What I’m about to share is all fairly fresh so I’m going to do my best to work through my experience while I’m communicating. Typically, I’ll write when I’ve already finished the processing part of my self-discovery and I understand it all. That’s when I sit down to write; after the processing. This feels – more raw, like I’m writing in my personal journal, not anything I’m preparing to share.
My inspiration to invite you “behind the scenes” was sparked by a comment from my inner circle about how quickly I can move from discomfort to epiphany. The more practice I have, the more efficient I become. Perhaps, sharing the processing with you is a way to help you practice also?
This latest and most fresh form of discomfort comes from blindly disliking another human being for an unknown reason. The object of my disdain comes packaged as a former-athlete-turned-successful self-development entrepreneur, author and speaker named Lewis Howes.
I’m still wondering at which moment I decided to “follow” him on Instagram. I’m fascinated why up until yesterday, I was still following him, even though I’ve never watched his videos for more than a few seconds because every time I did, I felt my skin crawl and moved on. As I actively practice non-judgement of others, this thought is equally uncomfortable.
By the online face of Lewis, and the snippets of his work I’ve seen, what I knew about him before these last two days, was teensy tiny. Besides the above, I know he has some formula for how he moves through the world. He has a structure. (This sparks something I’ve said I’ve been lacking recently). I watched him make his bed. (Seriously, it was on Instagram and p.s. I do the same). I watched a moment of him running. He has a routine. He’s attractive, healthy and successful. He looks like a wholesome human being, perhaps even charming. I can’t claim to understand, even as I type this, why his style irks me so much, or more specifically he irks me.
I adore Rob. The Robcast is my version of church. I had a few minutes to drive yesterday and was craving some Rob so I clicked on the interview. After knowing who it was with (Lewis), I stopped listening and tried to find another episode. I tried FIVE other episodes that wouldn’t load/play so, with a deep breath, I resigned and went back to Rob and Lewis.
Clearly I was meant to hear this one.
It turns out Lewis and I have some things in common that I never would have suspected. From growing up lower-middle class, to having some publicly-broadcast family disruptions as a child, to Toastmasters as a game changer. The podcast with Rob was specifically related to a book Lewis wrote called The School of Greatness which is also the title of Lewis’s podcast.
I’ve never listened to Lewis’s podcast but, I just ordered his book. I ordered it by justifying that it was a gift for someone who I think WILL resonate with him. Still not certain I could be that person.
I have blindly disliked this human, for zero reasons I can justify, UNTIL I heard his story. Now he’s piqued my curiosity. His story is something I want to know more about.
There’s a few threads in the podcast that I’m connecting in a new way as I think through this unfolding scene. Rob and Lewis talk about creating something from nothing, about breakthroughs and vulnerability. They cover pain and medicine, money and time. All of these topics and the views they share resonate as truth. More specifically, they resonate as MY truth. So I’ve been avoiding this human and his messages because they make me uncomfortable and yet I’ve found truth in it. Isn’t the truth sometimes the thing that’s most uncomfortable?
My sophomore year of high school, a few days into my new biology class, I realized I didn’t like my teacher. This is strange for me. I loved school and I had great relationships with most of my teachers. But this one, I didn’t like. I remember my Mom asking me what I was going to do about it. I knew myself well enough by then to know that having good relationships with my teachers was as important to my success and enjoyment of school as anything else, so I decided I was going to volunteer to be her lab assistant. My Mom was shocked. I told her, that I needed to like my teacher and I wasn’t going to get there by avoiding her. I was going to get there by understanding who she was and working with her. This is who I was as a teenager; it’s who I was born to be. It’s who I’ve come back to on my self-discovery journey. The person who says I don’t understand (read: like) this, let me get closer.
So, ( I shake my head as I type this) the moment has come to dive deeper into the world of Lewis Howes. To read the book before I gift it. To venture into his podcasts. To allow him to take the role of teacher and mentor in my life through his words and his work because perhaps, my discomfort is a sign that he’s going to help me grow in ways I could never have imagined.
The lessons we need and the people we need to deliver them, come to us in the most interesting ways. I’m fascinated to see where this thorn in my side in the form of Lewis will take me. I can’t deny that I was moved in a different way while listening to his personal story.
Whether someone is on your radar for a good reason or, like in this case, a not so good one…they are still on your radar. It’s not an accident. It never is. It’s always a chance to learn.
Maybe it has to do with the fact that he IS an attractive, successful (male?) human. (I don’t feel this way about others.) Maybe it’s because he’s figured something out that I haven’t. (I wouldn’t label myself as a jealous person and this thought applies to A LOT of others.) Maybe it’s because I’ve got a thing about “jocks” from my childhood. I have NO idea what has kept me actively avoiding this man and his work for so long. I just know that the time has come to stop.
I’ve got the age-old adage of not judging a book by it’s cover running through my head.
I’m grateful for Rob and everything I’ve listened or read of his work previously. These things have set a precedence of trust and growth. If it weren’t for that trust, I’m not certain I could have so openly (even if reluctantly) tuned into this conversation between him and Lewis. The conversation that has brought this new awareness. The conversation that will bring me to Lewis’s work in earnest. The one that will now take me into my next steps in a new way, because I’m taking on a new teacher. I’m opening myself up to the discomfort of attending The School of Greatness.