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Lewis Howes: The School of Greatness Book Summary


  • You were born with potential. You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness. You were born with wings. You are not meant for crawling, so don’t. You have wings. Learn to use them and fly. (Rumi)
  • Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us. (Wilma Rudolph)
  • Author and journalist Steven Kotler, defines greatness as “waking up every day and saying Okay. Today I’m going to move mountains.”
  • What good is greatness if you can’t share it?
  • Greatness is a spiritual condition worthy to excite love, interest, and admiration; and the outward proof of possessing greatness is that we excite love, interest, and admiration. (Matthew Arnold)
  • Greatness is not just holding a gold medal at the top of a podium. It’s about inspiring people, about sharing a message, about believing the truth in that cliché: It’s the journey, not the destination to some perceived treasure or moment of adulation.
  • Greatness means having pride in yourself, being happy with yourself, knowing you’ve worked for something and couldn’t have done anything more. That is greatness itself.
  • Eight areas of focus and continual improvement.
  • 1) Create a vision. If we cannot see the possibility of greatness, how can we dream it (Lee Strasberg)
  • 2) Turn adversity into advantage 3) Cultivate a champion’s mindset 4) Develop hustle 5) Master your body 6) Practice positive habits 7) Build a winning team 8) Be of service to others.
  • The happiest and most thriving people are those who spend their time giving back, helping others, and participating actively in their communities. In fact, the best gifts are the ones you give; they make your own achievements that much more fulfilling.
  • Most people think greatness or being great is external to themselves, that it’s something you acquire or add on. That is not true. Greatness is something that is unearthed and cultivated from within.
  • The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. (Helen Keller)
  • You need desire to be fully alive and you need vision to fulfil your desires. (Danielle LaPorte)
  • Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential. (John Maxwell)
  • People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of. (Paulo Coelho)
  • A vision is not just a dream. A powerful vision emerges when we couple our dreams with a set of clear goals. Without both, we are apt to wander in a clueless and purposeless fog, because a dream without goals is just a fantasy.
  • Pairing your dreams with your goals is the essence of a real vision, unifying your vision lets you blow past what other people think your limitations are. Beyond those limitations is where greatness lives.
  • Project yourself into a future that you have no reference point for.
  • Greatness is a road leading towards the unknown. (Charles de Gaulle)
  • You become what you envision yourself being.
  • Write down your goal. Print it. Frame it. Hang it somewhere you will see it. Every day.
  • Writing down your goal is a powerful thing. Declaring your vision and putting a date on it, as though it will happen is even more powerful.
  • Living your vision is a commitment. It demands time and dedication.
  • Storms make trees take deeper roots. (Dolly Parton)
  • It is our actions that dictate what we create in reality.
  • Greatness is what remains when that talent and vision meet adversity – and persist in the face of it.
  • Every single new thing we attempt in our lives is like a new language.
  • The hardships we face in life can be seen as terrible tragedies or opportunities.
  • The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way. (Marcus Aurelius)
  • One thing that all great men and women have in common. Like oxygen to a fire, obstacles became fuel for that which was their ambition. Nothing could stop them, they were (and continue to be) impossible to discourage or contain. Every impediment served to make the inferno within them burn with greater ferocity. (Ryan Holiday)
  • Our perspective is always our choice. (Kyle Maynard)
  • There is no good or bad but only our perceptions.
  • It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness. (Seneca)
  • To be great is to be misunderstood. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • Part of greatness is being doubted and facing difficulty, and it’s precisely that struggle that contributed to greatness.
  • Greatness comes from fear. Fear can either shut us down and we go home, or we fight through it. (Lionel Richie)
  • You can go as slow as you need to go, but you cannot stop. You can never give up or drop out of giving your best in your life.
  • At some point, adversity happens in everyone’s life. It usually comes unannounced, and it doesn’t arrive with flowers and candy. It takes difference forms and hits each of us differently, but learning to address and overcome it is all about bending but not breaking in the face of the daunting situations it presents. It requires connecting your head and your heart to that deep well of energy within to push you forward in a positive direction.
  • Obstacles can be the way.
  • If achieving dreams was easy, then everyone would have done it and no one would suffer from that nagging feeling that either drives or depresses us.
  • What makes achieving your dreams and fulfilling your vision that much more special is the hard work it takes to get there.
  • Failure is simply feedback. It’s not that you are bad or not good enough or incapable. Failure (or feedback) gives you the opportunity to look at what’s not working and figure out how to make it work.
  • Oftentimes the biggest obstacle we face is ourselves. Negative feelings, self-doubt, self-loathing; they all come from within to sabotage our vision.
  • When you become aware that adversity is inevitable, it allows you to prepare for it happening in the future.
  • What you resist persists.
  • The champion’s mindset is all about focus, flow, belief, and emotional intelligence. It is the complete dedication to your vision of future achievement.
  • Bruce Lee explains flow, when he talks about becoming like water: “I said empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless. Like water. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend.
  • The purpose of visualization is to see the results you want to create, before they happen.
  • It actually takes only a little more effort to believe in yourself than it does to put yourself down. Make the decision to spend that energy on improving your mindset and doing things that gave you confidence rather than bring you down.
  • No one is going to hand me success. I must go out and get it myself. That’s why I’m here. To dominate. To conquer. Both the world and myself.
  • If you want to be the best, you have to do things that other people aren’t willing to do. (Michael Phelps)
  • You have to chase opportunity whether you are an entrepreneur or an artist.
  • Greatness is really the survival of your vision across an extended timeline, based on your willingness to do whatever it takes in the face of adversity and to adopt the mindset to seize opportunity wherever it lives.
  • Greatness is not something that comes to you; you go to it, and it’s always moving. You slow down, and it moves farther away. You stop, and it disappears over the horizon.
  • Hustle in the pursuit of greatness.
  • You have to be willing to do the work that others are unwilling to do if you want to succeed when starting from a position of disadvantage.
  • Hustle isn’t about working smarter instead of harder. It’s about doing both. Hustlers are better and badder. They take their place in this world, they don’t wait or hope or pray for it to come or for someone to hand it to them.
  • When you show up with that attitude of I’m going to master this, I’m going to bring my A game, you feel better. You have more energy, and the results are going to be better.
  • Vision without action is a dream. Actions without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese proverb)
  • You need both vision and action to achieve great things. Vision guides you; action propels you. But most people settle for the dream, because it is free and easy. It doesn’t require action or hustle, which comes at a heavy price sometimes. Most aren’t willing to pay the price.
  • Muhammad Ali once said, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, don’t quit. Suffer now, and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
  • If you don’t have a vision that gets you out of bed in the morning, go back to sleep until you find one that does.
  • I never knew a man come to greatness or eminence who lay abed late in the morning. (Jonathan Swift)
  • Your vision is what makes you want to get out of bed.
  • The difference between those who achieve greatness and those who cannot get beyond mediocrity is very closely tied to how hard they hustled.
  • We must remind ourselves that we will fail 100 percent of the time we don’t try.
  • True greatness consists in being great in little things. (Samuel Johnson)
  • Your vision won’t come to life without your assuming some risk or taking some action. Mistakes will happen no matter what. It’s part of the game; it’s part of life!
  • Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.
  • Everything I’ve ever been successful at has involved, whether I knew it at the time or not, massive action by being clear about my vision and doing whatever it takes to achieve it.
  • A leader is someone who understands that relationships are the key to success in business and life.
  • Write a list of 10 skills you want to learn. Start with the one that excites you the most and create a game plan for how you will learn it over the next 6 months.
  • The guy who is willing to hustle the most is going to be the guy that gets the loose ball. (Will Smith)
  • The hustle takes action. It requires getting over yourself and how you look. It can be a beautiful journey if you give yourself permission to hustle like a maniac because what else are you here to do other than make the most of what you can be?
  • If the body be feeble, the mind will not be strong. (Thomas Jefferson)
  • Everybody needs to realize, we are like batteries. Sleep recharges you. It increases and balances hormones, strengthens your immune system, gives you clarity, gives you focus, and so much more.
  • You can’t help someone else if you are not taking care of yourself.
  • Anything and everything is possible with a plan.
  • True greatness comes from the intentional act of doing something positive over and over and over again.
  • Successful people are simply those with successful habits. (Brian Tracy)
  • The number one way to waste your talents is to allow bad habits to take over.
  • Aristotle said, ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.’
  • A simple bad habit that almost everyone has: getting distracted. Think about how hard it is for us to stay on task these days; from social media to e-email, there is an endless pull on our time. (Eric Thomas)
  • The beauty (and curse) of habits is that once they are formed, they are hard to break. Consciously pursing great habits consistently will click you into autopilot on the path to greatness.
  • In early 2014, Entrepreneur magazine ran a story about daily habits of the wealthiest people in the world. These are their habits.
  • Maintain a to-do list 2. Wake up 3+ hours before work (to set themselves up for the day) 3. Listen to audiobooks during commutes 4. Network 5+ hours each month 5. Read 30+ minutes each day 6. Exercise 4 days a week 7. Eat minimal junk food 8. Watch 1 hour or less TV a day 9. Teach good daily success habits to their children. 10. Make their children volunteer 10+ hours per month 11. Encourage their children to read 2+ books per month 12. Write down their goals 13. Focus on accomplishing a specific goal 14. Believe in lifelong educational self-improvement 15. Believe good habits create opportunities 16. Believe bad habits have a negative impact.
  • Smile in every conversation.
  • Focus on gratitude, even if you do not feel grateful, you can always ask yourself, “What could I be grateful for?”
  • Energy and persistence conquer all things. (Benjamin Franklin)
  • Habits Manifest. What we do every day matters more than what we do once in a while. Make it easy to do right and hard to go wrong. Focus on actions, not outcomes. By giving something up, we may gain. Things often get hardier before they get easier. When we give more to ourselves, we can ask more from ourselves. We’re not very different from other people, but those differences are very important. (Gretchen Rubin)
  • It’s easier to change our surroundings than ourselves. We can’t make people change, but when we change, others may change. We should make sure the things we do to feel better don’t make us feel worse. We manager what we monitor. Once we’re ready to begin, begin now.
  • Greatness is about taking action toward change.
  • If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. (African proverb)
  • You will never outperform your inner circle. If you want to achieve outer success, improve your inner circle.
  • Our capacity for success and greatness is embodied by the people we surround ourselves with. If you aspire to greatness, make sure that you have greatness around you.
  • I’d heard before how you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, for better or worse.
  • You show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future. (John Wooden)
  • A highly motivated person, when he or she has targeted a worthwhile goal, uses a coach or mentor the same way a missile uses the new guidance system – to assist you in making adjustments and navigating difficult, uncertain, ever-changing terrain. (Denise Waitley)
  • Being selective about mentors, friends, and partners is going to be one of the biggest factors in the journey to greatness. Point being, it’s extremely important – I’d say absolutely necessary – to find the right coaches for you if you want to achieve greatness in any area of your life.
  • Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who seek greatness within you even when you don’t see it yourself. (Edmund Lee)
  • Your network is your net worth. (Porter Gale)
  • Nothing is more important than your emotional well-being.
  • Join or Create a Mastermind. A mastermind is a group of influential individuals who support you to take your business or life to the next level.
  • Masterminds: the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Make a list of 3 things. 1) Don’t like doing 2) Can’t do 3) Shouldn’t do.
  • People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.
  • Continue to surround yourself with positive people who care about you and always find ways to create a win-win in every relationship in your life. Relationships are the key to success, and it’s time to start investing in yours.
  • The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. (Mahatma Gandhi)
  • Greatness to me is just about being there for other people; living a life that is others oriented is where you achieve greatness. (Angel Martinez)
  • There is no passion to be found playing small and settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. (Nelson Mandela)
  • My definition of greatness would be living a life full of purpose, love, and dignity.
  • You get out of life what you put into it.

 

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