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The fundamental question of “what should we do with our lives and why?” is an interesting one. With life being finite, I’ve long been fascinated with how to make the most of my time. How can we create more satisfying, meaningful, and fulfilling lives? What types of goals should we aim to achieve? Taking care of our bodies and minds through fitness is one avenue, but there’s more to life than muscles. And so I’m excited to share today’s podcast, which is an interview I recorded with Ben Nemtin all about this topic. 

In case you’re not familiar with Ben, he’s the #1 New York Times best-selling author of What Do You Want To Do Before You Die? and his new book, The Bucket List Journal, is a practical guidebook for turning your goals and dreams into reality. He’s also the co-founder of The Buried Life movement, and is recognized as one of the World’s Best Motivational Speakers, having delivered over 500 keynotes to brands and Fortune 500 companies around the globe. His work has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, CNN, NBC, FOX, ABC, CBS, and more.

In our discussion, Ben and I chat about . . .

  • The value of surrounding yourself with people who inspire you
  • What a “buried life” is and the importance of living authentically to yourself
  • The power of putting your desires on paper
  • The primary reasons people don’t pursue their personal goals
  • Ways to create accountability and how to overcoming fear
  • Using mortality to think about life and motivate yourself
  • The importance of friends and staying in touch with loved ones
  • How to take care of your mental health
  • How to live without regret
  • And more . . .

So, if you’re curious about how to foster a more meaningful, satisfying, and fulfilling life, listen to this podcast and let me know what you think!


0:00 – Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching:

5:05 – Why did you write this book? 

13:02 – What did you learn about yourself through this journey? 

15:52 – How do you make time to enjoy your hobbies when you’re trapped in the day-to-day of life? 

23:49 – How do you overcome fears? 

31:05 – What do you think of the perspective of looking at failures as lessons as oppose to defeat? 

37:18 – What is your advice to people who get overwhelmed about future goals? 

41:39 – Are there experiences that stand out that were surprisingly meaningful? 

48:49 – What is the mental health tool kit? 

58:32 – What meaningful experiences changed your life? 

1:08:55 – Where can people find you and your work? 

Mentioned on the Show:

Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching:

The Bucket List Journal –

Ben’s Instagram:

Ben’s website:

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Mike: Hello again. If you are a returning listener, if this is your first time here, hello for the first time. I’m Mike Matthews. This is Muscle for Life. Thank you for joining me today to talk about what we should do with our lives and why. How should we spend our time? What type of life should we try to create for ourselves?

What are we going to find satisfying and meaningful and fulfill? What types of goals should we aim for and to talk about these things? I invited Ben Netton onto the show and he is a number one New York Times bestselling author of What Do You Want to Do Before You Die? And he also has a new book out called The Bucket List Journal, which is a practical guidebook for turning your goals and dreams into reality.

Ben is also the co-founder of the Buried Life Movement and is recognized as one of the world’s best motivational speakers having delivered over 500 keynotes to brands and Fortune 500 companies around the world. And in our discussion, Ben and I talk about the value of surrounding yourself with people who inspire you, what he means by a buried life, and the importance of living authentically for yourself.

And to yourself. Ben talks about the power of putting your desires on paper, actually writing down what you want and what you want to do. He shares effective ways to create accountability and overcome fear and more before we wade into it. Do you want to transform your body but you just can’t seem to break out of the rut?

Have you read books and articles, watched videos, listened to podcasts, but still just aren’t sure exactly how to put all the pieces together for you? Or maybe you know what to do, but you’re still struggling to stay motivated and on track and do the things that you know you. Do well if you are nodding your head.

I understand getting into great shape is pretty straightforward when you know what to do, but it’s not easy. It takes time, it takes effort, it takes grit, and that’s why I created my vi i p one-on-one coaching service. We take people by the hand and we give them everything they need to build their best body ever.

We give them a custom diet plan, training plan, supplementation plan. If they want supplements. You don’t have to take supplements. We coach them on how to do every exercise correctly. We give them emotional encouragement and support, accountability, and the rest of it. And we are pretty good at it too. We have worked with thousands of men and women of all ages and abilities and lifestyles and help them build a body they can be proud of.

And guess what? We can probably do the same for you. Our service is not for everyone. But if you wanna find out if it is right for you, if there is a fit, head on over to Muscle For That is Muscle F or and book your free consultation. Call now. Hey Ben, thanks for taking the time to come and chat with me and my lovely listeners, 

Ben: Amanda.

Thanks Mike. I’m. 

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. Same. This is a discussion that I’ve been looking forward to a mutual acquaintance of ours, Alex put us in touch and I, I mostly talk about fitness stuff here in the podcast, and so I enjoy going a little bit off script now and then when I think it’s worthwhile not just for me but for for my listeners and the topic of goal achievement and just maybe a little bit more broader of what should we do with our lives?

What type of goals should we have and why? And is always something that resonates with me personally and with. A lot of my listeners, because a lot of them are like me in that I, we have other things outside of our fitness that we care about. Fitness is important, but it’s not everything.

A lot of us have families and have businesses and jobs and would like to have fulfilling, satisfying, meaningful life. And that requires more than money and muscles, unfortunately, if it were only that simple. So I’ve been looking forward to this discussion with you and I thought where we might start is a question for you, this broad topic I guess that I just outlined.

You also, you have a book about bucket listing essentially. I haven’t read the book so I’m probably oversimplifying it, but I know that your first bestselling book was on that topic, right? And now you have a new book out, the Bucket List Journal and what drew you to this? And the reason I ask that is, for so long now, people have been.

Talking about this and writing about this and as a writer, I don’t know about you, but when I’m thinking about what do I want my next project to be, I have to find something that I really am interested in. It’s not very fun to, even if something makes sense on paper, so to speak, to just slog through it, it needs to be something where I’m like, I think I can do something a little bit different.

Maybe I can’t come up with any quote unquote new ideas, cuz what ideas are really new in the grand scheme of things. But maybe I can come up with kind of a new way to put things together for the readership. How did that work? For you with this 

Ben: topic? I think it was really came out of the simple fact that this whole idea completely changed my life unexpectedly.

I didn’t expect to be a writer. I didn’t expect to be doing what I’m doing right now. In fact, when this whole thing started, I was in a very bad place. I was actually pretty depressed. I was in university. I grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, and Canada. I was playing pretty high level rugby. I was on the under 19 national rugby team and rugby where I grew up.

Was this like football in the south? It’s just a big sport in the west coast of Canada. And I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed athletically and academically. I had an academic scholarship to university and this pressure that I put on myself as we were training for the World Cup, which was in Paris, France, it just caught up to me.

And I played the fly half position, which is like the quarterback and the field goal kicker in one. It’s just like a very high pressure position. And I started worrying about, what if I miss an easy field goal at the World Cup? And I had missed a big kick in our championship game at the end of our high school season.

And so I was like, Damnit, that can’t happen again. PTSD, . Exactly. And it, and that’s exactly what it was. I would, so I would worry about it at night, And when I was trying to go to sleep and this anxiety caused me to have trouble sleeping. And I, and ultimately this constant pressure that I put on myself, this anxiety this lack of sleep, it all contributed to me sliding into a depression.

And I’d never experienced anything like this before in my life. I was always happy go lucky. I had a, high energy group of friends, a type, and a great family support system. But all of a sudden I, I couldn’t go to school and then I, and I couldn’t go to rugby practice and I got, I was shut into my parents’ house.

I couldn’t leave the house. And so I dropped outta school, got dropped from the national rugby team, couldn’t leave the house. And ultimately I was crippled by this. And it was actually my friends that ultimately pulled me outta the house to come work with them in a new town for the summer. And I started to meet new types of people and I started to meet these kids that had already traveled or they’d started businesses.

And I realized that these kids I was meeting gave me energy. They inspired me and I start to understand that some people gave me energy and some people drew energy from me. And I realized that I needed to be around people that gave me energy. So I made this conscious decision after that summer away.

And as I was starting to feel back to myself, I think it’s important to note that it wasn’t just that led me to coming out of this depression. I started talking about what was going through as well to a therapist. I realized that I wasn’t the only one that was experienced this, I, got a job.

So I started feeling some confidence and we can talk about some different things that I’ve learned over the past to to battle the dips, But, What was really important was I made this conscious decision to surround myself with people that inspired me and that ultimately would completely change my life because I came back home and I thought about this kid from high school that made movies and I thought, That’s who I wanna hang out with, that I wanna make a movie.

And so I called him up and we started talking about this idea of making a film. Everything we wanted to do before we died. And then we would also help other people achieve their dreams. And we’d go on a road trip and we’d tackle our bucket list and we’d help other people achieve their dreams. And we’d make a short video and we’d show it to our friends.

So we gathered to other buddies and we bake, borrowed and stole to get this road trip off the ground. We got a secondhand camera on eBay. We got a board, an rv. We started throwing parties as fundraisers to pay for gas. And in 2006, we hit the road for a two week road trip to go after our bucket list and help other people.

And what was unexpected was that people heard about it and they wanted to help. So random strangers would send us email saying, I saw your bucket list online. I saw you wanna ride a bull? My, my friend has a bull ranch. He can get you on a bowl or, I saw you wanted to make a toast at a stranger’s wedding.

My best friend’s getting married. I’m the best man I can get you in . And then people, they sent us their dreams asking for our help. So we got all of these dreams coming in, people saying, Can you help me do this? Can you help me do that? And we were like, Wow, this is crazy. We gotta keep doing this.

So we did it again the next summer. And so this two week road trip, it ended up lasting 10, 15 years . And the list items that we thought were completely impossible because when we wrote our list, we just pretended we had $10 million and we pretended we could do anything. So we had big list items. So these big list items like make a TV show, be interviewed by Oprah, play basketball with Obama, have a beer with Prince Harry.

Write in New York Times bestselling book. Slowly they all started to fall off the list. And then we realized that helping other people achieve their dreams was even more fulfilling than doing those big ticket list items. And so this whole. bucket list journey. Ultimately, not the full reason, but one of the reasons I got depressed was I was living the high school dream, but it wasn’t my dream.

And I was living this, going down this path that I thought I wanted for myself or what was expected of me. And what the bucket list did was it forced me to actually write down what was important to me, not other people. And this was my roadmap that I started to go down. And because we pretended that there were no rules and no limits, we didn’t limit ourselves and we surprised ourselves with what was possible.

And it was liberating to write down my dreams when we talked about it, which was there was like this fear of Oh, like what are people gonna think we’re doing this crazy thing? We’re trying to play basketball with Obama. You know what if we fail? But we were surprised by how people stepped up.

To help us. And so this whole journey realized, I realized that like this path was like me coming back to who I truly was. And then I started looking at the research and that most people, their biggest regret on their deathbed is not living for them. 76% of people on their death bed their number one regret is, I wish I li would’ve lived for me, not for other people.

And I realized, wait. This whole project that we started was actually inspired by a poem written over 150 years ago called The Buried Life. So The Buried Life is the name of our project, and it’s the name of a poem written by Matthew Arnold in 1852 and Matthew Arnold’s poem, which my buddy Johnny was assigned to an English class when we started this whole thing, talked about this exact same thing as well, which is that we have these things that we want to do.

And we get inspired to go after them, but the day to day varies them. And so it’s all about living your buried life. What I’ve stumbled into is really, this is the biggest problem on earth. And it’s been hundreds of years that people have been feeling this. This is the human condition, and it’s even more so now.

And I think this is what makes most people unhappy, that I’ve realized that there’s there’s a better. Life for all of us, and it’s not as hard as we think. And it starts with writing it down. And that’s why I think a bucket list is so important. What did you 

Mike: learn about yourself? What did you think maybe previously was important to you?

Or maybe you didn’t really thought about it, but you were pursuing your athletics in your academics, and then what did you conclude is actually important to you? Obviously playing sports is, I’m sure you still found it fun, but there was something that was missing with, what you were doing previously versus what you learned through this expedition or these expeditions.

Ben: I I started to learn what I, what actually gave me the energy that made me feel most alive. And so that’s what. Try and use as a marker of success is like how I feel and the, and how true to myself I am being there for how much energy I have when I’m doing something. So when I look back at high school, I realized that, I liked rugby, but I really was doing it to be cool, I was doing it because it was big sport and I didn’t love it.

And right now, for instance, like I fell in love with tennis and I wish I could play tennis every single day. Like I just I love it and maybe I didn’t like the pressure of the high level and maybe I would love rugby if I didn’t have to play it at the national level. And so I think I realized I put so much pressure on myself that squashed the actual joy of playing because all I was thinking about was perform.

And I think that I’ve experienced that a couple times in my life. When I think back to any type of dip that I’ve had emotionally, a lot of times it’s connected to the fact that I’m not being authentic to myself in a big part of my life. Whether that’s in my career and something that I’m doing most of my time, or whether that’s in a relationship that I’m in.

And when I course correct, that helps me emotionally and I start to get my energy back and I start to feel more like myself and I start to feel more alive. And I think that we all sometimes need a reminder to to do those things. Or we need to slow down to think about, okay, what is actually important to me?

Cuz it’s so easy to get swept up by the day to day. And so when you stop and reflect and put things on paper, it’s a powerful thing. And also when you identify, these are the things that are gonna bring me joy. These are the things that are gonna bring me happiness. And you create ways.

To build accountability around those things. So you actually are continually to do those things or drive towards that one thing that, that is really important to you, whether it’s big or small, right? That accountability is key. So those, you gotta build those structures around those things that are important to you and around your list.

Mike: And what are your thoughts about that in the context of the reality that that most of us are facing in that we’ve set up a life for ourselves that is demanding? I can speak to myself personally. I can relate to some of what you’re saying. I started in the the fitness racket with a book.

I wrote a book not because I didn’t even want to become a fitness guy, really. I just wanted to write, I liked writing. I’ve always liked writing. I actually was more interested in going off and writing fiction, but I was like, Oh, I’ve learned some stuff in fitness. And I also, similar to you, I have a story that people resonate with a fitness story journey, so to speak.

I’m just gonna write a book, kind of minimum viable product, maybe 50,000 words, and it’s just gonna be the book that I wish somebody would’ve given. When I was 18 and said, Just do this. Don’t bother with all the stuff you’re about to do for the next seven years. Just do this instead. And that book did really well.

And then I was like okay. That’s interesting. That’s a, I’ll follow that up. And I wrote another one and wrote another one. And if I fast forward to today, that’s still the work that I enjoy the most, but I don’t really quote unquote, get to do much of it these days because I also have this business that is growing.

And, again, no, no complaints. But my point was saying all that is if I think to somebody like me, and I know there are a lot of people listening who also have set up a life for themselves that demands a lot of time and a lot of attention, a lot of energy, but that, that they’re also succeeding at.

And in a way that almost makes it a little bit more of a trap because it’s easier just to keep doing what’s working and just to keep winning, even though that might not be as satisfying as maybe some other activity altogether. There’s always a little bit of satisfaction that comes with. More winning.

How would somebody go about maybe even setting up an experiment, so to speak, of what it could be like if they were doing something else? Or is it maybe try to have something else on the side? Many artists talk about that to always have some sort of hobby, some sort of creative activity that you do just because you enjoy it.

What are 

Ben: your thoughts? Something I struggle with as well, and and I think about it, I try to think about it a lot because I always want to do more and I think that we are, for the most part, we are conditioned to, to. Grow, right? And we’re always wanting to grow and build. And that is what we see around us, and we see that more is better.

And it’s, you will always want to make more money. You always want to grow and build your business or your career and what you want to do. And I think that it’s important for me to sometimes stop and think, Okay, is this what I really want? Do I actually want to do more? And maybe I do, but I, what I’ve realized at this moment is actually, I actually want the opposite right now.

I wanna simplify my life and I want to do less and my metric of success. Point in my life is, do I sleep throughout the night without waking up a lot? Because for me, I’m someone that worries. And when I’m not sleeping well, it’s because I’m thinking about something else that I’m worried about.

And so when I’m sleeping through the night, I’m not worried as, And so I try and look at what do I need to do during the day to sleep soundly. And that means taking time for things like playing tennis, playing spikeball, doing things with my friends, people that I, I love to be around, investing relationships that are important to me.

Doing some sort of like creative pursuit. So I think for me, first of all was the awareness of, okay, I’m conditioned to just go and do more. Is that what I actually want? Is that success for me? I know it’s success for a lot of people and I think it’s success, but is that what I really want?

And then if the answer is maybe. Not really yes, but there’s also other things that are important to me. It’s then defining what those other things are important to you. So what does your success look like? So for you it might be like, I love writing and I want to I wanna write another book, but I don’t have time.

Okay, how do you prioritize time for that thing that you know is important to you? And that’s where the accountability piece comes in. So what does that mean? That means talking about it, sharing with the people around you that this is something that’s important to you. Cuz by talking about it, you’re gonna feel accountable to them, right?

I’m sure that, you can speak to the power of training with a partner, whether it’s for a marathon or training partner. That accountability buddy. That’s what drives you forward. So how can you create that same accountability around these personal passions that you know are gonna fuel you and ultimately, Understand that by doing that, it’s gonna fuel the rest of your growth as a professional, right?

By you expressing and doing that thing that is that you love so much that’s gonna fuel you and the rest of your business because you’re gonna deploy that energy in any way that you wish. So by taking time for the things that you love, that gives you energy. And so it’s like this idea of new leadership.

You put yourself first, and then that puts you in a position to serve others and ultimately great, make your greatest impact. And so if you’ve defined that writing is important to you, what are other ways you can create accountability? You can put in your calendar, right? You can block it out. And just like you protect time for recording a podcast, you’re not gonna miss a recording for a podcast.

You need to protect that time for writing with the same vigilance and. If you have an accountability buddy checking in with you, or you send, let’s say you tell me, Okay, I’m gonna write a book. And I say, All right, every month I’d like an update on how things are going. I wanna send me a chapter.

You’re 77% more likely to achieve your goal. If you have someone check in with you or if you send regular updates. All this comes from research outta Cornell by a psychologist named Tom Gilovich, who basically found that there’s three reasons why we don’t pursue our personal goals. And he’s the one that found this fact that I mentioned in the beginning of this podcast, which is that the biggest regret people have on their death bent is not living for them.

And most people regret the things they don’t do, not the things they did. So 76% of people, their biggest regret on their deathbed is, I wish I would’ve lived for me. So the reason why the majority of people have these regrets of inaction is because there’s no deadlines with personal goals, which is why we gotta create accountability.

We usually are waiting to feel inspired to go after them, that the inspiration rarely hits. So we just have to create our own inspiration through action, and then fear stops us and it’s the fear of what other people think or the fear of failure. And we need to identify real fear and imagine fear, and I’m sure you can speak to the fear that maybe almost stopped you from putting out that first book cuz you were like, Ugh, I’m not really a writer.

What are people gonna think? What if this flops, there’s, what if people see me as a huge failure? And that’s what stops most people. But you followed that inner passion, which is like a true part of yourself. And that passion, when you expressed it, it led you to this unexpected career.

Which is, I think. What happens sometimes when you follow that true self, it leads you in this unexpected, down, this unexpected path. 

Mike: Can you speak more about overcoming fears because those three points that you just mentioned are. Based on my many interactions with people over the years, mostly around fitness, but also around business as well, people will reach out to me regarding that.

I found those three things coming up often. And, but that fear one seems to be particularly debilitating. And I wish I had some great words of wisdom that I could share myself based on my own experiences. But if I’m being perfectly honest and I’m not saying this to try to sound cool I, this is quite the opposite.

If I were inauthentic, so to speak, I would just pontificate and tell somebody else’s ideas, pretend like they were my own. But really for whatever reason, that has never been a big issue for me personally. And I can’t tell you why. I don’t know if it’s just a personality thing. I’m not saying I’m fearless superhero kind of guy.

No, but I can. Also say that, Yeah, I almost didn’t put out that book because I was afraid of what people would think. I could say that if I wanted to sound empathetic or if I wanted to get people to, to feel like they have a connection with me, but that wasn’t the case for me. So I’m just being honest.

So I’m curious what you found maybe yourself, and then also just in your line of work and your own journey and your career, what has helped people overcome those internal obstacles to 

Ben: action? Yeah. Yeah. No, and I appreciate you saying that because I think that people are gonna resonate with probably both feelings, I think probably the minority will resonate with you, but I do know people that for whatever reason, they just, they’re blessed with this gift of not really caring what other people think.

And I think that is something that I wish that I had, and I admire it because I think too, like that usually those people are very authentic. It can be 

Mike: narcissism as well. And I hope, I would like to think that’s not the 

Ben: case with me. Yeah, no, I think, And yeah, and I think there’s definitely a fine line there, but I do think that what I found is that there’s two types of fears that generally.

Us one is the fear of what other people think or the fear of failure. What I found is that these fears don’t really go away. Like I tried to conquer these fears for a while, , and then I started to understand that these are like taxes you have to pay to achieve your goals. Like they’re not going anywhere.

It’s something that, that discomfort that you feel, that fear, actually, it’s not a negative, it’s a positive. That means that you’re growing, you’re learning about yourself. So at the very least, when you feel this fear and you do it and you’re vulnerable or what have you learn about yourself. Even if you don’t come anywhere close to achieving, even if you fall flat on your face, at least you learn something.

At least you exercise that muscle of being uncomfortable, which is something you have to do to succeed and grow like that. You’re not gonna get anywhere with by just coasting. You have to take risks. You have to put yourself out there. And what I found is when you do that and when you are vulnerable, Even if the outcome is not what you think it, you want something positive comes from that.

And so I like to think about the idea that I have this fear of what other people think, but if I’m honest with myself, like people are just not thinking about me as much as I think they are. , it’s 

Mike: like in the gym, people will think, Oh, everyone’s looking at me. No, they’re really not.

They’re looking at themselves. That’s it. That’s 

Ben: all they see is themselves in the mirror. Exactly. And that’s a good metaphor for life. That’s all people see is themselves. And if they’re not thinking about themselves, they’re thinking about what other people. They think other people are thinking about them, right?

So it’s just the truth that people are not thinking about you as much as you think they are. It was just like, I love this saying. It’s in my twenties, I was worried about what other people thought in my forties didn’t care what other people thought. And in my sixties I realized they were never thinking about me in the first place.

So you can skip the grief and just jump ahead to your sixties and realize that that people don’t just don’t care as much as you think they do. In a good way. They’re also more supportive than you think. The only way that we cross things off our list is through the help of other people and it’s so they could only help us if we shared.

And so most people don’t share their goals because of the fear. And it is such a powerful thing to share cuz one, you then build accountability cuz you feel accountable of the people you share with, but you also. Allow people to help you. And if you ask for help in a very real way, in a authentic, creative way, I find that people are willing to help you out.

And that’s the fear of what other people think, which is a big block, the fear of failure. I like to look at it like this, like if I’m afraid to go after my goal or I’m just waiting for the right time, I failed and I didn’t, I did not achieve my goal. So at least when I try and I fail, what I learned from that really outweighs any potential hit to my reputation.

And so those are the types of things that I have experienced with fear. I do a ton of speaking. I speak maybe 150 times a. I still get stage fright. , it’s not going anywhere. But what I realized is that feeling of anxiety, that I feel that feeling is very close to excitement, anxiety, and nervousness is very close to excitement.

So when I’m anxious, I think, Wow, I’m. Pretty excited , and I can shift some of that excitement into sort of some of that anxiety into excitement. That also 

Mike: has a parallel in athletics. That you’ll find that with a lot of high performing athletes will have that same type of, Is it anxiety, is it excitement before the big game?

Before the big race? And, I read about that. I remember that from a book, I believe it’s, was it called Peak Performance? Brad Stolberg and Steve Magnus, I believe. And they talked about they both were high level competitive runners, I believe, and have worked with a lot of high level competitive athletes.

And I just remember in that book, them talking about working with these athletes and helping them reframe that quote unquote anxiety as excitement, and even with a self talk I’m just excited right now. This is good. I’m ready to perform. As opposed to making it a negative thing and maybe even criticizing themselves.


Ben: I wish I would’ve known that. Years ago, but I think it’s an important tool. 

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. I can relate to some degree. I played a fair amount of ice hockey growing up and not too competitively, not at a very high level, but at a, I guess maybe enough of a competitive level to experience a bit of that.

And I suppose I was young enough to just be able to enjoy it. But I can understand when it comes to a, when it’s really there’s something on the line. There’s real stakes, I understand that. What are your thoughts about the it’s truly just a perspective of, and this is, this would be for, guess it could be for both of these types of fears of looking at the things that we want to do or that we try to do as experiments, as opposed to events, as looking at something, say writing a book.

Even if we. Consciously expressed it. There is a hypothesis here of why this book is worth writing, why people will want to read it, why it could be successful. And we do the work and we put it out there. And if it doesn’t exactly meet our expectations, that could be viewed as a failure. We have failed.

Or it could be viewed as, this is the first iteration of this experiment hasn’t quite gone the way that we intended now, what can we learn about this? How can we revise our hypothesis? How can we revise the book? How can we come up with a new experiment to see if that can bring us closer to the results that, that we’re seeking?

Ben: Yeah, I love that. I think that takes the pressure off, And then you’re just like a life scientist, , trying these different things and iterating and I always find. I’ve found that don’t really believe in failure, like I’ve always found that any quote unquote failure has always been a pivot in a direction that I needed to go, and When you put these things out there, you really do learn.

You learn about yourself, you learn about what works as well, about, what is not only resonating, but is this something I actually wanna do? You don’t really know if you wanna be a writer until you do it. And that’s, I think this also relates to career. I think that we have to be on this path that is linear and move up the ladder because that’s what we’ve been, that’s what we see as success.

And it’s very scary to shift your career because you think you’re starting from the bottom. And I’ve experienced this before, like I started a production company with the same guys that I started The Buried Life with the Bucket List journey with, and we started making TV shows and we gra we were grinding for years and we sold some shows to MTV and abc and we were just about to get investment and I was.

Oh crap. I don’t like this. And I started to feel depressed again. And so I told you like, when I’m not, when I start to feel depressed I’m big part of my life is not in alignment with who I really am. And I realized that it was the work I was doing. I was, I didn’t love the people that I was interacting with on the network side and the production company and the entertainment business as a whole.

I didn’t like that 99% of the work that I did would never see the light a day cuz it was all development that ultimately, one or 2% of your projects get green lit. And and I was really struggling because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. And I was talking with my uncle who was a producer his whole life, Uncle Bill.

And I was like, Uncle Bill I don’t know what to do. I feel like we’re, we just are finally made it, We’re about to get investment and now I’m gonna jump ship and I’m gonna, what am I gonna, I’m gonna start from the bottom of and he’s Yo no, you’re not starting from the bottom.

You’re recycling your career. You’re taking everything that you’ve learned from this and you’re pivoting and you’re moving in a new direction. And that reframing of the idea of recycling my career for whatever reason, it changed my perspective. I was like, Oh yeah, like I’ve gained a lot of skills from producing, and I can apply that to my next thing.

And that’s at serendipitously. I got invited to do a TEDx talk and talk about fear. If I’m being honest, like I did not wanna do it because I was like, screw this. I’m not like having something that’s on the internet forever in doing a TEDx talk. Like it was terrifying. But I knew at that point that the reason why I didn’t want to do it was the reason that I should do it.

Because I felt like something would come out of it if I did it. Now I thought that what was gonna come out of it, Huge TEDx talk that was gonna get millions of views. . Of course as I like, that didn’t happen, it did. Okay. Someone saw it, that was planning an event. They reached out to their speaker agency.

The speaker agency reached out to me, asked me if I would come speak at the event. I was like, Okay. I go and that started my speaking career and it’s totally changed my life. And now I love speaking cuz it’s like a big part of, what I feel like I love to do is like talking with people in person.

And so it changed my whole direction and I realize, oh yeah, I just recycled my career. So the idea of reframing, like how, whether it’s your career or whether it’s like a side project, a passion, you just take that first step, see what happens. You don’t have to have the whole map, the whole plan mapped out that first step.

Once you do that, you’ll figure out the second step and just take it day by day if it’s fueling you. And you’re seeing a good reaction, keep doing it. If you get energy from it, keep doing it. And if you really love it, make sure that you protect time to do that thing and carve out whether it’s spending time with your family, quality time, whether it’s writing the book or whether it’s training for the marathon or climbing Everest.

Like it. There’s no rules with these goals. The only rule is that it’s important to you. And I think that, I used to think about a bucket list as like adventure travel, and then I realize that it needs to include all 10 categories of life. And so you want to think about like your adventure travel goals, but you also wanna think about, obviously your physical health goals, your mental health goals, your creative goals, your relationship goals, your material goals, your financial goals, professional.

So there’s 10 categories and that’s basically what the Bucket list journal is built around is like you break down the list writing process. And then you start to move through those barriers that I talked about, which is like create accountability, create inspiration through action, and move through fear.

Mike: And what would you say to people who heard you list off those things and are already overwhelmed? Cause it sounds wait a minute I don’t know if I barely have time for two of those lists, let alone 10. 

Ben: Just what are you drawn to? If you think about your future self imagine your 90 year old self and you ask your 90 year old self, what would I regret not doing?

Use death as a reminder that you’re just not gonna be here that long. And I think, we think we have all this time, but we really don’t. And that’s why people push these things cuz they’re like, Oh, I got time. I got time. But 76% of people realize I’m out of time. Like I’m on my deathbed. And this question that we started asking people 15 years ago was, What do you wanna do before you die?

That’s how we would ask people what’s on their list? And that’s what we asked ourselves. Cuz the thought of death actually made us think about life. And so I’ve always found death to be a great reminder and I don’t think we think about death or we talk about death enough, in, in ancient Egypt, they would roll in a dead body to their big feasts and be like, Hey, this will be us one day.

Enjoy your meal, celebrate, be merry. And so now death is taboo and we don’t talk about it. And we don’t think about it as enough. And I, it happens to me all the time. I see someone in their nineties walking down the street, shuffling along. And my first thought is not that will be me. My first thought is, I don’t think about it.

The only thing that we can count on in our life if we are lucky, is that will be me. Everything else we can’t catalog on. But we can count on death and, but what we don’t know is when we’re going to die. And so if we’re able to keep death close to us, then that’s a great perspective because you hear about it all the time, right?

You hear stories, I had cancer and I survived and now, and everything changed, or my partner died, or my dad died. And as soon as that happened, I changed my life. I changed what was, what I focused on. My perspective change. So it takes like the death of a loved one or a near death experience to shake us enough to really understand what’s important to us.

So how can we get that same perspective without going through that trauma? For me, it’s a, it’s been around like just reminding myself like, I’m gonna die. I’m gonna die. I’m gonna die. I have this app called we CRO that reminds me I’m gonna die five times a day. It sounds morbid, but it’s actually it’s funny and it works, and so I think you start there a long winded way of answering your question. You don’t have to have a hundred things on your list. You don’t have to have list items in every category of life. This is not checking boxes. This is just taking some quiet time to think about what you really want and what is really important in your life.

And that could be one thing. That could be five things, that could be a hundred things, but what I found is what’s helpful. Sometimes I been overwhelmed just looking at a blank page and thinking, Okay, what’s, what are the things that I want? So I just found it helpful to create a bit of a structure to the list writing process and to think about it in sections.

And so that’s why, I created those 10 categories of life. And also to remind people that a bucket list is more than just adventure and travel, right? It’s more than skydiving. It’s more than travel to Europe. This is your true self. This is your list of all the joys. All the things that are going to fuel you and make you happy.

And so that’s just by default. Then you should think about all areas of your life. 

Mike: Hey there. If you are hearing this, you are still listening, which is awesome. Thank you. And if you are enjoying this podcast, or if you just like my podcast in general and you are getting at least something out of it, would you mind sharing it with a friend or a loved one or a not so loved one even who might want to learn something new?

Word of mouth helps really bigly in growing the show. So if you think of someone who might like this episode or another one, please do tell them about it. Are there some experiences, maybe your own or just other people’s experiences that stand out in your mind as particularly meaningful? Maybe surprisingly meaningful.

I like that you mentioned that the bucket list is not just for looking at the rocks and eating the food because Sure. That can be entertaining. I’ve done a fair amount of that myself. My wife is from Europe. When we were dating, I would go over there often. We would just go have fun and sure it’s fun, but it was not some religious experience.

It was looking at the rocks and eating the food and having a good time. Sure. But if I look at what has really. Helped me grow as an individual. It’s not that. So I’m just curious if there are some bucket list experiences, again, your own or others that stand out as that really made a difference in some way and maybe that are not 

Ben: obvious.

. Yeah, that is one. That comes to mind. So we were in DC we’re trying to play basketball with Obama. So we were just hustling around, meeting with people. We didn’t know what we were doing, We were just trying to 

Mike: impersonating secret service agents. 

Ben: Exactly. I actually went into the Y M C A cuz I saw the Secretary of Treasury go in and go for swimming laps.

And I just had to like, follow him into the swimming pool with a towel on. I didn’t even have a bathing suit and so I could try and talk with him as he came up for air. So we were like, anyways, we were running around literally and because we typically would always have, we know, we asked people, What do you wanna do before he die?

And as we were wandering the streets we asked these two guys that were at the monuments, I forget which monument they were at. But anyways what do you wanna do before you die? And they say, Oh, it’s funny. We’re actually doing something that we’ve always wanted to do. Always wanted to visit Washington tour.

The monuments, we actually are old buddies, but we haven’t seen each other in 15. We’re like, Oh, cool. That’s great. Any, anything else on your list? And they said it’s funny, we had two other friends that when we were 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 years old, every summer we would all go to this one lake.

And we would spend the summers there. And but the four of us haven’t seen each other for 40 years. And it’d be really cool to see them. We haven’t talked with them. We, it’s be really cool to see them. So we organized this surprise where we contacted two other guys and surprised the ones that we met at that lake, at that location.

So they hadn’t seen each other in 40 years, and all of a sudden they met each other and right away it was like they were best friends and 15 years old again, even though they hadn’t seen each other for so long. And so they’re like doing canals into the lake. They’re just like having a time. And we hung out with them afterwards, barbecued.

But it, it reminded me of what we might be the four of us, cuz they were four guys in their sixties and we were four guys in our twenties. And so I thought that exists exactly like us. And then I learned that one of the top five regrets of the dying is I wish I would’ve stayed in contact with friends.

I wow that doesn’t cost any money. , that’s picking up the phone. And the importance of investing in relationships that are important to you. Anything that is important that you want to invest in. It takes energy, takes time, do anything. You have to be intentionally, you have to put the time in.

So that means defining who’s important to you in your life and staying in contact with them and building that relationship. So that was a meaningful one because it was, it didn’t feel like it was gonna affect me in any way. And it also didn’t feel like it was gonna be a big give.

But after that, those guys, every summer they kept meeting up and then, About four years ago, one of the guys passed away from cancer and his buddy sent me a note and he is Yeah he told me when he was dying that he was really grateful that they connected again, and not just reconnected, but reestablished their relationship.

Yeah. Yeah, 

Mike: that’s a great story. And just to that point of making time for relationships, that’s something that I’ve had to consciously do. I actually, on this bike back here I spend 30 minutes on it every day. And I’ll usually alternate between reading I read on my phone, Kindle app, or I’ll make a phone call while I’m, Cause I’m doing like moderate intensity.

I can have a conversation. I wouldn’t record a podcast, but I can have a phone conversation. And sometimes it’s work stuff, but just as often it’s personal. It’s just calling somebody, It’s calling my brother-in-law who I’ve been friends with good friends with best friends with since I was 16 and he lives in California.

And so it takes a little bit of effort. We don’t see each other in the gym. I have to call him, he has to call me or a few other friends of mine who I’d like to stay in touch with. And just, that’s something that though a year or so ago I would say is when I started doing that. But before that, I.

Explicitly make that time to do it. And I would realize that I would go, it could be a couple of weeks without even talking really to any friends outside of, I work with some friends, but it’s a little bit different when what we’re talking about is work. It’s not quite the same. That 

Ben: resonates for me.

Like I, so what I’ve done is I have in my favorites on my phone, the starred contacts, I just put all the people that I want to Yeah. Same build relationship with, so that when I’m driving, I just go to my favorites. I’m like, Oh, whoever I talk to in a while, boom, make a call. And even if you just leave a message, or voice note or check in with the text, that builds the fabric of the relationship over time.

And those are the things that get pushed under the rug. The day to day, as you said you’ll go and you won’t even realize. You’re like, Oh, sh the shit I’m not, I haven’t. Talked with my best friend for two months, and so for instance, like those favorites that’s an accountability structure, right?

Your list is an accountability structure. Putting in your calendar, talking to your friend, your brother-in-law, being like, Hey, listen man, like days move quickly. And like I wanna make sure that we stay connected. Let’s make sure that we prioritize time to see each other. Let’s do two trips a year or whatever.

Let’s call each other once, at least once a month. By communicating that you’re going to build that accountability cuz now you’ve said it and now it’s real, and now he’s gonna be like on the other end of that keeping you accountable and you’re gonna keep him accountable. And that’s why when you have a guy’s trip that you do once a year, It happens cuz you do it every year.

You’ve said, we’re gonna do this every year. And it’s non-negotiable. You set precedence and it happens. The accountability shows up in different ways, but you, the first thing is identifying it so you can then build the accountability. 

Mike: You’ve mentioned mental health a couple of times in this interview and in your book you talk about the, a mental health toolkit.

What does that mean exactly? What does that look 

Ben: like? So this is, I think one of the benefits of going through struggle, which we’ve all been through is a lot of times you learn about yourself by going through that hard time. And so what I’ve learned is habits that are good for me that now I.

When I go through any type of stress, I can utilize those and practice those. Yeah, I do call it my mental health toolkit. I just think everyone should have their own mental health toolkit of habits, work for you. It might be going to the gym. It, it might be making sure that you get enough sleep, it, it could be talking about what you’re going through to a therapist or a friend or a loved one.

And so some of the things that have helped me in and that still help me, obviously exercise. But I think for me, like doing things like I should just be a tennis podcast, playing tennis is just I found it meditative, I just love the, I love the sport, so being able to have time to do that, being able to have time to, to exercise.

I also. Find value for meditation. So I do transcendental meditation. I actually think it’s very helpful for me when I can’t sleep and as I said, like I worry a lot, so that’s, if I don’t sleep, I’m in trouble. So I need to get my sleep. And if I can’t sleep, I oftentimes will sit up and meditate and that calms my mind and I’m able to fall back asleep, connection, meaningful connection with friends that I love.

And then talking about the things that I’m going through with either them or, a therapist. I have a great therapist that I talk to. I don’t talk with her religiously every week, but if I’m going through stress, I do. So I know that she’s there and I can call on her whenever. Whenever I need, purpose is in the toolkit and that’s where the bucket list comes in.

Just making sure I’m doing things that I love, like I’m not getting so overworked that I don’t have time to do things, take trips with friends or, I’m missing birthdays or these moments that are really important to me or don’t have time to, go out and go down to the beach and jump in the ocean.

I think that these are all different for everyone, but I do have the toolkit as it’s on my Instagram link. There’s like the one link is the download to the toolkit so you can check it out. I think it’s just a good thing to think about. I need to know the things that work for me to allow me to get through stress.

Cuz the truth is look, we’re in a mental health crisis. There’s just, this is, I think, the biggest challenge that we’re facing right now. The reality is that because of the pandemic, more people are struggling and we’re struggling with. Depression, anxiety and all sorts of different things.

And that’s okay. What’s not okay is to not talk about it because if you’re going through it and 25 to 50% of your listeners are gonna be struggling, and that’s just the reality of where we are right now in this country and in this environment. And I think that the one thing that if you get anything from this podcast is just to know that the person sitting next to your work is probably struggling with something you can’t see.

And a lot of people are. And the biggest piece is talk about it. Talk about it with something that cares about you, talk about it ideally with a therapist, if you’re able to talk with a therapist because it doesn’t last forever. And you will come out the other side having learned something about yourself.

And I know that’s is the last thing you wanna hear when you’re struggling, but. This makes you who you are and who you truly are in any moment is exactly who you need to be. And that means two things, being who you truly are and going after the things that you love, right? That’s your bucket list.

But it’s also being who you truly are and not hiding those things that you’re struggling with. Cuz what I found is those things that I thought were my weaknesses, they actually turned out to be my strengths when I stopped trying to hide them all the time. And I used to never talk about my depression cuz I thought it was a weakness.

And then I started just learning about the rate of suicide. Someone takes their own life every 50 minutes in the US so over 150 suicides a day in the US alone. And I thought, man, if I can veer someone from that path, I could probably get over the fear of talking about my struggles. And and that’s when I started talking about it.

And it was really hard, but like I saw that it was normalizing the conversation. And so the. So that’s why I talk about it, right? Is if I can give, make someone feel a little more comfortable to talk about what they’re going through, just by sharing my story, then that’s my goal. And maybe 

Mike: inspire them to take action as well, which is obviously just a theme of a lot of what you’ve been talking about and that it sounds like that is why you created your newest book.

Because, you’ve mentioned this, that it can be hard to go. Even something you agree with. So you read something, you hear something and you say, Yes, that makes a lot of sense. And now it’s time to implement that. And in some cases now you as the individual have to figure out how to implement it, but maybe even implementation steps are given.

So you don’t even have to think about how to do it. You have to do it, but it can be hard to. Change what we’re doing, which is comfortable and do anything else. And so I appreciate what you’re doing with the journal in particular, because I guess maybe it’s also just my personality. I’ve always been a kind of a pragmatic person.

I like to solve problems. I like to get into action. I like to figure out ways to do things better. And so it sounds like that’s at least part of a 

Ben: part of you as well. Yeah. No, I think I appreciate it and I think that what I’ve always found is like the first step is always the hardest. And so what’s the easiest step?

Write it down. You’re 40% more likely to achieve your goal if you write it down because it becomes real. It’s not a thought. It’s tangible. So it’s a literal reminder that your goal exists, but it also forces you to slow down and think about what’s important to you. Like you said, thinking about as like your goals as experiments.

I like to think about them as projects, like just a work project. What do you do? You’re tasked with a project, you’re like, Okay, let’s break it down. What’s the first step? I think the first step is writing it down, then you start to look at what are three or 4 48 hour action items I can do?

What can I do in the next 48 hours? The simplest things. Call a friend, ask them for advice, do some research online, book the ticket and then how do you create those accountability structures? So you create your me momentum through small steps of action, and then you build in a reward, an accountability buddy.

You set a deadline, you start to figure out why this is important to you, and All those small steps start to add up. I think we feel like anyone we see who is successful, we almost have this gut instinct to be like, Oh my God, they’re smarter than me. Like they’re better than me.

When in reality, like they started where we are right now, they just brick by brick started to build what they’re doing. And before they knew it, like over time they were there. Like they didn’t know how to do it. They just figured it out as they went. And so that’s why too, it’s so empowering When you surround yourself with people that inspire you, when they achieve something great, you don’t think, Oh wow, they’re better than me.

They’re smarter than me. You think, Oh wow, I wonder what I can. Because you know them, they’re a friend. Like they, they’re not superheroes, . So then you, by osmosis, start to feel that you can achieve great things when you surround yourself with people that are achieving great things. And that’s so powerful.

So powerful. So it’s like intentionally being around people that give you energy, that inspire you, the high tide, lifts all the boat. 

Mike: Totally agree. And just that point of finding also activities to give you energy. That’s something that I’ve learned over the years with work in particular because I don’t know if I have a sports ATT nutrition business, so as a whole separate thing, and I don’t know how many people we have now, maybe 60 or 70.

And so through the course of building that business, I learned that. I don’t particularly enjoy a lot of what goes into building a business. I can do it to some degree of competence, but I don’t really like a lot of it, A lot of the activity of operating a business in particular takes energy from me. Now I had to do it to do it, and that totally, that’s fine.

It sucks. Yeah. But I don’t want do chores for the rest of my life. That’s not a very I can only mop the floor so many times until I’m like, Can I just not mop a floor today? And so I’ve had to learn that that you don’t have to live that way and you can find people who love doing this stuff that you hate doing.

And then you can delegate that work to them and they’re gonna do it better than you’re gonna do it actually. So you can focus on stuff you really like to do. That’s not self-indulgent. That’s not, to your point, that’s not like being weak. It’s actually just being smart. Yep. 

Ben: Exactly. Also, I’m curious cuz you had mentioned and I know we don’t have a ton of time left, but you had mentioned that, the traveling to Europe wasn’t something that changed your life, but there were some other things that kind of, were super meaningful or changed your life.

I’m just curious what those are. 

Mike: Yeah. Yeah I guess what immediately pops to mind is an obvious one of writing that first book and publishing it because it’s something that I enjoyed and I. I was a good student in school and always enjoyed reading. And so I was like, maybe I’ll like writing.

And then I started doing it and really liked it and, but didn’t know, can I make a living with this? Can I do anything with this or am I just wasting my time, basically? And so that was a very cool experience because it showed me that there was a possibility to do more of this and also to make a difference in people’s lives.

I can remember early on getting emails, cause I put an email address in the book first edition. I still have it there and I still answer emails, but, and I just basically said at the end of the book Hey, if you have any questions or any feedback, good or bad, I’d love to hear from you. Just send me an email.

I remember vividly the first emails that came in. It was cool that somebody cared. Somebody actually read the book and cared enough to reach out and had questions. And then it’s funny, that was like 10 years ago. There are still, I couldn’t tell you how many, but it’s more than one. It’s probably more than five.

It’s in the range of probably 10 to 20 people who still are in touch. They still reach out now and then 10, 10 years later just to say, Hey, this is how I’m doing now in my fitness or whatever. And so I haven’t met these people in person. I actually would like to start doing live events, but that’s a pretty unique connection.

And so to see firsthand that I can help somebody cuz fitness as it might start with just what in the mirror. It inevitably touches every area of your life. And everything just gets better as you go from very out of shape and unhealthy to in shape, relatively in shape. You don’t have to be super fit obviously, but relatively in shape and healthy.

And so it still provides just an emotional satisfaction and emotional payoff. There aren’t many other things in my work that, that provide, that I personally find writing satisfying. But to hear from people and see that I made an actual difference means a lot more to me. If we’re talking about just raw emotion, how do I feel when I experienced that?

That means more to me than last week. Legion, my sports nutrition company did highest ever sales for a non-sale week. We’re gonna grow 40 to 50% this year, revenue, blah, blah, blah. That’s cool and it’s good. , but it doesn’t do nearly as much for me, the making money as just that personal.

Just an email. Read your book. Mike. Really liked it. Here’s where I was at before I read it. Here’s where I’m now at after. Thanks for writing the book. 

Ben: Like it’s such a good reminder of the importance to of giving without expecting really anything in return. A lot of times we give for our own agenda, not like it’s a bad thing.

It’s part of just give and receive. You think like it’s part of a strategy at some level, whether it’s like like it’s overtly doing that, or subconsciously you’re like, Oh, like I’ll help this person out and maybe they’ll help me later. But the real power that comes from just giving selflessly, because that allows you to receive the benefits full force.

You then get this unexpected. Hit of, wow, fuck, how cool is this? This person like changed their life and that fuels you. And I actually think that the way that you did that, really, you were being on a bashed lead, like true to yourself. And that’s why creativity is actually a category of life.

Because when you’re creative, you’re letting out this true expression of yourself. Whether you’re playing an instrument you’re doing some sort of art, you’re writing, you get into this flow. State sports can do that as well. Where you’re out of your head, you’re just, and that flow state is your true self, right?

You’re just letting out this real raw expression of who you really are. You’re not thinking about it, you’re just letting it out. And that’s almost therapeutic when you do that. You let that out and so you were able To express, these things that you wanted to express through writing and you were true to yourself, and that’s where you’re most powerful.

Like that’s where you created this cr incredible impact. If more people were true to themselves, they would actually create more impact 

Mike: and believed in themselves. And I understand, I’ve seen it firsthand can think of kids. I have two kids and so I’ve seen kids over the years and where kids have parents who don’t really encourage them to do much of anything.

Don’t show them much support, don’t show that they believe that the kid can do maybe anything other than just sit on their tablet all day and fiddle around on like TikTok and whatever. I understand that. It can be tough. There are a lot of people who could do great unique, interesting things, but.

Don’t believe that they can or don’t believe in it enough to want to even try. 

Ben: Yeah. And I think that’s a, I’m not a parent I am absolutely unqualified to speak to this. But being a kid of a, of parents that lived a life that was very untraditional in the sense that, like my dad was a theatrical clown.

My mom, he played music, basically my mom, a business coach for women, and, but they lived this life where that was true to themselves. Traveled a lot, inspired me to take those steps as well. And then when I, and I can see, my friends raising kids and just understanding how important it is to encourage your kids to.

Be whoever they are, do the things that they want to do. Don’t force 

Mike: them into one sport, for example, because you always wanted to play it. That’s such a thing 

Ben: that you wanted to excel in . Yeah, totally. And 

Mike: like the drill master dads out there, every day with their kid and the kids just dragging through the little practices that he has to do every day.

And it makes me think of, and it’s something I’ve thought about personally now and then that you’ve mentioned a couple of these kind of like obvious kind of. To use a tennis term, unforced errors. Try, Let’s try in the various elements of our lives to not make the easiest. Maybe you could even say doist, or at least most obvious mistakes, like in finances.

Let’s not live beyond our means. Let’s save money. Let’s invest money. You can read like one book and it’ll make the case on why you should do this with kids. It’s this is one of the really obvious unforced errors that parents make, which is to try to shove the kid into a mold that they’ve already created for the kid.

And that’s. Often driven by their own interests. It could be the sports example or the career example, which is they want to be able to tell their friends at the party that their kid is going to medical school or something like that, 

Ben: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So I think it’s, it’s consistent with the whole conversation, it’s whether it’s you, it’s your kids, or the people you care about to be able to encourage them to do the thing, do the thing, take the jump, it’s it’ll be worth it. You’re gonna regret not doing it at the end of your life if you don’t. And that’s why you just, if you’re confused, just ask yourself on your deathbed, ask your nine year old self, Will I regret not doing this? The answer is yes, probably gotta take a crack at it.


Mike: Final comment is something also that, this is I’ve used this kind of perspective, and that is to get realistic about what the worst case scenario is. Because in the absence of that, I think we tend to catastrophize. But if we get very specific about, Okay, if this goes really wrong, what does that mean?

And often it, it doesn’t mean. All that much death and disaster. Often it’s something that you really could just shrug off and say, Oh I guess I wasted some time and maybe wasted some money. But life goes on. 

Ben: It’s, super important, but worst case scenario, so what are the real risks versus the imagined risks?

And so put ego aside. So it’s not what other people think, right? It’s not this but are you going to be at real financial risk? Okay. That’s are you not gonna be able to provide for your family real risk? Real risk? Are you going to do irreparable damage to your reputation?

Real risk? But you start to realize that list is actually smaller than you think. So you could actually list out what are the actual real risks. If it’s not as risk as you think, then you know you’re good to go. 

Mike: Totally agree. Yeah. And working probability into that helps too. How likely?

All right, so here’s the worst case outcome. It’s not that bad actually. And how likely is it to even occur? Oh, I don’t know. Not very likely. What does that mean? 10 to 20% chance. Okay. How does that change the calculus? Yes. Yeah, exactly. But anyways I don’t, I’ve kept you longer than I said I would.

So I appreciate you, you sticking with me and I really appreciate the discussion. This was a lot of fun. And why don’t we wrap up with again, let’s tell people about the book in case they’ve missed it along the way. And also where they can find you ending the rest of your work, social media and so forth.

Ben: So the book in a Bucket list journal is on Write your Or you can go to my Instagram at Ben Eton and it’ll be right there under the one link. Honestly, like the best place is probably Instagram. I think that’s where I enjoy posting the most. I’m not very terribly good at Social Media , but I do post a lot, I think, or at least the most on Instagram.

So it’d be great to, to actually see your list. I encourage you to write your list and to take a photo of it and share it. That’ll build accountability. You can send it to me. I’d love to see your list, but, share it with your community. Share it with your followers, Share it with your family.

Write your bucket list as a family. A lot of people use the bucket list Journal to write their list with their kids, or a list with your partners. Powerful, because what it does is it starts this conversation around Hey, what’s important to us? What do we want? And what do we want to move towards?

So let’s define what those are and let’s like, make sure we hit those together. Share your list. I’d love to see it. Shoot me a note or or a message on Instagram. And yeah, if you wanna check out the journal it’s write your Awesome. Thanks again for doing this, Ben.

Thank you man. It’s been really fun to, to chat and yeah I’ll hit you up next time I’m in Florida. Yeah, sounds good. 

Mike: I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful, and if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.

And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, mike muscle for, muscle f or, and let me know what I could do better or just what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.

I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.

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