I get a lot of inspiration from other people’s stories – listening to how they lived, what they achieved and how much it cost the, how they were able to cope with both challenges, as well as hurdles in their lives. It gives me a boost and a certain admiration for what they can do now (I’m also aware that now every inspirational biography finds its way into a book, podcast story, or a YouTube video and it will always be a shame; everyday heroes are among us, and we have to cherish every day).
Lewis Howes is someone who crept into my life without warning when I first watched a video of his, his interview with Brene Brown. I didn’t watch it because of him, and yet he also made a mark in my memory. He’s genuine interest, honesty, open questions, and the courage to not shay away are truly admirable. I especially feel humble enough to listen to his stories because of what he went through as a young boy, and it’s an issue pretty much not present in modern society.
Coming from a shaky childhood (“My parents got divorced, my brother did jail time for 4 years (…) and [I] remember many times saying to school teachers, principals, and my parents that I wish I were dead,” he writes on his website), he now is a successful athlete (a former professional football player and two-sport All-American, he is a current USA Men’s National Handball Team athlete), entrepreneur (owner of The School of Greatness mentoring school), sexual abuse victim (abused at the age of 5 by a male adult), and an advocate for social causes (masculine vulnerability, providing education). But the above is now. And back then?
When he was 30 years old, an injury halted his football career and suddenly life had no sense for him. And at this moment he decided he needed to make a change, swerve for the better and improve his life. First, he reached to people he admired and established a few mentoring relationships, he used his athlete years to apply coaches’ advice from sports to life off the field, and he looked inside himself – analyzed his life, choices, relationships, dreams – to bounce back. That’s when the online business (The School of Greatness) happened. But, as with everything, he faltered at some point again, as it turned out yes, his business was thriving, but he wasn’t. That’s when his second big life journey happened when he focused on re-twisting the misguided beliefs he grew up with. His road to uncover the cloak of masculinity (based on his own experiences from childhood, locker rooms, and masculinity of business) led him on a quest to ask advice from the world’s best psychologists, doctors, and household names (among others: Tony Robbins, Alanis Morissette, Gretchen Rubin, Marianne Williamson). And this is what led to him preaching about masculine vulnerability, a brave and disregarded topic.
I admire the willingness to expose himself in order to find some greater value in what surrounds us. He approaches every subject with a beginner’s mindset. He’s probing and questioning, but respectful. And to me, he helps to reforge insecurities into power tools and vulnerabilities into forces behind your bravest choices.
Or you can start by watching my favorite episodes of his ongoing interview series: