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SPI 661: Understanding The Greatness Mindset with Lewis Howes

What happens when you finally achieve your goals may surprise you—and not in a good way. You see, many people who chase success find both the journey and the destination unfulfilling.

But what if, instead of success, you aimed for greatness?

This is the focus of this incredibly powerful conversation with my good friend, Lewis Howes. As many of you know, Lewis hosts The School of Greatness—with over 500 million downloads, his podcast is one of the most popular out there! He’s been on the show before in episodes 029, 056, 187, and 541. Lewis is back today for another game-changing chat centered around the learnings from his new book, The Greatness Mindset.

How does a serve-first mentality help you achieve more than you ever thought possible?

In this episode, Lewis shares his tips for finding and pursuing a meaningful mission. We talk about his framework for work-life balance, transforming your weaknesses into superpowers, overcoming challenges, and much more.

The advice and strategies we discuss today are invaluable for all entrepreneurs. You won’t want to miss this fantastic session with Lewis, so tune in and enjoy!

Today’s Guest

Lewis Howes

Lewis Howes is a New York Times best-selling author, keynote speaker, and industry-leading show host. Howes is a two-sport All-American athlete, former professional football player, and member of the U.S.A. Men’s National Handball Team. His show The School of Greatness is one of the top podcasts in the world with over 500 million downloads. He was recognized by the White House and President Obama as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the country under 30.

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SPI 661: Understanding The Greatness Mindset with Lewis Howes

Lewis Howes: I’ve had the privilege of interviewing a lot of great, world-class athletes. Kobe Bryant, when I had him on, he didn’t say, “You know what? I got here on my own. I got here from this coach. I don’t need any other coaches now that I’m at the top.” He said, “I actually need to invest in more coaches and to find specific coaches to help me in different parts of my game and my life and my health and my nutrition.” That supports a lot of great athletes get to the top and stay at the top. And so why would we not invest in support? It doesn’t have to be in a coach, but just having someone who can support you in different ways. For me, it’s been a game changer.

Pat Flynn: You know, with now over 660 episodes of the podcast recorded, it’s become very clear that success in business and success in your entrepreneurial journey just doesn’t come from creating great business goals and taking action on them. There’s a lot more to the puzzle. And a lot more meaning your mind, your body, and the relationships that you have around the business that you’re creating, and the relationships that you have in your life, and the support system that you have, et cetera.

And there’s nobody best that I can think of to talk about this other than our amazing guest today. Our featured guest, Lewis Howes, who is from The School of Greatness. You might know that podcast name. He’s interviewed some incredible people, and every time I listen to one of his interviews, he’s one of the podcasts I am subscribed to, he just goes really deep and gets into the mindset of these different athletes, and top businessmen and women, and neurosurgeon, like all types of high profile people, he gets really deep and he understands the patterns. And he’s even put a lot of that into his new book, The Greatness Mindset. And I wanted to bring Lewis on, not just to talk about his book, but to really go in deep with him and his journey and how he is healed from a lot of things that have happened in the, in the recent past.

And what are the lessons that we can take from that. You know, he’s been on the show multiple times before, but I think this is by far the most important interview he’s had here on the podcast, and I’m saying this after having just recorded this interview that you are about to listen to. I had such an amazing time.

Now flipping the script, because now Lewis usually interviews others in this way. Now I’m interviewing him and we get deep into the book and we do a fun little exercise at the end where we incorporate a lot of the learnings that he teaches in here for somebody who perhaps is maybe 20 just coming out of college, and then again to somebody who’s maybe in their mid thirties to forties, and then somebody who’s more in their latter years of their life.

How do we best approach our lives with greatness in mind? And what does greatness mean for each of those different age levels? So no matter where you’re at, I hope this is for you. This is session 661 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast with my great friend, Lewis House, author of the new book, The Greatness Mindset.

Here he is.

Announcer: Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, where it’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, the one thing he’ll never outsource are his slides for presentations. Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Lewis, welcome back to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, I think for the third or even fourth time, but I’m just so excited to connect with you again.

I know it’s been a while.

Lewis Howes: It’s good to chat, man, miss you brother, and congrats. What is this? 11 years for you? For the podcast now.

Pat Flynn: For for the podcast. 13 years, actually.

Lewis Howes: 13 years. It’s incredible, man.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. It’s so old now that you don’t even know the number. It’s like our age, you know, when you get past 25, it’s like, I don’t even know how old I am anymore.

It’s that old now.

Lewis Howes: Hey, it’s inspiring.

Pat Flynn: You too and your YouTube channel especially hundreds of millions of views, and every time I see you on Instagram, you’re interviewing somebody who, like people would dream to talk to, like what’s been a recent interview that you’ve just absolutely loved having?

Lewis Howes: Ah, man. I, there’s a, like a therapist named Gabor Mate who has been kind of doing the rounds, who’s really inspiring, talking about trauma, healing wounds. And for me that’s just been like the last few years of me jamming out on that stuff because I think that’s where the most joy, peace, love, abundance comes from when you can have a lot of peace internally and heal the things that haven’t been holding you back or causing you to doubt yourself or causing you to have fears.

So he’s been great. I’m a big fan of Dr. Joe Dispenza. Every time I have him on, I’ve learned a lot about neuroscience and all that stuff is fun for me.

Pat Flynn: That’s so cool. Well, everybody should already be subscribed. If you’re not School of Greatness on your favorite podcast app, I wanted to ask you a question that most podcasters end with, in fact, and that is, and the reason I’m asking this is because I noticed the dedication on your new book, the Greatness Mindset, it was a dedication to your younger self. Yeah. Which I thought was really interesting. If you could go back in time with that dedication in mind in this new book of yours, if you could talk to your younger self, like what, what are you telling your younger self and and why is that important to hear?

Lewis Howes: It’s interesting because I’ve had these conversations with my younger self many times in the last couple years with all the healing and the journey I’ve been on. But I would say I love. I would say, I love you, I accept you, you’re worthy, you matter. It’s all gonna be okay. And I think a lot of us, when we’re younger, we, we go through a lot of times we don’t accept ourselves fully.

We’re insecure, we’re afraid, we’re uncertain of what’s gonna happen. We make a lot of stupid mistakes that we’re not proud of, and then we shame ourselves for it later in our life. And so I would just tell myself, my younger self, thank you for going through what you went through. You got us here. You know, you, you did your best with the tools that were available to you, and I’m proud of you.

And I think that’s what a lot of us want to hear at different stages of our lives from others, and yet we rarely share it to ourselves.

Pat Flynn: Well, it’s hard when you’re in the moment of trauma or something happens in your life, it’s hard to just consider that it could get better or that it will be worth it.

What was a time in your past where you didn’t believe in yourself and you had a lot of that, those negative thoughts and self-doubt, like what was going through your mind and how did you turn that around?

Lewis Howes: I think I was. For most of my life, doubting myself internally, but externally, I was putting on a face of confidence and a, and a false sense of confidence.

I was still willing to take the actions.

Pat Flynn: From the moment I met you, I always envious of, of you and this composure you had. Your chest was always up. You seemed to, from my perspective when we first met, To have always had it together. Right, when you first came on the show, you were rocking it on LinkedIn.

Yep. You like, I was like, I’m envious of this guy. But it seems like there was something else going on inside that, that all of us didn’t even see.

Lewis Howes: You know, we’ve all heard the, the the line, fake it till you make it. And I think I was really good at faking it and projecting like, okay, make sure you stand with your shoulders back, act like you have confidence, but internally, I didn’t feel like it was a matched or aligned with the external projection.

In my later my thirties, I was kind of like, you know what? Fake it till you make, it really can only take you so far, but you need to face it and embrace it so that you can make it at that point. And that’s really about doing the deeper work. I feel like it’s really about accepting yourself fully. It’s about healing the things that have been holding you back, that are causing you to fake it.

You know you’re faking something cuz you don’t fully own and claim and believe in yourself. You don’t fully accept yourself. So you fake something that you’re not to be accepted by others. And when I learned to do a lot, and especially in the last two years, two years ago is when things started to be a different level of healing.

You know, I started 10 years ago, opening up for the first time about sexual abuse that I went through when I was a kid. So for 25 years I was kind of holding onto this shame, pain, insecurity, this feeling of like, if people actually knew this about no one will love me. No one will accept me. No one will be my friend.

You know, I’ll be broken alone for the rest of my life if people knew this. So that’s what caused me to feel like I need to accomplish and succeed and have awards and success on the outside so that people would like me and accept me. And it wasn’t until I was about 30 years old when things started to shift.

It wasn’t an overnight transformation. It’s been a 10 year healing journey. But at 30, when I met you, it was before then, I was more about competition. I was more about success about winning, about looking good, about being right, and that got me certain results, but it left me feeling like it wasn’t enough.

And when I hit 30 and then every couple years, I just kept growing into it more and more. It became more about collaboration over competition. It became more about seeing others succeed and lifting others up as opposed to me needing to the, the center of attention and it’s really one of the reasons why I started the School of Greatness, cuz I wanted it to be about a platform to serve others.

Not just like, how do we make it about me all the time, but how can I lift others up? And it was a, a big shift in the way I’d been, maybe the previous five to seven years in marketing and in business and in my life because I wanted to be successful growing up. And I accomplished different levels of success for me that were meaningful, but they weren’t fulfilling.

And it wasn’t until I realized that, you know, success is for us, greatness is for others. When I realized, okay, I don’t want to achieve success, I want to be great. And that includes being of service to the people around you, friends, family, community. Whatever that might be, and making sure that everyone wins around you, not just you.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. I’ve definitely noticed now that you’ve pointed a lot of this out, that how, how you and, and many people in this space who are still here, I mean, we were kind of old school in the, in the marketing world and, and many people have come and many people have gone, and there’s, there’s a few of us left from the, from the blogging days, the, this level of maturity that has come about.

Right. I think that that word there sort of encompasses what you and I both have gone through in different ways. Everybody has their own maturity journey. And for you, like what, what does maturity mean in your, in your world, how are you reacting to things that might be external that, that, that oftentimes you cannot control, man.

You know what I mean? How are you doing that, man?

Lewis Howes: Yeah, I mean, I think maturity means courage to be honest. And it means emotional courage. You know, as a, as a man growing up in, you know, the eighties, nineties, the courage was more of a physical act. There was never about an emotional courage that was talked about, at least where I grew up.

I think that’s, that’s been the transition, is having emotional courage to respond differently than, re reacting from a wound and responding from a, a journey of healing and a journey of peace. And there’s so many things that have happened in the last, last couple years that have tested me to say, okay, are you gonna keep reacting in the old way?

Which is when I felt like someone took advantage of me, or always did something wrong or made a mistake or whatever. I would get reactive and be frustrated. And now I notice myself just responding a little bit differently. It doesn’t mean I’m not gonna get like frustrated or mad or upset or something, but I used to want to just , I don’t know, destroy people, punch a hole.

All yeah. Just like, just be like, ah, I just, you did this horrible thing. Like you know, just be so reactive and tell ’em exactly how I felt and react and scream or whatever it was. And there have been some things in the last couple years where, you know, employees that are no longer here did some things where they stole money or they lied and they cheated and they did all these manipulative things that if it was 5, 7, 10 years ago, I would’ve been going, you know, bananas in some ways with my reactions and I’m much more of like, okay, this is upsetting and it’s frustrating.

But here’s how we can handle it here. How do we handle it from a different level of consciousness? How do we handle this from a, a different level of leadership of, you know, all these different things, a different level of a healing journey. And that has been the biggest difference in my awareness and my reflection.

And also the people around me who are, who know me best from the past. They’re like, you would’ve never reacted like this, you know, 10 years ago, I’ve just been so committed to the healing journey, growth, transformation, coaching, getting therapy, doing workshops, like constantly trying stuff to say. How can I continue to have tools to support my highest self, not the version of me that wants to you know, be right and win all the time.

Pat Flynn: So you’re going to therapy and getting coaching for yourself, not just being a coach, but you, you’re receiving.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, every two weeks. Every two weeks. For the last two years I’ve been doing therapy slash coaching. I don’t really know if, I don’t really call it a therapy anymore. It’s really like a coaching session of the emotions and of becoming a better human being.

I’ve gone through so many different sessions with my coach who coaches in a therapeutic way about healing the past, about healing the different stages of my psychological past, about childhood, about all these different things, intimacy, relationships. It’s, that’s what it’s really for, is healing. It’s, we don’t really talk about business or that type of coaching.

I have other business coaches for that, but this has been one of the biggest game changers for me is the, the emotional consistent accountability, and I did it for six months during a previous relationship that I was like trying to make work, we were doing it together and I was doing it individually because it wasn’t, our relationship wasn’t working and I was forcing things as opposed to just having the courage to walk away when I knew we wanted alignment with what we wanted in life.

But I lacked the emotional courage. That’s why I say courage is a, is a big thing. And after like five or six months of doing the work with her, I finally had the courage to end the relationship, and I felt like I learned the tools of healing stuff that was holding me back. I was abandoning myself consistently in this relationship and all my relationships.

Previously, I just kept repeating a pattern that I hadn’t healed yet, so it wasn’t, these relationships I was in was nothing about them. It was always about me. So I lacked the courage to leave. Because I was afraid of someone being upset at me. I was afraid of whatever might happen. And when I did this intensive kind of six months of, of therapy coaching, I had such incredible benefits internally.

I felt peace. I felt calm. Under stress and chaos, under transition from a breakup, I felt like, okay, I can handle all the stresses that this person was trying to throw my way and the relationship and I’ve never been able to feel this way under stress. So I said, let me pay for the, the rest of the year in advance and just keep going on my own.

Cuz we were doing couples and individual and I said, lemme just pay for the rest of the year in advance. And I kept saying, okay, how can I just keep breaking through the different things that might be holding me back? Yeah, I started at 2021 the beginning of January, and then after these the breakup, I, I went for another six months for the end of the year.

And then at the end of 2021 I said, I’m gonna pay for a year in advance for 2022. So last year I just kept realizing the benefit of having emotional accountability consistently. And then I realized like, okay, I don’t really have like something I’m working on anymore that’s affecting me. Like it was, so how can I planning for the future and investing emotional courage into things that I want to create in the future that I’ve never done that might be scary or figure out what might come my way and be prepared for it. So I spent all of last year doing that and I’ve invested again for this year just cuz I see the benefits of having accountability.

And as you know, you’ve interviewed a lot of great people. I’ve had the privilege of interviewing a lot of great world-class athletes and you know Kobe Bryant, when I had him on, when he won the championship, he didn’t say, you know, what I got here on my own. I got here from this coach. I don’t need any other coaches now that I’m at the top.

He said I actually need to invest in more coaches and to find specific coaches to help me in different parts of my game and my life and my health and my nutrition. And it’s the investment in the support, the investment in the feedback that coaching that supports a lot of great athletes get to the top and stay at the top.

And so why would we not invest in support? It doesn’t have to be in a coach, but just having someone who can support you in different ways with your health and wellness, your finances, your spiritual growth, and your emotional growth. So for me, it’s been a game changer.

Pat Flynn: That’s amazing. You know, it’s interesting, it reminds me of goal setting practices that I teach and that I, I learn, I have coaches and mentors as.

And one thing I’ve noticed with the most successful people in life, not just business but in life, is that they approach goal setting in a more holistic way where it’s, you know, business is just one arm of the entire picture. And very much, especially our listeners, are so focused on entrepreneurship and business.

It was you and me back in the early days too, where we are hyper focused on winning and succeeding. Oftentimes, other parts of our lives are affected as a result of that. So in, in, in the world of the greatness mindset, what is the approach for having holistic greatness in life? Not just greatness for one thing in particular, but, but overall, how do we, how do we keep that balance and make sure all the most important parts of our lives are taken care of?

Lewis Howes: Well, with the framework that I’ve kind of learned over the last, my whole life really, but up in the last kind of five, 10 years has been reversing everything. Whereas again, like you said, we, we used to focus on numbers and results in business and entrepreneurship is kind of like our main goals. And now it’s number one, it’s health first.

It’s what’s the health metric that we’d like to create, how we, we’d like to feel intentionally. Physically and internally. So for me it’s about creating the health vision first. Then it’s about having the relationships. Cuz if you’re sick, it’s hard to be show up for people in your life with full energy.

So it’s about having the right energy and the right feelings first. So you can have clear minds. So you can have the energy to show up in the relationships, the communities of our lives, which make life more meaningful. You know, those that have good relationships and quality tend to live longer based on studies, you know, have more rich interactions in life than those that don’t.

And then from there it goes to, you know, your vision and your meaningful mission in your career, your purpose around making money or your business. And for me, I feel like that’s the, that’s equally as meaningful, but if you don’t have the health and the relationships figured out first, then all the money and the success is selfish for yourself as opposed to including others around you.

And if you’ve got a lot of money, but you’re sick, you know, people will give up all their money in the world when they’re terminally ill to have more life. And so focus on health. Focus on the internal environment you want to create by creating an environment of abundance, of peace, of joy internally, so that you can have the energy externally to have beautiful relationships and then create what you want with your, with your purpose.

Pat Flynn: It’s so amazing cuz health is usually the thing that gets put last. It was for me when I started my business, that’s for sure. I, I remember running up the stairs with my son and getting so tired. It was just like 12 steps in my home and he was just born and I was holding him.

He wasn’t running yet, but I was holding him and I was huffing and puffing and I was, what’s gonna happen when he is playing soccer? Like, I’m gonna be sitting down because I just can’t even keep up with him. This is not worth it. I gotta focus on me and my body and my, my mind. And that’s when I did like P 90 X and all this other stuff and, and tried to figure my way into the right health regime.

Now this book is not a health book, but health is a part of it. And if not, the first domino.

Lewis Howes: I think it is. I think it is. I think it’s the foundation for everything you wanna create and manifest. And I think, again,

Pat Flynn: Yeah, that’s so different than, than other life and business books that, I mean, usually it’s just what are your goals and business and, and, and maybe like, what are your goals in retirement?

Sure. Like, what, what’s your vision for later? But if you’re unhealthy, then none of that stuff really matters. Right?

Lewis Howes: Yeah. I mean, it. It’s, it’s helpful. It’s helpful to have money and to accomplish these things, but you’ll always be going back into the health. I mean, so what if we can create a system for our lives where we scheduled in the most meaningful things in our schedule on our calendar, and for me, the health is the most important, so most of the days I scheduled in first thing in the morning to take care of it.

Why delay the thing we care about the most or we’re going to care about the most when we’re older? So I try to focus on it now to make my future self proud of the actions I took before. Then it’s making sure that I am in great relationships. and being aware and attentive to the relationships that need work or attention and making sure I’m showing up every day in the most important one.

So my, my intimate partnership with my girlfriend Martha, is extremely important to me. So there’s a number of things that I do every single day to enrich that relationship. And the more I appreciate her, the more she appreciates in value the more she wants to give in return and the more we are in alignment of supporting one another.

So I’m every day, I appreciate her. Every day, I’m grateful for her, and I explain it to her and I talk to her about it. And it’s just constantly being in you know, having a good system in place and making sure you’re clear on what is really meaningful for you. There are I think two things that hold people back in whatever it is in their life, their relationships, their, their career, their business, their health.

I think there’s really two main things. One is people are typically not clear on a meaningful mission. Like you said, they have goals, they have dreams, but those goals and dreams are typically geared around selfish reasons about what’s gonna make them look good and feel good. And impress people and, you know, make their parents proud or whatever it might be, or what they think they’re, they should be going after cuz they see their friends doing it.

And then again, there’s nothing wrong with having goals and dreams. I’ve had them my whole life, but mine we’re focused around selfish reasons for me to look good. They were focused around success. And when we only create success, dreams, and goals for me, there’s gonna be something missing at some point. There’s gonna be something lacking.

But when we create a meaningful mission that empowers others as well, that is in service to others, not just about success for me, that’s when it becomes more renewable energy. That’s where you feel like you can wake up every morning and do challenging things when they get really, really tough because there’s something bigger than just serving you.

It’s serving others. And that’s why I think a lot of people aren’t clear on a meaningful mission. They’re clear on goals and dreams sometimes. Most of the time they’re not, but it’s going on what’s gonna impact others around you. That’s number one. Number two is a lot of people allow self-doubt to hold them back from taking action.

They might be clear on that, but they still doubt themselves. And there are three main causes that we doubt ourselves. The fear of failure, the fear of success, or the fear of judgment, opinions of other people. And I was never afraid of failure or success per se, because as an athlete, Pat, I knew that failure was a part of the process to accomplishing success.

Like you drop the ball, you, you practice every day to get better at catching the ball for the game the next week, and it’s just all a process of like becoming successful. It was the feedback necessary to learn what you needed to know. It wasn’t failure and so I always wanted success. And I wasn’t afraid to fail, but a lot of people, the fear of failure is massive and the fear of success is equally massive because the weight of gold is such a big thing for people when they are successful.

Now other people expect something from them consistently. Now they’ve gotta show up differently. Now they’re, their friends think they’re better than them and they, they leave the tribe and all these different things. So there’s a fear of that. My fear was always around being judged by other people. No matter what happened, I was just fear of other people’s opinions, and at the root of either one of these fears that causes us to doubt ourselves is the feeling that I am not enough, I’m not enough. And if we live in a space consistently with this, whether consciously or unconsciously of I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not talented enough, I’m not worthy enough. If we have that inside of us, then we’re always gonna be making decisions and actions that aren’t the highest version of ourself actions, and we could accomplish things and we can generate success and results. But again, if they are not in alignment and we don’t learn the process of healing, of overcoming the self-doubt through healing and accepting ourselves, which is taking me a journey to figure out how to do, and a lot of pain, a lot of challenge, and we don’t get clear on our meaningful mission.

Then there’s always gonna feel like there’s something missing. There’s always gonna feel like there’s a little stress or pain in our heart. There’s always gonna feel like something’s off or I’m feeling stuck, or life is good, but it’s not great. There’s gonna be something where you feel like, but I’m missing something.

And I think those two things getting clear on your meaningful mission and understanding where you doubt yourself the most and learning to accept yourself and marrying those two, and then having the courage to take action on those, that’s the sweet spot.

Pat Flynn: And, and that’s where therapy and, and other people on the outside could help.

Right. Because as, as I often say, you can’t read the label when you’re inside the bottle sometimes, and, and you can, yeah, exactly. You can confront those things that you might not even know are holding you back and, and deal with them, like you said. And, you know, the, the idea of a bigger mission is so, because you can reverse engineer that and your success can be a part of that pathway.

It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about being successful. It just means there’s that then maybe is a stepping stone to something much larger, and then that then enhances the relationships you have. And I like, this is something that always comes up in almost every interview, is how every successful entrepreneur here on the show has never been able to do it on their own.

There’s always someone or some other people involved, whether it’s. Business partner, or especially an audience obviously, but colleagues and friends who, who are there to help support and, and, and that support system is really key. I know you’ve had a lot of key people in your life who have helped you during certain times and, and you and I both have helped each other as well.

And you’ll always be a dear friend to me. And also because of that, I wanna talk about your book a little bit. I don’t know if that was the best transition, but I do wanna talk about your book, the Greatness Mindset. I know this is a, been a long time coming, it’s actually been a long time since you’ve written a book.

I remember The School of Greatness, the same name as your podcast, and then Mask of Masculinity, which feels more of a, it like is just, you had to get that out. It felt like you had something to say and that was a part, again, bigger mission, but this book here, where, where’s the origin of this book and who’s it for?

Lewis Howes: Man, this is the book I wish I had when I was 16, when I was 21, when I was 30, when I’m, you know, I was 35 and now I’m gonna be 40 in a couple months. Pat.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, man. Welcome to the club.

Lewis Howes: Thank you, man. And I’m, and this is the book that I’m glad that I have now, and then I’ll get to use for the next, you know, 5, 10, 20 years.

Because I wanted to write this book five years ago, but I didn’t feel like I was fully ready to be honest. I, I was researching it for years, but I felt like there was something still off inside of me that wasn’t ready to create something. It’s almost like I would’ve still been living a lie had I wrote this book until now and it took me the last two years of getting out of a relationship a couple years ago that wasn’t just in alignment of my values, my vision, and my lifestyle.

And I was just like, I can’t put this book out. Cause I’m, I still haven’t figured out stuff. I’m dealing with stuff. I’m still embracing who I am and letting go of the abandonment and all these things. I’m in the journey of the process and after that ended and after the end of the year of just like continuing the healing and the growth and I felt like just a consistency of inner peace.

I had been researching this book and asking questions to all these different experts and people for four or five years about this book, but I just wasn’t able to start writing it for some reason. Until this journey and process occurred, and then when I felt like I had healed my heart to a level of peace that I’ve never had in my life, this thing just came outta me.

I know stuff like this has happened for you at different times where just things flowed. I think it’s really hard to create something truly meaningful from a place of constant stress. Doesn’t mean you can’t create great stuff, but I think the level of clarity from a place of stress is just harder to be in flow, and I felt like I was in the most flow and it was so effortless to create because I could see the last 40 years of my life really, and really the last 10 years of kind of repeating different patterns that were holding me back and some things were working and other things weren’t, and I wanted to create something that was so simple for my 12, 13, 14, 15 year old self dyslexic self that was hard to understand, challenging internal concepts.

I wanted to create something that I could understand at that age that I could understand at 25 or 35 and now, and I could use as a simple step by step tool with science back strategies where it just made sense and so I created it for myself. You know, my friend Rory Vaden says, we’re perfectly positioned to help the person we once were.

And this is like helping me 10 years ago when I felt like I needed this the most. And so I’m, I’m creating it now, and I’m super excited about it.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, here it is. Where can people go and grab it?

Lewis Howes: They can go anywhere on Amazon or you know LewisHowes.com/tgm for The Greatness Mindset with some bonuses and stuff there.

But yeah, The Greatness Mindset anywhere you want to get a book.

Pat Flynn: Nice. I did get a copy of an early version of it as well, and skim through it. I love the fact that it’s a framework, but it includes so many of these learnings that you’ve had with people that nobody else has really ever had access to in this way.

And that combined with your experiences and your just driving need to serve, it’s just a perfect mixture of exactly what a person might need at any age. And so I actually wanted to go through a little exercise with you, Lewis. I didn’t tell you I was gonna do this, but I’m curious for a 20 year old who’s listening to this, who is about to graduate college or, or maybe dropped out, or they’re in that part of life where they’re not quite sure who they are or what they wanna do, or what career path they want to take, how does.

This book help that person where, like, think about the mindset, like, or what, what you were going through, you know, maybe you had, like, when you had gotten injured, right? You thought you were on this path. You then you were kind of lost. How, how does this book help somebody who’s lost.

Lewis Howes: At that stage, I would ask you to, to kind of go through an exercise that, to talk about, which is the three Ps.

It’s figuring out your passion, your power, and the problem you wanna serve and you know, there’s different exercises in there that’ll help guide you, but I’ll break it down real quick that if you can think about, because I remember at 23, 23, 24 when I got done playing professional football and that was my identity and my dream, and now it was over due to an injury.

So it was kind of my transition of like, well, what do I do the rest of my life now? And I didn’t know. I remember being so clueless, thinking like this is 2007, end of 2007, going into 2008 when I’m in a full arm cast trying to figure out what I’m gonna do with my life. The economy crashed. It kind of felt like 2020.

It’s like, what’s going on? You know, what can you create? And I was like, I don’t know if I have any skills. I really don’t know if I have skills for the workplace or anything like that. But I remember someone asking me this question like, what are you interested in? What are you curious about? What excites you?

And so I was like, well, I really love just learning. I love like learning things that I wish they would’ve taught me in school, but they didn’t teach us. I love connecting with people. I love meeting people and going to these events. I love developing new skills. I love playing sports. I just started like talking about things that were interest and likes and things I was excited about.

That’s the first P. The passion is get clear on what excites you, what’s interesting for you, even if you think like, there’s no way I’m gonna be able to make money with this, or have a career, or there’s gonna be anything meaningful behind it. Just write a list of all the things that excite you, that you’re curious about or passionate about.

The second thing is, okay, what are the, what’s the power that you have right now? And for me, that was like the skills that I had, and I didn’t think I had any transferrable skills, but I was like, well, I’m really good at setting goals and accomplishing them. I’m really good at being consistent. You know, I can show up and practice every day from sports.

I’m really good at working with a team. I’m really good at being coachable. I’m really good at all these different things that I learned from sports. So I just made a list of those things. And in the power section, you also wanna write a list of your biggest fears, your biggest fears and insecurities.

Cause right now those things are holding back your power. They’re keeping you from being more powerful. When you have insecurities and fears. Write a list of your biggest fears during this season of these next couple years. When I was 23 to 26, I was afraid of public speaking. I was afraid of dancing in public.

I was afraid of so many different things. I was afraid of launching a. I was afraid of writing a book because I was dyslexic. I went and crossed everything off the list that made me feel powerless and I made them a superpower. I, I became obsessed with salsa dancing after months of being terrified of it and going there, watching, never dancing.

And then I became a really good salsa dancer traveling the world, learning this skill. I had knew nothing about making money. I was terrified to ask for money from people cause I didn’t think they would pay me. And then I went on a, on a mission of doing webinars every week for a number of years and learning how to master that.

I was afraid of public speaking. I could not get up in front of a group of five peers and give a one minute talk. I was just scared of, again, the judgment and the opinions of others. That was my fear. So I went to Toastmasters, a public speaking class every week for a year and presented. And I made a fool of myself.

I embarrassed myself over and over again. But the thing that made me feel powerless, I went all in on, and they eventually became superpowers that have transformed my life and business and relationships for the last 15 years because I went all in on those things. So the passion and the power. And the third thing is figuring out what’s the problem you wanna solve?

You know, there’s no good story without a problem or a conflict. If you don’t have a problem in your life, what’s the cause that you want to get behind? And how can you, you marry your passion and your, your power, your skillsets with overcoming and solving a problem. Again, if you wanna help individuals, you are perfectly positioned to help the person you once were.

So focus on the things that you overcame, the things you went through, and start serving those people first.

Pat Flynn: Love it. Great answer. Let’s move up the age spectrum a little bit. Let’s go to maybe 35, 40 our age and what we are going through right now. You know, we have had a career path and, and we are still learning about ourselves, but we made some decisions and we know what we’re good at and maybe what we’re not great at.

And we also have a lot to balance in our life. We have a lot more risk if we were to take chances versus a 20 year old. We have families and relationships and a mortgage and all that kind of stuff. So as much as we wanna dream, sometimes it almost seems like we’ve sort of locked ourselves into a place that’s difficult to get out, and it can be very difficult to let go.

How, how would a person examine their mindset and, and become great at this level?

Lewis Howes: There’s three areas. Yeah, 35, 40. You’ve, you’ve been through a lot. You’ve seen a lot. You’ve seen tragic stuff. You’ve had people close to, you probably lose people in your life, friends, family. At this point. You’ve gone through painful physical challenges in your life.

You’ve had heartache in relationships or stressful times in relationships. You’ve seen your finances go up and down. So the first step is healing. I think if you haven’t started a healing journey, that doesn’t have to be therapy. I just think having some emotional accountability on a monthly basis helps everyone.

It can be different types of workshops or therapies that work for you, but having a healing practice to rewrite the past and find meaning from the pain and the tragedies that have happened in your life, so you have peace and accept where you are right now is a great first step. It allows your health and your body to become more whole and heal from the pain that you’ve been through as well.

So healing is number one. I think the second thing is, is focusing on relationships. And again, the the greatest joy in life comes from the people you get to spend it with and the people that are in your closest to your life. Are you celebrating them enough? Are you really opening up the way you want it with them?

Or maybe there’s some relationships that you wanna pull back from and you want to create some new relationships as you keep elevating and transforming personally. Who are the people that you want to invest in more in spending time with those people. And the third one is, is kind of twofold. One, it’s it’s service focused and also two, it’s having the courage to dream again.

So it’s, you’re a great example of this Pat, where, you know, two years ago, a year and a half ago, you had a dream, you’re like, man, I really, I’m curious about this Pokemon thing. It’s something I’ve loved my whole life. I’m just a big fan of this and I’m just gonna put it out there, even though I’m the business entrepreneur, Smart Passive Income guy, and this is what I’ve been teaching for 14, 15 years now, and people know me as this and I can’t deviate away from this or get distracted because then it’s gonna hurt the business.

But you launched something that has now got over a hundred million views that makes great money and you’re having a blast doing it, and you essentially used the last 14 years of your life and experience to do something new that you think maybe, maybe you’ve been thinking about it for years, but you didn’t have the courage to, to dream that way because you thought maybe it’d be an distraction or it wouldn’t work.

So you having the courage to do that while also being in service. You know when you are in your joy, you are encouraging and inspiring others to be in their joy, and that is service alone. You being your greatest self is service. And if you didn’t take that, you know, risk or jump and do that in the last couple years, you would’ve never been having the experiences, the, the fulfillment, the joy, the fun, the connections that you’re having now.

And it’s a beautiful thing to witness.

Pat Flynn: It does feel a little bit like a rebirth in a way. And I gotta tell you, I was talking to a fan the other day and they said, Pat, I want to thank you. He is a person the same age as me. A lot of you know people my age who grew up with Pokemon are watching now too, but they’re doing it with their kids and they’re watching me on the live streams.

And this person reached out to me after and said, Pat, I wanna thank you because when my son and I are older, you will be our nostalgia.

Lewis Howes: Wow. That’s amazing dude.

Pat Flynn: Dude, I like, it makes me cry.

Lewis Howes: That ties in with your Back To The Future nostalgia, man. You are the Back To The Future for so many people now, and that’s what you’ll be in like 10, 20 years for people.

Pat Flynn: That’s so wild. Yeah. So I, I appreciate you pointing that out because it is true. You know, at this age I now have enough experience to be confident in moving to somewhere new with all those skills and perhaps a renewed passion. You know, we have this thing called sunk cost fallacy, where we feel like that’s sometimes because you’ve dedicated so many years into something that you have to stay there.

Right? And that’s bad. It’s bad for sometimes relationships, obviously. And it can be bad for, you know, if I was like, oh, well I graduated from architecture school, so I have to do that for the rest of my life. Well then I wouldn’t have switched to business when I got laid off. Right, I love that that was your answer for this age, because it’s true.

We, we have now that ability and you know, a lot of people see my YouTube channel now, the Pokemon one. They’re like, wow, this was like an overnight success and I have to remind them, I’ve been on YouTube since 2009. I just happened to create this channel in year 12 of all that, right?

Lewis Howes: But you knew what you were doing.

You knew you knew how to launch it. You knew the lighting, the equipment, you knew the thumbnail, the strategy. You knew how to build community like you’ve practiced for over a decade. And so it made it easier to launch something new.

Pat Flynn: And, and, and the biggest practice, the thing that I now know how to do well is to serve others.

And I could do that in any space now, you know? And that’s, that’s amazing, man. You know, we talk about that all you, you just mentioned that as well. Coming from a place of service.

Lewis Howes: Yeah. And service is about being generous with your energy. Right? You don’t have to be like showing up and like washing someone’s feet or something like that to serve them.

You don’t have to like coach them. You don’t have to go and do a community service project or donate money. Yes, those things are service, but if you have a passion and you have a power, which is you have a passion for Pokemon, you have a, your talents are video and marketing, you have these skill sets, and you marry them together, and you figure out how can I inspire people, entertain people, but also be generous with my energy in that service, it’s going to be a fulfilling consumption of media as opposed to something that is, you know, less fulfilling for people. So you’ve, you’ve done it well.

Pat Flynn: Thank you. The the last point of that, you know, I think because it is fulfilling for me, and I don’t, like, I didn’t approach this with like, I need this many subscribers.

I don’t, I need this many viewers or need this even amount of money from it. I can have fun and be fulfilled with it. I think that enables more people to connect with it, and thus then the views come and the subscribers come and the money comes as a byproduct of that versus what I’m shooting for. So, serve first, I, I always say that.

Lewis Howes: Did you think it would be as big as it? Or was your goal for it to be this big in that short of time or were you like this gets like 10,000 subscribers and gets like 50,000 views a month. I’ll be, like, that’ll be awesome cuz it’s just a fun thing for me to do and I’ll do it for free anyways.

Pat Flynn: The goal, the goal goal, like if we wanna talk finances and stuff. It was just like to make enough money to buy these packs to open and , you know, connect with other people. I mean that, that really was the big reason is just I can, I know how to use a platform to bring a community together, so let me do that. And this way I have more people to talk to and more people to help out in different kinds of ways and connect families together.

And it was a fun project to do with my kids as, and they’re, they’re very much a part of the process now. In fact, we’re working with my tax guy to have them, my kids, my two kids be employees now cuz there’s a tax strategy involving that’s amazing. You know, you, you can employ your kids and then, pay them.

Lewis Howes: It’s not child, it’s not like child labor or?

Pat Flynn: No, it’s not like child labor. They, they’re not like just, you know, sewing-

Lewis Howes: Like a sweatshop or something.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. Yeah. Oh my God. No. Like they have to actually be doing things. I mean, there’s a lot, there’s a lot of people who I’m sure abuse that, but you can shield, I think this year, $12,500 in taxes from the government if you pay your kids.

Lewis Howes: Per kid?

Pat Flynn: Yeah, per kid. I

Lewis Howes: guess if they’re on the videos, then they’re working, their personal brand is out.

Pat Flynn: They they are. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And my son’s doing a little bit of editing work and producing with me. And the cool thing is like they’re now starting at the age of 10 and 13 their retirement accounts.

Lewis Howes: That’s incredible, man.

Pat Flynn: You know, and with that much time in front of them, I mean, that’s, that’s huge, right? So it’s not like they can just, you know, buy candy all day with that money. But anyway, that’s for another one. And, and this is not a tax advice for anybody.

I’m just sharing what I’m working on. That’s it. I, I can maybe share more details later, but to, to finish up, Lewis, what about the person who’s maybe on the other end of 50 or even 60, and. perhaps is not as fulfilled in life as they thought they were, perhaps might think, well, I don’t know how much time I have left.

This is the person who maybe did work 40 years at the same job and retired and, and was like, well, why? Why did I do all that? Maybe it was a waste. How can I be great here at the more mature part of my life.

Lewis Howes: I think about my mom. She’s in her, you know, early seventies, divorced, you know, didn’t remarry.

She’s, you know, had had a, you know, a boyfriend in her, you know, fifties and sixties, and then kind of just by herself right now, but she’s with her, you know, some of her, her, her kids, she’s traveling around the country to be with myself and my other siblings at different times, and she’s taken on, I, I’ve challenged her a lot in the last few years.

I’m like, mom, What do you really want to do that you’ve never done? She’s like, well, I’d really like to travel to like Hawaii. And I go, perfect. Let’s get you on a flight in two weeks and send you there for a while. Like what do you want to do every year that you can be proud of that you did that year?

And so last year she like took on new like dance classes and tried different like physical activities and she traveled and she’s spending more quality time with friends and family and she’s just like investing in trying new stuff. And I go, awesome. Like, keep doing it. Do the things that are gonna bring you joy and excitement and keep you learning and, and travel. If that’s something you feel like you’ve never got to do that well, like now is the time. You’ve got money in retirement and savings, you know, not a ton of money, but you got money. I can support you as, us kids can support you in those ways. Live an exciting life. You could live 30 more years, live an exciting life now.

Don’t just wait and regret the things that you went through. Heal. You know, you, you’ve been through a divorce. Your friends are maybe not around anymore. Family members are passing away. Keep healing, doing things that give you meaning and excitement. And, and I think you can never be too old to learn new skills and overcome your fears.

And I’m watching my mom do that and I’m seeing her have, you know, a lot of youthful energy in this phase because she’s doing that.

Pat Flynn: That’s wonderful. Thank you for that. And, and shout out to your mom for trying new things and getting out. Lewis, I wanna thank you again for your time today. This was a great conversation.

I loved that we went pretty deep here today, and I’m excited for your book, The Greatness Mindset. Check it out wherever you can get books. What was that link, one more time to go and get it on your website if there’s still bonuses available?

Lewis Howes: Yeah, you can go to LewisHowes.com/tgm. Tgm for The Greatest Mindset, LewisHowes.com/tgm and check it out.

Let me know what you guys think. Pat, I appreciate you as always man. It’s been a pleasure to watching your journey and being your friend over the last 12, 13 years and I’m so excited for your reinventing of yourself, man. It’s really cool to watch you just be a kid as an adult.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. Thank you man. I appreciate you.

I appreciate our friendship and best of luck on the book.

Lewis Howes: Thanks, brother.

Pat Flynn: All right. I hope you enjoy that interview with Lewis Howes. Lewis, always such an amazing pleasure to spend time and hang out with you. I know you more than ever are super busy, but are also just so generous with your time when you do have the opportunity to come on and do these interviews, and I know that, that you haven’t done much of these in a while, but now that I know that you had a book coming out, I wanted to grab you on before anybody else and share these things with my audience here, who I know would benefit from this and, and I’m sure they have.

So thank you again, Lewis. I appreciate you. If you wanna check out his book one more time, you can check it out The Greatness Mindset available wherever books are available, and also TheSchoolOfGreatness.com/tgm for The Greatness Mindset. And if you wanna check out the show notes and links and perhaps links to the other episodes that Lewis was on as well, if you wanna hear a blast from the past, SmartPassiveIncome.com/session661 for the notes and resources related to this episode. So again, thank you for listening in. I appreciate you. Make sure you hit subscribe and we’ll have another episode coming out in a couple days, Friday special if you will, and then another great interview coming your way next week.

So make sure you don’t miss out, hit that subscribe button and I look forward to serving you the next one. Till then, cheers, peace out. Take care. And as always, Team Flynn for the win. Have a good one.

Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at SmartPassiveIncome.com. I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is David Grabowski. Our series producer is Paul Grigoras, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media. We’ll catch you in the next session.


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