Lewis Howes: How to Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, and Live Your Fullest Life

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Lewis Howes is a lifestyle entrepreneur, high performance business coach, author and keynote speaker. A former professional football player and two-sport All-American, he is a current USA Men’s National Handball Team athlete. Lewis hosts The School of Greatness podcast, which has received millions of downloads since it launched in 2013.

Lewis was recognized by The White House and President Obama as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the country under 30. He is a contributing writer for Entrepreneur and Yahoo.com and has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Men’s Health, The Today Show and other major media outlets.

Favorite Success Quotes

“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care”

Key Points

1. Show that You Care 

As men, we have a pathological need to feel important, to feel special, to feel powerful.

To fill this need, most of us walk through our lives searching for ways to make other people see how important we are.

We work ourselves to death at jobs that we hate so that we can afford to buy things we don’t need.

We stay in relationships that we should have left years ago because the person that we are dating is attractive and popular.

We live our lives for the approval and validation of others while forgetting one obvious truth.

No one cares.

Seriously… No one cares about how much money you have, how hot your girl friend is, or how many horsepower your car has.

The people in your life are struggling with plenty of trials and struggles as it is, do you really think they’re going to care that you bought a “Luxury Class” Mercedes instead of a Standard?

What people want and desperately need isn’t another person who’s caught up in their own lives.. What they need is someone who cares, someone who listens, someone who is real.

The people in your life are dying to connect, they are dying for someone who is real, they are dying for someone who genuinely cares about them and is willing to listen and be present.

If you really want to impress someone (which shouldn’t be your focus to begin with), then show them how much you care, don’t show them how much you have.

2. Vulnerability is the Key to Freedom

If you are reading this right now, then chances are good that you’ve been hurt. Some of you have been hurt so deeply and so profoundly that you have never shared your pain with another living soul.

And it sucks…

When you’ve experienced trauma and pain in your life, it’s easy to get stuck in your head, to become isolated and believe that you are alone or that no one would love you if they knew the truth.

In an effort to protect yourself and others, you put up a wall between yourself and the people that you love, closing yourself off from the people who care for you the most.

And then you let the pain sit inside of you and simmer.

Until one day, that simmer turns into a boil and you find yourself exploding in ways that you never thought possible.

Until one day, the wounds have become so deep and so painful that they change who you are.

This is the path that most men take…

Most men refuse to seek help, guidance of support in times of trauma and suffering. They think they have everything figured out and do their best to act the part.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret…. You are killing yourself and you are killing your relationships.

The past only has power over us so long as we allow it to.

When you are willing to embrace vulnerability, trust the people in your life, and open up about your deepest fears, regrets, and experiences, your whole life will change.

For Lewis, this meant opening up about the sexual abuse he experienced as a child.

For nearly 25 years, he’d kept the pain bottled inside until one day, it all came out on a basketball court and he got into a vicious fight with another player.

The encounter shocked and humbled him and made him realize that he needed to talk to someone and he needed to get help.

And so he did, he opened up to a select group of people about what had happened to him as a child and, much to his surprise, the response he received was nothing but love.

People told him that they could trust him more, that they felt more connected, and that they respected him on a deeper level because of the pain and trauma he experienced.

As time went on and he shared his truth with more and more people, he eventually arrived at a point in his life where he could share his story without feeling the pain in the same way.

Through sharing his authentic truth and being vulnerable, he healed the wounds of the past.

But what about you?

What are you holding onto that you need to let go? What pain has been keeping you back and weighing you down?

I want you to write that thing down right now and commit that before the day is over, you will find someone to talk to, even if it’s a professional.

I promise that if you are willing to take this scary leap, your life will never be the same.

3. Why Are You Doing What You’re Doing? 

One of the biggest mistakes that we as men make is that we detach our what from our why. 

We spend all of our time pursuing goals, dreams, and opportunities but we never really know why we do any of the things that we do.

We hustle and grind all day long and for what?

For most men, it’s for the paycheck or the status, but as many of you have already realized, this is never enough.

You must have a strong and deep why for what you are doing that extends beyond yourself.

If you want to live a truly extraordinary and exceptional life, then you must live your life for the greater good and not just yourself.

Find ways to serve and love and improve the lives of others and your own life will be filled with joy, and love, and opportunities that you could never imagine.

It might seem cliche and worn out, but there’s a great deal of truth to the adage that “Living is giving”.

So let me ask you… What are you giving and why?

4. Pause, Breathe, and Smile 

You can read all of the books that have ever been written on the topic of emotional control, masculinity, and mastering yourself and, unfortunately, there will still be instances where you want to explode and rip someone’s head off.

It’s just human nature.

While you cannot control the initial flood of emotions that happens in these circumstances, you can control your reaction.

When you start to feel these negative thoughts and emotions creeping into your mind and body, take a step back and notice them.

Acknowledge them and be aware of them… Don’t try to fight them.

Once you are aware of the internal dialogue and the reason for your emotional response, take 10 deep breaths and mentally detach yourself from the situation, doing your best to look at things through the lens of an objective observer.

Then, once you have regained your center, look around you and smile.

You are blessed and you have a lot to be grateful for. Smile and remember this.

5. It’s All About Finding the Balance 

In a world that seems to be driven by the “Hustle and Grind” mentality, it’s easy to lose balance and start living a life that is completely and utterly consumed by your work.

When this happens, it’s important to take a step back and regain your inner balance.

Life is seasonal.

There are times where you will need to hustle, grind, and push forward.

There are times where you need to take a step back and rest.

Learn to differentiate between the two and your entire life will transform before your eyes.

Influential Books

1. The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida

2. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

3. The School of Greatness Interview with Dr. Drew

Connect with Lewis Howes

lewishowes.com

The Mask of Masculinity

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