Lewis Howes Spills 3 Secrets To Greatness You Probably Haven't Heard Of
Success isn't the goal for Lewis Howes. That may sound a bit strange coming from a wildly successful New York Times bestselling author, keynote speaker, industry-leading show host, and former pro-athlete, but to feel true harmony and gratification, he argues you need to strive for greatness—not success. (That's exactly why he titled his newest must-read The Greatness Mindset.)
"Success for me is really about selfish goals and dreams," he shares on this episode of the mindbodygreen podcast. "There's nothing wrong with having goals and dreams, but when it's to fill something inside of you, to prove people wrong, to look good, it's just never going to feel fulfilling."
Greatness, on the other hand, is all about accomplishing those dreams in the service of others, which makes those achievements far more sustainable. How do you achieve this greatness? So glad you asked: Below, Howes shares some of his favorite tried-and-true tips:
Follow the 1% rule.
"The goal is to be 1% better every single day at the thing that you're doing," says Howes. When you're passionate about a project or goal, it's easy to imagine the finish line, but that can make the venture seem too lofty and overwhelming. Rather, "try not to be so extreme," Howes explains. "How can I be 1% better every day, consistently, over time?"
It's a mantra he swore by when he launched his own podcast a decade ago. "I had no production quality, no interview training skills, none of this stuff," he recounts. "But I was like, OK, let me just try this. Let me fumble around. How can I make this better every episode?" Now, almost 1,400 episodes later, he has exceeded his expectations. "You just increase your value in life, and you become better at what you're doing. That's been the strategy for me," he adds.
Heal your wounds.
You can't expect to move forward if you have unhealed trauma holding you back. Of course, trauma manifests differently for everyone: For some, it's anger; for others, it's self-doubt. No matter your specific wounds, it's important to acknowledge and try to work through them so they wield less power over you over time.
"Emotional regulation is one of the most powerful tools we can all learn," Howes says. That doesn't mean you should never feel any negative emotions at all, of course. "It's learning to respond based on your mission, your vision, and your values, not based on your wounds," he adds. Only then, he says, can you achieve true greatness.
"If people could manage self-doubt in a better way and process the healing, the wounds, the pains that cause them to doubt themselves, that cause them to be fearful of failure, success, or judgment, they would live a more meaningful, rich, abundant life," Howes says. "They would be more peaceful, present, engaged, caring, and that would ripple throughout the world."
Have a meaningful mission.
Purpose is the key to genuine, long-lasting success. "It's really hard to feel ultimate fulfillment if you're not clear on where you're going," Howes explains. You don't have to have every little detail mapped out, but it's important to have some sort of mission in mind—and you should be open to shifting that mission as you proceed.
Specifically, Howes recommends identifying different missions for the various "seasons of life," as you continue to learn and evolve. "I'm a big believer that we should all [have a] one-sentence mission for each season of life, and be willing to evaluate when the season's over and transition," he shares. "If we can't figure out how to develop a new meaningful mission once a big dream is accomplished, we are in for a lot of trouble."
But the meaningful mission recipe is simple: Find what you're curious and passionate about, determine your individual talents and superpowers, take stock of your shortcomings, and find a problem you'd like to solve. And repeat when you encounter a new goal or phase of life. "It makes it a lot easier to get up and be excited, even when you're overwhelmed and stressed. It allows you to manage it with more ease," Howes notes.
To maintain true success, you actually shouldn't strive for success itself. Rather, discover a meaningful and genuine mission, look inward to heal your personal wounds, and try to be just a bit better every single day—with consistency and purpose over time, you might just reach your highest achievements.
We hope you enjoy this episode! And don't forget to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or Amazon Music!
Jason Wachob is the Founder and Co-CEO of mindbodygreen and the author of Wellth. He has been featured in the New York Times, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and Vogue, and has a B.A. in history from Columbia University, where he played varsity basketball for four years.