The nineties were a difficult time for me.
But I believe that I experienced that to give me the motivation to do what I’m doing today.
A rich life greatly lived is one that is also filled with challenges.
I want you to know that no matter what you’re going through, there is richness on the other side.
Take your wounds and turn them into wisdom.
On today’s episode of The School of Greatness, I talk with an incredible human who inspires leaders around the world: Robin Sharma.
Robin Sharma is a former lawyer who is now a top leadership expert. His work is embraced by rock stars, royalty, billionaires and many celebrity CEOs. He has sold over 15,000,000 books, and his clients include Starbucks, Nike, GE, The Coca-Cola Company, NASA and Microsoft.
Robin says that the most important relationship you have is the one with yourself. Awareness is the key to transformation.
You not only need to have the right mindset, but you also have to have the right heartset, healthset, and soulset, too.
So get ready to learn all about the Four Interior Empires on Episode 754.
Lewis: This is episode 754 with number 1 best-selling author Robin Sharma. Welcome to the school of greatness my name is Lewis Howes a former athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today, now let the class begin.
Henry Ford said “Don’t find the fault find the remedy.” And Robert Louis Stevenson said “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” We have an icon, a legend and inspiring leader on today Robin Sharma. The man who wrote the book ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ 15 million book sold worldwide, he’s got a new book out and is blowing my mind. I have a chance to sit down with him for this interview then he came to speech at my greatness mastermind. We’ve had more conversations and I am falling more and more in love with this person, the way he thinks his art of creativity, his mind and I am so excited to dive into this. I really want to get this one out there in a big way.
If you don’t know who Robin Sharma is he is one of the top leadership experts in the world, his work has been embraced by rock stars, royalty, billionaires, and many CEO’s. Again over 15 million books sold that’s crazy; clients include Nike, GE, Coca-Cola, NASA, Microsoft. They’re using his leadership methods to drive real growth and top performance. And when he came to my greatness mastermind a group of business leaders, millionaires we really dove into things that are more connected to the heart to the relationship you have with yourself. The relationship you have with yourself dictates relationship you have with other people and with customers and clients and the world.
In this interview we talked about a daily philosophy for becoming legendary. How putting out your best work brings out vulnerability, how Robin gets through self-doubt and really cover that topic of self-doubt and how to overcome it with yourself. The different sets that will help with deep interior work within: Hard sets, health sets and soul sets and about awareness. How awareness is the key to transformation. If you want to grow in your life you need to be aware with all the things happening in your life. This is going to elevate a massive way and I am so excited about this and again I want you to share this with your friends lewishowes.com/754
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Again, a big thank you to our sponsors today and without further ado let’s dive into this I am so pumped and excited for the one the only Robin Sharma.
Welcome everyone back to the school of greatness podcast we have the inspiring Robin in the house. Good to see you sir how you doing?
Robin: Great to see you Lewis thank you so much for having me on your show and congratulations on your remarkable success.
Lewis: Thank you I appreciate it. Now, you have blown up on the world with your work, your message and it spread like wildfire over the last 20+ years. You became I think well known for the book ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ which is when I first heard about when I learned about you I don’t know 7 or 9 years ago I think, but it’s been around for a long time. 15 million books sold worldwide you’ve got a new book called ‘The 5 AM club.’ Own your morning and elevate your life and make sure you guys get this.
First, I want to know more about why you got into this space the first place and how this all developed for you?
Robin: Sure, I used to be a litigation lawyer so I come from very humble beginnings, I was blessed with incredible parents but I sure didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth. And you know Lewis what I experienced was life if like at the top of the mountain but I’ve also been in the valley of darkness. If you we’re to deconstruct the word passion the root is suffering.
Robin: And suffering makes great leaders, suffering makes Mandela’s, suffering makes the Oprah’s and I think great life richly live has lots of good as well as the challenged. So, I became a lawyer for all the wrong reasons.
Robin: Well, exactly society seductions, money, applause, material things etc. And I had a lot of those things I became really successful as a litigation lawyer but I wake up in the morning and I look in the bathroom mirror and I didn’t like the man that was looking back, I was very empty. Jim Carrey has this great quote I wish everyone could experience.
Lewis: The rich and famous?
Robin: Right to realize that’s not where peace of mind and a joyful heart and true wealth really is. So, once I got to that place I said “I’ve done everything that I should be doing to find this joy in my heart when I wake up and fire in the belly” and yet I still feel incredibly empty so there’s got to be more. And long story short I don’t want to bore you with my whole story but long story short I went on in odyssey, I started studying the great geniuses of the world the great women and men of the world and I decided to write a little book that I titled ‘The Monk who sold their Ferrari.’ That was self-published in the king coast copy shop. My mom edited it my father helped me sell it one book at a time at service clubs, I know you do big seminar events. My first seminar was 23 people and 21 of those people were my family members and that was the beginning of the journey.
Lewis: What year was that?
Robin: It would’ve been the late 1990’s and I don’t know if you’ve heard of that decade but it was a pretty good decade.
Lewis: Pretty good yeah. I was born in 83 and the 90’s were interesting for me the 90’s was a lot of suffering actually.
Robin: For you?
Lewis: Yeah, a lot of suffering.
Robin: I see tears in tears in your eyes.
Lewis: Yeah, I mean it was dark I think it was like there was a lot of joy and love, I think we focus more on the suffering and the painful times than the love. I think we remember those times for whatever reason because they create problem in our lives but it also made me so caring and compassionate and just a big dreamer to realize that there’s more than just this suffering or struggle. And that’s what I think was the spark for me as life, you talked about some of the greatest leaders all suffered and that they learned how to have this incredible rich life because they know how dark it’s been for them and I think that’s what I always focus on no matter what challenge I’ve been through there’s always richness on the other side.
Robin: I totally hear you and there’s a line in the 5m club from [?] the great philosopher and he said “Keep breaking your heart over and over until it opens.” And the last chapter of the 5m club is set in Rodman Island and I don’t want to ruin the surprise ending but it has a lot to do with Nelson Mandela and my life changed about 2 and a half years ago when I stood in Nelson Mandela’s prison cell. I took the ferry to Rodman Island and I had a private guide you know take me into prison cell and he was in the former ANC prisoner and I said “Did you know Mr. Nelson Mandela?” And he said “I served 8 years with Nelson Mandela.” And I said what was he like? And he said that man was a humble servant.
I stood in a limestone quarry where he was forced to do 8 years of hard labor with no meaning because they didn’t used the limestone for anything it was just another form of psychological torture and I stood in the shower area where young guards would see this elderly statesman showering and they laughed at him, and in the book I actually shared the story of how they asked Nelson Mandela to create a grave, to dig a grave.
Lewis: For himself?
Robin: Yeah, and then Lewis they said ‘get in the grave’ and they urinated on him and yet as I share in the book when he emerged from prison he invited the prosecutor who looked for the death penalty to dinner and he took one of the prison guards who tortured him, but he later got to know him and became sort of friends. Invited him to his inauguration as the president of South Africa and he was asked ‘why would you possibly do that?’ he said ‘because if I didn’t I’d still be in prison.’ And I think the larger point for your millions of followers is simply to remember leadership and life is a wild and beautiful journey, it’s dangerous if you want to get to the top of the mountain. A lot of the 5m club is about exponential creativity, productivity and elite performance. If you want to do those things if you want to be real history maker it’s a dangerous game, it’s a fun game you’re gonna suffer you’re gonna be exhilarated and tested but it’s not always easy but it’s the most beautiful way to spend the rest of your life.
Lewis: What has been your biggest test as you’ve risen to one mountain top and then the next one and you keep growing over the year and have new achievements and accomplishments and all these things happened for you, what’s been the biggest tests or test that have shaken your core?
Robin: I’ve gone through a lot of test, I’ll share with you one thing there’s no way the 5m club would be the book it is if I haven’t gone through my personal hells, as well as good times. It’s what tears us apart and challenges us but teaches us the noble virtue of the great women and men of the world. The ego says “Let me get out of this difficult season as quickly as possible so I can eat at a nice restaurant and hang out with the cool people and do fun things.” But a bad day for the ego is a great day for the hero inside of us. So the real game of the titans and the legends is an easy life and a pleasurable life and the real game of the heavyweights on the planet is how can I used those difficult times? Sometimes we get them every day the little things right? But how can I use this to enrich me and to introduce me to my primal genius and the natural hero within me.
Here’s what I mean so I’ve gone through situations where people have tried to take me down, I’ve had 10 years of my personal journals where I pour my heart, my confusion, my pain I’ve had those taken which taught me detachment. Do you do journal?
Lewis: A little bit.
Robin: Journaling is incredible for a self-motivation, creativity, productivity we can get into epigenetics if you want to rewire your psychology as well as your heart says that journaling is powerful. I’ve had those taken.
Lewis: Taken away from you?
Robin: Just taken away from.
Lewis: 10 years of journals?
Robin: 10 years of journals.
Lewis: All of your private thought and fears?
Robin: Exactly. So that’s just one thing that I’ve gone through.
Lewis: So what was the last? Learning detachment and not caring about the opinions of others or.
Robin: Yeah, there’s been another time in life and I don’t think I’ve ever shared this publicly but where there was a situation where I could’ve lost everything where I spent 22 years in this field of leadership and personal mastery building, which again taught me what real wealth and success is all about. I mean there’s a line in 5m club which is your piece of not being worth the price of your peace of mind. And you know I’m good I live a wonderful life, I am extremely grateful and yet if I just had my family and their good health and my good health and a nice mountain bike to ride in the morning I’d be fine, I don’t need much. And another thing you asked of what I am struggling with I think one of the greatest ones is we struggle with our own self-doubt and insecurity and I just don’t sort of put myself on to hold my heart, my hand here in this podcast where you influence and impact millions of people. I don’t want anyone to think that I am anyone special. As we go out in the world more and more it is a dangerous game, I shared with you before I got on here I worked 4 years on the 5m club I wanted to be the best piece of work, I’ve gone to places I’ve never gone to. And it’s this corky blend of elite performance ideas and how the great geniuses did it in the morning routine of the heroes and icons and the philosophy of prosperity. And I took my self to place I’ve never been to and now I’m in a place when the book is out it’s like putting myself out there. It’s very vulnerable because people can laugh, people can laugh at your baby.
So, when we put out our best work it’s far from easy, it’s much easier to coast and stagnate.
Lewis: What’s your biggest insecurity and vulnerability right now? Is it that the book won’t be successful and people make fun of it or is it something else?
Robin: Well the book has a lot of disruptive ideas, I mean there’s a model in there called the 4 interior empires because so many people are talking about mindset. What I realized is it’s not only mindset because mindset is psychology, you can have a great psychology but if you don’t have a great hearts at if your heart is full of pain, if you’re disappointed and haven’t worked through the pass.
Lewis: If you haven’t healed.
Robin: If you haven’t healed, if you haven’t worked through your wounds which we all have then you can have the greatest psychology world class ambitions and strategy but you’re gonna sabotage because your emotional life is a mess. But it’s not only mindset and hard set it’s the 3rd interior empire introducing which is health set. One of the great core beliefs of legendary is longevity but it’s not only mindset, hard set and health set its soul set and that’s dangerous on a leadership. I teach elite performance in mastery, I worked with billionaires and Nike, FedEx, Starbucks, IBM and here I am saying soul sets is important but Lewis if you don’t have soul set, soul set is something I’m gonna do that deep interior work so when I go out in the world I am living for mission a might mission that is larger than myself. Soul set is about turning down the chattering voice of the ego so that you’re an instrument of service to many. Soul set is about developing a rich robust undefeatable character that when you go out in the world you take the stones that critic throw at you and you build them into monuments of mastery. So mindset, health set, hard set, and soul set that’s just one of the disruptive ideas in the 5am club. But I’ve been at this for 22 years with working at many of the best of the best so I know them all works. But it’s risky putting out fresh information that will disrupt the field.
Lewis: You’ve been doing so much work on belief and eliminating self-doubt for yourself for decades and do you still struggle with self-doubt today?
Robin: All the time.
Lewis: And what do you do when you reach that moment of self-doubt? I’m assuming it doesn’t stick with you as long as it used to or maybe sometimes it does but how do you get through eliminating self-doubt when you’re that vulnerable? Because I think a lot of people in the world this is the thing that I hear the most is people don’t believe in themselves and I think what we’re trying to do in the school of greatness is try to get people on how to learn how to do that, and you know just thinking about something doesn’t always works, it’s taken actions and results and building a confidence 5m club is probably the thing that builds the most belief because when you have your morning setup structure and you follow through on this principles, I know when I make my bed when I work out, when I meditate I am always bulletproof in my belief. So how do you do it when you feel a sense of a lack of self-belief?
Robin: Well, you said it which is get your morning routine right. One of the key themes in the 5m club is as you start your morning so you construct and build your day. The Spartan warrior said it amazingly they said “Sweat more in training and you’ll bleed less in war.” So you look at most people and the beginner day like 5 learn fire, you know they start checking their email, they start you know hitting the ground running and so what the 5m club method is really all about the 20/20/20 that has worked amazing results with the titans and the A-players and the billionaires and the sports superstars that I’ve worked with. And it’s simply the first 20 minutes of your day’s intense exercise and we can get into what’s important in terms of dopamine and reducing chorazol and epinephrine and then after that the second 20 minute pocket which we can get into all about reflection, which is where.
Robin: And its visualization and you can do some affirmations and guess what you can just sit there in solitude and think, I mean the great heroes of the world were more thoughtful than ordinary people.
Lewis: You don’t have to be on your phone or writing all the time, you can just sit and reflect.
Robin: I think tranquility is the new luxury. We live in a world where we’re addicted to devices or addicted to distract and we all know about the dopamine loop of a lot of the platforms out there. And so a lot of the people are taking the best hours of their greatest days. The time that they could spend constructing their monuments, being creative, being productive, building beautiful lives for them and their family and they are just hooked to technology. And then the 3rd pocket of the 20/20/20 form is much deeper in the form is all about growth. Now, if you give yourself of that 1 hour that I call the victory hour, free from distraction, free from interruption what you’re doing is you are building an inner core of heroism and undefeatably so that 6 o’clock you feel fundamentally different, your neurobiology is on fire, your metabolic rate is higher you’ve actually connected with your values,. If you’ve actually taking some time with your journal you’ve connected with your mountain top, your grounded in what’s most important, you’ve practiced some and you’ve even done some learning. You’re far stronger and energetic by 6 o’clock then you go out in a messy world where there is confusion and you face challenges but you’re not busy by being busy your monomaniacaly focus on a few things that will get you to your Mount Everest.
Lewis: I’m gonna ask for some coaching from you, I feel like you are much wiser than me.
Robin: You’re giving me a lot of credit.
Lewis: You’ve gone through years of experience and challenges and those challenges have brought you a lot of wisdom and lessons. Let’s just say there’s a few people that had been attacking me lately online and very aggressively and I’ve been in complete peace about it. I mean there are moments where you want to react and your ego is hurt but overall I’ve had 0 reaction and I’ve been at peace about it because 1 I say to myself “I must be doing something right if people try to take someone down.” 2 I say to myself “In 6 months or 10 years this is going to give me so much wisdom.” And 3 it’s purging my ego and attachment to the way I want people to think about me. But I’m curious if you haven’t been coaching for me or wisdom that I should be approaching through all this and if this happens again from whoever in the future.
Robin: Well Lewis you know I appreciate your humility, you don’t need coaching from me but I appreciate your humility. Here’s my suggestion because I’ve gone through this as well for all your listeners across the planet as you go out and bring your gift and genius to the world, as you stand for something higher in a world of with a lot of people suffering from victimitis. As you bring your glory to your days you’re gonna threaten people. I was in the Barcelona Picasso in the born district and there was a quote on the wall in the Picasso museum that said “People were terrified by the genius of Picasso.” So the more you shine the more you’re gonna attract shadow and darkness. So, here’s what I would say I’ve actually worked out in my journal what I call the troll deconstruction.
Lewis: Is this the journal that got stolen?
Robin: It’s not the one that got stolen so I still have it. That is why journaling is so powerful because you can deconstruct and figure these things out. So, here’s what I would say the people who are attacking critics and scenic are frustrated dreamers, when they were kid they were full of awe and wonder because that’s our natural state. But something happened to them as they move over the world and pursue their dreams and ambitions that cause them to contract. So, now they are this armchair critics that see Lewis Howes doing amazing things while you actually model possibility for them. The possibility that exist within their mindsets, hard sets, health set and soul set. And it’s much easier for them to try to tear you down than lift themselves up and get in the game themselves. So that would be the first thing I would say.
Second thing I’d say is everything in life, Mr. Riley the character towards the end of the 5am club gets in the philosophy behind greatness and genius and world class and legendary on a French hook South Africa venire and he writes a series of letter that are transformational for the other characters. And one of the things he talks about is trusting your art. So I think these people who are trying to tear you down are actually your spiritual friends.
Lewis: How so?
Robin: Well, because they are causing you to trust yourself more. They are strengthening your resolve to pursue your mighty mission, they’re touching the wounds within you and the insecurities and we have a choice, we can blame which is losing your power or we can ‘how can I use what they’re activating within me to heal these wounds, grow stronger and build a relationship with my primal genius even more?’ and this is not a platitude and I’m far from a motivational speaker. Like you’ve mentioned I’ve been at this for over 2 decades working the best of the best you know billionaires and sports superstars and lot of the fortune 500 and I say that because there are no extra people on the planet today.
Lewis: There are no extra people?
Robin: No, every single one of us has a primal genius inside of us. Our natural state is awe and wonder, our natural state is energy, our natural state is a heart full of love and a mindful ideas and a soul that shines brightly. That’s why the people who live like that whether it’s Shakespeare or Catherine of Washington Post, whether it’s Kobe Bryant I love you interview with Kobe Bryant or a mother Theresa or all the fascinating people in the world they just model plausibility for the rest of us. Our natural state is greatness but what happens is, you know I was in Thailand and I saw the Golden Buddha and the story behind the Golden Buddha is the Thai people have this priceless object and invaders were gonna come into Thailand so they got the layers to put motto over the Golden Buddha and you know the invaders didn’t find it and many centuries later someone notice this great monument of mud, but there was gold sparkling out of it. So, they went through the layers of mud and they found the Golden Buddha and the metaphor for all your amazing listeners and viewers is simply “When we were born we were born in the possibility awe or wonder but through our parents well-meaning and the media and our teachers and society and our peers and the social media.” What happens is we adapt psychology of average versus of them mentality of the possibility of legendary. And as we continue to leave the perfection of childhood we get hurt, we get disappointed we don’t get invited to birthday party, we lose a lot of love. And there’s one of the lines in 5am club which is every visionary is initially ridiculed before they’re revered, but if we’re not careful we pick up all these layers of mud and psychology and our hearts at emotionality and we don’t even see it coming. But overtime we resign ourselves to average and we see Kobe Bryant and we see Shakespeare and we say “They’re geniuses and they’re [?] from a different cloth and I need to spend my days being busy.” Because dreaming and possibility and loving and having a world class lifestyle is not within the realm of what I can achieved.
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So when your ego is under attack and you start to have all these people against you and you feel like everyone has turn their back on you who you’ve been in service to for many years, how do you handle a situation like that? Whether it’s tons of people or one person or you feel like a good friend as attacked you, what do you think about or say to your ego?
Robin: Well, I wouldn’t say anything to my ego because you don’t want to feel your ego. We all have egos I just think our egos are scared selves. So, you want to build a relationship with your more noble and heroic nature and you can do that through journaling, through prayer. Another thing I would say to you is trust life even more.
Lewis: Open your heart even more.
Robin: Open your heart even more I mean my dad used to say to me when I was growing up “Robin, when you were born you cried while rejoice. Live your life in such a way than when you die the world cries while you rejoice. So even if the world hates you I mean I know there’s something going on for you now so I just want to be of service to you and hopefully to your listeners, that was my intention to come here on the school of greatness podcast. Even if no one gets you remember Galileo they wanted to burn him on the stake because he said that the earth was round.
Joan of Arc the originator of the internet look at all the great visionaries, the google guys or the doctor who said, the very nature of any disruptor means you are going to terrify the status quo. So let’s say the whole world hated you I’d say Lewis you are doing something right. The very nature of bringing on your fire and birthing great arts means you’re gonna provoke powerful reactions.
J.K Rowling of a little book called Harry Potter said “For some to love you some must loath you.” And so the 5am club has really helped me and look I don’t have to mention the 5am club and if you want to know how I build myself and again it’s not just my psych, a bulletproof psychology but a battle proof heart set. So you feel gratitude whenever things are falling apart and then 3rd interior empire of health set and of 4th one of soul set. I think success is incredibly important and you and I both teach that but success without soulfulness is an empty victory.
Lewis: Of course that was my 20’s when I was achieving and after 10 minutes achieving my biggest dreams and accomplishments and praised I’d be like “It’s still not enough.” Like I’d be angrier and I never understood until I realized I was doing things to prove people wrong who had picked on me or bullied me or whatever. From childhood I was trying to prove the world wrong about me and proving people wrong is never a good thing, lifting people up is where the real joy and fulfilment comes from what I’ve learned.
Robin: Well sure.
Lewis: And being a human of service to humanity is what the greatest addiction to service is. I feel like we’re all addicted to something and if we’re gonna be addicted to something we might as well put it on giving and helping others. At least that’s what I’ve learned the last 7 years.
Robin: I agree with you and I’d say from what you’re going through that morning routine that 1 hour, I would go even deeper. Our relationship with our creativity, our relationships with our loved ones, our relationships with the world all comes down to one thing our relationship with that primal hero that exist at our core.
Lewis: What should we be saying to the hero to our core?
Robin: I would be spending more time when your ego is chattering because awareness is the key to transformation. So the more intimate you become with the voice of your ego which is really the voice of your fear, then you can actually stand outside of it and you’re not that fear, you are watching that fear and when you are watching that fear you’re in your more powerful self. And then you can journal or you can talked to that part of yourself, you can visualize who you want to stand for the more you actually. Look I had deep [?] on my stage at my event a few months ago and he talked about, he just brought science to the fact that we do live in a universe where you can choose whatever possibility you want to bring to your days and that’s not mysticism and cosmology and science. So the more you can say here’s the reality I want to construct today and then inhabit it, the more you will materialized it and it’s like another thing before we went on the camera which is “No one is in a really good place in their lives is gonna tear someone down.”
Lewis: If someone is really hurt, angry afraid right?
Robin: Yeah, absolutely
Lewis: What’s the conversation you have with yourself every day in terms of internally? Not a verbal affirmation or visualization but the internal conversation that you have whether you are having an incredible day or the worst day of your life.
Robin: I have a lot of different conversations with myself, I’d say a few things, you mentioned service a lot and for me look I think it’s really wonderful to have a great lifestyle in the 5am club I share a lot of the ideas that have been very helpful to me in terms of building a beautiful lifestyle.
Lewis: And environment.
Robin: And environment. Your ecosystem is gonna drive your performance. So being around that there’s a model in the book called ‘Joy as a GPS.’ Releasing toxic people and populating your life only with people who feel your joy. Going travelling there’s a lot of good science coming out that travelling boost creativity. Prosperity is very important you can do very good things for your family. So, I think living a lifestyle that inspires you and that is beautiful is so great for your craft and so great for your creativity and so great for productivity. I think it’s really important to surround yourself with people who are curios and have high integrity and who stand for possibility and who are all about growing and doing their part to make the world a better place. So a lifestyle is important and my craft is very important to me much more than applause but the dominant thing I worked on in conversation is I want to be used by, I don’t know what word resonates with spirit, source or life, nature, God whatever that energy is that brings up the sun and allows the trees to grow and the tides to shift and us to breathe. There is a power that is indisputable and I think if we get out of our smaller self and scarcity and selfishness there is an amazing accounting system to life.
When you actually take a thrust walk and you go what if I stop making it so much about me and I go out there and bring on ridiculous value to the world through my work. In every room I’m in I radiate possibility and I see the best in people vs hunting for the worst. And what if I listen to this conversation say, I’m not Nelson Mandela, I’m not Martin Luther King Jr. but I’m out in the world and I’m alive for a reason and no matter what my current conditions are today, too small seemingly insignificant improvement or done consistently overtime I can manufacture a much better career and a much better world. So, if you come from that place of service and you take a thrust walk and say “I’m gonna build myself up through a great morning routine.” And that’s the starting point. The tactics is 5 to 6 is your victory hour and 20/20/20 formula, so you prime the mind neurobiology and we can get into 20/20/20 formula if you like but you take that sacred space for yourself and a world of distraction and busyness and shiny toys. So that by 6 o’clock you are intimate with your inner hero and then you go out to the world and just say ‘I’m just gonna serve.’ And I think that is what the real titans on the planet do.
Lewis: I think we feel the most fulfilled when we served and helped. I think obviously we want to serve ourselves first to make sure our needs are met and taking care of ourselves like this morning routine but then once we filled our cups up we got like outpour of love to the world I think. That’s what eliminates anger, that’s what eliminates depression and that’s what eliminates insecurity is when we’re focus outward. Not always insecure about what we’re lacking, I just think it’s a powerful thing. So many people are hurting right now and they just continue to focus on the hurt and the hurt and what’s wrong and victim. But when we take ownership and responsibility for our thoughts, our behaviors and our actions and we serve other people and have a bigger mission, because a lot of that seems to go away. It’s the antidote to depression service.
Robin: I think if we are to fast forward to the last day of our lives and that’s why mortality in connection with immortality is one of the most important things to do every morning while the rest of the world is asleep. Because even if you live a brilliantly long life and Lewis for you and your millions of followers I wish them long and beautiful healthy prosperous creative life that are of service. But no matter how long we get to live even when we biohack the journey is a really short ride. And I believe when we get to the last hour of our last day, what we bring joy to our hearts and what will define our lives if successful will not be how many likes we had, whether people thought we were cool, whether even we were icons in our industry and had all the materials things that the world says will bring us joy, peace and fulfilment. I think life when you strip away all the accessories it comes down to 2 primary things.
Who did you become? Did you used those rocks people throw at you in your hard time as well as in your beautiful times? And even if the world doesn’t see that why does that matter? As long as you know who you became and secondly how many people did you help. I go into coffee shops and taxi’s and airports and I see this unappreciated heroes and that’s the shoeshine person who dances and, I think it’s the Atlanta airport and I was in the Johannesburg airport there was a man cleaning toilets and he says “Welcome to my office!” And he kept his office as clean as when Steve Jobs was at Next, because these people are running their own race and that’s true leadership and heroism. We get hurt if we don’t get applause but the real question is why do we need applause if we are intimate and walked into our genius and our creativity and our values and our worth and if we truly adored ourselves for who we are, well then we’d be an army of one in our business.
One of the things I say in the book is “You will never rise any higher in terms of your exterior empires.” And we live in a world that thinks there is always success that opens outward but I believe it opens inward. So, it’s when you worked on yourself and you start to understand your creativity and you work on your neurobiology and you build your character and you start to know what you want to stand for and you actually start to architect the person you want to be and the life you want to construct. That’s when you go out there and you do great things and for all you entrepreneurs is serving even of value. Well what made Apple under Steve Jobs he was so monomaniacal focus on bringing magic into the marketplace he created a cult of Apple because of his commitment to serve. If you haven’t built that inner core and you haven’t serve well then you’re gonna be a taker from your clients versus running what I call ‘The ten X value of obsession’ which is giving your clients. You know one of my intentions in the 5am club was in 330 pages give people more value than what they could possibly imagine, that’s I spent 4 years of hard labor on the book. So, it’s when you really care and you want to serve and you want to have an impact on people, well that’s where you go to the jagged edges of your creativity, that’s when you bring on your fire to your work and your life because you are not coming from taking you’re coming from serving. And that does translate into business success as well as personal success.
Lewis: When do you feel the most loved?
Robin: Well, I would say my children are just great examples of unconditional love I would say.
Lewis: How many kids you have?
Robin: I’ve got 2 kids, I’ve got a son and a daughter and they’re the great blessings of my life so I feel loved when I’m with them, I’ve got a great partner and she just sees the best in me. So I feel very loved and supported by her, I learned so much about what love is from my family. My dad was a family doctor for 54 years and I said “Why did you take so long to retire?” He said “Because my patience needed me.” He wrote me a letter after I read his new book and it just brought tears to my eyes. My mother same thing I feel very loved, I feel loved by all my readers, I mean I’ve got a great relationship with them and many ways my heroes because it’s beautiful but dangerous work to say ‘I’m gonna build my best self.’ Like it’s a fascinating world right now where we pedestal the most interesting values and you know if you look at the great warriors and the great creatives and the great geniuses, they all had the same things in common. They are living by the values and aspirations we’re speaking to and I’ve been teaching this for 22 years and I started off as a lone voice in the wilderness and I think the world is a much better place now in many ways because a lot of these values are getting out there even more, but it’s also a very confusing place. I feel loved working, to do work that fuels your creativity that allows you to express, that allows you to have an impact on the world I think that’s a form of loved too.
Lewis: What’s the thing that you’re most proud of that most people don’t know about?
Robin: I would say my children first of all. If I could be 10% of the human beings that my children are I would be a very blessed man even more. I’m proud of the fact that I started in this field from nothing, I mean self-publishing a book and the people did laughed at and just step-by-step won relationship at a time building something that’s meaningful to me. I’m proud of who I am I am far from perfect, I’m a work in progress but you know I’m proud of what I’ve gone through and what I’ve made, you know we could all be bitter and we can all be blamers and we could be victims and that’s the power of working towards your greatness. That’s the power of self-excavation and personal growth, that’s the power of using everything the world throws at you and taking your wounds and making them into wisdom and you’re stumbling blocks into stepping stones, I think I don’t really know what I am proud of but I mean I’ve done a lot of work on myself and it’s not always been easy, it can be terrifying to go really deep into your insecurities and your wounding and your limiting beliefs and your scarcity and what activates you and then say “Rather than blaming those people saying they came for a reason.” I believe every person shows up and every condition in our life was in many ways an orchestration from our higher wisdom and everything that happens to us serves us and can be used to make us stronger, braver, more creative and happier. And I’ve tried my best to use those things to become a much better human being and I feel really good about that.
Lewis: That’s good. What the thing you’re least proud of? That maybe looking back you’re saying this is for a reason for me to improve and get better and as a lesson but you know maybe you want to go back and change it because it’s made you who you are, but you also wish you knew the lesson before going through that.
Robin: I would have to go to romantic relationships, we all have parts in our lives that seemed to be the part in our life is for our greatest growth and for me I’ve always tried to do my best, but there has been relationships where I wish I would have been wiser, I wish I would have had more open heart. But I wish I had learned the art of relationship communicating, I wish I had been more confident in some of my relationships so I could speak my voice even when my voice was shaking.
Lewis: But it sounds like those were given to you for a reason for you to learn.
Robin: Absolutely I think like I mentioned everything that comes to us can serve us and grow us or we can blame it on the other person and give away our power. The very nature of a victim is we give away our power so much we actually think we don’t have any power. Like I was in a country in Europe recently for a presentation and the gentleman who was taking me back to the airport says “I want to go to North America and my dream would be to go there and I’d love work for a tech company.” But he kept on saying to himself but it’s not possible, and I kid you not in like 45 minutes on the way to the airport he must have hypnotize and brainwash himself 20 times by saying this ‘incantation or affirmation is not possible.’ All I’m saying is he’s giving away his power every day by saying what’s not possible. And if you look at a victim and say “I can’t find love, I can’t get fit this year.” Those are people who are giving away their power and we have a choice every day, you can go out to the world and be a victim or you can go out in the world and you can be a possibilitarian, you just can’t do both. One of the things I really focus on in the 5am club is getting away from digital distractions and digital dementia. There’s a term called cognitive bandwidth and we wake up first thing in the morning our cognitive bandwidth, in other words that creativity is full of fire.
When we wake up first thing in the morning our energy is super high, when we wake up first thing according to the research our willpower is at our strongest and yet you look at people who wake up in the morning.
Robin: Well they get on their phone and they watch, I’m in the gym this morning and so it’s great they were on the gym but they are on one of those. And then another person is on the treadmill walking I’m not criticizing I’m just reporting they were checking their phone and I believe you can build your fortune or you can play with your phone, you don’t get to do both and there are a lot of brilliant people on the planet right now who have figured out ways to hook people. And so you’ve got amazingly creative people that we all have this creativity but we are not bringing on our fire because we’re not starting our days with a, you know the 5am club method and the world class morning routine. We want an amazing life but we’re not learning the rituals that if we did them anyone would give us an amazing life.
Lewis: Why is that? Because it’s the hard thing to do?
Robin: I think that if we’re to go even granular, most people on the planet have a huge dwell of self-loathing that is repressed, suppressed and therefore subconscious. What I mean by this is when we get hurt we swallow it, when we get heartbroken we repress it, when we have a challenge at work we are top by society don’t feel it, and so what happens is we take all of these stuff that happens to us like little kids if they get hurt they feel it, they cry, they move on and they laugh.
Lewis: Until we tell people not to cry make them wrong for crying or make them bad.
Robin: You’ve written your book about masculinity, well Khalil Gibran the Lebanese prophet said “If you don’t cry the tears you’re not gonna fully feel your laughter.” And so all I’m suggesting is most people I believe are addicted to distraction vs embracing their primal geniuses and running these rituals and living great lives, why are they doing that? Because deep inside of them is this suppressed pain of potential betrayed. And the more we don’t acknowledge that pain and where we’ve been hurt and where we’ve betrayed our brilliance we just build that up, and then it becomes like this [?] you know the shadow side, we all have this subconscious shadow side. So, we read the books and go to the conferences and we watch the podcast, we’re all full of fire and 7 days later we’re addicted to our likes. It’s because we get into self-sabotage and so that’s why working on mindset, hard set, health set and soul set those 4 interior empires is transformational for any human beings on the planet because as you go through the process you’re gonna start to release the darkness and you’re gonna become more intimate with your light, your primitive creativity like we all have that brilliance inside of us. But we covered up all the mud and all the shadows.
Lewis: I remember when I was broke about 10 years ago. I just got done playing professional football I got injured I broke my wrist and I was in a cast for 6 months and sleeping on my sisters couch for a year and a half. I remember being in that dark place and my shadow side was taking over because this is my dream and now it is over. I remember my sister she was incredible she was like “I think it’s time Lewis you paying rent a little around here.” You know she let me stay much longer that I was supposed to, she was very kind. I said “Okay, I got to get my life together.” She push me and finally right, I remember I was making a little bit of money and doing some side jobs and trying to figure out all these marketing stuff and at the same time and I was making enough money to get an apartment. I found an apartment for $495 in Columbus, Ohio didn’t have a car so it was like wherever I can walk and that was a stretch. 495 I remember paying that first month’s rent I was just like this is gonna be tough next month. But it push me out of my comfort zone and started thinking differently and I was like “What do I need to eliminate in my life so that I can earn more and apply this and take more action?” And I remember thinking that year and a half I was addicted to TV on my sister’s couch and I said like “This TV served my depression for just trying to make me feel something or have some entertainment.” But it wasn’t serving like bringing prosperity in my life. So over the next 4 years I didn’t even own a TV and I said “I’m gonna be here and get to work.” And that was a huge game changer for me to eliminate these distractions and I think I’m sure you talked in the book about eliminating digital distractions, at least through different parts of your day. If we are constantly checking it’s hard to focus on our energy and our genius into bringing our brilliance into the world and that’s why I think we must go hard on ourselves from the digital distractions, I try to detox every day and make sure that my phone is by me. I try to take a trip for a week a year and leave my phone at home and get on a plane with no devices, it was the scariest thing when I did it the first time, but it was so freeing in nature with no devices. What device you have for us on a daily or yearly basis for setting a great structure so that we can reconnect to genius as opposed to the device?
Robin: So great question a lot of the 5am club is about the morning routine from 5 to 6 the victory hour the 20/20/20 formula. That sets you up for a great day, your days are your life in miniature as you construct a great morning you’re gonna have, your days slipping to weeks your weeks slipping to months and months slipping to years and you’re gonna have a much better life. But secondly it’s much more than a book about the morning routine of the great women and men of the world. There is a model called the 10 rituals of daily genius and that is how you literally structure your life to be an elite performer and own your feel.
Lewis: All day.
Robin: All day and one of the key things to remember is this: Isolation is one of the essential points of genius.
Lewis: Being isolated?
Robin: You absolutely and I call it in the book the tight bubble of total focus. There’s a model that I share in the book and I don’t know if you want to show it or whatever but it’s called, for anyone of your listeners or viewers who doesn’t think they don’t have genius within them here’s the science that confirms it. We all know about flow state it came from University of Chicago. So what I found is the great athletes what they would do is they would get into flow state and that would allow them to tap into latent or deeper genius that allowed them to come up with amazing ideas and do great work. So then people ‘How do I get great flow state?” Well here is the model from the book called ‘Transient Hypofrantality.’ We all have this capacity in our brain and transient hypofrantality simply means that most of us operate in a beta way.
Lewis: Busy work.
Robin: We’re not in this tight bubble of focus because most don’t really like to be alone very much and that’s another conversation. If we can actually divorce ourselves from the world for let’s say 3 or 4 hours and go into this tight bubble of total focus and create what I call the Menlow Park, like Edison had. Your brain wave shifts from beta down to alpha and even into theta. We all have this gift and when your brain waves go into theta I hope I’m not boring you with this science.
Lewis: I love this stuff.
Robin: Okay, so when your brain waves go down into theta the neocortex which is the monkey mind, the inner critic turns off. Transient short period of time hypofrantality, your prefrontal cortex brain turns off.
Lewis: Not thinking about insecurities and fears.
Robin: You’re in flow, you’re not going what if I get criticized? What if this doesn’t work? You get into the state of every one of your followers from around the world has a part of their brains but we never access it because we’re on our phones watching videos, surfing. In endless meetings you get into transient hypofrantality and you create flow. And so you’re right an addiction to distraction is the depth of creative production and an absent, one of the 10 rituals of daily genius in the book is you got to get into the tight bubble of focus and you’ve got to get away from the world and become comfortable being alone so that your ideas can incubate and you get the ideas that allow you to disrupt your marketplace.
Lewis: That’s why journaling without device is more powerful than being on a device where you can get distracted and check social media and email, it’s just more pen and paper focus on that and eliminates distraction, is that something you recommend?
Robin: I highly recommend it because if you’re with your phone and you’re journaling there’s an attraction to trivialities. And I’m a purist I’m one of the people on airplanes sitting in there like flight attendants come up to me and “Oh, I haven’t seen that in 7 years.” But there’s actually great science saying when you write it activates a deeper part of your brain so you lock in with your writing about. We know from willpower research, pre-commitment strategies allow us to do the things we want to do during the day. So even writing about what you want to do and who you want to become helps you bring on the full force of your self-discipline so you get those things done.
Lewis: This is powerful men I want to ask you a few final questions this has been very inspiring and I know people are gonna love this. This question is called the 3 truths, imagine you’ve live as long as you want to live and you said earlier that one day it’s gonna be your final hour. Well let’s just imagine that happened you have created everything you want, you’ve live the life you want, you’ve seen your kids do great things and all amazing things happened. But for whatever reason you got to take your work with you, it’s got to go and you go so no has access to your information anymore. But you have a piece of paper and pen you get to write down 3 things that you know to be true about your life, the world. If you have 3 lessons you get to share what would you say your 3 truths?
Robin: The first truth would be you will never rise any higher in the world than the quality of who you are on the inside because the outside it is always a reflection of the inside. The second truth would be rising in 5am getting up before the dawn, running that 20/20/20 formula and giving yourself victory hour is a true game changer for any human being. We all have the capacity to do greatness in our lives, most of us are not doing the rituals and routines that would allow us to embrace who we truly are. And the third truth that I know to be true is when you worked and lived with a heart full of love and service for the benefit of a better world, in a world where people sometimes still mock that truth. Good things always happen even though it doesn’t look like they’re happening.
Lewis: Leading with love and grace and service. I want to acknowledge you Robin because you are just a man of extreme service and goodness and your work and mission and your commitment and dedication to doing the challenging things to make it easier for us to be better is just really inspiring and I acknowledge and appreciate the gift you are in the world and that you continue to show day after day, year after year.
Robin: Thank you for that, it’s been a privileged to be here with you.
Lewis: I have one final question but before I ask it make sure you get the book the 5am club.
What is your website and social media?
Robin: Anyone that wants to get the 5am club can just go to the 5amclub.com and what I try to do with this book it’s not only the book, at the end of the book there’s a free 66 day program where you get very high content videos and mentoring from me. So, I actually help you go through 66 days required according to the university college of London it takes 66 days to install a new habit, so I actually have that online course at no charge whatsoever. Something I find very important is my dad said to me “Robin anything you can do to remove leprosy from the world please do it.” So a percentage of my royalties on the 5am club is gonna go to my not for profit children foundation to help children who are suffering from poverty and leprosy live a much better life. And I’m on Instagram @robinsharma
Lewis: You do big seminars in Canada and all over the world so people want to go to that they can go to your website.
Is there anything you want to share before my final question?
Robin: No, it’s been great to meet you.
Lewis: What is your definition of greatness?
Robin: My definition of greatness is you know genius is less about potential and what you do with the potential you’re born with. So, I say greatness is about taking what the natural talent you’ve been born into and when it’s easy and hard materializing it to the fullest of your blazing glory until the last moment of your life. And I’d say greatness is being an instrument of service to as many people as possible so that when you’re no longer here people will say “He/she lifted people up or just tore people down.”
Lewis: And there you have it my friends I hope you enjoyed this one I was blown away, I was constantly inspired sitting on the edge of my seat just excited to learn more about the way he thinks and how he can optimize our life. Again we go through challenges and upsets and let downs all the time in our life and we’re gonna continue to go through them. And this interview and insights will help you optimize your life. Make sure to pick up a copy the 5am club, own your morning and elevate your life.
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We have some big guest coming up and some exciting things and if you’re new here to this episode and the podcast make sure to check out some of the previous episodes because they have been on fire lately. And Robert Louis Stevenson said “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” What seeds are you planting today? How are you adding value into your life and into someone else’s life around you? Continue to plant seeds the harvest is coming my friends but continue to plant seeds and Henry Ford said “Don’t find the fault find the remedy.” You are the remedy your heart is golden, you are filled with a golden light than can heal the people around you and heal yourself. You have all the answers inside of you, you just have to listen to your intuition, your heart and soul and make sure to take action on what you’re hearing from within. I love you all so very much and you know what time it is, it’s time to go out there and do something great.