We love the School of Greatness Podcast at our house, Lewis Howes has an amazing ability to draw out stories and insights that are both entertaining and insightful. I would struggle to find a single episode that I did not learn something beneficial in at least one category of my life: business, mindset, relationships, meditation, daily rituals etc. In the last 10 minutes of the interview, he asks a series of questions, my favourite of which is the three truths.
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Lewis creates a hypothetical scenario “many years from now” where the guest is laying on their deathbed, content and surrounded by love. Unfortunately, all of their work has been scattered to the wind and the have a piece of paper and a pen, there is enough room for 3 truths only. Three things that they would leave behind to help guide others.
The answers vary, altered by experiences and personal ideas but some overriding themes often appear. Do it with love, be in service to others, practice gratitude every day, all accurate and helpful in every situation. I often wonder what I would say, will say, if I am fortunate enough to sit in the Greatness studio sharing a seat in time with many of our generations greatest. It is a difficult question; how can you possibly convey a lifetime of ideas into three short lines. An Albert Einstein quote comes to mind:
If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
I’m going to share my Three Truths in what I hope is Einstein simplicity. Eric Thomas was the first person I can remember putting these three together and my life since has validated his words.
#1 – It Will Be Harder Than You Thought
I have undertaken thousands of ventures in my life, some large (working on becoming the best fighter in the world), some small (cooking dinner for 6). Prior to starting I sit down and write out what will be required to accomplish the task, without fail I grossly underestimate the difficulty. When you are reaching for something outside of you, you will tell yourself it will be hard. You will be wrong, it will painstakingly difficult, break down in tears, throw things, sit in stunned silence difficult. That’s when you know it is worthwhile. Life in general is difficult, creating a life you want even more so.
#2 – It Will Take Longer than you Imagined
Estimate how long it will take to accomplish your goal, now double it, and again and again and that might be an accurate timeline. Malcolm
Gladwell wrote a book called Outliers, highlighting the need for 10 000 hours (it is likely more like 3000 – 17 000 but that lacks marketing appeal) to acquire mastery which is by no means a small amount. For most people this is a 10-year process, real success takes time, lots of it.
#3 – It Will Ask More of You than You Think You Have
In horse racing, the horses are bred for speed, strength, and size. A breeder plays god in hopes of creating a prize-winning horse. Of all the possible traits none is more important than gameness, the horse must want to run, love to run, show up to run day after day. If you have such a horse they will run full speed until they collapse, no thought was given to slowing or preserving. Very few of people in the world possess that natural willingness to die in pursuit of our dreams, but, it is required. To accomplish your goals you will have to give more than you think you can. You will have to round the corner like a thoroughbred, pounding the track, willing to collapse in pursuit. Nothing less will do.