Episode 160 with Ben Hardy
Hey everyone, it’s me, Drew Manning from Fit2Fat2Fit. You are listening to the Fit2Fat2Fit Experience Podcast. Thank you for tuning in today. So here on this Podcast, what I try to do is take the lessons that I learned from my Fit2Fat2Fit journey, which I did over 7 years ago now. Which is crazy! That’s the journey where I gained 75 pounds on purpose and then lost it again over the course of six months at the beginning in gaining and then six months in losing. I learned a lot about the mental and emotional side of health and fitness. I used to think it was just a physical transformation. Eat less, work out and that’s it. It’s super simple and super easy, right? Until I did Fit2Fat2Fit and I was humbled and realized just how wrong I was. So here on the Podcast, I try to bring on people that help me help others focus on the mental and emotional side. Yes, we do talk about the physical aspects of transformation like calories, macros, diets, nutrition, fitness, exercise, workouts, those kinds of things which are important. Don’t get me wrong. But, I don’t think that is the missing key. I don’t think that’s what people struggle with is the lack of knowledge, I think it’s the mental and emotional side. The challenges that they face, the emotional connection to food is more powerful than we think sometimes. So today’s guest is a perfect fit. His name is Benjamin Hardy. He’s not really well known online, as far as social media presence. But, I met his aunt here in Salt Lake City. He grew up here. The name of his book is called, ‘Willpower Doesn’t Work’. I instantly knew this was going to be a good book, because I am a huge proponent of this because so many times we try to willpower our way through things. It doesn’t work, right? How many of you have set a goal and you said I am never going to eat sugar again and I’m never going to drink soda again. I am going to work out every day for the rest of the year and get ripped. Then after awhile, things happen. Life happens and you slowly start to justify your actions. Before you know it, you are back where you were before you started. So, he has got a great book, ‘Willpower Doesn’t Work’. It’s got such great teaching lessons about your environment and how it’s not just your fault. It’s not your fault. We are a product of our environment. So if you could, instead of trying to change who you are, right? Change your environment and you will adapt to that new environment. It’s looking at it from a totally different perspective, which is what I try to do with health and fitness. Benjamin Hardy, his book, ‘Willpower Doesn’t Work’ is a great tool for people wanting to learn how to change their environment to actually be successful, when it comes to health and fitness. But actually in general, just change your environment in general and you having to adapt to that new environment. You are going to love this episode with Benjamin Hardy. Let’s go talk to Ben.
Drew: Ben Hardy, how are you doing today, man? Welcome to the show.
Ben: Good, Drew. It’s good to be here.
Drew: Yeah, thank you for joining me. So, your aunt and my good friend, Jane Barlow connected us, super grateful for her. She was on the Podcast about a month ago. People love her. Everybody loves her. I am so grateful that she connected us. She told me about your book. I was instantly getting this book. I have it on audio and I have a physical copy that Jane gave to me. I am super excited to dive into why willpower doesn’t work. But before we do that, I kind of want to introduce you to my audience, talk about you personally. The first question I have for you man is, so you guys have adopted three children, is that correct?
Drew: And your wife is pregnant with twins. *laughing*
Ben: Yes. *laughing.
Drew: How do you do that, man? How is life right now for you and how are you managing it all?
Ben: That’s a really good question. We are not really managing it very inspired. So, yeah we got our kids in 2015. In January we got them as foster kids, three siblings. That was my first year of my PhD program. It was that same year that I actually started blogging online. Basically yeah, it was just a lot of court and a lot of craziness. We were living in South Carolina and then earlier this year, we ended up adopting those kids. It was amazing. Then about a month and a half ago, we moved here to Orlando. Moving is always crazy and my wife is pregnant with twins. Life is just kind of nuts right now. It doesn’t seem like it is going to slow down, given the fact that we are going to have twin babies. It’s just kind of like, ahh! To me it’s fun though. One of my core values, one of my core concepts is it’s one of my favorite quotes or poems. The poem is “Good timber does not grow with ease. The stronger the winds, the stronger the trees. The further the sky, the greater length. The more the storm, the more the strength.’ For me, it creates an environment that constantly requires me to show up. I don’t know, for me I believe that the purpose of life is growth and learning and service. For me it’s just like par for the course. It’s never easy, it’s always messy. It’s always learning and being humbled.
Drew: I love that, man. That is just such a great attitude to have. Obviously in your book you talk a lot about environment and if you change your environment, you can change your life. Because we as humans will adapt to that environment. The key that I think is missing, obviously my brand, my audience is health and fitness, we are going to tie it into that, but it applies to life in general. Tell me a little bit about your background, you growing up? You are a young guy? How old are you?
Drew: Yeah, you are 30. Tell me a little about your background and why did you want to study willpower?
Ben: Sure, yeah absolutely. I grew up in Salt Lake City Utah. I think you live in Utah right? That’s where you met my aunt Jane actually?
Drew: Yeah. I am here.
Ben: I just had a rough childhood. My parents had a rough divorce. It created a lot of depression and pain for my father. He ended up going through a pretty deep cycle, a super downward cycle after the divorce. He got really into drugs and kind of threw his life away for awhile. My mom was just trying to run a business with Jane. They were kind of unsuccessful. They were trying their best though. My mom was always working. My dad was in a really dark place. So growing up I had zero stability. Barely ended up graduating high school. It was about a year after high school and I played WarCraft, just didn’t go to school and never held a job for more than two weeks. I worked at Einsteins Bagels and one of my friends was like, ‘Let’s go snowboarding.’ So I no called, no showed, that was who I was. I couldn’t keep a job for more than a week. A year after high school I was living in my cousins house, sleeping on his sofa and just playing WarCraft about 15 hours a day, drinking soda and eating pizza and I was so unhappy. I started running and ended up serving a humanitarian mission. That is where the transformation initially began. When I came home, I was really aware of the environment even back then, I saw all of my old close friends with the same paradigm, same perspective, same beliefs. So I decided to purposely avoid my friends from high school. I started studying psychology and basically have just been studying psychology and human behavior and success and have been studying all these things for the last ten years.
Ben: That was kind of where the journey began.
Drew: Now, where did you go to school and study psychology?
Ben: I went to Brigham Young.
Drew: Ok, cool man. So you went on an LDS mission as well I am assuming? Where did you go?
Ben: Yeah. I did. I went to Pittsburg.
Drew: Cool. I went to Brazil. Life changing experience for me. It’s interesting because I listened to your book and it talked about environment. I think that’s something that so many people miss. It’s a missing piece in change when it comes to our perception of what change is supposed to look like. I feel like the willpower it gave us has been pushed for so long. What was the turning point for you? What was the eye opening experience for you? Like I need to write a book about this because this is what is missing? What was that for you and how did that begin?
Ben: Yeah. When I did my undergrad at BYU, I was preparing to go into the PhD program. I was actually applying to work with Roy Baumeister. My advisor during my undergrad was actually under Roy Baumeister. Roy Baumeister wrote the book, ‘Willpower’. He’s actually one of the core researchers, he is the core researcher and one of the most famous social psychologists in America. He is the one who has done all the research on Willpower. I really loved it. Willpower is a sexy topic. It’s something for someone who wants to be successful, willpower seems intuitive. Willpower is one of the answers or maybe the answer. I ended up not studying with him. I ended up getting a different type of psychology. I ended up studying business psychology. There were a lot of pivotal experiences and learnings that I had that really kind of turned me against the willpower hypothesis. A lot of what I studied in psychology …. if you study social psychology you realize that from a social psychology perspective, human beings are in a lot of ways a product of circumstance. Who you are in one situation is not who you are in a different situation. That is very much social psychology 101. That was new to me because we are very much like an individualistic culture, so we will believe that who you are, is just who you are. But it’s not true. You are very much influenced by what is around you. That was really interesting, but where it really started to hit me was actually becoming a foster parent. Just realizing how different these three kids were when you take them from one situation and you put them in another. Studying poverty and stuff, there are so many cool studies like economic studies at Harvard and stuff where they study income mobility and about your chance of actually making it in life. It’s literally based on what your proximity is, it’s based on your environment. When I saw these three kids go from one situation, where they basically had zero privilege, zero opportunities. They came from one of the worst environments ever, out from in the middle of nowhere. Then you put them in this new situation and all of a sudden there are these new options available to them. They can go to a school. They can get therapy. They have friends. They can eat good healthy food. They have parents who can listen to them and help them process things. All of a sudden you see them changing. It’s like, ‘Ok, if these kids were not in our environment, if the were still in that same place, they would not have experienced any of these things. Neither would have we.’ Just one quick last thought is that every environment, I talk about this in the book, every environment has rules. Every environment has a cap, a ceiling. You can’t make choices if you don’t have options. Our kids, in their prior environment, literally did not have a lot of options. They just didn’t have an attentive parent. They didn’t get to go to school. They didn’t have the option of good food. They could not make choices, but then they were free to make them in a different environment. So that was a lot of it and then just studying addiction. The last thing any addiction specialist will say is to do it through willpower. That was kind of a lot of the entangled concept that led me to really go down the rabbit hole of willpower.
Drew: I love that man. That is beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. I am a huge believer that experiences shape our beliefs. If you don’t have certain experiences, then you wouldn’t believe the things you do. That’s why for me it’s easier to empathize with other people now having had certain experiences. Because I can empathize with them realizing their experiences have made them who they are, rather than me trying to come in and say, ‘Hey, your beliefs are wrong. You’re thinking the wrong thing.’ I haven’t had their experiences or they haven’t had my experiences. I think experiences are one of the most powerful things we can have that will help shape our beliefs. That’s why I am a huge fan of your work. I love your book. Obviously I think people listening are questioning now, how does someone change their environment then? Not everyone is going to be able to be adopted or be put in a situation like your foster kids. How does someone change their environment? That is good question, I think.`
Ben: Yeah, absolutely. I think step one is realizing that you and your environment are literally two parts of the same whole. That is an important realization that a lot of people take for granted. Maybe they have never really truly considered it, because it goes very against western philosophy. We are very individualistic. I think the first step is just one of the core definitions of mindfulness, which is basically just awareness of contact, like realizing that there is stuff around you that could be influencing you. Then you decide what you do with that. That’s really what mindfulness is, it’s awareness of what’s around you and how its influencing you. So that is step one. I think a lot of self improvement and even all the stuff that has been talked about for so long talks about how you must change from the inside out. My belief is that you absolutely must make the decision on the inside to make a change, but the actual mechanism of change actually happens on the outside. That is what you were talking about that I love, because it is external experiences or situations or people. It’s influence that changes you. Step one for changing your environment is realizing that there are so many tweaks that are easy to make. There is a quote from Zig Ziglar that says ‘Your input shapes your outlook. And your outlook shapes your output. And your output determines your success in life.’ I think step one is saying what is all the input coming in? What’s the information I am putting in? What’s the food I am putting in? All of that stuff from the outside world is going in and it’s literally shaping me. Really simply if you are doing things like watching the news or watching TV or eating bad food, those are inputs going in that are making you who you are. So very basic, it’s just changing the information you are consuming and the people you are around, the music you are listening to, the places you are going. That stuff is just basic. Just really starting to upgrade your standards for what you allow in. Then obviously if you have read essentialism or if you have gone through any books on just change in general, it’s a lot easier to delete than to add. Delete the negative stuff from your environment first. Take the apps off your phone. Take the extra clothes out of your closet. Get the sugar out of your kitchen. Basically remove the distractions, because if it is in your environment and it conflicts with your goals, then you have to use willpower to decide what you are going to do. That’s basically another definition of willpower is decision fatigue. So if you have stuff in your environment that conflicts with your goals and you’re having to continually decided if you are actually going to engage in it, like if there is sugar in your kitchen and you have to every time you pass it decide if you are going to eat it, that’s wearing down your willpower. It’s ridiculous. Make one decision, which is to remove it and then you have allowed so much space in your life to actually go to other places. Those are a few of the basics.
Drew: Yeah. I think those are great examples. I think you mentioned this in your book too, talking about the specific things as far as the books you consume, the movies you watch, the music you listen to, the friends you hang out with. First of all, be aware of those things and how they impact you. Then analyze those and say, ‘Ok, which ones are negatively impacting me and how are they negatively impacting me?’ So, if all I am doing is listening to music in the car and I get home from work and I watch movies or TV or play video games, how is that impacting how I am? You gave me a great example of your friends in the book. You said that he slowly after hanging out with one friend, who was very negative, he lost his marriage, lost his job and it is a sad story. But he became a product of that environment, where he just slowly over a couple of hours a week, he would hang out with this friend and he would talk negatively. Then he started to slowly go downhill, right?
Ben: Yeah. That’s a concept that people have heard of, the butterfly effect.
Ben: Like small changes in any system have the potential to create huge ripples in other areas of the system. You may be doing something small, but it could become an achilles heel, which ends up taking down the whole house. That’s what I have watched happen. I have watched it happen a lot. You can’t justify small little things and think those small little things are not impacting the entire thing. Every area of your life impacts every other area.
Drew: I was thinking about this too. Let’s say we switch gears and talk about health and fitness. Let’s say someone has their goal, ‘This year is my year. I am never eating sugar again. I’m going to get into shape.’ They set their goals and then ‘Boom’, two months later they are like, ‘Man, this is way too hard.’ I was trying to think of ideas of how could someone change their environment when it comes to health and fitness, right? You mentioned getting the unhealthy food out of the house? What other things have worked for you or people that you know that are probably following your book, that have helped them on the health and fitness side to achieve those goals? How did they change their environment? It’s not like they can go live in a gym and have a trainer yell at them all day, right? *laughing* Although that might be something someone might do if it was something extreme like that. What are some things you have seen work?
Ben: Absolutely. There are a couple that come to mind. They physical body is actually the subconscious mind. Your physical is your subconscious and your physical body attached to your brain is an emotional machine. Your body is habituated to emotions and when you perform new behaviors, you throw your body into this negative cycle. It freaks out because it wants whatever it’s had, whether it’s dopamine or something else. When you start doing new things obviously there is uncertainty, because our brain really wants the future to be predictable. When you do something new all of a sudden you place your body in this unpredictable place where you don’t know what the outcome is going to be. That is something that we all need to become comfortable with. Psychologists call that tolerant ambiguity. You get used to being uncomfortable. You just do that by exposure to new experiences. Like you said, experiences change you. Behavior changes beliefs, it’s not the opposite. Your behavior alters your beliefs. The first step really outside of just removing the bad and being aware is living with intention. Most people will wake up and then are immediately a product of their environment.
`They are immediately reactive and sucked into their addictions. Their body takes over their mind. They are back on their cell phones getting the same emotional rush to their body because their body is addicted to it. But what I talk about in the book is a morning routine. You wake up, ideally your phone is on airplane mode because the night before you created an intention and set a commitment that you were going to wake up at a certain time. Hopefully you had an alarm clock go off on the opposite side of the room or in a different room, so it forced you to get out of the bed. All the forcing functions, a forcing function is putting something into place that forces you to do what you have got to do. If your cell phone is by your bed, it’s pretty easy to hit snooze, but if it’s in the opposite side of the room or house, you get up. The purpose of the morning routine is primarily to put yourself into a place where you live based on the future you want, not based on the past. For me, I talk about leaving your home environment or at least creating some sort of special environment. For me, I like leaving my house. Immediately I put on my clothes and I leave. But just go someplace where you can ponder and meditate, write in your journal and pray. Think about it, it could even be 10-15 minutes, it could be short. Obviously you can combine this with a little bit of fitness, like pushups or jumping jacks. You get blood going, think about it, that’s amazing! But honestly, it’s about who do I want to be? The concept is really simple, you be first, you do and then you have. Be, do, have. Who do you want to be and then you just went from intention, you then operate from that place throughout that day. I think that’s kind of step one, don’t be a pawn to your environment like most people are. Most people are living through the product of whatever environment they are in. In this way, you actually create your environment. That’s one thing I think everyone must do. They must wake up every single day with intention. Because motivation and confidence are two things that you actually have to earn every single day. Motivation is a byproduct of action. Confidence is also a byproduct of successful behavior. So most people think that success is what leads to confidence, but it’s confidence that creates success. So, if you wake up when you say you are going to wake up, you start putting things in order, first things first. Then you get these small wins that ripple into confidence. You have to do that every day or you are just going to be a product. A far more aggressive strategy for shaping your environment is literally financial investment. I talk about this quite a bit in the book. When I decided I wanted to be a professional writer back in 2015, I did not have very much money. I was a grad student, so not much. I made a few small financial investments. Investments is psychologically what creates commitment. The more invested you become, the more committed you are. I spent like 200 dollars on an online course that taught me how to write viral headlines. I bought my domain name for 800 bucks. I did these for huge sacrifices. Eventually I paid 115 bucks to have a 30 minute phone call with one of my favorite writers. These kinds of investments altered my environment and then eventually you can really up it. Because your subconscious mind, basically the idea is your unconscious mind will only allow you to have what you believe you deserve. Your environment is a reflection of what you believe you deserve subconsciously. Your environment holds the two together. So if you want to shatter that subconscious belief system and radically upgrade your sense of what you can have, you need to perform really powerful behaviors. Then you are going to have really powerful experiences. One really powerful potent behavior is investing in yourself. Invest money in yourself in some form or fashion. In the case of fitness, it could literally be you actually stop a subscription you have and pay a 100 dollars for a personal trainer. That behavior alone is a huge signal to the subconscious that something different is going on. Then you can really up it. In the book I talk about getting mentoring or joining groups, specifically surrounding yourself with people that are where you want to be. Engaging in those environments and then quickly adapting to those environments, because our brain is so adaptive. When you put yourself in a new situation it is incredible how fast you can take on the identity, the belief, the system around you.
Drew: Yeah and that was my next question. You gave some great examples of how do they then maintain that momentum over the long term, once they adapt to that environment maybe they get burnt out after awhile? Because I know I suffer from this as well sometimes, even as a health and fitness professional. Sometimes I need something new that is going to keep me motivated. How do I maintain that over the long term? You gave some great examples, like hiring a coach or joining a mastermind group so you are constantly continuing to have to adapt to new environments. Even for us, I wouldn’t say we have things figured out, but I know what I need to do to get into shape. But sometimes you go through these ruts in life. I think it’s really important for people to not just know how to get started, but then from there say, ‘OK, I got started. I’m adapting to this new environment. I am seeing changes.’ Then after a year goes by, how do they keep that up? Because people tend to fall back into their old ways of, ‘I did it. It gave me great results. But I got burnt out. I got bored.’ Any other tips there or thoughts that come up as far as maintaining that?
Ben: Yeah, one hundred percent. My belief is that life is a series of sprints and recoveries versus a marathon. I think a marathon is where the burn out happens. That’s where you are grinding away and your joints are falling apart and you are just exhausted. You are aging quickly. I think that true growth is about like sprinting hard. I don’t know if you have ever heard of Josh Waitzkin? He wrote the book, ‘The Art of Learning.’
Drew: Um, yes. Yes, I have heard of him.
Ben: A really smart dude. He talks about how learning is a series of intense bursts and then you rise up and surface emotionally and you reflect on what happened. I’m a big fan of rather than grinding, I am more of a fan of gaming. As far as turning your goals into games. That’s why I think things like CrossFit actually work. That’s why I think things like ‘duolingo’ for languages work, because it’s a game. If you can turn your goal into a game and you can pursue it as a sprint, as far as if there is an objective. It could actually be to get a certain level of body fat or to be able to do a hundred pullups, whatever it is, you have some objective. You actually work to get that objective done and you rise up and you think about it and you reflect and you recover. Then you set some new goal. I think the idea is that the brain needs constant change. The fastest way to age your brain is to not give it new stuff, new experiences, new information. Literally it’s like lubricant for the cars. If you are not giving your brain new information and new experiences, new challenges, it ages so fast. If you don’t use it, you lose it. What’s interesting is that there is research in psychology that talks about how the older people get, the less open they are to seeking new experiences. They actually don’t want to be around new people. They don’t want to take on new challenges. They don’t want to try things they have never done before. They don’t want information that conflicts with their current world view. The older people get, the less open they are because the openness creates that uncertainty. The uncertainty is unpredictable and your brain doesn’t like that. Your body becomes habituated to whatever it is. I think that you have to seek new things, whatever it is. It doesn’t matter how healthy you were in the past. One of the things I really love is Dan Sullivan. He is the founder of Strategic Coach. He says you should always make your future bigger than your past. That’s one of the problems with success. If you have been successful in the past, it’s easy to plateau. No matter what your past looks like, no matter what challenges you took on before, you actually have to be pushing your boundaries. Doing new things and experiencing unpredictability and trying and turning it into a game. That’s kind of what I think. For me, I’ve been the top writer at Medium.com for three years. I didn’t plan to do that. I actually never even planned on blogging, to be honest with you. It was a means to an end and when I got the end I wanted, I then had to think, ‘Do I still even want to do this?’ The motivation was gone. It became hard to do something that I was an expert at. It literally, sometimes I could sit down and just stew because I had so much to do and the why was gone. How do you get that back? You have to expose yourself to new frontiers and you have to redevelop a reason to do something. You have to go way beyond what you did before. You have to actually pursue something totally different and something that challenges you and excites you.
Drew: Yeah. I think one of the keys to that for me is meeting new people, traveling, having new experiences with mastermind groups. Networking with people that have different thoughts or beliefs than you. I think that expands your horizons and challenges you in a new way to kind of find what your next passion is in life or what the next chapter is in your life. I think for me, that is how it applies to me. Hopefully a lot of people listening can kind of see that. There is no finish line. There is no like, ‘I made it. I arrived. I’m done.’ Even in health and fitness, it doesn’t happen that way. It’s constantly reinventing yourself and finding new challenges. For me the last couple of years, I did a triathlon, which I have never done before, because I hate running. *laughing* Then swimming was a whole other challenge. I think for me, that applies for me and hopefully people listening as well. The next question I have for you, Ben, is how do you apply this to your kids and giving them new experiences? Obviously going from where they were to where they are now, how do you try and create new experiences for them? What are some things you do?
Ben: I love that. I think first and foremost, we create an environment in our home, it’s like a safe haven. It’s a place they feel safe. It’s a place they feel comfortable. It’s a place where they love to be. Just where we live in general, one of the things I believe is that every environment has a culture. *laughing* You know what I mean? But the culture is the underlying climate, the feeling, the energy. There is an emotional frequency or energy everywhere you go. We want our house to just be an amazing oasis for our kids. It’s a place they love to be and a place that they feel safe and comfortable, where they are not bombarded by a lot of the crap that is going on in the world. That is one, but step two is just providing various experiences to open up their horizons. Like going to homeless shelters and showing them that. Going to third world countries and doing service. Because people adapt so quick, even though our kids came from extreme poverty, they become accustomed to the luxuries of life. You have to continually be reminded and triggered and brought back to that. We also just let our kids have opportunities. If one of them wants to play chess, we will let them go play chess. It’s just allowing them or trying to remove all the obstacles so that they can be surrounded by what they want to be. We are pretty basic. It’s not that extreme you know?
Drew: *laughing* Yeah, it’s not like every day they wake up and they have no idea what is about to hit them or what new experience you guys have planned?
Ben: No. *laughing*
Drew: But I love that. I think it’s great. It’s one of my beliefs that you should take every American teenager and put them in a third world country for six months or two years, like an LDS mission. Put them in a third world country for a little while to have them have that experience, I think that is so powerful. I would love to see that. I kind of wish more American teenagers would be able to have that opportunity. The last question I have for you, Ben is you talked about morning routines. What’s your morning routine look like? What are you doing these days? Because I know for me, it’s changed over the years. Like a year ago, two years ago, it was a little different. What does yours look like now?
Ben: Mine is always changing as well. Right now, honestly I have been waking up at 4:30 in the morning. I don’t know why, my body is …. I will set an alarm for 5 and I’m waking up at 4:30. I think a lot of it is I’m getting ready …. Because sometimes I think we go through sprints, you know? Rather than just a continuous up, I think we go through huge ups and then there is like a little dip. Then we figure it out and then lunge. Kind of like you, I think there is constant reinventions. I think it’s easily like every three or four years. That’s where I am getting ready to go. I am about to go on this upswing. I can tell, because I keep waking up early. But right now what I am doing in the morning is I will wake up and I journal every morning. Throw on some sweet music that just kind of gets me going. I journal about my future. I journal very affirmatively. Just about where I am going, what I am doing, who I am being. Just all of that, I do that everyday. I love it. I’ve been journaling for ten years. I have just stacks. To me that is a huge emotional regulation tool. It’s a huge imagination primer. It just gets me in that zone where I can walk with confidence and walk the way I want to walk. Be who I want to be and act the way I want to act. I do that everyday. Lately like I said, I have been using ‘duolingo’ to learn spanish right now. Here in Orlando there are so many spanish people. To me, it’s really good for the brain to learn a new language. It’s just challenging me to learn in new ways. It’s teaching me the learning process again, to take something kind of totally foreign. So I spend about thirty minutes on spanish right now. I will do various things. I mean it’s not the same every single day. If I’ve been mulling over an idea, I will start writing it. I will throw together an article in like one to three hours. Eventually I will find my way to the gym. I’m writing a book right now. I am working on my dissertation. I’m launching an online course, which is already out. There are different projects that consume me. But for me, it’s less about trying to do a bunch of things. I usually just have one or two things that day that I actually want to take a few steps forward on and that I work on. Then I will just chill. I am usually done working by, well unless there is a Podcast like this, but usually I am done working by 2. My kids get home at like 2-3. After that, I am done. So, really from like 5-2, it’s a mix of learning spanish, writing or I will listen to a book or two on audio, sometimes more. Sometimes I will literally just spend the whole day listening to a book. It’s just different every day.
Drew: How do you expect your life to change once the twins come? *laughing* Are you ready for that?
Ben: No. *laughing* I’m not even ready for that at all. I wasn’t ready for the foster kids. I am still processing the fact that I am a father. I still don’t really get it. We just moved. I am still just processing all the repercussions of this move. I am one of those people that downplay how things are going to go. Like for me, I’m just like, ‘It will be fine. We will figure it out.’ Usually it seems to work. It will be way more different than I expect and I know we are going to adapt to it. It’s one of the points I wanted to make in the book is that it doesn’t really matter what you take on, eventually either …. there is a quote, ‘Pressure can bust a pipe, or pressure can make a diamond.’ If you take on too much, obviously things can fall apart. I am not really sure what that limit is. I’m not the kind of person that places limits, because I know that human beings are so flexible. Usually what I have seen is …. People are like, ‘How did you take on three kids while you were in a PhD program, while you are doing all of these things?’ It was just like, “We just figured it out.’ You just figure it out. It’s not clean. It’s not sexy. We just try our best. We are far from ideal parents, but we are learning. That’s why I usually want people to take on more is because what they figure out is they can handle it.
Drew: That’s why I love your book, man. Talking about adapting and adapting quickly, that’s how you survive in this life. That’s how you thrive and move forward. I love that man. No one is ever ready. No one. They are like, ‘I have to get this, this and this in order before I have kids.’ It’s like, ‘Just get thrown in there. That’s how you will learn it.’ That’s how I learned Portuguese was honestly just being thrown into a situation where I knew very little and the rest was like, ‘Alright. Let’s go.’ I’m going to make mistakes and say the wrong things. But then ‘Boom’, you become fluent because you adapt to it.
Ben: Immersion, dude.
Drew: Yeah, man. I love it. I know that you are not really on Instagram. Where can people find you? What is your website? How can people get in contact with you?
Ben: Yeah, I need to get on Instagram. I’m not a fitness guy, you know what I mean? *laughing*
Ben: It’s not like, ‘Hey, I’ve got it!’ *flexing*
Drew: There you go! *laughing*
Ben: *laughing* Basically BenjaminHardy.com is the place people can go. That website is actually being reconstructed right now. On BenjaminHardy.com you will be able to find my book, my best articles. I have like an online MasterMind program that is a cool mentor program through there. You just google Benjamin Hardy, you will find me.
Drew: Thanks Ben. I really appreciate what you are doing. Oh, really quick, when does your next book come out?
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Not until next October, man. Right now the working title is “Personality isn’t Permanent”. But I don’t know, it might not be called that. But it’s a book that takes it to the next level of transformation. Memory, emotion and experience.
Drew: Yeah, I love that. You talked a little bit about personality in this book too. So, I am excited for that, man. Yes, I know what that is like. My book launches in February of 2019. I’m kind of in the same process as you are.
Ben: It’s a very transformational experience and it can be very positive or very negative. *laughing*
Drew: Yeah. Luckily for me it’s been very positive so far, but it’s a lot of work. It’s more work than people imagine. Respect to you, especially with all you’ve got going on. Thanks for fitting in this Podcast. I really appreciate what you do. You are really helping a lot of people in my opinion. I think a lot of people just think, ‘So, there is something wrong with me. There is something that I just don’t have that these other people have.’ I think your book is giving people hope that they can change, especially with simple things. You are helping people and giving them the tools to change their environment to then change their lives. Thank for for coming on, Ben.
Ben: Yeah. Thank you as well. Have a good day, brother.
Drew: Great. Talk to you soon.
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- Ben Hardy – book “Willpower Doesn’t Work”
- Roy Baumeister – book “Willpower”
- Josh Waitzkin – book “The Art of Learning”
- Dan Sullivan – Strategic Coach
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