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Lewis Howes: The Myth of Masculinity, The Power of Vulnerability & What It Means To Be Great

By October 28, 2015May 23rd, 20199 Comments

“The key to success in life is relationships. And the key to powerful relationships is vulnerability and being real. That’s the quickest way to build a relationship and create connection with someone.”

Lewis Howes

This week I celebrate my friend and fellow podcaster Lewis Howes, host of The School of Greatness.

I met Lewis a couple years ago when we were both newbie podcasters. He did my show. I did his show. Friendship ensued.

A former professional football player and team handball Olympic hopeful who bottomed out before blossoming into a successful online entrepreneur, Lewis defies the stereotype that typically accompanies most successful alpha males. With a glint in his eye, Lewis is warm, incredibly giving, and a stellar example of what life can be like when your heart is open — gratitude in motion.

After an injury prematurely ended his football career, Lewis was depressed, aimless and broke. Yearning for inspiration as he convalesced on his sister’s couch, he arrived at a question:

What kind of life do I want to lead?

Then he got to work. He sought out mentors — people thriving on their own terms. Applying the wisdom of those he respected, he began to create a vision for himself. He learned how to turn adversity into advantage. He cultivated a champion’s mind-set. He hustled. He mastered his body. He practiced positive habits like appreciation, gratitude and mindfulness. He built a winning team. And perhaps most importantly, he learned how to be of service to others.

It worked. Living exactly the life he envisioned for himself daydreaming on his sister’s couch in Ohio, today Lewis is a successful business coach, online entrepreneur, public speaker, podcast host, and now author.

Leveraging his personal experience and the wisdom of his mentors and inspiring podcast guests — Lewis has culled the best of what he has learned in a new book that came out just yesterday appropriately titled The School of Greatness: A Real World Guide To Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, And Leaving A Legacy*.

A primer on how to manifest your own internal greatness, it’s a fun, easy and informative read that not only inspires but provides actionable lessons and practical exercises aimed at helping you create vision and reach your ultimate potential.

On a personal note, I am deeply honored that Lewis includes my story in his book. I’m essentially the primary subject of chapter 5 entitled Master Your Body.

I love this guy. His positivity and integrity is infectious. It is my privilege to support him and his new book by sharing his message with you today.

We cover a lot of ground in this episode, including:

  • the pitfalls & advantages of podcast production
  • the relationships built from the podcast platform
  • mutually beneficial relationships
  • giving help and being of service to others
  • the power of mentorship
  • the importance of feedback and accountability
  • the myth of masculinity
  • vulnerability in relationships
  • letting go of the things that hold you back
  • releasing shame
  • the most gratifying podcast guests
  • writing “The School of Greatness” and the motivation behind it
  • the eight principles of greatness
  • how to acknowledge the good

Question: To coin Lewis’ term, what is your definition of greatness?

I’d love to hear all about it in the comments section below.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange.

Peace + Plants,


Listen & Subscribe on iTunes | Soundcloud | Stitcher

Thanks to this week’s sponsors:

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Connect With Lewis: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Podcast

Check out Lewis’ new book: The School of Greatness: A Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy*

Background, Context & Reference:

Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast:

Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:

Production by Dean Menta. Music & sound design by Tyler Piatt. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson.

*Disclosure:Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

The Plantpower Way  is now available at these fine retailers!

Amazon*  |  Barnes & Noble  |  IndieBound  |  Penguin

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  • Stuart Munro says:

    Wow, what an interview this is! Great discussion and there seemed to be real camaraderie between you both. Very much enjoyed, thank you both! I’ve not come across Lewis before so will definitely check out his book and podcast. This discussion was the reset I needed to get back on track after falling into bad habits again recently.

  • Tommy F says:

    Defining Greatness:

    For me, it starts with commitment to daily practice. Being true to who I am. From that place, whatever emerges outside of the practice, I have gratitude for. Each day is it’s own gift from the universe, bringing forth what we’ve intended and vibrationally facilitated into our world. Staying focused on being an instrument of the divine, and owning my own impact within this universe. Being aware of ego, yet surrendering to my higher self. This creates the space from which we can witness ego in this world and work towards having mastery over it.

    So.. greatness all comes back to “Practice”. Without practice, there is no authentic connection to our spiritual self. Connection to our spiritual self, is where all of our abundance emanates from.


  • A great person to have on your podcast would be Ron Kauk.
    I would like to hear from the elders of the embodied outdoor experience. Get the old climbers who have gained wisdom over time on your show.

  • richroll66 says:

    Hey Tommy – thanks for always taking the time to post such great, thoughtful comments on all the shows — pretty sure you are our #1 power commenter! We would love to show our appreciation — can you send us an e-mail through the website so we can get in touch with you directly? Thanks man!! Peace + Plants, Rich

  • Megan Breanna says:

    Thank you for posting this interview today, and for your question.

    I had to look up what the actual definition of ‘greatness’ was, because I realized that ‘great’ is a word that I use a lot without consideration of the actual definition. And I had also repeated the word in my head so many times trying to come up with an answer that it had sort of become meaningless. Defined, great means “of ability, quality, or eminence considerably above the normal or average” OR “of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above the normal or average”. This was interesting to me because in that context a person who is “great” could not necessarily have a “great” life. For me the, greatness would be defined by the sum of the effort put in daily to raise some aspect of yourself or your life above the average. This is such a cool thought, because it really refocuses my perspective on the impacts that daily attitudes and moments have in sum in your life over a period of time. Like, some days my aerial training isn’t as productive as I want it to be, but rather than fixate on one session where I wasn’t as ‘great’, maybe it’s more productive to consider that session as a part of many sessions that are leading me to a ‘greater’ ability.

    Thank you for this wonderful podcast.

  • Jennifer Charpentier says:

    Tremendous podcast. Greatness? I tend to understand words better when I apply their antonym. In this case though the simplistic word is “commonness” with another definition being “humble” or “humility”. To me, when I think of the characteristics of greatness I see humility as the key ingredient. In the beginning I wasn’t too sure Lewis was someone I could relate to as he is so self-assured and driven, but when he spoke of his abuse and the healing and growth that came when he chose to release his experience into the world I cried like a little girl…wait, I AM a little girl! Laugh! I am learning to consider that little girl inside of me, nurture her, validate her, comfort her and value her just as I value my own children. Realizations like this radiate outward and pretty soon I am looking at everyone around me in a different way. I think this realization ties into the ability to practice “loving deeper” that Lewis mentioned in his book title. As I gain compassion for myself I am more able to feel compassion for the brokenness of others. I no longer feel threatened by them, their differences, their successes or failures. As I listened with my heart my perceptions of Lewis changed and I could relate to his brokenness and see his current path as one of healing with a desire to share that healing with others. It is the only way we keep healing. Sounds like a good example of greatness to me.

  • Ruben Schepers says:

    To be honest, I don’t really like this guy. Seems like a pushy salesman to me. I you listen to one of his podcasts he will tell you 20 times to buy his book and then buy a few more for family and friends.

    I like your style a lot more Rich. Thank you for bringing out great content.

  • Heidi Jones says:

    One of the most motivating podcasts to date, you posted this at the time I most needed it. Yes he pushed his book, but why not, what he wants to share with the world is worth it. I went out and bought it and I’m really looking forward to reading it. I’m taking a new approach to how I live my life, moving away from fear, judgement and self-doubt and more towards greatness. I’ve been inspired with the concept of living life (all elements of life) like a pro and hearing more people, like Howes, share his own story of achieving this is really powerful. Thank you for another great podcast Rich! Heidi

  • Maria Avery says:

    I really enjoyed this podcast. I had never heard of Lewis but found inspiration in his message.
    I look forward to your podcast each week. I have found a desire to be better and find what I am passionate about. Thank you for bringing such powerful guest each week.

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