Shaun White Reveals The Keys To Achieving Big Goals & A Winner’s Mindset | The School of Greatness Podcast with Lewis Howes

Key Takeaways

  • “There is a time to push through frustrating part and there is the time for a course adjustment.”Shaun White
    • Take a break and do things that have nothing to do with your passion: family, friends, try new things
  • For Shaun, losing in Sochi 2014 was probably the best thing that happened to him
    • He reevaluated his goals and built a team that was on the same page as him
  • Winning is amazing, but it doesn’t fix everything
    • Your competition score should not be the foundation for your self-worth because it’s not sustainable
  • Triggers are something you see through a lens of the past
    • Everything comes down to simple things like “I’m not enough”, or “I won’t be loved”
  • How to be on top of your field without hurting yourself along the way?
    • Avoid the trap of delayed happiness- waiting for “something” to happen to be happy
  • Having fun little goals along the way takes the pressure off from the big goal
  • Shaun White’s three biggest lessons:
    • Enjoy the little things because they are fleeting
    • “Know who you are and be true to that. Don’t be swayed.”Shaun White
    • Your family will always have your back. They like you for who you are not because you win a championship
  • Shaun’s definition of greatness: Greatness is about taking the same thing as everyone else and doing it a bit differently (style, charisma, what you say, what you listen to, etc.)

Key Books Mentioned

Intro

  • Shaun White (T: @shaunwhite and IG: @shaunwhite) is an American snowboarder and skateboarder. He is a three-time Olympic gold medalist in half-pipe snowboarding, and one of the most renowned snowboarders of all time
  • In this episode of The School of Greatness Podcast, Shaun talks about developing a champion’s mindset, why losing can be a good thing, and how he got started on his self-development journey
  • Host – Lewis Howes (@LewisHowes)

How Shaun Fell in Love With Skateboarding (Again)

  • The physical aspect of snowboarding is like riding a bike, you have muscle memory
    • Shaun realized it’s not about the physical, it’s the mental aspect that is important
    • The key is to want to be there, to be present with enthusiasm 
  • He took a break and did things that have nothing to do with snowboarding
    • Improving the relationships with people who matter the most (his family and friends)
    • Taking a vacation; between snowboarding and skateboarding, he never had time to take a break
    • Learning music and working out just because it makes him feel good
  • “There is a time to push through frustrating part and there is the time for a course adjustment.”Shaun White

Why Losing Can Be a Great Thing

  • For Shaun, losing in Sochi 2014 was probably the best thing that happened to him
    • Fewer endorsement opportunities made him rethink his business ambition and life goals
    • He spent more time at home, reconnecting with family and friends, and touring with his band Bad Things
    • Becoming a free agent, Shaun regained control of his career
    • He started thinking about the perfect situation that would make him return to snowboarding stronger than ever
  • He started building a team that was on the same page as him:
    • Got a new coach – Jarret John “JJ” Thomas, ex. professional snowboarder
    • He also found a new manager, publicist, and a physical therapist
    • “In snowboarding, it was pretty lame to have a coach for a long time. It wasn’t cool to care.” – Shaun White
  • Building an amazing team made all the little things that would usually put him in a bad state of mind go away
    • He was happy to be on top of the mountain again with his snowboard

Why Winning Can Be a Bad Thing

  • Winning is amazing, but it doesn’t fix everything
    • Lots of important things (e.g. spending time with your family and friends) are pushed aside for you to win
    • Winning doesn’t mean that your dog will listen to you
    • That people will care more about your happiness
    • Or that your business will perform better
  • The more you win the less you feel the need to prove yourself
    • However, your competition score should not be the foundation for your self-worth because it’s not sustainable
    • This is what Shaun did for a long time, but nowadays he is much more relaxed about losing than before
    • He is thinking of his career in the long-term, e.g. pulling out of events if they are risky and dangerous
  • Losing one event doesn’t matter, what matters is hitting the points to make the team, taking care of your body, etc.

Shaun’s Approach to Self-Development

  • Shaun started his self-development journey in 2018
    • The most important steps were therapy sessions and reading eye-opening books 
  • A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
    • An amazing book that opened his eyes to a lot of different things; how the brain works, how to assess and interpret a variety of life situations
  • Loving What Is by Byron Katie
    • How to apply the mindset behind A New Earth in real-life
    • Write down what upsets you and then ask four questions: 
      • Is it true? 
      • Can I absolutely know it is true? 
      • How do I react when I think that thought? 
      • Who would I be without the thought?
  • What thoughts “trigger” Shaun?
    • Triggers are something you see through a lens of the past
    • When someone says they don’t like your shirt and you get flustered; it could be that at some point in your past someone else said you had no style
    • If you are freaking out because of it, it’s because you are adding up all the previous negative experiences
  • Everything comes down to simple things like “I’m not enough”, or “I won’t be loved”
    • Shaun was told that he was gonna amount to nothing because snowboarding is a joke
    • For him, it was always a fight to prove his worth
    • But once you have the foundation of understanding that you are enough and that you will be loved regardless of winning, everything else won’t be so important

Advice for People With Big Goals and Dreams

  • How to be on top of your field without hurting yourself along the way?
    • Avoid the trap of delayed happiness- waiting for “something” to happen to be happy
    • It’s not always”all or nothing”, you can enjoy the process and still have the motivation without being attached to the outcome
    • “Success without fulfillment is the greatest failure.”Tony Robbins
  • After you double your money, win the next Olympics, buy a bigger house, etc., what’s next?
    • Sometimes achieving a goal “…is what you hoped, but it’s not exactly what you picture.”Shaun White
    • This is frustrating because there is too much emphasis on visualizing endgame
    • And if it doesn’t go exactly as expected, you are left hanging and disappointed
  • Shaun is a firm believer of the little steps – things that give him the edge over his competitors
    • What if you go to the gym when your competitors go out drinking and celebrating?
  • He believes people don’t set their goals the right way
    • You have to wholeheartedly know this is it and start the process of getting there
    • The universe will put the obstacles in your way to make you think
    • Having fun little goals along the way takes the pressure off from the big goal (winning the Olympics)
    • Shaun set the goal to be on the cover of the Rolling Stone magazine and wear American flag pants
    • His fun goal for 2022: after 5 Olympic wins he hopes to be so well known and famous that he becomes the official snowboarding emoticon

Shaun White’s Three Biggest Lessons

  • Enjoy the little things because they are fleeting
    • Don’t dwell on the past and think about the future, learn to appreciate the present
  • Be true to who you are
    • Trying to impress people is usually not worth it
    • “Know who you are and be true to that. Don’t be swayed.”Shaun White
  • The importance of family
    • The family will always have your back. Whatever happens, they are there for you
    • They like you for who you are not because you win a championship
  • Shaun’s definition of greatness
    • Greatness is about taking the same thing as everyone else and doing it a bit different
    • It’s not only about performing a new snowboarding trick and trying to win; it’s also about the clothes he wears, what he says and what music he listens to

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