November 29, 2020
Happy Thanksgiving week.
As this week (at least here in America) was a bit out of the ordinary in terms of me sacrificing opportunities for hefty amounts of research and writing time to instead brine turkeys and mash potatoes, I still felt compelled to wax poetic for you on this lovely Sunday, as I have been doing the past several months. (You can read all previous such Sabbath Ramblings articles here.)
Today, let's talk vision.
Honestly, vision is something I struggle with. No, no, no—not my eyes (thanks to plenty of “Vision Gym” exercises, slightly high dose fish oil, daytime blue light blockers, eye-supporting superfoods in my morning anti-aging smoothie, etc.)
I'm talking about life vision. Probably the most difficult question that I get when I'm being interviewed for a podcast or something like that is…
…“Where do you see yourself in five years?”
Awkward fumbling for words.
Finally, an admittance that I'm the kind of guy who simply wakes each morning, does as extraordinary a job as I can with whatever God has placed upon my plate, then sits back and just kind of enjoys life (which has certainly brought me in some interesting and unexpected directions you can read about here).
Sure, I have a concrete purpose statement, which I think is crucial for maximizing your life's impact and lending some direction to your choices and priorities each day, but I've never really had a detailed business plan for Ben Greenfield Fitness, a five-year vision, a ten-year vision, or anything like that. I'll admit that at times I have experienced a gnawing sense at the back of my mind that I should have everything mapped out; but I've actually found that when it comes to my personal brand, keeping myself somewhat free, nimble, and open to the wide variety of opportunities and interests that pop up each day has allowed for a great deal of creativity, flexibility, and adventure in my life.
That all being said, I'm not a complete loafer. I have taken certain steps to build a legacy, provide for future generations, and protect my wealth—such as a family trust, a living will, investment accounts, real estate, gold, silver, cryptocurrency, and the like. I've also surrounded myself with an amazing team of financial advisers, accountants, and legal counsel to be able to ensure I'm not the guy needing to manage and make decisions for all those spinning plates, as Lord knows it'd be a pretty messy affair if that were the case. (Just ask my wife what my closet and desk look like!)
….because I believe having some kind of vision and direction for one's life is important…
I'm now going go out on a giant, scary limb and attempt to answer that very question: Where do I see myself in five years? I've also inviting you, in the comments section below, to not only criticize, analyze, and give feedback on my vision, but to also share your own vision for your life.
What Is My Vision?
Now, before I jump into sharing my personal vision with you, allow me to first share with you an old Yiddish adage: “Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht.”
For you non-Yiddy-ers out there, this simply translates to: “Man Plans, and God Laughs.” Proverbs 19:21 backs this up when it tells us: “Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.”
That's right: Our best-laid plans in life can be upended by sudden and unexpected changes, twists, and turns which could be either disappointing or exhilarating. Relationship shifts, illnesses, injuries or accidents, natural disasters, mass viral pandemics and the like can quickly derail the perfectly prepared blueprint we thought we had mapped out for our lives—sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.
So anytime you talk about personal vision for your life, it must be with a significant head-nod to God that He controls all, and an acknowledgment that, as I discuss in detail here, none of your plans for your life should be based upon what makes you happy and what you think is going to please you or make you successful, but rather based upon what makes God happy and what serves those around you. In other words, when you make plans for your life or map our your five-year vision, it should be framed in the others-facing, unselfish mindset of loving God and loving others above all.
Now, back to the question at hand—a question I'm frequently asked and am now going to attempt to answer in as practical, succinct, and clear a way as possible…
…where do I see myself in five years?
In five years, I will still be a storyteller.
Yes, a storyteller.
My medium for telling stories will be, like it currently is, as a speaker, orator, podcaster, author, teacher, mentor, coach, and even documentary and television personality. In full humbleness, I must tell you that I fully recognize that God has given me a decent-sized platform and audience, a passion for learning at a rapid pace, an ability to be able to turn around to effectively teach and disseminate the information I have learned, and a confident, powerful voice combined with some decent writing chops. I'd be irresponsible to neglect, shirk, be ashamed of, or forsake those God-given talents. So, I will continue to speak and write on a variety of media platforms, very much like I'm currently doing.
But (and this is important!), although my current passions and interests in the realm of health will likely remain deep-seated in me, and I'll still be geeking out on optimizing the human machine, creating compelling nutritional formulations for my supplements company Kion, and continuing to invest in and advise for companies in the health, fitness, nutrition, biohacking, functional food, and wearables spaces, I will no longer be pigeon-holing myself solely into the health, fitness, nutrition, biohacking, and longevity arenas. Instead, I want to branch out (as you may have witnessed me already doing to a certain extent) into topics such as psychology, religion and spirituality, family and parenting, life-hacking, economics, and even politics.
See, there are many, many other aspects of “living a good life” that I'm supremely curious about and want to explore by ramping up my own knowledge via immersion in books, research, conferences, and other forms of education; many compelling and interesting guests outside of the domains of health and fitness who I want to interview on my podcast; and many stages I want to stand upon presenting inspirational messages that reach far beyond simply optimizing one's body and brain.
In addition, I anticipate my two primary “avatars” or audience members/listeners/readers as A) spiritually-minded folks, such as the large Christian community who already follows me, who need to learn how to better optimize their health, fitness, and diet while caring for God's planet in a manner that I feel religion has neglected for many years; B) life-hackers, biohackers, health enthusiasts, athletes, adventurers, and gym junkies who crave deeper meaning and fulfillment via union with God, salvation through Christ, and creative outlets that go beyond simply optimizing the body and brain.
Because of this, there are some significant changes that I anticipate needing to make in my own personal and professional development. For example, I need to become a better, more dynamic, more inspirational speaker (I look up to and admire guys like Tony Robbins, Brendan Burchard and Bo Eason in that respect) who can rock stages in a less didactic and more motivational way than I currently carry myself on stage, along with expanding my speaking topics platform currently presented here. I need to broaden my personal Rolodex to be able to begin reaching out to supremely interesting podcast guests who go beyond scientists, physicians, physiologists, and athletes—including world leaders, presidents, and other great thinkers, philosophers, politicians, economists, and inventors (folks such as Ray Dalio, Jordan Peterson, Naval Ravikant, Richard Branson, Oprah, Tony Robbins, Ray Kurzweil, Elon Musk, etc., etc.).
I also need to make significant alterations to my personal brand, including choosing a URL different than BenGreenfieldFitness.com (e.g. BenGreenfield.com, if it ever becomes available, BenGreenfield.life, etc., or any other options you may suggest in the comments section below) so that I am no longer painted into the fitness corner, and I need to change my own personal appearance and brand to go beyond simply being the cowboy who runs around half-naked in the forest hauling sandbags and throwing spears, to instead progress into the role of sage and mentor. Yes, that means I may be wearing a shirt, and possibly even what one might deem fashionable clothing, more often. After all, it's been a wild and adventurous ride in the health, sports, and fitness world for the past twenty years, but there are many, many other avenues I desire and have been called to explore, and I may need to put on my big boy pants to do so.
Will I continue to coach and consult with people about their health, fitness, nutrition, life goals, business, etc.? Yes, but only for a very limited number of clientele, and not as actively and near “full-time” as I've been coaching and consulting for the past twenty years. After all, I've trained up plenty of good coaches who I now mentor and continue to teach each month, and many people that come to me personally for coaching can just as effectively be helped by that army of coaches I've created via KionU.
On an even more personal and family level, while my wife Jessa and I currently don't have any plans to leave our lovely hometown of Spokane, Washington, my twin twelve-year-old boys River and Terran have expressed a deep desire to—after finishing their “unschooling” around the age of fifteen and taking a gap year to go explore America—pursue their creative writing and artistic passions by moving to nearby Moscow, Idaho to attend the small, liberal arts college New Saint Andrews. Considering that we have a vast number of extended family members and good friends who also live in Moscow, I'm currently in the process of building a small, off-grid family cottage on my father Gary Greenfield's property in that area as a sort of “second home,” where my boys can reside while they attend school and where my wife and I can stay during our frequent visits to Moscow. Incidentally related to that, should mandatory vaccinations, some kind of nutty civil war, or any other extreme social unrest derail my plans for my personal brand outlined above, my backup plan is to cross the border to Idaho and simply continue to write and podcast— including an expansion into fiction and songwriting in addition to my current areas of interest. (Writing fiction and making music will continue to be lifelong passions of mine regardless!)
In case that was a bit too much for you to decipher, here it is in a nutshell:
In the next five years, I'll continue to write, speak, podcast, invest, advise, mentor, formulate, and (in moderation) coach and consult, but will be expanding into a wide range of topics beyond fitness, focusing on becoming a more motivational and inspirational speaker, and simultaneously pursuing personal creative passions such as fiction and music while introducing you to many interesting minds and topics I haven't yet had a chance to interview or explore.
How You Can Help
Finally, I'm quite frequently asked in comments sections or in social media messages “how you can help” support what I'm doing, so I'd be remiss not to address that. Here is how you can assist me in my own personal revolution and development outlined above:
- Give me any feedback or advice in the comments section below this article, including how you think I can serve the world best with my current skills, passions, and interests. Be as brutally honest as you'd like. After all, I tend to be a sucker for constructive criticism, and many of the decisions I make are not only based upon where I feel I can serve God best, but also where I feel I can serve you best.
- Introduce me to any groups, individuals, or mentors who you think may be able to help assist with or accelerate my speaking vision outlined above, particularly in the realm of stages such as churches, megachurches, positive psychology/inspirational/motivational events, publishers, podcasters, and other individuals who can get me in front of a massive audience where I can deliver my message of complete mind, body, and spirit optimization.
- Spread the word about what I'm doing. If an article, podcast, book, video, or any other media I produce truly resonates with you, share it on social media or with a friend or family member. My ability to be able to take what I've learned and help the world with it has all largely been based not upon “ad buys” or gimmicky sales tactics, but simply by researching compelling topics and interviewing interesting people, teaching what I've learned, and having those lessons, tips, tactics, and strategies spread by folks like you via word-of-mouth. Don't underestimate your ability to help grow this movement one person at a time!
- Let me know what kind of supplements, functional foods or drinks, formulations, and other compounds that can make your life better that you'd like to see me help develop via Kion.
- Pray that God would smile favorably upon my desire to help others care for their bodies while discovering deep union with their Creator, that His hand of blessing would be placed upon all my efforts, and that he would open doors and create opportunities for me to make maximum impact with the life, the skills and the purpose He has bestowed upon me.
Oh yes, one other thing: short term, behind-the-scenes—especially during the COVID “lockdown”—I've been holed away in my secret Batman basement in Spokane doing quite a bit of writing. Based on that, you can you expect coming down the pipeline over the next several months, three new titles: a book on spiritual fitness entitled Fit Soul, the new Boundless Cookbook, and a Spiritual Disciplines Journal. I've also pitched a couple Netflix documentaries on cooking, fitness, and biohacking; helped to develop a massive overhaul of the Kion brand that will be coming soon; and am also working (based on what you've just read above) on a complete personal rebrand of this very website. So, there are plenty of exciting developments in the works!
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It was weird for me to write this article. I felt a bit insecure, mildly narcissistic, and even somewhat scared that other people who are much smarter than me at building and running enterprises and brands would criticize every last word I've written. But I do have to admit it feels good to lay out my plans for the world to see, and hopefully get your feedback on what I've written here.
And now it's your turn.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
How do you make important decisions about your vision for your life?
What thoughts, comments, questions, or feedback do you have about my own personal vision?
Where can I, in my own vision for my articles, podcast, books, speeches or elsewhere, help you with your vision?
Leave your replies below. I appreciate and read them all!