The Lesson: Why is it that the people who do the hardest jobs in America are oftentimes happier than those in more comfortable positions? After spending time with blue collar workers in over 300 different “dirty jobs”, Mike Rowe has learned a thing or two about happiness and fulfillment.

Notable Excerpt: “The idea and the big lesson that came from working with so many of those people [on Dirty Jobs] for so long was that by and large – as a group – they were happier than most of my friends; they were better balanced than most of my friends; and they had just the kind of peace that I think comes from knowing what I call the ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ test … where if you are somehow magically pulled out of existence, like right now, what happens to the world? What happens to the world of ‘poof, I’m gone’ and ‘Dirty Jobs’ never happened? Is the world gonna spin of its axis? No … [I tend to try and fundamentally measure the concept of] ‘what I can do that will ever change a thing?’ Dirty jobbers can. If all the plumbers call in sick for a week, the party’s over. All the electricians call out for two days? Riot. So you know, it’s odd that the jobs that we all depend on the most are the most under-appreciated in our society. So the people who do those jobs know this … and that makes them very fun to be around.”

The Guest: Mike Rowe is most well-known as the host of the Discovery Channel show “Dirty Jobs”: a series dedicated to exploring the grimiest and toughest jobs of blue-collar America. In addition to getting his hands dirty, Rowe is an author, philanthropist, and Renaissance man who is keen on educating the average joe on how to find happiness and fulfillment – no matter what job or lifestyle they may have.

The Host: After spending years of his young life and athletic career struggling with his own emotional wellbeing, a crippling injury left Lewis Howes without an identity and without any work. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, however, Howes recreated himself as a multi-million dollar media producer, motivational speaker, bestselling author, and podcast host. The ex-football player now spends his days chatting with the most inspirational icons of this generation on his School of Greatness podcast.

Podcast: The School of Greatness podcast is available for download on Soundcloud and iTunes. You can also watch footage of the interviews on Howes’s YouTube channel.

Books: Howes is the author of the New York Times bestselling book “The School of Greatness”: an in-depth collection of lessons and wisdom that he has gathered from interviewing hundreds of the world’s greatest role models and thinkers. Howes’s latest book, “The Mask of Masculinity”, is based on his experience with the dangerous stereotypes and expectations that are placed on men in modern society.

(LISTEN to the inspiring talk below)

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