The School of Greatness

Summary Written by Justin Gasbarre
"What The School of Greatness is going to teach you is, first and foremost, what is great and special about you"

- The School of Greatness, page XIX

The Big Idea

Master your body

"Greatness isn’t about working a lot or making a lot of money. It’s about having purpose and being the best that you can possibly be."- The School of Greatness, page 127

Foundationally, in order to be successful in anything that we do we must be healthy enough to actually do it. Our health affects our ability to be good parents, partners, friends, clients, leaders, etc. Yet while we inherently know this, taking care of our bodies is one of those things that we often brush off because of how “busy we are”. There’s a great quote in the book from Richard Branson who was “asked for his best piece of advice. His answer was one word: exercise. Why? Because if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of your business.”

An often overlooked topic when it comes to health is our brain health. Lewis interviewed a leading American psychiatrist, Daniel Amen who said, “Your brain is literally involved in everything you do. How you think, how you feel, how you act, how you get along with other people, and when it works right, you work right. When it’s troubled, though, for whatever reason – toxic exposure, head trauma, drug abuse, lack of oxygen – that’s when you start getting sadder, sicker, poorer, less successful.”

Insight #1

Practice positive habits

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."- The School of Greatness, page 154

I absolutely love the above quote from Greek philosopher, Aristotle. Simply, our habits define us. When you look at them individually doesn’t seem all that critical; it’s when you take them in combination or as a whole that they become incredibly powerful.

It’s important to evaluate what good and bad habits you currently have. It’s even more important to decide what good habits that you want to adopt as well. Without knowing which habits will help you achieve your goals and who you want to be, it’s unlikely that you’ll get there. Every habit you have either helping you towards your dreams and holding you back from reaching them.

As Howes writes in his coaching tip for practicing positive habits, “it’s time to step up and get serious with you daily actions, as this is what builds the momentum in your life towards the vision you want to achieve.”

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Insight #2

Working harder and smarter

"The best hustlers are all underdogs. Even if they’re not, they view themselves that way."- The School of Greatness, page 102

This insight is at the root for all of those who are “successful” and it’s no surprise Lewis addresses it in The School of Greatness. Anyone who is good at anything was once a beginner at it. They had to learn their craft, work to hone it and continuing growing over a period of time to refine it. In our world of instant gratification, the fact that it takes time to become great at something is completely disregarded. Most of us get worked up when we aren’t good at something right off the bat. We may fear looking back, we probably run through a litany of what-if scenarios in our heads and ultimately become disappointed because we aren’t world class the first time we try something.

Lewis give us some good coaching advice in saying “when you experience fear, move toward it. When you feel doubt, take the necessary actions to build your confidence. When you are afraid of being wrong or looking bad in front of others, be humble and vulnerable to create real human connection.” The hustle requires action and all you have to do is just start.

“We are only as good and as strong as our adversity makes us,” Howes reminds us.

Read the book

Get The School of Greatness on Amazon.

Lewis Howes

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. His newest book, The School of Greatness, provides a framework for achieving real, sustainable, repeatable success. You get the tools, knowledge and actionable resources to take your vision and turn it into a reality. 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 and has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Men’s Health, The Today Show and other major media outlets.

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