School of GreatnessSometimes, when you see a truly amazing person speak or watch a mind-blowing TED talk on YouTube or witness a show-stopping performance, you feel a rush of inspiration run through your body. You wonder, “How on earth did that person become who they are today?”

You may be the type of person who takes that inspiration and runs with it. Or you may be the type of person who looks on admiringly, assuming you’ll never be like that.

But what if you could be that great? What if there was a formula to create greatness . . . in anyone?

That is the question Lewis Howes has asked himself for most of his life. As a kid he was the rejected, awkward student who struggled in school and had no friends. But once he discovered his passion and talent for sports, he began to channel all of his energy and frustration into athletics.

That led to many achievements in football and the decathlon (including breaking a world record), but it wasn’t enough for him. He still wanted to be great.

After a career-ending injury, he found himself recovering on his sister’s couch, broke and clueless about what to do next. But he again channeled his frustration and energy into learning new skills and built a multi-million dollar business as an online marketing consultant in just a few short years. But it wasn’t enough for him. He still wanted to be great.

He sold his half of the company to his business partner and went back to the drawing board. This time, he started to think beyond himself. What would make a truly great impact on the world? He realized it needed to be focused on serving other people.

So he started a new kind of school, which he called The School of Greatness. In the form of a podcast, he began to interview the best and brightest minds in the world about their insight on what makes greatness.

Today, he has published hundreds of episodes, has millions of downloads and shares the microphone with superstars like Tony Robbins, Julianne Hough, Arianna Huffington and Scooter Braun.

I was honored to be on Lewis’ podcast a few months ago, listen to the episode here:

As a summary of the lessons he has learned in greatness so far and as a way to give back to an even bigger audience, he wrote a book, The School of Greatness, sharing the top 8 things he has learned great people do to achieve success.

Here are his lessons of greatness:

1. Create a Vision

Think about what you want to create in your life and how you want to live – as if anything is possible. Without a crystal clear vision of what you are going to accomplish, you won’t know where to start. If you need to try on a few ideas before you commit, go ahead, but take action and start creating something you are excited about.

2. Turn Adversity Into Advantage

Adversity serves as a choice point for each one of us.  We can choose to play into a victim mindset and give our power away, or we can use challenges as opportunities to learn, grow and become stronger. As soon as you realize you have a choice in adversity, you also realize you are in control.

3. Cultivate a Champion’s Mindset

An unshakeable belief in yourself and your potential may sound like a tall order, but it’s 100% possible to create. In fact, it’s essential if you want to graduate from average to great. Reconnect with your strengths, your passion and your ambition and cement those into your mindset.

4. Develop Hustle

If you are going to be great, you have to be willing to do what average people are unwilling to do. Hustle means sacrifice, sweat, hard work, long days and crazy determination – but it’s also worth it. When you hustle you are in good company; it’s how all the A players got to where they are.

5. Master Your Body

Despite all the noise about what the best workout and diet truly is, it’s less important that you find the perfect rules to follow and more important that you are conscious of your body and health everyday. The truth is, that your body is the vehicle that allows you to do what you were born to do. Once you respect that, you’ll find the discipline to take care of your body and constantly work on improving it.

6. Practice Positive Habits

We are all experts at forming and keeping habits – some of them are good and a lot of them are bad. A huge part of greatness is using our ability to form habits to our advantage. It takes a lot of energy to make decisions all day long, so the more good habits you can create, the less energy you have to spend on deciding what to do for every part of your day.

7. Build a Winning Team

Playing solo (AKA perfectionism) might have gotten you this far, but it’s not going to get you to your full potential. The best and biggest accomplishments are never achieved by a single person. Invest in the right kinds of relationships that complement your weaknesses and allow you to focus on your strengths.

8. Live a Life of Service

You can achieve greatness by just focusing on pursuing your own selfish interests, but it’s not going to feel great. You’ll discover quickly that greatness which only serves you is empty. Build giving back and serving others into every part of your journey and you’ll find fulfillment and happiness long before you reach your goal of greatness.

I am so excited for Lewis’ book and his lessons. If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of his book the School of Greatness or check out his podcast — you won’t regret it!

Hi, I'm Vanessa!

Hi, I'm Vanessa!

Lead Investigator, Science of People

I'm the author of the national bestselling book Captivate, creator of People School, and human behavioral investigator in our lab.

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