Letting Go of the Past to Embrace Your Future: Lewis Howes

Episode 01

It’s the first episode of our Finishing Strong series!  With the pressure of New Year’s resolutions and “new year, new you” mandates creeping just ‘round the corner, we’d like to focus on finishing this year (and this decade) with a bang, by giving ourselves time for reflection and the space to better wrap our heads around the future, thus absolving us all of that annoying January 1st deadline to fix everything in our lives (feel better? You’re welcome).  And to help us do just that is our guest for this episode; speaker, author, entrepreneur, and just overall mentoring force for good in the world: Lewis Howes. Lewis takes us through his life story–from a childhood filled with pain and trauma, to a career in professional football, to becoming a high performance business coach–and all the missteps and lessons along the way.  Speaking with candor and vulnerability, Lewis implores us, like he did, to let everything go from our pasts and to deal with the hurts and traumas in our life, in order to embrace a beautiful future.

Episode Transcript

Narrator:  Hi everybody, my name is Remy. Welcome to the For the Love Podcast, with your host Jen Hatmaker, my mom. She writes books and speaks to crowds. But she mostly loves talking to amazing people every week on this podcast. Thanks for listening! We hope you enjoy the show.

Jen: Hey, everybody, it’s Jen Hatmaker here. I am so happy to have you. Welcome to the For the Love Podcast.

Today, we are starting a brand new series that I am excited about. It is called For the Love, Finishing Strong because frankly, not only are we closing in on the finish line of 2019, we are closing in on the finish line of a decade. It’s kind of a big deal. And I know that sometimes it feels like the best we can do is just sort of limp across the finish line. But I believe more for us. I believe that we actually hold the reins to decide how we react and how we respond and how we move forward and not only how we want to get through this part of the year but how we want to thrive.

So in this short series, I am hosting some people who have positively learned a thing or two about perseverance and show us that really no matter what time of year it is or even what season you are in, how busy or tired we are, that we have so much choice in the way that we are reacting. We have a lot of power to adjust the dials, frankly, to finish strong. And I have just the right guest to start us off in this series. I’m so pleased to have onto the show and maybe even to introduce you to Lewis Howes.

If you know Lewis, he has a truly wonderful story. Gosh, wait ’til you hear how candidly he speaks about his life and his experiences and his childhood. It was an unusual amount of transparency and vulnerability in today’s interview. I really can’t wait for you to hear it. I’m going to leave the details for the interview but he really suffered as a kid, really, really did. And then worked himself up into this place of resiliency and then ultimately abundance and this mentality of love and generosity that’s just … it’s inspiring. I don’t know how else to talk about it.

So he’s at this point gone on to be this mentoring force for good in the world. He has a very excellent podcast and a book, both called The School of Greatness, we’ll link to all that, essentially where he hosts experts who share advice that Lewis wishes he had while growing up, just fantastic experts in all their own fields.

And I just want to tell you that there are so many moments during our discussion that I was just leaning forward thinking, Wow, I’m just really proud of him for speaking so honestly right now, and being so tenderhearted, and making space for people to tell the truth and to choose a path of joy and hope and love forward.

Anyway, I think you’re going to love this discussion. I definitely did. And at one point in the conversation, I was sitting here on my chair with my hands holding up the number four in the air and you’ll see why. I hope you enjoy this, not just this particular conversation but this whole series about finishing strong so, delighted to welcome to the For the Love Podcast today, Lewis Howes.

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Jen:  Lewis, I have filled my listeners in with a little bit about who you are but if you would just allow me, I’d love to walk it back a little bit to the beginning. I wonder if you could talk a bit about your growing up years, which you were very frank about. You talk about those years in a very candid way, which I appreciate about what you face and what you struggled through and how ultimately that fueled you, eventually. But can you talk a little bit about being a kid and that time in your life and the landmines that you walked through?

Lewis: My childhood, I felt like my parents were fighting every day. It felt like there was an argument, there was a scream, there was a passive aggressiveness, there was a don’t speak for a week type of mentality, there was a slamming of doors, running out. It was just this uncertainty consistently. My brother went to prison when I was eight until I was 12, and he was my hero. And I remember we would go visit him in the prison inmate’s visitor section every weekend, and I would hear his conversations about men dying in prison, fights and the trauma that he was facing.

My two older sisters were struggling with depression, and I believe attempting to commit suicide a couple of different times each. And I just remember feeling alone, insignificant. I remember feeling like no one liked me or cared about me—

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Jen: Did you have any younger siblings or you’re the youngest?

Lewis: I’m the youngest of four, yeah. And so my parents, they were both working multiple jobs—

Jen: Sure.

Lewis: Just trying to provide back in the eighties, seventies and eighties, for us. And I don’t blame them for anything and they’ve done a lot of healing and they’re happier now, but I just remember the feeling of little traumas every single day. And I’m sure for other people, they’ve probably experienced a lot more trauma.

But for me, also, when I was five, I was sexually abused by another man. It was the son of a babysitter who was probably a 16 or 17 or 18-year-old boy. And I remember also in school, and I’m not trying to jump over this too quick because it’s a big thing, but also in school, being in special needs classes from as early as I can remember until I graduated college, which took me seven years to graduate.

Jen: Wow.

Lewis: So I always felt insecure, insignificant, not enough; like no one’s going to love me. And I kept seeing examples of why this was true. I kept building my case and the story in my mind every single day on why no one liked me, why I was stupid, why I was insignificant, and that was kind of my childhood experience.

Jen: I really appreciate your willingness to talk candidly about your abuse, because of course, we are pretty familiar with the percentages of abuse that girls and women face, especially kids, but I was really interested to discover a few years ago that boys have very similar percentages.

Lewis: Yeah, it’s one in four women and one in six men.

Jen: Yeah, that’s right. But that has not received the same amount of–I don’t know if attention is the right word–but sort of exposure. And so I think men suffer silently there in massive numbers–just massive numbers–and it’s not rare.

Lewis: It’s crazy to me, and I always felt like I was the only one, and I’m sure every man probably feels that way if they don’t know the statistics and if they don’t talk about it. And I remember just feeling so ashamed and again, What’s wrong with me? Why is this happening? All these different things.

And it’s crazy because the more I started to heal, I started opening up about this about six years ago and then … just to my friends, family, one by one privately. Then I decided about a year later to open up on my podcast. This was in the early stages of my podcast, after the first year I had a podcast so my audience wasn’t as big, obviously. But it kind of broke the internet for me, just posting it out there publicly, and it was the most terrifying thing that I’d ever done.

But I was in shock of what I found out after that, of all the men emailing me. And listen, women face their own type of pain and trauma and everything but what I realized was, Wow, men don’t ever talk about their pain.

And I started to go on tour to talk about this. I wrote a book about masculine vulnerability where I would go on tour and talk about this and I would have rooms–of pretty equal 50% men and women–who would show up and I would say, “All the women in the room, please raise your hand if once a week you get together with a girlfriend or girlfriends and you sit down and you talk about your fears, your insecurities, your doubts, your body issues, your career issues, your relationship challenges.”

Jen: Yeah, like hands up everywhere, right?

Lewis: Everyone in the room, all the women in the room are raising their hand and I go, “Keep your hand up if you do this every single day,” and almost every girl would be laughing like, “Yeah, I’m on the phone with someone, I’m at lunch, I’m talking about it in the hallways. Talking about it.”

And I go, “Okay, ladies. Imagine never sharing with anyone, not once a week, not once a month, but never, year after year and holding on to your relationship challenges, your body issue challenges, your insecurities, your fears,” and I was like, “How would that make you feel?” And everyone’s just like, “I would want to kill someone.”

Jen: Yeah.

Lewis:  And so just try to have compassion for the large group of men who don’t have a safe place to talk about [trauma] without being humiliated, or picked on, or made fun of, or be called whatever type of derogatory name that we’ve been called our entire childhood for showing any sensitivity.

And I’m going on a tangent here, but that’s kind of been my experience, and the experience that I started to realize a lot of men were facing who are my age and older as I started opening up about this.

Jen: It’s just why it matters so much that you spend a great deal of your energy normalizing the things that are normal, which is pain and abuse and suffering and loss. And that’s not rare to anybody, not a man or a woman, that’s just ubiquitous human experience. But it’s so good for me to hear—and then primarily my community of women listening—that we have a responsibility there too with the men and the boys in our lives that we love to help normalize that for them, to say, “It’s okay that you say this out loud, and I will be a safe receiver for what you want to say to me and I will not expect you to retain this disproportionate amount of manufactured strength—”

Lewis: Manliness.

Jen: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. It’s fake, it’s a fake thing, it’s a fake construct but it is the way that we’ve operated for a long time. And we have a lot of power to create spaces of vulnerability, which weirdly ultimately creates spaces of strength.

Jen: I wonder if–I’d love to move forward in your story a little bit because it’s interesting to hear you talk about your childhood and the fear and loneliness that you experienced, and then move forward just one click to see that you turned into a young adult who dreamed about playing professional sports. Something in there clicked forward or upward, I don’t know how you want to say it.

I wonder if you could talk about that transition into the young adult portion of your life and what you were hoping for, and then kind of how that changed for you unexpectedly.

Lewis: My entire childhood became unknowingly a journey of what can I do to get a couple friends because I didn’t have any, so how could I gain a friend?  How could I get someone to like me?

I remember I had one friend, finally, when I was 11 years old. He was a new kid that had moved so he had moved next door to me and he was older, he was probably 15, I was 10, 11, and we hung out all the time. And he was older and he was very athletic, so we played sports nonstop. We were at the park playing sports, basketball until they locked the doors at the gym. We were playing all the time. We probably both had our own anger we were getting out and using sports as a channel to be productive, and thankfully we were being productive in our time and energy and not destructive.

And I started to–quickly, because he was older–he was playing with all the varsity athletes. And I was 10 playing the varsity kids just because he—

Jen: By proximity.

Lewis: By proximity, he was like, “We’re playing,” and he was amazing. He always made sure I had a spot on the team. It was the greatest friend I ever had because he always–he didn’t care if there was some other freak athletes–he was like, “No, Lewis is playing. In a five on five team, Lewis is always on a team,” and that gave me so much confidence in myself.

And I became obsessed with becoming the best athlete I could be, because I started to get validation for it. I started to get validation, I started to win. And then all of a sudden, he didn’t need to pick a spot for me. I was getting picked over and over again because I was one of the better athletes in the town. That became my mission, I am going to be the best. I’m never going to be picked last again. I’m going to go play professional sports, and that was my whole journey.

I actually left my town–grew up Delaware, Ohio–small town. And when I was 13, I begged my parents to send me away.

I found this school, I was going to this Christian summer camp, and I found this school in St. Louis, Missouri that was a Christian-related school, and I met some of these kids that went there and they were so positive, they were so loving, kind, compassionate. I was like, “I need to be around these kids.”

I got off the plane from the camp and the first thing out of my mouth is, “Please send me to this school.” And they were like, “There’s no way.”

They were like, “We don’t have the money, it’s really expensive.”

I was like, “I’ll work every morning.” Isn’t it funny? We want something bad enough, we’ll do whatever it takes.

Jen: Totally.

Lewis: I could care less about school, but I wanted to go to this school. I had to get recommendations, I had to start going to church, I had to do everything, right? I was like, whatever it takes. And that was kind of the moment that changed my life was when I moved away, I lived alone in a dorm, essentially, for five years.

Jen: So you went all the way through high school.

Lewis: I went from eighth grade all the way through high school.

It was the greatest thing that I ever did for myself because I think I probably would have been in jail, probably would have been drinking alcohol, drugs, probably something and it was the greatest gift and it set me up for tremendous results in my life.

Jen: Well totally because you had these huge sports dreams and you saw them through, you made it to arena football and can you talk about that bit just a little bit? Football and then—

Lewis: I was never good enough to play in the NFL. I had NFL tryouts and stuff, but I was a little bit too slow. And I went and played professional football, arena league, actually in Alabama and in Columbus, Ohio.

Jen: How long did that season last before you had a career ending injury?

Lewis: Quick, it was a year and a half.

Jen: A year and a half.

Lewis: Year and a half. The dream was over, I’m 23, 24 years old and my entire childhood dream is now gone and I think to myself, what’s the point of my life now? Why am I here?

Jen: Right, that was plan A.

Lewis: This is all I cared about.

Here’s the story that most people don’t know about because I don’t really talk about it that much. During this time, my dad got into a … he went on a vacation and he got in a car accident with his then girlfriend/fiancée, and he was in New Zealand, got in a car accident and he was in a coma for three months.

Jen: Wow, gosh.

Lewis: Every day, we didn’t know if he was going to survive or if this was the day he was going to die. Three months later, he wakes up, eventually comes back to Ohio and for a couple of years, he’s in recovery. He doesn’t know how to speak. He doesn’t know how to walk. We’re changing diapers.

Jen: Wow, gosh.

Lewis:  And this was back in 2005, so he’s still alive today, and he’s recovered in a big way. And you can have long conversations with him, but every time I see him, it’s still, “Where did you go to school again? What are you doing now?” It’s kind of a broken record of questions, the same questions. “Didn’t you used to play football?” And he was on the field taking photos at every game. High school, college, pro, he was at every game.

So for me, he was a challenging experience that shaped my future because I was in transition, and I didn’t have my father anymore. He was alive, but he was kind of dead at the same time.

And to this day, I don’t talk about that much because I don’t think I would be where I am without him going through that experience, and it sucks for me to say that because I wish my dad was healthy and happy and all these things. But I don’t think I would be able to impact people the way I’m doing it without that experience.

Jen: Wow.

Lewis: That’s what’s sad for me to think about.

Jen: I want to talk about that a little bit because … this whole series that we’re doing right now on my podcast is about finishing strong as we head toward not just the end of the year, but the end of a decade and here you have just told us a story about a great deal of pain and loss–really–that’s where you’re at. You’ve mentioned before that you find yourself bunking at your sister’s place on her couch, your dreams of pro-sports are over, your dad is there but not there, and so this is a low spot. This is a really low place to have found yourself at such a young age without the mentorship of your dad, without the kind of security of what you thought was going to be your future.

And so I want to hear from you how you began to move from that place of such despair and darkness and being so low, to within a very short amount of time running a seven-figure business. That just doesn’t make sense. That doesn’t make sense. There’s a gap in the story.

Lewis: If you would have told me when all this was happening that two years later, we’d be doing multiple seven figures, I would have probably laughed because it’s Christmastime 2007, I just finished playing football in the summer. I get a cast on end of August that my goal is, “I’m getting this off in six weeks. I’m going to be playing again.” No. This thing’s on for six months.

My brother just gives me a gift–it’s not even wrapped–and he hands it to me, and it’s a book. And at the time, I’m so low at this time. I’m searching. I’m like, I need something to give me an answer, and the book was the answer. It literally … if I didn’t have that book, I don’t know if I’d be here today. The book was The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris.

And I don’t read. I am dyslexic. I’m a slow reader. And I read this book in three days. I couldn’t put it down over Christmas, and I just started obsessing and researching. I was on my computer with one hand, researching everything about this topic, about entrepreneurship, about building something on the side, about pursuing a passion of yours, all these things. And I was like, I know nothing, but I’m going to start reaching out to mentors who I think could potentially give me the answers.

And that’s when I started saying, I need to learn new skills. My only skill right now is sports, and I can’t play sports right now. So I need to learn some skills and master some things.  And I started diving in.

I was going to salsa dancing four, five times a week because I previously lived above a salsa club and was paying $125 a month to live in this little studio thing in college above a salsa club, and I started going every week, four or five times a week. I started researching on YouTube two hours a night, practicing in front of a mirror alone by myself and obsessing.

While I was at salsa dancing, I met a guy who was a professional speaker that got paid to speak all around the world and I talked to him and I said, “Tell me, I can’t even stand up and speak in front of three people, how do you do this?”

He goes, “You need to join Toastmasters.”

And I went to Toastmasters every single week for the next year with my cast on.

I started seeking out mentors on LinkedIn because my college headmaster of my college, when I called him and said, “This is what’s going on in my life. My dad’s not here, I don’t have any money, what should I do?”

He said, “Go on LinkedIn.”

This was back in 2007.

Jen: Yeah, early adopter.

Lewis: And there was about 12 million people on the platform. He said, “I hear people are getting jobs there. Why don’t you check it out?”

So I spent six hours a day on LinkedIn, all while on my sister’s couch still for a year and a half and I just reached out to mentors or people that I think have the answers and I say, “Tell me what to do.”

I bought a domain name in 2008, I think. Lewishowes.com after I read The 4-Hour Workweek, I started getting on Twitter and LinkedIn and Facebook, and after a while, I built up one of the largest platforms on LinkedIn of following … and people started to email me and say, “Hey, can you connect me to so and so? Can you make this introduction?” I just started introducing everyone.

And then I started hosting … I don’t know if you remember back in 2008 there were these things called Tweetups. Twitter meetups.

Jen: Yeah I do. They weren’t there for long, but yeah.

Lewis: Right? They were there for maybe six months and I went to one of these and there were like 600 people and I was like, what is going on? This is crazy in Columbus, Ohio. And I go, huh.  I’m building this following on LinkedIn that, no one knows about LinkedIn or is talking about still, but I wonder if I could do a LinkedIn networking event and bring a bunch of people together and just add value to people?

And I never did an event before, but I hosted my first LinkedIn networking event in St. Louis. And I had 350 people show up and I made $1000 from selling sponsorship tables. So I did events every month for the next year, all during this as well. I did 20 events over that year doing LinkedIn networking events.

Then people were saying, “Can you introduce me to this person?” I was getting referral fees. Then they were asking me, “How do I do this on LinkedIn myself?”

So I wrote a book . I found another coach who had written a book and I said, “Show me how to write a book,” and I wrote a book about LinkedIn by—I was 25 years old.

And all this was happening so fast because I had all this time on my hands, and I didn’t have a job, but I applied myself by learning and mastering skills over that year and a half.

Lewis: I learned. And I was kind of like, “Wow, okay. I can figure this out, and I can do this thing, and I just started doing it every single week.” I had so much hunger because I was poor on my sister’s couch.

I just worked non-stop to make sure I stacked the bank account, didn’t spend anything because I never want to have this feeling of relying on my father who’s no longer here anymore, relying on my sister who’s giving me all her food and her couch. I didn’t want to rely on anyone. And that was 11 years ago, and it’s been a crazy journey.

Jen: It’s interesting because scarcity and financial fragility, insecurity, it’s a pretty powerful motivator at first, for sure.

Lewis: At first, then it’s empty.

Jen: It doesn’t last. It can get you out of the starting blocks, for sure, which it did for you. But it’s interesting to watch how your career has developed, because I get a sense now from you that what motivates you, what fills your tank is the sense of adding value to the world and building other people up in their relationships and in their careers and in their dreams. That’s what I sense from you that has taken over as your primary motivator. Would you say that’s true?

Lewis: 100%.  Just like playing sports, I was obsessed with being great, with being the best, with winning, right? And it worked. All of my late twenties, everything seemed like it was on fire. I was doing great things, I was connecting with all these business leaders. Things were happening and making millions of dollars on my business.

Until I hit 30 where it seemed like everything fell apart. And I was in a long-distance relationship that I moved for someone to L.A. about seven years ago, and she broke up with me the day I moved there.

Jen: Wow, that’s rough.

Lewis: I started to get really upset with a business partner of mine who I built all this stuff with and one point, almost got in a fistfight with him in the middle of Times Square like midnight one day.

Jen: That really went sideways.

Lewis: And then I actually did get in a fistfight in L.A. in a basketball game, in a pickup basketball game, I got in a fistfight where everything shook me up at that point because I realized, wow, I have a lot to lose and this is , and I was just like, what’s wrong with me? Why am I getting in a fight of a pickup basketball game that means nothing? I must have some stuff I need to work on.

And my best friend was there and he said, “I don’t want to hang out with you anymore if you’re going to be this way,” and that really shook me. I was like, wow, my best friend who I really care about his friendship, told me he doesn’t want to be around me if I’m going to act this way.

And I started seeking out help right then. I was just like, well, I’ll learn from anyone. I’ll go to any therapy. I’ll try anything. Going to Tony Robbins, I’m going to these workshops, I’m trying it all.

And there was a workshop I went to, an emotional intelligence based workshop in L.A.  And at one point, the facilitator of the workshop—there’s about 50 people in the workshop, maybe—he said, “Okay, now we’re moving into creating the vision for your future. It’s hard to create the vision for your future until you’ve let go of everything or addressed everything from the past ,” right?

And I stood up in front of the room, and I remember it was a half semi-circle of chairs people were sitting in, and I walked through the entire experience from five years old and just told the whole thing from everything I remember vividly, sharing every detail. And I remember sitting down right afterwards and just an eruption of tears.

I could not control the emotion. I could not control what was coming out of me and thank goodness there were two women on either side of me who were just … they were squeezing me and hugging me, creating a healing space for me. They’re crying, I’m crying, the whole room is crying. I sprint out of the room out of just shame and embarrassment and I leave and I was just like, I can’t go back in there. Now people really know who I am. They’ll never love me. They’ll never accept me. I can’t go back in this space and face these people again.

And it was probably one of the most beautiful moments of my life what happened next. I’m outside for a couple of minutes, crying. And I feel a tap on my shoulder, and it’s an older gentleman who gives me a big hug, looks me in the eyes and he goes, “You’re my hero.”

Jen: Wow.

Lewis: And he starts to open up. He starts to say, “I was seven and there was a kid that did this to me,” and he tells me his whole story. And he was like, “No one knows. I’m married. She doesn’t know. She’s always asked, ‘What’s going on?’ There’s always something inside of me that I haven’t shared and you’re my hero because I’ve never seen someone talk about it.”

And everything started to shift six years ago when I started to heal from the past, when I started to learn tools and strategies on how to communicate, on how to continue to heal my inner child day after day because traumas will come back up.  And it’s a moment of reflection and having peace and being aware and moving forward from a place and choosing love as opposed to reaction or anger.

Jen:   I mentioned earlier this series is on finishing strong because this is a time of year where the American mindset tends to sort of drift into entropy, really into apathy. Like, Ugh whatever, we’ll just throw in the towel, it’s the end of the year, it’s sloth time, we’re going to overspend—I’ll let myself go. I’ll eat the—just whatever. I’ll try to care in January. I’m overwhelmed, I’m overextended. Everything just sort of shrinks in possibility sometimes at the end, and then we believe that the time to fire up potential again is in January. But I’m wondering if we can reverse that idea, and so I’ve picked up on three dozen amazing tips and thoughts and approaches from you just over the course of our conversation. But as you think about the people that are listening today who are heading into the end of a decade, this is a pretty big deal.

Lewis: Huge.

Jen: How would you talk about finishing strong to them? Let’s just say they’re stuck. Let’s say they feel—

Lewis: Here’s the thing that you got to do.

Jen: Yes, let’s hear it.

Lewis: That I want you to do right now. Everyone listening, I want you take your right and put it in the air with a four. Put four up, make the symbol four, four fingers, and hold it up as high as you can right now. I’m actually doing this right now at my place.

Jen: I’m doing it right now.

Lewis: This is what I would do every weekend in football, in high school and in college in the fourth quarter. There is a symbol in football that is finishing strong, and that is holding up the number four in your hand, and we would do this. It didn’t matter if we were down by 50 points, or up by 50 points, or a close game or three guys who are stars got injured. We would do this every single game at the end of the third quarter, going into the fourth quarter as a reminder that you don’t win the game unless you finish strong. You don’t win the game in football, in your relationship, in your life unless you finish strong.

And people remember the finish. People remember the finish. They don’t remember the start, so January doesn’t really matter.

So this is an opportunity for you to hold your hand up high with the number four and say, I’m going to finish this month, this year, this decade with everything I’ve got, because that will carry you with momentum into the next year.

But people don’t remember how you start, they remember the way you finish and it’s going to inspire them either way to reflect on their life, like, how do I want to show up?

Jen: It’s fabulous. It’s so good.

Jen:  Okay I want to wrap it up here. In the series, these are three questions that I’m asking all the guests on the finishing strong series. So here’s the first one, just kind of top of your head, whatever comes to mind. Can you think of somebody who has given you an amazing example of what it looks like, what it means to finish strong?

Lewis: The first thing that came to my mind was Tom Brady. I don’t know. Maybe because I’m thinking of football, and I just watched highlights last night. This guy just knows how to finish. And some years they’re not actually doing that well in the regular season, they’re not always undefeated. This year they’re doing amazing, but some years they’re just a little bit above average. But when the playoffs come, they dial it in and they do whatever it takes, where other people get lazy, or they just don’t have it. And he is an example, and the Patriots are an example of how they finish strong.

Jen: That’s a great example. Here’s the next question: since, as we mentioned, a lot of people decide to start strong instead of finish strong so thus, New Year’s resolutions are often just a mess because they set us up for failure and disappointment if we’re not able to complete them. They fizzle easily. So for you, what motivates you to complete a goal and is there any way that you set yourself up so that the process is also part of the reward?

Lewis: I want to make myself proud. I want to do it for me. I used to want to do it to prove others wrong but this stage in my life, I do it for me.

And in my twenties, when I started off with public speaking, I had all these dreams that I wanted to do in business. I wanted to write a New York Times bestseller. I wanted to make, originally, I wanted to make $5000 a speech, 10 years ago. I wanted to do all these different things. And I would write these goals down and frame them and hang them on my wall, and I would put the date of when–it was kind of like a certificate of accomplishment–that I would have the date on there as if it was already accomplished by then, and I would sign it.

And I would do this with myself, and I would accomplish stuff in half the time that was even already unrealistic in the time that I’d set for myself because I had such focus on the goal.

So I think it’s just a change in mindset. We don’t have a hundred more years of our life. Maybe we do. But we might have this moment and this moment might be over tomorrow.

Jen: That’s fabulous and here’s the very last question. This is a question that I actually ask every guest in every series, it’s from an author that I love and your answer could be literally whatever you want it to be. It can be really big and serious and monumental or really small and tiny and simple. You pick. But the question is this, what is saving your life right now?

Lewis: Man, I think my girlfriend.

Jen: I thought you were going to say that.

Lewis: For whatever reason. I was trying to think what is saving my life.

I remember doing an interview two years ago and asking a guy, a pastor who’s married, and I said, “When do you know you’ve found the one?” And he didn’t hesitate, and he said, “When you find peace in your heart.” And I remember just being like, wow, I’ve never felt peace in a relationship and now I feel peace.

She’s just brought me so much peace and love and just saved my life.

Jen: That’s so great. I’m so happy for you and she’s just such a beauty inside and out.

Okay. Real quick, Lewis, will you tell my listeners where they can find you and all the work that you do and all that good stuff?

Lewis: Yeah. LewisHowes.com or just Lewis Howes anywhere on social media and School of Greatness Podcast is where my mission is. It’s where I’m here to serve people, and help people heal, and be inspired, and have stories, and tools to grow. So, School of Greatness Podcast and Lewis Howes.

Jen: We’ll link to all of that, all your accounts, all your stuff, all your goodness.

Hey, thank you so much for your time today. Thank you for being so transparent on this show and talking about your life and your story and your history and your future. It was just really great to talk to you and so happy to have met you.

Lewis: Thank you, Jen.

Jen: Just sending you so much love this Christmas season, and I hope it’s just a beautiful, beautiful time for you and everybody that you love.

Lewis: Thank you, Jen. Appreciate you.

Jen:  And there you have it. An hour of high octane conversation. I am so grateful to Lewis for coming on this brand new series and kicking it off with us and feeling really hopeful for you, listener and your families and relationships, your hopes and dreams, the places where you feel stuck or sad. This real sense to create meaning in this world and add value to it and love well and serve well and finish strong.

Everything that we talked about, all of Lewis’ stuff, I’ll have linked over at jenhatmaker.com under the podcast tab which includes an entire transcript. I hope that you are using that amazing resource that Amanda works on every single week. We have links, we have pictures, we have additional resources. Everything you could ever want out of any episode we’ve ever done is on the transcript page over on my website. They’re all archived there too. Anything you ever missed, anything you ever want to go back and listen to, we’ve got them for you.

Thank you guys for making this an amazing year of podcasting, and being such great subscribers and raters and reviewers and sharers of favorites episodes. You really are great, and we really appreciate and love you, and it’s our honor to serve you.

Okay, guys. See you next week.

Narrator: That’s it for today’s show. Hope you enjoyed this chat. Be sure to subscribe to my mom’s podcast and give it a “thumbs up” rating if you like it. From the whole Hatmaker family, hope you have a great week and see you next time!

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