Lewis Howes – Follow Your Dreams

Author, entrepreneur and former professional football player, Lewis Howes recounts how paying $5 for a friend taught him a life-changing lesson.


I started to steal every single day in order to gain friends.

There are two kids in the neighborhood who said, Hey, do you wanna join our club? And I said yes ’cause I don’t have any friends. So what’s it gonna take? They said, Well there’s one of two options. You can one, answer a question to see if you can join, you’re smart enough to join the club. Or two, pay money. And I didn’t have any money, you know I’m eight years old. I said, okay, what are the questions. And there were two questions that they asked. I didn’t know the answer to either one of these. And so they said, sorry, you can’t join the club unless you pay us money. So I walk home with my head down. And asked my mom, hey mom, can I have some money? It was five dollars at the time. Which was a lot for me. Eight years old. I said, can I have five dollars? And I go back to this, their house. And I’m in the club for a day. And I give them the money. And I remember feeling so, you know, shameful, and just like a loser. Because I literally had to pay money to have two neighborhood boys be friends with me and add me in their club.

But I was doing it only for myself. It was to prove others wrong. It was to prove to kids that picked me last on the dodgeball court in fourth grade. That I’m gonna prove you wrong. I’m gonna be something of myself. I’m gonna be better than you. It was to prove to kids that I had to pay five dollars to join their club so I could have friends that I’m gonna prove you wrong about me.

It was always to prove someone wrong. I wanted to achieve my dreams so that I could be right, they would be wrong. I started to achieve all my dreams. Every dream that I had when I realized the power of dreams, they all started to come true. Everything I set myself out to do, it happened.

And I remember feeling so ungrateful and unfulfilled within minutes after I achieved all these dreams. All-state in multiple sports in high school. All-American in two sports. Playing professional sports. I was like a dream. And I was on my sisters couch to make 1000 dollars. And I did that and I was ungrateful. Then it was 5000 dollars. And I did that and I was ungrateful. Then it was 20000 a month, 100000. I need to make my first million. It was never good enough. I was always ungrateful, right.

Why am I so upset and so unfulfilled when I’m achieving my dreams? And it wasn’t until I started to say, you know what, I got perspective. It’s not whether or not I achieve the dream. It’s what I learn and who I become in the pursuit of the dream. Now yes, I want to achieve all my goals and all my dreams. But some of them haven’t happened. And I look back and I say, you know what, at least the last 10 years or five years or two years of this journey of going after this dream. Look at the relationships I’ve made. Look at the lessons I’ve learned. Look at how much I’ve grown. It’s about how can I win. And also, make everyone else around me win in whatever that looks like for them. How could I create that?

So follow your dreams. They matter because you matter.