[0:00:59] Podcast Introduction
[0:02:00] Podcast Sponsors
[0:04:08] My Lifebook
[0:07:11] Guest Introduction
[0:08:30] Why Jon And His Wife Missy Are Moving to Hawaii
[0:11:25] Unique Philosophy on Raising His Children
[0:14:35] The Vision Quest
[0:27:40] The Story of How Lifebook Came to Be
[0:36:06] Podcast Sponsors
[0:39:09] Lifebook Online Version
[0:40:02] The 12 Areas the Lifebook
[0:46:00] The Overall Strategy by Which You Accomplish Your Lifebook Experience
[0:53:00] Social as Our Weakest Category
[0:58:04] My Overall Life Purpose Defined
[1:02:53] Lifebook Experience Online
[1:08:00] My Big, Black Lifebook
[1:10:33] Closing the Podcast
[1:11:20] End of Podcast
Ben: I have a master’s degree in physiology, biomechanics, and human nutrition. I’ve spent the past two decades competing in some of the most masochistic events on the planet from SEALFit Kokoro, Spartan Agoge, and the world’s toughest mudder, the 13 Ironman triathlons, brutal bow hunts, adventure races, spearfishing, plant foraging, free diving, bodybuilding and beyond. I combine this intense time in the trenches with a blend of ancestral wisdom and modern science, search the globe for the world’s top experts in performance, fat loss, recovery, gut hormones, brain, beauty, and brawn to deliver you this podcast. Everything you need to know to live an adventurous, joyful, and fulfilling life. My name is Ben Greenfield. Enjoy the ride.
Hey, I’m pretty excited about today’s show because it involves me talking to you and my guest, Jon Butcher, about one of the most life-changing and transformative experiences I had in–well, I want to say in 2018 but really, ever in my life. Appropriately enough, we’re talking about something called the Lifebook. As you listen, you can go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lifebook to check out more details on what we are talking about and how you can design your ultimate life. I’ll also include in the shownotes for this episode over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lifebookpodcast, that’s BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lifebookpodcast, all the details about what my Lifebook looks like, photos of it so you can kind of go through and check out my entire Lifebook, start to finish. And if you have no clue what the heck a Lifebook is, just listen in.
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Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield, and I guess it was about four months ago that my wife and I went through what I would say is the most transformational process that we have ever embarked upon for crystal clear clarity and purpose and direction in life, and this process was called Lifebook. Some of my good friends who are highly successful, who I look to as mentors and thought leaders have been encouraging me for years to go through this process and I put it off and I put it off because I’ve never been one of those people who likes self-development courses or improvement seminars and things like that.
But I bit the bullet and I did it, and holy hell, I am so proud of what I was able to achieve going through this. And basically, what I think of my Lifebook as is me in a book. It’s me in a book. In other words, if I were to, God forbid, get hit by a bus tomorrow, someone would be able to hand my children, my twin boys, my Lifebook and say, “Here. Here’s your dad in a book. This is everything he stands for, everything he believes in, everything he values, everything he would have wanted to teach you about life.”
And perhaps, more immediately applicable than that is the fact that all of the strategies to incorporate what I want to achieve, and each of the different categories of my life we’re going to unpack and explore in this podcast. I have now worked into calendaring systems, the dates with my wife every couple of weeks, and the solo one-on-one time with my kids and my own spiritual practices and disciplines. And we’re going out and getting to know a new neighbor each week. Just all the things that I listed that I found important, I have now systematized as a part of my life. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time but this is the first time I’ve ever actually sat down, taken the time, systematized it and created this big, bold, beautiful book. It literally sits on a mantel above my fireplace right now and I’m so dang proud of that thing. I’m even going to–and I realize this is my own private Lifebook but I’m going to make it available for everybody to be able to read.
So, if you’re listening into this and you’re like, “I don’t understand. I want to see what Ben’s Lifebook looks like.” If you go to the shownotes for the podcast that you’re about to hear, you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lifebookpodcast, that’s BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lifebookpodcast, you can download and read my whole Lifebook if you’re really bored and you want some reading to get you to sleep at night, or you just want a glimpse into what I put together to inspire you.
By the way, I’ve even integrated this into our family trust. We have a family trust that I’m building to basically further the Greenfield legacy, and this Lifebook is now part of that trust because it’s so implicitly tied to what I want to achieve in life and what I want my children and my children’s children to learn going forward.
So, as you can imagine, I’m very proud. I’m very excited about this discovery and I wanted to get the inventor of the entire Lifebook process on the podcast today. His name is Jon Butcher. He’s a friend of mine that the more that I’ve gotten to know him, the more I’m impressed with his deep wisdom and profound knowledge of everything that goes into improving one’s life.
As a matter of fact, Chicago Magazine dubbed him as the guy with the most perfect life. He’s actually figured out. He’s really cracked the code on life, in general, and you’re going to hear a lot of his story as we go through, and I interviewed him along with his wonderful wife, Missy, who I’ve also had a chance to hang out with a lot. Jon is a serial entrepreneur. He’s the creator of Lifebook and he and his wife have really made it a practice to learn how to defy aging and experience long-lasting love and redefine education and even build the perfect living environment. And trust me, I’ve been to their home and it’s a complete dream house what they’ve created. Basically, you’re going to want to listen closely to Jon because he has a wealth of knowledge. There are not a lot of people that I really, truly look up to and would say–whose lives I would even like to emulate but Jon is one of those people. So, Jon, welcome to the podcast.
Jon: Thank you, Ben. What a nice intro, man. Really appreciate it.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah. And I know you’re in the process of a big, big move right now. You’re uprooting yourself and relocating to Hawaii and I caught you right in the middle of that but how’s that all going?
Jon: It’s going amazing. What Lifebook is about is getting crystal clear on the person you want to become and the life you want to live, and it all adds up to what we call your life vision. And this is my wife and I stepping into a brand-new life vision after about 15–well, we’ve been in Chicago for 30 years and we’ve had property in Hawaii for 15 years and we’ve been slowly, methodically getting ready for this move. And this year is the year we’ve pulled the trigger. So, we’re literally stepping into a brand-new life vision next week. It’s pretty exciting, Ben.
Ben: Wow. And are you going to be totally off-grid with this Hawaii move? I mean, why Hawaii?
Jon: Well, Hawaii has always spoken to us. My wife and I have been to almost 100 countries now. We’ve been at 93 or 94, I think, we’re at right now. Travel is our thing. And for about a decade, we looked for a property in Hawaii and all over the world actually, really trying to figure out where would be the most conducive place for this new life that we want to create, which is very different than the old life. Our old life which was epic, Ben, just like–just we’ve had an amazing 30 years together and we’ve been focused on goal achievement, goal accomplishment. It’s our building years.
We were kids when we got together and in our 20s and 30s. At your age, you’re building. You are making things happen in the world that you want to see happen. And that’s what the last 30 years have been about. But the next 30 years I think are going to be very different. Much more, I’d say contemplative, philosophical, a lot more leisure time, less focus on goal accomplishment and more–I think it’s going to be more of an inward journey and we’re really, really excited about this.
The way we spend the hours of our days will really, really change. And so, for years and years, we traveled the world and went deep especially in Hawaii because it speaks to us so deeply to find the place that would be most conducive for the next chapter of our lives. And 15 or so years ago, we’ve found a beautiful property in Hawaii and we are on our way Monday, this coming Monday, to the islands and it’s just a big, big step for us, man.
Ben: Wow. And this move to Hawaii, are you bringing your children as well?
Jon: Oh, yeah. Yup. Well, we’ve got four. The two youngest are going with us and then the two oldest will probably move over there. They may split their time between the West Coast and Hawaii. But yeah, the whole clan is moving. We’re going to homestead over there.
Ben: Wow. What I find most interesting is, among many things about you, is the way that you raise your children. I’ve mentioned on the podcast before that I’m grooming my own kids to go on a vision quest when they’re 13 years old and go through this passage, this right, this passage into manhood. You’ve actually recently, the last thing we were together in Chicago, you’re telling me about this fascinating journey that you went on in France. I don’t remember if it was your whole family or just you and your son but I think it can really highlight your unique style of parenting. Can you explain what exactly it was, the vision quest that you embarked upon with you and your son or your family?
Jon: Yeah, I would love to. Thanks. I’ll tell you, we do raise our kids different, Ben. And one of the things I love about you is how you’re raising your kids. I think that it probably comes from the same place. Missy and I looked around years and years ago and we just basically look at the way that people live. Most people aren’t happy. Most people don’t have fulfilling careers. They’re on the treadmill. They’re just doing the same thing that everybody else is doing around them without questioning and it’s not a formula that leads to happiness, fulfillment, balance and success. So, we looked around and didn’t really like what we saw and we said, “We’re not doing that.” We weren’t sure what the answer was, what the solution was, but we knew that we didn’t want to go down the road that everybody else was going down. I imagine that you and your wife were kind of the same as that, right?
Ben: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Well, I was homeschooled. So, for me, it was kind of easy. My wife actually went to like a classical Christian school, so she also grew up thinking outside the box a little bit. So, we’ve always lived our lives being a little bit weird, a little bit funky. But yeah, it’s less about sticking it to the man and being–living a Unabomber life-esque existence out in the middle of Washington State, in the forest. We live off-grid and we raise all our own food and I hunt most of our own food. Most people are familiar with our story but really a big part of it is about, A, living closer to the way that our ancestors would have lived, and B, developing our entire lives around this concept of building a legacy and using the unique skill set that we have to affect as much positive change in the world as possible during the course of our lives.
Jon: Love it, man. We need more of that in this world. That’s for sure. Missy and I have what we call a respectful disregard for the way that other people live, respectful. We totally recognize everybody’s right to live exactly the way they want to live. We, however, have a respectful disregard for the way anyone does just about anything. We look around, we sample the options, we decide what might be the best path for us, hypothesis. We try it out. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, we try something new. So, we’re the same as you are in that respect raising our kids.
And in this particular case, what you’re talking about here, the vision quest, that was–well, exactly what you just said, it’s an ancient way that almost every culture and history has had some sort of a rite of passage ritual for kids in the 12, 13, 14, 15 age range from Sparta. Here’s a spear. See you in two weeks. Go get a wolf, right, to Jewish bar mitzvahs to whatever it is, whatever that rite of passage is. And we’ve got a 14-year-old son, our youngest, and we just felt very deeply that he needed a rite of passage. Meaning, I’ll be very clear about this, something to celebrate and indicate the fact that he is going from being a boy to being a young man, a demarc point, a threshold that he steps across and he knows, “I’m now no longer a boy. I’m now a young man and now I get to explore what that means.” We wanted to be very clear about that because we don’t have anything in the American culture that does that. Eighth-grade graduation doesn’t cut it, right?
Ben: Yup, yup, exactly. Exactly.
Jon: So, what we did was we have this amazing friend who’s a shaman in Basque Country, which is on the border of France and Spain.
Ben: Oh, wow.
Jon: Southern France, Northern Spain on the Atlantic side. I got to say, Ben, the four most beautiful places I’ve ever been in the world; Bali, Hawaii, the Philippines and this place, dude. I’m telling you, it was like walking into J.R.R. Tolkien or some Celtic–I mean, it’s like the fort deep fluorescent green moss everywhere and it was just amazing. And what we did is we got hooked up with Manex. He gave us a couple days of instruction.
Ben: Manex was the shaman?
Jon: Manex was the shaman, yeah. A couple of days of instruction on what we are going to experience. Now, this was, I believe, loosely based on American-Indian ceremony. So, we got instruction for a couple days sort of telling us what to expect to the extent that he could because you never know and how to get the most out of the experience. And then, the night before, we went into the mountains, into the forest. By the way, this was me, my wife Missy and our son, Justin. So, it was the three of us and we decided that we were going to support Justin by doing this vision quest ourselves at the same time that he did it. So, we were all doing the vision quest separately and then we’re going to come back together. I never had a rite of passage ceremony, Ben, so I figured I’m going to do this and same with Missy.
So, the night before, we had a really interesting ceremony called the Cutting of the Cord ceremony where Justin stood across from Missy. They’re about 20 feet apart. They both drew a circle in the ground around them with a staff. They looked at each other. Missy thanked Justin for choosing her and just talked about how much he appreciated him and loved him and was so grateful for him being her son. And he thanked her for all of the years of nurturing and taking care of him as a little boy. And then, they did this symbolic cutting of the cords with their little scissor fingers and they cut the cord. And the thing is here once you step out of the circle, you’re now a young man. It was really moving, really deep, really emotional.
So, they did that. They stepped out and then we did a sweat lodge which was pretty intense. It was like in a teepee situation, American-Indian, really super hot coals, chanting and just basically purifying super deep sweat; purify, purify, purify, because we’re getting ready to go into the mountains, into the forest all by ourselves in a little tent with no food, no fire for four nights and five days. It’s an intense thing. A couple of days before, we started eating less and they started preparing us. That night, we purified and cleansed. And then, the next morning, we got up and packed our stuff. This is interesting, Ben. Justin, it takes him four times to wake up, four good shakes, four reminders to get him out of bed because he’s 14, right?
Jon: So, I go tell him, “Justin, time to get up and pack your stuff. We’re going.” One, two, three, four. The last time, I was like, “Jus, listen. You did the Cutting of the Cord ceremony last night. Your mom’s not going to pack your stuff, dude. You got to get out of bed and pack.” And so, I finally got him out of bed. He was late and he packed his stuff. We got in the car and we drove about an hour and a half into the mountains. And then, we all had our backpacks and we hiked with Manex about an hour in deep into the forest, in the mountains, and we got to Missy’s spot. We set up her tent in this beautiful fern forest and gave her a big hug and kiss and it’s like, “See you in five days.” And then, we hiked and it was raining and cold. We hiked to Justin’s spot which took us about another hour. I’m going to guess, Ben, it was about two and a half miles away from Missy and he was down in a valley and it was raining and cold. And Ben, we got down there and unpacked his tent and we discovered that he had forgotten the outer shell of his tent completely. He had no protection from the elements and he forgot his freaking sleeping bag. He had nothing but the clothes on his back and a little jacked-up shaman blanket that was not even a blanket. It was like three strips of cloth. Well, I had a towel and I’m like, “Justin.” And this is–he didn’t get out of bed. He didn’t do his job. And Manex is like, “Okay. Well, this is your first lesson.” First lesson of manhood because there was a lightning storm coming in and it was a big storm that was moving in and we knew it.
And my heart just sank because I’m like, “Oh, my God. This is going to be horrible for him.” But there’s nothing I could do. I didn’t have anything. I left my backpack way up the mountain. And so, I gave him my towel. I gave him a big hug and I said, “Jus, see you in five days, man. Good luck.” And he knew, he knew that he’d messed up. Manex said, “If I can get in tomorrow or the next day, I’ll bring you a dry tent and a sleeping bag.” And so, we left, Manex and I, and we went to my spot which is about another hour, about another couple miles on the top of the mountain.
And so, there you go. That night, a lightning storm came in and it was horrendous. I mean, it just literally–I thought my tent was going to blow off the mountain. It poured all night and I’m thinking about Justin. No protection out there. Just soaked and freezing and–I mean, I’m at least in my dry tent.
So, the four days for me were absolutely profound. No input of any kind, no screams, no human interaction. No input except for nature. And I had a few profound experiences, animal encounters. You always do every single time. It’s just the way that it is. But one thing that I really learned, Ben, from my experience, is that the earth can heal you. I mean, I laid on the ground for four straight days, dude. And I don’t know whether it’s the electromagnetism or the gravity or what. Well, the earth is our mother. This is where we came from and it was just such an incredibly deep healing experience. It was amazing. Profound.
So, I got through the four nights and five days and now I’m going back to Justin. I’ve been worrying about him the whole time and wondering frankly, did he go to his mom? Because there were two straight nights of lightning storms, two straight nights. So, I packed up all my stuff and I walked to his spot and he wasn’t there. He had left a note that he already gone to his mom’s. So, I walked to Missy’s and there he was and he came running down the hill and he grabbed me and I’m like, “Dude, did you make it? Did you stay?” And he said yeah, he stayed. He told me, Ben, he basically wept hysterically for two straight days.
Jon: Now, this is one of the things about our generation, our kids have never had a hardship. You know what I mean?
Jon: I mean, they’ve never faced–my generation–
Ben: I almost think that’s one of the reasons for the growing infatuation with Ironmans and obstacle course races and all these masochistic events. I personally have almost used those as my own rite of passage but I think some, not to sound stereotypical, I think men might have an even more built-in desire to go out and slay dragons than women do. And I think that the complete absence of that as a young man grows means that you go out and you look for things to scratch that itch later in life rather than taking the structured approach that you’re describing right now.
Jon: Absolutely. And I think another thing that it does when we just don’t face any hardships for an entire generation is, we lose perspective and we start getting upset about dumb little stuff that–I mean, look at what’s happening around us in our culture right now. You say a wrong word, you do a wrong look, everyone’s just like ready to jump off a building. We have not faced adversity. My generation has not even faced adversity. These kids have never had–they’ve grown up in the 21st century with all the world’s information in their pocket at the speed of light. He’s never faced anything like that before, two straight days of hysterical crying. And then, Manex finally made it in on day one, two, four–day three. Manex made it in on day three with a dry tent.
Justin has never been more grateful or more thankful for anything in his life than he was for that dry tent and that dry sleeping bag. Now, that’s a profound thing to say right there. I mean, it created a shift in that boy’s life. He spent the next two days journaling, writing love letters to everybody in the family, writing apology letters to everybody in the family for behaving like a little dick when he was 14 years old which he’s like going through the teenage adolescent thing. And when I saw him there at Missy’s site on day five, he was a changed young man and he’s been changed ever since. I cannot recommend highly enough if you have kids to consider something like that because it was one of the most transformative things we’ve ever done.
Ben: Yeah. In the shownotes, for those of you listening in, I will put a link to a podcast that I did with the local guy who’s kind of grooming my kids for their vision quest, a guy named Tim Corcoran of a company called Purpose Mountain. What’s the name of the organization that you went through, Jon?
Jon: It is not an organization. He’s just a guy. His name is Manex Ibar, I-B-A-R, and he is an extraordinary. The thing about Manex, he’s a spiritual guide, he’s a shaman but his dad was a nuclear physicist and Manex was a physics major. So, he understands the physical world deeply and the spiritual world. I could never learn from a spiritual teacher that didn’t have a grip on the physical world. That person could never be my guide. I’m too–of this world. Manex understands both sides and he’s just a different level.
Jon: Absolutely love that guy.
Ben: Okay. Cool. I’ll put a link to Manex’s website. I’ll hunt it down and put a link in the shownotes for those of you who want to kind of explore that.
Ben: And by the way, one last thing and then I know we’ll jump into Lifebook because this is getting a little long in the tooth before we jump into the good stuff. This is all fascinating though. I recently hired a local Spokane Bass survivalist. They’re going to take me and my family, River and Terran and my wife out into–kind of like the Northeast Washington wilderness for three days and train us for three days. And then, they’re just leaving us with a blanket and a few very crude tools for seven days and our entire family just has to survive for seven days together.
Jon: Wow. A tent?
Ben: I don’t think we’ll have a tent. It will be all debris shelter. We may have a cutting tool to be able to make a tent but I told them I wanted it to be pretty gnarly sort of me doing that in summer of 2019. So, if I disappear off the face of the planet around then, so does my family, that’s what happened.
You have a fascinating story though in terms of what went in to actually creating the entire Lifebook process that I briefly detailed earlier. So, I know this will probably rabbit hole quite a bit as we dive in but I would really love to hear the story of how Lifebook came to be.
Jon: Well, it’s actually pretty simple. When I was in my early 30s, which would be about 25 years ago, I went through one of the most difficult situations in my life. Basically, I had a horrendous anxiety disorder, Ben. I was president or CEO of four or five companies. I grew up poor and I was faced with a tremendous amount of opportunity in my early 20s. I’ll skip through this but it’s important for context. And the bottom line is I took full advantage of it and I’d been living pretty hot and heavy, life in the fast lane for five or six years and it caught up with me.
I wasn’t taking good care of myself physically. I was self-medicating. I was burning the candle at both ends. And the bottom line is I had a couple of panic attacks, the first time I’d ever had anything like that. And I ended up with an anxiety disorder that generalized into full-blown agoraphobia if you know what that is. I was housebound, basically. I couldn’t leave my house without feeling like I was going to just completely crack apart. It was a full-blown nervous breakdown for two months. Two, three months, I was housebound and in a lot of pain.
So, my dad knew what I was going through and he was watching Late-Night TV one night and he came across a couple of programs that he ordered for me. One was a personal development program. It was an audio course called Attacking Anxiety by Lucinda Bassett. And the other was Tony Robbins’ Personal Power II. I’d never listened to anything like that before. I’d never done any kind of personal development work before. And so, that was basically my first exposure to personal development of any kind. I did Lucinda Bassett’s program and I got a good grip on basically what was happening to me because she describes anxiety very, very well, where it comes from and sort of some strategies on how to deal with it.
So, I started down the path of healing. It took me eight years of hard work and I did everything that there was to do at the time, everything. I did behavioral modification therapy. I was in deep psychotherapy with Dr. Nathaniel Branden, one of the greatest psychologists of the 20th century. I did EFT, NLP, everything that there was. I did neurofeedback. And finally, it took me eight years to completely rid myself of that disorder. But the thing that happened early on during that process was I discovered personal development. I did Tony Robbins’ Personal Power II and it just changed my life, blew me away. Then I went on to Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra and all the greats. The classic guys, Brian Tracy, the fathers of the personal development industry.
And I kept my notes from all those programs in a binder. That’s how Lifebook started. It started out as just keeping track of my breakthroughs. And then, I started to add some goals, “Well, this is what I’d really like to accomplish in my life.” And then, one year, I realized, “You know, I should categorize these notes so that I have all my notes about love, my lovely relationship with my wife in one place, my parenting notes in another place, my health and fitness, my character. Let me start thinking about, what are the most important areas of life that I would really have to master if I wanted to create an extraordinary life that worked at a high level in every important area?”
Over the years, I defined 12 different categories that needed to be focused on if I wanted to create this extraordinary life for myself. And I had a little bucket for each of them that I could just put my notes in and that’s how this thing started. And then, it evolved over time to being what you experienced this summer in Tallinn. I realized one year that in each of these areas of life, I had to define with crystal clarity what I wanted. What exactly do I want for my health and fitness? What’s my ideal self in that category? What does my ideal love relationship look like? What is my dream career and what kind of financial abundance does it need to create? Now, what is my vision for every area of my life and what is the purpose behind that vision? Why do I want that? What will I gain if I achieve that and what will I lose if I don’t?
So, its purpose is very important because it’s the driving force, right? It’s going to determine whether or not you’re going to get up out of bed and make something happen. And then, the next question was, “If that’s what I want and that’s why I want it, what do I need to do to get it? What’s my strategy?” And so, this Lifebook of ours evolved over about a 15-year period. We never showed it to anybody. This is just our tool that we use to create the extraordinary life that we created together, Missy and I. Let’s see, it was about 15, maybe about 13 years ago was the first time that I ever showed that book to anyone.
I was in a startup meeting. It was a health and fitness company and we’re talking–I forget what we we’re talking about. Anyway, everyone always saw me with this book. I always carried this book with me. I was never apart from it and I put it on the table and said, “Guys, let me show you how I handle that.” I opened up my Lifebook and I went to my health and fitness chapter and I read a section from–I remember this really weird situation, Ben. I looked around and everyone was like–you could have heard a pin drop in that little room. They’re like, “What the hell is this?” And I said, “Well, this is my Lifebook, you guys. This is what it is.” And for the very first time, I’ve explained what it was.
So, after that meeting, I had two guys came up to me separately and, “You think, is there any way that you could help me make one of those?” And I was like, “I don’t know. I’ve never tried that before but let’s give it a shot.” So, I had two couples over, Missy and I did. We got out the whiteboard, never done this before, ever before and we had a long weekend. We’re like, “Okay. Let’s take you through this process and show you how we did it and let’s see if we can do it for you guys.”
The results were ridiculous. They were just absolutely astounding. I mean, both of those couples within six months were just in a different stratosphere. And we both realized at that time that what we’d created could be replicated and do for others what it did for us, which is to get as crystal clear on what we’re doing on this planet, crystal clear on the people that we want to become and the life that we want to live, and it’s a tool to navigate to that life. It’s a blueprint for the life that you really want to have. And that’s when we decided to share Lifebook with the world.
It was not an easy decision, Ben, because we’re very private people and we realized that if we were going to share our Lifebook, we’d have to open up our lives and we did not necessarily relish that idea at all. But at the end of the day, we couldn’t not share this gift that we had been given, bottom line. We could not go to our graves having been given this amazing gift and not share it with the people around us. So, we launched Lifebook 10 years ago.
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You mentioned Tallinn. I should note for those of you who weren’t sure what Jon was talking about then. Even though very recently Lifebook has been kind of transformed into this really slick DIY online version, the traditional Lifebook course was done in places like Jon and Missy’s home in Chicago or at other kind of brick-and-mortar locations around the world. And my wife and I actually wound up doing it as kind of like a four-day intensive in Tallinn, Estonia when we attended Mindvalley University over there, which was kind of special because Jon and Missy were there and led us through the process. But since then, they really have created this into something that you can do from the comfort of your own home. And we’ll get into that later about how, if you’re listening and you want to do the Lifebook, you can.
But what I want to do, Jon, is kind of delve into each of the categories. I literally have my Lifebook right here. I took it off the mantle of my fireplace and brought it down to my office for our interview today. I just want to highlight each of the 12 different areas that the Lifebook optimizes and what those mean and perhaps the story of why you chose these specific areas. So, there are 12 in total but can you walk us through each of these areas of the Lifebook?
Jon: Sure, be happy to. So, let me just tell you how this happened was I asked myself over a period of many years with a lot of thought, Ben. Put a tremendous amount of consciousness into this process. What are the areas of life that I have to master in order to create an extraordinary life that works at a high level in every important area? Over 10 years, these are the 12 areas of life that emerged.
The first five categories we call your personal life categories, and these categories are characterized as you separate from the rest of the world. Most things in life take the cooperation of others. You can’t have a great love relationship without two people. You can’t have a great career without cooperating with other people. Many things that you do in life, your social life depends on other people. The first five categories of Lifebook are all you. They don’t rely on anybody else. They are your health and fitness is number one.
Ben: That was the easiest one for me, by the way. When we got started, I was like, “This thing is going to be a breeze.” Then we get the things like social categories and friends and I was like, “Oh, I got some work to do.”
Jon: Totally, man. So, health and fitness is first because it’s such a foundational area of life, health and fitness. Your intellectual life, it’s about your mind. It’s about thinking, it’s about learning, and it’s about intellectual output. So, like studying and writing, or it’s about input and output. So, you’re absorbing and you’re expressing from an intellectual perspective. The third category is your emotional life, incredibly important area of life to get a handle on. The fourth category is your character. What kind of a person do you want to become? What kind of a person gets the life that you really want to be living? And the fifth category is your spiritual life. What does spirituality mean to you and what is your own personal spiritual path? So, those are the first five. Health and fitness, intellectual, emotional, character, spirituality.
Then we go into the relationship categories. There are three of them. Your love relationship which is romance, passion, your relationship with your significant other. Then there is parenting, your relationship with your children and your parents. And then, there is your social life which we characterize as friends and family, friends and extended family. And then, we go into the business categories. There are your career and your financial life. Those are two very interconnected but separate categories. They need to be thought about separately and a separate strategy has to be created for each of them.
We all know the stories of the people that have had amazing careers but it totally hosed up financial life, right? Mike Tyson made $350 million dollars in his career and he ended up broke. That can just show you can have a great career and a messed up financial life or vice versa. I was reading a story a couple of months ago about a janitor in Chicago that literally, he was a public school janitor all of his life and he ended up retiring a multi-millionaire in the Caribbean and in an amazing villa because he did so good with his financial life. So, that’s the other side of the coin. You can have a mediocre career but if you handle your money right, most of us will make enough money many times over to be millionaires but we don’t because we don’t know how to handle that area of our life. So, those two are very connected, very interrelated but they have to be addressed separately.
Then the 11th category is called quality of life, and that’s basically the things that you want in your life, your home, your dream home lives here. If you’re a boat person, your boats live here. If you’re a car person, your cars live here. The experiences that you want to have in your life lives here. So, if you love to travel, this is the category that lives in. Quality of life, super important. It’s kind of like the payoff at the end of the day. And the 12th category is your overall life vision. So, in the 12th area of Lifebook, we basically take a look at your visions for each of the 11 categories and we combine them into one and you get to basically see what your ideal dream life looks like.
Going through this process, you fill up, you basically–we lead you through as you know, Ben, and then we make it very, very easy. It’s hard to imagine that you can do this work but we make it super easy because we just take it step-by-step. And going through the process, answering these questions, you fill up each of these buckets with your own wisdom and your own insight, your own aspirations, your own strategies. And at the end of the process, you really have gotten a glimpse of your highest self. That’s what this process yields. It yields a crystal-clear picture of your highest self in your very best life, and that is a valuable thing to have that most people won’t even brush up against their entire life.
Ben: Yeah. And the way that people walk through this, I mean there’s–if I remember properly and I should because I spend so much time on this thing, you’ve got a premise, you’ve got a vision, you’ve got a purpose, and you have a strategy for each section.
Ben: Do you think you could, using any example you want like your favorite example whether it’s intellectual or character or health and fitness or whatever, kind of walk through how each of those four different categories works with respect to each of the Lifebook categories?
Jon: Absolutely. So, here’s the grid, you guys. Twelve categories that I just went over and, in each category, we ask you four questions: “What do I believe about this category? What do I believe about health and fitness? What do I believe a proper love relationship is? What do I believe about money?”
And I know it’s hard to imagine that you can get down into yourself and really uncover your beliefs but we make the process very, very easy. Your beliefs control your behavior and a lot of us have beliefs left over from childhood that do not serve us and so that’s why it’s so important to go there first. What do I believe? What do I want with clarity in this area of my life? Why do I want that? And what do I need to do to get it? Those are the four questions we ask in each category and your Lifebook is simply the answer to those four questions and every important area of your life. That’s the deal and it’s profound.
Now, Ben, I know that you wanted to talk today about some of the most important things we’ve learned in each category, and I think this is a nice time to put on the table how differently these categories can behave. So, for instance, I’ll share the most profound thing I’ve learned in the area of health and fitness over the last 25 years is the following. Your level of health and fitness is going to come down to your purpose. Success or failure in this category comes down to purpose. Everybody knows how to get in better shape. How is not the issue, the strategy–look, don’t put so much food in your mouth. Make sure the food that does go into your mouth is higher quality, move around a little bit more, get good sleep, there you go. Obviously, that’s a vast oversimplification but the point is it’s not the how in the health and fitness category, it’s the why. It’s the purpose.
And Ben, I’ll just put this on the table. One of the reasons that you are a world-class athlete, one of the reasons that you’ve got this category so dialed in is because somehow in your life, you’ve managed to keep your purpose hot as hell. You’ve managed to keep your purpose totally dialed up to 11. Otherwise, you couldn’t do what you do. You’re not going to freaking go out and do Ironman without incredibly high purpose around that.
Ben: Yeah. Although not to derail you, I think that really, just from a pure happiness and productivity and even wealth standpoint, even all my health and fitness was more just like exercising because I liked it and I enjoyed getting out there and going on adventures when I actually developed my purpose in life three years ago. And my purpose in life is to empower people to live a more adventurous, joyful and fulfilling life. Once I developed that purpose and structured my entire life around that purpose, it actually began bringing more clarity and direction to the type of adventures I would embark upon.
For example, for me to go out and do some masochistic adventure race with no video cameras, spend a long period of time exercising, just go out and do it, have no people around, et cetera, that doesn’t quite fit the bill for me. And I kind of quit doing a lot of these more hardcore, long endurance events, not only because I found them be unhealthy but they didn’t really allow me to get out there and really inspire people and educate them and empower them and give them fulfillment. And it also really steered the direction of my business as well, creating a business like Kion to empower people live an adventurous and joyful and fulfilling life.
So, yeah, even for me, I didn’t get a lot of direction until I developed that purpose and now with my Lifebook, it’s become even more laser targeted for 11 other areas.
Jon: Exactly. Now, I’m going to suggest this though that you’ve always had something inside of you where you’ve had a strong purpose around, “I want to see what I’m capable of. I want to be the best I can be. I want to know if I can do this.” You’ve had a burning purpose inside of you. And then, what I’m saying in this category, here’s what we’ve learned. If you’re not happy with where you are, with your health and fitness right now, it’s because you don’t have a strong enough “why.”
Here are some great whys. I want to set a phenomenal example for my kids of how to live properly on this planet as a grownup. I refuse to be out of shape because that’s not the example I want to set for my kids. I want to have an awesome love life and sex life with my wife and she feels the same about me. I mean, this has been one of our big, big drivers for staying in such great shape all of our lives. I want to be able to think more clearly. I want to have more energy for my career. I’ll make more money if I’m physically fit. I’m just going to have so much more fortitude and so many more resources to bring to the other areas of my life.
So, what you need to do in this category if you really want to create transformation is you need to get a very, very strong “why,” and we have a great process to help you do that. So, purpose becomes so incredibly important to health and fitness but then you switch to a category like money, to financial. And purpose isn’t where it’s at in that category. Everyone knows why they wanted to make more money because they want to live a better quality of life. They want to be able to have more financial freedom so that they can do the things that they want to do.
With financial, first of all, your beliefs are incredibly important because so many of us grew up with outdated, worn-out disempowering beliefs around money like the love of money is the root of all evil. There are so much baggage and confusion surrounding that category. If you’re coming at your financial life with the premise that the love of money is the root of all evil, it doesn’t matter how good your strategy is. You’re going to eventually sabotage yourself because you don’t want to be evil, you want to be good.
We’ve seen so many people that struggle in this area. So, with financial, we really want to make sure that your beliefs are right and if they’re not, you can discard old disempowering beliefs and install new ones that are going to empower you to get to where you want to go. And then, strategy becomes incredibly important in the financial category. That’s really the most important thing in the financial category. So, each of these categories behave differently with regard to premise, vision, purpose and strategy we’ve discovered over the last 25 years.
Ben: Yeah. And my weakest category, as I alluded to earlier, was social. I spent a long time in that because–
Jon: So, was ours, Ben. So, was ours.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Jon: For 10 years.
Ben: My father, he’s kind of a lone wolf and I didn’t grow up seeing him have many close friends. And I never really developed a healthy appreciation for social life, for things like throwing dinner parties in your home, for developing close friendships, people in whom you can confide, friends to hold you accountable, men to embark upon adventures with. I certainly have–my best friend is my lover, Jessa, but that’s different. Everybody knows it’s different, the person that you’re married to versus the guys you might go out and play noon ball with or hit the tennis ball with or go on hikes with or simply do a book study with or be accountable to in any other aspect of life.
So, when I mapped out the social area, I’ve literally–I have my premise that I believe that loneliness and social isolation is a worldwide public health problem. Actually, my premise spans two pages, everything I believe about love and friendships and relationships. And then, I scattered in a bunch of quotes. That’s something we didn’t touch on but one of the things you encourage people to do is put quotes all throughout their Lifebooks. So, I have quotes like friend–
Jon: The Wisdom of the Ages.
Ben: Right. “Friends are family you choose for yourself” by Jane Addams, or Ralph Waldo Emerson’s, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” And then, I’ve got my vision about how I value and prioritize eye-to-eye, flesh-and-blood relationships more than I do about growing some enormous digital community. And I’m not a stranger in my neighborhood. I map out everything that I envision that I want to achieve from a social standpoint. And then, my purpose for that, and I can read you my purpose, it’s tied into almost every single category of my Lifebook, it’s tied into my overall overarching purpose in life but it’s that for me to empower others to live a more adventurous, joyful and fulfilling life, I must not be a distant stranger or a lone wolf but an approachable, trustworthy, kind, caring, judgment-free friend, leader, companion and member of a real human community.
And then, the real clincher for me, and my assistants and my scheduling assistant has helped me out with this, is strategies like at least twice per month, I’ll volunteer for an hour in my local community. I will know each of my neighbors’ names and faces. I’ll have a dinner party in my local community at least once a quarter in which I invite 68 people to dine and get to know better. Once per week, I will play at least one sport like tennis or golf or cycling or some other activity in which I’m with friends, not by myself or only with my family. I haven’t had a long-term one in there and that I will develop over the next three years at least two close dear friends who are not family members and for whom I can confide.
So, I’ve mapped all that out and now when I log into my Google Calendar for 2019, already there are four slots for each of our quarterly dinner parties set aside, reserved. I’ll be able to send out the invites two months in advance, but I wouldn’t have done any of this unless–I mean, it all sounds pretty intuitive. I wouldn’t have done any of this though unless I’ve been walked through the process of mapping it.
Jon: Ben, yeah. That’s going to change your life, and let me tell you, when Missy and I first launched this course, our social category was our weakest category by a mile. Basically, anyone who walked through our front door got into our life. We didn’t have any strong decision-making criteria around the people that we wanted as friends. It was haphazard. There wasn’t a whole lot of consciousness brought to it because we both have big families. We’re like you and Jessa. We want to spend all of our time together or with our kids. We didn’t have a lot of social needs but I’ll tell you when we started getting serious about bringing consciousness to that category, it’s a sleeper. It is a game changer. What was that Jim Rohn quote, “You are the average of the five friends you spend the most time with”?
Jon: My God. We put strategies in place and we’ve had the biggest growth over the last 10 years in the social category and it has changed everything for us. So, I think you’ve just opened something up that’s going to really be profound for you and Jessa.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah. And then, the other thing that I did, and I don’t remember if you encouraged us to do this or not when we took the process, was for each of the 12 different categories–and again, if anybody wants to look at my Lifebook, just go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lifebookpodcast. I’ve got it there as a Dropbox, PDF. It’s a big file I had to put it in Dropbox, but you can go there and you can download it. And I weaved into it my books for each category, like for this social category we were just talking about, I have my top favorite five books. “Quiet: The Power of Introverts” by Susan Cain and “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi and “I’d Like You More If You’re More Like Me,” because they tend to be a really judgmental guy by John Ortberg, and “Reclaiming Conversation—”
Jon: Okay. That is great idea.
Jon: You’ve done that in every category?
Ben: Every single category and–
Ben: We didn’t really talk about this yet but what you do, correct me if I’m wrong, is you kind of like go off on an isolated vacation with your wife, I believe, each year and revisit and upgrade your Lifebook and add new things. And so, that’s what I’m kind of doing.
Jon: Yeah. You know, Ben, what we do is Missy and I go through the program ourselves at least every other year. Now, we’ve gone through two years back-to-back last year and the year before because we were getting ready to move into this new life vision. There was so much to think through and figure out that we had to go through the program twice in a row two years back-to-back. But we go through the program at least every couple of years to–because life is dynamic. You don’t just do this once. It’s like you don’t go to the gym one time and exercise.
Well, just to give you a quick example. Your parenting chapter, you’re just trying to keep up with these kids, man. It’s like they’re different human beings every six months. You got to stay on top of it because it’s a dynamic process. Your life changes and your Lifebook changes as you change. But Missy and I also take that life vision trip once a year. We’ll go to a spa somewhere, Southeast Asia or South America. I mean, like really a getaway, an escape where no one can bother us and we’ll spend an entire week talking about how do we do last year? How much closer did we get to our overall life vision? And do we need to modify that life vision in any way? What are we going to bite off this year to move us closer to that vision?
So, yeah, that’s a week-long process combined with lots of love and passion and romance and usually really beautiful spa, food and treatments. That’s in December, usually. And so, that really positions us to make the most of the coming year.
Ben: After my wife and I went through the initial process in Tallinn, about four weeks later after you had a chance to sit down with, we were just using Word documents to map everything out. We actually took a three-day vacation to Seattle, locked ourselves away in a–didn’t lock ourselves away. We went to a lot of walks in parks and things like that but we checked into a hotel in Seattle. So, we just left Spokane, flew 45 minutes, went to Seattle and just spent three days going through with each other, reading each other’s chapters to each other and getting to know with great intimacy each of each other’s respective Lifebooks. So, we’re really on board of what our partner is doing.
Jon: That is so awesome.
Ben: It was a ton of fun.
Jon: I’ll tell you, it’s one of the best tools that a couple could ever have because 90% of the problems you’re going to have in your relationship are going to be because you’re not on the same page in one or more areas of life. I mean, like he’s a spender and she’s a saver or he’s a disciplinarian and she’s lenient with the kids. Lifebook is a platform that opens up conversations in every important area of your life where you can get on the same page and create a life vision together.
You know, Ben, Missy and I never fight about anything important. Like every other couple, we might get cranky sometimes but there’s nothing important to fight about. We literally have thought through and talked down and agreed on everything important in our lives, what we’re moving toward. So, if we get in a little spat every now and then, it’s going to be about something stupid. You know I’m saying? Which is great. It’s so much better than fighting about something important.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. And that’s the thing is that I think this brought my wife and I closer together than just about anything that we’ve done before because we really got to know each other intimately.
Jon: How beautiful.
Ben: We really opened up to each other. It may sound trite but one thing I learned about my wife even though I thought she never cared about our finances, our bank account, she just always seemed to not even really give a crap about any of that. One of the things that she wrote in her Lifebook was that she really wanted to know what’s up with our finances, how our trust works, how the cash flows between our bank accounts. And so, I actually had, once I found that out and we’ve already done this, I had my financial advisor shoot a 30-minute video for Jessa in which he walked her and the boys through this little chart, this whiteboard chart of, “Here’s where the money goes in here and here’s why it transfers into Greenfield Holdings and here’s the LLC in which Ben holds all the family investments and here’s how River and Terran’s bank accounts tie into the family’s bank account, on how they’re paid and how Jessa is paid.”
Jon: How wonderful.
Ben: So, now, she understands that she doesn’t have to have that fear at night that if I get hit by a bus that she doesn’t know what the hell is going on with our finances. So, there are so many good things that came out of this.
So, I also wanted to ask you how it works, like when people do this as kind of–because I know you guys have really upgraded the content even since we’ve done it, you have systematized it even more for people and it’s now available as an online course so people don’t have to like fly to Estonia or Chicago and pay–because I know it’s expensive to do the brick-and-mortar, boots-on-the-ground course. Yeah, I know people can do it but it’s several thousand dollars. For people to just go forth and do the online version, how does that work?
Jon: Okay. You’re right, the program is expensive but it’s a luxury five-day immersion experience.
Ben: Yeah, that’s true.
Jon: So, it’s $10,000 per couple and $7,500 per single and we really–
Ben: And you do–yeah, you do wine and dine, folks, don’t you?
Jon: Yeah, we really do. We do now. The Tallinn experience was a little bit different but what we–our mission, Ben, is a million people with a Lifebook. This was our 16th company. Missy and I didn’t need another company. We didn’t want another company. We did this because we had to do it. I explained that a little bit earlier. So, our mission is to really help people live more consciously, take responsibility for their lives and turn themselves and their lives into a living masterpiece. That’s what we’re doing here.
Our mission is a million people with a Lifebook because we think that that could really change the world for the better. A million conscious people helping the world be a better place by making their own lives better, that’s where it starts. Everybody wants change. Nobody wants to change. We’re here to help people define a crystal clear vision of their highest self in their best life and then help them move toward that every day. So, that’s our mission, a million people with a Lifebook.
And we realized, “Yeah, a $10,000 seminar isn’t going to get us there in any way, shape or form.” That’s why we started working with Mindvalley to release this program as an online course. It’s exactly the same content as the $10,000 program. And we have a really, really interesting offer. Here’s what it is. You can take this $10,000 course in the privacy of your own home, facilitated by Missy and I, with weekly live coaching calls and you can do it for free, but there’s a catch. You’ve got to finish the program because if you don’t finish the program, it didn’t get us any closer to a million people with a Lifebook. It’s not going to make your life better because you didn’t finish the program.
So, what we do is we take a $500 deposit. Basically, you could have the course for $500. And at the end of the six-week experience, we would go through two categories a week. It takes about–I’m going to say it’s going to be about a couple hours per category. So, the total time investment for a week is three, four, maybe five hours at the most if you really want to go deep and do it right. So, it’s a six-week course, $500. At the end of the six weeks, we give you a full 100% rebate. Actually, what we do at the end of the six weeks is we offer you our second level mastery courses which is the execution piece and you can continue your journey with us and let us keep that deposit or you can request it back, which we will happily give to you because you’ve helped us get one step closer to a million people with a Lifebook and you’ve had a tremendous transformative experience in the process.
So, that’s the offer. We’re super excited about it and it’s going to, I believe, December 12th is the day that we’ll be opening up the cart.
Ben: December 12th. And some people might be listening to this text, sometimes years in advance. So, that’s December 12, 2018, is when the online version will go live and the podcast you’re listening to right now is going to be coming out sometime right around that date. So, what I’ll do is I’ll link to everything. If you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lifebookpodcast, that’s where you can grab the shownotes where I talked about my Purpose Mountain podcast on Vision Quest with Tim Corcoran or Manex Ibar, the shaman who did Jon and his son’s vision quest. I mentioned how you could download my entire Lifebook. All of those goodies are over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lifebookpodcast. And then, if you just want to go sign up for Lifebook right now after hearing this, you can just go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lifebook and I’ll have a link there that gets you into the exact program that we just described.
And I can tell you, after I finished this one of the first things after having my own pretty intense personal realizations about what I wanted to accomplish in life was I wanted to share this with my podcast listeners. I wanted to share it with the world. So, I’m incredibly happy that I’ve finally gotten a chance to record with Jon and let you guys know about this because I think this is–it’s too much of a secret, this Lifebook process. I think more people need to know about it. I think, really, any of my podcast listeners who are going through everything from focusing on their health, their fitness, their anti-aging, their family, their social life, their relationships, all the things you’ve heard me talk about before that have been important, I think it’s high time that you have some kind of a way to systematize that.
And this is it. This is what I used. I’m super proud of it. I’ll even put photos at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lifebookpodcast where you could see photos of my book and where it sits on the mantle above the fireplace. And I actually, just so you know if you’ve seen my Lifebook, rather than using the folder that came with my Lifebook course, I actually went to Kinko’s with my PDF and I had them print it and bind it, which it was a little extra expense for me but I had–it’s now–and I’ll send you a picture, Jon. It’s now like this big, black, wonderful book.
Jon: That’s awesome, Ben.
Ben: That looks like a real book like it’s bound [01:08:45] ______.
Jon: You know what you should consider doing, Ben? Here’s what you should consider doing. I did this over the years but you could do it better since you bound that. If you go through the program every couple of years like my wife and I, you could have those volumes and then you can–it’s so interesting to go back and see–first of all, we’re on our third life vision, Ben, right now. Stepping into this Hawaii move is our third full iteration of a brand new life vision. You can go back and see–I guarantee you, next year you read your Lifebook, all the goals in your Lifebook, you’ll have 90% of those knocked out.
So, it’s so interesting to compare your Lifebook two years ago with your current Lifebook. You can just see all of your progress. And by the way, I just want to say something about your intro when you’re talking about your legacy and living your life. I’ve got the same thing. I’ve got four copies of my Lifebook in my safe, one for each of our kids. I mean, I just think about I wish that I could have had my mom’s Lifebook before she died or my grandpa’s Lifebook or can you imagine, Gandhi’s Lifebook or Albert Einstein’s? It would just be so amazing to–this is such a legacy tool to leave behind because like you said, it’s all of your aspirations, your hopes, your dreams, your values. The strategies that you think will be most effective in getting you to where you want to go. Your premise section basically has your life philosophy in every category. It’s such a powerful thing to leave to our kids.
Ben: Yeah. Like I said, it’s me in a book that I could hand to my kids.
Jon, thank you, too. I’m so grateful to you for creating this. I’m grateful to have met you.
Jon: Oh, man. Thank you so much.
Ben: You and your wife and your intense love relationship, the way that you parent, the life that you’ve built for yourselves, your spirit of abundance, everything that you stand for, I truly admire and I just wanted to–
Jon: Thank you, brother. That means a lot. Really, it does. Ben, thank you.
Ben: To let you know that and thank you for coming on the podcast and sharing all this with us today.
Jon: My pleasure. Anytime, Ben.
Ben: Awesome. Well, folks, I’m Ben Greenfield along with Jon Butcher. Everything you’ve heard, you can find over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lifebookpodcast. You can go begin the Lifebook process for yourself if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lifebookpodcast. Have an amazing week.
Want more? Go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com or you can subscribe to my information-packed and entertaining newsletter and click the link up on the right-hand side of that web page that says, “Ben recommends,” where you’ll see a full list of everything I’ve ever recommended to enhance your body and your brain. Finally, to get your hands on all of the unique supplement formulations that I personally develop, you can visit the website of my company, Kion, at getK-I-O-N.com. That’s getK-I-O-N.com.
Four months ago, my wife and I went through the most transformational process we have ever embarked upon.
It was called Lifebook.
Although you can now go through the entire Lifebook process online, no matter where you live in the world, we did ours in Estonia – jam-packed into a room with over 20 other individuals who, like us, wanted to get ultimate clarity, direction and purpose for each aspect of their lives.
I think of my Lifebook as me, in a book (you can actually download and view my entire Lifebook by clicking here).
In other words, if I were to, God forbid, get hit by a bus tomorrow, someone would be able to hand my children my Lifebook and say, “Here. Here is your Dad, in a book. This is everything he stands for, believes in and values, and everything he would have wanted to teach you about life.
My Lifebook now holds a precious place in the mantle above the fireplace in our home and has also been integrated into our family trust. As you can imagine, I’m very proud of and excited about this discovery, and I wanted to get the inventor of the Lifebook on the podcast, Jon Butcher, a man who Chicago Magazine dubbed as “the guy with the most perfect life”.
Along with his wonderful wife Missy, Jon is a serial entrepreneur and the creator of Lifebook, an extraordinary system that has helped thousands transform their lives from ordinary to living masterpieces. Jon and Missy have learned how to defy aging, experience long-lasting love, redefine education and build the perfect living environment (trust me, I’ve been to their home and it is a complete dream house). Drawing from deeply personal experiences, Jon and Missy, along with their partner, Joe Polish, also founded the Artists For Addicts project. Its mission is to change the global conversation surrounding addiction from one of judgment to one of compassion.
During our discussion, you’ll learn…
-Why Jon and his wife Missy are moving to Hawaii after 30 years living in Chicago…8:25
- Consistent with the purpose of the Lifebook: To find clarity in your “life vision”.
- Hawaii has always been a special place for Jon and Missy, even after visiting nearly 100 countries.
- More leisure, less activity in day to day life.
-About Jon’s unique philosophy on raising his children…11:45
- “Respectful disregard” for the status quo.
- Look at options, make a decision independent of what others may choose.
- Underwent a “vision quest” recently with his family.
- Historical examples of boys becoming men via a rite of passage
- Underwent Vision Quest with a Shamanin France.
- Targeted specifically to Jon’s 14-year-old son, family did it in support
- The son learned the hard way to remember to pack all your gear.
- Was a profound experience for Jon personally and especially for his son.
- The Earth can heal you.
- Modern kids don’t learn to deal with real hardship.
- Check out my recent podcast on Vision Quest’s
-The story of how Lifebook came to be…27:40
- Living fast and furious in his 20s; caught up with him in his early 30s.
- Two panic attacks
- Agoraphobia, nervous breakdown
- Jon’s dad ordered two self-development programs: Attacking Anxiety; Personal Power 2
- 8-year process of healing
- Jon kept notes from all his self-development programs in a binder: Breakthroughs, Goals, etc.
- Eventually focused on 12 categories to create an extraordinary life
- Evolved over a period of 15 years; never showed it to anyone else.
- Introduced it to a health and fitness group; others expressed interest in creating one
- Astounding results
- Jon and Missy knew they had something special on their hands
- Didn’t want to share; But it was something they couldn’t NOT do.
-The 12 areas the Lifebook optimizes and why Jon chose them…40:10
- Health and fitness
- Intellectual life
- Emotional life
- Personal Character
- Spiritual life
- Love and romance
- Parenting (yours and your own parents)
- Social life – friends and extended family
- Financial life
- Quality of Life
- Overall Life Vision
-The overall strategy by which you accomplish your Lifebook experience…45:55
- Four steps to each category
- Four questions for each category:
- What do I believe about…?
- What do I want in the realm of…?
- Why do I want…?
- What do I need to get…?
- The primary motivation for each category will probably change, i.e. health and fitness vs. money
-My weakest category in the Lifebook process and how my overall life purpose helped strengthen it…53:12
-How to undertake the Lifebook experience online for a fraction of the cost of an in-person event…1:03:00
- You can do it for free. The catch: You need to finish the program.
- Pay a $500 deposit. If you finish, you get it back or apply to another program.
-And much more!
Resources from this episode:
-Photos of my Lifebook
-If you want to take Lifebook live-in-person, then call 1-800-460-3255 and ask for Crystal.
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