What Makes A Real Man? | Lewis Howes on Impact Theory | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "What Makes A Real Man? | Lewis Howes on Impact Theory".


Note: This transcription is split and grouped by topics and subtopics. You can navigate through the Table of Contents on the left. It's interactive. All paragraphs are timed to the original video. Click on the time (e.g., 01:53) to jump to the specific portion of the video.


Intro (00:00)

People are going to constantly judge us, whether we go after big dreams or do nothing. We're going to be judged. Either way, if we sit on a couch all day, our parents and our friends are going to be your lazy, do something with your life. If we go chase after the most audacious dreams we have, a lot of people are going to attack us and try to bring us down. So we might as well go do something with our lives and say thank you for the feedback and move on. - Everybody, welcome to Impact Theory. You are here my friends because you believe that human potential is nearly limitless, but you know that having potential is not the same is actually doing something with it. So our goal with this show and company is to introduce you to the people and ideas that will help you actually execute on your dreams. All right, today's guest went from being broke, broken, and living on a sister's couch, to creating one of the top 100 podcasts in the world, building a seven figure online business and being recognized by President Obama as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under 30 in just a few short years. Having grown up with a learning disability, being bullied and at eight years old, watching his older brother go to prison for selling drugs to say that he started out behind the eight ball would be an understatement. But thankfully for any of us who've ever listened to his podcast, The School of Greatness, his desire to learn was bigger than his fear of looking stupid and he leapt headlong into learning to use LinkedIn to meet people he thought could teach him something. He got so good at this that he not only managed to get some of the world's greatest minds on the show, a show, which by the way now has more than 30 million downloads, but he also leveraged it to build his networking techniques into his first successful online business, which he ultimately sold. Leveraging that success, he's now running another thriving online business, is a seasoned high performance business coach who advises billion dollar brands, as well as being a keynote speaker who has been on stages all over the world. His first book, The School of Greatness, crushed it, becoming a New York Times bestseller and details magazine called him one of the five internet gurus who can make you rich. He's been featured on Ellen, The New York Times, People Forbes, Inc and many other major media outlets. And at this point, by any metric, he's a teacher at The School of Greatness as well as his principal student. Please help me in welcoming the former professional football player and two sport all American athlete whose latest book, The Mask of Masculinity, is about to destroy your preconceived notions of what it means to be a real man, the Dean of The School of Greatness himself, Louis Haus. - So I wrote it. - Welcome. - The king of introductions is always-- - Dude, so I'm telling you what you've accomplished since last we sat across from each other in the interview scenario is so amazing that this interview wrote itself. I mean, literally, all you have to do is quickly compile the list of never-ending accomplishments that you've managed to write.

Understanding Self-Identity And The Concept Of Masks

Getting to know Lewis Howes (03:02)

But really, that's impressive. And I know how humble you are and so I know that you don't do like a lot of saying this stuff yourself. But like going through and I was like, good Lord, like it's really impressive. - Thanks man. - So well done. And I, yeah, I love it. You start with a vision and you focus on executable steps. - Yeah, I think it's about, the things I do are pretty simple. I just do them over and over again. And I try to find people like yourself and say how can I add as much value to your life as possible without asking for anything in return. That's kind of been my mission. It's like when I started out on my sister's couch, she was reaching out to people, asking them how I can help. Eight years later, I'm still doing the same thing. I'm just doing it at a different level. - It's incredible man. And I love that because it really is the story of intention, discipline, execution. Which is such a simple game, but so few people do it. - Very few. - So for them to be able to see what you've accomplished and it's pretty cool. Seeing on Ellen was dope. - Thank you. - I was really grateful, very blessed. You know, I was a dream of mine. I remember having a vision of dancing with Ellen on stage one time when I was on my sister's couch. - Right. - And I told her that in the first interview. I was lucky enough to go on twice. And I told her that in the first interview. And I was just like, you know, I like to bring things full circle. I like to have a vision or a dream. And then actually, even if it's 10, 20 years later, I like to see it come true. Most people I feel like just, if it doesn't happen within the first six months, they're onto something else. I can be like, is bored out of my mind doing the same thing over and over to try to do one thing. I think that's what's helped. - That's awesome dude. I'm sure that's what made you great as an athlete. There's exactly the same thing that's paying off here. And one thing I just wanna put a fine point on. And I obviously have no idea what you guys are doing behind the scenes, but it was very telling the way that Ellen is positioning you as like, the torch is being passed to the next generation of high level entrepreneur mentor. I thought that was pretty amazing. So, congratulations for that. - Things in the works. It'll be interesting. - It's awesome. - Yeah, thanks. - We wait to see where it goes. And then there's the super secret stuff that you're telling me about before? - I know, yeah, yeah. - Which when that goes through, and I will use that word very intentionally, when that goes through, we will have you back. We'll do an impact insider. - I like it. - And we'll talk about it for like 20 minutes and dive deep in the brains, - Nice. - to all of everything, yeah. - I dig that, yeah. All right, well, in similar fashion, let's talk about masks. - Let's do it. So, do you think people will be surprised by the topic of the book that you chose? - Absolutely. Everything I do is for a reason too. You know, I try to constantly do things that put me out of the box, that make me uncomfortable, and that challenge me. And talking about masculine vulnerability definitely is a challenge. You know, when I was in high school going into college, my siblings and I made a bet. They all said that I'd be like this drunk jock football player 'cause I was going to play college football. They were like, you're gonna go and be like a frat boy and this and that. And maybe it's part of my ego at the time where I was like, I'm gonna prove you wrong. I didn't have a sip of alcohol all four years of college. - That's amazing. - Never even felt tempted, because I just made that in my mind. I was like, I'm gonna be different than what people wanna put me in a box to be. You know, I've still never been drunk 'cause I just continue to carry that on. - Wow.

Living a life of self-discovery (06:22)

- I was in the school musical, I was in choir, I always did things. You know, I saw sedans, I tried to do different things. - I saw that. - You saw sedans well. - I've been saw sedans for almost over a decade. - Wow. - Yeah, over a decade. It's a big passion of mine. And I just try to learn, constantly learn things that normally people that look like me, who grew up like me, would never do. Because I feel like there's so much richness of life that I would have missed out on had I stayed in this athletic jock core group that, you know, if I'm generalizing it, just kind of did the same thing and talked the same way and lived a certain lifestyle. And I just didn't wanna live that life.

Ego and self-discovery (07:01)

I wanted to live a life of abundance, of learning, of constantly questioning who I am. And if I'm doing things for the greater good or just for myself. And so this topic was really a self discovery four years ago. I got in a really big fight. I started getting angrier and angrier in my life. As I was achieving more and more financially, accomplishments, awards, all the things, the nice things that you mentioned beginning as, those were happening. I would find myself more and more triggered emotionally. From simple attacks that people had on me, whether it be online, on social media or in person, in my relationship, I was very triggered where I would just get more and more bent on a shape and hurt in certain situations, and frustrated, resentful. And one day at the, I was playing a lot of pick a basketball at this time. And so over six month period, I was playing a lot of pick a basketball. And I was literally, every time I would go, I would get in some type of altercation. Usually it was extreme verbal altercation, screaming. If anyone ever stepped to me on the pickup courts in the rough West Hollywood neighborhoods. The mean streets of West Hollywood. If anyone stepped to me, it was like an instant alpha reaction of territory. I own this, this is my court. Don't ever try to talk to me in a bad way. Don't try to foul me in the wrong way. And let alone, I was doing the same thing to them. So I was like, before whatever reason, all these things started coming up more and more. And I was getting more and more aggressive at the basketball courts in relationships. And then I would take it out on the courts on like 18 year old kids. These kids weren't even a big, right? And one day there was a guy who was actually bigger than me and older than me. And we were going at it like, two silverback gorillas, like try to just like get their land, you know what I mean? And it got down to a really heated moment where he had butted me. And it was just like years of built up tension came out in that moment. Where I, you know, like superhuman strength came upon me, it was just like rage and anger. I had zero control, zero control over my emotions. I allowed my ego, my masks to own me as opposed to having emotional intelligence and owning the moment. And we got a pretty bad fight. And at the end of it, I was just so fired up. I couldn't believe what I did. And the guy's face was just mauled, bleeding everywhere. And I was just like, what did I just do? What am I doing? It was just like, I remember running home in shame and fear. One because the police station is right across the street from these mean streets of West Hollywood. And I was just like, what am I doing? Like I have everything to lose in this moment. What's, why am I allowed myself to be so frustrated, so angry to fight this guy on a simple basketball game where there's zero stakes. No one's watching, there's no money at stake. It's just my ego at stake. And I remember going home, looking in the mirror and just being like, who are you, Lewis? Like who are you? But I was trembling. I was trembling. I was like, what are you doing? And who are you? And that was the moment where I was like, I almost needed that catalyst to be like, okay, it's time to reevaluate everything, every relationship. The intimate relationship I was in at the time, relationship with my family, friends, everything. And the most important relationship was with myself. And I was like, what is my relationship with myself? I wasn't even sure what it was. Was I taking care of myself emotionally? Did I know how to communicate to myself in a way that I could have patience and grace throughout life's daily challenges or struggles? I didn't have the answers. And for a guy, and I know you're a guy who's constantly seeking for answers, seeking for the truth in the matrix, I realized I needed to go find my truth in that moment. And so it took me down a path of just self discovery, taking different workshops on emotional intelligence, going to different therapists and just asking questions and doing sessions, wanting to take in as much as I could from every expert about how I could let go. First, why am I so angry, reactive, resentful? Unforgiving, passive aggressive, why? And then how can I move forward so that it doesn't control me moving in the rest of my life? And that's when this book research really started to happen.

Having different answers (11:45)

Did you already have the notion of they were masks or was it not media? No, I thought I was perfect. I thought I was like, I had everything figured out. I was making good money, anything I touched worked. I was getting the girls, I was making sales, I was getting the accomplishments. So for me, everything was like, I know the answers at that moment. When I think the ego was present, you're unwilling to look for different answers or different solutions 'cause you feel like you already have them. So for me, it was really about, okay, first being aware, my ego is leading the way. How is this supporting me and how is this hurting me? Because in some ways, it was benefiting my life. I was achieving, I was getting recognition. I was making money, I was in good shape. In other ways, the most important ways, my internal wellbeing was suffering, was hurting, was confused, was depressed at times. And I was always in this conflict. And so first for me, it was like, okay, I realize that I have a challenge, I have a problem, right? It's that recognition. What can I do next? How can I have the understanding, the tools, the technology to move forward in a way that doesn't, that I'm not a slave to my ego? But I am aware of it. I can welcome it. I can have a conversation with it and I can let it go. And yeah, for me, it was being aware first and the second most important thing was learning to forgive, which I didn't think I needed to do. And forgive the things that had happened in my life with family experiences, other challenges that I went through, you know, all the intimate relationships I'd been in, that I was still holding on to past pain. And then again, forgiving the most important person, which was myself, for just everything that I did or didn't do or thought or didn't think and just finally letting go of so many things that I'd been holding on to. And when I held onto these things and didn't have a way to communicate things to myself or other people, that's when this like, this energy bottled up. You know, when men in general, when human beings, I should say in general, don't feel like they can communicate. Internal challenges arise and then it comes into physical and outward challenges as well. And that's when I started to realize, wow, I've been wearing a mask throughout my entire life. I've been wearing different types of masks.

The different types of masks (14:12)

Some phases of my life, I'm driven to just, if I'm being blunt here, you know, have sex with every girl on the planet. You know, my masculine brain wants to be like, it's not enough. I need to date more girls or I need to go after more, right? At one point, that was my sexual mask. At one point, I was like, I'm broke and I need to focus on making as much money as possible and having, you know, all the money in the world, the watches, the jewelry, the cars, like all the fanciest things. And I was driven with this material mask, which disconnected me from the rest of reality. I wore the athlete mask throughout most of my life. I had an aggression mask. I have had a know it all mask, a joker mask, all these different masks that have showed up in different times to protect me from literally just being able to have a conversation and connect with other human beings. Because that was my biggest fear, was letting people see what I'd been through, what I'd gone through. And the fear of them actually knowing that I wasn't perfect. And I think that was my biggest fear, is what if people actually knew that I had tons of flaws? Would they still accept me? Would they still love me? Would they still listen to me and be my friend? 'Cause growing up, I didn't have friends. Like you said, my brother was in prison for four and a half years and being an eight year old kid in a white middle class suburban Ohio, there weren't many other people that I knew that went to prison. Let alone other siblings of, you know, peers that I had. So in the neighborhood, obviously all the parents knew that I was the kid who had the older brother that went to prison. And I wasn't allowed to go into the kids' houses. Wow. Just by association. Now, so for years, I'm essentially playing in the backyard by myself. Just shooting a basketball, kicking a ball, throwing a ball against the wall, doing whatever I can to pass the time. And so these things just start to, I think way on humans in general, I'm not talking about just men, but humans in general, when situations occur, it starts to build up inside of us. Where we wanna defend ourselves, we wanna protect ourselves. And we start to just wear masks. And I think that's the challenge. And as coping mechanisms. Of course, yeah, of coping mechanisms. And also to get to the result of what we're looking for. You know, if we're not happy in a situation, if we're not, if no girls will give me attention as a 13 year old horny boy, what am I gonna do to like get the attention and have that connection and feel like I'm worthy as a boy trying to become a man. You know what I mean? So it's like we start to fixate on certain things to get certain results. And I've worn every single mask. I still wear masks, but I'm so much more aware in the moment and I'm quick to remove. At least I try to be quick to remove because I'm much more aware. So I think that's been key.

How to know when and when not to use a mask (17:09)

- One thing that I found really important in the book was the concept and you just mentioned it a minute ago that there are sometimes where the mask serves you. Which is how we end up wearing these masks. Talk to me a little bit about where is that line? Like how do we know when to leverage it? How do we know not only how do we know when to stop using it, but what awaits us when we stop using it? - So the first part, when do we know when to use it? We know when to use it, when it can drive and fuel us to help us achieve our dreams and help create better relationships. So if it fuels us into achieving our dreams and creating better relationships, put it on as much as you want. Once we take it off, when it's hurting yourself and it's hurting other people, if you're wearing it and it's not benefiting yourself and everyone else around you, it's time to take it off. It's time to be aware of a different mask to put on or take it off completely and be your vulnerable real self. You know, again, if you're a young entrepreneur who's got a startup idea, a product idea, you're gonna be very driven to get in the press, get accomplishments, get hit certain marks, hit certain financial goals so that you can live another month and pay your team and do these things. So you're gonna be driven pretty much at all costs to generate revenue, to get attention, to get your product out there. Maybe burning some relationships and trying to leverage too much that's gonna help ask for too much promotion from things. If it's hurting relationships and it's hurting your dream, it's time to take it off. If it's not for the betterment of all and it's hurting your health, I feel like it's time to take it off. But again, I think if you can do it in a way that drives your mission forward and leaves an impact on people around you, then cool.

Masks in Terms of Identity (18:54)

But that usually just means being your authentic self. What do you think about masks in terms of identity? Because for someone like you who spends a lot of time thinking about this, that not only did you go see a therapist, like it actually registered in your mind that that would be a helpful thing. For a lot of people it doesn't, they actually don't know what their true self is. Like how do they begin to deconstruct and differentiate between when you talk about wearing the athlete mask for so long in your life? And that was real, right? Like you had real passion, but you still do. I mean, you're on the US National Handball Team. So it's like there's a point at which it's real and sort of core to who you are when you're being authentic and then it spills over into a mask. How do you help people deconstruct that process to find where those marks are? I think it's a lot of self discovery. It's a lot of, for me, what worked was having open conversations and asking for feedback. And when you're wearing a mask, you don't want feedback. You wanna know that you're right, that your way is the right way because it's been working for you. So asking someone, hey, how do I show up for you? You know, is there anything I do that just rubs you the wrong way? Or do you feel like it's hurting our relationship? Or do you feel like I'm disconnected in any way? How often did you have conversations like that? Growing up, not many. But four years ago after this fight, I started having them every day. With everyone in my life. I think, you know, here's something you can start with. You can even have an open conversation with someone and ask them, ask them to rate you, you know? Whatever works for you, hey, will you write a list of the things that you feel like work really well for me, my strengths and my weaknesses? Or on a scale of one to 10, how open am I to feedback for you? Am I, you know, nine, where I'm pretty open pretty much all the time? Or am I about two? Where anytime you ever suggest anything, I push you away. Just start getting feedback from your closest friends. If you have an audience, you can ask your audience. From your family. Did you ask your audience? I didn't necessarily ask them to like grade me, you know, or something like that. But I started having an open dialogue with my audience. I started sharing and revealing things. I started opening up about the things I was going through, things I was letting go from my past that had really affected me. And kind of having more like a confessional with, you know, with my audience.

Open Dialogue with Your Audience (21:19)

Like, this is what's happened to me. This is where I'm going and this is what I'm working on. I hope you'll stick around. But I think asking people to write you a letter. You know, if you can't have an open conversation, if you don't feel good about that, email someone and say, "Hey, I just want to get some feedback." You know, I'm not going to get upset. I want you to speak openly to me. But could you write a list of like five things that I do really well, five things that you feel like are holding me back? And from our relationship, from our relationship with other people and from my dreams. Start there. You're going to get so much and say, I want you to be completely honest. Again, it's just one person's opinion, but it's their perception and perception is reality to that person. So I tried to get as much feedback as possible from my closest friends, my family. I had a one-on-one conversation with every family member. I took ownership and apologized for everything that I'd ever done. And I revealed all the things that had happened to me that I was terrifying for them to know. And I started with this question 'cause I was so terrified from my family and my friends to know actually who I was, things that had happened that I was ashamed of and guilty of. But I started every conversation. And I got this from a therapist friend of mine 'cause I didn't know how to communicate correctly. I said, is there anything that I could ever do or say that would make you not love me? So I started every conversation with that. 'Cause I wanted to know that I could be the most messed up person in the world and I would still have connection. And that someone would still love me. 'Cause I think at our core, that's our deepest fear. That we're not gonna feel love from someone. So for me, I started with my family members. They were all like absolutely not, especially my brother who went to prison. He was like, no, right away. He was like, nothing, you know? And it was just such a healing process to say, wow, I've known these people for my whole life. And yet they still don't know certain things about me. And I didn't know certain things about them. When I actually opened up and was vulnerable, when I opened up and was vulnerable and shared things with them, no one knew for 25 years of my life, it was like the most powerful, intimate conversation I've ever had with my closest relatives, right? And then they opened up in ways that I just had no idea what had happened to them. So our relationship formed a stronger bond. Our trust and intimacy formed a stronger bond. And I was able to just let go of things that I was holding on to for years, which allowed me to move forward. So I think it's starting with having those open conversations. You can't do that email and ask people to write down five things that you do well, five things that you could work on, just to get feedback from people. Some things are gonna land, some things aren't, but I think it's important to get that feedback. - What awaits on the other side for the people that do the work? - Freedom. - From emotions. - Freedom from anything that's been holding you back emotionally. Freedom from judgment of yourself, forgiveness, inner peace, the most powerful feelings in the world come on the other side. Now I'm not saying that you may not slip back into frustration and anger and resentment all these other things like I still have and work on every month and catch myself, but it's a daily practice to be able to learn how to take it off when my ego's in the way. Even this morning I got frustrated with someone was getting defensive over text, texting back, trying to defend myself and I was like, what am I doing?

Practicing this daily (24:44)

I'm living in this conversation about dropping the mask and yet I'm still wearing a mask right now because I'm trying to step to this person who's attacking me or whatever I felt like was happening. And when I said, okay, I hear you, thank you for your feedback, I can move on as opposed to how I'm gonna defend myself. You know, people are gonna constantly judge us, whether we go after big dreams or do nothing. We're gonna be judged. Either way, if we sit on a couch all day, our parents and our friends are gonna be your lazy, do something with your life. If we go chase after the most audacious dreams we have, a lot of people are gonna attack us and try to bring us down. So we might as well go do something with our lives and say thank you for the feedback and move on. Some things will land, other things will just bounce right off and it's our duty and responsibility to be able to move forward and be discerning of the information we receive, have a close group of people that we really trust who can cipher some of the information and give the feedback that is worthy and then try to learn, apologize, move on. That's all we can do.

Learning and apologizing (25:59)

One thing that I really liked about the book in the structure of the book was that, so you go through, this is the mask, this is some real life examples of people that have either worn it or avoided wearing it and still achieved at a level that you'd wanna achieve. And now, what do we do, right, and in fact, doesn't it say like, what can we do immediately? So I liked that a lot. You talked about, you have a daily practice, what does that look like? And maybe give it just like in the context of one or two different masks that either are most frequent for the average person or more frequent for you if that's easier. - Yeah, you know, the structure for me, I was like, I need something that's practical, that's simple that I could read myself and take action on, otherwise just writing about theory doesn't do anything for me. So at the end of every chapter, we break it down. First I acknowledge someone who's lived with that mask like a prominent person. Then I tear myself down of how I've lived with that mask, give examples.

Daily acting and evaluating (27:04)

So the whole book is essentially putting me down in a way and showing all my biggest vulnerabilities and shortcomings as a man. And then at the end, we break down just practical steps of how you can move forward. So one of these steps could be getting feedback from people closest to you, emailing five of your closest friends and asking what are your strengths, what are your weaknesses, from their point of view. It doesn't matter, you know, if they're right or wrong about something, it's just getting feedback and assessing the information. I really love journaling. Journaling for me is a way to express my own emotions to myself, which most men, I would say in general, I think the viewpoint is men aren't able to communicate their emotions, right? And it starts with being able to do it with ourselves. How did I feel today? When I got mad at this person, what did it do for me inside? How did that person feel after that conversation? - And is that actually what you're writing down those exact words? - Different things, different prompts based on different masks. Like give different prompts, yeah. But I mean, for me, it's just one of like evaluating my day. - Total stream of consciousness. Not worried about grammar punctuation. - Whatever, just, I mean, I can't spell in the first place. It's like, so I'm just like scribbling and I can't even read what I say. - And do you prefer that it's handwritten? Like do you think there's something more cathartic about that? - I think writing is powerful. Any way to get it out, you know, use technology to your advantage if you wanna voice it on a voice memo on your phone, do that. Any way to communicate your feelings. No one needs to see this. Start with yourself. I like having these honest open conversations more and more. Like I was so scared to be vulnerable. Prior to four years. And now I love like making people uncomfortable. You know what I mean? It's like, I love just being like, just asking questions that they would never get asked from a guy who looks like me. You know what I mean? And just going there. Because why the heck not? Why be surface level all the time? I think there's a time and a place for everything, but really trying to make myself feel as uncomfortable. So I'm never uncomfortable. And the more I do the uncomfortable, it becomes comfortable. So it's journaling, it's asking for feedback.

Journaling (29:13)

It's meditating where I'm just, you know, in the morning when I meditate, I set my intention. I literally know how powerful my ego is. And then I could be easily triggered to react like a silverback at any moment. Like it's so easy for me to go to that place if I'm not intentional about the way I wanna be throughout the day. So that's why when I'm meditating, I'm thinking about any scenario that could happen today. With my girlfriend, what if she gets upset at me for something that I forgot to do? How am I gonna respond? You know, if a team meeting doesn't go well, how am I gonna respond? If someone misses a deadline, if someone does this, if someone does, I just try to go through things. How can I respond? If anything happens, I'm gonna react to everyone around me. I'm gonna take ownership. So I try to get clear on my intention for the day and in any area of my life. And when I do that, I feel like I'm prepared. I think most people, humans in general, aren't as prepared for these challenges. And then therefore they go back into just wearing a mask. When any situation occurs where they feel attacked, let's put on the mask because that's what feels natural. That's a really interesting point. I wanna dive into that. Why? 'Cause I so intuitively agree with you. Why at that point is the mask so comforting? It's what we're used to and it protects us, like you said. Is there structure to the mask? 'Cause they're like, well, the mask tells me I should behave like this. So at least I know what to do. I think so. It's a way to protect ourselves, to not reveal who we truly are. And when we reveal who we truly are, we are susceptible for being vulnerable and being wrong. And are the masks, do you think, are they created by this idealized notion of what a real man is? Yes. I think through our childhood, growing up, the images we've seen from our fathers or father figures, from sports heroes, icons, or other musicians or business leaders, any of the male icons that we've seen growing up, through our teachers. For me, it was a lot of my coaches.

Social Conventions And Self-Love

Social context (31:25)

These were the men that taught me through like the most difficult, challenging times for three hours a day of practice. And also then our peers in the locker room, in the school, after school activities, whenever a peer or other boys are telling you, don't fall down, don't cry, don't show emotion, don't be a, you know, any type of word we wanna use here, don't be a little girl, don't be a whatever it may be, all you wanna do is be accepted in this little community of your peers when you're growing up. You wanna be accepted. And if you stand up to the peers, your group that you're in, and you're like, you know what, I'm gonna rise above this and I am gonna show my emotions and I am gonna cry, or I am gonna not bully the other people like you're bullying them. I'm not gonna laugh at that kid because that doesn't feel good. But when you get outcast for trying to be a good human being, as a seven-year-old, 12-year-old, 15-year-old, from teammates, bandmates, classmates, whatever, you don't wanna be alone as a kid. Feeling isolated as a child, from my mind, is the scariest thing because that leads to depression, which leads to, you know, drugs, alcohol, suicides, prison. You know, I witnessed this firsthand.

Feeling outcast (32:45)

What it was like feeling outcast and the thoughts, the conversations I had with myself by feeling alone, going to the principal's office, and every time going to the principal's office when I would get in trouble, I would say I wish I were dead. I was like, I have no friends. Why am I even alive? I wish I were dead. I remember saying this, second grade, third grade, fourth grade. So for me, it's like, okay, I need to put on something to be accepted by people. I need to be the biggest, fastest, strongest so that I'm accepted on a sports team. I need to be able to get a girlfriend so that other guys think I'm cool and they'll hang out with me. I need to be able to make money so that I can take people out and pay for their lunch and dinner. I need to be able to be driven enough so that I'm accepted in society. And I think that's the challenge. It's hard to feel like I have these morals and ideals and I'm gonna stand up as a seven year old boy and like, screw the world. This is who I am, what I stand for. I don't care if you don't wanna be my friend. I can do it on my own. Like, we don't think that way growing up. We wanna just feel accepted and loved and just be a part of the class. And I never felt that way. And so I was driven to be part of my class, my team. And now I grew up very loving and supportive but I also grew up driven with these masks to try to be even more accepted 'cause I was afraid to be alone. - Now you talked about in the book, there was a high school, I think she was a high school teacher, right? And she did this basically survey 'cause you were like, look, if you think these are outmoded notions of old that don't apply anymore today, let me show you how present this is. - It's more present now than ever. - Walk us through what is, it was actually really interesting, even though I felt like, I understand exactly what it means. It was really neat to see it in black and white. Here is the traditional view of what a real man is.

The Traditional View Of a 'Real Man' (34:41)

So walk us through that. - Yeah, I mean, I think the traditional view is that a real man doesn't cry, doesn't show a motion. A real man makes a ton of money 'cause he can provide for his family. A real man is able to have any woman he wants. A real man is strong, athletic, physical. And a real man doesn't back down from controversy. So I think, and there's a number of other in the list, but it's kind of like those key things. A real man is intelligent, he can take on any challenge, all these things. And so that's where we get men who are stoic, who don't show a motion because, it was driven into me day after day to not show fear, to not show a motion on the football field. Driven into you. Don't show them that they got to you, right? Don't let them see you sweat, just like the simple things you hear over and over. But when a coach is beating you over the head with a whistle, screaming in your face, grabbing your face mask, throwing you down and you're witnessing this all the time. Because you're showing a motion, you're not gonna do it. You're just not. - Pretty fancy, yeah. - If you wanna play the game and you wanna be, you know, achieve your goal, you're just like, okay, I'm gonna be tough. Like I just broke my ribs. I'm not gonna let anyone know. Like you just keep playing, you know what I mean? And so it's just challenging. It's just challenging. And especially with boys in locker rooms of sports teams, it's like the conversations, you know, the locker talk is true, it happens. Unless there's a group of boys that just stand up and are like, hey guys, we're not gonna talk bad about these girls or about these other kids or about these guys. We're not gonna bully people, we're gonna be supportive. It's just rare, I feel like. It's just very rare. And you need to have a group of boys who are educated, who are educated by, in my opinion, loving powerful women. And I was so grateful that I had two older sisters and an amazing mother who constantly would like come back from these dates, like my sisters would come back from dates and be like, never do this, Lewis. You know, they would like tell me like, this guy's a jerk, he was an asshole, like never do this. And so I learned early on like, oh, you don't treat women this way. And there's a certain way to be in the world. And so I think I was blessed enough to have kind of that experience and that relationship with women early on that taught me how to treat just humans with respect, not women in general, but I mean human beings, all humans. And that's what it is, I think it's first education. And I think women are the most incredible humans in the world, in my mind. And you know, why is that? I mean, a woman gave me life, you know, I came out of a woman. And for me, it's like, I want to be here without my mom. Obviously my father was a part of it too, but just the love and the ability to give so much love, just like unconditionally, I feel like women are just more wired that way in general, obviously, a lot of men are as well. But I just feel like that love, that support, that softness, that sweetness, if the world had more of that support, there would be so much less wars, less fighting, less conflict, less arguing, just with that way of being in general, from, you know, just the love that women bring. I just feel like so blessed to have powerful women in my life. - And so that brings me to my next question, which is what then do you see should be the new definition of a real man and is what you just said included in that? Like should guys be aspiring to that where somebody would say, oh, I got equal love, support, encouragement from men and women? - I think it's simple. The definition of masculinity is living in service. Being in service to others and to humanity. We've been given so much just to be on this earth. That's the way I choose to look at life, is I've been given so much. Even if I went through so many challenges, I've been given a lot. I feel like it's my responsibility to leave a legacy by making humanity better and making the world better in any way that I possibly can, because I was given so much by just entering the world. And that's the way I choose to look at it. So a masculine man is someone who lives in service, who comes from a place of win-win, of we're all in this together and someone who lifts others up around them. And so I assume that you believe in self-love and that that's very important.

What Should Be The Basis of Self-Love (39:10)

What should be the basis of self-love? Like what things? Is it what you were just saying? And it's like you're looking for the win-win or-- - For me, this is just how I work because it's how my brain works. I rate myself at the end of every day. I rate myself and my health, my relationships, my business, my spirituality, I mean, everything. I just try to give myself a rating from one to 10. How did I deal? - Right. - And I rate myself and my emotional wellbeing. Where am I at? Am I at a one or a 10 today? It's like my health, I rate it, my business, how do we do today, my business, my relationships with my girlfriend and the relationships in general, my spirituality. Those are the main things that I focus on. - Those are the ones, okay. - If I wanna rate myself on my creativity and play and adventure, I can do that like other ancillary things, but it's usually those four core things. And I give myself a scale, you know? And where am I at? And why am I at four? What happened today? What made it a four? And what would make it a 10? So I just, again, am aware.

Putting Vision First (40:20)

- At a curiosity, do you put those, like, if two of them are conflicting, like your business and your relationship, which is from a time perspective, it can often be a conflict. Where do they fall? Like if you had to make them hierarchical, where would you put it? - My vision is my main thing in my life. And I feel horrible telling my family and my girlfriend and my friends that my vision is my main thing. But it doesn't mean that everything else is not a big priority, sure. And then I don't put my friends, my family, my relationship at a very high level and give them a ton of time and attention and the present fully with them. But for me, I just feel like my vision is the most important thing. And part of that includes my business, part of that includes my traveling to do work and every interaction that I have. So it's part of every interaction as well. So I just am constantly evaluating based on those things. And I say, where am I at? What would make it a 10? What would I need to do? It's never gonna be perfect, but I like to scale things and just rate and evaluate. Give me feedback. I welcome feedback. How can I make it better? How can I improve? How can I grow? 'Cause I don't feel like if we're just not getting feedback, then we think we know it all. We think we're like already smart as we need to be. And I know I'm never the smartest person in the room. And I just welcome information and feedback. Some things land, some things go right behind me, but I'm constantly a demand for feedback in my life. You know, in no way do I have am I this expert of like masculinity and can teach it to everyone? I just have broken it down from all the research I've done with psychiatrists and doctors and average day men and women and transgenders and drag queens. I mean, I interviewed everyone and said, what does it mean to be a man in your mind? I just wanted to get opinions and feedback and hear people because my way is not the right way. - Sure.

Men Take the Masks Off (42:22)

- And I just wanna make it simple and easy for men to understand maybe why they've become who they are, how it's supported them, how it doesn't support them. And then also there's a section, the end of every chapter for women on how they can understand the men in their lives a little bit better and how to get them the steps they can take to get the man to take the mask off without making them wrong, which is the most important thing. When a man feels like we're wrong, I'll speak for myself and for a lot of friends I know, we feel like we're wrong for who we are, it doesn't feel good. So how can you come from a place of love and semi-understanding when I know it's really challenging to do that? And almost ninja the man's mind and get them to take it off, right? Like how do you just like come from a place of such understanding and love where they just like, oh, I don't need this on anymore. Like you're not gonna leave me, you accept me, you love me, cool, I don't need it. And that's what it comes down to. Most people don't feel like they're gonna be accepted.

Women'S Perception Of Men

Women Understand the Men (43:24)

- Yeah, they're actually really neat, by the way, that you put that section in for the women and I thought that it was very smart and telling that you walked them through some of the things that weren't gonna work like, hey, let me just give you a couple triggers are gonna shut him down, he's gonna fucking clean that mask to his face. And I thought that was actually really, really useful, even if you're sort of in silverback grunting mode, that you could be like pointing at the page, like that's the thing that's triggering me and making me want to hold on to that. - Yeah, I mean, I was writing this book for myself 'cause I was like, I need this more than anyone. So let me break it down for more men so they can understand what's holding them back from their truest self and their greatest dreams. And then as I was writing it and researching and interviewing all these people, I was like, huh, I bet more women are gonna want to buy this book and just understand the men in their lives. They're fathers who have been stoic and showed no emotion their whole life or get triggered and mad in any situation. They're boyfriends, they're husbands, they're sons. I mean, so many moms that I've talked to who are like, I don't know how to get through to my son. And it's struggling. They're struggling to just connect in a loving way of their son when they turn 12, 14, 18. It's like, there's so much peer pressure. And now I didn't have social media growing up. You didn't either. It's like so much information we're getting of what we think we're supposed to be or how we're supposed to act or what we want. And so I was like, wow, I really need to make sure I'm writing this as well. So that women could hopefully understand a little bit more inside of how a guy thinks and maybe why they act. And the steps on how to get them to come from a place of who they are and love as opposed to ego, anger, frustration. So we'll see. I hope people like it. - That makes a lot of sense. - And I was gonna say, people are going to like it because it's so useful. - Yeah, that's the goal. - And the insights are incredible and the sheer variety of people that you talk about in the book, you directly quote, interview from Dale Dye and you would think that Dale Dye and Randy Couture, both who you interview for the book, that they would essentially be saying the same thing. They're so archetypal of the like alpha male but their messages were diametrically opposed. - Yeah, exactly. - And so that was really interesting. And then, yeah, I mean, just obviously you've collected a lot of amazing people in your life. The years of doing the show, which is one of the fantasies about doing this, is you meet these incredible people and then some subset of them actually stay in your life, which is like the biggest gift doing a podcast will ever give you. But all of those people that you've gotten close to make an appearance and certainly in the way that you write about them, you can feel the intimacy and there's just parts of their life that we otherwise wouldn't get a glimpse. So I guaranteed people are gonna like the book.

Misinterpreted (46:13)

That's for sure incredibly usable, awesome insights. Do you worry that some of the book will be misinterpreted? - I know it will be, 100%. My intention was to be as politically correct as coming from a good place as possible. But I mean, just putting out articles about men and women in general. With so much happening right now, it's just like the amount of frustration and pain and anger. I'm just like blown away of how the anger that men and women feel about the topic. There's a lot of right and wrong happening. And my mission is for people to not come from place and right and wrong because that's what causes a lot of conflict. That's what causes-- - You talk in the book, it's about efficacy, like what works. - What works and if you have an opinion and you just shout your opinion and say, you're wrong, I'm right and this is the way it should be. Most people aren't gonna listen to that unless you're speaking to the choir. Yes, you're gonna rally the troops who believe in that. But if you wanna make real change, listen to everyone else who doesn't believe in that. The reason why I believe the Democrats didn't win is 'cause they weren't willing to listen. Now, I'm not saying there's one party right or wrong or whatever, it's not even about that for me. It's like, just be open to listening to someone else who has a completely different point of view and see where they're coming from. I believe the greatest leaders in the world know how to understand where any person is coming from and can connect and communicate on their level as opposed to expecting that person to connect and communicate on the leader's level. - Very fair. - And when they can connect to someone on any level that they're at, that's when you can create change, in my opinion, that's when you can come together. That's when you can have some meaningful conversation and see how you can work together as opposed to working apart. And that's where I think as men and human beings in general, it's our mission to learn how to be an effective leader in life, a leader with our families, with our communities, and with ourselves. And if we don't understand how to communicate properly and listen, I think the thing that you do extremely well is you listen to the people that you interview, like you listen to your team, you receive feedback. Maybe you don't agree with it all, but you listen. And I think that is the key to creating real change, creating impact, getting people to take action is by listening and understanding where they're coming from as opposed to expecting everyone in the world to understand where you're coming from. - So the last time that we were together in an interview, I asked you your famous question, which is what are your three truths? And you said, it's always hard for me to answer 'cause it's always changing, which I love. So I wanna ask it again to see what different answer we get now because I feel like since I asked you this question, you have changed a lot. So it'll be really interesting to see. - Okay, since I'm not prepared, this is the first thing that's coming off my mind right now. - Even better. - Yeah, the first thing is, the first truth is to follow and pursue your dreams. Gosh, I just feel like what's the point of life if we don't have a dream? And if we're not in pursuit, I don't care if I ever achieve my dream, but I've gotta be in that pursuit 'cause that's why I learn the most, that's why I have the most amazing times, that's where I explore and adventure and travel and connect with people that I'd never meet because I'm following my dreams. Number one, number two would be to take care of your health. We have one body that I'm aware of, with the technology we have available for us today. And it's the only one we get. Make sure we're taking care of it to the highest levels. I'm talking about our mental health, emotional health, physical health. That's included as being grateful. All these other things that help you live a healthy life because without health, we won't have the ability to pursue our dreams for a long time. And the third thing is to live in service and give back. We entered this world for some reason. Most of us will never be able to fully understand what that reason is. Maybe we think we know, but who knows if it's the actual truth? We're here for a reason. For us to, it's a big playground. And if we don't give back to the world and live a life of service to so many thousands of people who have supported us in getting to where we're at before us, then I feel like we're doing a disservice to the world. So follow your dreams, master your health and live a life of service. - I do, those are three damn good answers. All right, where can these guys find you online? - Check me out, LewisHouse.com, at LewisHouse, anywhere on social media and maskamaskillinity.com for the book. - Nice.

Impact (51:40)

- And last but not least, what impact do you wanna have on the world? - I wanna make sure that people feel good about themselves and that my energy, my interactions or my content in any form makes people feel better and gives them tools to help them pursue their dreams, master their health and give back to the world. - I love it, Lewis. Thank you so much. - You're welcome.


Recap (52:13)

- That's great. All right guys, I think that we should all have a collective goal here and that is to make this book outsell the School of Greatness book, which crushed it. So we have a big task ahead of us. But I'm telling you, as somebody that's read it, this is actually gonna serve you. There's a lot of really awesome insights that are gonna make you stop and reflect on yourself and figure out when you're leveraging the mask and I love that he's honest. There are times that it actually does serve you. And so finding where that is, where's the moment where it serves me, where does it cross over into now? It truly is a mask and it's no longer how I actually feel, it's no longer how I actually wanna present myself to the world, but I'm living up to just some standard that now is holding me back. And finding that line is really, in his words, the key to finding happiness in your life, fulfillment and most importantly, relationships. And really being able to build the incredible relationship that I know everybody wants and whether that's with a best friend, whether that's with a parent, whether that's with a spouse, being able to really show up, display vulnerability, and be able to build a relationship that can survive the sort of natural ups and downs of the moments where the mask may slip on and it may not be the right move. Really incredible and just love, love, love. That this guy who is a two sport, all American on the US national handball team, former professional football player, is the guy that's bringing this to the world and talking about the realities of masculinity and then not needing to be the trap that we all perceive them to be and that we were all infinitely more complicated, whether men or women, than the stereotypes and the tropes that we believe were being forced to wear, but in reality, we can choose to shock off at any time, which is why I picked this shirt for today's episode. So get your asses out of the matrix by reading this man's book and getting rid of some of the things that hold you back. All right, this is a weekly show, so if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe and until next time my friends, be legendary. Take care. - Thank you guys so much for watching and if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe and for exclusive content, be sure to sign up for our newsletter. All of that stuff helps us get even more amazing guests on the show and helps us continue to build this community, which at the end of the day is all we care about. So thank you guys so much for being a part of the Impact Theory community.

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