every single person that you have on this podcast, speaking their three truths, and make a book out of it.”

So, Tori-Lee, thank you so much for being the fan of the week, and for sharing and we are working on that actually. We are working on collecting the Three Truths of everyone that we’ve asked the question to, and creating a little book out of that. And if you’d be interested in getting an early copy, just send me a DM on Instagram, again @LewisHowes, and let us know if you’d want to pre-order an early copy, because I’m curious to see how many people are interested in this little book.

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Alright guys, I’m excited about this one, it’s all about understanding how to have a better, richer, more fulfilling and meaningful life. Let’s dive in, with the one and only Jesse Itzler.

Welcome, everyone, back to The School of Greatness Podcast, we’ve got the legendary Jesse Itzler in the house.

Jesse Itzler:                  Ah, man! Thank you!

Lewis Howes:               My man, it’s good to see you back again! You got a new book called, ‘Living With The Monks: What Turning Off My Phone Taught Me About Happiness, Gratitude, And Focus’. Make sure you guys check it out and you got me up on the top of the cover, which is pretty cool! Just make sure you guys support our friend, Jesse and check this out, because I think it’s really powerful.

I did a digital detox two years ago, where I went to Hawaii, left my phone in L.A. and freaked out the first day and a half. Because I didn’t have directions to go anywhere, I went old school, 1999, pre-cellphone, and had to go to a gas station and ask for directions, and had to just be at peace in the ocean.

And, about day three, it was beautiful, because I didn’t think about going back on the beach, and being, like, “Where’s my phone and even check something. I could just be at peace. And it was unbelievable, because, for fifteen years, I realised I had my phone on me every single day, until that moment.

And now, I do this every year. I try to do it every six months. I went to Hawaii again, a couple of months ago, left my phone here, yeah, and beautiful experience. Now you did this for, what, 15 days?

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah, what I love about this, I love the set-up. I love that you went to Hawaii, beautiful beach, ocean. I was in the middle of nowhere, in the woods.

Lewis Howes:               I know! I saw!

Jesse Itzler:                  I couldn’t walk on the sand! No, but same thing, I mean, it was so hard for me at first, just to separate, and just to be away from everything. Change is difficult for anybody, but change without technology, and change with family, and being away from that, and plus change in the wilderness, is not easy.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, because you have four kids, you didn’t talk to any of them during that time, right?

Jesse Itzler:                  No, no. I spoke to my wife once, a check-in from a landline.

Lewis Howes:               A ten minute, like, “Hey. I’m losing my mind, is everything okay?”

Jesse Itzler:                  Yes, exactly.

Lewis Howes:               Because she knows you’re crazy and she knows you do these experiments. What did you think you were going to learn, going into this experiment?

Jesse Itzler:                  Well, first of all, I’ve spent so much of my life exploring the physical side, and I’ve ran a 100 mile race, I’ve done ultra-paddleboard races and I’ve done marathons and I love that. I’ve learned a lot from those kinds of things, but I’ve completely neglected the inner work, and I just felt super distracted, a little bit overwhelmed, four kids, wife, work, just like everybody else.

And I just thought, “Well, who are the masters, who will be the best person or persons to talk about self-reflection and just..?” and it was monks. And I didn’t know anything about monk culture, I didn’t know anything other than watching a couple of movies and reading a couple of blogs, about the monk world.

So, I just said to my wife, “I think I want to go live in a monastery.” And her immediate reaction is, like, “Listen to Lewis.” Like, “There are podcasts for this s**t, man. You don’t have to go away to a monastery,” but I learn best, without question, by jumping into the unknown. That is the best teaching tool for me.

And it’s always been the way that I’ve gotten the most growth, and I’m just going to go. And I put the plan in motion pretty quickly.

Lewis Howes:               When did you have the idea? And then when did you go? Was it a month, a couple of weeks?

Jesse Itzler:                  It was fast.

Lewis Howes:               You have an idea, you told her about it…

Jesse Itzler:                  Otherwise I’m going to talk myself out of it.

Lewis Howes:               You will.

Jesse Itzler:                  So, Ready, fire, aim. Ready, fire, aim.” And that’s the difference. I’m in a relationship – my wife is a processor – everything gets analysed and processed and thought out. What are the pros? There’s a pro sheet and a con sheet. What are the consequences? And I’m an inner, I’m in! Lewis, where are we going?

Lewis Howes:               You’re going to learn something good!

Jesse Itzler:                  I’m in!

Lewis Howes:               Something good’s going to happen, there’s going to be a consequence, but it’s going to be a great experience.

Jesse Itzler:                  Right. So, it was about a month, I would say.

Lewis Howes:               A month and you were in, and you were there. And you already knew where you wanted to go? Or you started researching?

Jesse Itzler:                  Well, I knew that, in Living With A SEAL, I had a book…

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, New York bestseller.

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah, about living with a Navy SEAL that moved in with my family, so I knew I wanted to write a book about his journey, if it was suited for that. So, I called my publisher, and she happened to know of this monastery, that’s how I got to the monastery. And that started the journey.

Lewis Howes:               There you go. And it was close enough to, it was in the States, you didn’t have to go to Grand Tetons, or some other place, another country, or something, it was close to you, near Atlanta, on the east coast at least.

I went to India a year and a half ago as well, after I did this digital detox, I said, “I want to explore more,” so I went to India, and essentially lived with monks. But I had a nice bed, a nice place, it wasn’t like I was living on the ground, but it was training, 15 hours a day, on the mind and inner work, meditation.

And it was for two weeks. The first week was learning meditation, the second week I had to teach meditation to other people. And I had some incredible experiences, and I had some of the most profound peace I’d found, with that type of work. So, I know this works when you do it.

And I saw you in before and after photo’s, I think you sent it to me, or you posted it online, and I said, “Man, you look so clear and calm. What was the greatest lesson you learned about yourself through the process?

Jesse Itzler:                  I was very clear and calm, it took me a while to get to that place, because, when I first got there, literally the first minute I walked in, I took a quick tour and the main monk, like, my Grand Poobah, said, “Tomorrow we’re going to start, at 7:15am, with prayer, reflection, and meditation. And I was like, “Great! It’s 6:05pm. What do I do for the next 13 hours?”

And he looked at me in the eye and said, “You think.” And I was sitting there in a room the size of this desk, basically, and I said, “Okay, I’m going to try to meditate, I’m not a big meditator. My form of meditation has been running.”

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, like working out.

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah, that’s my alone time. So, I set my timer for 20 minutes and I’m like, “Let me try to focus on my mantra,” and I’m going through my routine, and I’m getting bombarded with thoughts. Like, the worst s**t is coming into my head.

Lewis Howes:               “Why am I here? What if…”

Jesse Itzler:                  “Why am I here? What if something happens to my wife? My kids…” And time is going by and I’m like, “Why hasn’t my timer beeped?” you know? I’ve been at this, so I thought, “Well, maybe I didn’t set it,” so I reset it and like, “No, I don’t want to cheat, and it’s going to happen any minute.”

So, I go back into my mantra, and back into my mantra, and after what felt like forever, I’m like, “I didn’t start the timer.” So I go back and reset my timer, and I look down and it’s at 3 minutes and 27 seconds, and I’m like, “Well, I am that distracted that I can’t even sit quietly for three minutes? I’m that overwhelmed and distracted!”

And I realised, “I’m here for fifteen days! I’m f***ed!” You know? I’m like, “What am I going to do?” And I couldn’t call my wife and be, like, “What are you doing right now?” And I had to work it out in my own head, and that was really hard.

And one of the other really big takeaways, for me, was, like…

Lewis Howes:               So, that was one day you were really distracted. That was the lesson you learned.

Jesse Itzler:                  Really distracted, I realised – you know, when I came home, everybody asked me what I missed the most, but nobody asked me what I didn’t miss – and I realised that a lot of things that I didn’t miss, filled up my calendar.

So, for instance, I went doing March Madness, and I’ve grown up watching March Madness, and filling out the brackets and watching all the games, and I didn’t miss that at all. I didn’t miss going and searching through Netflix at the thousands of films that I could maybe watch, and short circuiting, because it’s too much.

I didn’t miss a lot of stuff that I do every day. And I realised that I want to – we were just talking about this before the podcast started – I’m turning 50, the average American lives to be 78 years old. Here we go!

Lewis Howes:               You’ve done all the research, yeah!

Jesse Itzler:                  Here we go! If I’m average, I’ve got 20 years left, if I’m average. I hope I’m not.

Lewis Howes:               Okay, but you’re vegan, you work out, yeah.

Jesse Itzler:                  But if you reverse engineer that, if you reverse engineer the next thirty years, like I just climbed Mt Washington, there was no sixty or seventy-year-old guys on top of Mt Washington. The relevant years you have to do things that you want to do, it’s limited. So, my enemy’s the clock.

And I realised, man, I’ve just got to live with so much urgency and to put as much stuff of the things that I love to do, with the people that I love to do them with, on my plate. And I was, like, as soon as I got home, “I’m saying no to everything, unless it moves the buckets in my family life, wellness, finances or cause related.

I mean, of course I’m going to have some stuff on my plate, but the majority of my plate, I want to fill it with that stuff.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, 80, 90% must be that on your plate, is what you’re saying?

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah, and I’ve been very lucky to live a lot of my life like that, but certainly the next thirty years, fifty to eighty, I mean, that’s spooky. I feel thirty-two, but there’s a reality on this side. I look at it every day when I pull my driver’s licence out to get on the plane or I look at my, “I’m f**ng turning 50, man!”

I start to reverse engineer how I want to live those days. And I talk about it in the book. I got this lesson early on in life, but I appreciated it, but I appreciate it a lot more.

When I first started out in the music business, I was writing theme songs for professional sports teams, but I had no money. I had, like, a hundred dollars in my bank account. And I needed money to create these demos, to present them, because everything was on spec. “Do you like it? Buy it!” It wasn’t like, “Hey, I want to write you this theme song. Will you give me ten grand so I can go into studio?”

Lewis Howes:               You’ve got to make it, deliver the product, yes.

Jesse Itzler:                  You’ve go to make it, and then, if they like it, they’ll buy it. But I had no money to make it. So I went to this music manager, and he said, “I’ll lend you the $10,000 you need to make these demos, but, for that, I want 10% of you, forever.”

Lewis Howes:               Forever?

Jesse Itzler:                  Forever, like, “I’m investing in you, I’m giving you the ten grand, I don’t know where this is going to go.” And I was like, “I’ll do it!” I’m twenty-one years old, 10% of me for $10,000, there was nothing without this money! But before I finalised the deal, I went and talked to my friend’s father, who is a big business mogul.

And I went to his apartment, he had this mac daddy apartment, I mean, mogul in the true sense of the word, ‘mogul’. He owned parking garages all over New York, owned a piece of the Yankees, a piece of the New Jersey Mets at the time – true mogul. And philanthropist.

I go to his apartment, I’m twenty-one years old. He has all this fancy artwork up, he has his own swimming pool, and I mean, it’s just mind-blowing, the wealth. And I start to tell him the story, and he stops me, and he says, “Jesse, I will trade every single thing I have, for the one thing that you have.”

And I’m like, “Me? I have $128…”

Lewis Howes:               Youth.

Jesse Itzler:                  Yes! Youth. Youth! And the process, the journey, of going through the unknown.

Lewis Howes:               The struggle, the uncertainty, everything.

Jesse Itzler:                  Yes. The wins, the losses, just the whole thing.

Lewis Howes:               Wow!

Jesse Itzler:                  He would give up everything to go back to that. And I’ve been really aware of that. Like, here I am, thirty years later, still talking about that. But more so, now, I don’t want to get to be 70 and 80 and have that thought in my head.

I want to live my life with that kind of urgency and fill up my plate, so I don’t have that regret. Because, when you’re in a routine, time goes really fast. And then you wake up and you’re seventy, and you’re like, “F**k, I can’t climb the mountain. I’m seventy.”

When you get out of your routine, like at the monastery, and you look at the thing and it’s 3 minutes and 27 seconds, time slows down. I want to stop the clock, man, I got four kids! So, my relationship with time, in general, was re-established at the monastery.

Lewis Howes:               Really?

Jesse Itzler:                  Definitely.

Lewis Howes:               By eliminating the things that on longer support or serve your vision for your life, and focussing on things that do.

Jesse Itzler:                  And not waiting.

Lewis Howes:               Not waiting for what?

Jesse Itzler:                  So, I climbed Mt Washington, I didn’t get to the summit, with five friends and I came back, and Mt Washington is a really dangerous mountain in the winter. I think it’s one of the ten most dangerous mountains because of the climate. It’s cold, like -30 and the winds get up to 50-75 miles an hour and low visibility, blah, blah.

Because of that, I didn’t get to the top of this journey I did with five of my close friends. I came back, and I’m talking to my wife about it, and because I posted it on Facebook, I was getting bombarded with, “You didn’t make it? You couldn’t, six miles to the top, you couldn’t get…?”

And I said to Sara, “I failed.” And I felt terrible, I let my friends down. And she said, “No, no, no, sweetie,” she said, “First of all, you numbskull, get a tour guide, get proper equipment and train for it and go back next year, next winter and knock it out!” And I was, like, “Next winter? I’m going back on Saturday!”

Lewis Howes:               Wow!

Jesse Itzler:                  That’s the urgency, because there’s not guarantee what next winter’s going to do. We can talk about all of our vision, but my thing would be like, “Well, do it now!” You have a five year plan? It takes too long, man, it takes too long!

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, it does. Yeah.

Jesse Itzler:                  So, that’s what I mean about my relationship with time. It’s like, yes, I eliminated a lot of the things that were no’s, but I also created a tremendous amount of urgency, I started to look at my enemy, my greatest enemy, other than keeping my health, is the clock.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah. If you could go back 15 or 20 years, my age or five years earlier, when you were thirty or thirty-five, what would you eliminate, and what would you add to your life?

Jesse Itzler:                  I would act like I’m not going to live till eighty. I would not put off the trip to Hawaii. I mean, you’re doing it, you’re going to live with monks, you’re going to Hawaii, you have businesses, you have good balance. You have a short commute to work. You’ve kind of cracked a lot of the things that many struggle with, sitting in traffic in their commute, bad relationships, struggling with health issues and finances.

You’ve been able to eliminate all that at a really early age, but I would just say, my suggestion would be to put, just to put it in an analogy, again, a good friend of mine has this rule, I call it the ‘Kevin Rule’. I asked him how he lived his life, because he’s one of the happiest guys that I know, and he’s a police officer.

He told me that every year he takes a trip with his college friends – he’s been doing it since he was twenty-one years old, one time a year. And then, every other month, one weekend, he goes away and puts something on his calendar that he circles. He’s going to run a marathon, he’s going to go to the beach, whatever. I call it the Kevin Rule.

And I said to myself, and this is what I would say to my thirty-five-year-old self, and I’ll show you why, if I can’t take a weekend every other month, to put something on the calendar for myself, if I can’t do that, my life is really out of balance. Because, if I do live to eighty, and I fit five of those on the calendar a year, that would be 150 of those memories that I’m creating, and moments that I’m creating.

If you do it at thirty-five years old, then you have over 200 memories that you’re creating. But if you don’t do it, think of the loss. No, seriously, I’m dead serious. Think of the loss. so, that’s how I look at it, man. I would  take advantage of the opportunity that you have at this age, and the people that you know, to create amazing… to build your life resumé.

That’s what we talked about all the time. It’s like, you have the work resumé, so what? That means nothing if you’re not building up your life resumé. and those moments are the things… There’s only two kinds of moments, man, the moments that happen, not to preach, but like, the Ojay Simpson, you remember where Ojay was during the chase, or 911, you know exactly where you were, you’ll never forget that, but you didn’t control that, it just happened.

There are moments like that where you have no control over it, you just remember, because they’re so vivid, and then you have the moments that you have control over, like the Kevin Rule, that you circle, that you create, that you put in position to happen.

And that’s kind of how you build this life resumé. And that’s what I hope my kids do, I hope they have a life filled with memories.

Lewis Howes:               And you told me this on the last time on the podcast, I believe you said that you take three hours for yourself every day. Is that still true? Even with four kids and wife and businesses and travel and everything, you still take roughly three hours a day for just things you want to do?

Jesse Itzler:                  Not roughly.

Lewis Howes:               Three hours.

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah. I mean, at least.

Lewis Howes:               Is that in the morning, or is it just…?

Jesse Itzler:                  It’s accumulative.

Lewis Howes:               Right, got it.

Jesse Itzler:                  So it could be a 45 minute walk in the morning, 20 minute sauna, sit on the couch and do nothing, but…

Lewis Howes:               Hang out with friends, whatever.

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah. But that’s my time and when I’m in that zone, I’m not guilty that I’m not with my wife or kids or at work or anything. But the flip side is, when I’m at work, because I’ve had that time, I’m not guilty because I’ve had that time with…

Lewis Howes:               You’re not thinking about what you want to do on the weekend or whatever, yeah.

Jesse Itzler:                  Exactly. And the reason is, if my wife, or my employer, or whoever, took away the things that I like to do during the day, I’d resent them. I mean, I’d be so mad at Sara if she said to me, “You can’t run. We got to go do this, or you got to do this.” I’ll do it, but allow me to do what I need to do for me.

It’s 10% of the day, I mean, I’m not talking about I’m taking 80% of the day for me. It’s just a small piece of the pie chart of the day, but it’s accumulative and I’m aware of it when I’m in that time.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, and I think it’s really beautiful, and that’s stuck on me, because if you don’t have a couple of hours a day for yourself, you don’t have a life, and it sounds like, if you’re not creating this life resumé and circling things on the calendar every couple of months for you to do that you’re excited about, then you don’t have a life either, if you’re just running through the motions.

Jesse Itzler:                  I think so, but I think that the more experiences you have, the more you can offer. The more experiences you have, the more you can offer. And I think, by building this life resumé, I think it can also help you land your dream job, you become more interesting. It can help you accelerate at the job you’re at, it’s a lightening rod. People want to talk about, “Oh, wait, I’m interested, I want to interview you about your trip to Hawaii.”

Now you told me you went and lived with, you did meditation and lived with monks for clarity. That’s interesting to me, I’m already wanting to take you out to dinner, I want to talk about that, I want to learn from that. And, I mean, just from you saying that to me in one second.

So, imagine if you’re sitting in the conference room at work, when everyone’s going through the motions and you say, “So, for my vacation, I didn’t go to the beach at the Hilton, I went and I journeyed across blah, blah, blah. I did this, and…”


Lewis Howes:               Built schools with kids or did something else, yeah.

Jesse Itzler:                  Right, right. All the things that you’re doing. So, I’m not some wise old man, but if I was going to have to tell my thirty-five-year-old son, Lewis, which you’re not. It’s so funny.

Lewis Howes:               But you were doing that at thirty-five weren’t you? Weren’t you living this type of life?

Jesse Itzler:                  I was, I’m very lucky. My brother just said to me the other day,  was talking to him about my son. He was asking how my son, who is eight, was doing at swim season, and I said, “You know, he’s a good swimmer, but he just really doesn’t have that eye-of-the-tiger and that drive.”

And my brother said, “Well, listen…”

Lewis Howes:               Wait, how old is he?

Jesse Itzler:                  He’s eight, he’s eight. No, but he said, “Well, listen, as long as he’s happy, that’s all that matters.” And I thought about it and I said to him, “Peter,” my brother, I said, “Pete, my son could sit on the couch, eat ice-cream all day and play Minecraft, and be very, very happy. It’s not ‘as long as he’s happy’, I mean, I want him to be happy, it’s is he getting experiences and is he living to his potential?”

I want him to be happy, but that’s a bulls**t answer, man, because happiness could be, you know what I mean? It’s not in the same spirit of what we’re talking about.

Lewis Howes:               It’s interesting, I just interviewed James, the Iron Cowboy, and he talked about happiness, for him, is the ability to endure suffering. It’s like, the more that you can endure pain and suffering, in a safe container, right? The more you can take on life’s adversities and challenges and not let everything affect you 24/7, and you can have more happiness when you go through struggle, is what his ideal of that was.

And I thought it was an interesting perspective, when you force pain upon yourself. This is a guy who did 50 Iron Man triathlons in 50 days in 50 different states. And when you can force that, I believe the you can really overcome any challenge, and the day to day stresses don’t overwhelm you as much. I don’t know, what do you think about that?

Jesse Itzler:                  I think you learn a lot from pain. I think that we’re wired for comfort, and we seek comfort, we run away from pain.

Lewis Howes:               That’s why you had a Navy Seal live with you.

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah, I mean, I’ve gone through my share of pain. My pain has been self-induced too, it’s been physical. I ran a 100 miles, and it put me in a wheelchair, ran non-stop for four days, and it put me in a wheelchair. I can relate to what he’s saying, for sure, because I think there’s tremendous growth there, but it takes a really disciplined person to go to a place of consistent pain for growth.

And I’m not disagreeing with him, because I think that there’s validity in there, but, for me, I find that an equal amount, if not more growth, comes from simply stepping into the unknown. So, that could be an entrepreneur, taking the leap into a space that they’re not aware of. It could be, “I’m going to go run my first marathon, although I’ve never done that before,” it’s uncharted territory.

That’s still growth without pain, it’s the unknown, that I think really is where the real growth comes from.

Lewis Howes:               What’s the biggest personal challenge you’ve ever faced?

Jesse Itzler:                  Parenting, is just, I think it’s one of the hardest things.

Lewis Howes:               In what ways?

Jesse Itzler:                  I mean, it’s just so complicated, there’s no manual, there’s no one around to, well, you know, I have four kids with different personalities, different interests, different wants, different needs, different fears, different issues. I mean, no one’s perfect, I have my own issues, so just that difficult thing.

I love it, it’s the most rewarding, but it never stops. Challenges, most of them, have definitive dates, like, “Okay, I’m going to run a marathon on this date,” and then it’s over.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, a child is an ongoing challenge.

Jesse Itzler:                  When they come home and tell you they’ve been bullied, or they had a tough day, or they can’t pick this up and you’re looking at your kid and all you want to do is give them all the answers, but you can’t, because they’ve got to figure it out themselves.

It’s hard, and I wasn’t, my only training has been being a son. You know? And so I’ve been taught by two people who had their own vision, but now the world’s a much different place. That’s been really hard.

I’ve had partnerships that have been hard, in business, I’ve had setbacks, I’ve had plenty of egg on my face. I remember when my album came out in the early nineties, I was at an airport in Pittsburgh, about to do a show and I was walking through the airport and I saw a cover of a big rap magazine, and the headline of it is, “Are White Rappers Ruining Rap?” Or ‘Ruining Hiphop’, or something, and I was like, “Whoa!” and I looked down and it was a picture of me.

Lewis Howes:               No way! On the cover?

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah!

Lewis Howes:               Oh, man!

Jesse Itzler:                  And I was, like, “Oh my gosh, I want to go hide under a rock.” And then I read the article, and I was so pissed, I’m like, “The writer doesn’t even know me! I wrote this album when I was in my college dorm room, and it’s a reflection of that. I’m not competing, like, this is for me and my friends, if you don’t like it, what are you…?”

I was just, like, all these thoughts and I’m twenty-one, with no one to call. That’s a hard thing to move past, because you think everyone’s looking at you and thinking, “That’s the guy! He’s on of them!” You know?

So, I’ve had all kinds of things, but at the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade any of that. I just think it gives you a little bit of a thicker skin.

Lewis Howes:               And what did the monks teach you about overcoming personal challenges?

Jesse Itzler:                  I think, I don’t know if it was a direct lesson from them, but I think I became very aware of my own mortality.

Lewis Howes:               Through the experience, yeah.

Jesse Itzler:                  Through the experience. And I spoke to them a lot about death, because my parents are getting older, and I’m getting older, some of my friends now are having health complications and that’s just an inevitable thing with time, as you get older, stuff catches up to people, and you know you’re going to face that soon.

And I hope not, not you personally, I’m just saying, as you get older, and so I had a lot of questions around that, and they had a lot of good advice around it, but, for me, that helps me overcome a lot of my fears.

Because if I’m really, really having a gut check about something, like, “Man, I’m scared, I’ve got to go on Lewis’ show, and what if people are thumbs-downing me,” and I say to myself, like, I don’t know, man, my wife will probably hit me for saying this, but, in a hundred years, nobody watching this show is going to be here.

You walk down the street and look at everything going on, all the fears and challenges, nobody’s going to be here in a hundred years, man. There’ll be a whole new wave of Jesses and Lewises and strangers and whatever. So, who cares if I fall flat on my face? Who cares if the reviews aren’t good? That’s going to stop me? No one’s even going to know about it in a hundred years, that I had this fear or concern.

And that, very often, helps me, gives me that little nudge, it doesn’t always get me over the edge, but it gives me a little more of this, “You can do this. In the scheme of the universe, it’s okay.”

Lewis Howes:               Why was death one of the main things you talked about, or that was coming up for you?

Jesse Itzler:                  I just think, again, as a parent, and as a son, and seeing some of my friends now that are just starting to get diagnosed with stuff and having complications, I’ve never really dealt with grief on that level. Knock on wood, I’ve had a really lucky, blessed experience with that.

My parents are alive and I say this to Sara all the time, “Look at our existence today. Kids are healthy, you’re healthy, I’m healthy, parents are alive, it doesn’t get better than this! It just doesn’t get better than this!”

And I’m not talking about money or anything, I’m just talking about…

Lewis Howes:               People in your life.

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah! It’s just, there’s’ an inevitable timeline, man, and when you reverse engineer your life – again, I’m fifty – if I reverse engineer my life, don’t say, what am doing next week, but where am I in ten years when I’m sixty? Okay, now my parents are ninety-eight, my grandma’s a hundred and five, Sara’s grandmother’s a hundred and five. The world’s a different world for us than it is right now.

So, I wanted to know, fast-forward, they’ve been through it, they’ve helped people. I’ve never been through it; help me deal with it now so I can prepare myself. I’m prepared for a lot of things, man. I try to keep myself as bullet-proof as I can, right, for certain things.

Eat healthy, you exercise, you have great relationships, you know, you become bullet-proof in your own world through these relationships that are long standing, et cetera. But I’m not prepared for that kind of stuff. I’ve never had to deal with it on a close, real level. So, why wouldn’t I go to the masters?

Lewis Howes:               What did they say?

Jesse Itzler:                  They said, “How you deal with it is a lesson for others. You have a responsibility of how you deal with that stuff. Where it’s a lesson and a blessing for others, the way you handle it.” And I was like, “Wow!” And that made sense to me.

And they look at death as a passage, it’s just a passage, so they almost celebrate life and celebrate the fact that this is just a passage into something probably better.

Lewis Howes:               Not as this massive loss, this grieving, “My life is ending, it’s going to take me years to overcome this loss.”

Jesse Itzler:                  Not at all, yeah. We’re a vessel, we’re here for a reason.

Lewis Howes:               And so it’s more of a celebration. I’m sure there’s some grieving, it happens, and a process of longing and missing, but then, they say it’s more to celebrate that process.

Jesse Itzler:                  Right, and there’s a dignity in it. You know, listen, it’s a really tough topic, because people that are grieving, everybody grieves differently. Everybody takes time, you know, has different grieving periods. I’m not an expert on it, like I said, I’m trying to learn, and if they can give me some guidance, and I talk to my friends that have been down that path, about it.

And it’s not something that you would normally talk to people about, death. I have several friends from high school that have lost their parents that raised me as a kid, through their houses, they’ve lost their parents, and we didn’t talk about it. But now I do, and they love it.

And I’ll share, like, “I remember I was with your mom and we went to a flea market and she was negotiating for these jeans and it was unbelievable,” and then it makes them feel good, and it keeps the spirit alive. So I think it’s important to have those kinds of conversations.

I don’t know, man, like I said, this fifty thing is hitting me! I don’t know, man!

Lewis Howes:               I’ll tell you, thirty-five started hitting me, though, too, because I always felt like this young, I was in my twenties, I always felt like this young guy in the industry, and then I hit thirty, and I was like, “Okay, I’m still relatively young,” but thirty-five is closer to forty, and it was the first time I realised, “Wow! I’m getting older!”

It hit me as, I’m getting older now, and I’m not the young twenty-three, twenty-four-year-old in this space any more, or in business any more, I’m getting up there. And it made me reflect on a lot of these things, and again, this urgency as well.

I mean, I’m not fifty, so I’m not in that different of a space with four kids, but I’m still, like, “I want to do things now, because tomorrow’s not guaranteed for me.”

Jesse Itzler:                  Right.

Lewis Howes:               Let alone fifty, tomorrow’s not guaranteed. And that’s what I try to reflect on as much as possible. I mean, hopefully I’ll be here for a long time, but tomorrow’s not guaranteed. And I don’t want to hold on to grudges or regret or frustration or resentment towards people or myself, I want to be free in my heart, and that’s the goal.

Jesse Itzler:                  And, listen, we live in a world of routine, because routine is comfort. You were talking about the Iron Cowboy getting uncomfortable and in pain, but pretty much all of us, myself included, we live in a world of routine, routines are comfortable. But routines can be a rut, and when you’re in a routine, the clock goes fast.

The clock goes fast. I was thirty-five yesterday, when you’re in a routine: Get up, get ready, get the kids ready, take them to car pool, go to work, come out, boom, day over, next day. And it’s like, if you don’t get out of the routine and take advantage of those five weekends a year, whatever, you wake up and you’re sixty and seventy, or fifty or forty or whatever, and you’re like, “Man, my knee’s messed up! I always wanted to do that, but now I can’t do that!”

You know? You just don’t know. It’s like, I said to Sara I want to run this race called Badwater. It’s 135, whatever…

Lewis Howes:               Is this the one, Running On The Sun? That documentary?

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah, in Death Valley. And she said to me, “Don’t do it. Aren’t you concerned about when you’re seventy-five, your hips and your knees?” And I’m like, “You think I’m worried about seventy-five right now?” Like, seventy-five? Get me to seventy-five! I mean, I’ll be more angry at seventy-five if I didn’t do it, now, than if I wait four or five years to think about it. Like, “Now I’m fifty-five.”

Lewis Howes:               And you might have knee problems or something.

Jesse Itzler:                  Exactly! And that’s my point, it’s urgency, taking advantage of those opportunities while you can. Before they go away, because, like you said, you just don’t know.

Lewis Howes:               I want to change the subject a little bit, to relationships, because I’m always fascinated with the dynamics of married couples who are both extremely successful and have done incredible things, and how that dynamic works. And you and Sara have been together for how long now?

Jesse Itzler:                  Ten years.

Lewis Howes:               Ten years, four kids, how does that work where you guys continue to have the spark, the sexual desire, but also the dynamics of business and where both of you are at success wise, how does that work? Where you guys aren’t resenting each other, or trying to one-up each other, but there’s actual support on both ends. And has that been a challenge for you? Or has it always been a process.

Jesse Itzler:                  It’s always challenging, marriage is hard for anybody. It’s always a work in progress, especially when you bring in parenting, and I think there’s a couple of ways to answer this. I think, for starters, one thing that we didn’t do, we didn’t talk about how we wanted to parent our kids before we had kids.

Lewis Howes:               You didn’t talk about it?

Jesse Itzler:                  We did not. I mean, we just assumed that…

Lewis Howes:               You both are going to do it the right way.

Jesse Itzler:                  We had the same morals, we’re very aligned in pretty much everything, you know? We’re very different, but we have the same fundamental values, that our parenting would be the same. But it’s not. We have different styles. So that has to be…

When you in a marriage and if you take – I got to be careful here, because my wife is going to be watching this –  when you take divorce off the table, you take it off the table, and you just say, “It’s not an option,” instead of rationalising, “Listen, if this s**t doesn’t work out in five years, I’ll just get separated, it’s easy.

That’s what a lot of people , I think, do. It’s in the back of their head or they rationalise it or whatever. When you take it off the table and like, “We’ve got to figure this marriage stuff out. We have to figure out the schedule, we have to work together,” it’s a different kind of dynamic.

And I think, for us, it’s always been, we don’t take it so seriously if we get in an argument and it gets somewhat heated, we’ll slow dance. We’ll be like, “Let’s just slow dance, let’s move on.” Like, what am I going to do? I’m not going to hold on, I’m living with this, this is my wife! It’s my wife, man! We kind of just work it out and we move toward it.

We were lucky that we got married later in life. I got married at forty, Sara was thirty-seven. So we were both very independent and we’ve been able to maintain our independence. So, again , if Sara told me I couldn’t go to the monastery, and couldn’t do this, i would resent it, because those are the things I love to do.

So, she’s given me a leash to do the things that I want to do. I still have responsibilities toward the family and I’m very respectful of her journey. So, we have independent journeys, but then we have our journey together, and I don’t try to interfere with her journey, she doesn’t try to interfere with my journey, I’m a cheerleader for her journey, she’s a cheerleader for my journey, but then we come together.

And she’s just an amazing support system.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, she’s just the ultimate mom, and support.

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah, she just, she gives so much, that I feel like such a jerk if I’m not, you know what I mean?

Lewis Howes:               She’s making pancakes every morning!

Jesse Itzler:                  But you know what? I’ll tell you, Lewis, to be honest, it’s just little things that keep a marriage rolling, in my opinion. It’s just thinking of the other person. “You want some water, sweetie? I’m going to get some water,” as opposed to coming back with the water for yourself. You know what I mean?

Or, “Hey, I picked this up for you, I thought you would like it.” It’s little things that really go a big way. She’s always doing the little things, and I’m learning how to do the little things.

Lewis Howes:               Now, have you guys ever struggled with competing with one another, since you have both been extremely successful?

Jesse Itzler:                  Never, no, that’s never been a thing at all. When her star shines, I’m…

Lewis Howes:               Pointing the spotlight at her.

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah. And I feel, she’s always cheering for me even if my star’s not shining, so yeah, no, not at all.

Lewis Howes:               That’s great!

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah, but it is a work in progress, and I wish we had, I don’t think anyone’s figured it out or if they do, they’ll be a gazillionzillionaire, it’s just day to day, and it’s respect and its pretty cool, though, man.

Lewis Howes:               It’s great, amazing!

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah, my parents have been married for sixty-something years, so I’ve had good teachers.

Lewis Howes:               And what’s the greatest lessons your kids have taught you?

Jesse Itzler:                  Oh, gosh, I’ve learned so much from them! I’ll tell you, the way Sara and I parent, or we try to parent, is to praise the effort, not the result.

Lewis Howes:               That’s big!

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah, so we’re always constantly praising, like, “You work so hard for the swim meet!” Not, “You won!” or, “You lost!”

“You put so much effort into it, I’m so proud of how you practiced! What a great team mate!” versus, “Oh, my gosh, you won! Yes!”

It’s about the effort, so everything is a lesson, and it’s amazing, because kids, they started out, we have a two-year-old, two four-year-olds and an eight-year-old, and everything we do is a lesson for them, and they’re just such sponges. It just changes the way you have to act in front of them, so it’s interesting, it’s just really interesting to have them.

Lewis Howes:               You know, I hear that a lot of parents, a lot of them want to create a life that their kids don’t have to go through what they go through. For me, I didn’t have all of the money in the world, growing up. Hand-me-down type of family, hard-working, but we didn’t have this luxury.

But then, sometimes, you see that these kids that have it all, are a little soft. Do you ever have that fear that, “Okay, we’ve created this incredible environment for our kids,” safe, I’m sure their going to the best schools, they have stuff, do you ever feel like they might be a little soft here and there? Or is that a fear of yours?

Jesse Itzler:                  Yes. It’s a fear, so I address it, yeah. It’s a fear so I think, the number one thing is understanding that they are on their own journey. If I wanted to play basketball every day in my driveway as an eight-year-old, it’s very hard as a parent, when my son wants to play Minecraft. You know, like, “What are you doing? Let’s play…”

Lewis Howes:               Outside.

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah, like, “That’s what I did when I was a kid,” or, “Go ride your bike, this is what I did when I was a kid.” They’re on their own journey, so that’s kind of the first thing to get over, that’s been really hard for me to get over. But as far as the soft thing, I try to expose my kids, and so does Sara, our kids, to as many things that we do, that’s challenging and difficult, as possible, so that they can see what we go through.

I still choose to do tough races and push myself and go to a monastery and do the cold plunge challenge and all of that stuff. And I bring my kids to as much of that stuff as I can.

Lewis Howes:               That’s good!

Jesse Itzler:                  And I encourage them to participate in that kind of stuff, but it’s a different world, you know?

Lewis Howes:               The iPad world.

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah.

Lewis Howes:               What would you say are the one to three things that you learned from this time with the monks that you started applying in your life, that you weren’t doing before?

Jesse Itzler:                  I realised that a lot of times, I’m not where my feet are, I’m not super present.

Lewis Howes:               Your mind’s somewhere else.

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah, like my feet are here, but I’m not here. I’m at the soccer game, but I’m thinking about my to-do list.

Lewis Howes:               You’re on the phone, whatever, yeah.

Jesse Itzler:                  I’m on the phone, I’m making a call, who had to do… When I get to the soccer game, the soccer game’s over. I really remember when I was at the monastery, day one, they gave me some dishes to wash, and then they brought in about 500 dishes from this convention they had. And I said, “Man, how am I going to do all 500 dishes?”

And one of the monks said to me, “There’s not 500 dishes, there’s only the dish that’s in your hand.” And I was like, “Whoa! Karate Kid s**t, man! Whoa!” And I realised, that he’s right. I live in a world of multi-tasking, and I have to make significant shift to be a monotasker.

Like, they don’t have to-do lists, they have do lists. “I don’t care about my to-do list, this is what I’m doing now!” So I just made a really big fundamental effort shift, to be aware of, “Right now I’m with Lewis. Right now I’m not thinking about… This is what I’m doing right now, when it’s over I’m going to go on to the next thing.”

So, that’s kind of what it is. I have a lot of parameters around my phone. No dinner, no bed, no taking it to the movies with me, et cetera. And I say no a lot, because of my relationship with time that came from the book.

I realised that if it’s not moving the needle in my wellness, my family, my finances or something that’s important to me, I can’t really say yes to those things, because they’re distracting from those four key buckets. So, I became really good at saying, “No.” And I’ve been really bad at that, and that’s a zapper.

Lewis Howes:               Well, a lot of the yes’s in your life had also gotten you your life resumé, by saying yes to a lot of things, or by meeting a lot of people, sometimes. So, just being aware, what it sounds like, really being clear on what buckets it’s filling and saying yes to those things that support it, but not saying yes to everything.

Jesse Itzler:                  Correct. But you’re in a position where people, I’ve done this, I’ve zapped your energy, I’ve called you for advice many times. You’ve been great to me, by the way, man. I really appreciate you.

Lewis Howes:               Of course, I’m always available.

Jesse Itzler:                  And I said, “I’ve got this little thing and I’m going into this coaching class and how would you do it if you were me?” And you said, “Yes.” You gave me thirty minutes, on the call, and didn’t ask me for anything for it, and that’s thirty minutes of your time, away from all this, away from an idea, away from a book.

If you say yes to ten of those people, then you have five hours, that’s a work day that you just gave away. And I’ve done that a lot, you still do that a lot, and it’s great.

Lewis Howes:               If I had kids, maybe it would be different. But I’m building relationships with people that I’m inspired by, and that I believe in and that I want to support, at this phase of my life. So maybe that has something to do with it, too.

Jesse Itzler:                  I’m super grateful for it. And in my twenties and thirties, I built my career saying yes. Because I laughed at jokes that weren’t funny, I sat in the meetings, because, you know, you build the relationships and you want to be liked, and you want to be part of it.

But now, it’s a different chapter, so once you recognise, like, “No, I’m at a place where I can start saying no a little bit more, I wouldn’t have been insulted, because I’m grateful for what you did. But that’s where I am right now, because you can’t. That’s thirty minutes away from the time that I want to spend with my kids, man, and it’s just too important.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah. I know you’ve only got a few minutes left, I want to get you out of here on time. Is there anything else you that you do, besides a do list, as one of the main things? Was there anything else you learned that you apply now?

Jesse Itzler:                  I do, I went to a three-year-old journalling system that’s been very effective for me. I have two journals, in journal one I take everything that’s in my head, that comes during the day and I write it out of my head, to clear out space, and I dump it. It doesn’t mean it went away, it doesn’t mean the the task is done, it just means that I don’t have to spend any energy.

Which allows me to be creative, allows me to think clearly, and then I have a journal of this week. That’s a list, here’s my week, here’s what I have to accomplish this week, and it’s broken up into days. And then I’ll eliminate it.

So, for me, the point is I’ve been carrying a lot in my head, which can make you feel overwhelmed and really distracted, “What was it again? Oh, no, I forgot, I’ve got to get this kid a birthday present!” But if it’s here, I don’t have to worry about it. So that’s been really effective. Part B about it is that I’ve realised that if a tornado whipped it away, I’d still be okay, like, it doesn’t really matter, you know?

Like, life goes on. And I put so much emphasis into these lists, but that’s been a really helpful system for me. And it sounds so easy and obvious.

Lewis Howes:               It’s the fundamentals.

Jesse Itzler:                  It’s the fundamentals, man!

Lewis Howes:               It’s like basketball, the things we learn is how to dribble, how to chest pass, how to one-handed pass, it’s all the simple things, that we already know how to do, we’re just coming back to them, it sounds like.

Jesse Itzler:                  Yeah. How can I thank you for my thirty minutes? You gave me a quote on my book, you’re on the cover of my book!

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, you can answer two final questions.

Jesse Itzler:                  Okay! Deal!

Lewis Howes:               One of them’s called, ‘The Three Truths’, and I think you might have answered it last time, but since you have a new perspective, and since we’re talking about death, not to go there, but imagine you get to choose the day you get to die. As many years away from now as you want. It could be 300 years old, let’s just say you picked a day.

And you’ve achieved everything you imagined, on your bucket list, with your wife, with your family, everything you wanted to do, you did it. There’s no regrets, lived the greatest life you could ever dream of.

But, for whatever reason everything you’ve created you’ve got to take with you; your books, your videos, your message to the world that you’ve been sharing, it’s all got to come with you. And everyone’s there, it’s a celebration, like the monks said, everyone’s happy, and they give you a piece of paper and they say they’d like you to write down the three things you know to be true, about everything you’ve learned in your life.

And this is the only thing that we would have access to, of your information. These three lessons or three truths. What would you write down as your Three Truths?

Jesse Itzler:                  All things come to an end. Nothing like love, there’s nothing more important than love. And, I hope I write, “And I have no regrets.”

Lewis Howes:               So, have no regrets.

Jesse Itzler:                  Have no regrets.

Lewis Howes:               Well, I want to acknowledge you before I get to the final question, I want to acknowledge you, Jesse, for your constant example of the message you share in the world. You’re living the example of doing the things you want to do, getting uncomfortable, having time for yourself; all the things you challenge people to do, you’re doing yourself.

And most people don’t do the things they say you should do. And you’re being the example, you’re being a loving husband, a loving father, you’re showing up, you’re present, and you’re just an incredible human being, so I want to acknowledge you for everything.

Jesse Itzler:                  Thank you.

Lewis Howes:               For the book, Living With The Monks, make sure you guys get a copy right now, share this with your friends, @jesseitzler on Instagram?

Jesse Itzler:                  @jesseitzler on Instagram, yeah.

Lewis Howes:               And Twitter and Facebook?

Jesse Itzler:                  I’m @the100MileMan on Twitter, but yeah

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, Final question is, what’s your definition of greatness?

Jesse Itzler:                  Oh, man, over indexing, going beyond what you thought you could do. I think a lot of us don’t really realise what we’re capable of, and under index a lot of buckets of our life, and I think greatness is going, you know, is really hitting your potential and even going beyond your potential. It’s different for everybody, right? Everybody’s potential is different.

What’s yours?

Lewis Howes:               Discovering the unique gifts and talents to pursue your dreams, and in that pursuit, make the maximum impact on the world around you.

Jesse Itzler:                  F**k! Why didn’t you go first?

Lewis Howes:               I’ve been doing this for years, so I’ve got mine down, but yeah! Yours is great, though. We said the same thing!

Jesse Itzler:                  You said it better.

Lewis Howes:               We said the same thing!

Jesse Itzler:                  Alright.

Lewis Howes:               Jesse, appreciate you, man, thanks brother!

Jesse Itzler:                  Thank you, man, appreciate it!

Lewis Howes:               Appreciate it!

There you have it, my friends! I hope you enjoyed this one as much as I did. I love connecting with Jesse, I love learning from him, he’s got so much information over years of experience in his upbringing in music, and sports and business and relationships, and now father of multiple kids. I mean, he’s just doing it all, and he’s doing it at a great high level.

His ability to continue to stay sharp mentally, focusing on his health. He’s doing the work every single day. The work doesn’t end, growing never stops, and Jesse is a prime example that it never stops, and life is an ongoing process.

And if you learned something from this, make sure to share it with your friends,, tag me, @LewisHowes, and @jesseitzler, on your Instagram stories, on your posts, on twitter, and let’s spread this message far and wide.

Also, make sure to check out a copy of his book, Living With The Monks. You’ll learn a lot more about how you can be more mindful in your life, and the other exercises and principles that you can start applying in your life right now, to get bigger, better, more meaningful results.

I want to give a shout out again to our sponsors,! Again, if you want to get the perfect custom design, every single time, then go to for a special $100 VIP offer for our listeners. Again, you’ve got to have great design if you want to stand out in your industry and marketplace. Make sure to check them out,

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And if you guys haven’t sign up for The Summit of Greatness, go to, check out the incredible speakers announced so far, and we’ve got more incredible speakers who are going to be announced over the coming weeks and months, but the price will be going up. The longer you wait, the more you’ll be paying.

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Again, to watch the full video interview you can go to, all the show notes, the links, where Jesse’s book is, his social media handles, all the tweets that you can share out, are all there.

And, as Leo Christopher said, “There’s only one thing more precious than our time, and that’s who we spend it on.” Make sure you’re spending quality time on yourself, and on the people that matter most in your life today.

Send someone a message that you care about, and let them know how much you appreciate and acknowledge them for the person that they are in your life. Continue to add value to other human beings, continue to show up and be the best person you can be.

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

Music Credits:

Music Credit:

We Were Infinite by Inukshuk

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