Ben and Jessa Greenfield Go On A Walk & Talk About Education, Legacy, Finances, Daily Habits & More (Boundless Parenting Book Series).

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Ben and Jessa Greenfield
Family, Lifestyle, Parenting, Podcast

Throughout my career, I've been known as a health and fitness icon.

I have to admit that I sometimes find this kind of silly.

It's not that I don't think that taking care of my body is important. Far from it. My physical health remains a top priority, and this will probably be the case until the day I die. However, my days as a bodybuilder, Ironman triathlete, obstacle course racer, and hardcore masochistic endurance athlete are over, and my vision for my life has notably changed (although I'm still heavily sporting in different skills, such as bowhunting and pickleball). Back in January, I released an article about how to find your purpose. In that article, I also shared my own new purpose statement that reflects the higher priority I'm now placing in my life upon faith and family, as opposed to, say, fitness: “Love God through prayer and worship, and love my family through preparing and providing.

Anyways, a significant part of living my purpose is starting to think and talk more about money and legacy.

After all, how you handle your finances has a substantial impact on how you show up in the world and how you show up for your family.

What this means for Jessa and me is that we are committed to only spending the money we need to spend to live a modest, satisfying life. For instance, we still go on vacations, and when we do, we don't deprive ourselves of pleasures like going to a nice restaurant. But we're careful with spending, never mindlessly purchasing things that are likely to quickly lose their appeal. Rather, we have decided that the additional income that we earn will be put back out into the world to help people or to build the Greenfield legacy so that our children can be better equipped to help people in the future. We both talk about this in my upcoming book Boundless Parenting, and many of the other parents in the book note the importance of responsibility with finances.

This financial philosophy also directly applies to the family business. The primary goal of Ben Greenfield Life is to touch lives, not to make money. However, that doesn't mean that we don't care about profitability, since we need to be profitable to continue to share with you with the help of a paid team. Jessa and I are proud that we employ people who support their families, and we provide generous benefits to ensure that they stay healthy.

So recently, Jessa and I were sent questions from our financial advisor (Scott Ford, at Way2Wealth) about our financial philosophy and how we have built wealth, and we decided to take a walk and record our answers to the questions. In this episode, you are invited to join us on the walk as we share our thoughts on inflation, investments, and taxes, then also go way behind those “boring” topics to how financial responsibility can shape an earnest, purpose-driven life. I hope you find it interesting.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Do you have a fully articulated financial philosophy that you can share in written form?…05:09

  • Ben grew up in a family where saving was emphasized
  • Ben’s parents, their wealth, and why he grew up with a “real spirit of scarcity”
  • Stewards of their finances
  • Overall financial philosophy – operating with a spirit of abundance and a spirit of blessing others and also taking care of our own bodies, health, and legacy 
  • If you watch the pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves
  • Jessa wants to be more generous with what they have
  • Ben wants the boys to focus on how they can operate their own businesses and non-profit
  • Ben: “I want us to be known as a family who basically takes the money that we have, is able to buy the things that we need to live a decent life, and then everything else just goes out and either helps other people or builds our legacy, to equip our children to be able to better help people.”

-What do you want future generations to know about money and finance?…09:24 

  • Ben’s mentality is to have a lot of money in the silo when you die, put a lot in the storehouses for a rainy day
  • Ben: “I really don't want my kids to grow up having accumulated a bunch of wealth and then just dying sitting on top of that wealth. I want them to know that money is just a tool for impact. It's a tool for creating value in people's lives.”
  • Number one metric in Ben Greenfield Life is lives touched, not money made
  • The Greenfield mentality is to take our skillset and be super successful and help people
  • Jessa is proud of Ben for being successful and being able to employ families and people and provide a source of income for others
  • Ben fancies himself as an artist, a creative storyteller
  • Ben does not see the Greenfield family as a business mogul family as much as an artistic, creative family

-How do Ben and Jessa Greenfield feel about formal education?…12:34 

  • Formal education is an outdated model 
    • Designed for creating factory workers and people who can put square pegs in square holes and round pegs in round holes
    • Does not produce creative, free-thinking, resilient young individuals
  • Peer pressure to learn at the same pace as everybody else in the classroom
  • Lack of God and Christianity in the public schooling system
  • Unschooling, which is essentially experiential-based education
  • Zero pressure for the kids to go to college
  • Ben respects the idea of a well-rounded liberal arts education rooted in classic literature, rhetoric, logic, reasoning, Latin, Christianity, and history

-How do you create an abundance mindset and deal with scarcity thoughts and thinking?…15:11 

  • Abundance mindset must be rooted in faith 
  • One part of creating an abundance mindset is trusting God
  • Becoming  like Jesus who was a servant of all is the best way to approach an abundance mindset
  • Jessa: It's not having a lot of things; you can have abundance in very little
  • In the Scriptures, Paul said, “I learned to abound when I had very little and when I had a lot.” 
  • Just like Viktor Frankl‘s idea to choose happiness, be content no matter your circumstances; which is, of course, a core part of the Greenfield family mission statement

-How do you improve perseverance and resilience?…17:46 

  • Do hard things every day; schedule them
  • Physical resilience
    • Play guitar, piano, or do something that challenges the mind and the fingers, and coordination 
    • Sauna, cold pool, and workout (lifting, running) –  moving is good; it builds up perseverance, endurance, and resilience
    • Beyond Training and Boundless
  • Spiritual resilience
  • Ben thinks that intentionally weaving periods of hardship and resistance is like microdosing hardship into your life, which can build perseverance and resilience
  • Ben occasionally asks himself if he did not push his kids hard enough
  • Jessa thinks it's not just physical hard things; sometimes, it is denying yourself certain things, having probably small doses of difficult things daily that prepare you for the really hard things that just show up on your plate
  • If you don't do hard things ever, you won't be able to overcome them
  • Ben is thinking of writing a book “Viceless,” about having the mentality that you don't want to be attached to anything in life
    • You don't need coffee, tea, marijuana, or kratom; you don't need Instagram; you don't need any of these things that we tend to have kind of become so attached to
  • Awareness by  Anthony de Mello – how we have become so attached to things that our happiness depends on them

-What are the best habits to form for a healthy life?  What things are essential to avoid in order to maintain a healthy life?…21:57

  • Addictions or things to avoid for a healthy life – things that you rely upon to feel good, whether that's cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, or even exercise
  • Avoid dependency on anything to have a healthy lifestyle
  • Jessa: Find balance
  • For a healthy life:
    • Eat real whole food as close to nature as possible
    • Move your body by lifting heavy stuff, sprinting, and engaging in low-level physical activity every single day consistently
    • Do not eat too much food
    • Eat in a relaxed state around people
    • Have good relationships, both with God as well as your fellow human beings
    • Be outside in nature
    • Get a lot of sunlight
    • Expose yourself to stressors like heat and cold 
    • Good clean water, pure minerals
    • Live an ancestral kind of primal lifestyle 

-What have been the most meaningful choices/decisions you have made, and what was your process?…23:43

  • Staying close to our family so our kids could grow up knowing their grandparents and their cousins and have a really rooted community, and close to nature
  • Choosing an alternative education mode
  • Emphasis on faith
  • Develop a playbook for the Greenfield legacy, not in a narcissistic way to be great, but just in a way that builds legacy so you can identify who you are, what you are, and what you stand for
  • Creating impact for Christ through the Greenfield family
  • Any big decision that we make is just steeped in prayer and seeking God's wisdom, and spending time in silence with a journal and meditation
  • Carve out time to be able to go to God and make God a part of that decision-making process

-What are the most important things you would want future generations to know that have been instrumental in your success?…25:53

  • Doing small amounts of work consistently every day and don't procrastinate
  • Do not party at the end of the day after the day's work is done, for tomorrow you will be doing the same things you did today; the work never stops
  • Right now here on Earth, if you want to make maximum impact with whatever skill set you've been given in life, you need to wake up and chop wood and carry water and do it consistently every day
  • What we want future generations to know is to embrace discomfort, endurance, perseverance, and resilience necessary to keep coming back every single day and putting in the work
  • That's really as simple as success is, just do the work

-What ideas and philosophies were passed down to you by your ancestors that still serve you well?…27:02

  • Jessa thinks that sacrifice trumps any kind of financial help that you can give to anyone
  • Jessa on her parents: It was invested time, sacrifice that stands out more to me than anything that they gave to me
  • Emphasis on love for God and a love for family
  • We don't necessarily want to be given stuff. We want to be seen. We want to be loved. And, we want to be heard. 

-Any formulas that support you in your success?…29:42

  • The idea of chopping wood, carrying water, doing small, consistent bits every single day no matter what
  • Getting up earlier, going to bed earlier; more productive things happen in the morning than happen in the evening
  • Evenings are more focused on recreation and entertainment; mornings are more based on work
  • Scheduling and calendaring everything; planning things is a way to be very productive
  • Jessa: I would say identifying your purpose; knowing what is a good use of your time and what is not, and figuring out if this is going to be of value or a waste of time
  • Writing down one person we're going to serve that day and the one thing we're grateful for
  • At the end of each day, we engage in self-examination; examine what it is that we did that was most purpose-filled that day, what we did good, what we could have done better
  • We pray in the morning, evening, and before meals
  • We have family dinners; activities have been mapped out in the Greenfield family playbooks. 
  • Rich Christiansen of the Legado Family Founder

-What kind of relationship do you want to have with your family?…35:55

  • Good and bonded relationship
  • No strife between sisters and brothers or stupid bitter arguments that last for years
  • Authentic, respectful, transparent

-How do you go about choosing relationships, and do you have a method to protect you from people that may not have the same values as you?…37:29

  • We're not judgmental people; we don't choose to just hang out with the people who are the same as us
  • The only thing we're picky about in our relationships is we know we are the equivalent of those who we spend time with, whether it's from a health standpoint, a character standpoint, or a value standpoint
  • Jessa: We're very welcoming to all kinds of people, but in the same breath, I'm also very picky about the people who I want to influence me; I do specifically seek out women who are wise or who are soft-spoken and are choosy with their words rather than just rambling on

-Have you had any health issues and concerns that may reduce your life expectancy, and do you plan to create good health as you age and expand your life expectancy?…40:17

  • Ben: I think it's silly sometimes, but I'm considered an icon in the longevity and anti-aging sector
  • Life extension strategy – from stem cells to NAD to laser lights, etc.
  • Ben's goal is to keep his body put together so that he can be as impactful as he can, with a combination of healthspan and lifespan, to be able to make as great an impact as he can for God during this life
  • The goal is not to live as long as possible but to be healthy to create an impact
  • Ben has had gut and colon issues in the past
  • Jessa does not have anything that she specifically worries about, and her family, on average, lives until their 90s

-Do you expect your assets to grow at rates higher than inflation? Or do you expect to draw down your assets during your lifetime?…42:20

  • Assets are expected to grow at a rate that exceeds inflation
  • When we vacation, we do operate with a spirit of abundance
  • Definitely ethics-based investor and would never want to put money somewhere where it might harm people, or it might rub against our ethics and values and beliefs
  • Invest in businesses whose success can be directly influenced

-How do you feel about relinquishing control of assets today to protect those assets from creditors? How about potential estate taxes?…44:47

  • Fine with relinquishing control
  • Ben would rather have not a whole lot of money now and have those assets tied up elsewhere for future growth than be able to have those assets now so I can go see a movie and have popcorn

-How do you define legacy, and what does that mean to you?…45:50

  • Legacy means that my values, my beliefs, what I hold dear, what I believe in, what I work for, what I would die for, and what I live for are well understood by the generations that follow me
  • Built upon by the generations that follow me in a manner that each generation becomes subsequently wealthier, not only financially, but wealthier in character, wealthier in values, wealthier in impact, wealthier in reach, wealthier in drive
  • Legacy is just every generation becoming better physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, and spiritually

-What are you currently doing to establish and live your legacy?…47:04

  • The Greenfield family playbook
  • The Greenfield family dress; The Greenfield family logo
Familycrest

-What things are you not doing that would be essential to building your legacy?…47:47 

  • Ben is doing a lot to build his legacy but top of his head
  • Ben’s sons don't shadow him at work 

-What are your best practices that you would like to continue to do more of to create your legacy?…48:39 

  • Daily rituals and routines
  • It's not to be just too simple and short, but along with our faith and going to church and those daily habits, those are the best practices

-In what ways do you make the world a better place? What kind of legacy and contribution do you want to leave behind?…49:21

  • Teaching people how to be healthy and how to find satisfaction in God
  • Use my platform as a creative media outlet to teach people how to live their optimized life, not in a selfish and narcissistic way, but in a way that loves God, loves others, and savers all of God's creation while becoming more like Jesus every day
  • Jessa: my calling is my family and to minister to them, and I feel I'm doing that effectively; putting out two amazing boys, men, who can go out into the world and affect the world

-What are the most important things you want future generations to know about you and what you stand for?…50:41

-Do you feel like your investments are shaping the world and making it a better place?…52:48

-What Ben and Jessa think about social media…57:52

  • The kids have phones for emergency use only

-Ben and Jessa's faith…58:48

  • Our faith is important
  • We embrace the mystical aspects of miracles and being in touch with the Holy Spirit in deep prayer and listening to God and talking to God
  • Our Christian faith acknowledges the deep sacredness of the entire universe; it's not a really a logical, rational, scientific, heady Christianity that we have; it's more this sacred, soft, spiritual Christianity
  • Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein

-And much more…

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GreenfieldFamily Crest&Poster

Upcoming Events:

  • Runga: October 13th-15th, 2022 (Austin, TX). This is the one event every year that I never miss. Join me and my family to tap into your full potential over three days of fully immersive programming and therapies. Gourmet organic chef-prepared meals, live podcast recordings, and personalized health consulting make this a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are only fifty spots available, so claim yours today here.
  • Wild Health Awake + Aware Principles: October 22nd, 2022 (Lexington, KY). Join me for a one-day intensive experience where I will guide you through a series of interactive lectures that explore purpose, meaning, and spiritual health. VIP guests will also join me on an immersive walk through nature and an intimate dinner. Learn more here.
  • Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar!

32 Questions For Boundless Parenting

The following questions were posed to the wise parents interviewed for my upcoming book, Boundless Parenting.

  1. How many children do you have, how old are they, what is their profession or passion, and why, in particular, are you proud of them?
  2. Are there any elements of your parenting approach that you would consider to be particularly unique?
  3. What books, systems, models, or resources do you rely heavily upon or consider to be indispensable in your own parenting?
  4. What traditions, habits, routines, or rituals are most important, memorable, or formative for your family?
  5. What rites of passage or significant moments of maturation to adolescence or adulthood have your children experienced, if any?
  6. Who do you look up to as parenting mentors?
  7. What have you taught your children about raising their own children?
  8. Do you have any philosophies or strategies for educating your children outside of traditional school, such as homeschooling, unschooling, self-directed education, or other alternatives, creative, or “outside-the-box” forms of education?
  9. What has been your proudest moment as a parent, and why?
  10. What do you wish you had known before first becoming a parent?
  11. Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome as a parent? If so, how have you coped with that?
  12. How have you achieved a balance between mentoring and passing on wisdom without “living vicariously” through your children?
  13. Have you ever faced any big parenting decisions that kept you awake at night worrying or that you feared you would mess up?
  14. What do you regret, if anything, from your experience as a parent?
  15. What is the biggest mistake you have made as a parent?
  16. What, if anything, from your parenting experience would you go back and change or improve?
  17. If you had multiple children, what did you think was right at the time with one child that you then went back and changed with the next child or future children?
  18. Have you ever sensed or feared that your children would grow up too different or weird as a result of any “outside-the-box” parenting approaches you used? If so, how did you deal with that?
  19. Have you ever differed from your spouse on parenting principles, techniques, or approaches? If so, how did you manage that?
  20. Warning: This question is long but important: As a parent, have you ever felt conflicted about wanting to share a book, teaching, resource, or method with your children as a means of impacting their future success, but feared that it might “overload” them, especially at their age? If so, how did you balance bestowing this valuable knowledge to your child without causing them to worry too much about adult concerns? How did you decide when to just “let a kid be a kid” versus nudging them towards responsible adulthood and the attainment of valuable wisdom?
  21. How have you balanced being a present, engaged parent while preserving your own identity, taking time for your own self-care, tending to your career, or pursuing other interests that did not include your children?
  22. How have you engaged in one-on-one time or created space for dedicated time with your child, especially if you have more than one child?
  23. If your children have grown up and moved out of your house, what strategies have you found most helpful for maintaining and building your relationship with them?
  24. If your children have grown up and moved out of your house, do you often miss them, fear for them, or think of them? If so, how have you coped with any loneliness or desire for their presence?
  25. Do you have non-negotiable rules for your children?
  26. How have you disciplined your children, if at all?
  27. How have you helped your child to establish responsibly, moderated, or conscientious consumption or use of books, media, entertainment, screen time, and social media? This is not my favorite question because the focus on “limiting screen time” seems a bit blown out of proportion these days and I think causes kids to get obsessed with the “forbidden fruit” of screen time, but it seems to be on the minds of many parents today, so I’d be remiss not to include it.
  28. Have you emphasized or encouraged any health, fitness, or healthy eating principles with your children? If so, what has seemed to work well?
  29. If your child or children could inscribe anything on your gravestone, what would you hope that they would write? What would you most want them to remember about you?
  30. What do you most want to be remembered for as a parent?
  31. What do you think your child or children would say is their fondest memory of being raised by you?
  32. What message for parents would you put on a billboard?

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

– Books by Ben Greenfield:

– Podcasts:

– Other Resources:

Episode sponsors:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for me or Jessa? Leave your comments below, and one of us will reply!

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7 thoughts on “Ben and Jessa Greenfield Go On A Walk & Talk About Education, Legacy, Finances, Daily Habits & More (Boundless Parenting Book Series).

  1. Mary P says:

    Ben & Jessa, the above “We are the Greenfields….” is the most beautiful, well-written, touching testimony. It is solid theologically and to me a prayer for my family. I copied it down in my journal. THANK YOU! The Lord bless you and continue to help you in these endeavors.

  2. Candy says:

    Totally in awe of both of you! Well done, you did it right from scratch. I’m just awakening to all of this and it resonates very loudly within me. However, I’m a mom to 6. Age 5-20. Kids are addicted to phones, Netflix – dopamine junkies! How to begin from scratch with teens that know it all?? 😖 Also, in unschooling, do your kids learn math, science etc? Are you both teaching them one on one – or do you do online learning? Would love to hear more detail on your homeschooling practices, phone allowances for kids, social outlets etc. Thx. Keep inspiring! I ferl revved to take on my day ❤️

  3. Sabine M says:

    Ben, I have followed you for 15 years, met you once in London (got a picture!!!), bought most of your books. I am impressed at how you always knew your worth, never feared charging clients accordingly. Your focus has shifted but it seems that your intention has not. I am completing my doctoral studies but as I apply for jobs in academia, I keep an open mind & follow those who, like, you, unschool their kids & think outside the box. Your achievements & reach are truly impressive, I say that knowing that our lives are very different, but so what. Too bad I don’t live near to meet you all in the flesh but who knows? Sending xxx to the Greefield family. Be well.

    1. Mary says:

      Ben, I abosolutely LOVE you and my heart aligns with what you say and with your philosophy – you do a great job getting useful information to us. MOST importantly, I admire your stand for Jesus Christ, and I encourage you to continue steadfastly and unwavering. Very helpful to me is to hear your take on things which are “on the edge/fringe” in relation to your faith and how and what you accept, how you view things, and whether they fit into the paradigm of Christianity. You are doing a great job raising your kids and being a great husband to Jessa. Love your openness in sharing things you try as a couple – again so helpful the information you share. I pray for you and your family and am thankful for you. Keep up the good work! Many, many blessings!

  4. Meghan says:

    Ben, let your wife talk for goodness sake! You probably said 20 words for every 1 word of hers. Be a little more chivalrous please!

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      thanks for the feedback Meghan

  5. Chris says:

    Hello—recently I saw you had eboo therapy and wanted to find out your results. Did you experience better energy, sleep, vision, less pain, better brain function, inflammation reduction, enhanced endurance, better blood test results or anything else you noticed. TIA

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