Greatness Is a Mindset w/ Lewis Howes # 405

By Aubrey Marcus March 15, 2023

Greatness Is a Mindset w/ Lewis Howes # 405
What does greatness actually look like?

Today’s podcast is with my good friend, podcaster, author, and former professional athlete, Lewis Howes.
We discuss the concept of greatness, synthesizing lessons from his hundreds of interviews with world class experts he’s interviewed on his podcast, The School Of Greatness. We talk about how to overcome self doubt, fear, judgment, how to be the person your wounded parts need, and highlight key lessons we’ve both learned on our spiritual journeys.

Check out his new book:
The Greatness Mindset: Unlock the Power of Your Mind and Live Your Best Life Today

LEWIS: I'm a big believer that self-doubt is the killer of all of our dreams, when we doubt ourselves. And the causes of self-doubt are three main fears; the fear of failure, the fear of success, and the fear of judgment or other people's opinion.

AUBREY: Lewis Howes has been my friend for close to a decade now. We've climbed frozen mountains together with Wim Hof. And he's one of the foremost experts by interviewing the foremost experts on what greatness really is. And in this podcast, we talk a lot about the self-work that actually allows you to access your highest states of greatness, and what greatness really means to both Lewis and myself, and how the incredible people that he's interviewed really formulate greatness as a process as a way to live your very best life. So, enjoy this podcast with Lewis Howes. Lewis, my brother. Good to have you, man.

LEWIS: Oh, man. Thanks, brother. Appreciate you. Good to see you, brother.

AUBREY: Absolutely. Good to see you too. Alright, so I was thinking about how to start this. And, your new book, "The Greatness Mindset: Unlock The Power of Your Mind and Live Your Best Life Today". And one of the things that I know you ask everybody, and you've asked me at the end of your show, what is greatness to you? And this is a really particularly interesting question to ask you. Because you've heard from some of the greatest people on the planet, their answers to this same question. So, now I'm throwing it back to you. After all of this, you've literally not only created the school of greatness, you've been in it. You've been a student in the school of greatness. So, what have you distilled that really resonates with you personally about greatness?

LEWIS: Well, if I would have asked myself this question 10 years ago, before I started this journey, I would have said it's to be the best, or to be number one, or to be a winner, or something like that. That was my mentality. I didn't understand the concept of win-win. My drive was success for most of my life. And what I've realized is that success isn't bad, but it's selfish. And success is really about us getting what we want, which we should get what we want. But getting what I wanted didn't make me happy. And so, being great in sports gave me moments of happiness, but didn't make me feel community and connected. I still felt alone, being driven to be the best and being number one. Transitioning into business, being successful in business made me feel like, okay, I'm getting back at the people who hurt me when I was younger, I'm getting awards or acknowledged, I have money now. But it didn't make me feel like I still loved myself. So I was being successful, but I wasn't feeling something I really wanted. And so, after 10 years of kind of the research around greatness, for me, it is discovering, and developing the unique talents and gifts within you to pursue the dreams that you want to have, but also making the maximum impact on the people around you. And that's what greatness is for me. And I've heard a lot of different people talk about greatness being service. Once they've actually achieved and also kind of killed their ego, at the highest levels, like after all the fame and success and money, and have had a transformation in that process, a lot of them come back to saying, greatness is service. And being in service to yourself, yes, it's like going after what you want, having the success and making sure that everyone else wins around you. Empowering those around you in that success process. Not just, look at me, I'm the best, I'm the winner, that mean everyone else has to lose. But how can I win and everyone win around me?

AUBREY: Yeah, it's redefining the rules of the game, and I think that's part of the aspect, that it's our psyche that Freud called the ego. I like to call it the player. The player is, so there's the athlete, which is our body, and the athlete is just an animal. It has its instincts, it has its ways to move. Lebron’s a great athlete, you know what I mean? And he's a great player. Which means he puts on his jersey, the jersey has a number, the jersey has a name. And as soon as you put on a jersey, it has a team, it has all of these things. And you have a defined goal, because LeBron could probably be a sick tight end. He could probably be a bunch of different things. But he puts on a basketball jersey, ascribes to the basketball rules for this particular thing. And that allows him to decide whether he's successful at that game. So, really what I'm hearing what you're saying is, as the player of our life, then it's like, alright, let's shift the goals and the rules of this game to say, this is not about how many points I score, which would be another selfish version of like LeBron as a player, if he was like, I just want to score the most fucking points. I think he actually did score the most points.

LEWIS: He did, he did.

AUBREY: But the way he's always played is to lift his team up. [crosstalk 00:04:57]. And again, this is not like a, hey, Lebron’s the best. This is just an analogy. But, fundamentally, this idea of redefining the rules of the game to include, of course, in that case, there's team winning, but then saying, all right, well, my team isn't just one small group of people, which is I think a problem we see now in the world, is like, this is my team and everybody's against me. No, no, we've got a team. It's called Earth. And if you change the rules of the game, and the metrics of success to say I'm a player for Team Earth, let me put on my fucking people team Earth Jersey, and let's go.

LEWIS: And I don't know if you've felt this way. But I used to feel like it's me versus the world for a long time. And I used to even wear a shirt that said, Ohio Against The world. We go into these different tribes, communities, and it's like, it's us versus them. It's our team versus them. Which if you're in a certain sports season, you're in competition, and you are competing against another team. But ultimately, you're competing against yourself. And instead of competing against yourself, I feel like we're facing ourselves. We're facing ourselves and saying, how can we be the best version constantly? And what do we need to look at inside of us that is not working, that is not useful, that is not effective, to feeling peace and harmony in ourself and in our being, and being the best we can be? I know, me and you have had a lot of conversations over the last 10 years. I think it's been 10 years since I've known you. Pretty much right after I launched the School of Greatness, I think we connected like six months later. And I hit my 10-year anniversary last month. And we've had a lot of conversations about darkness, like us being in dark energy. Maybe not energy, but us feeling, pulled energetically in our body and our soul and our spirit and everything. And we've both faced these things within us in different ways over the last decade, through lots of pain and suffering internally. And I think a lot of it comes down to, are we in harmony with our highest self? Are we in harmony internally? No matter how much good we're doing externally, or how much we're creating externally, if we still don't feel in harmony, then we will suffer. We're going to suffer, we're going to struggle in unnecessary ways. Life is going to throw us challenges and adversity. But we don't have to throw more inside of ourselves to suffer within this world, I think. And I think you and I have gone through a journey of finding peace by being peace. Not by searching for it, but by being it, and overcoming the demons inside of us that made us feel like we were suffering or trapped and traumatized. For me, it's been a journey just like you of exploring and trying to share these lessons. And I think again, greatness, for me is about being peace, being free, being clear on who you are in this world, and using your gifts and talents to make an impact on the people around you.

AUBREY: Let's talk about that force that's inside of us. Because I've come in contact with this. It feels like we all have it. The force inside of us, it's I call it the anti-you. It's like the anti-you, there's you, here you are, here you are. And then there's anti-you, just trying to fuck you in every way, puts you down into places, thoughts that get you angry, thoughts that get you distracted, thoughts that pull you out of this resonance with your highest self, and into some other quagmire of thought, emotion, action. Stagnation is another place it'll try to get you. And I think Steven Pressfield named it resistance. I think that was a beautiful explication in the Kabbalist lineage. It's the Yetzer Hara. There's different ways you can describe this force. But how about for you, man? How does this force of resistance, the anti-Lewis show up to try and thwart your own life?

LEWIS: Oh, man. I mean, it's shown up in a lot of different ways. But I think the ego drove my life for a long time. Really, up until the last few years. I think I've been on a healing journey for 10 years, but I feel like the last couple years, I finally feel like I was able to open up and crack open in a way I haven't before fully. Because I used to have pain in my heart and kind of chest, and my throat. I don't know if you've ever felt this. Like a clenching in your throat, or a pain in your chest. It would kind of come and go based on the season of life you're in. And this pain seemed like it was always there, off and on, depending on the season or depending on the poor choice I would make in relationships. And it'd be gone for a while, then it would come back because of my decisions. Not because of other people. And I never blame anyone else. It's always me choosing certain situations, me staying in certain situations, and me causing myself a lot of pain and upset because of poor choices. And once I was able to fully recognize, okay, I keep making decisions based off of wounds, based off of a woundedness inside of my younger self, that I have not healed, just like we talked about off camera here. Like, I still didn't fully understand. 10 years ago, I started opening up about sexual abuse, and being sexually abused. And that was one of my main drivers, to get back to the world because I thought everyone was out to get me because of this moment, and many other instances that confirmed that I had been abused growing up. So the story that I told myself. But I still hadn't fully healed in intimacy. And so, I was driven to do things based out of non-spiritual desires, let's call it. And those non-spiritual desires were based off of a wound that was still inside of me. So, the last couple years, I went through a process of, on my phone, I don't have it anymore. For six months on my phone, I had a photo of my five-year-old self, on my screensaver. Not as a narcissistic thing to do, to look at myself, but really as a way to practice healing from all the parts of myself that never felt like I had an adult to take care of me, to love me, to support me, and give me the love and acknowledgement I needed. I know you've done a lot of these different things in your own healing ways. But for me, having a constant conversation with my five-year-old self for a period of time, through guided coaching, and integrating these practices and lessons daily, when my nervous system would flare up, and I'd feel triggered, like I want to react, and actually being peace in these fight or flight response situations, and actually learning how to calm my nervous system down and heal, and actually integrate and look at my five-year-old self and have a conversation with him and talked with him and say, "What did you really need at that time? What were you most afraid of? I'm so sorry you went through this. You know what, I'm here, now I got you." And actually bring him into my chest and into my heart and integrate him into my soul, and create harmony from that wounded place. Practicing it over and over again, has given me so much peace. And I did this from five years old up until now, I had a photo of myself from the different stages of my life that caused me a lot of pain and suffering, that I still didn't heal. I just would mask, I would get bigger and stronger. I would do certain things to numb the pain. And I never fully addressed all these things. I addressed some of them over the last 10 years, but it wasn't until the last couple of years where I finally feel like I've gone all in on surrendering the different parts of myself that felt wounded. That's still when you poke it, there's a reaction. "Ah, don't poke me there. I don't like that. That doesn't feel good." Well, why doesn't it feel good when we get poked? If there's a wound, it's going to hurt. So, if we're always reactive in life... I'm not saying you're right or wrong, good or bad. It's just not effective towards your mission. You're not being effective in the relationships you have, because you're reactive. You're not being effective in the career, the business you want to build, because you're using energy to defend yourself or to protect yourself as opposed to using energy to say, okay, well, this doesn't bother me anymore. Because I've healed and mended this wound, I've created new meaning, as Viktor Frankl says around that moment in my life, that memory. And when I can create new meaning around the memory, then I can draw the future to me faster. I can draw the idea in my mind of what I want to me much quicker, because I'm not putting all my energy on the past about being reactive and defensive. I'm peaceful, I'm free, I'm clear. And I can move forward.

AUBREY: Yeah, one of my friends, a medicine man, [inaudible 00:13:49] named Valco. He said in a in a sharing circle we had after drinking ayahuasca where they were co-facilitating. someone was talking about a period where they were going through and doing something similar to their younger self, in that process of reparenting, like Nicola Lepera would call it. Reparenting. And he's smoking his tobacco mapacho, and he says, "It's never too late to have a good childhood."

LEWIS: That's true.

AUBREY: "It's never too late to have a good childhood." I was like, fucking A, that's amazing.

LEWIS: That's an amazing line.

AUBREY: And I was like, that is a good line. Because basically what he's saying is you can be that parent to yourself at all of those ages, and almost time travel. And as we talked about earlier, like change your past to change your future. And that process is wildly powerful when you do it. And I really liked the idea that you had of doing it at every stage with photos. So, it like really evoked that memory of where you were.

LEWIS: I mean, I had a photo of my 11-year-old self. And this was a time, I tried to find the moments that were the most damaging to my soul. The most out of alignment or out of harmony, that I felt like my highest self was. So, whether it's something happened to me or I was causing something to happen out of alignment. So, it was a period when I was like 11 and 12, probably for about a year and a half, where I'd almost steal every day something from a store. Like a candy bar, or I would steal cigarettes. I would try to do, it was just a game. I'd just try to steal something and get away with it.

AUBREY: Yeah, so it was the rush of it.

LEWIS: It was the rush of it. And it was like, okay, where are the cameras? Where's like the glass window, the double glass? And it was just like, how can I--

AUBREY: Did you have like a spy song in your head when you were doing it?

LEWIS: Pink Panther or something? No, I just wanted to find me.

AUBREY: Dude, you should go as the Pink Panther for Halloween one year. Fully reintegrate [inaudible 00:15:49]. I invite you over to the house, a small trinket. You go, "Lewis, what are you doing, man?" Like, "Oh, this is Pink Panther."

LEWIS: Though the funny thing is, I did it because I felt really alone. I felt like I had no friends, I felt like I had no meaning. And I was like, what's my purpose? I don't know. My brother was imprisoned during that time for four and a half years. My parents were always arguing it. It felt like, this was my interpretation. They knew how to love us, but they didn't know how to love each other. So, I felt loved by them. But I also feared them because there was always some type of tension or screaming or passive aggressive energy in the house. And I was the youngest of four. So, my other siblings were in high school, they were living their lives, I was just kind of this young brat. So I was trying to find any way to get attention, to be seen, to show that I have some value or something. And when I could steal cigarettes and give them to someone in school, it was like, oh, cool, thanks, man. Even though I didn't like these kids. I was just doing it to try to fit in and belong, because I didn't know how to belong to myself. I had no idea how to be, and belong to me. And therefore I was trying to do things to find other friends. And it caused a lot of pain inside of me and a lot of suffering. It caused me to wear masks to fit in, to be seen, and be like others. So during that time, I had a photo of myself from like 11 to 12. And I just had a conversation with him. I just said, hey, you know what, you don't need to do this anymore. I forgive you. I know this was something you were doing to get attention. But I got you, I'm here for you, I love you, I see you, you belong to me, we belong together. And I created this new relationship. Again, it wasn't as simple as that. It was a number of months of doing a process, but essentially creating a different relationship with my 11-year-old self, and my 17-year-old self, and all the way up until now. And it's been a beautiful journey, because I've been able to create new memories from that part of my childhood, like you said. It's never too late to have a good childhood. And that wasn't a good time when we'd go to prison every weekend and see my brother in a visiting room. It wasn't a good time seeing my parents suffer, my siblings suffer. It wasn't a good time not having friends. But I'm able to create new memories from that time and new meaning. And really look now and say, that's exactly what needed to happen for me to be where I'm at now, on a mission to be of service to people. Otherwise, I want to care about humanity as much as I do, just like you, if you didn't have the pain that you went through. And so, giving it that new meaning made it a much better childhood.

AUBREY: Yeah, yeah. There's another thing that you were saying in that, previously about finding the places that are tender. And so I think this is another really important process. Yeah, exactly. And it's almost like, I find that one of the ways, at least amongst men that we actually can do this is through competition and play. Like when you're up against each other physically in some way, and you're talking shit, and you're poking, you're intentionally--

LEWIS: Trying to find a wound.

AUBREY: You're trying to poke at something. It's not in a mean way. But it's kind of like a massage of your ego in a way. And I feel like some people who really get particularly sensitive, like they're fragile, like you can break a bit of glass in their own psyche, and then they react, they haven't had this kind of almost massaging of constant competition in different ways. And that's only one way. There's all kinds of different things that can be triggered in romantic relationships and a variety of things. But when you take that idea of, I need to put myself through this kind of carwash massage of like feeling all the spots, and then when something hurts, or you react to something, bringing that into your awareness and then tracing that back to the root.

LEWIS: Exactly.

AUBREY: Like where does this come from? Why was that reaction strong? You know what I mean? I remember recently, I had someone say something that was offensive to me. And usually, people can say pretty much anything but--

LEWIS: And it doesn't offend you.

AUBREY: And it doesn't offend me, but this one, I really took offense.

LEWIS: What was it?

AUBREY: Yeah, I can say it. So, it was about how I facilitate medicine space.

LEWIS: Ooh, somebody gave you some feedback?

AUBREY: No, it wasn't even that. It was like, oh, we could get this person to do it instead of you. And I was like, "How dare you?" You know what I mean. But I noticed this super strong reaction, where if somebody said that about me being a speaker, or me being a podcaster, me being... My identity wasn't... This is kind of something I'm newly...

LEWIS: And you care about it deeply?

AUBREY: I care about it now really deeply. And probably also, I'm not quite as secure in it, you know what I mean? It's like, once you really know that you're really that good fully, then some part of you is relaxed. You're like, yeah, yeah, sure, you can get somebody else. You got another keynote? Great. I mean, I know I'm a great speaker, but it's like, yeah, all right. Cool. Yeah, that's fine. But this is newer, and I have this attachment to being really good at it, which is part of my process of growing and actually accepting. But instead of being unaware to that, I go, "Oh, damn, I must have an attachment in my identity, to my ability to facilitate medicine space." And I do believe that I'm very competent in this, it's been 24 years that I've been on the path. But nonetheless, there was a new formation of identity where a lot of energy was placed in this thing. And so, if someone said something that didn't feel like it honored that part of me, I got offended. And so, that was a great lesson for me. And I'm really using this example from a meta perspective of like the awareness to say, oh, wow, that hit something that caused me to react. And that's--

LEWIS: It's interesting you had that because I had an experience, actually, recently, last week. Nothing has really faze me too much in the last year and a half, but a week ago, and this didn't faze me. But I noticed it, kind of like what you said there. Where I won't get into details, because I'm not here to throw anyone under the bus or anything. But we're working with a partner on something, an agency that we hired. And we just weren't in alignment on stuff, and we were trying to figure out, hey, let's resolve this situation. Let's move on, let's figure out what we need to do to move forward in this process. And, shouldn't have been a big deal. But one of the founders got really offended about something someone on my team said in an email, and just kind of came up full nuclear, like back with a response, just kind of attack mode response. But really not what you should do when we're paying them, and we didn't come at them in that way. They just felt triggered by something we said. Anyways, don't want to get into details. But the response, when I read the email, I go, "Oh, geez." This is kind of really offensive, especially when you're paying someone, and they're saying this back to you. I go, okay, this is... Huh. And I remember saying alright, how do I feel about this? And I remember just saying to myself, my old me would have said, I'm going to call this person and scream them out. I'm going to type back, like you, this, and find all the wounds inside of him. And, just, I was able to actually see it for the first time and just say, okay, I recognize this. This guy got triggered from something that he didn't like, and went full on crazy mode. And, okay, I recognize that, because I've done that in the past multiple times. There's no perfect human. And what is my highest self able to do to respond to this? What is the best approach, as opposed to getting in a pissing match and fighting and causing a lot of anger? That is not effective. It doesn't matter if he's right, or I'm right, or who's right or wrong. What's useful to the mission that I have right now? Me getting angry and reacting and spending my energy and time and thought on this is not serving me in a healthy way, or the people around me. And I was actually grateful for it because I was like, okay, I get to practice. This was an opportunity to be in the playing field of the emotions, when I feel under attack. And I'm like, I have no response. That's fine, okay, that's how you feel. We'll let someone else handle this, and talk it out. But my ego is fine. You can attack me all you want, I'm staying the course.

AUBREY: Yeah, it's interesting. When you get in those reactive modes. It's like you literally transform into a werewolf.

LEWIS: A freaking werewolf, man.

AUBREY: It's like the hair is bristling, and the nails are growing, and it's like, there's this feeling and this blindness that comes about.

LEWIS: I just want to dominate and kill.

AUBREY: Exactly. It's like you've been attacked, you're like, oh, here comes the fucking werewolf. And if you're not really mindful of going, oh, I see the hairs growing, the canines dropping down and the claws coming out, and then say, let me chill for a second. It's not about suppressing the emotion. I think you've got to allow yourself to feel it, but also not respond from that, react from that.

LEWIS: I think the only time we should react from that is if we're in a physical danger and we need to. It's like, okay, then bring it out and defend yourself, and bring out all the animalisticness inside of you. Get the adrenaline out and save yourself, protect yourself, protect whoever you've got to protect. But it's an email. Or someone says a comment about a ceremony, you don't have to freaking come out and say, I'm going to win at all costs. I used to want to win at everything, and I was a very poor loser for a long time. I don't think anyone likes to lose. I don't think that's just in anyone's nature. "I'm going to give my best and lose, and that's okay, I'm still happy."

AUBREY: And I think, anybody like that, I don't trust them, because I think they're actually full of shit. In a way, like--

LEWIS: They just don't have a drive inside of them. Or maybe he's--

AUBREY: I think they're just burying an innate sense of... I think competition is built into us. It's built into sexual selection, it's built into evolution. Competition is built into us. And I think if you don't acknowledge that you're competitive, I think you become shadow competitive. Where you're competing and other things that actually really matter. Like your friend, like the people who are, I'm not competitive, but I'll see them look at their friend's success, and just feel the little bits of jealousy.

LEWIS: Judge them or something.

AUBREY: Like some way, or like some other thing. It's like, no, you are competitive. You're just not acknowledging it. Like I'm competitive as hell, on the basketball court.

LEWIS: I know, man. I want to come to play with you. The reason I'd want to live in Austin. Because I couldn't bear the heat for six months out of the year, and just like the furnace in your face when you walk outside. And so, I can come play basketball with you, and be on your team. I'm inspired by the videos you put out there.

AUBREY: Let's go. Let's go. So, with the healthy relationship to competition, you don't have to be competitive in the other areas. Like I can watch you just fucking crush it as a podcaster, and all of these things. Like, go Lewis, go fucking kill it. And you can really watch your friends succeed and win and be happy for them. But if you don't acknowledge your competition, I think it comes out... What I've just noticed is it comes out in other shadowy ways. Which are way more toxic.

LEWIS: Yeah. And, I used to, I'm sure like you, I used to want to win at everything. It's not like I don't want to win at everything. But I'm also, I look at winning differently. And if there's a sports game, I'm going to play to win. If we're playing pickleball, or ping pong, it doesn't matter. Freaking Pop-A-Shot over here.

AUBREY: But then there's also a spot where you watch coed pickleball, and it's the pros. And the men take all the balls from the women. They steal all the balls.

LEWIS: So what's the point of coed?

AUBREY: Exactly, it's like, alright, I get it. You want to win, but there's the spirit of the game that matters more. So that's where I think there's an edge, and even in sports competitions. Like playing the same shot over and over again, or like stealing the ball from your partner. It's like, what are we doing here? What are we doing here? Let's play within the spirit of this so that it becomes more of an infinite game than a finite game.

LEWIS: That's what I like about it. For me, I've gotten a lot better at losing, knowing that, hey, I'm in this to stay healthy. I'm not here to break my back. I'm in this to stay healthy. I want everyone to be healthy. I don't want to compete until someone hurts themselves or pulls a hammy or something. I want us to play hard, but walk away and live a good life. It's not like it needs to be the end-all, be-all for one ping pong game, and pull a hamstring or something. And really be the best competitor and the best human in the sport that I'm playing now. Whereas I wasn't that way previously 10 years ago. It was like, how can I win and let them know that they suck? And now it's how can I appreciate my competition? And celebrate, "Man, that was a good move actually. That was, you got me." And just clap, and be like, okay, and how can I get better, so that they don't get me next time?

AUBREY: What about when you're competing against people you don't know at all? Because this is actually, I think it's easier to have the mindset that you're talking about when it's all your homies. And you can get real fiercely competitive, but at the end of it, it's going to be, we're going to jump in the pool, we're going to kick it, we're going to have like--

LEWIS: A barbecue.

AUBREY: Yeah, exactly. We're going to hang out. So I'm in like a basketball rec league, and like, I don't give a fuck about those guys. I want to bury them. I want them to have a trauma response when they come on the hardwood--

LEWIS: Think about this for the whole week.

AUBREY: Yeah, exactly. I want them to be in bed with their girlfriend and get a soft, because they're thinking about what I did to them on the court.

LEWIS: I think it's great. I mean, I think it's fine as long as it's not hurting people. I think it's fine.

AUBREY: But I think it does point to this like, and again, I mean, I think part of this tribalism is important to acknowledge that it exists. And it's also important to transcend it. But for me just being perfectly honest, it's like, if I know the person, or it's like, and it's not that way. I end up making friends with some people in the league. Like you've got some nasty player and you guys, you go at it, and you're both good. At the end, you respect each other, and you see them, they're playing another team, and you're like, "What's up, killer? Blah, blah." So, I'm kind of joking, but nonetheless, you do kind of feel it's easier with that attitude with people close to you. And then it gets harder the farther and farther away you do it. Like, if if you're playing handball against fucking Bolivia, or somebody, it's like, "Fuck these Bolivians. Go back to oblivion."

LEWIS: No, you do that, but then you start to get a respect for people too. After you compete... With all these other national teams that I've played against... I haven't played in a couple of years. The last game I played was against the Brazilian national team, right before the Pan Am Games. And you really start to build a respect for great competition, I feel like. And you go into it saying, we're going to destroy these guys. And this guy's soft or this and that. But at the end of the day, the way we get better is by being against better competition. I was watching a video last night of the first ever NBA dunk competition. It was sad. It was like 1976 or something--

AUBREY: "And with the two-handed dunk..."

LEWIS: Exactly, man. It was like, they were a bunch of just one hander like, not even Tomahawk. It was just coming from the side. One was like a guy did a reverse two-handed dunk and that, ooh, the crowd went, like standing ovation. Guys are doing like, whatever.

AUBREY: Three, six [crosstalk 00:31:47]. 360 double pump, backwards, fucking jump over a person with another person on their shoulders.

LEWIS: Exactly. It's nuts, man. And so, we want good competition to elevate the best version of ourselves. And so, it's acknowledging that and the others as well. But yeah, when you don't know the person, you want to hate them, you want to destroy them, you want to act like they are other. But at the end of the day, if we're living in the, that we're all on the same team, you want to have the spirit of brotherhood and humanly love at the end of the day, after the game.

AUBREY: That was the part about that story from World War One where, it was Christmas, and they started kicking a soccer ball around. Both sides are like, which had been lobbing teargas and shooting at each other, and whenever. They just played a soccer match.

LEWIS: They played together?

AUBREY: Yes, like--

LEWIS: That is crazy, that gives me chills.

AUBREY: Both sides, the English and the German side. Might have been the German and the French, but they come together. There's this whole documentary, whole book about this moment about this Christmas game where they just play against each other. And it was this beautiful story of them recognizing they're all just like 18-year-old kids that love playing football, and they get to kick a ball around. But then imagining having to go back after you've humanized the enemy, and then going in and having to fight. I mean, there are stories. That was one of the most horrific wars, especially after that. The commanding officers had to literally threaten to shoot people to get them to fight. Because it's like, "What the fuck are we doing?" That's 18-year-old Franz who's fighting 18-year-old fucking Harry over here. Harry and Franz are the same fucking person, and they don't even know why the fuck they're fighting anyways. Because some Archduke got assassinated? You're like, "What the fuck, why are we doing this?" I think that's where... There's a poem that I was reading recently, I think it's a Yeats poem, and it's often quoted. It came before the war, and it was, things fall apart, the center cannot hold, the falcon cannot hear the falconer. The best lack all conviction, but the worst of us are filled with passion. It's like this whole idea of the world kind of falling apart. And what really falls apart is that there's people with this, this is me, this is the other, and then everybody decides, you have to attack. And back then it used to result in kinetic war. Right now, it's resulting in what they call fifth generation war, which is a war of ideas, but it's still the same thing. There's one side versus the other side, and then combat to try and destroy, literally destroy the other side.

LEWIS: Yeah, cyber war or something like that. Social media war, all these different things. And that's why I believe that, the work that you've done, that I've seen you do for the last 10 years and the work that I've been studying and doing myself is all comes back to healing. Because a lot of the pain in the world is caused by people that are hurt, caused by people that have yet to learn how to integrate healing into their life. And so, therefore, we defend, we protect, we attack to try to feel safer, as opposed to being safe inside of ourselves. Now, I'm not saying, when there's a physical attack, you should defend yourself and do whatever you need to. But a lot of this is unnecessary. A lot of the mass shootings are unnecessary. A lot of the--

AUBREY: All of them.

LEWIS: I mean, all of them, I'm saying. Yeah, all shootings are unnecessary. I believe all wars are really unnecessary.

AUBREY: I mean, unless you really look at it, when was the last one that feels like real necessary where you feel it in your body? You're like World War Two, probably. Like that felt like--

LEWIS: When someone's killing a bunch of people, you've got to do something. AUBREY: Damn, we can't really just stand by and watch that happen.

LEWIS: A lot of it is caused by men who are wounded, that want to protect themselves, and want to defend. And so, that's why I'm a big believer that men specifically, when we learn how to heal those triggers, those wounds, that cause us to want to have more power and control in unhealthy ways, I'm not saying having a certain amount of control over your life and power over your life is important, but when it's having power over communities in the world in an unhealthy way, because you want to be successful as opposed to being in service. That's when a lot of bad things happen. And so when we learn how to heal, and accept that we are whole, and get back to wholeness, there's a lot more harmony in the world.

AUBREY: I wish there was like a split test thought experiment that harmed no one in the process. But you could split test what happens with Hitler. When he's 12, he gets into jujitsu like we have here. And he's rolling with people on the mat, and he's tapping people out or other people are tapping him out. That's this kind of like massaging of the self. Potentially, he was just such a psychopath, that he was like an inevitable train wreck that had to come at some point. But I also feel he's one of those classic examples of someone who's so insulated and so full of rage that no one was able to actually like, "Hey, man--"

LEWIS: "Let's work it out."

AUBREY: You want to roll? Let's roll. Let's figure this thing out and--

LEWIS: And get humiliated, you've got to humble yourself.

AUBREY: Exactly. Like find the actual power dynamics instead of this crazy expression that existed. And, it's probably the case with a lot of people who resort to this kind of crazy violence. It's a combination of love from the feminine, which is absent. If you had that true genuine feminine love, and then that masculine camaraderie of like, yeah, let's go fucking, let's go sort it out. You're having a bad day/ Let's hit the gym, or let's hit the mat, let's hit the court.

LEWIS: And a lot of it is just, we just haven't been taught how to process the emotions. You speak a lot about this. It's like, I process through anger in sports. But I didn't fully get it all out. You can get some of it out through that way, but I feel like there's still, you've got to be able to get it out in other ways, in healthy ways as well. And speaking about it, I think, it's one of those ways, whether it be with a friend. But I think the stat is 50% of men say they don't have one male friend they can open up to. They can go to the bar to and have a drink with, they can watch a game with, they can play sports with them. But they don't feel like they can open up to one male friend. And when I used to go around and speak about the mask of masculinity, I'd go to audiences and have about 50% men and women, in the audience. And I remember asking the question to the women saying, "Women, raise your hand if once a week, you get together with at least one girlfriend, if not multiple girlfriends and you talk about your challenges, your insecurities, your relationship issues, your body insecurities, or doubts." And almost every woman raised their hand that once a week, they get together with at least one girlfriend, if not a group of girlfriends over lunch, with their mom or their sister, and talk about these things. And I said, ladies, keep your hands up if you do this every day. And pretty much everyone had their hand up and they all kind of laughed. They're calling their mom, they're talking to someone. I say, "Okay, for the men in the room, raise your hand if once a month, you get together with one guy friend and talk about your insecurities, your body issues, your relationship challenges, your fears, your doubts, your concerns." Usually, in a room full of hundreds of men, one or two would raise their hand. And I would make the joke, you guys part of a mandatory church group that does this where you all get together, and you're in a safe environment and no one's judged. And most of the time they kind of laugh and chuckle say, "Yeah, we are." And I say men, how many of you do this once a year? Raise your hands if you do this once a year. No hands go up, except for like a couple of church group guys. And I go, ladies, look over at these men. Imagine what would it feel like to only talk once a month about these challenges? How would you feel? They were like, I'd probably go a little crazy if I have to hold these things in, and only get to release it once a month, verbally. Not working out and all these other ways that are helpful and really support you but verbally. And I said, ladies, what would it feel like if you only do this once a year? They were like, I'd probably shoot myself, I'd probably kill myself. This is the things that women would say, I'd go crazy and I kill myself. They're kind of like joking, but I'm like, that's not a joke to these men. Because a lot of men commit suicide because they don't feel like they have a place to voice their pain. They can go to the bar, they can go to the gym, they can watch a sports game and kind of experience it that way. But you've got to be able to talk about these things as well to at least one human being. And that could be a priest, a guide, a coach, a therapist, a friend, whatever. But if you don't feel safe to be able to communicate with one person, it's going to be a scarier life.

AUBREY: I always feel like there's no such thing as hell unless you're alone.

LEWIS: Oh, man.

AUBREY: Like hell is alone. As soon as you got somebody who's like, "Wait, where are you? Hell? I'll go with you." All of a sudden, it's not hell. It's a different thing. I mean, it's maybe hellish. Still can suck, it's still suffering. But when someone's in there, and they're in there not from a condescending place, not like, let me coach you on how to do this. Because I think we have a kind of epidemic of amateur life coaches in the world right now. That's not what everybody needs. Sometimes just like--

LEWIS: Just a friend.

AUBREY: Just go in there, man. Just go in there and feel it with him, and be like, yeah, man, I hear you, I feel you and, and shit. I've been there too. That's really one of the most powerful things that anybody can say is, yeah, man, me too, I've been there. I've been there too. Because we all have in some way, maybe not specifically the same thing. And it's not like, "Oh yeah, that happened to me this one time." It's not that. No, I've felt something similar to your feeling, a heartbreak, that betrayal, that feeling of being lost, that feeling of having your lights so dim, you don't even know where the switch is anymore. Whatever the fucking feeling is, be like, "Yeah, man. I understand."

LEWIS: Just being there. I mean, literally yesterday on the way to the airport coming here, there was a crash in front of us on the highway. And I didn't see the crash, but I thought maybe it happened, I don't know, 10 minutes before, but there was a car flipped over in the middle of the highway. And natural instinct, I know you would do this too, I just saw it, and I saw people running towards it. And I go, "Oh, stop the car." And I just got out. We were kind of a few cars behind. I got out, and this girl is flipped upside down in this car panicking. She's in panic mode. We rip open the door, and I grab her out and take her out, and make sure she gets to the side of the highway. And she's in complete freak out shock. And I'm just sitting there with her, just like, "You're safe. Are you okay? Is there anything wrong? Do you have any broken bones? Are you okay?" Like checking herself really quick. Miraculously, she was fine. Some car hit her and she flipped on the highway at high speed. I was just trying to sit with her because she was like, I'm going to work, gotta call my mom, my brother, my boyfriend," she was all over the place. I go, you're okay, we're going to make sure everything's okay, we're here. A couple of people came up to her, called 911, all that stuff. And I just sat with her about 15 minutes. And I was just like, "Just take a deep breath. You're safe." And I think in those moments of complete fear, whether it be emotional and more irrational or trauma, like a crash or something that's happening, we want to feel like we're not alone like you said. We want to feel like someone is there with us in this chaos, in this pain, in this suffering. And, thank goodness, there was a bunch of other people that came around that was taking care of her. And I just said, "Is there anything you need? Are you okay?" And just sat with her for a few minutes. I was running late, but I wanted to make sure she was taken care of. That's what we want as humans. We want to feel safe, and that someone is there with us in the scariest moments. Hell, I think like you said is being alone in the scariest moments, and not having someone to talk to about it. She was still in hell, but at least she had a few people to like make sure, hey, the police are coming, we're going to take care of this. Is there anything in your car we can get for you? At least she didn't feel alone. I couldn't imagine feeling alone in a situation like that, or in any type of other scary situation.

AUBREY: Yeah. I mean, when you have other people there, it feels like there's a pathway to transformation, there's a way out, there's the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, the light that shines through the being of another person can actually help guide you back to the light.

LEWIS: And that's probably why you felt a little trigger when someone said, hey, we can find this other person to be the ceremony guide. Because you are a guide to so many people, you do help people transform from extreme pain and suffering into peace and freedom and clarity of their life. And you've done that many times over the years through your ceremonies, through your coaching, through your facilitation. And so, when someone doesn't recognize that in you, and they're like, well, we can find this other shaman or some other whatever person that maybe isn't as experienced as you, I don't know who it was going to be, you're like, "Oh, that doesn't feel good." But that's what I love doing. That's what my expression is, helping people guide them from this pain. Because you had the pain and you had to go through it yourself.

AUBREY: Yeah, yeah, no, that's definitely an aspect of it. But still, nonetheless, worth the introspection. We've been mentioning fear. And obviously, there's fear that comes up in a car crash, fear that comes up in... That's really healthy. I think most of us know the disambiguation between the healthy type of fear which is going to help you respond to a crisis situation that you need, and then also when that can get out of control. And you can get into panic and actually not be... Either be frozen, or not be able to move through that type of fear. But there's other kind of latent, all-of-the-time, constant, never-going-anywhere fears. And one of the things that you described in here, I think it was Dan Horners, whose research was, that we're afraid of the god of opinion, which is what other people think about us.

LEWIS: Yeah, Dan Millman.

AUBREY: Yeah, Dan Millman. So--

LEWIS: The god of opinion.

AUBREY: The god of opinion, and I was like, oh yeah, that god of opinion, this judgmental, Old Testament god of opinion, that's just constantly looking over us and judging what we're doing, which usually is a fiction. Usually, most people don't even give a shit.

LEWIS: They don't care. They're worried about their own life.

AUBREY: Yeah, exactly. They don't actually care. But we have this concept that we're constantly in terror. And sometimes, some specific face will be the face of that deity. But really, when you start to see it as like its own God, and that you're just projecting like a movie screen, different faces on it, the face of your dad, or the face of this other person--

LEWIS: Some bully or whatever it might be. Yeah, I'm a big believer that self-doubt is the killer of all of our dreams, when we doubt ourselves. And the causes of self-doubt are three main fears; the fear of failure, the fear of success, and the fear of judgment, or other people's opinion. Probably like you, I was never afraid of failure. That was not my fear because I grew up in sports, like you did. And we were taught that you fail your way to success. You can't make every shot, you're going to miss. But that's how you learn how to adjust and make the shot or catch the ball. And we learned that, Michael Jordan missed half of his shots, and he was the greatest. The best baseball players fail 70% of the time, and they're the greatest. So obviously, we never wanted to fail. But it didn't cause us to not act, because we were afraid of failure. Whereas a lot of people have the fear of failure. So it causes them to not take action on the book they want to write, or whatever they want to do. So, failure wasn't my fear. And I always wanted success, but I wanted it based on a wound, to feel like I was in control or had power or people liked me, because I was successful. So I was never afraid of it, and I went after it. But it was still never enough for me because of that wound. But I wasn't afraid of it. Most people when you ask them, have you ever been afraid of failure? They'll raise their hand, a lot of people. And then when you ask a room, have you ever been afraid of success? Is that what holds you back? An almost equal amount of people raise their hand as fear of success. I didn't understand it, because I always wanted it. But the more I studied it over the last 10 years, I realized that there was a massive responsibility and weight to gold. And there's an incredible documentary called "Weight of Gold" that is about Olympians, specifically, gold medalists that commit suicide, go on depressants, within six months to a year after they win the gold medal. Or after they go to the Olympics, because of the pressure of success, the responsibility. Now, they have to live up to it. Can they repeat it? All these different things. Also, it's hard to leave your tribe and community sometimes and go after more without being pulled back ,without being ridiculed a lot. So, I started to understand the psychology of the fear of success, but those two weren't--

AUBREY: I mean, one, very simple, because I've been in the kind of health and wellness space. One very simple application of this is, you have somebody that's part of an obese family, and they decide, they get motivated. In this case, I'm going to get Onnit, you know what I mean? I'm going to join the Onnit six program, I'm going to go to the gym, I'm going to get in shape, I'm going to take care of myself. And then they start going to the family dinners again. And then in an unhealthy dynamic, and of course, there's lots of people who are like so inspired by it, and like, "I want to get on your diet." So there's all positive examples of this. But there's also examples where there's subtle judgment. "Oh, you're not going to eat this sweet potato mash with the extra sugar and whatever else?"

LEWIS: "Are you better than us?"

AUBREY: Yeah, exactly. So there's interesting dynamics, where it's almost by being better, you're isolating yourself, your family or your friend group. Let's say you decide, look, drinking is not healthy for me in this relationship. And then you're out with your buddies, and they're like, "You're not going to have any drinks, what's the deal?" And you feel, alright, fine, like I'll go have this. So there's interesting ways in which actually success is, it can actually exclude you from the comfort of where you've been.

LEWIS: It's lonely. It can be extremely lonely. When I left school to pursue my dream of being a pro athlete, even though that was playing arena football, making $250 a week, it wasn't like I was--

AUBREY: Balling!

LEWIS: It wasn't like I was Aaron Rodgers up in here making 250 million a year or whatever he makes, but 250 a week, and playing in front of 15,000 to 20,000 people. Being a pro athlete for me was the dream. And there were other athletes that I played with that didn't pursue the dream that were probably more talented than me in certain ways. And, I was so excited about it, and trying to stay in touch with my former football teammates from college. And a lot of them stopped talking to me. And I was like, what is going on? We were boys for like four years, we went through hell together, I'm chasing this thing, I thought they'd be happy for me. Not all of them, but there were a few of them like that. And it really hurt. It felt lonely. I was like, man, I don't feel that support. And I'm not blaming them or judging them or anything, but it is the crabs in a bucket analogy. When you get a bucket of crabs, and one crab tries to get out, the other crabs pull the legs back down of the crab. And if they keep trying to climb out, they will break the legs off and so they can't leave the bucket. This is that analogy, that story. And so, there's a lot of different fears around success, like you said. But that wasn't the thing that held me back from taking action and being courageous in my goals and dreams. The thing that--

AUBREY: Again, sports though. It's super fucking helpful. People don't realize, it's like, well, what's the point? It's like, what's the point? You're practicing life, everything. You're practicing life.

LEWIS: Goal setting, team work, attitude, effort, energy, strategy.

AUBREY: Being actually vulnerable. Like a game winning shot, why is it intense? It's the most vulnerable thing, the stakes are really high. Because either you're going to have your whole squad fucking putting you on their shoulders, celebrating. Or if you have fans, I remember high school, you hit that shot, your side goes crazy all day, next day. There's people giving you high fives. They would actually announce it over the intercom, and be like, "With the game winning shot..." And you'd be in class. I remember, it was always my pottery class. I took a lot of pottery.

LEWIS:That's awesome.

AUBREY: It was always my pottery class. And there would be like babes in the pottery class. And I knew I just fucking balled out. And they would give like how many points I scored, and like, blah blah blah, they'd say something over it. I'd just be waiting for it, like trying to spin a pot. Like, come on, baby. Come on, baby. And then on the other side, you miss that, it's just crickets. People are like, "What's up, man." And they don't even want to look at you. Not because they're like judging you, because there's no like, "Man, that was tough." Yeah, that's a tough spot. So, this feeling of the magnitude, that trains you for life, and then you get used to it. And then eventually you don't duck your head when you miss a shot. It's just practice for life.

LEWIS: It is, practice for life. But that wasn't my fear. The fear that I was crippled with was judgment. And again, that was my kryptonite for a long time. Really, up until the last couple of years. I mean, I learned to overcome it in different stages of life, in different areas of life in the last 10 years. But it wasn't until the last couple of years where I felt like, okay, I've mastered it at a new level. I'm sure there's always going to be something to master with that. And always a, okay, am I ready yet for this next level? But I feel a lot more at peace about it. And life gives you opportunities constantly when you think you've "gotten to a certain level" to mastery of it. Where I'm like, okay, let's see, am I really not afraid--

AUBREY: Alright, so there's judgment, where some judgment actually hits a tender spot because you're judging yourself for that thing. And it's like you haven't really forgiven yourself for actually healed that, and there's some real truth in it. And there's the shame of being like... And again, shame is an emotion to be overcome and transcended, but you feel it immediately when you're like someone catches you being unconscious, being in a way where you were thoughtless, or discompassionate or something. Then you have to be like, alright, I'm sorry. And so there's that type. And then there's--

LEWIS: Yeah, feedback is key. But I think being held back because of the opinions of others, by not taking action on the thing you feel like you want to do.

AUBREY: Yeah, courage is action, not retraction in the face of fear. It's the way I like to look at it. But then there's also, so I want to chat with you about this. Because sometimes, people will come at you with stuff that's just false. Straight false. And that's actually, that level was intense. Because being judged for something where it's, you know what--

LEWIS: It's true.

AUBREY: Actually, that's true. It could be hard to admit, and you have to practice admitting you're wrong.

LEWIS: Taking responsibility.

AUBREY: Taking responsibility. But then there's another kind of righteous indignation when someone's coming at you for some shit that's just false. Like making stuff up. And then that's a whole other level of being comfortable. Like, you know what? That's okay. And that's like the next level of pure judgment.

LEWIS: It's spiritual purging. About four or five years ago, I was going through a breakup. And there was a lot of gossip, and people saying stuff that wasn't true. Some things maybe were true, other things I was like, that's not fair. That's not true. That's not what happened. And it's all one-sided opinions. And it was challenging for a moment, because I was like, I really want to set the record straight, and share the truth. But is that useful? And I had a conversation with Robin Sharma kind of right around this time, he was coming on my show. He was like, "How are you doing?" I go, "To be honest, I'm kind of going through this season of life right now. And it's just not fun."

AUBREY: I remember.

LEWIS: And he goes, let me ask you a question. Are there people reaching out to you, checking in with you? And I go, yeah, there are a few, but not many. Because all this kind of gossip and all this conversation. He goes, "This is actually perfect for you." Because, I'm going to try to quote him. He said, "A bad day for the ego is a great day for the soul." And you're in a season of spiritual purging. We want to purge the relationships that don't need to be in your life anymore. The people you thought you're friends, that you've helped for years that are now kind of going against you, and haven't even reached out to ask what's true, and what's not true, you can let go of these relationships. And it's going to be painful and hurtful, because you've invested time and energy, but you can start to let go with them. And you can start to really invest energy back into yourself, back into reevaluating, maybe where you were out of integrity or where you want to lean forward into, and what you can overcome. And investing back in those relationships that are actually there for you no matter what. And at the end of the day, we want to surround ourselves with people that will love and accept us, no matter what we do and say. It doesn't mean they're going to like what we do, it doesn't mean they're going to agree with what we do. But they'll love and accept us and give us that feedback. Not judgment or shame but feedback where, okay, you messed up, it's time to take ownership and responsibility. It's time to rebuild and create a new identity, a new vision for your life that you can start acting accordingly to every single day and building back into. And I was like, it was a great experience for me to prepare myself for what was to come in my life. And during that time, he said, "Listen, has there ever been anything in your past that was really painful to go through that you can think about?" I go, "Yeah, lots of stuff." And he said, "Today, would you take any of those things away?" And I go, "No, I wouldn't." And he goes, "Why?" "Well, because it's made me a better person, and the lessons I learned from it." Even like breaking my wrist and losing my sport stream, and the sexual abuse, and my brother going to prison, my parents going through divorce, being picked on in school, being in special needs classes all the way through college and feeling like I was an idiot. All that has served a purpose for me today to learn new skills. And he said, "Exactly." And something came to me right then, where I said, okay. And I remember a friend of mine reached out to me and said, "Hey, brother, I'm here with you." [inaudible 00:59:36]. He said, "Hey, brother, I'm here for you. I've seen some stuff. Like, I don't even watch this stuff. This is all just gossip to me. But just want to let you know, in six months, no one's going to remember this stuff. It's all going to pass. I've been through different stuff in my life. Just keep serving, get back to humility, keep being in service, showing up, doing good things. It's all going to pass." And he said, "In a few years, these people are all going to come back out reaching out to you, and asking for something once they need something from you." And I remember thinking these two things. One, I want to start having future hindsight now.

AUBREY: Hindsight is foresight.

LEWIS: Exactly. Robin was like, "Hey, look back to your past and realize that all these things were happening for you. So, this is happening for you too. And you may not be able to see it now, it's not comfortable. But in two years, five years, 10 years, this is going to be the exact thing to set you up for the next part of yourself." So, I started just believing that. I was like, this is a spiritual purging, this is happening for me. And it's actually what I need to be even greater in the future. That allowed me to get through that, and other stuff over the last five years, that I was like, this is kind of uncomfortable, or this is frustrating, or why is this happening? I was like, it's happening to serve my mission greater. And it's allowed me to spiritually purge and cleanse myself to move forward. And so, that was a beautiful time actually.

AUBREY: Yeah. So, one of the things that I moved through recently, so I started to pair psychedelic medicine journeys with intense bodywork, like somatic bodywork, almost like rolfing level intense bodywork--

LEWIS: To released it in the body.

AUBREY: So, Vander Kolk, "The Body Keeps the Score". This is kind of the record keeper of all of the trauma we've experienced, and trauma that potentially we've accumulated through karmic reincarnation, or at least it's just even collective. But there's one particular one that was always kind of haunting me. And it was this fear that my brothers were going to abandon me.

LEWIS: Like your friends?

AUBREY: My friends. And this is, particularly with the masculine. And actually, many of my male friends at some point, for whatever reason, have bounced and abandoned me. And many haven't. Like you've been one person, since the day that we became friends, I've always known you were there. We don't always talk to each other, but it's like, I can always count on. And so, there's lots of other examples of that. But as I was going through this place in between my ribs and my back, and she's in there, and I'm in the journey. She's in there with her elbow, and I start feeling this feeling. And it first comes up and it's just rage. It felt like I got stabbed in the back. So, it was just like betrayal. And then eventually, I started saying, I go into this kind of pattern, and I'm like, where are you on? I'm looking for my friends, my brothers. And it was like I was in a battlefield. It's like William Wallace at Falkirk, when he thinks he has all the allies, and then they turn, they made another deal with Longshanks and they go ride away. And it's that feeling of oh my God, where are my brothers? Here I am, I'm about to go give everything, my full heart in this battle. And they're gone, they're not here.

LEWIS: They left me.

AUBREY: Exactly. And it was this deep brother wound of... I just kept saying, "Where are you? Where are you? Where are you?" And it was some deep psychic fear trauma that I had, that I don't even think... I've definitely had a little bit of that in my life. But it was a big fear that I had, that if I was really out in battle, could I count on my brothers to be there?

LEWIS: It's a real fear, man. It's scary.

AUBREY: For sure. For sure. But I feel so grateful that I was able to move through that in this kind of ceremonial space, so that I could understand that this was a wound that I was always a little bit afraid of and always like, "Yeah, I trust you, brother. But are you really going be there?"

LEWIS: Do you really got my back?

AUBREY: Do you literally got my back?

LEWIS: So you didn't fully trust them.

AUBREY: There was some aspect with the masculine that I didn't really trust that they were always going to be there. I feel like so much more at peace with that. And actually, because I've gone through the fear, seen it through the other side, I feel less afraid in a way. And there's been a deep settling since then in my relationships from like, just more confident.

LEWIS: It's interesting you say that. I'm not going to say certain stories, but I can reflect back on certain times we've talked where you felt like certain men that were there for you in business or life, had kind of pulled back. Now that I reflect on it, I remember seeing that now how that was affecting you, and it was hurtful, and you were kind of ruminating on it a lot. It's like you're stressing over that. And, it's challenging, because we can't control who's going to show up for us at all times. And maybe it's not even about you, it's about their own life, or they're just busy or whatever.

AUBREY: It's often always about them, but it's like, can you count on people... Can you surround yourself with people that you can count on? That they'll be there with you in whatever dogfight it is, and it's like, you may have fucked up and it's all right. I'll help lead you to the path of redemption, I'm going to stick with you.

LEWIS: I'm interested. Do you think there was any unconsciousness inside of you that caused you to get into that car crash?


LEWIS: To see who's really going to show me.

AUBREY: For sure.

LEWIS: Really?

AUBREY: For sure. I went through a real understanding of that recently as well, where that was a moment where, one, I was deeply craving peace because my world was in chaos. And right after the car crash, because this was in the throes, in the very peak of my polyamorous journey. And this is one of the things we would talk about, you're like, "How's it going?" I was like, "Well, in some aspects, it's amazing. Some aspects it's absolute hell, chaos, torture." That one in particular, I think called to me, because for one week, when I was really like coming out of the hospital, and really everybody was showing up in peace. And everybody was showing up in love. All of the trivial concerns that everyone had, all of the grievances they'd had with me or with each other, they laid all that aside and was like, man, I've almost just died.


AUBREY: And for one week, there was the most blissful piece. And then that week didn't last very long. I mean, the nerve damage in my face is forever, my tooth is dead. There's things that are... But I think I called that to just have a feeling of, there's peace, there's universal love surrounding me. All family, all friends, everyone is all together in that moment. So, I think I called that forward. And I think I've called forward abandonment from my brothers, because I've been afraid of it my whole life. And I think I patterned that in different aspects with my father, but it's been this fear of the masculine abandonment, that's actually called forward situations that would have me face that fear. So, until I healed that, I was just going to keep repeating it in life.

LEWIS: What I've learned is that we cannot buy peace, we must be peace. We could try to buy it for a moment and have it for a week or whatever by doing certain things.

AUBREY: Yeah, I paid a big price to buy that peace.

LEWIS: Or you can give in to certain people to say, okay, you're angry, let me just give you this, to stop you being angry. And it only works superficially for moments, but we can't buy peace, we must be peace. And I see a lot of myself in you, in other ways, but I feel like it's hard to be abandoned by others if you don't abandon yourself. And for years, I was abandoning myself in certain areas, mostly intimate relationships, for the need to be liked, and to please others because of the fear of judgment. Being judged by others or not being liked by others. And so, I would give in, I would abandoned self, authentic self, to get others to like me. And when others would abandon me, I'd be upset and suffering as well. But it's because I was abandoning my authentic self in the process. And when I've learned over the last couple of years to stop abandoning myself, it has given me so much peace and freedom. Even if others are upset around me or other people maybe are disappointed. Not doing it because I want to hurt others or disappoint them, but doing it because I don't want to disappoint myself. And that has been a big shift for me in having more peace and freedom.

AUBREY: Yeah, I think a highlight for probably both of us was the trip that you organized to Poland with Wim Hof.

LEWIS: It was beautiful. Yeah, it was a good experience.

AUBREY: One of the things that comes from going through really challenging initiations with your brothers is you trust them. I remember we're climbing up Mount Świnica, and it's fucking freezing. It's penetrating, like getting hit with--

LEWIS: Pellets.

AUBREY: With pellets, like you're in a BB gun fight with the cold. And there was a point where my ice spike slipped off my shoes, and it was hard to see, and it was way down the hill. And I remember it was [inaudible 01:08:47] that had picked up my shoe, and was like, "I got you, brother. I got you." And I was like fucking A, I did not want to climb, slide down there with one spike on, one spike off--

LEWIS: Then go back up.

AUBREY: Then have to go back up, and then like, sat down there with me. And of course, you've got to take off the gloves to like get the... And your fucking fingers are biting cold and you're trying to get this spikes back on. But in that whole experience, I think all of us got to the place where we knew that we would have each other's back. And actually it still continues. Anybody from that group, because we pushed ourselves to that level, we trust each other implicitly because we know like when things get hard, when it's real cold, and like actually, you don't want to sit down there with me and help me put on my spikes, you want to get to the top of the mountain where you can actually put your fucking clothes back on.

LEWIS: Get out of this pain.

AUBREY: Get out of this pain. But people were there. Everybody was there for each other and--

LEWIS: Yeah, it was beautiful.

AUBREY: It's another way I think we can move through life where we can really start to trust people, and just be like, alright, if we've gone through this thing together, we'll go through anything together.

LEWIS: Do hard things together, for sure. Do hard things in a relationship together, go to challenges, adventures that are not always just perfect and fun but also, allow you to come together and be stronger together.

AUBREY: And that's it, man. I mean, when you're doing the hard stuff together, or you're doing the fun stuff, it's just so much better when you get to do it together. And I think greatness is, in many ways, it's a group project.

LEWIS: It is. It's a win-win. It's a we project. It's not a me project. Again, I wanted to be successful, and that was a selfish endeavor by itself. But when we include our success with others, and empowering others or being in service to others, for me that's a whole nother level of greatness.

AUBREY: Yeah. Well, man, it's been so good to see you, brother.

LEWIS: Great seeing you, man. It's been too long. We gotta hang.

AUBREY: I know, it's been way too long. I haven't been going to LA as much now.

LEWIS: Come out, man. Let's hang.

AUBREY: I know, we've got to hang, for sure.

LEWIS: You've got a book coming out soon, hopefully. So we've got to get you out there.

AUBREY: No doubt, man.

LEWIS: Do a bunch of content for you.

AUBREY: Hopefully we'll hang before then too. Of all the things we've done as friends from boxing to a bunch of stuff, we've still never played ball.

LEWIS: We played basketball once at your old office, the old Onnit... You had a quarter court. We could like one on one for like 20 minutes.

AUBREY: Yeah, it hardly counted.

LEWIS: But it's like you throw the ball off the wall and jump off the walls. It was like slam ball basketball. That was like seven years ago or something. Six, seven years ago. But yeah, we're going to play ball together for sure. So I mean, I haven't played in a couple of years. I'm worried, I don't know if I have my touch. So I'm going to start practicing again before I play with you.

AUBREY: I know, when I got in that basketball rec league--

LEWIS: You were in the zone, man.

AUBREY: Some things were going really well, and then some things was like, "Oh, man."

LEWIS: I can't dribble anymore.

AUBREY: I was like, "Free throws?" I haven't shot a free throw in a fucking minute. How do you do this again? Yeah, brother, it's always a pleasure, man. And I appreciate it. Our friendship always like, for those of you who don't know Lewis, you're just a really good friend, man.

LEWIS: Thanks, bro.

AUBREY: You're like a really good friend. You've always been a good friend, and I feel that, that we'll always be good friends.

LEWIS: 100%, man. Appreciate you.

AUBREY: And the book, "Greatness Mindset: Unlock The Power of Your Mind and Live Your Best Life Today". Is it out now? I know I've gotten earlier--

LEWIS: Probably when you post this, I'm sure it'll be out.

AUBREY: So, when you hear this, the book is out everywhere books are sold.


AUBREY: Beautiful.

LEWIS: Take a look. I appreciate it.

AUBREY: Love you, brother.

LEWIS: Love you too, man. Thank you.

AUBREY: Yeah, for sure. Take care, everybody. Thanks for tuning into this video. Make sure you hit subscribe. Follow me at @AubreyMarcus. Check out the Aubrey Marcus Podcast available everywhere. And, leave a comment. Let me know if this video resonated, or what else you would like to hear from me in the future. Thank you so much.