When I was in elementary school, I read voraciously. My favorite day was Tuesday because that’s when we got to skip science and go to the library. We were allowed to check out a maximum of two books, and I would walk down the aisles poring over what to choose. Sometimes, I would pick a book I’d already read but loved so much that I would read it over again. One book was called, Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days! Milo, the main character in the story, was at the school library when a book teaching him how to be perfect (in just three days!) bopped him on the head. He followed the book’s instructions – including wearing a stalk of broccoli around his neck – in the quest to become perfect. The book is hilarious and perfect for a kid.
The School of Greatness Book
A few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to read an advanced copy of The School of Greatness: A Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy by Lewis Howes. If you’re unfamiliar with Lewis, he is a former professional athlete, now a business coach and hosts the popular podcast, The School of Greatness.
Now, I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of school. That’s not to say that I am not a fan of learning. I just didn’t like school. It was expected that I go, and excel, so I did. It was expected that I get a college degree and so I did, in the least amount of time possible – 3 long years. I prefer to learn outside of the classroom by doing and by studying the people who are doing what I want to learn. That’s how I learned practically everything – how to write, photography, parenting, etc. So, on my road to learning how to be great at life, I stumbled upon Lewis’ podcast. If you’ve never heard of The School of Greatness podcast, in each episode Lewis interviews someone great (My favorite episodes have been Cassey Ho, Jack Canfield, and Tom Bilyeu – if you want to check those out first). I was very excited to hear that Lewis had a book coming out October 27th (TODAY! TODAY! TODAY!) and even more excited to get a picked to be on his launch team and get my hands on an early copy.
I did something I NEVER, EVER do, and that’s focus on reading one book at a time. Usually, I am in the middle of 3-4 books, reading some here and reading some there. With this book, though, I knew I needed to give it my full, undivided attention. First of all, Lewis is adorable (I think he’s single, Ladies ;)) and secondly, he’s interviewed some of the greatest people walking our planet today – in all genres of life. He’s used this collective knowledge and organized it into eight principles in life that you should focus on to achieve greatness. Within the 230 some pages of the book, Lewis shares his story and the stories of some of his interviewees on their roads to greatness. What makes this book great (pun intended), is that Lewis doesn’t just talk about great people, he guides you with action steps on how to become great (and it doesn’t require you wearing broccoli around your neck).
The book is divided into eight chapters – 8 steps to greatness. That’s not quite true as the eight things aren’t actually steps. They can be done simultaneously, out of order, or chunks at a time. You’ll find that some things you’re already doing and other things you really need to work on. The chapters are as follows:
- Create a Vision
- Turn Adversity Into Advantage
- Cultivate a Champion’s Mindset
- Develop Hustle
- Master Your Body
- Practice Positive Habits
- Build a Winning Team
- Be of Service to Others
Even though each chapter can stand alone in creating healthy habits that will lead you to greatness, you should start at chapter 1 – and I’m not saying that just because I am Type A and a little OCD.
Chapter 1: Create a Vision
I’m not going to give you too many spoilers, you’ll have to get the book yourself, but after reading the first chapter, honestly, I felt a little stressed. The first step to greatness is to create a vision. This is why I have so many self-help/business books sitting unread on my shelf. I always get stuck on creating a vision. Fear and self-doubt usually kick in around this point – is my vision worthy to be called a vision? Is this really my vision? What if I get bored with it after two years – like I do with almost everything…
But what makes this book different is that each exercise is broken down in bite-sized, action steps so a non-big picture thinker like me can process and take baby steps to figuring out what my vision actually is. This was the toughest chapter for me overall, but I was able to list out goals in all areas of my life as well as a set of principles that I read daily to help me achieve my vision.
The Rest of the Book
Some chapters were easy for me to read through, happy to know that I was already practicing a few of the principles that would lead me to greatness (such as making my bed every morning in the Practice Positive Habits chapter); Other chapters, like Develop Hustle made me see how much work I had ahead of me and how much I’d have to step out of my comfort zone. I could feel fear creeping in. What if I’m inadequate? What if people laugh at me? What if? What if?
As I mentioned before, each chapter has exercises to help you along, fight those fears, and reach your greatness potential. In Chapter 3: Cultivate a Champion’s Mindset (one of my favorite chapters), one of the exercises is The 15-Second Centering Breath Process. I’ve applied this technique whenever I feel stressed throughout the day and sometimes when I have trouble falling asleep, I run through the process. It’s helped me slow down, gives my body the oxygen it needs and relaxes me in that moment. Another exercise that I love and try to incorporate is found in Chapter 4: Develop Hustle (also a favorite). It’s called What-If Scenarios. I’m really good at the What-Ifs; I tend to worry about everything that hasn’t happened yet on top of whatever I’m worrying about at the moment. With the What-If Scenario exercise, you write down all the worst possible things that could happen if you went full hustle on your goals. Then you write down everything that could go wrong and experience the fear fully. (Sounds fun, right?!) Finally, redirect all those fears into positive outcomes, into “What could be…”
For example: What if I get fired…and it turns into a better opportunity at another job…
Surprisingly, that exercise helps me get grounded and gives me clarity on the next steps on my goals.
Each chapter has multiple exercises at the end like those mentioned above. They make the chapters infinitely more valuable by helping you go back to your vision and your goals and working toward achieving them!
Who is This Book For
Well, duh. Anyone who wants to be great, or strive to be a better person. And I hope, reader, you fall in that category. You can be great at one thing or at as many things as you want! I want to not only be a great person, but a great mother, a great mentor, a great writer, a great leader, a great entrepreneur, etc., etc. That’s why this book is so valuable; you can apply it to YOUR vision and YOUR life. This book is for YOU.
The book was released TODAY, and you can get it on Amazon, here: The School of Greatness: A Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy
WIN A COPY!!
Annnndddd, I grabbed a few extra hardcover copies to give away. If you’d like to receive a copy of The School of Greatness Book, comment below with a book that helped you in some way. I’m always looking for books to read. I’ll randomly choose three winners on November 1st to get your own copy of this life changing book.