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As a competitive athlete, I’ve spent my life focusing on my body and its performance. Breaking a world record in football, becoming All-American in the decathlon, getting into CrossFit and acro-yoga, and now playing for USA Team Handball, my home base is honing and listening to my body.
Something I didn’t understand until the past few years, however, was how much my athletic ability influenced brain performance. As a podcast host for a top-ranked show in the business and lifestyle categories, “The School of Greatness,” I’m privileged to interview some of the world’s best and brightest minds in health, fitness, business, entrepreneurship, relationships, and entertainment.
As I’ve spoken to many amazing men and women over the past couple of years, a clear message has come through: Taking care of your brain is equally as important as taking care of your body if you want to reach your full potential and step into your greatness.
I learned this myself a few years before I launched my podcast.
When I was first growing as an entrepreneur, after an injury made me exit my professional football career, I was working 18-hour days. My habits were horrible. I would eat sitting in front of a laptop. The quality of food I was consuming was terrible. While I was working out, the results I was getting were nothing compared to what I had been doing as a pro athlete. I was barely sleeping and the thought of meditating never crossed my mind.
Despite my ridiculous eating habits (which eventually caused me to gain so much weight my family started calling me “Flewis” for “Fat Lewis”) and break-neck pace of work, I managed to create enough financial success to move to New York City to play with the best handball team in the country. It was then that I realized I needed a shift in my diet to get serious about this new sport.
Still not even thinking about my diet’s effect on my brain, I made an impulsive decision to cut out sugar for 28 days. This change led me to lose 28 pounds — and I started paying attention to my diet on a whole. It was then that I really began to experience incredible success in my business, my relationships, and my athletic performance. Years later, I am now a firm believer in the power of diet, sleep, and meditation to not only keep my body healthy, but to keep my mind focused, sharp, and powerful.
Mental fitness has now become as important to me as physical fitness. This is just one of the lessons I have learned in the School of Greatness. My “professors” are some of the most brilliant minds in the world who have shared their wisdom and authentic stories with me on my podcast — which has allowed me to share it with all my listeners and now through my book, The School of Greatness.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far as a student of greatness, it’s this: Our greatest potential can only be unlocked when we have enough self-respect to honor our bodies and minds as capable of greatness.
Pick up a copy of Lewis Howes’ new book, “The School of Greatness,” for more insight on health and creating greatness in your life.
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