TLS #101: Lewis Howes on Turning Failure Into Feedback (The School of Greatness)


Today’s Lively Show is focused on the mental and emotional groundwork that can either help or hinder our ability to live our Values and build the life of our dreams.

We’re talking with Lewis Howes, a genuinely kind and vulnerable person, former pro football player, successful business owner, Olympic hopeful, podcaster (The School of Greatness), and author of the new book, The School of Greatness.

Today’s episode is an intimate look at the early years of Lewis’ life that sparked a burning desire to prove people wrong, and later transformed into a quest to live from an authentic place of love and inspiration.

This episode is perfect for anyone looking to hear a powerful story of a man who came through great adversity to live the life of his dreams, and for anyone looking for practical tips to move past personal limitations.








  • Lewis’ childhood struggles with dyslexia, loneliness and aggression and how he was able to find acceptance.
  • Why Lewis believes that all things are possible and how he has been able to accomplish his goals, though not always in the ways he originally thought he would.
  • What his father did to instill in him the idea that he should never consider his age a limitation.
  • How someone can make the shift from being fueled by anger and resentment to being fueled by love, inspiration and service.
  • What Lewis believes is more fulfilling than accomplishing a big goal.
  • What Lewis is grateful for right now.
  • How we can start viewing failure as feedback.
  • The support system Lewis has built in his life and how he uses it to get out of a funk.
  • How learning to fully accept and love himself has changed his life.
  • What Lewis would tell someone just starting out on this journey.




The School of Greatness

The School of Greatness Podcast








This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. beckee

    I dunno…I kind of struggle with the advice given to women at the end of this podcast. I listened to it a few times and kept coming up with the same feelings.

    I don’t agree that women necessarily need to walk around and be happy all the time to make the world a better place. Especially in order to make it possible for men to be more productive.

    I think this advice downplays the intrinsic value of women – we are feelers, we are emotional, we have intuition that is downplayed in today’s society. When we present ourselves and our concerns, instead of it being viewed as negative, it would be nice if people would maybe take a step back and listen. So often I see in my profession that women are communicating concerns to open a bigger conversation, but they are interpreted as “too emotional”.

    We can all take a moment to self-reflect and recognize that we aren’t perfect. We all have work to do, we all have areas to improve upon. I understand the overall advice and appreciated what Lewis had to say about overcoming adversity. I just think that to overcome adversity within our relationships and professions, it doesn’t happen by telling people to just be happy. That feels superficial.

    1. Beautifully said, Beckee!

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject. And I agree, he came from a good place, though his perspective may not resonate with everyone. ??

  2. sarita_f

    I just listened to this episode and felt compelled to comment for my first time here.

    I was totally with Lewis until you (Jess) asked him about advice for women specifically. I was completely taken aback, even after listening to that segment a few times. Perhaps it was editing but to me his overall message was, b*tches be crazy, the way to advance this world is to shut up and sit down so the men can focus on the “real” work. And that being loving, kind and supportive is what all women should do, again, to free The Men to move forward with changing the world.

    Using the words “drama” and “crazy” to describe pan-womanly traits is problematic.

    I dunno. I’ve never commented here before but I just had to voice my thoughts on this.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Sarita! I personally believe deeply that Lewis came from a good place with this and that it isn’t super helpful to look into it as “women being crazy” and that we need to shut up. And yes, there may be some editing that took this out of context unintentionally. But like I said, I wouldn’t read too, too much into it.

  3. @jesslively:disqus, I landed on this article in a moment of self-doubt. I’m passionate about “choosing happiness” and am equally vulnerable to the complications of failure.

    I am a big fan of @LewisHowes (The School of Greatness) and @AndyCope (The Art of Being Brilliant). I’ve just flipped my analysis of the setbacks from an international relocation and 2 cancelled client projects into feedback instead of failure mode.

    My set backs were both situational and amplified by my choices. Not all of my choices were bad, but I see a better way to approach 1 of the 2 types of projects. The failure was a marker that the client needed to complete other actions that I couldn’t complete for him.

    In this case, I don’t need to prove the client wrong. I want to help future people in this client’s position move their work to the right resource or expert.

    Failure to feedback: I see how to explain and prepare future businesses to the right resources. I am passionate about being pragmatic and useful to the people I meet in my business whether they are clients or not.

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