[Transcript] – Training Your Spirit, Resisting Sexual Temptation, What Makes Ben Smile & More With Mental Fitness Expert Marc Champagne.

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Transcripts

From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/marc-champagne-behind-the-human/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:01:08] Podcast Sponsors

[00:06:14] Ben's Introduction

[00:07:04] Marc Champagne's Introduction to Ben Greenfield

[00:14:58] Rigid schedules and the idea of training spiritual stamina and endurance

[00:21:42] Training your spirit as much as your body and Ben's daily routine

[00:36:26] Podcast Sponsors

[00:41:45] Having a higher belief system and resisting temptation

[00:51:14] What makes Ben smile these days

[00:57:38] Closing the Podcast

[00:59:17] End of Podcast

Ben:  My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.

I have created a greater why. And, this is important. For example, we worked with a foundation called the Legado Family Foundation. And, what that family foundation does, it brands your family. We have a giant book that is our entire Greenfield family playbook. It's our family mission statement. Imagine a business branding book but that for a family. We have woven in over the past four years or so a deep sense of legacy in terms of a desire to make the Greenfield name great or at least specifically create generational wealth and meaning and impact for my sons, my son's sons, my great-grandchildren, and beyond.

Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.

I have been a fan for quite some time of low glycemic index carbohydrates if I am going to have any carbohydrates early in the day. And, when it comes to carbs, I always go for nutrient density many of you are probably familiar with the idea that blueberries, particularly like small organic wild blueberries are amazing when it comes to food for your mitochondria and for your brain. 

Well, it turns out that not only berries but in addition pomegranate actually when metabolized result in the production of something called urolithin A in your gut along with all the other antioxidant benefits that they provide. They also are chock full of sirtuins, which pair up with NAD to help with cellular longevity. Well, I ran out of my blueberries the other day that I've been putting a small handful of into my morning smoothie. Those are probably about the only carbs I have all day. However, I have a little tiny packet that is the equivalent of several cup of urolithin-producing blueberry extract. It's like a powder. And, this stuff is called Timeline Nutrition, Timeline Nutrition.

So, what Timeline has done is they've created this product called Mitopure. They put it in a delicious vanilla protein powder. They put it in a berry powder. And, they also have it available in this starter pack that gives you all of their different forms of what's called Mitopure. I just use little stick packet. So, what I'm doing is I put in my smoothie and it's basically giving me everything I was looking for from the blueberries but with none of the carbs and none of the calories. So, just a little better living through science. They also have soft gels for travel, which is really nice and convenient. And, urolithin A, it's amazing for longevity, for mitochondrial benefit. This is the new darling of the anti-aging community. And, Timeline is going to give us all 10% off of Mitopure, Mitopure it's called. So, you go to TimelineNutrition.com/Ben and use code BEN to get 10% off of your order. That's TimelineNutrition.com/Ben and use code BEN to get 10% off of any order.

I want to give a shout-out to Keto Brick. Keto Brick is pretty crazy. It's a thousand-calorie bar. Sometimes I'll take a week to go through one of these bars. I'll keep it in the fridge in a Ziploc bag. But, oh my gosh, for hiking, for camping, for hunting, for snowboarding, for anything where you just want one bar to last you all day, this is a shelf-stable meal replacement bar that's keto. So, not a bunch of sugar and crap and it tastes amazing. They've got mocha cream. They've got chocolate peanut butter cup. They have this nootropic icing flavor. They're designed to optimize nutrition but also to give you as many calories as you actually need. I mean, one of these in my bag can last me for an entire day of travel. And, a couple literally I can hunt for 12 hours and just have two keto bricks. They also actually taste addictively good. They taste like cheesecake but they don't have any nasty unnatural ingredients in them.

So, Keto Brick, they're going to give you a free Keto Brick with any of your first purchase of any bricks. You got to try the chocolate peanut butter cup flavor, by the way, it's so bomb. KetoBrick.com, K-E-T-O-B-R-I-C-K, KetoBrick.com, and use code BEN and that will get you that free Keto Brick with your first order. You're going to be addicted to these things, I'll warn you, but they're pretty amazing and it's pretty worth it, so KetoBrick.com.

Alright. So, whole-body wellness is obviously a big part of my life. I'm always looking for new ways to make my body feel great, make my brain feel great. One non-negotiable for me is a daily dose of red light. I can use it to simulate sunlight. I can use it to simulate sunrise, sunset right in my office, bringing the sun into my own office. That infrared light spectrum is fantastic for boosting cellular energy for healing damaged cells that are under oxidative stress. There's a ton of clinically proven benefits to it. Better skin, higher testosterone, better blood flow to the whole body, pre-workout or post-workout for recovery. Use them in your office at night when you don't want to flip on all the bright lights, but you want that giant dose of soothing red light therapy.

And, what I go to is Joovv for my red light. They source from the highest quality materials. They got medical-grade components. They went through third-party testing. They have safety marks from nationally recognized testing laboratories. They give you the safest, most reliable product. It's unmatched. There's a lot of red light companies out there, but Joovv is unmatched. They have a whole-body treatment device. I can treat my whole body in 10 to 20 minutes. I do it once a day. They even have a little handheld device called the Joovv Go. I can throw it in my suitcase and take with me on the go, barely weighs anything. And so, I can do my red light when I'm in my hotel room anywhere in the world. This stuff just works. It travels through TSA too also just fine.

So, Joovv.com/Ben, J-O-O-V-V.com/Ben. Apply my code BEN to your qualifying order, and you can feel what infrared's actually like in terms of a big upgrade in your health, J-O-O-V-V.com/Ben. And, you're going to get an exclusive discount on your first order when you use my code BEN on your qualifying order.

Howdy, howdy, ho, folks. So, today, I recorded a podcast interview with the author of a great book called the “Personal Socrates.” It's kind of like tribe of mentors or tools of titans or one of those books where there's a whole bunch of different authors but it's on philosophy. It's fantastic. I really enjoyed the books by Marc Champagne. Marc reached out wanting to interview me for his podcast. We decided that I should fill you guys in on the show and put it out right here as well. His podcast is called Behind The Human. His book is called “Personal Socrates” and we discuss everything from religion to family, to legacy, to habits, and happiness, and a whole lot more on today's show.

So, the shownotes will be at BenGreenfieldLife.com/MarcPodcast. That's M-A-R-C Podcast. Enjoy the show.

Marc:  Welcome to another episode of Behind The Human. My name is Marc Champagne. It's my job to unpack the mental fitness practices and stories of people living at the top of their game personally and professionally. And, do we ever have one of those people today? We've got Ben Greenfield on the show who's a health consultant speaker in New York Times best-selling author of a wide variety of books including the widely popular titles “Beyond Training,” “Boundless,” “Fit Soul,” “Spiritual Disciplines Journal,” the “Boundless Cookbook,” and his latest, “Endure,” which I'm pumped to talk about. There's so much around in that book around spirituality belief systems just at its core which we haven't spent that much time on this show talking about. So, I'm pumped. Ben, welcome.

Ben:  What? You haven't spent time talking about the most important thing in the world.

Marc:  I know. That's why you're here.

Ben:  I know you talk about important stuff.

Marc:  Totally, totally. It's there, but I would say just knowing that the content obviously of your book and I covered this off in mine a little bit more so from stoic philosophies in like Marcus Aurelius and having some sort of higher belief system. But, we haven't gone that deep specifically in what you cover off of “Endure.” So, that's why I'm quite excited to link up the topic along with just what this show covers often mental fitness.

Ben:  That's fine as long as we establish the second most important thing in the world. I think you alluded to it when you mentioned cookbook is steaks and that this is fresh in my mind just because before our interview I even think I showed up a few minutes late because I was shopping dinner for tonight and putting steaks in a sous-vide bag for dinner with some Yuzu sauce and some shiso leafs, which are this minty Japanese herbaceous leaf, and doing a water bath on the steaks. So, I've got food on my mind right now.

Marc:  Amazing.

Ben:  Yeah. I'll sous vide them and then I'll take them out of the sous vide and I'll let them sit in butter for about an hour and then finish them off with a nice smoke and feed the family tonight before I head out to Mexico tomorrow morning. And, this is probably more along the lines of what you cover on this show. I'm going to be going down there for the Day of the Dead, the Día de Muertos celebration. And, I'll be attending a conference, we'll be speaking on death and meaning and legacy and memento mori and purpose and life. And so, of course, all that needs to be fueled by good steak though. So, now that we've gotten the important stuff out of the way, we can jump in. 

Marc:  Absolutely. I am going to back us up though because before we get into any topics, I always start with the same question with the show and it's been almost about 300 guests now I've asked this one too, so I'm excited to hear your response. And, it's just like we put all the stuff I mentioned in the bio and the titles and all that stuff aside. Who are you? Who's the person right now that — just for everyone listening, Ben is walking at a nice slow pace on a treadmill in case you hear that in his voice even though I'm sure he's doing a lot of Zone 2 training, so you probably won't notice it. But, who are you, Ben?

Ben:  I am a man walking on a treadmill right now. I do many of my calls while walking on my office treadmill because it increases the blood flow to your brain and allows you get a little bit of a low-level physical activity and throughout the day which is nice. And, I try to avoid walking so fast that I get out of breath and can't speak with folks like you, Marc. 

But, who am I? I'm at my core I'm a teacher, I'm a teacher. Ever since I was a kid, I love to learn new things but I didn't like to just learn for the sake of learning, which is fine if that's the way you're wired up. I think that's a really magical way to live to be intensely curious about this world and to go out and discover all of God's great creation and to be fueled by really the dopaminergic response that can give you. And, I think that what many people discover along the way of learning new things though is that at the end of the day, it can become, as many things do, an unfulfilling process. You learn a new language and you read a thousand books and you learn tennis and pickleball and golf and how to repair a jet ski and how to build a home in Thailand and how to build a tiny house in Kansas. And, you can learn things all your life, but I think that at the end of the day if some semblance of your life is not engaged with the process of loving other people in some respect, if some element of your ikigai taking your unique purpose and skill set in life and what you were genetically encoded to do and what brings you passion and you're not actually delivering something meaningful and impactful to the world in some respect with that ikigai, then you have a hole in your soul at the end of the day.

And so, while I certainly have always been wired up to learn new things and I love it and I was sleeping all over the place sometimes annoying my friends and my family with me jumping from whatever, let's use the case of physical activity or I was bodybuilding and then tennis and then water polo and then Ironman Triathlon and then Spartan Racing and then back to tennis and then now pickleball, it can be almost confusing to some people who hang out with someone who's intensely curious about things. And, this is why I have a blog and a podcast. And, I like to write books and I give talks. I'm a teacher, so I like to learn things, always have but then I like to take them and package them up and teach them to other people so other people can discover those same things that bring joy to me. And, if I can wake up in the morning and rinse, wash and repeat the process of learning new things and teaching them to people, I feel really self-actualized. And, that's who I am.

Marc:  I love it. I love it. I mean, you could tell though like I understand what you're saying in terms of people from the outside or who may not know you well or who even do know you well and see you might seem like you're jumping around, but I don't know, I see just from even your body of work and having read many of your books, they're all connected but they're big fundamental life chapters almost in a way, like “Boundless” obviously, and like you said earlier about steaks and nutrition and so forth. And then, now, I mean, you've written about spirituality in the past, but all of these things seem like the big buckets to your life. And, you're just going deep, really deep on them and packing them a way to then teach them.

Ben:  Yeah. I mean, sometimes I tell people I'm a Christian hedonist. I am a man of faith. I am a Christian and I think that the nature of that particular religion and many religions, they do sometimes almost have an excessively stoic and a lack of the epicurean approach in which someone's just savoring and enjoying life in general. And, I love to just savor and enjoy each and every aspect of God's great creation. And, I do so with temperance and sobriety and caring for my temple as the Apostle Paul might say in the New Testament. But, I certainly love to just basically live life through this lens that God made all of creation good. And, one of the things that brings a smile to my Creator's face is to see me running around and playing in it and enjoying it and bringing my friends along for the ride. And so, that's kind of the way that I look at myself from a religious standpoint as a Christian hedonist philosophically speaking.

Marc:  Well, just for people that may not know a bit of your backstory and so forth, there's a section early on in the book that I was really intrigued about and it's a pretty long paragraph so I'm not going to read the whole thing. But, essentially, it was all about this idea that back in your Triathlon days and all the bodybuilding and so forth and I just call it endurance days, there was all these routines. You still have routines but it seemed it got to the point where it was like if you didn't do the routine, you'd almost be mentally punishing yourself in a way. And, I think a lot of people can resonate with that especially I see that in the mental fitness space where you hear things like, “Oh, I didn't get my meditation in today” or “I didn't get my journaling in today.” And, it's like, well, that's almost counterintuitive to the practice if it's feeling like that for you. In this line, I want to read that I think connects it got to this realization around spirituality and your faith and so forth that was the missing piece to go really all in. And, this is the line that I really liked, “To be a true father, a leader, and legacy builder for my family, I needed to apply just as much forethought seriousness and train to my spiritual stamina and endurance as I had been applying to my physical and mental training.” When and why did that spark for you, Ben?

Ben:  Yeah, you're right. First of all that we can become creatures of our schedules and our habits to the extent to where it really doesn't serve us and others very well, which is often a little bit of an art and a science to be able to decode in one's life because let's face it, there's very few impactful people who aren't somewhat creatures who adhere to a relatively strict schedule, wake up and you have your sauna and your cold pool and your fitness routine and your breathwork and your meditation. Then, you've got your Zoom calls scheduled from 10:00 to 1:00 or whatever. And then, a walking lunch and an afternoon meditation session. And then, you have your work and your reactive time, your emails through the afternoon. And then, here's your dinner schedule and this is when you put your blue light-blocking glasses on and this is when you turn on your little cooling system underneath your sheets. And, maybe some of these things are a little bit more specific to the biohacking health crowd. 

But, we tend to get very, very involved with and married to and attached to that schedule to the point where you take a lot of impactful people these days and you tell them we're going to go camping out in the forest and it's like they need 80 pounds of shit in their backpack to be able to be happy out there because they have to just take their schedule everywhere with them. And, I think that there is a certain balance that needs to be found between creativity and flow and rigidity, right? Because often, rigidity and adherence to rules are what can hold us back from flow, what can hold us back from a creative process, and what can even hold us back from discovering new adventures with friends and with family. 

And, that can be something as simple as something that happened to me last week. I love my morning sauna and ice routine and I got invited to go play pickleball instead at 7:00 am when I normally want to be in the sauna listening to my audiobook, doing my sweats, and my down dog, and then getting in the cold pool and I went and played pickleball instead. And, I embraced the flow and it got me out of my routine and I had a fantastic time.

Marc:  How did that feel though, Ben? Was your initial reaction like, “Hell, no!”

Ben:  Oh, yeah, it felt very uncomfortable. I'm like, “Why am I in the car driving 10 minutes from my house right now to go meet these people when all I want to do is be doing my schedule that I know is going to set me up to have a fantastic Monday? And now, I don't know what's going to happen. Is this going to ruin the day? Is the breakfast after pickleball going to be disrupted because I can't have my normal morning smoothie and then that's going to make me not perform well in my morning podcast? And then, what's that going to do to lunch? And, when am I going to get my sauna session if I skipped it?” 

You get all these things rolling through your head because in a way, even though we're not really tiny mammals, we respond from a dopaminergic standpoint to all of these tasks that were check boxing throughout the day, very much a rodent. And, it can make smoke come out of our ears sometimes when we're ripped out of that routine. And, at the same time, it can also be incredibly mind-expanding from a creativity process and introduce us to new adventures that really help us to grow as a person when we understand that it's okay sometimes to step out of the rigidity that does service very well from a productivity standpoint and embrace the flow.

And, I think following something very close to what you might consider to be an 80/20 rule is a good way to approach these things. It's like, okay, rigidity and scheduling and management and predictability is very, very good for me to be able to accomplish a lot for any given week. But, I need to have those times or those days where I actually do have creative flow. I think that's honestly, again, coming back to my own history from a Judeo-Christian standpoint the beauty of having a Sabbath, having one day set aside that's not rigid, that's not scheduled, that's totally free-flowing, that's an embracing of a paradise of rest and relaxation. 

And, for me, Sundays are a very sacred day now. And, I won't lie, by the time I get to the end of Sunday, I'm a freaking rabid dog on a leash when it comes to work. I'm like, “Why can't I jump into the email inbox already?” “Why can't I start into Monday's project?” “What can I tackle right now?” And, that's kind of how you want to feel on Monday morning, you want to wake up at 3:59 a.m. on Monday morning and just feel ready to take on the world because you've had this full day of having the Tesla that is your body charged into its battery port all day long on Sunday. And, it also means that even if you work really hard and that's the way you're wired up for six days of the week, you have that one day where you're just with friends and family and creative flow and playing a musical instrument or trying a new sport out or just being with people or spending a little bit of extra time in the kitchen preparing a recipe. 

And so, I think that there's a balance between rigidity and creativity, between flow and adhering to a strict schedule. This in no way is a reply to the original question that you asked me, but it is a little bit of a rabbit hole that I think is interesting to think about for all of those driven hard charging high achievers in life.

The question that you actually asked me was how I got to the point where I realized that I wasn't feeding and I wasn't training and I was intending to in caring for the garden of my soul in the same way that I was tending to my physical prowess or to my mental acumen or to my business and my money-making abilities or my ability to be able to grow myself professionally.

What happened to me was that I began to grow distant, particularly from my wife who is a real spiritual warrior and who was growing each day in her faith. She would spend lots of time literally on her knees in the bedroom in the morning and then sitting in a meditation chair and I would walk in and there'd be incense burning and music playing and she'd often have little wax earplugs in so that she wasn't distracted by me and my son's going about and doing our own morning routines. And, she was demonstrably tending to her spirit with the same type of ferocity that I might tackle the gym in the morning or that others might spend learning a new language or doing something that's mentally demanding. And, I was a little bit spiritually stagnant this would have been about seven or eight years ago when it came to my own walk with God for my own consumption of spiritually demanding or devotional materials. My own practice of the so-called spiritual disciplines; fasting and meditation and silence and solitude and journaling and prayer and worship.

And, for me as a Christian, the reading of scripture, I really treated a lot of those things like an afterthought because I was still at that ego-fed state in my career in my personal development where I prefer to do things on my own power. Because let's face it, if you wake up in the morning and you're doing heavy Turkish get-ups with a kettlebell and high-intensity interval training routine on an AirDyne bike and rowing 500 meters and crushing a mile at the track and doing a bit of heavy lifting on the Nautilus or crushing a CrossFit wad or whatever, it's pretty easy to finish all that and then wipe your hands together and go take a cold shower and jump into the day and feel you could pretty much crush anything life's going to throw at you. And, you don't need much help from God, bro, because you're ready to crush it. And, it's easy to go through life feeling as though you can do a lot with your own power because discipline equals freedom or as our friend Ryan Holiday just wrote about in his new book that I am only about a quarter of the way through — was it called “Discipline Equals Destiny”? I believe is the name of that new book. And, we can almost become really reliant on our own discipline and what that can bring to us to the extent to where we begin to neglect a reliance upon a higher power or a devotion to tending to ourselves spiritually to the extent to where we can divine with that higher power in a much more meaningful and even a much more humble way that acknowledges the fact that we can't do it on our own, that there is a Creator and that our reliance upon that Creator to be able to get through the hard times in life is something that we actually need.

And so, what happened to me was that I began to grow distant from my wife and it got to the point where we started to get into a lot of arguments and not physical altercations but lots of emotional battles, lots of strife, lots of struggle. I wasn't a good husband or a good father. I was beginning to grow distant from my family. I was just a pretty egotistical fit guy who could go out and crush competitions and do a lot physically and even mentally and from a business standpoint and a financial standpoint was doing great but really things were not well with the family. And, it took a near separation with my wife for me to realize that the only way for me to be a strong leader in the home and the only way for me to be able to withstand a lot of the trials and tribulations and struggles that life was throwing at me at the time was to be on my knees in prayer each morning was to be seeking guidance and counsel from God each day, was to be praying before breakfast and lunch and dinner and in the morning and in the evening for strength to be able to bring my family back together and then glue together the pieces that had fallen apart as I had put business and health and personal gain over the two things that I think need to come before that for any driven hard-charging high achieving person who has a lot of resistance to these two aspects of life and that's faith and family. I didn't realize that the foundation of faith and family must come before health and it must come before business. And, if you want to throw community and relationships in there, those are also important, but I would throw them in third; faith, family, community/relationships is third, and then health and then business. And, I think that's a really reasonable order to go when it comes to having what you need having the foundation that you need for happiness.

So, I began to back to the rigidity thing because I do really well scheduling and I do really well with an intentional calendaring of certain activities. I began to wake each morning about a half hour earlier and put on really, really good music and burn incense and essential oils. And, I had a cheesy little organic meditation cushion and I would sit on that and I would open my Bible and I would have a little devotional. I still do this now and I'd read from the devotional and I'd read from the Bible. I'd spend about 15 minutes doing that and then start to pray. I would often do breathwork beforehand to prime myself, which is a great way to bring yourself into a deep and spiritual experience. I'm always fasted at that point in the morning anyways and I think that going into any type of spiritual morning experience fasted will really deepen that experience too. And so, I began to carve out time each day before the workout and before the phone and before the emails and everything else to do that with the only exception being that I find personally I think that anybody who's like me who likes to move, obviously I'm walking on the treadmill right now so we've established that's a fact, I'll often do a lot of stretching and foam rolling and blood work and jumping up and down on a trampoline. I like to roll out of bed, do all of that, and then I have the coffee on the stovetop or the tea. And, that's my carrot on the end of a stick for when I've gotten through that 20- to 30-minute spiritual routine that I get my coffee at the end of it and then I get to head down to the office.

So, carving out every single morning for the building of the spiritual muscles has been transformative for me in terms of me being able to handle a lot of the stress that was coming at me and my own personal life that I was relying upon my own power to be able to handle because I wasn't building up my spiritual stamina in the way that I was building up my physical and my mental stamina. That's why I called that book, in which I detail many of these habits and tips and tools and tactics that I'm using for my spiritual enhancement, “Endure” because it allowed me literally to be able to build up the same type of endurance that I built up in things ling Ironman and Spartan and whatnot but to be able to do so physically. And, that blossomed. I mean, it really did.

For example, Marc even though I would do my own personal routine around 5:30, 5:45 in the morning, I now gather, my family my entire family at 7:30. And, at 7:30 in the morning, we all sit on the living room floor and I play more music and we meditate for about eight minutes. We use something called the “Spiritual Disciplines Journal” and we all begin with a Bible verse, a very encouraging verse that we read in the first three minutes. All we do is just dwell on that verse like a mantra. And, I just use Insight Timer. I put it on, the whole family can hear it. And, after three minutes, little bell goes off, and then we spend the next two minutes in gratitude. Who is it that we're grateful for? What is it that we're grateful for? Write that down then we move on to service.

And, for the service questions, it's who can I pray for or help or serve today? So, there's no personal affirmation like a me, me, me, I, I, I, “I'm good, I'm great, I'm wonderful,” and gosh there aren't people like me, it's instead about others facing way to start the day. So, who can I pray for help or serve that day? And, that can be going and checking in on the neighbor. It could be calling my mom. It could be encouraging an employee who I know needs help. It could be sending flowers to someone randomly. I now use an app called TextMagic in which I have certain lists of people who I've committed to help on. And so, I'll send out an encouraging image, a word or a quote or whatever to my list on TextMagic like today what I sent to them because usually I'll text them about once a week was encouraging them to break the rules in some aspect of their creative routine on this day on Monday. So, to start an article by writing the summary first or to hold a tennis racket with a different grip or to cook a meal in a way they never cooked it before. 

And so, I'll just send out little things like that to help to make people's day better but that's an example of something I'd write down in the service section. And then, we finish that morning routine with tapping, which is based on neuro-linguistic programming. So, for me, it's right over my heart. I'll tap 15 to 20 times and that sets an anchor so that later on in the day if you're stressed out, you can tap on that same section and it brings your body back into that state of stress or de-stress and bliss and peace that you were experiencing during the morning meditation. It sets an anchor, a physical anchor that you can return to even if you don't have the time to meditate. And then, what we do after that is we all take a deep breath in and then exhale any last little bits of stress out. We say the Lord's Prayer together. So, we just recite that simple prayer and then we have a big team huddle. We hug. We check in on the day; what time is dinner, what are the boys doing today, what time is tennis, what time is jiu-jitsu, Jessa, where are you going here, and when are we going to meet at the end of the day. And then, it's kind of like that team huddle and clap and we all go our separate directions.

And, if no family member sees each other the rest of the day, we have that coming together at the beginning of the day which has been really foundational for our family. And then, at the very end of the day, we have a family dinner, we gather before dinner. My sons and I are always going through a book together, so I ask them a bunch of questions from the chapter of the book that we covered that day. I'm actually thinking about doing the “Discipline is Destiny” book next by the way as our next book through one called “Tactics” right now, which is a book on apologetics and rhetoric and argumentation. So, I'll chat with the family for about 10 minutes before dinner, maybe play a song. Typically, we're all cooking dinner together so we're gathered in the kitchen anyway laughing and talking and telling stories and going through the book chapter. We bust out dinner. We play games all through family dinner, card games, board games, have chats, whatever dinner. It's like an hour-long affair of us just hanging out and partying together as a family.

And then, the final spiritual piece, so the final two spiritual pieces is after dinner, and this is all related to treating your spiritual walk the same way you treat your physical fitness routine or your mental training routine, your business routine. So, after dinner, once the kitchen is clean, we all gather in my son's bedroom, they're 14 now but they're still in the same bedroom and they're twin boys, and we open up those spiritual disciplines journals again. And, this time after we started into about a minute or two of breathwork, we do the process of self-examination, which is a very powerful practice. A lot of philosophers and even some of the stoics that you talk about, Benjamin Franklin, a lot of people do this practice of evening self-examination. Once you close your eyes and you replay your entire day like a story in your mind often watching yourself in the third person as a character acting at a movie. 

And so, we all do that together. What did we do when we woke up? Who did we speak with? What do we have for breakfast? How do we tackle our morning work and routine? And, what do we do for lunch, how do we spend our afternoon? Who did or didn't we talk to during the day? Everything, you play your entire day like a movie in your mind. We do that for about two or three minutes and we reply to three questions: What good have I done this day? What could I have done better this day? Meaning identifying failures that may have built us or that we learned from. And then, finally, where was I most purpose-filled today? Back to that concept of ikigai. And, that really, really helps especially young men like my sons identify those things they did during the day that felt most purpose-filled. Each member of our family has honed and written our own purpose statement, which of course may change as your life progresses but we can say it in one single succinct sentence. 

And, if at the end of the day we find ourselves struggling to answer that question of what we found to be most purpose-filled, then it's a pretty good indication that in the spirit of how we live our days is how we live our lives, we may need to reorient our day so that we actually are engaged in purpose-filled activities. And so, we do that. Typically, I'll play a little song on the guitar, kiss the boys to bed.

And then, the last element of the spiritual routine is my wife and I every night the very last thing we do when our heads hit the pillow even if it's literally in total exhaustion fumbling for words, as I fall asleep I say a prayer for the family and I say a prayer for my wife and I and then I fall asleep. And, when I get out of bed about 4:30 or 5:00 the next morning, get up and down to the living room to stretch and start that morning spiritual care routine again. And, yeah, long reply to your question, I realize, but that's kind of what changed, what affected that change, and just a few little examples of how I've now woven a little bit more attention to the spiritual disciplines throughout my life in a little bit of a scheduled way.

Let's talk nicotine, shall we? Everybody knows it's great for focus. I mean, you don't have to get it from cigarettes, but it is actually a pretty potent nootropic. I mean, it occurs naturally out of plants, most obviously the tobacco plant. You can get it without all the carcinogens. And, the way that you can get it and get it naturally from a company that makes natural products for people who want to use nicotine to relax or focus or unwind after a long day or boost the energy in the evening without keeping you up all night. It's this company called Lucy. They're modern oral nicotine company and they make gum and lozenges and pouches that are super tasty for any adults who are looking for the best most responsible way to consume their nicotine. And, it's a new year, so why not start it out by switching to a new nicotine product you can actually feel good about?

What you do is you go to Lucy.co. You can use promo code BEN20. I recommend their pomegranate, 2 or 4-milligram gum. That's the one I dig. I chew a couple pieces a day right now and it's amazing. Lucy.co and use promo code BEN20 at checkout. That's Lucy.co, use code BEN20 at checkout. Warning this product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical, so be careful, my friends. Lucy.co and use promo code BEN20. Be mindful, be careful, but enjoy that little higher than nicotine can give you because it's quite nice.

Just imagine a hotel surrounded by nature, vineyards and gardens, this forest classified as a historical garden in a very special country at a hotel located in the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. Imagine this place has a state-of-the-art spot, 2,200 square meters, 10 treatment rooms, an indoor pool with underwater sound and chromotherapy. Imagine a kitchen team that brings to the table not just delicious food at this place but values environmental sustainability and wellness and local sensitivity and global sensibility. Imagine being able to be bathed in luxury and being able to be local, to buy a local and to eat local, not caged off of some fancy tourist but it's a part of the community and part of the [00:38:33] _____ of the region. Well, that's exactly what you experience in Portugal at their Six Senses Luxury Retreat. And, I'm going to be there for a special event that you can read up on at BenGreenfieldLife.com/SixSenses. It's called the Boundless Retreat.

And, at BenGreenfieldLife.com/SixSenses, you can see everything we're doing. Every day starts with a healthy farmhouse breakfast, morning movement session with me, you get access to three different 60-minute spa treatments that you can choose from throughout the day, indoor pool and vitality suites, meditation, sound healing, an alchemy bar with Kokodama and yogurts and pickles and sprouts workshops, retreat meals all made from locally sourced organic produce, Q&As and sing-along sessions with me. This is going to be an amazing remarkable once in a lifetime experience. You get four nights full board accommodation in a deluxe room there at the facility. And, this thing, as you can imagine, is going to fill up fast. It's in Portugal at the Six Senses retreat in Portugal.

Again, all the details are at BenGreenfieldLife.com/SixSenses. And, the dates are February 27th through March 3rd, 2023, February 27th through March 3rd, 2023. I hope to see you there.

I'm pretty stoked because this is now something I can do when I'm on the go and it's based on this idea that the human body being mostly water. But, what you probably don't know is everything else in your body is 50% amino acids. That means basically water and amino acids are two of the most important things that you can have in your body. And, some amino acids are essential. You have to get them from food, from breaking down steak and chicken and eggs and everything else. But, this stuff called Kion Aminos is a plant-based full essential amino acids profile backed by over 20 years of clinical research with the highest quality ingredients; no fillers, no junk, rigorous quality testing, taste amazing with all-natural flavors. I got on the amino acids bandwagon way back when I was racing Ironman triathlon. Started with branch chain amino acids, realized those were wasted time, switched over to essential amino acids and it has been a game changer ever since.

Now, what did I mean when I said travel? Well, these Kion Aminos, which are the essential amino acids that I take, they have for the watermelon flavor, the lemon-lime flavor, the berry flavor, and the mango flavor, they got stick packs now, so you can take them on the go. I honestly have a couple packs in my fanny pack now. I can dump them in water when I'm at a restaurant, have that instead of a bread basket that comes out or a cocktail. They satiate the appetite. They accelerate recovery. They're amazing pre-workout or during a workout. The list goes on and on. Fact is if you haven't tried essential amino acid, you're a miss now.

And, you can save 20% now on any monthly deliveries and 10% on any one-time purchases if you go to getKION.com/Ben. That's getK-I-O-N.com/Ben to get my fundamental supplement for fitness. Kion Aminos, getK-I-O-N.com/Ben.

Marc:  What comes to mind though, Ben, is just it's this balance again because there's obviously a routine that is helping form some structure and make sure that these practices take place but then the practices themselves are prompts and rituals that actually break the autopilot. From what I'm gathering, those questions stop us. And, what a great gift to give to your boys growing up and we need more of this. kids, they're not taught this for the most part until a later age.

Ben:  Yeah. There's other questions you can ask too. Well, sometimes we'll change it up. For example, when we did for 30 days was just what did I learn about myself today? We changed the evening one for just “What did I learn about my myself today?” And, that's really interesting to do for 30 days as well because it forces you view that process of self-examination to know thyself just a little bit better. And, as Gabor Mate who's a modern-day psychologist who I follow a little bit, he defines trauma as a disconnection from true self. Well, it's very difficult to be disconnected from your true self if you are engaged in that process of daily self-examination or you're even asking yourself at the end of the day a question like that like “what did I learn about myself?” because it does really allow yourself to know yourself better.

Marc:  Yeah. Again, it gives us — this is why I love questions so much because they give us the luxury of a pause. Because without asking about that question, you just rinse into the next day and you've left all of this insight or potential insight on the table. And, that's when you start missing things. And, I know you're a fan of James Clear, he's been on the show as well and I'm borrowing this from him. But, this is where you get to the top of the mountain and you're like, “Shit, I climb the wrong mountain.” It's like, “How did that happen? How did I get there?” But, it's those little micro pauses where you can course correct.

Ben:  Yes. And, you didn't climb the wrong mountain, you climbed the mountain that was part of the great story that was written for your life, but you climbed the mountain that you didn't realize was the mountain. God draws straight with crooked lines. The path to whatever the mountain is is a zigzagging path that may indeed involve other mountains, other peaks. But yeah, everyone I think somewhere between the age of about 25 and 40 climbs the mountain that they think is the right mountain, gets to the top of that mountain, and realizes either with joy or trepidation. Oh look, off in the distance, there's the mountain that will bring more meaning to my life, more impact to the world, and allow me to love others and love God even more fully than I have in this climb.

Marc:  So, one of the topics obviously spirituality, and for you, that's being a Christian, and for others, that might be other religions and so forth. For me, I have Ryan Holiday's books beside my coffee machine or Robert Greene. And, for me in the morning, that's the perspective shift that I need or to start the day thriving and so forth. But, what I really liked about anything that you've written in this book is just the idea that having a higher belief system or something bigger than yourself and how that can help with temptation, I never thought of temptation the way that how intertwined — it's everything. Whether it's sexual temptations and relationships or temptations with food or thought, everything to me at least links to some sort of temptation and you talk about this nicely about how we're always essentially looking for that dopamine and serotonin hit or the dopamine fulfillment. So, why don't you, yeah, just tell people a little bit about just that link for you and what you wrote about?

Ben:  Sure. Let's use sexual temptation as an example of where something like a dependency or a belief in a higher power or absolute morality or a set of universal truths might actually help you in that type of scenario. Ladies, I'm sorry but I'm a man so let's use me as a male as an example. This might at first seem a little bit of a disconnect but you'll see where I'm going with this. Let's say that I'm sexually tempted when I'm traveling. I often am. I speak at conferences. A lot of times their health and fitness conferences with hot and healthy and fit ladies. And, when I'm in that environment, I'm supposed to be the fitness icon, the guru, the alpha male, and I will have women who will slip me their hotel room key or write down their phone number on a slip of paper or ask me what I'm doing later that evening and you get the whole, “Let's go watch Netflix on the couch” type of scenario. It is difficult. And, this actually was related to the initial fallout between my wife and I that I alluded to earlier was I did succumb to temptation several times. And, that's one of the things that was beginning to rip apart our marriage.

And now, I can tell you that by the grace of God beyond a shadow of a doubt, I am not tempted in the least. Well, I should say I am tempted in that opportunities present themselves but I do not succumb to that temptation. And, the reason for that is because I have created a greater why and this is important. For example, we worked with a foundation called the Legado Family Foundation. And, what that family foundation does, it brands your family. We have a giant book that is our entire Greenfield family playbook. It's our family mission statement, our family values, our family crest, our family banking officers, what we do on Christmas and Easter and Thanksgiving, when my sons go through their rite of passage into adolescence, when a Greenfield man goes through rite of passage into adulthood, the family hex colors for each individual member of the family, the family spirit animals, imagine a business branding book but that for a family. 

We have woven in over the past four years or so a deep sense of legacy in terms of a desire to make the Greenfield name great or at least specifically create generational wealth and meaning and impact for my sons, my son's sons, my great-grandchildren, and beyond. There are flags that fly the Greenfield logo that hang outside the front door. There's the Greenfield family crest hanging over the fireplace. You come over to our house and have a glass of wine. You'll be picking your glass of wine up off the Greenfield family coasters, on the Greenfield throw pillows, and hats and hoodies. And, what that means is that when I'm approached by a woman at a bar at a conference who wants to sleep with me, that's short-term pleasure is in no way anywhere near palatable to me as the long-term legacy that I'm building to make the family great. And, I realize the extent to which the short-term pleasure and a 30-second orgasm could rip apart not only my own life but the entire legacy for generations and generations beyond.

Now, back to your question related to the concept of a higher power, well, if we deny absolute truth, if we deny the existence of a higher power, if we deny the existence of absolute morality, then legacy doesn't matter, we're all a bunch of chunks of flesh and blood flying on a giant rock through space seeing who can [BLEEP] the most and have the biggest houses and have the most cars and make the most money and have the most followers on Instagram. And, there would be no reason to build legacy because when it's over it's over, who cares? But, if you have a belief in a higher power and you acknowledge is a greater story written for your life and there are certain rules for life that lend order and societal stability to our existence and then you begin to weave those concepts into your life because you believe in that higher power and you develop a sense of legacy and you develop a sense of truth and commitment and fidelity and discipline and everything that brings forth that legacy, then you all of a sudden have created a fabric, a structure that empowers and enables you to resist temptation even though you may not ever experience the absence of it. You're far more empowered to be able to handle it. 

The scripture says that in the Bible, it says God will not throw any temptation at you that he doesn't also give you the capability to handle or we see things like, “Well, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” But, that doesn't mean you sit on your hands and just say, “Well, temptation comes, I'll be ready because God has given me everything I need.” No, it's you take God's advice and you build a legacy and you follow his law and you honor your father and mother and you take your children and you train them up in the ways of wisdom and discipline and teach them about legacy. And, all these things kind of come together, right? It's a combination of believing in a higher power but then also chopping wood and carrying water in the way that that higher power has dictated. And, when you put that together, that's when you're in a situation in which not only temptation becomes easier to resist but any struggle that life might throw at you becomes easier to manage because you have a set of rules to live by.

Marc:  Yeah. You're not in a rudderless boat essentially in the ocean. 

Ben:  Right.

Marc:  I love that. You can definitely give me a lot to think about as the Champagne family over here grows and evolves and whatnot.

I'd love to just understand what truly makes you smile each day?

Ben:  I think that back to that idea of hedonism, the things that make me smile are probably no surprise to people because they're the same type of dopaminergic triggers that would cause many people to smile; music and food and sex and children and laughter and the like. But, I would say probably the major things that are repeated habits that make me smile is I have a friend whose name is Paul Chek. He's a fitness icon and he says that many of us have gotten to dream and to sing and to dance. And so, for those morning meditations that we do as a family, typically two or three of them during the week involve playing a song very loud over the house speaker system and dancing and weaving and singing and bouncing and almost having our own little ecstatic dance party around the kitchen table. And, I would do that whether or not I had children I will do that for the rest of my life. You don't have to do it every day but dancing to music at some point early in the day is a really, really good habit to weave into your life. And, that's one happiness-inducing habit that I have.

The next would be these family dinners that we have. I would say the best $25 that I spend each month is when I take my sons to Barnes & Noble and we'd all pick out a game together and then we go home. And, sometimes we will use the internet to check out the rating of the game, make sure has a good review and it's not one of those crappy poorly designed games. It hasn't been beta tested heavily and needs some tweaking. And, we're actually having done this now for nearly 10 years. We can tell all straight out of the box whether a game is well-designed or not. There are even certain game designers and production companies who we'll go with because we know that they heavily vet their games and a lot of people have played them by the time we get them. But, we'll go get whatever Exploding Kittens or Unstable Unicorns or Monstrosity or Wavelength or Fuzzy Logic or even some old-school ones like Scrabble or Boggle or Scattergories, for example. And, we play nearly every night. We allow for one dinner night that's just discussing catching up. My sons are homeschooled, so that includes a big discussion about their current passions and interests and desires because the way that we homeschool them is that we let them fill us in on what it is they're interested in.

And then, in the spirit of trying to enable them to be as self-actualized as possible. We simply surround them with all the tutors, the books, the travel, the games, the toys, the website, anything that they need to be able to pursue that passion. And, of course, in order to do that, there has to be touch points woven in throughout the week where it's basically like, “Okay, how'd this week go? What are you guys looking forward to? Any new things you want to know about that Mom and Dad can help you to discover or learn, et cetera.” But, besides that one night of the week that allows us to feed that stuff into their unschooling/homeschooling scenario, we have these massive game nights. And, we play typically for an hour, again like I mentioned earlier, right after we've all cooked dinner together. So, every night at our house is a glorious party. And, sometimes other people from town are invited and we typically throw a massive dinner party about once every two weeks where it's just a ragtag group of island of misfit toys-esque folks from the local community, entrepreneurs and house cleaners and car mechanics is everybody in our lives. We just invite them all over and we throw a giant feast because I was a guy who writes cookbooks and is in the nutrition industry. I inevitably often have a lot of steaks and chicken and bone broth and all sorts of cuts in the freezer. So, I got to figure out a way to feed people. So, we have these dinner parties. The family dinner parties and the bigger dinner parties, in addition to the morning dance parties, would be a source of joy.

And, I would say that the last thing that brings me joy, I'll give you something that's new that I just recently started doing of late and it's related to male friendship not only with my sons but with other males. I've realized that sometimes males tend to look at females and the way that they structure their relationships and their friendships and they do a lot of things together. And, stereotype here, they go for the cocktail bar together or they go do get a pedicure together and chat, or that they have little dinner parties and talk, talk, talk. And, that's fine but a lot of times males bond over shared experiences that don't necessarily involve us like engaged in heavy discourse or putting ourselves under the pressure of having to engage in conversation the whole time. 

So, I'll call up friends and just say, “Hey, you want to go for a walk” but we'll literally just be listening to each of our own separate audiobooks and going for a walk together or I'll grab my sons and say, “You guys got a stack of books like I do, alright let's go hit the sauna for an hour and we'll just sit on the floor of the sauna all together reading books like sharing an experience together.” It kind of works. It's odd. Or, another example would be the gym. I'll ask one of my friends now to hit the gym but we aren't doing a workout together, we're just at the gym at the same time sharing that experience and it's almost kind of freeing because sometimes you want to be in your own space and you got these books you want to catch up on or podcasts or audiobooks. But, at the same time, you know that it's good for you to be with other people. And, of course, this habit involves a coming together, a greeting, sharing an experience together even if you're not doing the same thing together, and then some form of a departure greeting and a farewell, and then you're off to the rest of your day.

And, I think giving yourself permission especially as a male to understand that, “Oh, I can engage in shared experiences.” I don't necessarily have people all up in my business the whole time and I can still kind of do my own thing, but it's something that surprisingly I've found some meaning derived from and it's allowed me to passively build friendships in ways that I would have otherwise resisted until I'd given myself the permission to just share an experience without the pressure of having it have to be intense dialogue the entire time. Does that make sense?

Marc:  Hundred percent. You are one fascinating human, Mr. Greenfield. Speaking experiences, I have to thank you for this one. You can probably see it and just in the video I mean my mind is spinning in the sense of things I'd like to try with my own family and different little rituals and routines and inject my own routine and so forth. It's been really a very mentally stimulated conversation and I want to thank you for that first and foremost. But then, also just you being you and you've said this in other interviews but just embracing, almost embracing your weird, let's just say, and trying new things and doing things against the grain and so forth that are helping so many people around the world. So, thank you for that.

Ben:  Oh, well, you're welcome. Of course, that comes as no surprise to people. There's the deathbed moments, right? I wish I'd chose to be happier. I wish I'd chosen my emotions or chosen to show my emotions more readily. I wish I'd worked less. I wish I'd stayed in touch with old friends. And then, the fifth is I wish I'd chosen to be my true authentic self rather than who the world expected me to be. And, I wish more people would just embrace their weird self. And yeah, you're going to do a lot of things wrong and you're going to live half your life with imposter syndrome, but it's kind of fun to live your life with imposter syndrome and just break into something new and learn the rules as you go. And, as I said on the pickleball court the other day, “Hey, you know what, that shot doesn't exist or didn't exist but it does now.” So, there you go.

Marc:  Well said. Well said. Thanks, Ben.

Ben:  Alright. Thanks, Marc.

More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.

 

 

I have created a greater Why.

This important. But you may be asking: what do I mean by that?

The answer, as you might imagine, is rather personal and involved. Recently, I was a guest on Behind The Human, a podcast hosted by a man named Mark Champagne, and this was one of the many fascinating topics we explored together.

On his podcast, Marc Champagne unpacks the mental fitness practices and reflective questions shaping the lives of some of the most successful and brilliant thinkers in the world. He is also the author of Personal Socrates, a best-selling book exploring the pointed questions that stimulate your mental fitness and teach you how to direct your internal narrative to work for you instead of against you. Marc studies the prompts and practices of legends such as Kobe Bryant, Maya Angelou, Robin Williams, James Clear, Coco Chanel, Stephen Hawking, and many others to bring clarity, intentionality, and possibility to every aspect of your life.

The host of the top 50-ranked podcast Behind The Human, Marc co-founded the journaling app KYO which reached 86.9 million people without any paid advertising. He has studied mental fitness practices for over a decade and consults with Fortune 500 companies as a mental fitness strategist and practitioner.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Ben’s introduction…06:00

 –Marc Champagne’s introduction to Ben Greenfield…06:57

 –Rigid schedules and the idea of training spiritual stamina and endurance…15:18

  • Treadmill
  • Ikigai
  • Creature of habits and schedules
  • Following what is considered an 80/20 rule
    • Balance between rigidity and creativity
    • Balance between flow and adherence to a strict schedule
  • Airdyne
  • Sabbath – Sundays are sacred days
    • Charge the batteries
    • Being with friends and family
    • Playing an instrument

-Training your spirit as much as your body and Ben’s daily routine…22:19

 –Having a higher belief system and resisting temptation…41:23

-What makes Ben smile these days…52:20

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

  • Six Senses Retreat: February 27, 2023 – March 3, 2023

Join me for my “Boundless Retreat” at Six Senses from February 27th, 2023 to March 3rd, 2023, where you get to improve on your functional fitness, nutrition, longevity, and the delicate balance between productivity and wellness. Complete with a healthy farmhouse breakfast, yoga spa sessions, and sound healing, you learn how to live a boundless life just like me, and I'd love to see you there. Learn more here.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

– Marc Champagne:

– Podcasts and articles:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

Episode sponsors:

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Joovv: Get an exclusive discount on your first order of my favorite in-home light therapy devices. Just go Joovv.com/ben and apply code BEN.

Lucy Nicotine Gum: If you are looking for a cleaner and tastier alternative to other nicotine products, Lucy is for you. To save 20% on any order, just use discount code BEN20.

Kion Aminos: Aminos are building blocks for muscle recovery, reduced cravings, better cognition, immunity, and more. Go to getkion.com/ben to receive 20% off on monthly deliveries and 10% on one-time purchases.

Six Senses Event: Join me in this beautiful 19th-century wine estate in Portugal and enjoy treatments that go beyond the ordinary in Six Senses Spa. Ten treatment rooms and an indoor pool with chromotherapy and an underwater sound system offer a unique and layered wellness experience. Try delicious food made with local sensitivity and global sensibility. Head over to  bengreenfieldlife.com/sixsenses and claim your spot today.

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