The Facts About Vaccines, Improving Immunity & The Medical Side of Mental Health with Dr. Roger Seheult

A Journey To Greatness (This Will Inspire You!)


Sophia Bush

Speaking Your Truth


Often, we don’t like how people talk to us.

Whether it’s at home, at work, or with our friends, there are many times where we don’t get the respect we desire.

It feels terrible.

But how much ownership do we take of those situations?

Here’s the truth- you get what you put up with.

Unless you’re willing to set boundaries and tell people what’s not ok, you’ll end up being walked over.

If you keep showing up, people will assume that it isn’t that bad.

On today’s episode of The School of Greatness, I talk about what it takes to stand up for the things you believe with an actor-turned-activist: Sophia Bush.

“You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and work in progress simultaneously.” @SophiaBush  

Sophia Bush starred as Brooke Davis in The WB/CW drama series One Tree Hill and as Det. Erin Lindsay in the NBC police procedural drama series Chicago P.D. Sophia consistently uses her platform for activism and fundraising and has a new podcast called Work in Progress.

Sophia stood up for herself before the Me Too Movement began by quitting a television show where she was being mistreated. She shares her struggle to admit that something was wrong and the tricks her mind played on her in the process.

So get ready to learn how to have the courage to demand change on Episode 851.

“We need everybody to be all-in on something.” @SophiaBush  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • What’s missing in your toolkit? (31:00)
  • What needs to change for actual change to happen? (53:00)
  • How do we know what to take on first? (58:00)
  • What are the three accounts we should follow to be educated on what’s going on? (1:12:00)
  • Who was the most influential person in your life? (1:18:30)

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The scary side of acting (27:00)
  • About Lewis’ “Yes and No List” (34:00)
  • The importance of opening up about what you’re ashamed of (40:00)
  • The struggle Sophia had with quitting her toxic work environment (45:00)
  • How to separate yourself from the system that you’re in (1:00:00)
  • Sophia’s plan for the future (1:24:00)
  • Plus much more…
Connect with
Sophia Bush

Transcript of this Episode

Male Announcer: This is episode number 851 with Sophia Bush.

Lewis Howes: Welcome to The School of Greatness. My name is Lewis Howes, a 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.

[background music]

Lewis Howes: Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”

I am super pumped about today’s interview very excited. If this is your first time here then welcome to The School of Greatness. We’ve been around for almost seven years. Three times a week we bring you some of the most inspiring people in the world to open your heart, to connect you to your purpose and your mission, to help you grow in your business and your life and your relationships your spirituality. 

Today we have an incredible human being Sophia Bush is an actress, activist, director and producer. She was a star on the drama series One Tree Hill from 2003 to 2012, and starred in the NBC drama series Chicago P.D. from 2014 – 2017. She’s also had major film roles like John Tucker Must Die, The Hitcher, The Narrows, and the animated superhero film Incredibles 2, which was a personal favorite of mine. 

Sophia also raises awareness of world events and fundraisers with involvement and F Cancer, Run for the Golf, and Global Green Golf Relief in every town for gun safety. And her new podcast, Work in Progress with Sophia Bush features frank, funny, personal, professional, and sometimes even political conversations with people who inspire Sophia about how they’ve gotten to where they are, and where they think they’re still going.

And we dived into a lot of different things today, probably some topics that I’ve never really covered and talked about for this long, why you should make friends with your fear and how to treat it like an emotional investment in the things you care about? One of the first things we covered also how speaking your truth can set you free and save lives, not just close to you, but all around the world? The difference between how men and women share their truth, and why we should be sharing our truth more, taking on world issues, how to figure out which to take on and how to pass the baton, but run like a team? And who was the most influential person Sophia’s life growing up, that and so much more. 

I am super pumped. If you enjoy this episode, make sure to text it to one friend. The link is or you can just take the link on Apple Podcasts, or Spotify, or wherever you’re listening to it and text one friend today. You can be a champion in someone’s life today by sending them this information. It’s going to be inspiring and powerful, and it’s going to help up a lot of people.

Before we dive in, big thank you to our sponsor today, Quartz. Now this is a site that I’ve been enjoying checking out because they’ve got some different topics, some series that I really like on the future of food and the future of work. Where they really dive into these topics and give you the statistics so you know what you need to know moving forward in the spaces. They’ve also got this complete guide to the CBD boom. Also a video interview with Bill Gates on how he educated himself if he were 15 years old, that in so many other great topics. 

And there’s more than 230 people around the world who collaborate to bring a global perspective. Membership includes a community for the new generation of global business leaders, in depth field guides to the most disruptive forces in business, video tutorials on the essential skills of modern executives and other member exclusive journalism, a direct relationship with their journalists, their insights and their obsessions. The ability to dial into the newsroom during conference calls for behind the scenes look, incentives to in person courts events and so much more.

Courts is offering my listeners 25% off your first year of membership, just go to and click to become a member and enter my code GREATNESS at checkout. Make sure to check it out right now, click to become a member with promo code GREATNESS.

And also big thank you to our sponsor, Zapier. Now, this has helped us save so much time, so much energy, work with our customer support team. And this is what it’s all about; Zapier is the easiest way to automate your work. It connects all of your business software and handles work for you. So you can focus on the things that matter most. There’s no more wasting your time on tasks that you know could be automated, because that’s exactly what Zapier was built to do. I’m telling you this saves us so much time. I love this. Just go to their special link and connect the apps you use the most and let Zapier take it away from there.

Zapier lets you instantly engage with leads, send them to your CRM or spreadsheet, then notify your team so they can act fast on every opportunity again, from customer support to new lead gen, to sales, whatever it may be. And that’s just scratching the surface. Zapier supports more than 1500 business applications. Join more than 4.5 million people who are saving an average of 40 hours per month by using Zapier. Right now through November, try Zapier for free by going to our special link at That’s for your free 14 day trial. Again, I save so much time, our business save time, our team loves it, check it out at

Big thank you to our sponsors again and without further ado, let’s dive into this interview with the one the only Sophia Bush.

[background music]

Lewis Howes: Welcome back, everyone. It’s The School of Greatness Podcast. We’ve got the inspiring Sophia Bush in the house. So pumped, you’re here.

Sophia Bush: Hi!

Lewis Howes: I think I got connected to you 2011-12 through Adam Braun.

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: Because you were involved in Pencils of Promise.

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: I think before me and I got involved right after and he was telling me about this girl. He was really inspiring; he was up to big things.

Sophia Bush: Aw.

Lewis Howes: He wants to give back, and I was like, “Ooh, she was like Sophia Bush.” And I was like, “Oh, cool.” I didn’t know you were. I didn’t watch any of the TV shows you’re in. But I was like, “Okay, let me research her. And I really loved your, I loved your integrity. I loved your mission. I loved your hearts. 

Sophia Bush: Thanks.

Lewis Howes: I feel like a lot of people with a platform or an audience or on TV or movies. You don’t always know what their intentions are. And I felt like you’re willing to spend your time, and your energy, and your money to give back and I think that’s really powerful.

Sophia Bush: Thanks you.

Lewis Howes: So that was my first impression of you. And I’ve been able to watch, I think I’ve only seen you a couple times in the last seven years, I think whatever it is. I think once it’s [00:07:01 so awesome], maybe a Summit Series, maybe somewhere else we ran into each other. But I’ve always enjoyed and kind of following your journey, especially online. I don’t watch TV too much but on the online journey of you constantly being a stand for humanity, and that’s what I love about the work that you do. You use your platform to make a stand whether people agree with the standard or not, whether they think you’re right or wrong. You’re very convicted in your beliefs of trying to improve everyone’s situation. I think that’s really powerful.

We were talking about this before, before we started about you passionately – and I don’t know if this is public information before, which you were talking about is it okay to –?

Sophia Bush: Which part? [laughs]

Lewis Howes: With the city out there, talking about the –

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm. I mean there were a lot of things, you are techno out there, yeah.

Lewis Howes: You passionately I guess, decided to leave a show that you’re on, was that –?

Sophia Bush: Yeah, you know, people – I mean, yes, people know I left.

Lewis Howes: You wanted to leave because you were standing up for something you believed in.

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: Is that true?

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: And I think that’s hard for people to consider, I think in your position, because you’re getting paid a lot of money. I know how much actors make who have like been series regularly for a while. You’re making a lot of money per episode and to say like, I’d rather stand up for what I believe in, instead of like, keep getting these big checks and being on TV. I think that’s really, I mean, that’s inspiring. 

Sophia Bush: I think – look, the reality is that we’re so much more than what we do.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: And sometimes you get to the destination and you realize that it isn’t what you thought it was going to be. How many people in… how many professions have been there? You achieve the goal and go, “Huh. Oh… Okay.” What it is on paper, what it looks like through a screen, what it looks like on Instagram that’s not what it is.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: And for me to have all the things on paper that should go under the dream job… title.

Lewis Howes: Right, but not in your heart mainly.

Sophia Bush: Yeah, and to feel so miserable –

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Sophia Bush: — and so disrespected, and so taken advantage of, and so just eaten up and spit out by the environment I was in. I just went I don’t have to do this. And it took a long time for me to get there. You know, it wasn’t just a moment. I think it’s interesting, because some people will say; I could have never done that. Like, “How did you stay in this situation? Or how did you leave this situation? It doesn’t happen overnight.”

In hindsight, and, you know, clichés are clichés, right? Because they are real, like hindsight really is 2020. And in hindsight, I knew at the end of our second season that I needed to leave.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Sophia Bush: And it took me until the first meeting for season four to tell them that if this wasn’t all going to get resolved in a meaningful way I’d leave at the end of the year. And they thought I was bluffing, which was also really interesting, given what was going on. And at the end of the year, when it became really clear that I was leaving, nothing would keep me there. I just realized, you know, I’ve been a cog in this machine for two more years. It took me two years of processing and then fighting to get free.

Lewis Howes: Why do you think it took you so long when your intuition told you like, “I should be done after the first or second season?”

Sophia Bush: Well, I think what’s really tricky is that anytime we’re not involved in a situation we assume that things are very black and white. We assume that it’s like a seesaw. And over here is either yes and over here is the no and you just go between them. But the reality of any situation is that you’re in this sort of amorphous spherical space, and there’s so much at play. There’s pain and there’s joy, and there’s upset and there’s success, and there’s the three weeks of misery at work and then you have this one day that’s so great.

Lewis Howes: Amazing, yeah.

Sophia Bush: And then there’s… you know, and there’s other relationships and people who you care about, and spaces that you love, and friends in the community, and it’s not just this or that. And it’s hard. And there’s also I think, for me a little bit of that, like Joan of Arc, like you will not mess with my space, my stuff.

Lewis Howes:  My dream, yeah, yeah.

Sophia Bush: Like that thing of like, this is mine and you don’t get to take it from me. And then part of me went, “But what’s mine? Why do I need to stay here?”

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: “For what exactly?” And that was a big kind of aha moment. I started thinking a lot about how little of something bad it can take just like a little bit of bacteria can give a body food poisoning.

Lewis Howes: Hmm. Thin little bit.

Sophia Bush: Just a little bit of exposure can give you a bowl and that can kill you.

Lewis Howes: A one flea.

Sophia Bush: A little bit of poison in the well, ruins the water tower, you know.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, that’s true. One mosquito,

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes:  — can kill you.

Sophia Bush: And so it became less about trying to create this equal system of metrics of what was good and what was bad, and more about how big is the infection? And will I survive it?

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: And the answer was no. And so of that.

Lewis Howes: That is it. It seems like a lot of confidence though to be able to do that. To be able to leave something with that much credibility, or prestige, or whatever may be perceived, and to be able to leave the way you did. I’m cure – and you just seem like a very confident and passionate, poised individual. 

Sophia Bush: Hmm.

Lewis Howes: Maybe you don’t feel that way on the inside –

Sophia Bush: Thank you.

Lewis Howes: –but you seem it whenever I’m around you, and the way you write, and your posts, and just your character do you play. You always seem to be very confident, and sure of yourself. Do you feel like it’s always been that way?

Sophia Bush: I am sure of right and wrong for us as a collective. I am confident and poised, and I am the most passionate person in the room when it comes to doing what is right for people. When it’s for me, all of that goes out that eventhough.

Lewis Howes: Really?

Sophia Bush: Oh yeah.

Lewis Howes: Do you think you’re insecure when it comes to yourself? Or you’re second guessing?

Sophia Bush: I think I’m a human who has all the same fears and insecurities, and [****], and self-doubt that anybody does. There’s this other assumption when we look through screens, right? Where you’re like, all these people have it figured out, they have success and so they have no fear, and they have no anxiety, and it’s like, everybody gets up in the morning. Wishes they looked a little different than they look, wishes they had a little more energy than they had, wishes they like, we all have garbage. And I think the difference for me is that right and wrong for community, for neighborhood, for city, for state, for humanity, is so clear.

Lewis Howes: Hmm.

Sophia Bush: What we all deserve is so clear, that this idea that there is no such thing as others people’s children, all the work you and I have done over the years for Pencils of Promise. That’s so clear. That’s true. Every kid deserves a shot and a chance. That’s just true. Truth for me is obvious. But what’s obvious is about this and all the doubt lives in what’s about this.

Lewis Howes: Really.

Sophia Bush: And so that’s the journey is how do you navigate it? How do you work it? And so the confidence that it’s funny the way people perceive you versus but how you feel right.

Lewis Howes: [laughs]

Sophia Bush: But the confidence that I think was observable in my decision to leave in the way that I left, and the way that I’ve held very true to what happened and why it was unacceptable. Yeah, those things are true.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: But it’s a larger truth.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: What I went through as a woman in the workplace. How could I go out and defend other women if I was tolerating it for myself? Not happening?

Lewis Howes: Yeah, you’re out of integrity then.

Sophia Bush: There’s no way.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: So I left.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Sophia Bush: And, you know, the years of reporting and working in, and asking for help, and doing all the things, and dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s that I did behind the scenes weren’t enough, so I had to do something big enough to create a lasting change in the environment I was working in. Because the reality was that if I stayed, they continue to go. It’s not that bad. I mean, she comes to work every day.

Lewis Howes: Right, right, right. She’s here.

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: So she’s all right.

Sophia Bush: And I remember I had a day where I was literally I was so upset that, you know, when like, devastation turns to anger as a defense mechanism, because otherwise you’re going to die and tears on the floor.

Lewis Howes: Sure, yeah.

Sophia Bush: I had that moment and I walked into my boss’s office and my whole body was shaking like this, and I could feel the lump in my throat but like, what came out was like fire breathing dragon. And I was so quiet because I was so angry. And I just said, “I don’t know what I have to do. But I’m this close if I had – do I need to start flipping tables and throwing computer monitors through the window? Do I have to cause physical monetary damage to the set for you to do something about what’s happening in those four walls because that’s where I’m at. Like, if you want the Mariah Carey breakdown on set, its coming. It’s coming.”

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Sophia Bush: And I was like, “Y’all know, like the boxer in me.”

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: I’m about I’m about to break everything.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Sophia Bush: And he was just like, “What do you mean?” And I was like, “What do you –?”

Lewis Howes: He was like, “What’s wrong? Are you fine?”

Sophia Bush: For the life like I – “You know, what’s been happening for the last four years? What do you mean, what do I mean?” And he said, “Well, I know, I know that, you know, there’s been a lot wrong and he went on his whole thing.”, he said. “But you always come in and you’re so professional.”

Lewis Howes: Because you’re professional. 

Sophia Bush: “And you never complain.” And I was like, “Cuz that’s my [****] job.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, exactly.

Sophia Bush: My job is to come in here and be a professional that’s my job and I’m really good at it. That’s why I’m a good leader, and a good partner, and a good cast me, and a good producer. That is my job. I advocate for my crew every day because it is what’s right, and it is my job, and I take the responsibility seriously. But just because I present as okay, in my working environment where I have to do that –

Lewis Howes: Right.

Sophia Bush:  It doesn’t mean this is okay.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush:  And I don’t know why all of the conversations we’ve had in these offices haven’t communicated how not okay, it is. And I realized there was this weird thing where they sort of assumed if I kept showing up, it wasn’t really that bad, and or, if she were really that upset, she wouldn’t be able to work. And it’s like, so I meant to damage my own integrity to prove to you what a problem, the systemic issue on your set is. No, never going to do that.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush:  Never going to do it. But it was a big moment where I went, I just don’t have to. I don’t have to stay here to prove that I can anymore. I’m good. Think I’ve proved it. I’ve liked it.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, proved it. It’s like a lot.

Sophia Bush: You know I filmed over 60,000 hours of television. Like, I’m good.

Lewis Howes: Wow, 60,000.

Sophia Bush: Yeah, when you consider, you know, sort of on the average of how many hours it takes to make an episode.

Lewis Howes: Right. Holy cow.

Sophia Bush: And then making, having made hundreds of episodes of television. I’ve been on set making those shows for around 60,000 hours, maybe 55.

Lewis Howes: Wow, because what was the first main series you’re on? What year was that? The One Tree Hill is that?

Sophia Bush: Yeah, I don’t even know what year that was, 2003 – 2004?

Lewis Howes: For how long were you in that for?

Sophia Bush: Nine years.

Lewis Howes: Nine years.

Sophia Bush: And here’s the problem is that you – so your seasons on a show go from when you start filming July through to the end of the following April. So people will ask me what year did that happen. And I go, “I don’t know what year it was, but it was season four.”

Lewis Howes: Yeah. [chuckles]

Sophia Bush: So it was either this year.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, its two years.

Sophia Bush: So my whole calendar is totally screwed up. I have no idea.

Lewis Howes: How many shows in a season?

Sophia Bush: That show we did depending on the season we did 22, 23, or 24 episodes a year. And on that show we made 187 episodes.

Lewis Howes: Total?

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Sophia Bush: It’s a lot of TV.

Lewis Howes: And then four years on the last show, right?

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm, four years on that show, and then a year on this really fun comedy called Partners. And yeah, the last show was 23 a year also.

Lewis Howes: Wow. It’s a lot of episodes. You’re a season pro.

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: That’s right, not many people who have done that many TV episodes.

Sophia Bush: Yeah. A lot of –

Lewis Howes: You’re like the 1% of 1% of people on TV probably.

Sophia Bush: That’s a lot.

Lewis Howes: Right? I’m assuming.

Sophia Bush: Yeah. I don’t. I mean, I don’t know.

Lewis Howes: Just right now, how many people have done that many episodes? It’s crazy.

Sophia Bush: Like Malcolm Gladwell, right? 10,000 hours. Hi, five.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, you’ve done 60,000 hours, yeah, exactly.

Sophia Bush: Yeah. It’s like –

Lewis Howes: Well, it’s amazing.

Sophia Bush: That’s what I know. 

Lewis Howes: When is it that you doubt yourself the most then?

Sophia Bush: It depends on the space, right.

Lewis Howes: Do you tell yourself in your profession ever?

Sophia Bush: Of course.

Lewis Howes: Or is it more personal relationships?

Sophia Bush: Oh, my god, it can be so scary.

Lewis Howes: Really!?

Sophia Bush: I remember – yeah.

Lewis Howes: You have said!?

Sophia Bush: Oh, yeah, it’s terrifying.

Lewis Howes: But you’re a pro.

Sophia Bush: It doesn’t matter. Because it’s always —

Lewis Howes: You’ve got every emotion.

Sophia Bush: But it doesn’t matter. It’s always new. And the thing about acting, performing, emoting there’s no guarantee.

Lewis Howes: That what it’ll land or that you’re gonna hit it for the first time.

Sophia Bush: Or it’s gonna work that day.

Lewis Howes: Really?

Sophia Bush: Like no. You know, this idea that people just cry on command like, doesn’t work like that for me. 

Lewis Howes: At all cries aren’t great equal.

Sophia Bush: You have to be on a place, I have to be, you know. There’s a sort of ephemeral nature to it. You just never know if it’s gonna work.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Sophia Bush: And that can be very scary, and especially when there’s something you really want, but all of us have a scared eight year old inside of us.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: All of us have the 14 year old who like flunked to that important test or whatever it might be.

Lewis Howes: You got rejected by the girl.

Sophia Bush: Yeah, you know, we’ve all been broken hearted. We’ve all broken hearts. We’ve done the whole –

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: We’ve run the gamut. So no matter what things are scary, you know, I just got asked to read for my favorite writer on a show.

Lewis Howes: And so that brings up a level of words and its [chuckles]

Sophia Bush: Like, what it, it just like, “Blah!” I gonna throw up and I don’t know. I don’t know how to do this. Like, I got so scared.

Lewis Howes: You’re like a beginner again.

Sophia Bush: Oh my god, terrified.

Lewis Howes: Like, Ahh, dat, dat, dat…” [chuckles]

Sophia Bush: Terrified. And it was really funny because I was away with some friends. Two of my best friends are like one of my favorite couple Aaron and Lauren. And Aaron happens to be Aaron Paul like.

Lewis Howes: Oh, yeah, yeah, of course.

Sophia Bush: Like the legend, the breaking bad.

Lewis Howes: I was with them at the wedding last.

Sophia Bush: They’re the best.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, yeah.

Sophia Bush: And we’re having this conversation about creativity and I was saying how scared I was to read for this thing. And he looked at me, he goes, “But you’re so good at your job.”

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: And I went, “Am I?”

Lewis Howes: [laughs]

Sophia Bush: And he was like, “Sophia.” And it was this moment where I was like, “Okay, I mean, Aaron thinks I’m good at my job. I’m going to be fine. I’m going to be fine. I’m going to be fine.”

Lewis Howes: Really. And you had did the foundations from –?

Sophia Bush: And you go into this like terrified place that never goes away. And I remember reading this interview years ago that Harrison Ford did and he was saying – I don’t remember what movie he was doing. But he was talking about getting the set and saying that every time he gets on set for the first day, he looks around and goes; this is going to be the one. This is going to be the movie where everyone figures out. I have no idea what I’m doing.

Lewis Howes: Shut-up.

Sophia Bush: “I’m never going to get a job again.” And that’s Harrison Ford.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Sophia Bush: Hello. Like Star Wars royalty.

Lewis Howes: Yeah. 

Sophia Bush: And I went, “Oh, right. It never goes away, no matter how much you succeed, you’re always afraid.” And I think that when you make friends with that fear, then it gets a little bit better. What I started to do when I got this thing to read for this writer who I, I’m obsessed, right?

Lewis Howes: [chuckles] 

Sophia Bush: I went, “Oh, instead of letting the fear swallow me alive, what if I looked at it. And went, Oh, cute, that means you care, cute.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: What if I started changing the relationship to the fear? That doesn’t mean I’m not afraid. That doesn’t mean I’m not terrified that I’m going to do something wrong. But what it means is, I can take it as a sign of emotional investment, and I can wear that with pride. But I still, 16 years into my career, having made more TV than a lot of people —

Lewis Howes: Care.

Sophia Bush: –care that much. I still care like it’s the first time.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Sophia Bush: So okay. Now, the thing that felt debilitating feels kind of like a win. I like that part of myself that I care that much. I care that much about you, about the world, about advocacy, and about my job. That’s pretty cool.

Lewis Howes: That’s pretty cool.

Sophia Bush: That’s pretty cool.

Lewis Howes: Do you still love what you do?

Sophia Bush: So I’m learning how to have a different emotional experience. That I think is part of the cool thing about the journey when you do the work.

Lewis Howes: That is.

Sophia Bush: You listen to the podcast, and you have the detox, and you have to the therapist.

Lewis Howes: To the therapy, yeah.

Sophia Bush: You know like then. Then you, your toolkit starts to look different.

Lewis Howes: It is. What’s missing in your toolkit?

Sophia Bush: What’s missing in my toolkit?

Lewis Howes: That would make you more empathetic, or a better leader, or a better partner, friend, activist, actress?

Sophia Bush: I think the ability to really effectively manage time and say no more is what I’m missing. 

Lewis Howes: Thank you for yes to come here. [laughs] 

Sophia Bush:  I’m here. But yeah, that’s a big thing for me.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: It’s very very difficult for me.

Lewis Howes: You say yes to a lot?

Sophia Bush:  To a lot.

Lewis Howes: Yeah. To like everything?

Sophia Bush:  Not everything.

Lewis Howes: Well, you don’t want to let people down probably, right?

Sophia Bush: I don’t want to let the people down, sure. I think now, at this stage in my life, it’s a little less of that; it’s a little less about the people pleasing. 

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: But for me, the blessing and the curse of the way that my empathy works is that I see how interconnected every single system is.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: I see that our liberation is all tied together. I see that I want to advocate for women, and that I need to sit at the feet of women of color to learn how to be the bright kind of ally to that community, that when I’m advocating for inter sectional communities of women, I have to invite men to the table and talk to men as my allies, not as my enemies so that those men can turn around and help me and all of these women to feed the men, who are the enemies it’s  like everything is connected, and gun violence and healthcare –

Lewis Howes: Everything.

Sophia Bush: — our political system and corruption in the political system, and lobbying and everything is connected.

Lewis Howes: So why so many things you can – so many things you can fight for, isn’t that?

Sophia Bush: Sure but –

Lewis Howes: You’re goona be like one thing you are fighting for which is like just freedom, and equality, and opportunities and –

Sophia Bush: But if you don’t get into the nuance then your fight is not effective. And so for me, saying yes to a lot is because I understand the connection of a lot. And I am having to learn how I want to design life going forward.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: There are a lot of jobs I’ve said no to. There are things I’ve turned down. There other avenues I’ve started exploring. Everyone is like you shouldn’t have left your shown. It might been right back on another show. I didn’t want to do it that way. I’m really building a new thing for myself.

Lewis Howes: What are you building?

Sophia Bush: I’m building a lot.

Lewis Howes: What are the –?

Sophia Bush: I’m building a lot.

Lewis Howes: How do you tell them? I’m excited about this.

Sophia Bush: But it is a thing where – like on Friday, I’m sitting down with one of my best friends who has a very organizational brain.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: I’m a visionary.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, me too.

Sophia Bush: And a storyteller.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, yeah.

Sophia Bush: And a planner and I can help solve for anything but it’s the execution where I struggle.

Lewis Howes: Operations.

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: The ops are hard for me. And so we’re going to sit down and get like –

Lewis Howes: Clear, organize.

Sophia Bush: Special Ops.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: On my life, like whiteboards, columns the whole thing.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: And I’m excited about it. But I think that some of that will help me build better. And I also think that I have to be a little clearer on what’s a yes and what’s a no.

Lewis Howes: Ooh.

Sophia Bush: And that’s an area where I struggle for.

Lewis Howes: I created a list year ago with my business partner, a yes and no list, and it’s changed the game for me.

Sophia Bush: Okay, so what goes on in yes and no list?

Lewis Howes: For like my business –

Sophia Bush: Sure.

Lewis Howes: Where I like – you know –

Sophia Bush: But I’m curious how you start to figure it out.

Lewis Howes: Yes. So it was like trying to organize everything and we’re still adding to it. It’s like, “Gosh, I’m exhausted when I do these things. So this is a no.” So whenever I try something new, it’s like “Oh, this is a yes.” So yes to like a certain speaking fee, like I won’t – because I just get asked a ton of speaking, you know. Some stuff I’ll do absolutely free because I believe in it, it’s a friend of mine or whatever. And then I used to just kind of like go on a range of like, “Okay, I’ll do it for this; I’ll do it for that. But now I was like, “No, here’s my rate.”

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: Otherwise, I’ll do a few for free for friends. And then otherwise, it’s a no.

Sophia Bush: Yeah. Not [crosstalk] to me.

Lewis Howes: As opposed trying to negotiate. So it’s just like, “Here’s what I can – here’s my rate, you can pay with this, and if not, sorry, like, I don’t need it.”

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm, because if you start going on a range, you are not energetically being clear about what you’re worth.

Lewis Howes: Exactly.

Sophia Bush: And then you get met with things that are unworthy.

Lewis Howes: Exactly, and then you’re resenting it later and then you’re like, “Why am I here?”

Sophia Bush: And that’s in relationship, that’s in friendships, that’s in working in partnerships it’s not just, it’s really interesting starting to – you know, and I was one of those people in the secret came out. I was like, “This book is so stupid.”

Lewis Howes: [laughs]

Sophia Bush: But when you really, when you – yeah.

Lewis Howes: It’s about too.

Sophia Bush: But when you really start looking at things like the law of attraction, and more than just the law attraction boundary setting.

Lewis Howes: Its huge that is a massive.

Sophia Bush: People only love you the way you teach them to.

Lewis Howes: And you get what you tolerate.

Sophia Bush: And you have to do that with boundaries. Yes.

Lewis Howes: You get what you tolerate.

Sophia Bush: Yes, you get what you tolerate!

Lewis Howes: That was a big –

Sophia Bush: God!

Lewis Howes: That’s it.

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: And so same thing with the relationship, with your pay, all these things, your [inaudible] what to tolerate.

Sophia Bush: Well, and that was a big thing for me leaving the last gig because I was like…

Lewis Howes: You kept getting it because you’re tolerating it until you said, no.

Sophia Bush: Because I was tolerating it so well and be professional.

Lewis Howes: Either you change, or I’m going to leave.

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: And you decide to leave because they were going to change.

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: So now you have a new life.

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: And you’re not tolerating that anymore.

Sophia Bush: And I wake up in my own bed.

Lewis Howes: It’s amazing.

Sophia Bush: For the first time since I was 21.

Lewis Howes: It’s gonna feel amazing.

Sophia Bush: I live in my own house.

Lewis Howes: It’s gonna be amazing.

Sophia Bush: It’s amazing.

Lewis Howes: So nice.

Sophia Bush: Amazing.

Lewis Howes: [inaudible] construction like I do, right?

Sophia Bush: Let me listen, it was like I’m game.

Lewis Howes: The least you are in LA.

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: It’s consisted routine.

Sophia Bush: Yeah. I also my contractor is one of my closest friends, which is a real dream, so lucky.

Lewis Howes: That’s cool.

Sophia Bush: Because my first contractor was a –

Lewis Howes: Nightmare?

Sophia Bush: –nightmare.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Sophia Bush: Yeah. No. One of my friends was like I ever saw that guy on the street would like, take me a minute to not run him over. I was like, also, I understand what you’re saying, but we just shouldn’t even put the vibe out there.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, I know. I know that would that.

Sophia Bush: I’m like, I don’t want any of it, I don’t want any of the like karmic way of wishing over like anyone.

Lewis Howes: Words are a powerful thing.

Sophia Bush: Yeah, I was like, yeah. I was like, you know, the people who take advantage of people will get theirs in the end.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, exactly. Words are a powerful thing. And I think it’s also important. I’ve done so much forgiveness of the last six years of my life.

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: It’s when I turned 30 when I went on a path and a journey of kind of working on this work of taking down my own mass masculinity, and not that I was always like the lovable, fun, joyful, affectionate human until I felt triggered. And then I was like, just not nice. I was like this –

Sophia Bush: What does that mean?

Lewis Howes: Till I felt like someone was taking advantage of me, like I feel like I was getting abused, or because my trigger was like abuse. I was sexually abused when I was a kid and I started to open up about it at 30. So it took me 25 years to talk about, I couldn’t say it.

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: Because I didn’t have anywhere to – the story is I didn’t feel like I had anywhere to go to, to share it with anyone. And even just like putting my hand on like a buddy of mine they’d be like, “Get off me fag, gay. What are you doing?” Your [inaudible], your pussy or whatever. They would just… it’s just like the language of you know where I grew up in Ohio. And I think a lot of places in the country where it’s not acceptable for boys to be affectionate to other boys. Like put your arm around in front your teammates.

Sophia Bush: It’s so detrimental.

Lewis Howes: So it’s like you could never like just put your arm around a team and like give them a hug. And so I had to put up this mask and this was like this tougher guy of like, “Yeah, get off me.”, you know, or whatever. “And don’t talk like this.” And but it wasn’t my natural state.

Sophia Bush: It’s like a sweater you put on.

Lewis Howes: Its constantly fighting my natural state to try to feel connected, loved, appreciated, whatever. To feel like I could fit into a team, a group, a community, a demographic something. And in some ways, like I mentioned before, like it worked, in some ways, like I got results by being that way. I was achieved athletic success, financial success. Like I got the girl or whatever like it worked to an extent until it was never really working because I was always alone inside. And always hurting, and always feeling like I’m not enough, and lacking confidence and all these things. 

And so when I finally went on the journey of like realizing, “Wow, something is not working.” Like it’s working out there, but it’s not working in here. What do I need to do? And I started just open up about all the things I was most ashamed of, which I didn’t want anyone to know about. Because I was like, if people really knew who I was, they would not love me.

Sophia Bush: But that’s the lie pain tells you, is that if you share it, you think people will go, “Whoa!” 

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: But what happens when you share is people go you too — 

Lewis Howes: It’s crazy, it’s crazy, isn’t it?

Sophia Bush: Yes.

Lewis Howes: I remember when I opened up about being sexually abused. I was like; I did it in a group setting around like 40 or 50 people. It’s a workshop, an emotional intelligent work. Like that got me to finally open up because I was so down to myself going through a breakup, and a business breakup. And I was just like, things aren’t working that I was trying anything. 

Talking about therapist, coaches, mentors, workshops, and there’s one workshop I opened up about sexual abuse. And I ran out of the room cuz I was like, I’m afraid to just see these people again. I was like, no one’s gonna accept me. And one of the most powerful things happened. All the men in the room came out followed me about few minutes later, and they all just like, put their hand on me, and hugged me, and they’re like, “You’re my hero. This happened to me when I was 11. This happened to me when I was 13.” And it brought us closer, like you said, people like, leaned in.

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: And I think when we start to open up about the things we’re most ashamed of, that’s when we start to reveal ourselves and people can see the true us. And they can love us for who we really are.

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: And if they’re not willing to love us for that, then they should have been our lives probably. Well, there’s work they can do to.

Sophia Bush: That’s so powerful.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: So glad you got to have to learn that experience.

Lewis Howes: Yeah. But it’s been, it’s an ongoing process, you know.

Sophia Bush: Of course.

Lewis Howes: And I think a lot of men are starting to open up. The one, you know, because I have these conversations on here a lot of time. So the men that listen to this show…

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: They know they can’t escape, right? I might Trojan horse them with something, they think they’re to get.

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: But then they’re here in this conversation between us and they start to reflect, “Oh, how could I change my life?”

 Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: And that’s what I want people to do.

Sophia Bush: And I think that, that’s such a big deal, you know, it — when I left Chicago, I had spoken to the people that I work with, you know, my lawyers and my agents, the people who I was like, “This is what’s been going on. I’m leaving. This is when I first reported. This is when I second reported. This is who I went to. This is who I went to said they would do something who did nothing. This is when I made it an HR issue. This is when after when I reported in HR.”

Lewis Howes: Wow, so you have it documented, yeah.

Sophia Bush: Oh, I mean years. After HR, this is when my, one of my bosses sat me down and screamed at me and said, “Do you know what the [****] you’ve done?”, to me, not to the guy, like just madness.

Lewis Howes: Shoot.

Sophia Bush: And it was really interesting because I worked it out, I got out. I alluded to it with friends who were like what’s going on? You’re quitting your job. What’s going on? And I will never forget – it took me another year to actually start telling people what happened.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Sophia Bush: The people close to me.

Lewis Howes: Why?

Sophia Bush: To tell them the story.

Lewis Howes: Why? It takes so long.

Sophia Bush: Well, what I think it was and this is what I realized. It was about a year later a group of my friends and I we put together this creative’s retreat at a place called On Site. It’s like an amazing –

Lewis Howes: Was that with the zita? And there is another one?

Sophia Bush: No, this was like me and my friend Ruthie…

Lewis Howes: Got ya.

Sophia Bush: And my friend Miles, who runs On Site, and kind of judge and a whole bunch of people. And we put together a retreat for creative, who often don’t have a safe space to share emotional stuff.

Lewis Howes: Wow how many people showed up?

Sophia Bush: Twenty five people.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Sophia Bush: For a week of experiential therapy –

Lewis Howes: Just like the actors and artists.

Sophia Bush: — and family trauma and musicians and all kinds of photographers.

Lewis Howes: Wow, that’s pretty cool.

Sophia Bush:  We took over this amazing retreat place and we went. And after on site, group of us spent a day in Nashville together, because it’s outside of Nashville. We spent a day in Nashville together before we flew home. And I’ll never forget I was sitting on the couch with my buddy Kenny, who’s been one of my best friends for, I mean, I’ve been saying 10 years, probably for many years, so long ago. And we were sharing some things and I finally detailed to him what I went through in Chicago and he just sat there and listened with tears streaming down his face. And I started crying and he was crying. And I just, like, unloaded it. And at the end of the conversation, he grabbed my hand and he said, “Not to make this about me, but like, why didn’t you tell me. I would have found there. I would have been there. I would have come to work with you.”

Lewis Howes: Your best friend, wonder of best friends, yeah.

Sophia Bush:  “Why didn’t you ever tell me or any of us?

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Sophia Bush: And in that moment, I was so clear because I’d been in this like very raw safe space for a week and we’d been doing all this work. And it came out of me, like it came through me. It came from inside of me, it wasn’t a thought, it was just the truth. And I said, because if I had ever told any of you what was happening, it would have made it true.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Sophia Bush:  Because I was in a place, I was at work where everybody saw it happening and nobody cared. Or people were too scared to do something or whatever. Everybody made excuses. Everybody just needed to get the job done. And so I was in a place that was rejecting my experience. And if I had ever built a bridge between this reality, and my friends at home, who know the truth, who know me who are my defenders, my protectors, who I am a defender of an a protector of. If I had told any of those people, if I had told my parents, this like Twilight Zone would have been impossible to go back to.

Lewis Howes: Right. It could be fully true now.

Sophia Bush: And to build that bridge, to cross the chasm of this is the environment where in its complication bad behavior is tolerated, to this is the environment where people tell you that never should you be subjected to said bad behavior to cross the ravine. I don’t, I don’t think I knew how to do that and I was physically removed from this and physically in this place.

Lewis Howes: Oh my gosh.

Sophia Bush: And so there was no way – you know, the body when you’re going through trauma does all kinds of crazy [****] to protect you.

Lewis Howes: Crazy stuff, to defend yourself, yeah.

Sophia Bush: There was no way my body was going to allow for that revelation for that. And it was really interesting. I guess I share that only to say, I know what you went through, because when you finally say it’s like every bone in your body gets broken. And it also feels like a thousand pound weighted vest gets taken off for back.

Lewis Howes: Freedom, it feels like freedom.

Sophia Bush: Like you’ve been completely remade, and you’re free. And it’s crazy.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: And it’s been interesting because you know I quit at the end of April, whatever, 2017 I guess.

Lewis Howes: Like two years ago. And then…

Sophia Bush: And then in July me too broke.

Lewis Howes: It’s crazy.

Sophia Bush: And Harvey broke, and the whole industry started changing. It was like, “Oh, you guys got so lucky.”

Lewis Howes: Because it was right before, yeah.

Sophia Bush: But the interesting thing about it was when I would see people go, “Why is this person telling their story now?” Why is type – because now is when they feel safe.

Lewis Howes: Then they can be free.

Sophia Bush: Now, is when they need to get it out of their body. The reason that people tell their stories two years, and five years, and 10 years, and 20 years later, is because the story is like a tumor. And the only way to cut it out is to speak it. Only way to get it out of your body is to speak it. And so you spoke it. And you began to free yourself. And isn’t it interesting how many other people you freed?

Lewis Howes: It’s crazy, yeah.

Sophia Bush: Like the people who reached out to me and who, by the way, are still reaching out to me saying, “Hey, can I talk to you about this thing that happened to me? Can you give me advice on it?” It’s a whole…

Lewis Howes: It’s crazy. It’s still the most downloaded link on my website.

Sophia Bush: Wow.

Lewis Howes: Like the out of 800 something episodes.

Sophia Bush: When you shared with your listeners.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, I shared like five and a half years ago something.

Sophia Bush: Wow.

Lewis Howes: And people find it, shared every day. We get messages, essays from men who open up and women. But men who are like, “I listened to this. And this happened to me.” And they share their whole stories and our team will read them and just like, “Wow, this is crazy.” Because it’s one in four not to go on like sexual abuse stats, but one in four women have been sexually abused, one in six men.

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: Challenge, I’m not saying like something’s better or not, but the challenge is there’s never really been a place for men to feel safe to share. And I believe one of my theses is like, when me too is happening and still is happening, but when it was first starting to happen, I think that was around the same time as like the Vegas shooting, Charlottesville. Wasn’t it was happening like around the same time like in the same year.

Sophia Bush: Yeah, it was a crazy year.

Lewis Howes: Crazy year. All these shootings were happening these killings, school stuff shootings; I was just like the common denominator of a lot of these things where men, who never were able to express themselves emotionally was a common denominator. They had something that happened to them either a big trauma or little traumas that happened over time. But yet, they never verbally communicated their pain, or maybe they never felt heard. And a lot of it was these men who are just angry. And I feel like they never were able to heal their hearts. And if men I believe were able to heal their heart there’ll be a lot less pain causing the world. If like men don’t feel safe. 

I can relate in a sense, because like when I would get angry, I would want to fight someone. I wasn’t trying to like, look for a gun, but I’d be like, I want to push some. I want to scream at someone. I want to find a guy like roughhouse or something.

Sophia Bush: Well, and it’s interesting because when you look at the compounding facts of that truth, which is that men have been taught that all of their emotions except for anger or bad and not masculine.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, they are so weak.

Sophia Bush: So eager becomes outsized.

Lewis Howes: They’re weak, yeah.

Sophia Bush: Which is a huge problem. And when you see a culture with outsized anger and rage in its men, and then you look at a culture that has such systemic violence against the oppressed, and you see those angry men than being radicalized.

Lewis Howes: Uh-huh.

Sophia Bush: Like what’s happening with white supremacy in our country is no different than what happens with ISIS overseas, like no different. We are radicalizing people and turning them into insane vigilante course.

Lewis Howes:  It’s crazy.

Sophia Bush: And we are telling people that rather than the system that is oppressive to them, and all people, that it’s the people who are the most oppressed in the system who are to blame for their anger, and their oppression.

Lewis Howes: Crazy.

Sophia Bush: It’s the most backwards crazy thing. And you know you see it in the last week, I mean with Dayton, with El Paso –

Lewis Howes: Crazy.

Sophia Bush: — with the four young men who’ve been arrested with essential like Arsenal’s –

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: In their homes planning other mass shootings this week alone.

Lewis Howes: Crazy.

Sophia Bush: It’s crazy. We have a problem.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: And we need such a readjustment of how we share and how we welcome Sharon.

Lewis Howes: It’s so welcome of it. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: Because if someone, maybe these men have tried to say something at some point like, “I’m scared.”, but they’ve just been shot down over and over by parents or peers or whatever it is. They got, not I’m, I’m not validating out them, I don’t saying anything they’ve done is okay, but it’s like, if they have the ability to share, I don’t think they would make these, do these acts.

Sophia Bush: Yeah, I don’t know.

Lewis Howes: I think they would be able to heal and they want to have to be so tight and so angry to explode on other people this way. That’s just my personal thesis. Because I know the power of sharing and how much piece have brought me and freedom have brought me.

Sophia Bush: Did sharing your story help you defuse that? That short fuse anger?

Lewis Howes: Yes.

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: Big time. I mean, listen, I still not a perfect human being. I reactive, I get angry at times and I react on so quick to recognize, “Okay, I’m coming from a place of like a trigger of abuse or whatever. This is not okay. Who do I want to be?” And I’m so much quicker. I mean, talk to Tiffany and just in four years of seeing me and like my team and my friends and everyone. I think we’re all reactive at some level, but that’s why I have a routine where I work out in the morning, I meditate. I focus on just surround myself with a positive environment.

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: I remember my whole life; I could never sleep at night. It take me about an hour or two hours and fall asleep.

Sophia Bush: Wow.

Lewis Howes: And I never knew why. I was just like, I guess I’m just thinking and wired and this is who I am. After I shared, I sleep within 5-10 minutes. And I was always jealous of people who could fall asleep right away. I was like, “How do you do that?” And now it’s like I can pass out in 5-10 minutes, every night.

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: I just feel peace.

Sophia Bush: That’s great.

Lewis Howes: It’s crazy. So I feel like, if we could accept sharing for men, I don’t know. I don’t have all the answers, but I feel like that would help a lot.

Sophia Bush: Well, I feel like if we offered men a space to share, and also if we didn’t denigrate women’s sharing.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, sure.

Sophia Bush: Because what’s interesting is so many men don’t feel like they can share, but in your experience you did and it’s been this wonderful experience for you.

Lewis Howes: Amazing, yeah. And most men can share just how they see it, yeah.

Sophia Bush: Most women when we share are denied, squashed, screamed at.

Lewis Howes: Hmm.

Sophia Bush: We’re told that we’re making false comments that were exaggerating. And so the irony is that for women we don’t actually welcome it, either.

Lewis Howes: Really.

Sophia Bush: We tolerate the conversation. We’re having me to, this me to conversation, has a single thing change? Is Harvey Weinstein in jail? 

Lewis Howes: It might be getting worse.

Sophia Bush: Does my abuser still have a job? Does every other abuser in Hollywood still have a job? Does that guy on bowl still have a job? Does it like, it does it, it hasn’t been substantive at all.

Lewis Howes: Right. Some, a few people maybe don’t have jobs, but not everyone’s.

Sophia Bush: A couple.

Lewis Howes: But Harvey doesn’t have a job, right? I mean…

Sophia Bush: Sure, but he’s not in jail.

Lewis Howes: Right.

Sophia Bush: He’s a rapist. He’s not in jail.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: Like he’s on tape assaulting women.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: And he’s not in jail.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, that’s crazy.

Sophia Bush: You know, there – the evidence is overwhelming. The evidence that the President is a racist.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, it’s crazy.

Sophia Bush:  — is overwhelming, for decades. His Corporation was taken to court in the 70’s for being racist in its housing policies. And people were like, “Oh, no, no. I think it might be a little radical. But I don’t know if he is a racist.” Why are we having this conversation?

Lewis Howes: So how – what needs to change in order for actual changes to happen?

Sophia Bush:  Yes, like why are we –?

Lewis Howes: In your opinion.

Sophia Bush: Why are we in need – we get into these circular conversations and people are terrified to act. And that has to change. We have to say, no more of this. And it’s on every level. I think that disconnect from our reality who we’re trying to be on the screen versus who we are in life is causing so much pain for so many people that it’s making us turn away from same behavior, i.e., the largest glacial melt in history just happened. The sea is rising. Like scientists last week were freaking out. I don’t know if you watch the video, like our entire glacier just melted. And it’s like a rushing river. It’s insane. And they’re like you don’t understand the is going to raise, the oceans of the world. Like they’re gonna raise.

Lewis Howes: The heat to temperature is gonna get colder or hotter, yeah.

Sophia Bush: And it’s gonna keep happening, and everything is crazy, and all the fish are dying. And like an article just came out that we are causing this crazy toxic reaction and all of our pollinators, bees, butterflies, all these insects are dying in droves in America, because we are using formerly banned pesticides, which the Trump administration allowed to come back into circulation. And like everything’s about to die. And people are like, “Both sides to science.” It’s like they’re normal science. 

Lewis Howes: [chuckles] your right.

Sophia Bush: No, two plus two equals four that’s a fact. Science is a fact. Warming oceans are a fact. Climate change is a fact, the extinction of bees, fact. But our disconnect from our truth is it seems to me on a larger sort of maybe more cerebral scale making us allergic to the truth, and especially to hard truths. So when we go, oh, we’re now 11 years out from total climate devastation per the UN Global Climate report, again, fact. We’re just not going to do anything. We’re all like ostriching and sticking our heads in the sand, and pretending that if we just leave it up to somebody else it’s going to be okay. This is the time for a revolution to save the planet, to save our people, to save each other. But I think the reason – and there’s all sorts of systems at play, and dark money at play. And I know I know and this is going to sound whoo, whoo, but like, give me a break. I think the reason that we are ignoring the truth is because we can’t tell the truth to ourselves about ourselves. 

So how do we tell the truth about the world? How do we make change on the scale and level we need to make it? We have the ability, we have all the money. We have all the money for health care. We have all the money for schools. We have all the money to get rid of student lunch that students, kids should not be in debt for eating at school. That just shouldn’t happen here. And we have the means to change it. We’re just not willing to be radical enough to change the system to make it work for everybody.

And this great irony that you know, folks like you with a successful podcast or me someone who’s been on TV, like, you know, you said something earlier, not ever going to hate on a weekly paycheck from a show but I’ve also like never been on one of those big big hit shows. Like there’s some people who make crazy money. 

Lewis Howes:  Crazy money.

Sophia Bush: And even the people in my industry who make crazy money. I’m like you get it honey all the way to the bank. 

Lewis Howes:  Yeah. 

Sophia Bush: I’m so proud of them. But like the fact that any of us, anyone in the world of like entertainment or media could be called the elite by the anonymous billionaire class.

Lewis Howes: Crazy. 

Sophia Bush: By these people who own –

Lewis Howes: But no one even knows to put their names.

Sophia Bush: — islands, and airplanes, and super yachts, and who make a billions a year just in interest on their money that they’re saying, “You and I are out of touch and elite.” And I’m like, “Do you know where I work?” Like, “I hang out on sets with like drivers, construction dudes, camera guys.” Like the reason I’m an advocate for healthcare for all in unions is because like all my homies are union workers. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: I don’t do the private jets and the thing. And the fact that the real elite control politics, control environmental legislation that should scare us, that should make us want to get right with ourselves so that we can go out and fight to get right with the world. I believe that we have the power to do it. But we have to look at systems and we can’t look at systems unless we look at the systems we live in.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, that’s true. It seems like there’s so many things that are happening that need to change. 

Sophia Bush: Yes, a lot.

Lewis Howes: Fireman, politics, the masculinity, all these different areas of the world, like the bees, everything’s dying. We’re all everything, you know, there is a lot of different things we need to change. How do we know what to take on first? What is most important? What gets the most money, time, attention?

Sophia Bush: Well, here’s the thing that I think is assist all these systems. Our world is connected like a body. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: There’s so many systems in the human body, and they all need each other to function. And that’s what the world is like. And that’s what advocacy is like. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah, that’s true. 

Sophia Bush: And I know that it can sound intense. But I actually – I am on fire with the urgency. But I am hopeful because I know people. I know us. I know what we’re capable of. I know how good we are. I know that we can eradicate all of this darkness. And I think that we have to remember that it’s a relay race, and we pass the baton to each other but we run as a team. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: And so where does your sacred rage come from? What do you feels like a sacred duty? The thing that you would get up in the morning to fight for, do that. And if for you, that’s honey bees, do that. And if for you, that’s women’s rights, do that. And if for you that’s eradicating toxic masculinity, do that. And if for someone listening, it’s voter suppression and states like Georgia, attack that. We need everybody to be all in on something. Not everybody has to do everything. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: But we need everybody to be all in on something. 

Lewis Howes: That’s good. 

Sophia Bush: So where does your sacred rage come from? Because that’s a fire that doesn’t ever run out. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah. 

Sophia Bush: And then you’re like, I’m in for that fight. I’m volunteering for that cause. I’m showing up at that march. And it will be the greatest thing you do that week, every week.

Lewis Howes: Yeah. 

Sophia Bush: Forever.

Lewis Howes: So focus on one thing that you care about the most. 

Sophia Bush: It takes all of us. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah, it’s true. Because it can seem daunting to be like, well, I don’t know what to do. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: I’m just trying to figure out how to pay my bills.

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: And, you know, take care of my family and amount time, and I’m stressed.

Sophia Bush: It doesn’t take as much time. It doesn’t take as much time as everybody thinks it does. Can you give an hour a week? Can you give an afternoon on a Sunday? Because for me – you know, I grew up in a multi faith household, or multi faith family. And that led me down the path of exploring all of these other religions. I’m looking at through lines, I’m looking at things. And for me, when people say like, what’s your house of worship? Nature.

Lewis Howes: Wooh.

Sophia Bush: What feels like church? Showing up.

Lewis Howes: Mmm.

Sophia Bush: So when I go to the city council meeting, when I go to the march, when I show up at the rally, that to me, that’s divinity.

Lewis Howes: Its church, yeah.

Sophia Bush: Showing up for other people. 

Lewis Howes: Wow, it’s powerful.

Sophia Bush: And nature, this planet, like, we should all worship at her feet.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: And I think that if we could look at advocacy that way at, this is sacred. Me showing up for this, even if it’s an hour on a Sunday.

Lewis Howes: It’s true.

Sophia Bush: Or an hour on a Saturday morning, or Wednesday night Town Hall, like just do something. You’re showing up even in a way that you might think is a little could be the ripple effect that shakes the world.

Lewis Howes: Yeah. And if everyone shows up a little it will start to make a ripple for sure.

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: I’m curious, what’s your opinion…? What’s your thoughts about white men, right now? What should a white men – because I think there’s a lot of attention about, you know, white men are doing a lot of bad things.

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: What can I do as a white man and other white men to be part of the solution as opposed to always in the headlines? 

Sophia Bush: Right.

Lewis Howes: It was like another white man, shooting this for another person? 

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: Another politician is white old man doing this hurting us?

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: So how can — you know, I try to do the best I can.

Sophia Bush: I mean, don’t be Mitch McConnell, that’s first.

Lewis Howes: Okay. But I mean, it’s like —

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: I almost feel like there’s a target. You know, again, my life’s amazing, right? 

Sophia Bush: Sure.

Lewis Howes: I’m not gonna say that I’m like privileged, I worked my butt off. I feel very fortunate. There’s also like, everything that I feel like I’m hearing from other kind of like successful white men. They are like, I felt like there’s a target on my back. I can’t say anything off. I can’t do this. I’m not saying like, “Oh poor, the white man or anything.” I’m just saying, like, “What can we do to be more of a solution?”

Sophia Bush: Right. So here’s what I think.

Lewis Howes: In general.

Sophia Bush: Is really important.

Lewis Howes: Yeah. 

Sophia Bush: I think it’s really important that we learn how to create a little bit of distance between our personal identity and a system.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: So for example, I had a very in depth conversation with a friend of mine last night. She’s a fellow activist. She’s an advocate. She’s amazing. We were at this group rally together last weekend, and we decided to have a little deep dive. And she is a woman of color and was asking me perspective questions over dinner last night, about whiteness, and about what it’s like to be the advocate that I am. And also to fall into the demographic of white women, which overly voted someone like Trump into office. And thus voted against as a demographic, our own interests.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: I obviously didn’t vote for him but, you know, nobody’s shocked by that.

Lewis Howes: [chuckles]

Sophia Bush: And so I was saying to her, and we had talked about a lot of what you and I have touched on, but she and I had to end up detailed conversation. And she was very shaken by hearing about my experiences in the workplace, and as a woman in entertainment, like very upset. And I said, so I’ll use myself as the example. I said, “I understand what a system of a white hetero normative patriarchy is doing to the world. It has nothing for me as a white woman.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: And it also isn’t doing anything good for white men. But I said, “I understand I have the privilege of exposure in the circles that I run in, in the town halls that I sit in, with the women that I work with, with the good men that I work with, with having such a beautifully intersection of community, and a diverse community and a queer community, and a straight community.” and you know, the whole thing,

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: But like people who really care about looking at a system, and I said, “There’s a lot of people who have been in my position who look like me, who haven’t had exposure to the intricacies of the system.”

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: “Who might if they’d been through what I’d been through, sit here and go, I’m a survivor of this. I’ve been through this; I’ve lost family this way. These are all the things I’ve seen. This is all the trauma I’ve had, but you’re going to tell me I have privilege.”

Lewis Howes: Hmm.

Sophia Bush: And I understand that. I understand how a person says, “I’ve dealt with all this super hard stuff, what do you mean, where’s my privilege?” But the privilege that you might not even be aware you experience is based on this system.

Lewis Howes: System, yeah.

Sophia Bush: That identifies you as being proximal to it. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: So I experienced privilege as a white woman,  I experienced oppression as a woman, but I do not experience the level of oppression that my sisters of color experience.

Lewis Howes: Yes, correct.

Sophia Bush: And it doesn’t harm me. And it doesn’t take away from my negative experiences or my positive experiences – 

Lewis Howes:  The traumas or whatever you’ve had.

Sophia Bush: Or my trauma, or my success or my anything to acknowledge that.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: And then to look at the system to look at the system that created even after abolition, that created financial barriers for people of color that have had generational impacting lasting effects. So when we’re having modern day conversations about reparations, and people are going, “What are you talking about? We have nothing to do with slavery.” But you do because the system has built mechanisms to continue to oppress both financially in health care in every single way, these communities and you’ve never been oppressed that way. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah. 

Sophia Bush: When people say, “Well, I’ve never been on welfare. Do you write off a percentage of your mortgage?” Because if you do, that’s welfare. You are benefiting from socialism that is not extended to people who don’t look like you. These are things that are really important for people to understand. And so for you, as a white male, I think it’s really important for you to say, “Okay, who am I? What’s my good, what’s my bad? What do I believe is in integrity?”

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: And where you say I’ve worked really hard, and you have, you’ve built all of this, but you didn’t have the barriers that a man who is black would have had trying to start a company. You don’t have the barriers that I as a female founder have, trying to raise funding, when a man can go in and this is proven study you can look it up with the same idea, the same idea for a startup and the men get investment in the women don’t. Same deck, same everything. 

Lewis Howes:  Sure, sure.

Sophia Bush: So it doesn’t hurt you to acknowledge that. But what it can do is motivate you to pay forward your privilege. You can say, “I didn’t have a barrier to entry to financing. I got super – I’m lucky.” “Okay, what am I going to do with the profits my company makes? Who am I going to hire? How am I going to advocate? Who am I going to invite to my conference? What conversations am I going to have on my podcast? How am I going to spend my privilege?”

And I think if more white men were thinking about that, and more white men were willing to look at the system, because by the way, Mitch McConnell and all his old patriarchal supremacist bros who are doing what they’re doing, they’re damaging the future for us. 

Lewis Howes:  Yeah. 

Sophia Bush: He’s going to die. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah.  

Sophia Bush: You and I are going to be alive and our kids are going to suffer. We’re starting to suffer. What’s going to happen to our children, because of what’s being done in this administration? And in the last four years of stonewalling during Obama’s end of his administration? Like the impacts on our children will be catastrophic. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: And I’m angry about that. I see the impacts on the city of LA from Reagan eradicating mental health hospitals in America.

Lewis Howes: Wow. Yeah, I see it demonstrating.

Sophia Bush: There’s a direct correlation and people are suffering and dying because somebody decided that Americans were not worth supporting financially, and that is wrong. And if we start to look at generational effects of a system, you can realize it isn’t helping you either. Yes, you have privileged because you have proximity to that power, but it isn’t helping you either. What’s going to happen to your children?

Lewis Howes: So what can I do as a white man besides all those?

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: I mean I feel like I’m doing the best I can every day to bring on people of different diversity and colors and backgrounds and opinions. It’s not just like the white man success show, you know it’s like, who can I give a platform to, to share their wisdom and experience? I’m sure there’s many more things I could do.

Sophia Bush: Sure. I think it’s really important to start looking at how we vote for our community, and not in our own interests, because our own interests serve us in the short term. And I really wish that more successful white men weren’t voting for a tax bracket, and we’re voting for their children’s futures. Because you know what, I can say, you should be voting for me and the women in your lives, access to things like birth control and women’s reproductive care are men’s issues too. 

Lewis Howes: Absolutely. 

Sophia Bush: And a lot of men would be like, “Well, you know, but I vote for this.” Okay, so stop doing that. How would you vote for your kid? What future do you want for your kid? 

Lewis Howes: I want the best for them? 

Sophia Bush: Exactly. So I need for a man to start showing up and not just voting in the short term. I need for white man to say, I want to be the anti-Mitch McConnell. I want to be the anti-Donald Trump. Figure out how you’re going to do that. Who are you going to vote for? Who are you going to give money to? Are you going to give money to Jamie who’s running against McConnell? Are you going to give money to Stacey Abrams? Are you going to support initiatives in the city of L.A.? Will you come to the next Black Lives Matter meeting on a Sunday night? What are you going to do that takes you out of your comfort zone a little bit and puts you into not just understanding the system needs to change but actively changing it?

Lewis Howes: Hmm.

Sophia Bush: And people can’t be single issue voters anymore. You just can’t. You can’t tell me that your taxes or this thing that was told to you in whatever place you worship or you gather is more important in the lives of your fellow community members. And I’ve heard white guys be like, “Oh, well, you know, look at all the show Lena Waithe is running a TV empire. Things are changing.” I’m like; one amazing talented, queer, black, executive producer means everything is solved for you?

Lewis Howes: Hmm.

Sophia Bush: No.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: Like the people who go, well, Oprah is a billionaire. I’m like, “Honestly, I can’t have this conversation.” like, “No.” We need to look at how to make our society more equitable for everybody. And we need to stop acting like the government saying we can’t pay for health care, but then giving a $600 billion surplus to the military makes any sense. 

Lewis Howes:  Right, right.

Sophia Bush: And by the way, that money isn’t going to our men and women in uniform.

Lewis Howes:  Yeah.

Sophia Bush: Who I cared deeply for. That money is going to like contracts for their rich bros at Halliburton to make even more money and I’m over it and you should be too. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah. 

Sophia Bush: And we have to start to vote that way. We have to start to advocate that way. I want white men in the world, when they ask, “How can I make a change?” to start showing up to where the groups of black women organizers are working in their communities and following their lead. That’s what I want.

Lewis Howes: I think that’s powerful. I’m very well connected in this community. And I’ve never been invited, nor do I know where to go. So I think —

Sophia Bush: I can—You and I can make a resource list. I’ll invite you all the things.

Lewis Howes: So I think there’s a lot of men who are like, “Sure, I’d love to, but no one ever talks to me. No one ever invites me to these things. No one ever tells me where to look at.” 

Sophia Bush: Sure. 

Lewis Howes:  So I get it [crosstalk] self-starters.

Sophia Bush: You know it requires a bit of research.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, they need to be like —

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: So what are the three accounts on Instagram since everyone’s there that people should follow, to learn more about all this stuff that you’re talking about?

Sophia Bush: Oh my goodness.

Lewis Howes: Either three people, or like a CNN, or just like a media account, or were to three accounts that you think everyone should be following, just to have a general basic knowledge —

Sophia Bush: Yeah. 

Lewis Howes: — of all the challenges that are happening and so that they can least be semi educated.

Sophia Bush: I think that if you want to get educated on what’s happening in communities of color.

Lewis Howes: Shocking.

Sophia Bush: And how to be a supportive ally, follow, sure. But also follow Brittany Packnett

Lewis Howes: Brittany Packnett.

Sophia Bush: Brittany Packnett is one of the most incredible women that I know, and my teacher, and my sister on all things.

Lewis Howes:  Packnett.

Sophia Bush: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes:  Go.

Sophia Bush: I would follow Moms Demand Action, if you want to understand how to fight this crisis that we are having in our country. And it is a crisis. What’s going on with guns? And I say this by the way, I got my first gun when I was 12. Like I’m a long time gun owner. 

Lewis Howes: Yes, like shock like kind of healing — 

Sophia Bush: Yeah, people are like, “Oh, you’re one of those Hollywood liberals who doesn’t know anything.” And I’m like, “You want to go to the range with me because I promise I will [inaudible] you.”

Lewis Howes: Yeah, yeah. [chuckles]

Sophia Bush: You know, I had a conversation with David and a bunch of the Parkland kids about how three days before that shooting. I was at the range with my buddies that are green berets shooting AR-15. I don’t need to take that gun home. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: Nobody needs to take that gun home. And if you need an AR or any kind of long gun to hunt, you really need to get back and do more target practice because like, homie, your bad at your hobby. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah, yeah.

Sophia Bush: Come on. Like, we all know that this is true.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, yeah.

Sophia Bush: So there needs to be a rational sense of what we’re doing.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Sophia Bush: And Moms Demand is like, “Listen, you want to talk about protecting your home? Fine. You don’t need an arsenal to do that. This is not a video games.

Lewis Howes: There’s other ways to do it.

Sophia Bush: There’s no zombie apocalypse coming. And if we’re really having a conversation about like, “Well, we’re supposed to be able to defend ourselves against the military.” Like, “Can you get a predator drone on the internet? Because game over.”

Lewis Howes: Right.

Sophia Bush: Like it’s over. We don’t – civilians will never have tanks or aircraft carriers or whatever. Stop. We have to stop. We have to get saying about the debate. So follow Moms Demand. Oh my gosh, only three. This is so hard.

Lewis Howes: Yeah. Do you don’t overwhelm to be able people too much. [01:05:54]

Sophia Bush: No, I know.

Lewis Howes: You have to give them a taste, you know what I mean?

Sophia Bush: I know, you’re right.

Lewis Howes: [laughs]

Sophia Bush: I post a lot of news every day.

Lewis Howes:They just can follow you. 

Sophia Bush: They can follow me. And then I will point you to all the people to follow. Somebody actually just sent me the nicest comment and was like, “I follow all the accounts you post and I’ve learned so much.” And I thought great, “If I’m you’re the central News source, let’s do this.”

Lewis Howes: [inaudible]

Sophia Bush: Also, I think now this is a really helpful organization for a lot of people because they take whatever issue is at hand and they break it down into a, you know, two to five minute video.

Lewis Howes: Synopsis, yeah.

Sophia Bush: That really explains and gives you an overview and then you can go from there and follow all sorts of people, so yeah.

Lewis Howes: Those are good accounts.

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: I’ll check them out. I’m already following you. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: And now this but Brittany Packert…

Sophia Bush: Brittany Packnett.

Lewis Howes: Packnett

Sophia Bush: Her Instagram handle is mspackyetti, M-S-P-A-C-K-E-T-T-I. Oh no,- -P-A-C-K-Y-E-T-T-I, sorry. She used to be a teacher. And her kids, one of her students couldn’t say Packnett, and she would call her Miss Packyetti.

Lewis Howes: [laughs]

Sophia Bush: And so it’s been her Instagram handle forever and it makes me very irrationally emotional. It’s not my child, but I think it’s very cute.

Lewis Howes:  Oh, it’s cute.

Sophia Bush:  Yeah, she will awaken you to a lot of important things.

Lewis Howes:  Okay, I will follow. Hey, and I’m going to make the call to women and people with any issues that they have a passion for, to also start inviting people.

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes:  That they normally don’t think would come. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: The people you think are against you may not be. 

Sophia Bush: I like that.

Lewis Howes: People that you’re fighting against. There’s a probably a big group of people in that generalization that would be open to learning more. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah. 

Lewis Howes: And I would challenge you to – because no one ever invites me to anything. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah. 

Lewis Howes: And I’m advocating for stuff.

Sophia Bush: But if I may, also, yes, we should be reaching out. And what I would ask of you and so many of your listeners is text me and be like, “Hey, you’re doing all this stuff. I think it’s really interesting, can I come?

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: Cuz you’re right. I didn’t think to text you. But also —

Lewis Howes: But I’m not saying it I got a text  a thousand men over – 

Sophia Bush: Sure.

Lewis Howes:  They don’t know over it yet.

Sophia Bush: No, no, but I think it’s really important. And I think, you know, anytime you are curious, reach out to somebody and say, Can I join? 

Lewis Howes: Sure. 

Sophia Bush: And the really amazing thing is you can tailor your social media life to help show you. So you know, as much as we all hate the Instagram algorithm because it puts us in this vacuum of people who only think like us, if you cultivate who you follow, if you follow advocates, activist, groups…

Lewis Howes:  You’ll see more of this stuff.

Sophia Bush: Your explore page will become more those things.

Lewis Howes: Of course, yeah.

Sophia Bush: You will…

Lewis Howes:  So people are probably weren’t aware of it because I never see it.

Sophia Bush: Yeah. So we can be our own teachers too.

Lewis Howes:  To expose, boss.

Sophia Bush: But yeah, we should invite and we should ask to be invited.

Lewis Howes:  Because sometimes I feel like these, at least the perception when you see the people posted stuff online. You see like the same people who are passionate about the cause together, talking about it together to their audiences, as opposed to like, “Hey, we want to invite you.” And like, and not making people wrong. I think that’s one thing insight. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: It’s like to welcome people, and not make them wrong, and really make an experience because most people aren’t gonna think about it.

Sophia Bush: Yeah, right. Well…

Lewis Howes: They’re not going to think about it. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah. And that’s one of the things when, obviously, you have your head and heart in the right place. But when you ask me a question, like, what are white guy supposed to do? 

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: It’s why I try to get really clear on separating you, Louis and individual.

Lewis Howes:  From the system.

Sophia Bush: From the system.

Lewis Howes:  Yeah.

Sophia Bush: Because I need you to see the system.

Lewis Howes:  Of course.

Sophia Bush: I need you to see it. 

Lewis Howes:  I see it. 

Sophia Bush: And then each of us can see the ways in which we have either unconsciously or passively participated in it.

Lewis Howes: Sure.

Sophia Bush: Because we all have, and then we can figure out how to undo it. 

Lewis Howes:  Yeah, yeah.

Sophia Bush: Because really, what we should do is take all these building blocks, and take a lot of them apart and build something newer and bigger and better for everybody. 

Lewis Howes:  That’s it– we don’t, not one person wins unless we all win. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: You know. It’s about all of us. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: I believe that. There’s so much I want to ask you about your personal life, not in terms of like relationships or stuff.

Sophia Bush: Sure.

Lewis Howes: But I want to ask a few questions. 

Sophia Bush: Okay, Oh god. [laughs]

Lewis Howes: We’ve been gone for a while, and I will respect your time. But I’m curious about

Sophia Bush: No, I’m like I love a long conversation.

Lewis Howes:  I’m curious. Who was the most influential person in your life growing up? And what was that lesson that still sticks with you today? That they taught you, the lesson they taught you?

Sophia Bush: The most influential person in my life growing up. I mean, my mom was incredibly, incredibly influential, which feels like an easy answer, but I’ll give you of.

Lewis Howes:  What was the lesson?

Sophia Bush: Part two.

Sophia Bush: She taught me so much about education, its importance, about independence, you know, and I think that her teaching and encouragement really were things that helped me strive to not sit back, to not be passive, to not hold back.

Lewis Howes: She’s your voice.

Sophia Bush: Yeah. And then truly two of my favorite teachers, my English professor in high school, Peter Goss absolutely helped shape my critical thinking mind and the way that I analyze language, and the way that I feel things that I intake. And then my favorite professor in college, Christopher Smith at USC, still in the communications department, if you’re lucky enough to be his student, and you ever sleep through one of his classes, just like imagine me smacking you on the back of the head. And Professor Smith was the first person who really sat me down and said, “You have a mind that is rare.”

Lewis Howes:  Wow. 

Sophia Bush: “And the way that you analyze things has meaning.” And he said, “When you want to write your first book, come talk to me.” And I was like, “What?”

Lewis Howes:  Wow. Have you written the book yet?

Sophia Bush: No.

Lewis Howes:  What are you waiting for?

Sophia Bush: But we saw each other, we bumped into each other literally in a restaurant in L.A. last year, and we both burst into tears. And everybody was like, “What’s going on?” So we’ve been emailing and yeah, we’re going to get together soon. And I’ll probably ask him some questions about that. 

But, you know, to two incredible influences in my life, and who were people who championed my intellect and my empathy, and perspective and taught me that those things were really valuable. And as much obviously as my mom is probably the most influential person in my young life, we all do this weird thing with the people who are close to us where you’re like, well, you have to think that. You have to say I’m smarter. I’m this or I’m not because you’re my mom or you’re my best friend or whatever. 

So when it’s a person who doesn’t owe it to you, but who shows you that you earn it, I think it’s incredibly powerful. And it’s also not lost on me that these are two of the most influential men in my life, and men who always made me feel safe.

Lewis Howes:  Wow.

Sophia Bush: And who have been incredible allies. 

Lewis Howes:  That’s cool. 

Sophia Bush: You know, I do try to be really conscientious when I have conversations about what women need and deserve to be thankful to that allies, the male allies in my life, because they matter. And yeah, these two guys were like, two of the best.

Lewis Howes:  That’s cool. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes:  Imagine it’s your last day, many years from now. You’re as always you want to be you can pick the day, the year, whatever it is. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes:  One hundred, 200, doesn’t matter, right? What’s the thing that you will regret the most having not done? If it’s your last day, and you didn’t do one thing, what would that thing be? 

Sophia Bush: I mean that’s hard. I want to have done with things.

Lewis Howes: Well imagine you’re going to create it. But what’s the thing that if you didn’t do you’d be like, “Man, that’s my biggest regret that I didn’t do this.” It could be small, it could be a big thing, it could be anywhere in between.

Sophia Bush: That’s so hard because I, when I envision where I will be the things that matter are done.

Lewis Howes:  So what’s the thing that matters the most that if it wasn’t done, you’d regret that you didn’t get it done?

Sophia Bush: It sort of, there’s sort of a tie. I think to me, family is so important. So if I —

Lewis Howes:  Having a family?

Sophia Bush: Yeah, and my family. I mean, and you know, the family that I’ve built with my friends and you know, the – 

Lewis Howes:  Yeah, the world’s family. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah, like the auntie that I am to so many of my friends kids and like my friends, little girl. Can’t say my yet, and she calls me auntie, auntia and it like ruins me. I’m like, do you know that you’re just saying aunt, aunt and it’s like you’re saying aunt in English aunt in Spanish and like my life is destroyed by the cuteness. But yeah.

Lewis Howes:  What about family would you regret?

Sophia Bush: I just think that if I didn’t prioritize family for myself in the way that I prioritize it in my community that would be hard.

Lewis Howes: Interesting.

Sophia Bush: But I plan to so not super worried about it. 

Lewis Howes: Okay.

Sophia Bush: And I think– I think that if I didn’t – I’m like is it what I regret it if I didn’t write the book? Probably, probably. Would I regret it if in, you know, I feel like, I don’t feel like I’ve lived in years. I feel like I’ve lived in phases.

Lewis Howes: Seasons, yeah [chuckles]. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah. And so I’m in this phase that I really like. But I think like two or three phases ahead, I’ll probably run for office, just because I’ll have made the shows and movies I want to make.

Lewis Howes: That all.

Sophia Bush: And tell the stories I wanted to tell and worked in the administration’s I wanted to work in. And I think eventually.

Lewis Howes:  That’s cool. 

Sophia Bush: When I’m on to making sure that my next generations are doing what it is they want to do for their story, in their world, that it’ll be time for me to take everything that I’ve learned and just be full time public service. 

Lewis Howes: Right. It’s powerful. 

Sophia Bush: I think if I didn’t do that, it would be weird. 

Lewis Howes: It would be weird ready, yeah.

Sophia Bush: But you know, I also don’t know what our political system is going to become. So maybe in you know, 20 years I’ll be like, “No, no, I want no part of this.” Or maybe they won’t need me. 

Lewis Howes: They may not need you. 

Sophia Bush: And I’ve done such good work and next phase of the revolution that –

Lewis Howes:  You can be a mom and do whatever you want. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah, who knows we’ll see. 

Lewis Howes:  Exactly. This question is called the three truths. 

Sophia Bush: Okay. 

Lewis Howes:  I asked this to everyone at the end. 

Sophia Bush: Ooh, okay.

Lewis Howes:  So we’re imagining it’s our last day still.

Sophia Bush: Yeah. 

Lewis Howes:  Hundred, 200 years from now, whatever year you want to be your last physical day on earth. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah. 

Lewis Howes: You’ve been in office, you’ve written the book or books you’ve done every story you can imagine. 

Sophia Bush: Okay.

Lewis Howes:  You’ve written them, produce them act and whatever, you’ve done an all. 

Sophia Bush: Okay.

Lewis Howes:  You have no regrets. 

Sophia Bush: Okay.

Lewis Howes: You moved the world that way you wanna do. 

Sophia Bush: Even that one’s before?

Lewis Howes:  You have no more regrets.

Sophia Bush: Okay.

Lewis Howes: You’ve done it all that you’ve like set your mind to do. You’ve got the incredible family you’ve prioritized, done it all. 

Sophia Bush: Yes.

Lewis Howes: You look back and you like I have no regrets. But for whatever reason, this is a hypothetical.

Sophia Bush: Yes.

Lewis Howes: You got to take everything with you. So no one has access to any of the information that you’ve shared in the world anymore. Your books, your content, your videos, your stories, all the TV shows you did as a teenager, all of them gone, right.

Sophia Bush: I mean I’ve learned some very wrong things on some red carpet. I’d like some of those things that would not be accessible anymore.

Lewis Howes: Those will be gone too.

Sophia Bush: Okay, great. 

Lewis Howes:  Everything is gone.

Sophia Bush: No, I mean some of these things could go. I would be really happy. [laughter]

Lewis Howes: Everything is gone. So, imagine it’s all gone. It’s your last day and you have a piece of paper and a pen. And you get to write down three things you know to be true about life that you would leave behind to the world, to humanity as your final kind of three truths to the world. These would be less that you learned that you want people to have kind of like your principles for all of us. What would you say are your three truths?

Sophia Bush: It takes every single one of us and every single one of us is worthy.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: Decisions are only made from two places love or fear. So if you do the work to really break down where you’re coming from, make sure you’re always coming from love.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: And the thing I guess, that I’d want to share again, because you know, yeah, I’m 16 years into like, I was a kid in this business, but like everything I’ve ever said is on the internet. [laughs] And the thing that has resonated the most and been the most shaping for people that I wouldn’t want to be lost is the thing I know to be the most true, which is you are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.

Lewis Howes: That’s good. That’s great.

Sophia Bush: That’s the one I want to leave. 

Lewis Howes:  Hmm. [inaudible] of that. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah. 

Lewis Howes:  So we don’t have to be perfect all the time. 

Sophia Bush: No. 

Lewis Howes: I like it. I think I’ve heard that one before. I’ve heard that but I’m like, I’ve heard that as a truth from anyone we’ve asked that last one.

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: That’s powerful.

Sophia Bush: That’s my thing.

Lewis Howes: What is it you wish more people knew about you that they don’t know? You’re very, you have a lot of information out there, you’re your advocate about a lot of things. What’s something you’re maybe you’re proud of, that maybe people don’t know about or something that a lot of people don’t know?

Sophia Bush: I mean, I think that I really wish that working in the entertainment industry didn’t bring my intellect into question all of the time because anybody who sits down with me goes “Oh, wow. You analyze this?” Well oh, yeah.

Lewis Howes:  Yeah, you are not just an actor [inaudible].

Sophia Bush: And this whole thing of like, shut up and stick to acting. I’m like stick to bank telling what do you do? I don’t know.

Lewis Howes:  [laughs] Right.

Sophia Bush:  I wish there was just a little less kind of nastiness or reductive assumption made. That would be nice. 

Lewis Howes:  Yeah. 

Sophia Bush: But I don’t know. I mean, there’s a lot that I do anonymously because I don’t need people to know. I don’t need a credit. I just really, I really want to always be the best advocate I can be and help to call people in and do the work I’ve been asked to do by the people who I value in my life.

Lewis Howes:  Yeah.

Sophia Bush: I don’t know. I wish I do just wish that in general, women who take up space in the public sphere were respected for who they are, rather than constantly attacked.

Lewis Howes:  Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: That would be really nice. Also, I really wish people would use Google and like, know that I am not related to the Bush family. My dad is an immigrant. My mom is first gen American. I was talking about the really upsetting thing a stat was published this week that the Walton family profited $56.2 billion on Walmart last year in 2018. And that the American taxpayers ponied up $6.2 billion in tax money to subsidize housing, healthcare, food stamps, etc., for Walmart employees. 

Lewis Howes:  Wow.

Sophia Bush: Because they’re not paid living wages, and they’re not given full health care benefits. And I said this is a problem

Lewis Howes:  Um-hmm.

Sophia Bush: But can you be happy with 30 billion instead of 60? I don’t understand, why are you not taking care of your people? Why do we allow this in this country? There is a problem that the super wealthy are allowed to operate this way. And Like, I mean, maybe they’re all Russian bots, who knows? But the number of people who were like hilarious, like “Your dynasty family, what do you know? You’re from a billionaire? And I’m like, “No, I’m not.” Like “I had to help my dad study for his citizenship test when I was 12 and at least if you want to insult me, please do it…”

Lewis Howes:  Know the facts.

Sophia Bush: Do it with something that could be even in the realm of factual because like, I’ve also been on TV for so long, like, maybe you should answer this question for yourself by now. 

Lewis Howes:  Yeah. [laughs]

Sophia Bush: You know, just like silly things where I’m like, “Do we still have to have this debate?”

Lewis Howes:  Yeah.

Sophia Bush: I’m like, “No, I’m not. I’m not related to them.

Lewis Howes:  That’s funny. Final couple of questions. But I—you got a podcast coming out. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah. 

Lewis Howes:  Tell me what the podcast is it’s more of this? Is it? What is it?

Sophia Bush: Yeah, it’s more of this. So, so many people over the years have said, do a column, do a podcast, do something take the writing and the advocacy and the idea is about self-care, and the journey, and evolution and whatever into a bigger space because, you know, I write these essays on Instagram.

Lewis Howes:  Yes. They’re great.

Sophia Bush: That’s only as long as allowed to be. And I think for a while maybe I was a little intimidated to do that or maybe a little stuck in like the imposter syndrome feedback loop or something. But coming on so many great podcasts, and then going and doing so many public speaking engagements. I went, oh, this really resonates with people. 

Lewis Howes:  Yeah.

Sophia Bush: And that quote that I gave to you, your masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously has really resonated with people. And it has traveled the world and it’s taken on a life of its own. And I thought, so many of us are stuck in this space, where we look through the screen, and we think everybody else has it figured out. 

Lewis Howes:  Perfect, yeah.

Sophia Bush: Everybody else is in the master piece.

Lewis Howes:  Caring.

Sophia Bush: And I don’t know what I’m doing. And I’m the one who’s struggling. And I thought, you know, we’re all over a working progress. And so that’s the podcast is called Work In Progress. 

Lewis Howes:  There you go. 

Sophia Bush: It is an interview series. And it’s really frank, obviously, I know you’re shocked.

Lewis Howes:  [laughs]

Sophia Bush: Sometimes it’s very funny, and it’s professional and personal, and a little historical with people. And it’s it’s deep, and it’s sweet. And it’s political sometimes. I know you’re shocked again.

Lewis Howes:  [laughs]

Sophia Bush: But not all the time and it really just has created a space to have thought provoking conversations to look at systems to look at justice, to look at comedy. With Whitney Cummings, we were looking at sex robots like, you know.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, she has had too. You’re the same thing. It’s great.

Sophia Bush: Yeah. It’s crazy and fun. And I’m very; I’m just very excited about it.

Lewis Howes:  It’s amazing. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes:  And they can get it everywhere. Apple, Spotify. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah, it would be everywhere.

Lewis Howes:  Work In Progress. Is it are you posting about it on Instagram right now too?

Sophia Bush: Not yet. We haven’t announced it yet.

Lewis Howes: It’s not announced yet.

Sophia Bush: But when this comes out it will be out and, yeah.

Lewis Howes: It will be out, yeah, exactly.

Sophia Bush: The whole thing, yeah.

Lewis Howes: So Work In Progress, make sure you download it when this comes out. Go subscribe right now.

Sophia Bush: Please.

Lewis Howes: When you listen to this, and send a DM to Sofia Screenshot and let her know you’re listening and share your thoughts with her. 

Sophia Bush: Yeah. I love people’s feedback. Last year, I went on Dax’s Podcast and we had a great chat. 

Lewis Howes:  He’s great. 

Sophia Bush: And like the feedback from people.  People, there’s something about podcasts, people are so open and frank, and it was very [crosstalk]. 

Lewis Howes:  Spon filtered.

Sophia Bush: Yeah, I’m so I’m excited.

Lewis Howes:  It’s amazing. I’m excited for you. 

Sophia Bush: I’m excited to do it.

Lewis Howes: Welcome to the community.

Sophia Bush: Thank you.

Lewis Howes: The podcast world.

Sophia Bush: I know, I finally was like, “Okay, alright.”

Lewis Howes: You finally did it. 

Sophia Bush: And now I’m loving it.

Lewis Howes: That’s good. 

Sophia Bush: And now it’s my favorite projects I’ve ever worked on.

Lewis Howes:  It’s amazing. I’m excited for you. We support your Work In Progress. Make sure to check it out. Follow Sophia, @sophiabush, everywhere. Before I ask the final question –

Sophia Bush: Ooh!

Lewis Howes: I want to acknowledge you one more time. Like I acknowledge you in the beginning but I don’t know you that well. And I feel like I got to know you a lot better now. And I really love your heart and your intentions. 

Sophia Bush: Thanks.

Lewis Howes:  And again, I want to just reiterate like, you can be doing a lot of things just like looking for the bigger gig and putting up with certain things that you don’t agree with because of the paycheck or because of the fame or credibility or whatever. And I think it’s really cool that you do what you do and you continue to stand for so many people who maybe don’t have the opportunity to stand as high as you could in this moment. And the fact that you care so deeply about humanity, about the environment about these issues, I think is really important. And I think a lot of people can learn a lot from you and I’m inspired by you. So I appreciate you. I acknowledge you. And thank you for all that you do for all of us. It means a lot to so many. So if you haven’t heard it enough yet, I really appreciate your heart. 

Sophia Bush: Thanks. 

Lewis Howes:  That’s powerful. Yeah.

Sophia Bush: That means a lot. 

Lewis Howes:  Of course.

Sophia Bush: I do really appreciate that. 

Lewis Howes:  Of course. Yeah. 

Sophia Bush: It’s very kind when someone offers you a mirror in that way. 

Lewis Howes:  Yeah.

Sophia Bush: And we don’t get to look in them all that often. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah, I know.

Sophia Bush: You know. A lot of the world is overwhelming, and stressful, and intense. And so I appreciate like a graceful vulnerable moment, thank you.

Lewis Howes:  Of course. Yeah. Final question. What’s your definition of greatness?

Sophia Bush: Just a casual simple little question, definition of greatness. Yikes. 

Lewis Howes: Your own personal definition.

Sophia Bush: Integrity.

Lewis Howes: Hmm.

Sophia Bush: I think greatness requires that we show up, and stand up, and speak up because success accolades when it like, none of it really makes anybody happier. I get that it makes your life easier and that’s clear.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Sophia Bush: But what it what is mean? Where does the purpose come from? I think the purpose comes from standing with and for others and making sure that you’re in your integrity. And when you’re not like you said earlier, you got to own it and know that it doesn’t make you a bad person but know that you’re capable of better. 

Lewis Howes:  Absolutely. 

Sophia Bush: And then try to do better.

Lewis Howes:  That’s it, Sophia.

Sophia Bush: Yeah.

Lewis Howes:  You’re the best. Thanks so much. 

Sophia Bush: Thank you.

Lewis Howes:  Amazing. Appreciate it.

[background music]

Lewis Howes:  Oh, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I love diving deep. I love talking about the challenging topics. I love getting uncomfortable and I’m so grateful for all the work and the inspiration that Sophia brings to the world. Make sure to follow Sophia over on Instagram and share this on your Instagram story. Tag her @sophiabush, tag myself, Lewis Howes. I’m sure she’d love to hear from you over on Instagram stories. And put the link of this podcast over there as well or just take a screenshot of this right now, on your Apple Podcast Player, on Spotify, wherever you’re listening to this, and share it on your Instagram story, on Twitter, on social media and text one friend today. You can be a champion. You can be a hero in someone’s life today. If you send them this link, and ask them, what do you think about this? What’s your biggest takeaway? Engage with someone in your life where you can start a conversation, where you can inspire them to grow with you. Keep your friends, your family accountable. That’s what this is all about. So share it with one friend over a text or WhatsApp group message, or any way you want to send them a message, send them a message with this link. And ask them their thoughts on this interview, and send it to him saying, “Hey, I thought you would enjoy this as well.”

If this is your first time here, big thank you for being here. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we bring you the most inspirational people in the world to teach you how to unlock your own greatness to learn the lessons, to figure out how to overcome our challenges, our insecurities, our shame, our lack of understanding of the world and bring us a better understanding of ourselves to it. 

If you enjoyed it, leave a review over on Apple podcast. I don’t care if you leave a one star review, a five star review. I just want to hear from you. So leave a review, click the subscribe button over on Apple podcast and let me know what you think. We’re always trying to make this better. 

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A big thank you to our sponsors for helping us continue to make this a better show. And I want to hear from you. I want to hear from you on who you think we should have in the future. We’ve got some amazing guests coming up. I’m so excited for you to hear these guests. But go ahead and send me a message over on Instagram. And if you have a direct connection to that individual, someone who’s in the top of the world at what they do, someone who is an inspiration to millions of people, someone that has information or a skill set that very few people have. I want to know who they are. Send me a direct message, Lewis Howes on Instagram. And if you have a direct connection to them, just let me know, because I would love to hear about who these people are. 

Again, Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.” 

Again, you are a one of a kind. You are a special gift that was brought to this world that was brought to humanity for a reason. I hope you understand this. And you were born with so much love in your heart, so much purity, love and kindness in your heart. We have a long way to go, together, you and me, to learn more about this world, to learn more about equality, about humanity, about how we can improve as an individual and as a community. It’s a global citizens. And I hope you continue learning every single week. Whether you’re coming to The School of Greatness Podcast or you’re learning from friends, and checking out community events. I hope you continue to grow. I hope you continue to serve others, serve the community and be of service to yourself. And know that I love you. I’m here for you. I appreciate you so very much. And you know what time it is. It’s time to go out there and do something great.


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