Bonus Episode: Brief Words Of Wisdom, Introspection & Insight From Ben Greenfield.

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Lifestyle, Podcast

Lately, I've been thinking quite a bit about life. I've been engaged in some deep introspection and self-inspection, which I think is healthy for everyone to do on a regular basis. In this case, I was forced into this exercise of self-examination, and into a state of extreme humbleness and ego dissolution when I failed to complete a recent event.

See, during the Train to Hunt National Championships in Colorado, I came down with an extremely high heart rate, dizziness, extreme fatigue, and an inability to simply put one foot in front of the other. This was likely a combination of pushing myself too hard lately (in both work and travel), along with mild jet lag from having just returned from Europe, the 9700 foot altitude of the race that I hadn't had a chance to prepare for, and a cluster of other emotional factors (feeling guilty about being away from my kids again, missing my wife, feeling too distant from my company Kion) that basically left me dropping out of the race, and lying in my hotel room bed for about twelve hours, barely able to sleep, staring at the ceiling, and thinking generally about life.

 

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It wretched my heart to have to drop out of the Train To Hunt National Championships competition this weekend. Although I didn't wake up feeling 100% I never imagined I wouldn't make it through the day. I am a firm believer in the sage wisdom that “Pain Is Temporary, But Quitting Lasts Forever”. And I’ve only ever had one DNF in my life. However, in this case in very high altitude and extreme heat, my body and brain were sending me every signal that I needed to hit the brakes hard – shortness of breath, very high heart rate, numb hands and feet, extreme dizziness – the works. Feeling like this, I made it through the first several hours of the competition, but realized at that point I needed to live to fight another day. I never like it when I can't “represent” on the field of battle the way I should be able to, but I know when I need to stop before I do lasting damage. Don’t worry, I’ll be back in action soon!

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As I lay there with a journal, a bottle of water, and a plate of kiwi fruit (about all I could find that was healthy to eat in the local area), I had some interesting thoughts that I think you may find valuable for your own life—and give you deeper insight into where I'm coming from, and where I plan to go in the future.

Now one thing that you need to understand is that I'm a fan of personality tests. It's something that we are actually very big on at Kion: everyone takes an Enneagram, and my personal Enneagram score puts me in a very, very high category of a what's called a Perfectionist (type 1) and an Achiever (type 3).

That is a pretty dang dangerous one-two combo (or I suppose in this case, a one-three combo) because, as you can imagine, this causes me to expect a lot of myself in every task that I attempt to perform while simultaneously taking on a lot of tasks all at once. That's an exhausting combination that in many people can lead to burnout, into spinning too many plates at once, and into trying to do everything that you're doing (which is often too many things) perfectly. This means that you do everything with near-perfect precision but have zero time left over for relaxation, for hobbies, for family, or for self-care, or…

…perfection becomes impossible to sustain, projects begin to decline in quality, and all those plates you're spinning crash to the ground, then eventually you crash to the ground too.

In addition, the Achiever personality type on the Enneagram dictates that one who fits that profile tends to try to be who others expect them to be, or at least who they think that others expect them to be. As a matter of fact, the direct quote from the Enneagram is that…

…”in the headlong rush to achieve whatever they believe will make them that more valuable, Achievers can become so alienated from themselves that they no longer know what they truly want or what their real feelings are. Thus, the deeper problem is that their search for a way to be of value increasingly takes them further away from their own essential self with its core of real value. Step-by-step, their own inner core – their heart's desire – is left behind until they no longer recognize it.”

Now that problem, combined with the perfectionist mentality, can create a person who tries very, very hard to seek the approval of others, to be perfect, to try to be someone they're not and to neglect what makes them truly happy. And frankly, I feel like I've begun to slip into that scenario myself. That's not to say it's wrong to want to achieve excellence in things. Nor is it to say it's wrong to want to achieve great things in life and create a lasting impact. Indeed, when steered in the right direction in a state of true authenticity and also a state that enables one to accept the fact that they cannot be perfect, one can go on to achieve great things as an Achiever and a Perfectionist.

But in my case what I've done to myself is this: I've built constant 24/7 pressure to do many things all at once – to be fit as a fiddle for my next event, to be a CEO of a massively expanding supplements company, to complete a huge book, to be on an airplane nearly every week to give a speech, to juggle podcast appearances, podcast production, article writing, article editing, to maintain attempts to write fiction and make music simultaneously, to coach ten different executives and CEOs and athletes who rely on me for advice, and to try to fit in time with family and spiritual growth in the process.

For example, take the constant pressure I place on myself to be on the “pointy-edge” of fitness. In the past, I have told others (I think in partial error) that in order to drive you to be motivated to be fit, you must always be signed up for something that slightly scares you, pushes you to the cliff edge of fear, or challenges you while pushing you far outside your comfort zone—and while this can be healthy, in some cases it can backfire. In my case this means, that I'm finding myself no longer able to travel and spend time with my family without waking up an hour early to crush the gym, to sit in a movie without feeling like I should be out training, to enjoy life without simply thinking about whether or not I'll be ready to represent on the starting line of a race, and to do just about anything without the thought at the back of my mind that I need to be that perfect person who inspires others to greatness and must be able to perform at the drop of a hat.

It's been that way for a long time. Whether I'm competing in tennis tournaments, bodybuilding, water polo, volleyball, cycling, triathlons, obstacle course races or anything else, there's never really been a time since I was thirteen years old that I haven't had some type of event I was preparing for, or that I haven't worn the mask of an athlete, a competitor, a gladiator, or a warrior.

In addition to feeling the pressure to be fit for the next event, I often also feel that I need to project the perfect person to the world: the perfect skin with no crow's eyes and no suspicion from anyone that anything I'm doing in the anti-aging department isn't working, the perfect six-pack abs, rippling muscles, extreme fitness and everything that I've grown to define myself as…

…because I'm under the impression that that's who the world expects me to be. To dig myself even deeper into that while all my bios, and all the information about me you can find on the internet, or when I'm getting up on stage to speak, are not focused on whether I'm smart or intelligent or witty or studious or any of those things that I try to try to maintain and pride myself on, but instead: what sets this guy apart is that he's the Ironman triathlete, the masochistic globetrotting adventurer, and the man who's able to handle any physical obstacle. I truly feel like that has dug me into this hole of needing to be that person—that hard-charging, high-achieving CEO with the chiseled chin who can handle anything life throws at them and simultaneously kick your ass in a 10K, triathlon, the gym, or anywhere else.

Well, let me tell you something: that's exhausting to constantly be that person, and I often feel like I'm a failure if I'm not achieving. I feel like I'm a failure if I'm just lying around reading a work of fiction or watching a movie with my children. In that scenario, I feel as though I'm somehow shorting myself and not being that person who I'm called to be. And sure there's some wisdom to that: there's some wisdom to the idea that you don't want to laze around and spend your time unwisely; but at the same time that mentality can be taken to the extreme, and it can very much affect those around you because they sense that what you'd rather be doing is figuring out a way to make yourself even more perfect and go out and achieve even more.

But what's interesting is when I wrote my entire Lifebook last year—a book that dictated everything I hold dear in life, the mark I want to make upon the world, what will be written on my tombstone, and much more—frankly, being an extreme athlete wasn't really a big part of that book. Sure, I did include the fact that I think it's important that I occasionally go out and engage in challenging adventures like climbing a mountain or swimming in an icy cold river or doing something that makes me a little bit physically uncomfortable—and I think that's fine.

However, I think that my life has become skewed much too far in that direction, and the other elements of my Lifebook that I dictated that I hold dear—such as being in a community and forming close friends and building quality relationships and spending more time with my children and immersing myself in nature and building my spiritual self—have been allowed to fall by the wayside because there simply isn't enough time to do all that and also push my body to the absolute limits with exercise, travel, and work.

It's a vicious cycle, isn't it? Race, achieve, project the perfect person, post that person to Instagram, rinse, wash, repeat. 

But when I stop and ask myself: what do I really want? What do I really want? And even more importantly, what would God want of me? Well, in this stage of my life, after a deep amount of introspection the past couple days, I can especially tell you that, in addition to simply spending more time with my children, with my wife, and forming deep, meaningful relationships with other people, I want the following…

…I want to be more present in my local community: I want to know my neighbor's names, I want to attend events in my local community, and I don't want to feel like I have to hop on a plane or go to a conference or go to a mastermind or go to a meet-up in order to be with my friends. Instead, I want to build ties and roots in my local community – get to know local like-minded people who I can have dinners and hikes and hangouts with (you'd be shocked at how disconnected I feel sometimes from my hometown of Spokane)…

…furthermore, I want to be able to help people without feeling rushed. I want to be able to find out about, for example, an opportunity to go play my guitar at a nursing home or go volunteer at a park cleanup, or go help out at my church, or go do other things that involve helping others—and not look at my calendar and think “Well crap, I can't do that because I've stretched myself too thin, I'm busy and I'm in some other state, some other country, or some other nation far from my home.” I'm not saying that I don't want to still travel the world and help people and use the platform that God has given me in that way to affect global change in people's lives when it comes to their health and fitness and longevity and spirituality and happiness—but again, there's an imbalance. I have almost no ties in my local community…

…I want to spend more time in nature, but not time in nature as a workout or time in nature being crushed in a race. I just want to be able to go out and learn more of plants, of plant medicine, of hunting, of tracking, of trekking, of building with my hands, of spending time in sunshine and fresh air and water because I want to and not because I'm there to run intervals or to post an Instagram story about how good I am at wild edible identification. Instead, I want to be able to enjoy nature for the simple sake of nature…

…I want to participate in sports without the feeling that everything has to be a workout. I want to play tennis like I did when I was a kid for hours, where I was just hitting balls and having fun with my friends. I want to be able to swim and hike and even lift weights and go to the gym, which I love to do, but without the pressure of it needing to be an absolute sufferfest because I have some event I'm supposed to be in peak physical fitness for…

…I want to care for my spirit and build my spiritual muscles in the same way I've built my physical body. I want to wake up in the morning and know that I have the time to pray and to meditate, to grow more deeply in my relationship to God, to memorize Scriptures, and even to fast. I've said this before, but there are many times when I want to fast and I want to to take care of my body in that way (almost as a religious practice), but can't because, yet again, I must dump calories down the hatch to be ready for the next workout and to get me fueled for the next hardcore masochistic event…

…I want to have the freedom, flexibility, and time to be able to devote focused, deep work and excellence into building my company Kion, and not feel as though it's a rushed afterthought because there are so many other items on my plate or because I feel like my company expects me to be out working out or buffeting my body so I can go be the big, perfect frontman face of the company. I want to build a company that will change the world, and me running around in the forest with my shirt off throwing spears at shit isn't really a sustainable, scalable way to make that happen, no matter how many likes it gets on social media to drive traffic to a product…

…and finally, I want to do what I know truly makes me happy and has made me happy since I was a child. I want to write and play more music and I want to write and read more fiction. Both of those things are elements that I draw a great deal of happiness out of, and that might sound selfish, but I want to create music that makes people happy. I want to write books that tell the hero's journey and inspire people. And I don't want every piece of content I create to be about the next injectable anti-aging molecule or pill you can pop or biohacked workout, but instead perhaps just a nice story about a princess, an elf, and a dragon that makes children smile.

So when I close my eyes and I see myself five years from now, I've achieved that balance. I have friends and relationships and local community and volunteering and time with my family. I have a deep relationship with every plant in my backyard and the acreage around my house and I actually know the names of all our Nigerian dwarf goats and I help my wife with planting the garden and tending to the fruit trees. I'm still enjoying physically challenging events, and I'm still a healthy human specimen, but not in the way I've been doing it—not as a hardcore athlete, but instead as someone who enjoys physical culture because it makes them feel good, not because they have the pressure to perform. I want to transition from being an athlete to being a mentor, a teacher, and a well-rounded person who enjoys and has time for other aspects of life.

I'm telling you all this so that you can simply know my position, so that you can know where I'm coming from, and so that as you see me evolve over the next several months and years, you can realize that I still have a deep desire to explore the depths of performance and fitness and health and longevity and biohacking and beyond, but in a balanced manner that doesn't turn me into a person who is simply sitting on a plane, lonely and banging out yet another article on biceps and abs while I travel to a conference to speak to a group of people and foster the relationships I've built afar because I don't have any back home.

I simply can't take the pressure of being that perfect person any longer, and I realized that the pressure that I've placed upon myself to climb Mount Everest every day is not truly making me happy. I don't want to be that alpha male with the yin dominance and huge bank account, but with tired eyes and a wife and children who resent him. I don't want to be full of sadness or regret on my deathbed because in the end I really just made a lot of money and did some hard things but never actually built a lasting, meaningful legacy, changed people's souls, made my family happy, or took time myself to smell the roses and savor life. 

So I'm in a transitional phase. Yes there are certain obligations that I have committed to this year such as competing in some obstacle course races and doing some physically challenging events; but after that, I really truly want to focus more on simply enjoying life with far less of the extreme pressure and on building a platform of balanced health, longevity, adventure, joy, and fulfillment in life for myself and for others.

And that's why I've created this article for you: so that you can understand where I'm coming from and perhaps so that you can learn a few things about yourself in the process. So I thank you for reading all this. I hope it's given you a little bit of perspective on who I am and where I'm coming from and where I plan to go.

Feel free to leave any of your own questions, comments, feedback, wisdom and insight below, including advice and connections for me. I promise to read every comment!

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150 thoughts on “Bonus Episode: Brief Words Of Wisdom, Introspection & Insight From Ben Greenfield.

  1. Leila says:

    Ben, you are an amazing and inspiring human being! You are a great athlete but more than that you are the best mentor. You’ve taught me and I’m sure so many other people how to live not just to exist. Your approach to life through focusing on mind, body, and spirit and optimizing all three aspect and finding the balance between them reflects in all your work and through your work and podcast you are helping so many people to truly live more adventurous, joyful, and fulfilling life.
    Since I’ve started fallowing you I’m a much happier and healthier person and through things that’ve I learned from you, your guests, and suggested books now I’m helping people around me so your positive influence and how many people you are helping goes way way beyond people that you encounter in person. I can’t tell you enough how grateful I am for everything you do and can’t thank you enough.

  2. Chris Streight says:

    Hey Ben,

    Not easy to put yourself out there week after week, yet you do it. To always strive to be the best eventually takes its toll emotionally as much as physically. Then for you to lay it out there and let all your listeners know how you are struggling is admirable and a hugely courageous act. Bravo for that.

    I will always remember when I was running around Mt. Hood years ago on the Timberline trail (40 miles with 20K of total ascending/descending) with a buddy of mine and a woman asked us what we were training for, and Mark blurted out life. I knew then that was the perfect answer. We weren’t training to run X race later. We were simply out there because we loved being able to do it, enjoy the beauty, and push ourselves. We didn’t need to beat someone. We didn’t need someone to organize an event and have people cheering us on. We were simply doing it because we loved it. And we still do.

    While I have done some competitive events in cycling and running over the years, I always enjoy the non-competitive events way more. Backpacking with my daughter (I started taking her annually when she was 4 and she is now 19–we haven’t missed a year of at least one trip) is one of the things I cherish most. So yeah, I think I do understand where you are at in wanting to dial it back and focus on what is now emerging as being more important.

    Keep up the great work, in whatever form that takes. I do enjoy listening to your podcasts and have learned much from you. Know that if you stopped tomorrow, you have positively impacted more people than the vast majority of people currently living and formerly living. Well done. You are already in a very special club. Don’t forget that.

  3. Margo says:

    Bravo Ben.

  4. Todd says:

    Great podcast! I’m praying for you Ben! From one dad to another, you will never ever regret making memories with your family.

    God absolutely has a purpose for you and a plan to use your unique gifts to reflect Him in this world. But we are also commanded to rest (:

  5. Jason says:

    Thank you for the humility! I appreciate all your hard work and sharing of your wisdom. What I’ve learned from and through you has played a HUGE factor in me changing my diet and exercise regimens, together with general living practices, which has resulted in me losing 35 pounds and eliminating the need for sleep aids and daily handfuls of pain, and other, meds to treat all my symptoms.

    After hearing your message in this podcast, and maybe knowing a bit about your beliefs (through other podcasts and your Lifebook…which is awesome by the way), I felt led to share something that has helped me find purpose and direction in my life when I need it. I have attended a Jesuit retreat for the last 6 years. The retreat is about being unplugged, in solitude, with a mix of teachings and time for reflection. My experience has been nothing short of profound. These retreats have strengthened my faith, intensified my prayer practice, and allowed me to find clarity in what’s important and evaluate my priorities based on truth and love.

    I am in the Minneapolis area, I don’t know how common these retreat houses are, but I’m guessing you could find something comparable out in your general area. I can send more info regarding the specific retreat house I go to if your interested in learning more. Also…if it helps in you evaluation to consider…I’m 44 years old, married, have 8 & 9 year old girls, and work full time.

    Thanks again for all your work! Take care!

    PS Love your coffee and bars…so much so I’m a subscriber!

  6. Christopher says:

    Ben, this was the most humbling podcast! You’re actually in a really good place, just trust the journey to growth. As a longtime listener, my family would like to open our doors to you. We have a cabin in the wilderness where you can unplug, recharge, and gather your thoughts – off grid, no cellphone service, remote location. Please feel free to get a hold of me if this is something that you’re interested in. Just one family to another.

  7. Hi Ben,

    I’m a new subscriber and I believe I came across your work after it was referenced by my good friend Brian Johnson. I don’t usually listen to your podcasts, as I can’t dedicate the proper time to go through them. For some reason, I did decide to listen to your Life Thoughts podcast and I’m very glad I did. Good on you for putting your vulnerability out there in such a humble and confident way. I found that episode to be both inspiring and motivating. You have encouraged me to consume more of your content and words of wisdom over the coming months.

    Best of luck with your upcoming transition, and I look forward to staying in touch.

    Khaled Sultan

  8. Samantha says:

    Ben, I’ve been an avid listener and fan of yours for the past 8 years and you have inspired me to accomplish extraordinary things (multiple Ironman podium finishes and a PhD before the age of 27). 2 years ago, however, I reached a similar realization that I was sacrificing too much for the sake of perfection and achievement without nurturing my soul and truly connecting and impacting other people. I know from experience that this epiphany comes from reaching a dark low point, and you have my compassion for experiencing that yourself. But I’m confident in the transformative power of that crucible. I commend you on your introspection and am grateful for your openness to us listeners who admire you intensely. I look forward to bearing witness (audibly, at least) to your evolution. I, for one, will always be an ardent fan of your work in this world.

  9. Stephen McCain says:

    Ben, I think I speak for all of us…you don’t have publish as much as you do. I’m sure even the best of us have a hard time keeping up everything you do. You are an inspiration and will always be…no matter what. Hope you’re well brother.

  10. Lisa Morley says:

    Dude! Your best episode to date! So many can relate! Always remember YOU are enough!!! I’m sure you would tell your loved ones this mantra “you are enough” “I am enough”
    It sounds like you’re being called to a different focus. Listen to that call because you’ll continue to get turned toward your higher calling until to act. Sending love and light! 🙏🏻

  11. Alistair says:

    Loved the podcast.

    I am also a perfectionist and achiever and as such at times suffer from quiet unhealthy anxiety. I trudelt became aware that this was how I am and how my subconscious mind works a few years ago. Until recently I have been a bit sad about that fact that a 30 year old man hasn’t figured out how to balance life to prioritise what is important. I guess the first problem is recognising what is important. Last year I attended a 30 day retreat at a place in Brasilia called Rosemary Dream. The program was called Heart Attack and was designed to simulate you waking up from a heart attack and have greater clarity on life. I would strongly recommend to anyone looking to grow in that area of their life. The place is run by a few really interesting guys with amazing stories who I am sure you would get a thrill out of chatting to on a podcast. All the best and I wish you all the best for the next 12 months. Can’t wait to hear what you discover and how you actually implemented change in your subconscious and conscious mindset.

  12. Kylene says:

    Thank you so much for sharing real life! I just completed 3 months of cancer treatment and had many of the same revelations that you did!!! I think God uses those opportunities to kick us in the ass so to speak and remind us what is truly important. You have and will continue to inspire and help so many. Adding this layer of authenticity only helps people relate and trust you more!

  13. Kevin says:

    Great podcast but instead of all vitamins and supplements this was real life. This was a real moment and It was great to hear. Sounds like it’s time to slow down and enjoy the little things. Stop and smell the roses. Maybe in a different way that is as healthy if not more than everything else that you have practiced over the years. You can’t put a price on quality of life. Enjoy it my man!!

  14. Jonathan Dunn says:

    Be still, and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10

    Prayers for wisdom and guidance for you and your family, Ben. Much love and gratitude for you!

  15. Eileen Sparks says:

    Sooo good!! Thank you so much for your podcast and your passion to help others!! I have been encouraged …but really encouraged by your transparency and your willingness to go for the deeper and most important things in life!! Walk with God, family,
    Community. Enjoy your deeper walk:) May we all strive (but not in a negative sense) to be the people God designed us to be and to
    Be a light to those around us .. through health, fitness, and serving others :)

  16. Tabitha Mae Casey says:

    This is the best podcast that I have heard of yours. Or, rather, most moving and rang true for what my husband and I ( both pretty avid listeners) are seeking for our lives. We are a 4 and a 5 on the enneagram, so introspection is our jam, but we also seek an affordable approach to a healthier, more holistic lifestyle. I live way more in the analyzation of what I eat and grow, etc rather than exercise and do not look like I listen to a single one of your podcasts if you were to look at my weight. But, life beat the hell out of us about 7 years ago ( me, actually most of my life – ) when the christian commune that we were raised in imploded due to corruption at the top. It was like we were thrust out into another planet ( normal life) and had to live in crisis mode for about 7 years. We feel we are just emerging, but have sought through it all to hold onto our core values and find ways to integrate health and wholeness and repair the mental, emotional and spiritual damage that experience caused. I was introduced to you through a strength and fitness trainer who realized pretty quickly that, although I wanted to lose weight, I was so damaged in my soul ( for lack of an easier word) that i needed to focus on de-stressing, finding peace, and doing lots of alternative approaches that were restorative deeply. Since that point, we have followed your podcasts, ordered several of your products and even did your mastermind course at the beginning of this year. WE don’t have a ton of time or money to throw at all your suggestions, but we have integrated what we can and both love the research and scientific breakdowns of how different things work. Being raised in a very insulated and close Christian commune, one of the things that we value very highly and was a positive part of our lives was deep personal connections and relationships, so that has been something we have values, lost and mourned and actively sought to rebuild and have found deep and true healing and meaning in. You are right in contemplating and determining to reorient yourself that way. If you would like to talk to two people who have 36 in depth years of training in the field of natural human relationships – how it is amazing and life giving, and what can go wrong and how to avoid it…. definitely contact me and we would love to come visit your family and share our story which is one of a kind……:)

  17. Markus says:

    Thank you so much for posting this Ben!

    I feel the same and have gone through a similar process after pushing myself to the brink of collapse. With that said, you have my love and support in any endeavour in Life!

  18. Leslie M says:

    Was really happy to hear this. Love the introspection and reflection. You need to be you for you not for us! After seeing you at Paleo Fx my husband and I were talking about how we couldn’t understand how you keep the schedule you do and keep all the balls in the air and do everything so successfully and stay healthy and happy.
    I personally have to say I follow you not for my abs but your brain. The amount of knowledge it contains Is simply amazing! Thank you for all you’ve shared with all of us. It’s made our lives better but I would never want it at the expense to your life.
    PS The best thing about PaleoFx this year was getting to hear you sing and play guitar. You looked like you were having a ball! That’s my husband’s favorite way to unwind. Hope you are able take all the time to want to play and write.

  19. Brian B says:

    Ben, enjoyed this podcast, thank you! In this podcast you mentioned your love of fiction, and I know you’ve posted lists of your favorite non-fiction books before. Non-fiction books tend to be all about doing or productivity – we read them to learn actual useful skills or something that can be put in our vault of factual knowledge to be applied at some point. Whereas fiction books are more a journey into the unknown that we embark upon without a clear or fixed reason beyond discovery and enrichment that isn’t necessarily tied to any sort of goal or goals. I, for one, would be be curious to know what some of your all-time favorite fiction books are – could be a fun post for the site!

    1. Jason says:

      I just wanted to say thank you as well for all the content and work you give. Thank you.

  20. Mary Ann says:

    Ben, all i can say is BRAVO! In my own journey of health and longevity, I too have found myself lost in the endless pursuit—obsession really–of incorporating the latest biohack, supplement, exercise optimization technique—you name it. One day I woke up and realized “where is my joy”, “where is my balance”. I truly believe that we are blessed with these miraculous bodies and this time on earth to experience joy, share in relationship, help one another—optimal focus on JOY. It is so easy to get distracted into the information overload and the constant effort to be better. But, really, God made us all perfect! What is the point to living to 125 if I am not living in my joy! This Podcast was a truly inspirational reminder of the things that my soul holds dear. Ben, there is noone better than you to help to share this message of balance and happiness. This message is sorely missing from the wellness industry on many levels. I look forward to following you journey, as I look forward to stepping more into mine. Thank you for this brave message and for all that you do!

  21. Jaclyn says:

    I often wonder “does this guy ever take a day off?” And now I’m relieved to see that you are going to. You are human, not a robot, so I’m so relieved to hear what you had to say here. It’s OK to want to relax and just read, and in fact, we need to show our body who’s boss by taking breaks here and there.

    None of us expect you to be perfect, or the perfect competitor (the pressure we put on our own self is the most intense).

    And also realize, as I hope that you do, that we don’t need you to be #1 in every race with the perfect body, we need you to continue to be our mentor, guide, and to take care of yourself. You’ve already changed so many lives, including mine, just by being the true you! Now go read a book! :)

  22. Neil Paterson says:

    Thanks for the beautiful podcast Ben. Sending you all the love the internet can handle and hoping you can start to find the kind of balance in your life you are looking for.

    To quote the inspired lyricist Junior Giscombe:

    And mama used to say
    Take your time, young man
    Mama used to say
    Don’t you rush to get old

    Mama used to say
    Take it in your stride
    Mama used to say
    Live your life

    All the best Ben xox

  23. Anna says:

    I heard this last night as I fell asleep and it brought me to tears, it was exactly what I needed to hear, and was nothing short of divine timing.

    I just got back to CA after spending two years in MI helping family, it was meant to be six months until I came in contact with something that was not diagnosed properly over and over again; and after several wrong treatment plans, I ended up with malabsorption, SIBO, leukopenia and iron deficiency anemia. I stopped seeing doctors all together in January and decided to heal myself. I heard you on a podcast and then I went to yours, got hooked, started watching your talks at A Fest, interviews on Joe Rogan and so on.

    Like you, I’m a perfectionist and an achiever, I ended up in this situation trying to make improvements because I was “able” and after so much I became disabled. I took a hit to my immune system from stress, some toxin and the antibiotics that I had not taken on over 10 years. I ended up in a situation where no one, not even doctors could help me, and for the first time I couldn’t either.

    Your depth and intellect is why I listened, believe me, it absolutely comes through. Of course you have an amazing personality and interview the greatest pioneers, thought leaders, scientist and beyond… still, YOU can articulate and navigate so that we can receive the information. We can listen to the same people on other podcasts and never receive the same transmission. I TAKE NOTES BEN listening to your podcast, especially when related to my healing.

    You have accomplished serving from a soul level. I’m now well. And I could finally come back to my life because of all the information you could share with your thoughtful platform selection, you make seriously technical bite size and exciting! You educate and you truly help people. It doesn’t hurt that I have new hacks to make up for a lost two years of youth either.

    The world does need you, especially now. I believe Plant Medicine, Arthur Haines, Dr. Jack Kruse and Dr. Joe Dispenza are the essentials when it comes to what we absolutely need to understand right now. My personal mission is to share all that I’ve learned to help others, not as a yoga teacher or “energy” any longer. My gifts are my ability to understand and articulate messages accurately, similar to you, who I admire greatly. The best way I know how to thank you is to share this and continue to pass it on myself in service. You’ve become a household name and “friend” to everyone I’ve come in contact with.

    Take more videos being in nature, discovering with your beautiful family and community. Teach us to teach others. Let’s change the world singing Radiohead and living the new age hero’s journey!

    Much love!

  24. Greg says:

    I think it’s great you took time to reflect and realign your next steps, looking for more balance. We all need to not just try to earn more money, be better than others even more, but also try to build that community net you mention. Health and happiness, you already have the health thing locked down, the quality time shared with friends and family will make you even happier. Good luck, and I think as your listeners we will enjoy hearing just as much about the balance striving as we do the super health and biohacking stuff.

  25. Jon says:

    Hey Ben – thanks so much for sharing your journey – I appreciate you humbleness and transparency – it really hits home for me. Praying for you and your family during this transition brother. I feel like it would be good for me to find out what type I am as I suspect I may be one or both of the ones you described. Do you have any recommendations on a good Enneagram test I could take? Thanks!

  26. Marisa says:

    Hope you’re ok ! Thanks for your passion for educating people to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Glad you’ll be more present in the local community, and that you are re evaluating your priorities and goals in life. Older wiser.

  27. Jordan says:

    Ben,

    When you were talking about how you are well known as a masochistic adventurer, and how that is what sets you apart, as opposed to being smart and very well read, I just want to say I disagree. I think a lot of your audience finds you so great because you are so knowledgeable. You are evidence based and that is largely what we, or at least I, care about; feel free to take it easy. It would lower your inflammation levels!

    Jokes aside, I know you are a spiritual man so I wanted to recommend something that has touched me powerfully in that way. It is a youtube lecture series where Jordan Peterson goes through the book of Genesis and expounds upon it and relates it to many ideas from philosophy and psychology, like those from Nietzsche and Jung (whose work seems particularly related to what you’re going through). It’s called the Psychological Significance of the Bible and it’s on youtube.

    Your honesty was enlightening and it compelled me to contribute something and to thank you! I am a young man and you have helped me become healthier and see what is possible in life. Be kind to yourself– you probably deserve it. I think it’s totally okay to do things because you like to do them, like write and play music. Especially when doing that would lead to others around you experiencing more of who you really are.

    If I may humbly give some advice, one area where I think you could improve is with generosity in conversations; sometimes it comes across to me that you are forcing the conversation where you want it to go instead of letting the other person take it away with their expertise, and the conversation suffers for that. A great book related to that is nonviolent communication.

    Thanks Ben.

    Jordan

  28. Iwan Williams says:

    Ben, you’re an inspiration! After finishing university and not knowing what to do with my life, stumbling across your website/articles/podcasts has inspired me to do what I love and pursue a career in the fitness industry whilst expanding my knowledge to become an ‘expert generalist’. So thank you and stay healthy :D

  29. Betsy says:

    Your best podcast to date. More of this.

  30. James Suller says:

    I learned the same lesson via a life threatening bout with Rhabdo that resulted from 5 Spartan races in 90+ degree heat in 6 weekends – followed by a DNF at Killington on my first return to racing. So I will share some thoughts in hopes it helps you the way you have helped so many of us.

    Sounds like you experienced good self reflection but I encourage you to take a deeper look. Is it possible that you have not fully grasped the amazing lesson that you have uncovered? The disappointment and sad tone of your podcast makes me think you have not fully grasped this amazing bio-hack that you figured out. If you found a food or supplement or device that if taken/used would have a guaranteed dramatic increase in the quality of life, you would EXCITEDLY share it. I can hear you now…”I am totally stoked to bring you this life changing……”. Look again and you will see that the disappointment of the mistakes of the past should be greatly overshadowed by the positive outlook on your future that now exists because of this DNF. When you talk about this experience and the lessons learned, don’t forget to look at the future (yes, I am a 7 on the EENA test) and be grateful to have realized such an important lesson before it was too late. As a great man once said “Live long and prosper”. Much respect!!!

  31. Heather O'Donnell says:

    Man, what a special thing it is to get to listen to someone’s heart about something that’s important to them. To whom much is given, much is required and you’ve got gifts and talents to spare! I’ve been a listener for just a short while, but I love it. You’re waaaay beyond where I am physically, but I get such value from your knowledge and insight. It IS your brain and SUPER dry humor that is what draws me to your podcast. The fact that you’re opening up about where you’re evolving is even MORE inspiring.

    I just wanted to let you know how much you’re helping and how inspiring it will be to your followers to see you rounding out and getting involved. We should all be more involved in the world directly around us. Praying for you and your family. This is gonna be a goood time, though challenging. :)

  32. Zhart says:

    Revisit the podcast you did with Toby Sumter.

  33. stacy shaw says:

    Wow, I felt like you were speaking my mind. I often have those thoughts and just don’t know what to do with them. It was comforting to hear them from a guy like you! I have listened to your podcast for years because I value your honesty and relentlessness. I am a 53-year-old mother/grandmother and having many of the same thought you expressed! I take breaks but always end up back where I came from…. training, pressure and constant thoughts of getting my next workout in. God bless you in your journey.

  34. Cathy B. says:

    You. Are. Awesome. Thank you for your honesty. You are lucky you got the memo relatively early in life. I respect you even more now.

  35. Rhys says:

    It might help to reflect on what drove you to be a high achieving perfectionist in the first place, that understanding will liberate you from the need to continue. I think the book “Awareness” by Anthony de Mello would be an eye opening read in this transitionary stage.
    Thank you for all you do and for the vulnerability and truth you shared, all the best incorporating these changes in to your life.

    https://www.amazon.com/Awareness-Opportunities-Reality-Anthony-Mello/dp/0385249373

  36. Jon says:

    I’m glad your taking more time to really invest in those who matter (Wife, Kids, Community) than being a guru for those who don’t matter. (Most of us on the internet). 100% the right decision.

  37. Paul says:

    “Thoroughly unprepared, we take the step into the afternoon of life. Worse still, we take this step with the false presupposition that our truths and our ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning, for what was great in the morning will be little at evening and what in the morning was true, at evening will have become a lie.” ~ Carl Jung

    Thank you for sharing, Ben.

  38. Barry Green says:

    Your transparency was bold but keep going deeper. You already are changing lives (and thus the world) using your authentic gifts & talents. What are you going to give up in order to make good on using those other gifts? Create an “I am enough” mantra, train w new perspective, stay overcommitted or find new balance, its all good. Nothing is either good nor bad, but thinking makes it so…

  39. Jon G. says:

    Ben,

    I’m certain that you know your following well enough to realize that no one would think any less of you for sharing such introspective thoughts, thoughts that could even mean we all see or hear from you less frequently in the future. I applaud you for your willingness to share and have offered my long over-due 5-Star Podcast rating on iTunes as a gesture of my gratitude or all of your hard work. Kudos, sir!

    Sincerely,

    Jon

  40. Richard Barclay says:

    Thanks for many of your podcasts and ideas Ben, they do help. As for this introspective podcast, most people have been seeing/thinking that from the outside, probably hoping that you’d eventually see it yourself. Ego, self-image, image of how you imagine others imagine you to be.

    Focus on helping people out of depression and anxiety, and start locally, and keep it as local as you can, whilst sharing those successes with the outside world. That would be my guess. I have this believe that the answer/partner/cure to all our lives, is a street or a corner away, in a person, a flower, a bush and activity. Jet-setting/Superachievement ‘not = to’ Joy/Happiness.

    That would be my tuppence worth, for what it’s worth. Which, is, about tuppence.

    The best,
    Local Dave

  41. Ludwig from Germany says:

    Hi Ben,

    I love your courage to record this personal and honest episode. This is huge. Vulnerable and strong at the same time.
    I like you even more after that one and you inspire me to show up like this and have the as well. I will try.
    Love your work and wish you all the best for this transition.

    Be blessed Ben!

  42. Edvard says:

    Hi Ben! Thanks for all your great content, it has enriched my life so much! I have been studying the enneagram for over 10 years in 3 countries, lead workshops and study groups. The type 3 worldview and fixation is deeply wowen into the american culture and it’s hard to escape it. I believe it is also stronger in the competitive context you are actitive in. And the connection to 1 I can also see as you pointed out. I do however think that type 7 is very strong in you, and that explains why you feel the connection to 1 as it is the stresspoint of type 7. Consider it. I don’t know your more private self but I see your love of variety, new findings and staying busy – 7 traits.

  43. John says:

    Interesting post
    Maybe this was an epiphany and you’ll re-direct your priorities and find as much or more success as you’ve had in the past.
    Perhaps, this was a F… it moment after a bad outing.
    Whichever, will continue to enjoy your work.
    I’ve got a couple of decades on you, and you should know that you will look back on your endeavors and racing and training and realize that age creeps in- so keep pushing while you can.
    Good luck

  44. Michael says:

    THAT was your best podcast yet. I’m looking forward to where slowing down takes you. Your absolutely doing the right thing. I’m not into all the woo woo injectable meds, and electronics b.s.. But nature, plants, and community…turn that up to 10 and rock on!!

  45. Niccup says:

    Wow! This podcast moved me! I can hear in your voice that this is a true awakened moment. I “felt” everything you said as though it was me. You have a wonderful way of words Ben and I know you will find the peace you are looking for. Thank you for sharing & trusting such intimate thoughts with us. You are truly a person to be admired, not just because of all you know and all you have done. But because you aren’t afraid to share EXACTLY who you are. This has been my favourite episode so far:) I’m looking forward to all that is to come with this new perspective.

  46. Olivier says:

    This resonates because I’m like you, Ben — an achiever – perfectionist. Only 90 % less so. 95 %?
    I gained valuable information from everything that you have put out there, so, thanks.
    This was the most… powerful listening for me. And this stroke of insight fits your ‘life purpose’ a lot more than when it was just biceps and hacking. In the past shows you made me laugh when you explained all the things you did.
    You don’t need to achieve more, and what would that mean? but I’m eager to listen to your next, more balanced, perfect podcasts.

  47. David J Sutherland says:

    Thanks for everything Ben. Love how you share and try to help make us all better. Much love at ya.

    1. Samantha says:

      Thank you indeed!
      This was a wonderful bonus episode, it really helps put our lives and what is important ya into prospective. Your vulnerability and candor is refreshing. All the best!

  48. Aaron C says:

    Your best podcast yet. So much can be learned from taking a step from the daily hustle and grind. Keep it up! You are making this guy proud to have been born and raised in Spokompton.

  49. Tim says:

    Hey Ben- great, personal insights! I am a bit older than you- just turned 50 so I have a little different perspective on some of this stuff. Throughout the different phases of your life your perspectives change, priorities shift etc. But I think some of those “coming of age” feelings are just that…your body and mind maturing, aging, shifting. I have always pushed myself to resist the aging process along with it’s thought process. I ask myself…is this my mind justifying my body getting tired…and old. A shift from warrior to teacher. But the mere fact of slowing down, cutting back, doing less…I fear makes us older, more vulnerable to the aging process. Sometimes it’s about making a shift…doing something that’s different, or doing the same thing with a different perspective…i.e. doing it to enjoy it, rather than to come in first (two very different things). One of the hardest things to accept as an athlete is to embrace “rest” it”s just as important as the workouts yet we tend to treat it like the enemy– as you said so well, it’s about seaking a perfect balance for the moment you are in. I wish I knew the things you know in my thirties- you do great work. Good luck in your journey!!

  50. Abby says:

    I have only been listening to you for about 3 weeks now Ben. All of the dedicated things have brought you right to where you need to be. Sounds cliche, but it is not. You have developed your body, your mind and created so much in life. And yes lots of control. Control makes us feel safe and in many degrees the rituals are extremely important and should be respected. However, just as too much sex, too much TV, to much doing, the over stimulation can bring on tamas – dull, lethargic side. Tamas is needed… tamas supports sleep. It is an energy of the mind, but must be in balance just as rajas (sun energy, critical thinking, doing etc). Rajas and Tamas balanced create Sattvic qualities (the harmonious mind) You are clearly not a tamasic person, however even with those of us who are made of more air, ether, water and fire will need to stop and smell those roses or else like you described in other words, be flooded with the opposite qualities because the energies were off balanced and the body could not take on anymore. Your fire will remain, it is a large part of your make-up and transformational. The fire has allowed you to do just as you were to do – inspire, lead and bring others to action. Just as fire can distruct when out of balance, in blance it will transform. Beyond this, all of these wonderful things you have created because you are indeed here to create. Everything along your path has been a teacher in return and it has set you up for the next phase of life and if you listen now which you are at a good time now to listen, it will not bite you in the ass. I feel if you don’t listen to this now, even with all your tools and we know you have a lot, you will be in trouble come another 7 or 10 years and it’s possibly it could be more like 18 years ;) because you have done a great job at wanting to respect the body in many many ways. In other ways, you needed more nurturing. You have a good heart, I feel that even in the small time observing what you focus on and how you interact. You are sincere. This podcast as I am certain you know, will help you thrive to this next place. You do not know your neighbors maybe, but you have many supporters of course. They will flood you with love. I too, have placed these unreasonable expectations on myself most my life and I am the same age as you. Due to this, I have kept myself hidden in many ways and I have incredible skills. I have dedicated my life to understanding the body and mind as well. The perfectionist side is quite limiting and I do not feel that you let it get the best of you, but it’s time now to be focused on who you are. With this, the ones that should be here with you now if you truly embark on this new journey will stay and you will continue to be nourished because you are staying within alignment. Alignment feels more like flow of course. For a bit there will be lots of resistance of the ego and you will be pulled here and there. This will be your new discomfort you speak of needing to place yourself in often. The discomfort of not reaching from the outside to fulfill the inside, is a challenging yet amazing journey. Let all the building you have done an incredible job of support you while you step inside. So sorry for this long message, but something has drawn me to you and I appreciating who you are. One way I let go of my perfectionism is when say writing something like this. I do not want to concern myself with all the punctuation and rules. I am speaking from my heart and that is all that matters. Maybe you will understand and I feel many understand you. Move inside. Soham

    1. John Rock says:

      Thank you for sharing your feelings during what truly sounds like one of the hardest obstacles you have encountered. Your candidness was greatly appreciated and I look forward to continuing to follow you wherever you go.

  51. Jennifer Chaney says:

    We strong 1’s and 3’s (on the Ennegream) empathize with you. My focus has been to understand the value I have because the Maker loves ME. It helps with life priorities. That takes all the achievement and effort out of the equation. Striving is not thriving. I get it…

  52. Tom Weitz says:

    Great song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl5GcRrJLyw

    Peace in the journey.

    Tom

  53. Nelse MIller says:

    Ben,
    I never comment. but felt compelled. I too am trying to actually live in the same place where I live – not on the road to conferences. I am an acheiver – perfectionist. I am a 51 year old woman, demanding professional career, former athlete, wife, family member. A hip joint replacement six months ago, caused by “acheiver-perfectionist athlete” syndrome, forced me to totally reevaluate the athlete portion. That process began two and a halt years ago.

    Six weeks ago I made an Excel pie chart of how I spend every hour of my life so I could see exactly how it had to change. Family members getting crumbs, no category for spirituality. I made a second pie chart of how I wanted my life to change.

    I started doing the new chart. I resigned from activities that were no longer a win-win. I took time to practice my spirituality. I had conversations with all the people in my every day life, and stopped rushing off to the activities that were not WHERE I LIVE.

    There is something unnatural about air travel – about magically ripping yourself from one place and into another. It is a modern necessity, but we must find a way to respect the transition from place to place on this earth. It is like earthing for your soul.
    I wax philosophical. Thank you for encouraging my decision to be present in the actual place where I live.

    N Miller

  54. KIMBERLY CASTLE DEARMAN says:

    Love this. I have often thought of these things for you when I hear your introduction. I have thought, he is more than that. I have thought how exhausting. You need not prove anything to anyone. Just looking at you and your realness is inspirational. Be you and it is enough and more inspiring. Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly. Live it to the fullest. Do what you say in here, don’t let the dark side draw you back. Live life on your terms!

  55. Bryan says:

    Excellent audio. It’s probably my favorite! God is good all the time brother keep hammering and using the platform you were given 👍💪🤜🔨 “physical training is of some value but Godliness has value for all things, holding promise for the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8 my wife likes to remind me of this :)

  56. Erika Baum says:

    Yes!
    You got it! And you are on way to that!
    Thanks for all you have given us all these years (for me personally, thank you for bringing Dr Beck into my life! …and for creating Kion bars..and coffee…), but it is time stop stop sacrificing yourself and what is really important to you!
    You don’t owe us anything. Just to live a happy balanced life and if you want to teach us how, great! We’ll be looking fwd to your posts and to your new life!!!

    All the best!!

  57. AJ says:

    Oh man!

    That really reminded me of myself.
    Some things that you were saying felt like a mirror that you you held in front of me.

    Meta cognition is something we could benefit from engaging in more…

  58. Donald Henig says:

    I can totally relate. Little changes like cutting back on the gym to just 3 days p/w and doing infrared sauna on the off days. My body feels healthier and now the routine feels great. I did feel like a loser for a while – not going to the gym 6 days p/w. One more thing, I gave myself permission to stop reading an uninteresting book. I’m a finisher, but screw that, if the book doesn’t catch me in 2-3 chapters, it goes in the garbage. Life is too short and there are too many great books to enjoy. Tennis and racquetball are amazing sports to enjoy forever and you’ll be blown away by the workout, especially from rball. Good luck!

  59. erica morency says:

    Ok so I love you even more after this podcast! Not like that I am married with 2 kids as you are lol. Love that you are vulnerable as a man, as a person. You are brave to share that with everyone too! You just helped so many people including myself with that episode! I am a fitness trainer/ holistic practitioner and feel the same pressure a lot of times, to always look a certain way, to know it all, be the perfect mom, wife, friend, trainer, compete in all sorts of new races and do well in them too. To show people age is just a number. It’s all not realistic. Not for you, myself or anyone to do it all and all at once! You are a good man!! Thank you so much for sharing and good luck to you moving forward. I wish you and your family true happiness, wealth and health!

  60. Mou10mn says:

    While scripture encourages us to take care of our bodies and you have helped us learn how to better do thar, our ultimate goal should not be to gave a perfect body in this life but rather a resurrected body in the next one.

  61. Jeanenne says:

    As I echo all the great thoughts of support and appreciation already expressed here. I would highlight (in big fat high-res marker) that your audience appreciates and follows your adventures because of your extreme authenticity. So, as you “pass the torch” as we all must do lest it burn out, we still appreciate and anticipate your sharing this journey called life.

  62. Sam says:

    Interesting episode, Ben. Appreciate you doing something like this.

  63. Gavin says:

    Hi Ben,
    I’ve just listened to your introspective podcast on life thoughts- it was nothing short of beautiful. Thank you.

    I can relate 100% to what you say, I too used to strive for perfection in everything I did. However I then discovered three things –

    1. It’s okay in fact better than ok to be you, with all of your flaws etc just as long as you are doing the right thing by others.
    2. it’s important to reflect on priorities and focus on becoming an expert in only those things that matter.
    3. I discovered Pareto the good old 80:20 rule which as you will know suggests that the detail takes 80% of the effort. So okay I don’t personally go with the 80:20 bit but when combined with points 1and 2 above it’s quite easy to realise that somewhere along the continuum is the correct percentage of application for each aspect of life.
    I hope that you find time to reflect on these points and use them as you will. Life is beautiful and you/one can only do so much.

    Some feedback from a listener – we don’t expect you to be perfect, certainly not ripped like of recent weeks, we love the husband, father, health expert (if I may) and human that you are, no pretences, just you.

    You may not realise it but you bring great wisdom to this corrupt world of health and we treasure your outputs and oh so needed guidance. Please do not underestimate the value that your podcast listeners place on your guidance; you are a bright torch in some very dark and winding alleys. So on that note as you focus on your new goals please don’t forget your virtual community – we love what you do and you have/are helping many to combat their demons and be better people. You have a gift and with it you have changed lives, including mine through the sacrifices that you have made. This is like the ripples in a pond as this helps us help others.

    For this I/we thank you.

    Gavin

  64. Disa Jardine says:

    Congratulations, Ben! You’re realizing what the most important race really is! This is real talk & I so appreciate your candor & your courage to come into your true self… and share it with us. Overscheduling, over pushing, overworking…whatever that “work” may be…can only causally lead to overwhelming pressure.
    Striving for excellence is actually not the issue is it, as you’ve proven yourself an excellent achiever on many impressive levels. Rather, what’s the intention & ultimate goal? You’re already waking up & making your way to the starting line of the real race! Right on! May the Holy Spirit guide you; may you heed His guidance.
    Proud of you for your honest introspection & rebalanced prioritizing! Truth be told, hearing & receiving these golden nuggets of wisdom could be the catalyst for changing someone’s life…or more importantly, changing someone’s spiritual life…their eternal destination. You’re already starting to store up treasures in Heaven! Keep it up, Ben! Much Love & Respect to you!

  65. Christopher says:

    Dear Ben,

    I just listened to the bonus episode and became very still and thoughtful listening to your vulnerable reflection.

    Your thoughts resonate deeply with me and I empathize your conflict – I am aware of myself being torn between fulfilling conditions that I have learned in order to feel loved and a desire to live as me and embrace my joy and happiness and build or shape a community and personal relationships.

    And I want to congratulate you for being awake and aware and courageously taking decisive steps on this new path.

    I feel privileged and look forward to following your journey and hope you continue to allow us to be part of your tribe.

    A book I read some time ago which came to mind when I thought about you is You Are The One: A Bold Adventure in Finding Purpose, Discovering the Real You, and Loving Fully by Kute Blackson.

    Sending you energy and love from Germany,
    Christopher

  66. Dan says:

    THANKS Ben for being so honest with battles or struggles that u might have. Lately especially I’ve been battling trying to make time between work life at home and dealing with major medical issues i forget that guys like you thats weird to say but i see a man i would love to be like but dont realize u go through the same shit to. Your such a positive role model for my generation that it’s hard to believe at times u go through what i might go through also. This post by you has probably been one of the best things I’ve listened to from you and it’s nice to know your open enough to let us in to know that we need to wake up and get after what really means most. Thanks for all you do it has made a difference in my life.

  67. Chad Carlson says:

    Kudos to you Ben for having the courage to write this and for having the wisdom to slow down and reflect. My wife and I were enjoying a rare night out together a while back; rare because we have twin 7 year old boys and a 12 year old daughter. To celebrate the night out we hit up one of our favorite local restaurants here in Spokane, Wild Sage. To my surprise you and your wife were seated in the upper dining area just a couple of tables away. I didn’t introduce myself or say anything because I figured a date night for you and your wife is a rare treat. I did notice that you kept getting up every five minutes and heading downstairs; I told my wife that you were probably doing air squats and burpees out on the sidewalk. We both laughed and my wife told me to drop and bust out some push ups before dessert arrived. I didn’t do the push-ups but I did have another glass of wine and continued to enjoy a relaxing evening.

    My point is that life is short; enjoy your family and cherish every minute you get to spend with them. When the game is up it all goes back in the box…………..

    Best wishes to you and your family!

  68. Andrew Greenwell says:

    I can really appreciate your honesty and open perspective. Listening to your podcast has been inspiring, but I can totally see how your intense regimen would be wearing over time. I wish you the best of luck in finding balance. Please continue to deliver the content you have been, if it serves you. I appreciate your perspective and Guest’s on your podcast. Much love!

  69. David says:

    I’m a little surprised none of the Iowas i’m a little surprised none of the hallucinogens help you see this. It’s really easy to see this kind of stuff when you have your world taken away. Count yourself lucky that you’re doing it somewhere in your late 30s early 40s, I forget how old you are, because there’s plenty of us that stopped when we were 16 and we’re completely out classed in some sport. Car accident at 17 with a spinal injury and a TBI made me forget those kind of plans. Now at 50 I have great community around me because I couldn’t fix myself all by myself. My heart and my soul we’re never sucked by corporate interests all I have to worry about my diabetic supplies.

    Go to Colorado once a month to get your company in order but while you’re there go up to the mountains and get your head clear. Pay someone to be on your social media and mentor 10 youth in their 20s and show them how to create content the way you do.

    You don’t wanna get yourself in the place that uncle Weck didn’t have his personal assistant have to tell him to get off Instagram for a couple of days because you’ve been talking beautiful nonsense for weeks.

    Gain 50 pounds, let your physical appearance go, don’t answer a phone call for two weeks. You’ll be the most productive person you’ve ever been especially if you have never let go.

    Don’t go halfway buddy fully kill off that ego of yours

    Love uncle Dave

  70. Carrie says:

    Ben,
    You’ve done such a great service to me with this podcast. I speak for myself but it seems quite a lot of others feel the same. I used to live my life on the edge, for many years. Exhaustion eventually took me out and I’m rebuilding and it’s been a lovely journey to build back a new foundation on which I feel I can actually survive. But I have the same drives that you spoke of today and I battle them daily, trying to find the balance. I felt bolstered by your podcast today.

    I think it’s part of the journey of the hero, what you are doing now. Answering a call of sorts. Inspiring.

    Thank you for sharing and being vulnerable with all of us. Much love to you.

  71. Glen says:

    Ben, I’m slightly older than you and have of late been finding myself slowing doing all the things you are talking about – I went vegan two years ago and gave up alcohol not because I had to or anything but because I wanted to quiet my mind and be more present in the everyday. My friends made the obvious comments that I’d be boring and no fun—maybe they were right but we still hang out and they don’t seem to really notice my changes. I, on the other hand, felt a great many things had shifted. I was clearer in my head and felt calmer. I could really hear what people were saying and was more present around my wife and daughters. And that was just from making those changes. Recently I have given up watching and following the everyday News from any source credible or not. No NYTimes, no FB rants from friends, no Twitter, iPhone alerts and I even turn my back on the Fox News screen at the gym. As a longtime photojournalist news was my life and I’m also a political junkie. But taking a break (I’m going for a year long hiatus just to see what shifts) does not mean being apathetic or uninvolved. Just like you I have become more involved locally in our small town. I’m searching for ways to use my talents and passions to make a difference within my community. As a longtime trail runner I have always seen ways to make our conservation areas and trial networks more robust but always hid behind the excuse of being too busy. I am busy working two jobs and trying to stay fit all the while raising kids and doing my best to be a supportive partner to my lovely wife. I’m no ultra enduro super guy like you just a ham-n-egger putting in my time day after day best I can. But I’m doing it better now. I feel better and happier because of these little tweaks. I don’t expect you to respond but I enjoy listening and hope so little part of this resonated. I’m curious if your opening will change. I’ll be here tuning in as always and sending you good vibes. Peace.

  72. Josh says:

    Hey mate,

    As you step back and try another approach to your life the doors will open. Might seem daunting and feeling like you were so sure about what you were doing previously that this feels like a cop out, but we all change direction mate it’s what life’s about.

    I’m changing from being a Diesel Mechanic because of a yearn to earn and provide to a Disability Support worker here in Western Aus and ever since telling people about it, doors are springing open as if i should of done it my entire life.

    Thanks for the 16 minute yarn mate i’ve heard you talk on pretty much all your podcasts and have learnt so much.
    1 John 4:4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

  73. Linda says:

    Thank you for sharing Ben, your honesty and integrity is in tact ever more so know as I experience much of what you talked about, aiming to be the perfect mum, partner, business owner, PT, friend, part of our community and feel I often fail but keep striving because I’m alive! I too want more time to read, be in nature, read the paper, eat better, be fitter, healthier but ‘tiny habits’ trying not to bite everything off at once, we simply can’t. You’ve come to a new junction in life’s journey take time to reflect, absorb and be kind to yourself, love your family, friends and community. I hope you continue to share.

  74. Preston Campbell says:

    Ben, this was a great podcast post. Thanks for sharing your heartfelt thoughts on such an incredibly important issue. Just finding some clarity, focus and balance is a big issue for a lot of us (I messed up some of my younger years this way and still struggle with competitiveness and trying to do much – thanks for the reminder to slow down and focus … once again you inspire!). You seem like you still have a lot of things you want to do. Hope you are able to get really clear on your higher purpose and mission relative to the various activities you are involved in, eliminate the chaos, and find a focused s, simpler way to live a healthy, meaningful and impactful life. You are doing amazing things and making a huge impact. You can probably make an even bigger impact picking just a few areas where you have the greatest ability and passion and doing more with less commitment of time (and maybe getting more help from others to leverage how you implement your vision). Again, thanks, this podcast really hit me hard and was a timely message.

  75. James says:

    Hormesis is one thing but endurance exercise, cold showers, drinking coffee on an empty stomach, and skipping meals are very stressful on the body. I believe stress is the cause of nearly all our diseases. My new health goal is to lower stress. I learnt the hard way.

  76. Zow Orm says:

    I’ve been a listener for over 4 years and your podcast has taught me so much! I started listening because of triathlon related topics. At first, I was surprised when you said that you were no longer participating in so many endurance activities because of the hormonal imbalances they produce. “How could my beloved triathlon and road cycling be bad for you? They are sports and they make me thin and spend lots of time in nature!” But you were right, it is paramount to practice sports in moderation too.
    I’ve learnt so much from your podcasts and understand that fitness, at least competition-performance-fitness is temporary and it is not sustainable to maintain it year round. Please take all the time you need to heal and enjoy your time with your community. As your listeners, we also wish for you to live the happiest and most fulfilling life you can. Thank you for all these years of hard work!

  77. Wow, Ben. Thank you for the vulnerability. For me, ultimately, if my identity rests in anything other than Christ, it won’t work. I got this from Mike Bickle but for years I have said “I am loved by God; I am a lover of God; therefore I am successful.

    In your journey, you may want to check out https://www.ihopkc.org/prayerroom/. Mike Bickle founded it. They have been praying 24/7 for about 20 years and seem to live some of the most balanced and fulfilled lives I have seen.

    I appreciate you and on the work you do. You have made a difference for me.

    Take care, Craig

  78. Pete says:

    Ben,
    There is an aphorism that I like to repeat to my patients, and one that took the better part of my 40’s to recognize empirically.
    “There is a reason professional athletes retire in their late 30’s and/or 40’s”. They would play forever if their body would allow them.
    The connection for the recreational athlete is to slow down rather than retire. You can’t fool mother nature…..

    I’ve subscribed to your newsletter for 6 months, love it! lots of good info and more importantly good will!

    In health,
    Pete

  79. Randy says:

    thanks for the introspective. Enjoy life and keep up the podcasts! Love all the information you put out to the public. You have helped many people I imagine.Thanks for what you do.

  80. Jamie Macpherson says:

    Ben, loved your thoughts. I think until a man is in his mid thirties he can’t and probably shouldn’t see these things. You must be on schedule.
    Jamie

  81. Sean says:

    Long time listener. As a combat action Marine, current public high school teacher, soon to be dad and 37 year old still playing in a punk rock band, this episode strikes close to home. A nerve has been reverbed. Me and my wife love talking enneagram. She typed you a 3 when i asked. Im probably a 9 although i have a huge crazy adventurous side, ultra marathons, off map hiking, playing crazy house shows etc. The dark sides of these types are definitely troubling. I struggle with feeling like Im not living up to my own standards or that I’m wasting my life, but as my band slows down, my responsibilities to my job and family increase, i cant help but think of a similar reality. Im currently nesting I guess and fighting for reasons to accept this. Gardening, teaching, exercise, yoga (my wife is a teacher and yoga instructor as well) sports, education, spirituality, amongst other purposes are helping a ton. Yet, inadequacy constantly haunts me. I didnt know how much i needed to hear this episode. I feel invigorated and motivated. Thanks. Now if you can just motivate me to start writing fiction again. Bachelor’s of English, creative writing. By the way, teaching provides amazing catharsis. I teach in Atlanta, mostly students with beahvior and concentration issues. Keep us posted on how this epiphany unfolds. By helping me and others you’re also helping my students and on and on. Just watched new Lion King, its the circle of life! Ha.

  82. Adrian says:

    Thanks for sharing Ben. I’m going through a similar predicament within my training and life, so this episode really hit home for me and couldn’t have come at a better time. I could definitely sense the emotion, and it really came from the heart. Thanks for everything you continue to do to make the world and the people in it better and healthier.

  83. paul says:

    thanks for this episode.

  84. Ed says:

    Life is not a competition…enjoy the journey you will reach the final destination soon enough. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. I use to push myself…now I just want to be functional at 80 yo. 10 more to go and I will take it one day at a time.

  85. Interesting post, Ben. I’m going to respond first as a psychologist, and second as a fiction writer. First, you might check out a book by Gabor Mate called WHEN THE BODY SAYS NO. In a nutshell, when a person can no longer say no certain things, the body says no for him. I suspect you experienced this. I also suspect you could run various tests and panels and identify something somewhere that is out of balance. Yet you seem spiritual aware / curious enough to avoid this. Good for you. Second, you’ve mentioned several times wanting to spend more time on your fiction writing. There’s two good books that might serve you well. The first is THE WAR OF ART, by Stephen Pressfield. I won’t try and summarize. It’s so short, yet I find myself coming back to it every year, and learning something new. The second is THE WRITER’S JOURNEY: Mythic Structure for Writers, by Christopher Vogler. It’s a riff off of Joseph Campbell’s, THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES, and I think it will get you moving. Thanks again for your thoughtfulness. It will be interesting to see where you go from here.

  86. Meg says:

    Welcome to my world, Ben! After my last Ironman in 2015 my full time job morphed into simply regaining my health. I’m getting closer to being completely healthy again, and I’ve let go of the extreme endurance events and have become comfortable and actually happy with myself, where I’m at, right now. May you soon find this same peace, friend. Much love.

  87. Nadia says:

    Ah … you’re nailing it! Happy to hear. I’ve only followed your podcast for 6 months. Deep sleep improved much – I am very grateful for that! I only wanted to follow a few people anymore (you were on the list) – still I had a hard time keeping up with reading them so less is perfectly fine. Go be human – walk hand in hand with the divine. Blessings to you and lucky Spokane.

  88. Ellie May says:

    Takes a lot of courage to be that honest. Find the balance you need to continue to make a positive difference in your family, community, and amongst your peers.

  89. Michael Lustigman says:

    Dude you need to chill the f out and relax. Call A Marcus. Shit happens and you need to not beat yourself up over it

  90. Timothy Hess says:

    I listened to this podcast this AM while riding. I have been a listener my many years. I really appreciated your honest, transparent words. I am a 55 year old man with 3 grown children and 5 grandkids, husband, teacher, coach, triathlete, OCR competitor. I identified with much of what you said from my past. I know you’ve spoken about your faith in God before and you mentioned Him in this podcast. For me, coming to faith in Jesus several years ago was when my priorities changed. Your health crisis and time alone to contemplate life will prove to be an absolute blessing that will help you and many others. Thank you for your courage to be vulnerable and real. This may have been you most valuable podcast ever. God Bless You Brother

  91. It awesome that you transitioning to something that feels more meaningful to you, and thank you for sharing.

    Also, just pointing this out, with a word of caution that one set of achievements does not get traded for another.

    “So when I close my eyes and I see myself five years from now, I’ve achieved that balance.”

    All the best you and thank you for your work.

  92. Lisa Quigley says:

    Discover what you love, build your work around it, build your life around it and give your gifts!
    So proud of everything you do and how you handle your life! From someone who lives in Spokane I know a great number of people in our community will be thrilled to have more of your influence around us!
    Hang in there Ben! Please keep up your work, it has made a huge positive improvement in my life!

  93. Denis says:

    Ben: You are an inspiration to us all in so many ways. You are all things wonderful and what you are feeling is natural as we get older. Time to enjoy life with children and loved ones is THE most important thing you will look back on as you get older.

  94. Rodrigo says:

    Vulnerability, humility, desire, emocional growth, detachment, fundamental values, this is the real win on life, and this is why you are such a referent for all of us. We want a happy Ben not a perfect one. Love and thank you!

  95. HN says:

    “For bodily exercise is profitable for a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the present life and of that which is to come.” 1 Tim 4:8

    Much love and prayer for you, Ben. We enjoy your voice and your spirit.

    Stay in the spirit! (https://www.ministrysamples.org/excerpts/THE-DEPRESSION-OF-THE-SPIRIT-1.HTML)

  96. Dimitri Thevenin says:

    You’re the man Ben, glad to hear your not a super unhuman machine. I can relate to this podcast the most because you get depressed too like I do sometimes.

  97. Gwen Bridge says:

    Yes, I think this happens to us all at some point, I had the same, body just gave up and all I did for days was lay on my office floor and wonder if I was going to die. I recovered but I had to quit my work for about 7 months and during that time it was amazing. After I let the ego have its tantrum (no more emails, no more relevance), I was free to focus on my true legacy, my family, that was an amazing time, even though it was very hard physically, mentally and emotionally. I look back, about 5 years ago, and it was the best time, I cooked good food, went to the beach with the kids, cleaned my house, went for slow walks in our forest…etc.. That perspective has never left, though the ego does push it out occasionally now that I am back to work and travelling and doing ‘important’ stuff. It grounds me so much, even during busy times. Too bad you can’t move to Canada, we are near Nelson and I have traveled all over North America working for tribes and others and this is as close to a tribal community as I have found, and its real, not virtual or fleeting. People are on a search for an idealized tribe but tribe its so much more than like minded people, its acceptance, of all people in the community, the crazy, the dirtbike lovers, the fireworks haters and the well-off and the poorer, where it truly does not matter what we wear or look like but whether we are a good human. Yeah its bleak in winter, theres no palm trees, and its not easy to get to (in spokane I think you can relate to that) but its where you have a place, I left for 20 years and when I came back I still had my place, that is amazing! I take it for granted and know that its rare, I think its got to do with the isolation, we have to take a ferry and its a dead end road and your really have to want to be here and on the other hand, lots of families have been here for generations. My family is on the third generation here and thats a short time, but people got to know your parents, you and your kids and you actually get to know the place and I am hoping to have my kids know that they are from a place. My mom is dying of cancer and its amazing how many people come over to help, I am so impressed and I want to be part of that and foster that…but not so instagramable;) all the best.

  98. Jim says:

    B.

    I love you and super proud of you….
    Well said , well said…
    To speak with humility and truthfulness is not only rare, but a sign of being stripped down for the process of growth to continue…
    We know all is spiritual and it emanates down into the physical….
    Question: How will you ever know when enough is enough????
    Most quote Ephesians 2:8-9….marinate on verse 10 and allow It to speak to you….
    I love you and super proud of you….

    Kind regards,

    J.

  99. Jason Hommel says:

    Your brutal self honesty is refreshing and breath-taking. All the bodybuilding and stress, and heat and travel, can indeed deplete you of minerals.

    Your ability to write with so much introspection and detail, right after hitting the wall, is also still just and amazing level of human achievement.

    I’m 49. Went to rehab. Some of the things they teach are to take it easy on ourselves. Don’t get too cold, too tired, too exhausted, too hungry, and certainly not all at once right outside of a bar with free snacks. HAHA!

  100. Kim Berube says:

    So sincere. So timely. I understand this deeply and GENUINELY APPRECIATE the vulnerability you shared with us. May it be so. LOVE WHAT YOU GIVE US.

  101. Erin says:

    Thank you Ben for recording this podcast. The vulnerability you express in this podcast is more inspiring to me than anything I’ve taken from your previous (wonderful) podcasts. Than you for sharing. Sending you blessings and you navigate your transitional phase.

  102. Jarek Bakken says:

    Ben, great thoughts here. I related to much of it. I’m also a 3 with a high 1. I’m also a Christian interested in being invested in my local community. I just recently started a gym with the complete intent of using the context of group fitness to renew the city through restoring the health of its individuals. If you haven’t heard it you should check out Sleeping At Last’s Enneagram project. The 3 song wrecks me every time I hear it.

  103. Florencia says:

    Awesome post! Congrats, Ben. I loved this –> “I’m still enjoying physically challenging events, and I’m still a healthy human specimen, but not in the way I’ve been doing it—not as a hardcore athlete, but instead as someone who enjoys physical culture because it makes them feel good, not because they have the pressure to perform.”

  104. Kim says:

    Hey Ben,
    The universe works in mysterious ways. Respect 🙏🏻 on sharing your journey emotionally naked….beyond ego lies our truth.
    With Gratitude,
    Kim

  105. Will says:

    Great words Ben. Sometime a check up from the neck up is needed. The constant rat-race that is life needs to be stepped back from and all pressures need to be stopped. We are all here because of your hard work and devotion to us. We all understand that you SHOULD NOT be there 24/7 and at our beckon call with questions and setting an example. Even heroes need to take a break too. Be good to yourself, because that’s the only thing that you can truly control. Love ya!

  106. Robert says:

    This is a stunningly great post. Thank you for sharing. It made me take a moment a reflect on my thoughts on the subject.
    No matter how intoxicating it is to be liked, loved, to have fame and fortune, the only way these things bring lasting fulfillment is to have them manifest as a result of who we truly are, and not as a reflection of anyone else’s expectations of who we should be. Congratulations on having a soul strong enough to recognize this sometimes painful truth. I have only been a listener to your podcasts for about a year but have found them to be very helpful, inspiring, and humorous. I consider them to be one of the most valuable gifts from the internet and am grateful for that. I’m quite sure that I am not alone in that opinion. Facing our own mortality can be soul crushing or it can be the launchpad of something much deeper, wider and higher. It is obvious that you are someone who doesn’t need to be convinced of the body, mind, spirit connection. Your desire for more balance is a worthy goal. I always thought of this body, mind ,spirit connection as a stool. It helped me realize that like a stool, the optimal life stool had BMS legs of equal length. Uneven legs with only a small difference can make a huge differences in stability. It wasn’t until I was much older (I’m 66) that I realized that there was another component to optimizing this tripod. Having a stool with equal legs that are very long (Extreme strength in the BMS) can also create an unstable environment. You have to broaden the base as your strength increases. Sounds like you are sensing that there is more that you are capable of and that expanding your horizons has kicked in the door to your life and announced its intention to change course. This is a good thing. Having built such a strong foundation gives you an advantage. Go for it.
    I really empathize with your need for perfection. I am acutely aware of this in my own life. I’d like to share a story that helped me and maybe will give you a different perspective. When I was a much younger man I decided I would like to study the martial arts. I had some experience as a teenager and then had additional training in the Marine Corps but I really wanted to hone my skills to a higher level. It was the early 1970’s and Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon was all the rage. The funny thing is that back then in the martial arts community he was a pariah to the old guard Masters. Bringing knowledge to Westerners was frowned upon. You could go a get 2, 3, 4 belts without much trouble, but once you got to the brown/ black level it was extremely difficult to pass the tests. These tests were very somber affairs. The Masters were all lined up at a long table at one end of the dojo and would only only talk among themselves. I never knew whether they were critiquing my skill or were discussing where to go to dinner. It was all very disconcerting. After one of these sessions I had the good fortune to engage in a conversation with Master Lee that I still think about often. It was about perfection. He told me that the best day in a Master’s life was not the day that he achieved perfection in a block, punch, kick or some combination. Rather it was the day he discovered a flaw, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Perfection he said was to be executed, held up, pondered or even admired for a moment but then you moved on. The perfect punch once executed does not change no matter how many times you do it. A flaw, in contrast can provide a massive opportunity for change. When we begin to train to change a flaw or weakness the largest strides are made in the beginning. These changes can profoundly affect our overall skill levels. This ripples into the skill levels of those we train with, the dojo, and the entire martial arts community. That in turn affects the world. So train for perfection he said, but ruthlessly seek out your flaws and embrace them. I’ve never forgotten that lesson.
    “This above all else, to thine own self be true” ~ Wm Shakespeare
    I think old Willy was on to something there.
    Hope this helps. Good luck and God bless.

  107. Barbara Woodside says:

    Ben,
    Yet one more reason I just think you’re the bomb. My epiphany came last year when I realized my j-o-b in organ donation was literally killing me. The 45+ years of smoking didn’t help any (lol) but the hours, the stress, the commitment to donor families and fear of failing, the lack of sleep and adrenal fatigue was effecting my health. I quit smoking. I started going to the gym and eating whole foods. That’s when I found you. 2 months ago I quit my job. Oprah used to say (paraphrasing here), “Sometimes you get a pebble and sometimes you get a brick.” I like to think your reflection was a pebble and I pray you never get a brick. I don’t think God ever intended for us to do that one thing we are really, really good at for our entire life – especially not at the cost of love, compassion, family, community and planet. You have been letting your Monkey Mind (Ego) rule the roost. Time to move to a heart-centered consciousness and find out what HIS will is for you moving forward. That’s what it sounds like to me! I found it really helpful to listen to some Kyle Cease and Dr Dispenza. You already do a gratitude journal but perhaps you’ll consider implementing a daily meditation practice so you can set aside prioritized time to listen to your body and your heart? Even if you don’t know it right now, trusting in the Universe won’t steer you wrong. I would enjoy any fiction you wrote, or music you played or any reflections on life you have moving forward… and i don’t take this as you leaving behind this tribe you’ve built. If they aren’t in it for the long haul then it’s OK! Because there will be 10 more around the corner who will resonate with where you are at in your life – even if you go private and don’t do social media anymore. We all want what is best for you! Hugs! It’s going to be OK!

  108. LMU says:

    LOVED this episode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Kudos, Ben. Absolutely fantastic.

  109. Conor says:

    Hey Ben, you scared the crap out of us in that first couple of minutes! Delighted to hear your thoughts today, I had been wondering recently how you could keep going at that relentless pace in so many different areas. You’ve had a huge impact on thousands and thousands of people all over the world and will do long into the future, for now just take care of yourself and that family you clearly adore. We can all live with a few less podcast episodes! Thanking you again and all the best from Dublin, Ireland.

  110. Shamani says:

    “Remember . . . the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you. “ Rumi

    Congratulations, grasshopper, on recognizing the crack of light beneath the door. Follow that.

    Believing in your wisdom,
    an elder indigo soul

  111. Robert Barclay says:

    Beautiful!! We have to change our thinking to truly change our lives!!! I feel and see your dilemma! I respect you revealing your self truth to yourself first and then with the rest of us! Those who truly love you will joyously support this next leg of your journey. As you now know, the last thing you want to be is an 80 year old person sitting on the back porch in a rocking chair , reflecting on a life a regrets !! Ask and you shall receive.. knock and He will answer!! Let the source of all help shape your new reality!! There are tens of millions of us doing this right now! Welcome to the club!🙏😳❤️😘😘

  112. Kimmie says:

    This is the Ben I like best. 🙌🏻

  113. Roberta says:

    Ben I am so happy to hear that you are going to slow down and smell the roses, actually pay attention to your health because health is not just about your body but definitely about nursing your mind and your soul. I was getting worried about you when it you posted the podcast about your telomeres being so short and that you’re actually older than your body was because of the hard training you’re doing. I truly appreciate all of the hard work and knowledge that you put into this podcast and sharing it with the world. Your knowledge has helped me greatly over the years and I look forward to hearing more about your new Focus. Thank you so much for sharing.

  114. Rachael says:

    Dear Ben,

    This was one of the most moving and beautiful “podcast” I have ever listened to. Thank you, thank you for your vulnerability in sharing with your listeners what you have shared. I’m sure you have helped so many in so many ways including myself. God has a plan for all of us, we just need to be quiet, still and…listen. I appreciate you and all that you do and don’t “do.” Follow your heart, your path and there you will find peace and contentment.

    In peace, love & health,

    Rachael

    1. Lucas says:

      You are an amazing person.
      You inspires me and many others.

      I’m so grateful for all your amazing work at helping people improve their lives. You did it.
      Thank you so much for sharing your feelings with us, it requires much courage for taking this step

      I want you to know that you are like a friend to us and we are with you whatever path you choose

      All the best with the transition!
      Abraços from Brazil

  115. Ginger says:

    Nothing but love & respect for owning your truth. I believe the online community that has been cultivated wants nothing but true happiness for you (no matter what the path is & which direction it takes). Thank you for being open & vulnerable. Enjoy the journey! ✌🏽💙☀️🙏🏽😀

  116. Daniela says:

    Dear Ben:
    Thanks for your sincerity and not minding showing your vulnerability, which in fact makes you -ok, it’s just my personal opinion- more relatable to your audience.
    I have to be honest with you too, in that I’ve found your podcast very interesting and informative and helpful…but couldn’t quite connect with the way you projected yourself: unbeatable, smarter than anyone, perfect… I actually always rapid forwarded the intro of the podcast which was just too much for me… too much testosterone and achieving and … like a too much inflated ego. I know I’m being kind of a horrible person here, but what I want to say is that in you being this humble as to first realize your human limitations and second to make it public, coming from a man that has perceived himself as in the obligation of being and broadcasting his “perfectness”… it’s really admirable and I thank you because it shows that you really are aware and care about the impact of your message and the image you project to the people who look up to you and follow your advice.
    Thanks again and enjoy this new phase which, as you said, will connect you to what’s important in life and at the same time will allow you to keep impacting people’s lives but from a place of more authenticity and self-love.
    Un abrazo!

  117. Noelle says:

    What a relief!!!! I feel what you are doing and speaking to makes way for many… thank you for your raw courage- I for one feel more inspired by this than any other great thing I have watched you do.

  118. Robert P says:

    I appreciate your sharing. Everyone comes to such places/times/events where the opportunity for introspection is glaring. Congratulations for recognizing it. Seems easy maybe, yet look how few MD’s can see the vaccine injuries in children they treat. Or how difficult it is for people to see the impact of the foods they eat. Or make changes based on information they are attracted to.

    Here area a few considerations which I use as mirrors to look at my life.

    1.) Possibly one of the great realizations that one can come to is to befriend or realize SELF. Not the higher self or the soul of my identity; rather that essential SELF which underlies every identity, every soul. It is said that when such realization floods the identity, then the drivers which are reflected in personality models such as the enneagram lose their grip. Identity is in service to Life, rather than attempting to control Life. And, identity is of little or no importance.

    2.) He/she who needs to change the world, sees themselves separate from the world. They are seeing the story of identity. An identity which needs the world to be the way it seems so that they can be the hero, the savior, the uplifted one, compared to all the others who aren’t them. They need those others to be ‘needy’, so they can flourish and provide and ‘be someone’.

    3.) Life has you firmly in its grip. Your biology may drive you to survive, your personality will ride on that biology. Still, Life provides the fuel to express, and takes away that fuel as well. We can all seek longevity, optimal health, hit markers that most people don’t such as living to 150, yet the plane crash, out of control drunk, wild storm at the inopportune moment, or infection following a bike crash are ways that Life interferes with our drives, and claims us again.

    Blessings

  119. George Culp says:

    I used to feel the same way as you Ben…always charging forth to be excellent in every endeavor. I was tired a lot and I knew my performance was not its best, yet I charged forth, oftentimes to not really gain anything but merely to be able to say “I charged forth”.

    Then I read the Bourne Identity and in that book Jason Bourne made a comment that helped me reframe taking time off from charging forth. He said, “rest is a weapon”. While I am not trying to “weaponize” myself I took it to mean to me that the “rested me” is the “best me”. I now take time off to rest – which not only means sleep and relaxation, yet time with friends, family, girlfriend, etc.

    Hope this helps. It did for me.
    PS – I met you in Charleston

  120. Dawn Davies says:

    Long-time listener. I was wondering when you were going to say this. I’ve anticipated it for some time, as I worry about your pace. I don’t ever want to presume I am speaking for others, but I’ll bet people would be happy with less content if we knew it meant you were taking a different kind of care of yourself….resetting, resting, or whatever you want to call it.

    1. Linda Howson says:

      I agree with Dawn. I was wondering how you manage it all! Lasting damage is a real thing and speaking from the ripe/wise//arthritic age of 60, your body is telling you something. Glad to hear you’re listening. Blessings to you and your family!

  121. Cal says:

    I the fullness of time

  122. Mike says:

    Ben,
    You are just trying to do to much, even though all the things you are trying to do are good.
    No one can be great at many different things at the same time, and it’s ok.
    Its the human condition.

  123. Jen Davies says:

    Everything you need is already within you. You are listening to that inner voice which has lead you to this desire for reconnection. Nurturing that which brings you joy will bring you back to your authentic self. What a wonderful example for your boys and a loving gift to your wife. All good things come from the infinite source of love and compassion that is within each of us. Namaste.

  124. Thank you for this deeply personal episode Ben. As a fellow Sagitarian, 18/12, but older than you in my mid 60s I have experienced a similar experience recently when I had my 1st ever DNF at Comrades Ultra, my 3rd Ultra this year, at 45 miles feeling dizzy and unable to run; I have put it down to ‘overtraining syndrome’, dehydration and sleep deprivation and over racing and have decided to ‘slow down’ and concentrate on more social running and cross training for a period after Lakeland 100 this weekend. Thank you for your excellent Podcasts, I have been a listener from the beginning, and your books and many blogs which have helped me continue to be competitive in my V65 age group. Wishing you well with your new focus and a speedy Recovery.

  125. Will Adams says:

    Sounds like you need a Kion Center in the next 3-5 years over there near Spokane, like a gym of sorts to work out the body, mind, and spirit.

    Cool post!

  126. Ben,
    Thank you for showing us your vulnerability and sharing your very personal journey. I was touched by the softness in your voice and the humbleness of your words. You are a gifted human being with many gifts that you share with the world. I am pleased that you had this revelation and are willing to do what you need to do to create a life of balance. I hope you know in your heart how much you are LOVED and APPRECIATED, just by being you! Your are perfectly imperfect, and I look forward to making some of those changes in my life as well. Say YES to the things that fill you heart and soul. That is the best barometer of a life well lived!

  127. Maryna says:

    Hi Ben! Great words! Thank you for trying so hard! Your work left a massive improvement in lives of many people! Expressing Love,this what matters most!
    Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!

  128. Dale AKA Healthnut says:

    As the tears trickle down my face, I always wondered how you kept up with everything
    and wondered if you were in balance and happy.
    You are seriously making me want to move to Washington as I would enjoy being your
    neighbor. You have inspired me to make many drastic changes in my own life for the better.
    I still suffer from serious ACL issues but it was worth a try seeing some doctors you recommended.
    I am happy you have found some clarity and balance.
    I will continue to support your KION products as I believe in you and what you stand for…
    You are a true inspiration and encouraging in multiple ways.
    Thank you Ben… Thank you, I thank your wife and kids for allowing you the time
    to share so much to the world. Enjoy that precious family my friend.
    HUGS from Texas.
    I love you as a friend and thanks for sharing!
    Dale

  129. Uriah says:

    Ben thank you. I know deep down that we all have these moments, but it’s so easy to convince oneself that you’re only one that can’t work out how you arrived at this point in your life…so thank you for reminding a fellow achiever perfectionist that it happens to the best of us…and that it’s ok to go back to the drawing board and start again; that you can change and make a different life; and there’s no shame in admitting you’re not where you want to be…

  130. Matt says:

    Yo Ben this was amazing. Mad respect for having the balls to make that into a podcast, I really appreciate it. I also think it was a representation of how maybe even the majority of the world is feeling right now, I know I am. Constantly chasing something, running n running to reach a goal that never ends and to please everyone along the way. Like you said, it’s all about balance and not neglecting the other parts of life like the spiritual side. I need to do this myself. Also you’ve done more than enough with your podcast and everything else so don’t for a second think you’re bailing on people or you don’t deserve a break, you totally do. Thanks for that monologue Ben. You’re the man and I hope you can bring more peace into your life with these changes your about to begin. Matt

  131. Alicja says:

    Hello Ben! Just listened to this episode and I just want to say you have support of another complete stranger :) you don’t need to be the best in everything and kill yourself in all the competitions to be a valuable human being and helpful to your audience. All the best with the transition! I’m pretty sure your loved ones will love it (and your audience won’t mind too).

  132. Greg Dinkin says:

    I really enjoyed your latest podcast. It’s great to see fellow men be open, vulnerable, and introspective. I’m also a fan of enneagrams and appreciated your reflection as an achieving 3.

    It was also a great reminder to play my guitar more, read more fiction, and be more involved in my local community.

    Much respect and love. 🙏 Namaste. -Greg

  133. Stephanie Johnson says:

    LOVE this! Love every bit of it!

  134. Alessandra says:

    Finally Ben some words of wisdom.
    I was following you waiting exactly the moment you would have wake up and realize that the muscles are worth developping during all our life are the spiritual one.
    Your soul shout and you had the opportunity to have different realizations. I am so glad you took that chance and realize there are more worthing race to run in our life.
    Our body is the vehicle we need to keep in good shape but to dedicate all our energy to an envelop it can become only a distraction from the content of this envelop. You are such a bright soul and I am so happy you found your way to your true deeper voice. Now I can tell you I would like to collaborate with you as I feel we are on the same page. Wishing all the best to you and to your family

  135. Kenny Z says:

    Most successful people gain more out of life from our failures ( actually ,what one perceives as a failure)
    You help & have helped a great many people . This podcast really dug deep into the complexity of human nature & our inner selves . I’m sure it wasn’t easy .
    This small but significant setback will catapult you to being the best Ben Greenfield you can be .
    Enjoy your journey .
    Thanks for great content on your podcast . Keep up the great work They inspire me to grow as a person ✌️

  136. Pascale Milette says:

    Just listened to your bonus episode
    You are human
    Not a god
    We love you for all the hard work you put on to help others
    Not because you are the best in competition
    For me -really – you are the best in communicating important health info and explaining hard concepts
    Always enjoying your podcasts
    Love the way you think and beautiful mind of yours
    Hope you continue to do so
    I am grateful
    Just started qigong formation and studying Chinese Medecine
    Fascinating
    Life changing
    You need to recharge your kidneys battery and ground yourself and enjoy nature like you want
    We will always love you
    Even if you put on a bit of weight 😝 frankly you are too skinny❣️
    You will always be the smartest and kindest athlete I have the honor to meet
    Take care of you and your beautiful family
    🙏🌈

  137. Renee says:

    ABSOLUTELY THE BEST article I have EVER read! You’re heart and soul was poured out and I can relate 1,000% (although I’m a women 😊). I have been listening and admiring your work for years now and I can truly say this made me cry…not sad tears but happy ones knowning that you will NOT be one of the sad stories we hear about “on their death bed they wished they….” Life is WAY TO SHORT to be mechanical and even though I’m wayyyy older than you :) I’m a Persoanl trainer (52) and am changing in ways I can’t control and was fighting to keep that six pack I had all my life and proving to everyone that age doesn’t matter you can still be at the “top of your game” well yes and no….yes you can stay healthy and fit but no reality is we do age and to be truthful as we get older (as my mom told me) “it’s inevitable that we will age our bodies change however your SOUL IF content will bring the inner beauty out and shine”. I pray you SHINE Ben and no matter where life takes you next always know that you ARE changing the world to be BETTER. GOD bless your family and you always….

  138. Scott Asadorian says:

    As I enter my early 50s I have been going through a similar transition – a slow surrendering of the the image I made for myself to the person God has called me to be. St Paul speaks to running the race that matters in 1 Corinthians 9. I deeply appreciated this podcast and the one you did on the hidden epidemic at the beginning of the year. Thank you.

  139. Beth says:

    Hi Ben,

    I’m a longtime listener and have immensely enjoyed all the nerdy health information you’ve shared in the past, but I think this may have been my favorite episode yet. Thanks for being courageous enough to share what’s behind the scenes and I admire you for taking this step in your life and support this shift and think you’re a role model for so many of us. As you navigate this transition which may be scary and uncomfortable at times, I respect you more now for embracing these values and not for your abs. ;-)

  140. Nate Fraser says:

    You owe it to yourself to be happy Ben. the media loves that figure you put out to the world but ultimately, like you said, it’s all about your lasting legacy, community and family
    Much love brother, from Australia

  141. Frank F. says:

    Hello Ben, your advice has helped me change my life for the better, thank you. May God help you and keep you in his love.

  142. Jason G says:

    Thank you for this episode Ben. It’s a reminder for us to assure our actions are aligning with our values and desires. You have inspired me to leave work for awhile and walk along the beach to great the rising sun.
    Much love brother

  143. Angus Henderson says:

    Hi Ben sounds like you are listening to your inner self perhaps a little burnout/overtraining sometimes we just have to slow down naturally for the better and let the mind catch up !also getting older was a hard one for me to adjust to, thought I could keep pushing on as if I was in my late thirties now in my fifties I have had to adjust my intensity and also accept mentally that it’s ok to sit back a savour life with a different outlook!
    Love the shows many thanks 🙏
    Angus

  144. Matt Dippl says:

    My cudos to you Ben for being an example of a man who knows himself very well and shows it through his actions with transparency. You‘re a deep man! I really enjoyed diving into Wilhelm Reich‘s work of the 5 Character Types. I feel and think In the end it‘s about love, that‘s what counts. When we see what we are willing to do to get love we are stopping maybe for the first time and are going deeper into ourselves to find what we are looking all along in the outside. Love your work Ben!

    1. Julie says:

      What an inspiring pod cast and I totally agree. God works in mysterious ways especially when he wants to shake things up. I use to have a hard time with change until, one of my favorite pastors in CA says repeatedly-when things are quiet or you are just moving along for the sake of it do something bold and scary because, if you don’t make the changes life will do it for you. When you start having doubts, getting bored, or just going through the motions it’s time to stir shit up. I feel that one must be constantly growing and evolving but, also don’t forget what your purpose in life is for.

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