Ben Greenfield: Hustle Culture is Ruining Your Health and Happiness!! | E259

Ben Greenfield: Hustle Culture is Ruining Your Health and Happiness!! | E259

Ben Greenfield: Hustle Culture is Ruining Your Health and Happiness!! | E259

Ben Greenfield grew up in northern Idaho, a self-described homeschooled geek who played the violin and chess and spent most of his time reading or writing fantasy fiction. But, as a teenager, he discovered tennis and working out, which led him to buy a pair of cheap 10-pound dumbbells at the local sporting goods store and transform himself into an athlete. Eventually, he grew up to be a bodybuilder, Ironman triathlete, nutritionist, and trainer who is now one of the foremost biohacking experts in the world. In today’s episode, Ben will share some of his best biohacking techniques for achieving total human optimization—mind, body, and spirit.


Ben Greenfield is a trainer, coach, speaker, podcast host, best-selling author, and a very involved parent. His latest book is called Boundless Parenting. Ben has an unquenchable enthusiasm for optimizing and improving human performance, and he has helped millions through his biohacking strategies and techniques.


In this episode, Hala and Ben will discuss:

– Growing up in the sticks in Northern Idaho

– How he defines biohacking

– Why the original biohackers were human cyborgs

– How modern science can simulate our ancestral environment

– How your body is like a battery

– Why you should go barefoot after air travel

– Striking the right balance between time, health, and money

– Why business should be your fifth priority

– How cold water can boost brain function

– When carbon dioxide can be beneficial

– The benefits of a deep, hypnotic trance

– His tips on boundless parenting

– Why you should teach your kids how to negotiate

– And other topics…


Ben Greenfield is a trainer, coach, speaker, podcast host, best-selling author, and a very involved parent. Ben has an unquenchable enthusiasm for optimizing and improving human performance, and he has helped millions through his biohacking strategies and techniques. He has a science-based approach to discovering the balance between health and performance and works with athletes, CEOs, and others from all over the world. His books include Beyond Training (2014), Boundless (2020), and most recently Boundless Parenting (2023).


Resources Mentioned:

Ben’s Website:

Ben’s Podcast, Ben Greenfield Life:

Ben’s latest book Boundless Parenting (2023):


LinkedIn Secrets Masterclass, Have Job Security For Life:

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[00:00:00] Hala Taha: Yeah, fam,, boy do we have a treat in store for you today, because I'm chatting with world renowned fitness expert, biohacking guru, and New York Times bestselling author, Ben Greenfield. Ben is so many things, he's an ex bodybuilder, an Ironman triathlete, a trainer, a coach, a speaker, a podcast host a best selling author. And he's also a very involved parent In fact, his latest book is called Boundless Parenting. And his breakout book, Boundless, is pretty much the Bible of biohacking right now. Ben has an unquenchable enthusiasm for optimizing and improving human performance. And he's helped millions through his biohacking strategies and techniques.

And I'm so excited that you get to learn directly from him today because he's brilliant.

Ben thank you so much for joining me on Young and Profiting Podcast.

[00:02:13] Ben Greenfield: Well, thank you so much for having me. I'm out in my backyard right now, catching a little bit of fall vitamin D in the sunshine. So, uh, I was telling you before we started recording that combined with the fact my son's having a piano lesson inside has shoved me out into the great outdoors, but you know what?

Walking into the sunshine and talking to you and your wonderful folks could be a worse day, right? 

[00:02:37] Hala Taha: Yeah. And this is totally in line with. Ben's brand as you'll soon find out. He's a big proponent of sun getting exercise all those good things 

I wanted to tell our listeners about your interesting background story.

And so much of who we are, as you know, starts with our childhood and you had an unusual childhood compared to most. You grew up in Idaho and that definitely impacted who you are today, the way that you were raised. So, can you take us back to your childhood and shed some color on that? 

[00:03:06] Ben Greenfield: Oh, a trip down memory lane, huh?

Well, you're right. I did have a little bit of unique childhood. Specifically, not only did I grow up in the sticks in North Idaho, which already makes you kind of weird, but I was homeschooled. So, K through 12, I was homeschooled. And that's interesting because traditional homeschooling, which of course has become more popular lately, Involves sitting around the kitchen table, learning from books and curriculum overseen by your parents and going to prom by yourself and kind of doing the traditional form of schooling, but at home, you know, whereas I, like I, with my own sons now who are 15, we do unschooling and unschooling is different.

Like you don't even use books or curriculum much. You essentially tune into your child's passions and interests and desires, and then just surround them with as many experiential. Immersions as possible, whether it's like building a tree fort in the backyard to learn math, 

 you know, going on field trips in the local community or like, you know, learning a language like Spanish for six months leading up to a trip to Spain to also engage in like Spanish cooking or Spanish social studies, et cetera.

But in my case, I was just homeschooled. Using books, uh, in the sticks in North Idaho with my two brothers and two sisters, and I was a total nerd, 

 the, uh, interesting thing is that I was not interested in like sports or exercise or fitness at all. You know, the world that I'm immersed in now for a career. I played the violin, I was president of the chess club, I was like a total fantasy fiction nerd, I loved to read and write and hang out alone in my bedroom and, you know, hike the hills back behind my house.

When I was 14, I discovered the sport of tennis and I began to play tennis quite a bit. I got so interested in physical culture and nutrition and exercise related to the sport of tennis that I wound up going to college and studying exercise physiology and biomechanics. I got a master's degree. I got accepted to a handful of medical schools, opted not to go to medical school and went into the exercise industry instead, and have been in that industry ever since, starting off with brick and mortar, personal training gyms and studios.

And then when my sons were born 15 years ago, I decided to change my model. I moved into the house. Much of the chagrin and annoyance of my wife. I'm at home all day long now. Now I do podcasting. I write articles. I do freelancing. I write books. I invest in different companies in the health and fitness sector.

I run membership based websites and content based websites, and I own a supplements company, and I just basically kind of shifted and did a little bit more of a lifestyle design approach to work from home and to. Like I said, unschool my sons and be kind of a fully present father and husband. So that's what I, what I do now, starting off from, uh, backwoods of Idaho.

And interestingly enough, now I'm building a farm in Idaho that'll be done next summer. So I'll be moving back over with all the Rednecks and the Hicks. 

[00:06:10] Hala Taha: Amazing. Thank you so much for giving us your background story. It's really interesting how you pieced everything all together. And so you've got this book, Boundless, that you wrote a few years ago, and we'll talk about your new book, Boundless Parenting.

But Boundless is one of the most studied books on the subject of biohacking right now. And biohacking is this really popular term that gets flung around a lot. So firstly, how would you define biohacking 

[00:06:35] Ben Greenfield: yourself? Well, it's funny because you're right, it gets thrown around a lot. And now I think. You're a biohacker.

If you put some butter in your morning tea or coffee or like, you know, hold your breath while you're exercising, you know, the original biohackers were like human cyborgs. Like these are people that wouldn't plant like metal into their fingers to be able to interact with screens. Very similar to like Tom Cruise and Minority Report compasses installed in the chest that would vibrate when you face true north.

Um, implants in the ears to enhance hearing and all manner of different forms of hardware that would be attached to the human body, which many of the early day biohackers would call wetware and essentially biohacking used to be the use of technology to enhance human biology or shortcut certain aspects of human biology to allow the body to work better.

Or the brain to work faster. Another common definition of biohacking comes from the exercise industry. And that's like all of the early day bodybuilders who would use steroids and hormones and off label pharmaceuticals and chemicals to kind of like morph the body into a giant muscular machine. And we see a lot of that type of flavor of biohacking now in the exercise industry.

You know, different peptides and Stem cells and protocols and gene therapies to kind of like get the body to live longer or work better or be bigger Whatever the case may be but if you combine all those different flavors of what you define biohacking as I think that ultimately the definition I'd roughly describe would be the use of science technology And a variety of different modern tools to enhance human biology in some manner in the same way that someone might use a computer in a different way or upgrade that computer in some way could be called a computer hacker, or even someone who might go into the back end of the computer software and alter the code, you could say that biohacking would kind of like be what a computer hacker would do to computers.

Except a biohacker would do that to biology. 

[00:08:58] Hala Taha: Yeah, that makes sense. And you just mentioned modern technology, but something that I want to call out that I've heard you say before. is that you say you're living with one foot in ancestral science and one foot in modern science. So, when I think about biohacking, I tend to think of all the new things, right?

Like stem cell research and EMS and stuff like that. But talk to us about how we can look at prehistoric times and how humans lived and take a page from their book. 

[00:09:25] Ben Greenfield: Yeah, you've done your homework. Good job. I have said that phrase of one foot in the realm of ancestral wisdom. And the other foot in the realm of modern science, like, I'm walking through the forest behind my house, right?

I've got like this half mile long obstacle course that I've carved through the forest and in a moment, I'll come up on the goat and the chicken pens and a big garden hippitycoppy on and on, and You know, a lot of kind of like outdoor farm style living, you know, we often go outside again in this same forest and we'll plant forage and find wild mint and nettle and mushrooms and harvest things that we can use in cooking.

And the other thing I'm getting exposed to right now is sunlight and, you know, you can find fresh water and there's even this concept of earthy and grounding, like touching the surface of the planet to absorb a lot of the natural negative ions that the earth produces. To allow for the body's battery to be charged in a way that would fight inflammation or increase energy.

And so when you look at a lot of these natural elements of lifestyle, you can actually simulate many of those using modern day technologies or biohacks. So what I mean by that is like red light therapy is very popular. People use Infrared saunas or red light lamps, or, you know, even like head worn red light helmets, for example, to enhance brain function, to decrease inflammation, to increase the production of heat shock proteins, and you can get those same beneficial wavelengths of light from sunlight, but you can also bring it indoors, concentrate it, hack it, focus on the red light frequencies, that's it.

And get the same benefits, even if you're say, whatever, indoors in Seattle during a dark and gray winter or working in a job that would limit you from being able to get out into the sunlight. I talked about walking on the ground or touching the surface of the earth. Well, you know, from an ancestral standpoint, we know that a physical intimate connection to the surface of the planet seems to produce a variety of really beneficial biological effects.

But again, let's say. You can't get outdoors or your job doesn't allow you to be heading outside like a dirty barefoot hippie all the time. Well, you can use grounding or earthing mats under your desk that you stand on. You can, if you're like me, like sleep all night on a grounding or an earthing mat underneath the top sheet of the bed.

You can even use biohacking technologies like Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy, also known as PEMF, to concentrate those frequencies. and deliver them in even stronger forms to the body. And so that would be an example of biohacking the process of earthing or grounding in the same way that you could biohack the practice of red light.

You know, we also know that, for example, uh, fluctuations of temperature induce cellular resilience and almost seem to enhance longevity and cause an anti aging effect for the body. And of course, anyone who's gone camping, Or hunting or spent a lot of time outdoors again, and kind of like that ancestral format or someone who say has the modern day privilege of working as a farmer or a construction worker or a painter or a roofer or something like that, they're more subjected to temperature extremes, right?

Like you're really hot sometimes, and you're really cold sometimes, and you're not inside this comfortable air conditioned temperature controlled box that a lot of us drive in, work in, fly in, live in, sleep in, etc. But now we can use biohacking technologies like cryotherapy chambers and infrared saunas and different tools like that to actually subject the body to the same type of beneficial temperature stressors that our ancestors would have naturally experienced.

So in many cases, I think that some of the more beneficial tools that we can find in modern science for enhancing the human body. Are simply mimicking and concentrating what primal humans would have experienced for thousands of years leading up to the advent of these technologies. And furthermore, they almost allow someone who's living like a modern day post industrial lifestyle to better simulate the beneficial aspects of a different human connection that was more connected to the planet.

All the way down to like, you know, again, like the foraging for leaves and roots and berries and things like that. Well, now we have encapsulation technologies and powdering technologies that allow us to grab a handful of capsules or make a morning smoothie in a fraction of the time that it would have taken our ancestors walking through the woods, finding all these antioxidants and supplements and, you know, roots and oils and berries.

So. So, yeah, those are a few examples of how you can either have modern science to biohack, to heal, to enhance the body, use ancestral wisdom, like earthing, grounding, sunlight, fresh air, temperature extremes, etc., to enhance the human body, or, back to the root of your question, like me, do a little bit of both, right?

Like, I was in the infrared sauna this morning, and now I'm walking in the sunlight. I was... I was standing on an earthy and grounding mat in my office like an hour ago, and now I'm walking around outside. You know, I will have lunch later on today, and my salad will have some wild mint and nettle on it from the forest.

But with my smoothie this morning, I had a handful of antioxidant capsules that are the same thing in a modern day format. So, that's kind of an example of what I mean by the marriage of ancestral wisdom and modern science, or having a little bit of both in your life. That was so 

[00:15:21] Hala Taha: good. Thank you so much for bringing that down.

So much great information. So Ben, one of the other things that you also say is that our body is like a battery. And I think that analogies are great ways to make complex topics easier to understand. So talk to us about how our body is like 

[00:15:38] Ben Greenfield: a battery. I'm so glad you brought this up because it really ties into some of the examples I was giving you about sunlight and earthing and grounding and Fresh water and supplements and things like that when we were talking about Ancestral wisdom versus modern science.

So here's the concept your cells are best equipped to operate with a slightly negative charge on the inside of the cell and a slightly positive charge on the outside of the cell And, uh, because of that, you're basically one giant battery, and there are great books about this, like The Body Electric by Robert Becker, or Healing is Voltage by Jerry Tennant, and those are books, and I get into this in my book Boundless as well, that describe how nearly every element of human metabolism relies upon the proper charging of that battery, the proper negative charge on the inside of the cell, and positive charge on the outside of the cell.

Well, if that battery becomes drained, then you start to suffer from poor sleep, impaired metabolism and fat loss, poor recovery, brain fog and impaired mental function, and even an increased, uh, risk of developing chronic diseases, such as, uh, heart disease, for example. You know, anybody who's studied the heart in high school biology knows we have these things called pacemaker cells, right?

That's another good example of biology being a battery. So what is it that would cause the negative interior of the cell to become more positive? Well, a few examples would be poor hydration, even down to consuming foods that don't have a lot of water in them, like ultra processed packaged foods out of crinkly containers.

Heavy exposure to electricity, particularly, you know, Wi Fi radiation, radio frequencies from cell phone towers, radio towers. Poorly wired housing, you know, working in an office where you're just bombarded with electricity and appliances all day long. Well, that causes an influx of calcium into the cell, which would also, as a positively charged ion, decrease the potential of the body's battery.

Another example would be poor surface contact with. The planet meaning never going outside barefoot flying in airplanes a lot of the time always wearing big built up rubber soled shoes Rather than like walking barefoot on the beach or swimming in the ocean All right, so those would be other examples of ways to drain the body's battery so you can see that a lot of the examples I gave are basically like Modern day assailants that cause our body's electricity to not work properly now How would you charge the body's battery?

Well You know, I could tell you, for example, four different ways to do it. And these are very similar to the things I was telling you about earlier when it came to ancestral wisdom. For example, the earth, the surface of the planet emits negative ions that when you touch the surface of the planet with your hands or with your feet or laying your back in the backyard, you're recharging the body's battery.

You're reintroducing a negative charge to the interior of the cell. And do you know what is the best way to actually. Uh, ground or earth the body. That's, it's not standing barefoot on the ground, but I'll let you guess. What do you think is the best way to ground or earth the body or restore a negative charge to the cells?

Lay down on the ground, maybe? Close. I mean, the amount of surface area of your body that's, that's in contact with the ground is important, but it's actually swimming in a natural body of water. Cause water is extremely conductive and salty water, such as the ocean or the sea is incredibly conductive like 20 X over what you get from your, so if you happen to be lucky enough to like live near the ocean and if you could like walk outside barefoot on the sand and get into the ocean on a regular basis, it's one of the best ways to charge up the body's battery.

 I have like a cold tub that I keep outside for that temperature stress that I was talking to you about earlier. Well the cold tub, it's metal. Like the outside is wood, but if I open it up and I show you the inside of the cold tub.

It's metal and I also have epsom salts in the tub. You can see I keep it really cold. I mean, look at this This is like ice. That's all ice. Yeah in the tub So it's cold, but it's also salty and it's in metal And so if I get in the cold tub and i'm kind of a wimp i'll go for like one or two minutes Sometimes a couple of times a day, but i'm getting a massive grounding effect because i'm in metal in a salty solution And so that's one example of a really good way to charge up the body's battery.

Another way would be by Drinking really good, clean, pure filtered water and eating produce. That's very rich in, in hydrating water. Cucumbers are really a good example. Like I love cucumbers. They grow like weeds around here. 

So, when I go out and harvest cucumbers for lunch, I can chop those up and the water that you find in produce, like tomatoes, cucumbers, et cetera, is actually way more absorbable than the water that you drink because it's not in liquid or vapor or solid form, it's in a gel like form. And so by shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store, you know, where you don't have a lot of the dehydrated processed and packaged foods, and by instead consuming the natural fruits and vegetables and produce.

that are very rich in both minerals and water, you're putting into your body the minerals that it needs to actually keep the body's battery charged. And because of the importance of minerals, I'm a huge fan of supplementing with a lot of these, like, supplements that are mineral based, like LMNT, or Protect, or Keantan, or even, like, really, really good salts.

As a matter of fact, salting your food regularly, contrary to popular belief, Is not bad for blood pressure for the body now now Isolated sodium chloride like you'd find in cheap table salt is not great for the body But really good fancy like full spectrum mineral salt is fantastic for keeping the body's battery charged I'm, just a geek about salt I always go around with a fanny pack And i'll have like a little bit of olive oil a little bit of salt like different things in there that allow me to Upgrade a meal that I might eat.

Do you know? What is one of the most clean? mineral rich sources of really good salt that you can find at most grocery stores in the U. S. 

Celtic Salt. You can find it in like a little blue bag. You know, I've seen Safeway, Rozar's, Albertson's. I don't think Costco has it, you know, a few of the grocery stores, but Celtic salt is a perfect example of something you can get and sprinkle on your food or even put pinches of into your water that does a fantastic job keeping the body's battery charged.

So, you know, I talk about earthing and grounding, about avoiding heavy exposure to electricity, about swimming in natural bodies of water. There's one other thing that I think is really interesting and it's also relevant to, you know, the environment I'm in right now, and that is, it turns out that photons of light, particularly in what would be called about the 650 to 810 nanometer wavelength of light, and that would define like infrared and red light, is fantastic for charging up the body's battery.

Your cells absorb that photonic wavelength of light, so that means like Watching the sunrise or the sunset going outside like I am, you know, with a little bit of skin exposed during the day using infrared lights like near infrared and red and infrared light such as you'd get in like an infrared sauna or some of these red light panels that are popular people put in their offices.

It turns out that that's really good for keeping the bodies battery charged. So earthing, grounding, sunlight, water, minerals, and then avoidance of a lot of modern electricity. Is all really important. You don't have to do this measurement to know, but there's a measurement called a phase angle. You can get what's called a phase angle tool.

I've been measured. I've seen some other people's measurements and the lowest charge you can get on the body's battery is when somebody stepped off a plane, uh, because you're completely disconnected from the planet and you're in this giant metal tube full of like wifi signals and cell phone signals, you know, hurtling above the earth's atmosphere.

And so if you fly on an airplane. Now that you're empowered with that knowledge, if you're watching or listening, the best thing you can do when you've gotten off, uh, airplane flight is to get outside barefoot or like, if you have to, I mean, in a pitch, you can just like go swimming in the hotel pool or sometimes I'll check into my hotel and then go into the backyard area behind the hotel and do some yoga or take a few phone calls while I'm walking barefoot, you know, just like in some laps around the hotel.

So that's really important too, if you've been flying to especially focus. On recharging the body's battery.

 This content 

[00:24:53] Hala Taha: is just so good, Ben. I love learning about this. And as you're talking, I'm realizing, Oh my God, I have so much to improve. Like right now I'm in grind mode, building my companies. I'm in an apartment building on the 18th floor.

It's hard for me to get outside. I don't get to see sunlight. And I'm just thinking there's probably so many people like me who are in this stage of their life where they're in cities working really hard, either working from home or in an office, and they just don't have access to what you have access to.

You built your life around this, right? So what can we do? You mentioned some things already, but what are some key things that we can do if we're kind of in this mode of our life where we've got to be working a lot of the time sitting behind a computer in an office and so on? 

[00:25:40] Ben Greenfield: Yep. So first of all, mindset shift.

And of course, as you've probably heard from the ancient Chinese proverb, the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago or today. So don't beat yourself up thinking, Oh, I haven't been doing this stuff. I'm screwed. You can start right away. So don't lose heart or feel regret about the fact that maybe you haven't set up your lifestyle in a way that's natural or ancestral or weave some of these concepts in.

So that's the first thing. The second thing is I've built my own business a lot more slowly than many of my peers, several of whom make a lot more money and have even developed financial freedom and independence more quickly than I have. Many of those same individuals are not happy. Cause they don't have their health.

Many of them are divorced or estranged from family and they don't even have the knowledge to be able to take care of themselves because they've put business on such a pedestal and they've put achieving financial freedom so that you can have the time to do all these other things you want to do, like focus on health.

On a pedestal and paradoxically you get to the point where you've made the money and had the career but you're Sick and unhealthy and don't have access to the knowledge or the practices or the routines that you need, you know there's another saying that uh human being reaches a certain stage in life where they would pay anything for good health or their health becomes a top priority because You can make money, but you can't make time and you can't make health.

And so I think what's important here and what I'm getting at is I've intentionally built my business much more slowly because my business is my fifth order of priority in life. I have five key priorities in life and business is fifth and my priorities in life are number one. God, so I care for my spirit, I care for my soul, and I take care of my union to God by the very first thing when I get up in the morning, being gratitude journaling, prayer, reading the Bible, talking to God, and feeding and caring for and working out the one part of the human existence that I believe will go on for eternity, for better or worse, and that in many people is shriveled and shrunk up and uncared for and neglected.

And so God is the first priority of the day. And the next priority is my connection to my wife because let's say you do have children Well, if you prioritize your children over your lover or your spouse then You're really not going to be able to show up for your children as a couple. And you're not going to be able to build like the legacy and the generational wealth that I think a lot of people have lost sight of.

We have an entire Greenfield family constitution, hundreds of pages of documentation about traditions and legacy and routines and rituals and family insurance policies and family banking and the family crest and mission statement and values. It's almost like an entire business branding book for the family.

And if I didn't have a good relationship with my wife, or we considered ourselves to be just staying together for the kids, or, you know, we were. Kind of like settling on the idea that I think a lot of couples settle on that. If that person really doesn't fit the bill for you, eventually you can just divorce them and move on and find somebody more compatible with you and your beliefs and your values, whatever.

But instead, my wife and I are very committed to each other. One on one dates, praying at night, every night before we go to bed, working on the Greenfield family constitution and staying connected so that we can be there for our children, which are number three. So number three is the kids. Right. Because your children are your legacy.

Your children are how you're going to go on and live on and impact the world in exponential way. If your children and your family are unhappy, it's very difficult to be happy and successful and fulfilled with your job. And so children are number three. If you don't have a spouse, or if you don't have children, then I would say that you could substitute community, neighbors, friends for that same commitment and that same focus again, over and above.

Business human beings were built for relationships. We see a host of issues pop up when we're lonely and when we're overfocused on work and that human touch is something that's far more important than business. And as I mean, as any like 110 year old gin chugging cigarettes, smoking, you know, Sardinian grandma would attest to relationships and the fact that that grandma is surrounded by people she loves.

And it's a community that's very focused on community and relationships. The relationship part and your family's even more important than health. So again, like I have my personal spiritual time. And then I gather my family for a family huddle every morning and we meditate together and we do breath work and we read the Bible and we pray and we all come together as a family for a family touch point each morning.

When my kids are gone at camp or whatever, my wife and I do that together. So God is first, then family, you know, first spouse, then children. Fourth priority is health, right? So the health comes after taking care of your spirit and taking care of your relationships. So after I've done all that, after the family huddle, then I go hit the gym.

And I'm an entrepreneur. Okay. I. Love my business. I love making money. I love impacting the world. I love fulfilling my life's purpose. And even though I'm in the freaking fitness industry, every bone in my body wants to go take care of the emails and start the podcast and create the content and build the business and get the income streams going the whole time.

I'm in the gym. I'm like, I'm like, I should be at the office right now, but I do it because I've seen, I've seen. A lot of my friends, especially as I grow old now, I'm 42 years old. I've seen a lot of them build their businesses and then they'll do the Facebook posts where they're like, yeah, I'm 30 pounds overweight and I'm sick.

And I don't feel good about my body and it's time to start working on my body. But man, it's so much easier when you don't let yourself slide in the first place and you prioritize taking care of your health before you get into the office for the day. Cause for most entrepreneurs and business builders.

Eating the frog is not opening up your email inbox. Most of us love that dopaminergic surge of like starting in emails and starting the checklist for the day. For most of us eating the frog, doing the hard thing first is journaling, meditation, prayer, gratitude, family, time, family, devotion, family huddles, working out and the business will always be there.

And frankly, you know, and there's a guy who is featured in my book, boundless parenting, who. Told me this when we were sitting at dinner one night. He's actually one of the parents featured in Boundless Parenting, Chad Johnson. He's a father of 11, Ironman triathlete, big mountain skier, amazing guy. He said, Ben, your business will eat you alive.

Like the emails will never stop coming. Zero inbox will, will never be a reality. Only occasionally at different points throughout the day or the week. There will always be work to do. There will always be lists to check. There will always be opportunities. There will always be more money to make. And if you let your business eat you alive at well, but if you focus on God, your spouse, your family and children and your health first, then the business will not only come about and happen, and you're still going to have plenty of hours in the day, but at the end of the day, the money that you make and the business that you build will be more fulfilling for you because you will have a happy family at home to enjoy dinner with each night and hang out with, and you won't have that angst of having forsaken relationships to build your business.

Your body will thank you because it feels good and you can actually go out and go on adventures golfing and tennis and pickleball and, you know, wake surfing and all the things that you should be able to do with the money that you're making. And then business. Is like the icing on the cake, but if you're not fulfilled in those other areas of life, the business is always going to be unfulfilling and you'll be overworked.

So it's just a change in perspective, right? I know it's a long answer to your question, but it's a change in the priorities that you make. And if you make a change in those priorities, then. You know, the business will take care of itself, but yeah, it does really, what it comes down to is habits, rituals, and routines set up starting in the morning that allow you to care for your spirit and care for your body and care for your relationships.

Before you care for your business. And that's the mindset that you got to start with. That 

[00:34:16] Hala Taha: was so good, Ben. And, you know, this is one of my favorite conversations that I've had all year, because I feel like it's such a fresh perspective that nobody's talking enough about, and I know that a lot of my listeners like me are just hustling, hustling, hustling, and we don't often have somebody come on here and tell us that business should be our fifth.

priority that's really rare for us to hear. I do want to talk about boundless parenting ties in a lot with what you were just talking about. But before we do that, there's a couple more biohacking things I want to get clarity on. And one of them is cold showers and cold thermogenesis and the impact that that has on our sleep and our cognition and something that you call leaky brain syndrome or a lot of people call it that.

I think leaky brain syndrome. Is about like the blood brain barrier. Can you explain that to us a little bit and break that down? 

[00:35:05] Ben Greenfield: First of all, you know, I showed you that, that one cold tub. That's the one I keep it like 33 degrees. That one's called the Morasco. This is the one that I was in this morning, just swimming underwater laps.

So this is like an endless pool that I have in my pool house on the backyard. I just, I don't put ice in it, but I just don't keep it. It uh warm so this one's at about like 45 degrees it fluctuates based on the season That over there is the hot tub so I can go back and forth from the cold pool to the hot tub But i'm a huge fan of cold.

I raced iron man triathlon for 12 years. I did races all over the planet And I was doing cold thermogenesis before I even knew the benefits of it. You know, I get out of the water freezing and I'd feel great. And my mental willpower would be higher the rest of the day. And it was pain killing and it was mood boosting, but I didn't realize until I actually started to study up the science of it for my book boundless, how big of an impact it has on the release of feel good chemicals.

On decreased inflammation, on the conversion of metabolically inactive white adipose tissue into metabolically brown, active brown fat that you have to make to generate heat to warm yourself back up, decrease in risk of certain brain diseases based on what you described, the fact that it can allow for almost like a sealing of the blood brain barrier, allowing less toxins and metals.

and inflammatory compounds to cross over into neuronal tissue. Very similar to how a good night of sleep could help with that. Or very similar to how proper mineral intake, particularly magnesium, can help with that. Fish oil can help with that. Well, it turns out that cold, specifically the process of getting the head and neck and face cold is fantastic for brain function.

So huge variety of benefits. A lot of people will bet I don't have like a, you know, a cold tub like that or a cold pool. Well, cold showers work. Here's a little hack for you. When I travel and I'm in a hotel room and the water isn't cold enough, because let's say I'm in like Florida, uh, or, you know, another warm area, you can just get your ice bucket from the hotel room.

And or the, uh, the plastic bag for the laundry that's in the shower. You can fill it with ice from the ice bucket down the hallway and just like hang that when you're taking your shower and you can get like the iciest, coldest shower imaginable. So you can even do this when you travel, but there are so many benefits of cold.

You know, a lot of people don't talk about what you were mentioning, the fact that it helps with your brain function as well, but yeah, I mean, it's. Even me, I've been doing it for years and years. I don't relish the cold. Like, I don't get in there and I'm like, yes, I'm in the cold now. This feels fantastic.

Like, I kind of hate it. It hurts. And it's really uncomfortable. And you never want to do it. And especially, like, the moment when you're standing there half naked next to the cold, waiting to get in. It sucks. Okay? And that feeling never goes away. But if it was easy, I don't think the payoff would be as high.

And even if you're in there for just 30 seconds, as soon as you get out, you're on top of the world. Like, you feel great. And it pairs like turkey and cranberries with things like breath work and a sauna practice and a workout and so Nearly 365 days a year i'm in a cold pool or a cold tub Or a river or a lake or an ocean or taking a cold shower and not that I think this is like the best goal for everybody, but I maintain about 6 8 percent body fat year round, and it's not because I diet, I eat like a horse, I eat like 4, 000 calories a day, but a big part of that is due to the fact that my metabolism is screaming high because nearly every day of the year, in a fasted state, I get myself cold.

Even if it's just for like one or two minutes, sometimes it's a little longer, but cold is amazing for metabolism and for body composition as well. 

[00:38:49] Hala Taha: And would you say that we should get cold in the morning or the night or both? Does it matter? 

[00:38:54] Ben Greenfield: Well, if you wake up fasted and you do some type of a cold therapy session, Your body will burn fat to generate heat.

And so doing some type of like a fasted morning, cold showers, a matter of fact, in boundless, I talk about my stripes, stroll, shiver strategy, or if you want to lose fat really fast, you get up in the morning in a fasted state. You do 20 to 40 minutes of aerobic conversational cardio. It's like a walk in the sunshine or walk in the dog or ride your bike to the coffee shop or whatever.

And then you finish. With one to five minutes of cold and that mobilizes fat like crazy But morning cold is good also because it gives you that endorphin release it has a little bit of a stress resilience promoting effect where What I mean by is like hard things feel easier after you've been in the cold very similar to how a morning workout can help With stress later on in the day Now, you know, I talk a lot about sleep hygiene in the book, and there are different components of sleep hygiene.

Like, you want a dark room, and you don't want your body to associate the bed with stress or work. So you don't work on your laptop in bed, you don't keep business books by the bedside. You want a silent room, meaning, you know, wax earplugs or slip in earplugs or some type of ambient sound like white noise.

And then you want a cold room, because the body heals better at night when you sleep. You sleep more deeply when you're not hot. This is why you should avoid a hard workout or a heavier spicy meal about three hours prior to bedtime. This is why a lot of people use like the eight sleep or the chilly pad to keep their bodies cool while they're asleep.

Whenever I check into a hotel room or in my house, I'm selecting anywhere from 64 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit for the ambient sleeping temperature. There's even hacks like you can wear wool socks when you go to bed and that paradoxically cools the rest of the body. I talk about a lot of these cooling strategies in the book, but interestingly, it turns out that in the evening, Like a slightly cold or lukewarm shower is best because if you do a really cold soak or cryotherapy chamber, even though it'll make you cold, the endorphin release that you get from that, the excitatory neurotransmitter release will paradoxically promote wakefulness.

And so it's like really cold in the morning is better and then kind of sort of cold in the evening is better. And there's no reason you couldn't do both. Like a lot of times since. I'm playing tennis or pickleball or, or doing something fun with my kids in the evening before dinner, a lot of times, like right before dinner, I'm just getting into a lukewarm shower or even jumping into the hot tub and letting the ambient air cool me off, which kind of cools you a little bit, but in the evening I'll do like kind of cold and in the morning, really cold and the general rule for sleeping temperature is that like when you get into bed or you take off your clothes to get in the bed, yeah.

You want to feel like a mild cognitive resistance because it's just a little bit cold, but it's not freezing shivering cold. It's just like, okay, this is going to take me a few minutes to warm up or snuggle up with my husband or wife or lay in bed and get warmed up a little bit. But if you're like shivering, hyper cold, that's too much physiological excitement before bed.

So it just kind of depends on how cold we're talking. 

[00:42:11] Hala Taha: Yeah, and it probably also depends like if you run really like I know women run really cold So I feel like my cold going to bed is probably warmer than your your cold going to bed, you 

[00:42:20] Ben Greenfield: know Not my wife. My wife's a freaking furnace. She's so hot like a lot of times like i'll get Sometimes i'm cold i'll snuggle up to her and i'll just be like warm within a couple of minutes But yeah, you're right in general women tend to sometimes have A little bit lower thyroid activity.

I actually interviewed this doctor. She's called the thyroid fixer doctor on my podcast. I, this is fresh in my mind. Cause that podcast came out like three days ago. Her name's Dr. Amy Horniman. And she talked about this little known molecule called T2. It's like a, it's not what you find in thyroid medications.

It's different. She has a supplement. I think it's called thyroid fixer that has it in there. But if you're a woman and you run cold, you should get your thyroid values checked. And if it's low, it appears out of all the different ways to fix it. That T2, which kind of flies under the radar and not a lot of people know about is a really good way to naturally restore thyroid activity without having to take like a medication.

[00:43:16] Hala Taha: Mm. I have to look into that. Okay, one more question on biohacking stuff and then we're going to get into boundless parenting. So you mentioned breathing before, and oxygen is really important to humans, but one of the counterintuitive things that I learned from you is that carbon dioxide can actually be a good thing when it comes to healthy breathing.

So talk to us about CO2 levels, mouth taping, uh, different breathing techniques. 

[00:43:40] Ben Greenfield: Yeah. Yeah. It's so true. What you say down to the point where there's a certain. Carbon dioxide inhalation apparatus called a carbogen that they'll use in people who have high amounts of stress or depression because it appears that breathing in carbon dioxide or having naturally elevated levels of carbon dioxide is helpful for a wide range of mental functions and psychological states and also induces a little bit of stress resilience.

Now, there's a law of diminishing returns, like a lot of people who eat a very acidic diet, way too many inflammatory foods, etc., or even just exercise have produced too much lactic acid from excessive hard exercise. They produce a lot of CO2, like too much CO2, and that can tend to cause a little bit of an acidic state in the body.

But at the same time, if you look at breathwork, most forms of breathwork, one of the reasons they work so well is you're getting high levels of CO2 and high levels of oxygen simultaneously and kind of dropping back and forth between them. But you know, if you look at a Wim Hof protocol or Pranayama breathwork, Or any of these popular forms of excitatory breathwork.

In many cases, you're retaining CO2 and oxygen simultaneously. And the high amounts of CO2 can actually help with the oxygen delivery to your tissue. So you almost reach this hyper oxygenated state. There's a lot of breathwork apps out there that can assist with this. Two of my favorites, there's one called Othership.

It's fantastic. It's got like 2 minute sessions, 5 minute sessions. All the way to like super deep, like call it tropic, get high on your own supply type of like 90 minute breathwork sessions. There's some couple sessions in there. You know, my wife and I will sometimes do a breathwork session. It's almost like foreplay.

You can do a 20 or 30 minute breathwork session as a couple where, you know, I'm breathing into her, she's breathing into me and you can like sit cross legged in bed and it's this entire choreographed breath routine and music I've done breathwork for free diving and spearfishing and. You know, Wim Hof style cold exposure with my sons who are 15 now, who I've had in breathwork since they were six years old, just because it's such a good way to know how to control your body's stress response and create nervous system resilience.

And then another form of breathwork that's really good is there's another app called the breath source and the breath source lets you choose from like different instructors whose courses you're going to take or whose breathwork sessions that you want to follow.I am actually a featured instructor in that app.

And I've got 10 different breathwork sessions and mine are very religious or spiritual in nature, meaning it's like the Jesus prayer or focusing on certain passages of like the Bible as you breathe through a really hardcore routine. And so for people who want, you know, like that morning spiritual routine, that's another example of breathwork.

That you can use for that. And then back to the biohacking thing. If you want to get super crazy, there's this machine that I love. It's called the brain tap and it's a light and sound stimulation machine. And I'm one of those guys who's like not hypnotizable. I've never have been, but this is the one thing that will get me into a deep hypnotic trance.

And there's like 300 different tracks on there for relaxation, for focus, for pain relief. But some of them are breath work. And when you pair the breath work sessions. In that machine to the light and the sound stimulation I mean, I know a lot of people into plant medicine these days, you know, psilocybin lsd ayahuasca, whatever the thing is you got to recover from that type of stuff like it kind of drains the body and you got to replenish with sammy and glutathione and you know dedicate days to it this is like Oh, at lunch, you know, in the middle of the day, you can really flip it on and get into that same state and then out of that state with just like the flip of a switch, listening to sounds.

And then for some of the sessions doing the breath work that's associated with the track that you're doing. So the brain tap is super cool. For kind of like biohacking breathwork. 

 So cool. I feel like I need to listen to this again and again, and just like get all the little nuggets that you're sharing.

[00:47:59] Hala Taha: You're giving us so much insight. So let's move on to your latest book. It's called Boundless Parenting. First off, what does this boundless parenting mean? Why the title? 

[00:48:08] Ben Greenfield: Well, it's kind of like my shtick. It's my, my brand. So I have. The Boundless biohacking book. I have the Boundless cookbook. Boundless Kitchen is coming out soon.

And then there's Boundless Parenting. And Boundless Parenting was my design. I've been asked for a long time to write a parenting book. And I was kind of self conscious about it because I'm not a proven model. I've got 15 year old sons. 

And, um, you know, who's to say they're not going to wind up in prison or three years, or I'm going to try to be parental failure or whatever. Like there are certain things I know about, like how to form a legacy and a constitution and how to set up the insurance policies for the family and create the family mission statement and the family values and key educational concepts and, you know, the comings and goings and traditions that you create around Christmas and Thanksgiving and when a child is eight and 12 and 15 and how to set up rites of passages, you know, and all these things that I talk about.

In my chapter of the book, and that my wife talks about in her chapter of the book. But at the same time, I know a lot of really fantastic entrepreneurs and people have amazing children who have already grown up and started super impactful businesses and trusts and foundations of their own. So I kind of use the Tim Ferriss tools of Titans or tribe of mentors type of approach where I found the most amazing parents on the planet who I actually know and who I've conversed with and whose children I've hung out with.

And I sent them each the same list of 32 questions, like what keeps you awake at night when it comes to parenting or what were the foundational educational principles via which you educated your children? Or did you ever worry that your children were going to be weird based on your unique role as a parent entrepreneur?

And how did you deal with that? And so I got about 30 or so parents to reply and create this anthology of about 700 pages of deep parenting wisdom. Also had them record their audio of the chapter. So the audio book, super interactive and fun, but there were repeated themes that came up throughout that book that were really interesting based on each parent's response to the same set of 32 questions.

Like for example, nearly every parent interview is freaky. Nearly every parent interviewed had some semblance of the phrase. More is caught than taught, meaning you can talk to your kids till they're blue in the face about screen time or about drugs or about alcohol or about relationships or about working out or anything.

But if they don't see you mirroring and living out what it is that you're telling to them, it will fall on deaf ears. So more is caught than taught. Like, you know, for example, if I tell my kids that digital screen time is not conducive to the same type of deep relationship building as analog face to face interactions but then i've got like my phone hidden by my chair at the dinner table and like Five times during dinner i'm checking it or there's like a ding or i'm like wait There's this one thing like this one email i'm expecting you guys just hang on.

I gotta check this real quick This is important for work a not only are your kids gonna see that and simulate it but b You're not just teaching your children, you're teaching your children's children. This is another concept that came up repeatedly in the book from parents. And so just imagine by that little action that you're taking each night of making your phone a priority over family, or at least giving the perception that there's something really important on your phone that cannot wait till after dinner, you're basically creating about 100 great grandchildren who are all going to be hanging out on their phone during dinner.

Not talking with people, not engaging in eye to eye interaction, getting the type of leaky gut syndrome and poor nutrient absorption that occurs when you're interacting with technology at the same time that you're feeding yourself. And it's not just like you checking the phone at dinner and justifying that to yourself because it's important.

It's literally you equipping generations after you to be addicted to their phone during the time that they could be most connected to family, like during family dinners. Which is also important because that's another common theme nearly every parent who had a really deep connected Thriving family prioritized family dinners in some cases to the point We're like their kids didn't play certain sports or do certain activities because it was more important For the family to be together and thriving and connected at the end of the day Compared to having the traditional american family or westernized family where everybody's spread to the four corners of the planet all day They're like ships passing in the night and there is Nothing like what, for example, we have in our home, which is a morning family huddle, and then in the evening at 7pm, we all gather and we make dinner together and play board games and card games and play music and have bedtime rituals.

And we have this complete, amazingly connected family unit who's happy, who's laughing, who's thriving. And it's literally just me and my wife and our sons. And every night at our house is like a fricking party. We're playing backyard games and card games and board games and cooking and singing. And so you see elements that are common threads within the book, like more is caught than taught.

You're not just teaching your children, you're teaching your children's children and beyond. Family dinners and family traditions and having family touch points that are systematized and calendared and scheduled in both the morning and the evening are really important. And then probably if I could name one other common thread, Most of the parents have some sort of unique take on education, and it doesn't mean that they all homeschooled or unschooled or private school their kids, but even the ones who had their kids at a public school at a public institution, there's like three different parents who said they would just go and pull their kids from school to go travel the world at random intervals throughout the year.

The teachers and the school system were not in charge. The parents knew that they were in charge They called the shots and yeah, even though they outsourced much of the education to a public institution They were still very active as parents and considered their role as parents to still be educators.

Who's the guy who runs the domino project seth godin? I really like his take on this I think I heard him say during a ted talk or something like that Like even if your kids are going to a private or public school Your job as a parent to de educate slash educate school slash unschool them starts the minute they walk in the door.

So that means that what they learn about the world, their worldview, their habits, their rituals, their routine, business entrepreneurship, those lessons are going to be far more valuable attained from you than they are from the standard education model, which is basically fabricated from, you know, a German industrial model of making factory workers.

Who all learn at the same pace, put round pegs and round holes, square pegs and square holes, learn to memorize rote facts and pass tests and do homework. Whereas the worker of the future, the impactful human being of the future needs to be able to creatively adapt on the fly to their position being constantly replaced by autonomous work and AI and robots.

They need to be someone who's able to write effectively, express thoughts effectively, create engineering prompts for AI effectively, and engage in a lot of creative left and right hemispheric thinking patterns that are far different than the left brain shipped memorization and almost like walk in a straight line, follow the rules, paint inside the boundaries type of rules that kids tend to be.

I don't want to use a strong word as indoctrinated, but they tend to be very, very saturated in those principles and traditional school setting. Whereas you want a free thinking, free spirited, young, creative, resilient individual who is able to look at a problem and tackle it without being able to Google it or look at the workbook or look at the manual.

And instead he used to think on their own two feet and think creatively. And most of the parents in the book were creating children like that based on. educational principles that put their children in situations where they needed to think resiliently and creatively on the fly. And a perfect example is that's like travel, like traveling the world or traveling the country or traveling the state or the city with a child is a perfect way to create that kind of resiliency.

And so 

[00:56:34] Hala Taha: as you're talking about children and education, I learned that you actually didn't homeschool your kids from the start. And you talked about this term unschooling a bunch of times. During this interview. So what is unschooling and why did you decide to eventually homeschool your kids? 

[00:56:51] Ben Greenfield: Yeah, I homeschooled my kids traditionally using like traditional curriculum up until second grade and Then I started to slip into this mindset of thinking well This is not systematized as well as it should be My wife's kind of dyslexic.

She doesn't have the heart of a teacher I've got a lot of stuff I need to be doing during the day that dictates that I can't be sitting around You know immersed in books with them all day Which was my initial impression of what homeschooling was supposed to be. So in second grade, I put them into a really good private school, you know, like the school that all the rich kids go to and the super smart, geeky kids and the sons and daughters of the local Microsoft employees and whatever.

So it must be a good school. Right. And during the three years they were in that school up until fifth grade, not only did I, through my podcast and through a lot of reading. Learn a lot about the way the educational system is currently built to create the type of scenario I just described kids who really can't think on their own two feet or solve problems on their own And who primarily just like are able to memorize facts tests and do homework, but I also discovered that the amount of peer pressure bullying inability to be their authentic true self and Loads of homework that isn't necessarily related to their passions interests and desires Dictates that at about the age of 13, the social enjoyment that kids derive from school begins to be outweighed and outpaced by the dissatisfaction from homework, bullying, forced inauthenticity, and lack of time to be able to delve into things that the kids are really passionate about.

And so when my sons were in fifth grade at 11 years old. I took them out to dinner and I said look you guys don't have to go back to sixth grade Here's what i'll do you tell me and we'll figure this out over the next month The things that you're really truly passionate that you care about which for them is like writing fiction Reading, painting, making art, designing card games and board games.

And we have a father son gaming company now called fried pickle games, where we do this plant foraging, wilderness survival, animal tracking, bird language, tennis, jujitsu, right? There's all these things that they love that they just weren't able to do. Cause they were fricking sitting there like learning math tables and.

Memorizing facts and doing homework. And so I said, look, I don't want to force this on you guys. It's your choice. I want you to be self actualized individuals, but I will, if you tell me your passions and interests and desires surround you with as many activities and experiences and travel and tools and games.

And tutors and, you know, online classes and everything you need to pursue the things that you're really passionate about and interested in and have a deep desire to learn. And then you don't have to go to school, like your schooling will be life. And you know what their number one, number one question, number one concern was even right there at dinner that night?

[01:00:04] Hala Taha: Maybe that they wouldn't have friends. 

[01:00:06] Ben Greenfield: Yeah, but dad, what about my friends? What about my friends? And look. If you think about it, it's pretty silly that we've decided as a society that the only way for a child to be with friends or make friends is for you to dress them up and send them off to an institution each day where, yeah, they're going to be with friends, but they're also going to be in a learning environment that is Potentially completely opposite to what it is that they're truly passionate about, or even your own values as a family or as a parent, uh, not to mention the bullying, the peer pressure, et cetera.

So they took me up on the idea and. Their days are freaking magical now. They're they're off playing. I think they just left mom to go play tennis. They're outside most of the day They're they're cooking, you know, they ran their own podcast and cooking channel as soon as they got out of school They they started up a podcast and a cooking channel and we're doing restaurant reviews and interviews with chefs You know, they've both written since I took them out of school both of them have written two fantasy fiction novels They are now co ceos of a father son Card game and board game company.

They're in their sixth year of wilderness survival. They're like advanced wilderness survival experts. Now one is studying bird language, you know, animal tracking. I mean, they can literally get dropped in a helicopter in the middle of nowhere and survive. Uh, you know, they bow hunt, they field dress, they, they cook amazing luxury meals and all of that is because we decided, you know what, they should be immersed in things that they're passionate about.

And yes, there are certain things. That a young human being may not be passionate about that they may not know is going to serve them later on in life that I think you still want to go out of your way to immerse them in like this would come down to basically the idea of a classical education or even Neval Ravikant in the Almanac of Neval talks about this like every human being is poised to thrive in just about any working or life environment if they have a good working knowledge of and understanding of math and how to work with figures.

Thank you. Reading, and being able to digest information at a pretty rapid pace. Writing, being able to clearly express one's thoughts, preferably in long form, not necessarily just tweets and emoticons and TikTok. Logic or computer programming, which for us is game design and gameplay. Fantastic way to teach logic flow and programming sequences through game design and gameplay.

And then rhetoric or speaking. And so both of my sons are in speech and debate. We have a lot of rhetoric games around the table. Uh, we do a lot of arguing in our family, which is fantastic. I take them through a chapter of a book every day. And many of our books are based on, uh, rhetoric, apologetics, speaking, etc.

So math, reading, writing. Programming or logic and rhetoric or persuasion. We're also going through Chris Voss is a book on negotiation right now. For example, if you can equip your child with those five skills and then unleash them to at that point, pursue all the other things they're passionate about.

That's basically the definition of unschooling and based on what's called the cone of learning the best way for a child to learn their passions and interests and desires. Is not necessarily books, it's documentaries, it's life experiences, it's conversations, it's field trips, it's travel, it's museums. So we don't avoid books, but books are just one small part of their curriculum and their education.

And so that's unschooling. Yeah, they're not in prison yet. It seems to be working out okay. They're happy. They're self actualized and uh, they're, they're loving life, but they're, they're also learning. And um, they're fantastic. Boys, I'm biased, but I think they're fantastic. 

[01:03:53] Hala Taha: Yeah. I mean, it seems like you've done a great job.

They've already accomplished a lot of things and they're only 15 years old My last question for a boundless parenting is really about these routines and traditions that you were talking about. You brought up a family constitution a bunch of times that I'd love for you just walk us through what that is, what we should put in it.

And then of course, I highly recommend that everybody go grab Boundless Parenting if you have kids. 

[01:04:19] Ben Greenfield: Yeah, I detail this heavily in Boundless Parenting, but we worked with a company called Legato Family Foundation to learn legacy building for the family. And then we also work with a foundation called Way to Wealth as our family office and family bankers.

And so the family constitution is a living document that starts off with our family values and our family mission statement Think of this the same way as you would build a business branding document you want the business values the business mission statement and then From there as a matter of fact the guy who runs the legato family foundation rich christiansen who's in my book He started off as a business branding expert and realized that families needed to be branded with documentation and playbooks Very similar to businesses Not in a cold, heartless way, but in a way that allows for traditions and legacies to be passed on and for elements of what the family holds dear to be visualized and systematized.

So, from the values in the mission statement, which we spent several days talking about and forming as a family, as a unit, we then went on to create the family crest. Each family member has our own logo. We have our family Spirit animals we have our traditions. Here's everything down to like here's what we do for thanksgiving Here's the meal we have together on christmas eve.

Here's the movies we watch on christmas eve while we have that meal Here's when the boys have their rite of passage into the wilderness Here's when they have their rite of passage into adulthood Here's the age at which we have the birds and the bees sex talk. Here's when the kids go on their first, uh, service trip to go help someone in another country.

Like everything is laid out all the way down to, you know, here's how we start up. Whole life insurance policy with paid up additions for each child. Here's the numbers for all the family bankers. Here is each. I mean, our kids have their obituaries written, their end of life planning, their memorial service plan.

Like that's all in the book. So everything is in there. I mean, I'm standing outside my house right now there's our family flag on the front door. My wife is the seed. My son, River is the water. My son, Taryn is the leaf. On the tree, if I go inside, you know, hanging above the fireplace right here is the green filled family crest.

See, you can see the family crest. It's even got the family logo in the middle of it with the tree and the water and the leaf and the seed. Same as the family flag. It's got everything we hold dear as a family. And I mean, the family logo is on my computer. It's kind of cool because once you have a family logo.

You can put it on all sorts of different stuff. Like if I go out on the back patio, see the throw pillows, those have the family logo on them. We have the family pepper grinder with the family logo on the pepper grinder all the way down to here's my I'll show you my favorite. Check this out. The family pickleball paddles with the family logo on the pickleball paddles.

So it's kind of cool because it creates a real good sense of identity and belonging for the kids in the family. It allows you to teach your children and keep top of mind what it is that your family holds dear. Like my wife made this. This is the family mission statement. The same that's in the family constitution.

But it's just like handwritten on the wall. And so it essentially, just like a business kind of systematizes and organizes the concept of having a family goal, family values, a family mission statement, like a playbook for how a greenfield family goes. And so when my sons are married, they'll get that playbook.

They'll be able to use this stuff for their family. They'll be able to pass it on to their family. I mean, that crest I showed you even has little hidden logos in the stone. So every time a new grandchild. Her great grandchild is added to the family. Their logo gets embedded in that stone to be able to just continue to build this deep sense of legacy so that, and I think this is probably the most important part you don't as a family create a rags to riches to rags scenario.

Where generational wealth is created and then it's wasted by the next line down. Because. That second generation didn't have a deep sense of belonging and legacy and connection to what it is that the family is building, that the family holds dear, nor a sense of connection to the family wealth, the family bank, and the family legacy as a whole.


[01:08:48] Hala Taha: Ben, this conversation was so eye opening. I feel like you gave me so many ideas that I've just never heard before, and I'm sure it's the same for all of my listeners. So I end my show with two last questions that I ask all my guests. Um, that we do something fun with at the end of the year. So the first one is what is one actionable thing that our young improfiters can do today to become more profitable tomorrow?

And this can do with anything. It doesn't have to do with the topic of today's 

[01:09:13] Ben Greenfield: episode. One thing that you can do. I mean, I, I, I know I named a lot of stuff on this episode, but if I could throw one thing in there, I guess it would be this, and I realized this might isolate some people who might be listening.

Who aren't married, but my wife and I've been married for 22 years. And one of our keys to success is the very last thing we do at the very end of the day, as we hold each other in bed and we're falling asleep is we pray together. I think that's important because it's very difficult to do something sacred and spiritual like prayer at the end of the day, if there's anything between you, any inauthenticity, any lies, any lack of transparency, anything like that.

So I think one key to relationship success with the person who you love is every single day. Even if it's short, do something spiritual with that person, whether it's a prayer or gratitude journaling, or something that brings you together in a spiritual, sacred way. And so that's, that's what I recommend, and I'm sorry to all you single people out there.

I didn't give you a lick of advice just now. 

[01:10:16] Hala Taha: It's okay. And what is your secret to profiting in life? And this goes beyond just financial success. 

[01:10:23] Ben Greenfield: Yeah. I mean, obviously the order of priority, God, family, health, and business is important. But I think that um the energy that you give and the extent to which you serve the world comes back to you I have this journal I created called the spiritual disciplines journal and there's a question at the beginning of the day And the question is this who is one person who I can pray for or help or serve this day?

Who is one person I can pray for or help or serve this day? And that act of your beginning of the day affirmation not being about you not being i'm good. I'm great I'm, wonderful and gosh darn it people like me It's instead speaking into what you can do for the rest of the world. And if you serve other people and you systematize the process of serving other people, and that might be a phone call, it might be going out of your way to help that person.

It might be text messaging them. It might be sending them a nice note, whatever the case may be. That one act of service every single day will be something that you give that comes back to you tenfold. The rest of your life. So I would say the beginning every single day by planning an active service for that day is one of the best ways that you can create a profitable and fulfilling life.

I totally agree. 

[01:11:32] Hala Taha: That's a great piece of advice. And where can everybody learn from you and everything 

[01:11:37] Ben Greenfield: that you do? Ben Greenfield life. com is my website. I got a podcast there. I got my articles there. You can find my books. So. That's usually the best place. And on social media, I'm not hard to find, but I don't even remember what my handles are.

So I'm sure you can hunt me down though. I'll 

[01:11:52] Hala Taha: put it down in the show notes for everybody and make it super easy. Ben, thank you so much for your time today. It was awesome. I really appreciate you. 

[01:12:00] Ben Greenfield: Cool. Thanks, Holla. I appreciate you too.

[01:12:02] Hala Taha: Man, this interview with Ben Greenfield was epic. First of all, I've never done an interview where somebody was walking outside the whole time. So that was a totally new type of energy and I loved it. And I enjoyed his definition of biohacking and how it involves using science, technology and other tools to enhance human biology.

And also his approach to doing this. It involves state of the art technology like infrared saunas, but then it's also just as simple as taking off your shoes and socks and walking around barefoot outdoors while soaking up some sun. I really need to get out of the city more. And apparently I really need to put my feet on the earth more often and I never even knew that was a thing.

I love thinking about my mind and body as batteries that can be charged up by doing these types of simple activities. And I found it so encouraging how Ben said that it's never too late to get started and we shouldn't beat ourselves up about it or feel guilty if we haven't started. But we do have to have a mindset shift so that we can prioritize our own health as much as our work and other aspects of our lives.

As Ben put it, when it comes down to it, you can make money, but you can't make time and you can't make health. Finally, here are a few of my favorite biohacks that Ben mentioned in our conversation. First, if you want to recover from a tiring airline experience, go outside and walk around barefoot once you've reached your destination.

Another cool travel tip, give yourself an extra cold shower at your hotel by filling that ice bucket up and taking it into the shower with you. And if you can stand that, try working in cold showers into all of your morning routines. There's few better ways to burn fat than exposing your body to the cold in the morning when it hasn't yet eaten.

And after that, get out and do a 20 minute walk, go to the coffee shop, take your dog around the block. It's a great way to start the day and get some sun. And lastly, for you parents out there, remember what Ben said, that more is caught than taught. If you want your kids to do things like look at their screens less, start so by doing that yourself.

But before you do any of that, be sure to drop us a five star review on Apple Podcasts if you haven't already. This is vital to our own health as a podcast. There's no charge for this podcast, no subscription fee, and we'd love to hear what you like most about the show and what you want to hear more of.

And if you do listen, learn, and profit from great conversations on Yap, like this one with Ben Greenfield, then please don't just stop at a five star review. Please share this podcast by word of mouth with your friends, your family, your colleagues, and even your competitors, if you're feeling generous.

Thanks again for listening to Young and Profiting podcast. You guys can find me on Instagram at Yap with Hala or LinkedIn by searching my name, Hala Taha. Finally, I did want to shout out my amazing production team at Young and Profiting. I couldn't do this without you guys. My executive producer, Jason, Amelia, our assistant producer for Khan and Hashem for supporting our guest outreach, Bretta and Sean for supporting research, Kriti, Ashutosh, Ambika and Garima for helping us with ad ops.

You guys are awesome. I have such an amazing big team and that's just the team that works on my podcast. I love everybody at Yap Media on the social side, on the network side. Thank you so much for your hard work. This is your host, Hala Taha, signing off. 

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