Uncovering Your Buried Life: Accomplishing Your Dreams & Being The Architect Of Your Own Inspiration With Ben Nemtin

Episode Number: 297

Episode 297- Uncovering Your Buried Life: Accomplishing Your Dreams & Being The Architect Of Your Own Inspiration With Ben Nemtin

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Uncovering Your Buried Life: Accomplishing Your Dreams & Being The Architect Of Your Own Inspiration With Ben Nemtin


Ben Nemtin 0:02

This year whether you think this fear of failure, that's a tax, you have to pay to achieve your goal. You're not going to be ready, you're not going to conquer that fear. You have to push through that discomfort, because ultimately that discomfort means that you're growing. And even if you don't achieve your goal, what you learned through that process far outweighs any potential hit to your reputation.

Intro 0:25

T-Minus 10 seconds.Welcome to the journey to launch podcast with your host jameelah. So frogs as a money expert who walks her talk, she helps brave juniors like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real wealth. joins are on the journey to launch to financial freedom in three to one

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Exciting news, we are giving away a copy of today's guest book. So if you want your chance to win a copy, go to journey to launch.com/win for more details. Also make sure you're following me at journey to launch on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to get the details.

Intro 1:14

If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to launch.com or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes. You'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned and so much more. Also, whether you are an OG journeyer, or brand new to the podcast, I've created a free jumpstart guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes so listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources and so much more. You can go to journey to launch.com/jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.

Jamila Souffrant 1:57

Hey, Jodi Arias. Welcome back to the journey to launch podcast today. I'm excited to be speaking to our guest, Ben Lampton. He is the number one New York Times bestselling author of What do you want to do before you die, and the star and CO creator of MTV the buried life. Ben's message of radical possibility has been featured on today's show, the Oprah show CNN, Fox, NBC News, you name it, President Obama called Ben and the buried life inspiration for a new generation. And I'm really excited to have been on the podcast. So welcome, Ben.

Ben Nemtin 2:28

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Jamila Souffrant 2:30

I'm pretty sure I've seen you while I was like in my coming of age, you know, my college years and 20s. Because as I started to like research, knowing that you were going to be on the show, I was reminded of the very life. And I remember seeing you on Oprah, and all these major outlets talking about this mission that you and your co founders of the varied life had. And I'd love for you to explain it. But really like people going out and going after their dreams, waking up from their sleepwalking lives and living the lives that they were meant to live. And I feel here at journey to launch, like the whole purpose of really why people want to reach financial independence is so that they can do the things that you are inspiring people to do. So I'd love for you just to go back a little bit in time and talk about the buried life, how that came to be. And then we can get into how we can all uncover our buried lives.

Ben Nemtin 3:22

Absolutely, yeah. I mean, I never expected to actually be here talking to you, because this was only supposed to be a two week road trip that my friends and I did in 2006. And it just kind of continued to go on and go on. And his two year, two week road trip ended up lasting like 1015 years. But I grew up in Victoria, British Columbia. And at that time, I was going to university and I always put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed like athletically and academically. So as I was going into my first year, I was on the national under 19 rugby team, which is like a big sport in Canada, like not many people have heard of it. But in Canada, it's like the third biggest sport behind like hockey and hockey because there's just like a huge thing on the West Coast especially. So we are training for the World Cup. And I put all this pressure on myself to succeed for whatever reason. And I started to get anxiety about the World Cup, you know, because I played flyhalf so I was kicking the field goals I was called. It's kind of like quarterback and field goal kicker. And I started worrying about my kicks and I started to get anxiety I start losing sleep. And this lack of sleep is pressure that I put myself as anxiety. For the first time of my life. I hit a depression and I never experienced that before my life. And I was totally knocked out by this. I dropped out of school I got dropped from the national rugby team because I couldn't go to practice. I was shut in in my parents house. I couldn't even leave the house. My friends literally had to pull me out of the house. After the semester I dropped out of took me to a new town for the summer where they were going to work for the summer. And I was forced to start do things for myself, I got a job, I started feeling a little more confident, I start talking about what I was going through, I got a therapist eventually. And I started meeting young people that were different types of people, like I started to meet people, kids that had started their own businesses, or they already traveled like these new types of kids that gave me energy. And I started to realize that some people gave me energy and like, some kids drew energy from me. And for the first time in my life, I found kids that energize me. And I was like, I need to hang out with more kids like this, you know, because I needed that type of boost. So I made this conscious decision to try and only surround myself with people that inspire me. And that ultimately, would totally change the trajectory of my life. At that time. I didn't know it, but it was that one decision that would, you know, you have these like small moments, when you make one decision, and you look back, you're like, Wow, that was the turning point for everything. So I came back, I thought through my friends to see who checked that box of being inspiring. There was one kid that came to mind, he was a local filmmaker, like he just had made movies with his friends, he lived a couple blocks away from me, I didn't know him too well. And I called him up out of the blue, his name was Johnny. And I was like, Hey, you make movies, I want to make movie, let's make a movie together. And we got two other friends. And the four of us got together and started talking about making this documentary film, this is back in 2006. We start chatting, we don't know what this film is about. And we have this thing in common, where we, we all have all of these things that we'd always want to do. But we've never even tried to go after any of them. So they're all like buried dreams. But at that time, Johnny got assigned a poem in in his English class at university, and the poem is called the buried life. And it's 150 plus year old poem, Old English poet. And so John reads his poem, because it's homework. And this poem is talking about the same thing that we're talking about, which is that we have all these things that we want to do, but we haven't done them because they're buried, and you have moments when you're inspired to go after those things, but the day to day buries them, you know, we push them life gets in the way. And so we thought, okay, well, this is crazy. This guy talked about this in 1852. And it's exactly the same thing we're talking about, like, we're not the first people to feel like this, obviously. So what let's borrow this name for our film, we'll call it the buried life. And then we made a list of all of our buried dreams. And we just pretended we had $10 million. We pretended we had the ability to do anything. And if absolutely anything was possible, what would we do? So big dreams. And some of them were so impossible, we laughed when we wrote them down. Like there's, we never thought we would do any of them. We just thought it'd be fun to go on a road trip, try and do as many as we could in two weeks. And then we would try and help other people achieve their dreams. Because we knew that there was no way we're going to accomplish these list items on our own. We were going to need to help other people. So we thought, let's ask people this question, what do you want to do before you die? And if we can help do that thing, then we will. So we hustled to save up money throughout the summer, we cold call companies, we threw parties as fundraisers so we could save up for gas, we bought an old camera on eBay, we bought an RV. And we took a two week road trip at the end of the summer of 2006 in British Columbia. And unexpectedly, as we start to travel, people start to hear about our road trip. And they go to our website, and then we get emails people saying, hey, I can help you cross this off, I can help you cross that for here's my dream. Can you help me? So all of a sudden, it's national news. We're getting hundreds of emails, people wanting us to cross things off our list, people asking for their dreams to be fulfilled by us. And we totally didn't expect our response. And so we come back from that two week road trip. That was amazing. Like, we just had the best time ever. And we got to help people. And you know what, why don't we do this again next summer. And so we went back to school, we saved up more money throughout the school year, we bought an old purple bus. And for two months, the next summer, we traveled crossed off bigger list items. So this this road trip just kept going. Until Interesting enough, these these big list items that we had put on the list that we as I said, were chuckling when we wrote them down because we're like, there's no way these will ever happen. Slowly, they start to fall off the list. So you know, eventually make a TV show biggest dream is to make a TV show with our friends that was sort of, you know, one of the big things that we'd always wanted to do. No experience in production. We ended up getting offered a show in Canada, but they want to own it. So we turned it down. We just kept filming ourselves. We made our own pilot. I met someone randomly in Mexico that knew someone in LA. I flew down on a free buddy pass was like a free flight started just meeting people. And over two years of doing trips, we sold the show to MTV as executive producers so that we could actually maintain The creative integrity of the show. So we moved down to LA, we start making the show. And as you said, like sit with Oprah have a beer with Prince Harry, play basketball with President Obama write a number one New York Times bestseller. We had no business doing any of these things. But over time, we completely surprised ourselves with what was possible. So that's the sort of unexpected journey of what brought me you know, down to the states, and then eventually, right here.

Jamila Souffrant 10:29

So were those big goals like meeting Oprah be writing a New York Times bestseller on the original list, when you first have set out on a two week road trip? Are you added to that later?

Ben Nemtin 10:39

Yeah, those were on the original list. Well, so Obama got elected, obviously, in 2008. So I remember Johnny calling me up and be like, Hey, we should put play basketball with Obama on the list. And I laughed at that, because I felt like the most impossible thing we could think of doing I mean, living on an island and Canada just were in school. But we had a whole range of list items, we had everything from plant a tree to grow moustache, to go to space, you know, it was like, what, what are the things that would be the most fun to do that we would we would love to do if anything was possible. And, you know, I think that this this list, it started out as just completely for fun, right? But what I didn't realize, I mean, now, when I look back now, is that this list, this was the first time in my life that I actually wrote down and said what I wanted. Because what I realized is, up to this point, what I was doing is I was I was living the dream. I was going to a school with all my friends, I was on the national rugby team at an academic scholarship. I checked all the boxes, but it wasn't actually my dream. I was living the dream for what I thought other what I thought was the dream. So for the first time in my life, now I wrote down what I wanted. And then I went out, and I talked about what I wanted. And all of a sudden, it was this creative expression, right of going out there filming, doing the things that are and it felt liberating to do it, I want it. And so and I think a lot of people think it's selfish to do those things that they want, or they love and there's an obligation and that we do have obligations. But what I've realized is that if you don't take care of yourself, you can't serve other people, right. And so this whole thing has become this constant journey of being true to myself, in a world that seems to pull me away from who I truly am, subconsciously, without me even knowing I'm being pulled away from who I truly am. And the list is a reminder of the things that are truly important to you. So it's not just adventure and travel related goals, right? Like when you think about a bucket list, you think skydiving, bungee jump, go to Italy, a bucket list, a reflection of all the things are going to bring you joy and happiness in your life. So you want to think about all 10 categories of your life. When you think about your list, you want to think about your travel and venture goals. But you also want to think of how do you want to give back? What are your relationship goals. You know, one of the Top Five Regrets of the Dying from brawny, where's book, Top Five Regrets of the Dying, she's a palliative care nurse is I wish I would have stayed in contact with friends. That's a top five regret, that's doesn't cost any money. That's just picking up the phone. So what are the relationships that you truly care about that you want to invest in financial goals, professional goals, mental health goals, physical health goals, these are all the categories that you want to think about when you're writing your list. When I look back, now, I'm realizing well like, part of the reason I was depressed is because I wasn't being true to myself, I was living this life that wasn't mine. And anytime I go through any type of depression, or dip, and I've been through a few depression since then, but they all been a little bit less intense. Because I've learned things about myself, I understand what I need to be healthy, I understand who I am a little bit more, therefore I can like serve myself a little better. I have better support system, yada, yada, yada. But the point is, usually when I hit those struggles, it's because a big part of my life, I'm not being true to who I am, like I'm working on something that I don't actually love, or I'm in a relationship that is actually actually not the right relationship. And so now it's like, I'm realizing there's this like, it's like, that's my barometer of is my life happening in flow? And if yes, that that usually means that I am on my course. Right. This is great line from the buried life poem about tracking our true original course. You know, and you get buried, but that's what it's about. It's about what is your true original course. And so I think a list is just a device to help you stay on track.

Jamila Souffrant 14:53

Yeah, and I don't I don't know if you have children, but I do and I see what you just said about Being pulled off your original course, is so interesting because as I watch my kids, they're so young and so determined right on their course. It's their original course. And I can even see when I'm doing it, where I'm kind of like pulling them into the standard of what should be. And, and I often remind myself, okay, but to me, like, remember how you were as a kid? Remember how you feel trapped as an adult? And they constantly push back and remind me but all that to say, I think, how does someone remember what their original course is? How do you get back to what you truly want? When there are so many expectations, responsibilities and life as you get older that are kind of inundating, you with with messages or expectations? Like how do you get to that true knowledge of who you are?

Ben Nemtin 15:48

I think that there are a couple of ways that I believe had helped me, and one is just the simple act of writing your list is important, because what that does is it actually forces you to slow down and think about and reflect what's important to you. Life moves so fast, you know, and we get swept up by the day to day. So actually carving out time to sit by yourself and think and reflect and write down. And that the act of writing down is actually a step towards achieving that goal. Because you take something doesn't exist a thought, and you make it real. So now it's it's tangible. And you also have a reminder that it exists. So that actually builds accountability, writing your list, it forces you to actually stop and be like, Okay, what do I want? So that's the one one thing is is is ridiculous. But sometimes you just don't know what you want, right? You're just sort of some people can't think of one thing they want to do. And that's completely normal. So what I like to suggest is, instead of thinking, try and feel like don't follow your head, follow your gut, follow your heart follow feeling. So what does that mean? Well, what excites you when you think about it, you know, when you plan a trip with your family, or friends, and just the thought of thinking about that trip actually kind of gives you butterflies a little bit like you start to get excited thinking about it. That's a good road to follow that follow that feeling. What are you curious about? Like what genuinely intrigues you? Like? What are you interested in doing or learning, that's another good road to go down. It's about energy. So what actually just gives you energy. And I told you that I realized that some people gave me energy. And some people drew energy from me, I try and live my life with that same rule, I was like, I just want to do stuff that gives me energy. Because that means then that I'm more energized, I'm having more fun, and my life will be better. So whether it's people, I still gravitate towards people that give me energy, because then they hang out with other people that give that are so usually the same types of people. But there's also these things in like in my life, that I realize, this is something that's that's fueling me. And so I try and do more of that, right? Whether it's like I just start playing tennis over the pandemic, I love it, I can't get enough tennis, like it's ridiculous. So I just try and play as much as I can, because it energizes me. And I feel better afterwards. So those are three ideas of how to think about things that are going to fuel you. And I think a lot of it also comes down to being around people and leaning into relationships that also feel you.

Jamila Souffrant 18:20

And let's just say you have ideas, you do know what you want, you have a list. And we'll go into I definitely want to go into more like what the categories of the list that you talk about. So we can get more focused. But when we think about why we don't do the things, because some people know what they want to do. And like their barriers to that I want to talk about, like overcoming those barriers. I know there are a lot of them. But I'm thinking about sometimes it's responsibility and family, right? Like let's just say you do have responsibility. So it's like you can't just up and leave, let's just say on your list is to move to another country or to be away but you you have a life you have a spouse or partner kids mortgage and you feel restricted with that. Maybe it's fair not knowing where to start, or judgment from others. That's what I find, too, is a big thing. Like, what will your parents think? What would your spouse think or people around you, if you were to really start doing the things you want it to? And then money, like the biggest thing I find that people have barriers to doing these things, or something big is money, which is why kind of journey to launch started because it's like, Alright, how do you then get more time back to live the life that you want? Okay, so you basically, you quit or you stop doing work that doesn't excite you, but then you need money to help fund that. So what does that look like? And then you know, the concept of financial independence, retire early comes in. In your experience after talking about this and living this life for so many years, what do you find are the biggest barriers, and I know I gave you a bunch, but like, what are some ways then to overcome them or work through that?

Ben Nemtin 19:53

So the top three barriers, and this is from research at Cornell, the psychologist named Tom Gilovich, did us Study and wrote a paper in the psychology journal emotion called the ideal Road Not Taken. And it was all about regrets. And that people at the end of their life, they don't regret the things they did they regret the things they didn't do. And the number one regret people had at the end of their life 76% of people that he asked was, I didn't live my life for me, right? I didn't live my life for me, I lived it for other people, or I lived the life that I thought I should have lived by what was expected of me. And so why does that happen? Well, there's there's three main reasons. The first, as you mentioned, and this is the biggest barrier is fear. It's the fear of what other people think, or the fear of failure that stops most people. The second is there's no deadlines for these personal goals. We have deadlines for everything else. And so that's why we continually put these off, because we don't feel like there's a deadline. The irony is there is a deadline, and it's the biggest deadline, you die. And then you lay on your deathbed, and you look back in your life, and you think I blew it. But we feel like we have all this time. We don't internalize our death, our mortality, it's just we don't think about it enough. And that's why we ask yourself this question, what do you want to do before you die, because death was the only thing that shook us enough to actually realize what was truly important. And so I try to keep death as close to me as possible and, and actually remind myself that I'm going to die to keep things in perspective. And the third barrier is, we're usually waiting for inspiration, or we're waiting for the perfect time, right? We're waiting to feel ready, and that that inspiration doesn't hit. Okay. So now, if those are the top barriers, how do we get over them? Well, when it comes to the inspiration and waiting to feel inspired, you actually need to create your own inspiration through action. That's why writing your list is so important, because that is a small step of action. So you don't need to know how you're going to achieve the goal. You just need to start and you'll figure out the next step after you take the first step. So those initial Small Steps Start to build inspiration. So you're actually the architect of your own inspiration just through action. And I think that we sometimes over plan, and we forget that action is the plan. I'm sure you've had many examples where you just started doing something and you figured it out. And just by process, the process of creating that momentum, you start to drive yourself towards the goal. That's the piece around inspiration. Right? Don't wait, start, I bought a guitar at the end of the pandemic, I'm still waiting to feel inspired to pick it up and play like it's not going to happen. I need to just pick up the goddamn guitar and start playing. And I will start to feel inspired through action. The second problem that I mentioned is this idea of, there's just no deadlines. And so we need to create accountability around these personal goals. How do we do that, again, write your list that creates a bit of accountability, suddenly, suddenly, your goal is real, a big way. Because this ties into the fear what you can actually use fear to your benefit is share your dreams, share your list, talk about them, because then you feel accountable to the people you share them with. Right? If I come on this podcast, and I and you say, what's your goal, and I say I'm learning the guitar, I'm gonna, by the end of the year, I'm gonna play you a song. And then I see you like six months, and you're like, Hey, how's guitar going? I'm thinking that I better start learning that guitar, right? Because you start to feel like, what's this person gonna think if I don't do this, so you use that fear to your advantage. And it also so that builds accountability. And you're 77% more likely to achieve your goal if you have an actual accountability, buddy. So if I, let's say, I paid a teacher to teach me how to learn to guitar, or I mean, my friend, like we're learning to guitar together. And every Tuesday we're going to meet, we're going to practice. When you train for a marathon with a partner, you're going to have a higher chance of going through and running that marathon. So accountability buddies are huge. And the fear piece is also I think, important just to understand that you're never going to conquer those fears, you're never going to not care about what other people think. Or at least I'm not some people are just get they just have this gene that they just don't care about what other people think like we all like envy those people but for most of us, you're going to feel this. And and that's okay. But the truth is that people just aren't thinking about you as much as you think they are. So you're worried about what they're thinking, and they're thinking, I'm worried about what other people are thinking. So they're not thinking about you that much. Also, people I found are more supportive than you think. Because keep in mind, the only way that we cross things off our list is through the help of other people. People stepped up around the world in unexpected ways. Like it was so blown away. And so of course, we had to be vulnerable and share these crazy dreams. And then people came back and they helped. There's this idea that I think is important that this fear what other people think this fear of failure that As attacks, you have to pay to achieve your goal, you're not going to be ready, you're not going to conquer that fear. You have to push through that discomfort, because ultimately that discomfort means that you're growing. And even if you don't achieve your goal, what you learn through that process far outweighs any potential hit to your reputation.

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Jamila Souffrant 26:12

This is what you talked we talked about in the beginning about finding people who you got energy from and who I'm sure that you they gain energy from you too, like it was, it was like a vortex of energy, positive energy. And I feel like sometimes people say, keep your dreams close to you or do things behind the scenes and then show your work or whatever. Some people feel like that. But I think really what they're saying is you just have to share your dreams and your goals and with the people who either also believe like you or even believe bigger and have done the bigger things that you want to do. This is what's helped me when I was starting out, get out of my what I thought was an average or normal life I was living is finding people that were doing the things I wanted to do or didn't even know were possible. And it doesn't always have to be in person, you know, online, virtually sometimes it's one way I always talk about this, like listening to podcasts, reading blogs, like those people didn't know who I was, but listening to their stories and being inspired by them helped me understand that it was possible. But then it also helped me identify other people who felt like me, or who at least, were open to possibility. So I wanted to just mention that because sometimes people say, keep it close, don't say anything. But I think it's important to share your goals and dreams because you just never know who's out there that can help you or who you can inspire and be inspired by

Ben Nemtin 27:31

when you are surrounding yourself with those people that inspire you, like you said, you start to believe that you can do great things. It's almost the by osmosis, you know, you sort of you absorb this belief, because you see this person that you know, do something great. And so you think, Wow, that's amazing. I wonder what I could do, because I know this person, they're good. They're not that much different than me. You know, this is something someone that I that I know is like a regular human being. And they've done this great thing that's like super inspiring, it makes me want to think about what I can do. For instance, when I was in high school, my friend started a clothing line out of nowhere. I was blown away. I went up there. I was like, how did you do that? You don't have any money. You've never made clothes before you your family's not in fashion. I'm like, How did you do it? He's like, What do you mean? I'm like, Well, how did you do it? He's just, I just did it. Like, holy crap. That's amazing. And I just I asked him, if I could get involved. I was like, Can I help. And I started to get involved. And I started thinking as I was helping him like, wow, if he made a clothing line, I wonder what I could do. And I was like, I want to make a movie. And that's what triggered me to call Johnny to start this whole project. And so you this idea of when you do what you love, you're actually inspiring other people to do what they love. And that creates this ripple effect that is very, very powerful. So it's a win win. You get to do what you love you doing this podcast, right as an example. But you also get to help other people. And so that's why this whole thing of it's selfish to do these things is actually backwards, because you give other people permission by doing your thing. And I think the world would change. I mean, this is like a very idealistic idea. But I actually believe it, that the world would be a better place if more people did what they loved. Because they would be happier. And it would inspire other people to be their best self and be and be happier. So this ripple effects it's created is very real. Because when we started buried life, honestly, the documentary in the beginning was just going to be about us helping other people achieve their dreams. Because we're like, who cares that we're doing our list? Like that's selfish for guys going around doing their dreams like no, we'll help other people but we still want to do our lists. So we'll do that on the side but it won't be in the documentary. But what happened that was unexpected is people started to be inspired to go after their list just because we were going after ours. So you start to see all these people around the world going after their dreams. Because we're going after ours, we're like, wow, I guess we can just continue to do this, because it's inspiring other people to actually do the exact same thing. And so that's the power of the ripple effect, which I think is important too, for people to remember that it's actually service to do this stuff. And I think we need to flip that narrative in our head. And again, look like everyone's path is different. I feel very privileged to be able to have done the things that I've done in my life. The bucket list is not about the accomplishments, a bucket list is about being true to yourself. And it's about doing those big things, or small things that are going to bring you joy. So that might be more quality time with family that might be telling someone how I really feel or reconnecting with some that you've lost touch with. It could be hike, climbing Everest, right? It could be going to space, right? But it's not about the accomplishments. It's about being true to yourself, and making sure that you carve out time, whether it's one hour a week that you can afford and you said like, the biggest sort of barriers, I don't have time, I don't have the money. You know, all these are the things that stop us. Well, okay, that's completely valid. But how much time do you have? You don't have no time? Right? You do have some time. But what is that look like? Is that one hour a week? Is it you really have just maybe one hour a month? Like what is it one weekend, a month, one day a month that you can focus on this thing? Let's say you want to write a book, right? Like so, first things first? What time can you afford to actually focus on this thing? So you identify that, let's just call it it's two hours a week, okay? And let's go back to my learning guitar or write a book, maybe it's a great book. So you're like, Okay, I can do two hours a week I can I can write a book, talk and start writing my book. I've always want to do it. I know, if I'm on my deathbed. I'm gonna regret not doing it. That's a great thing to use as a as a reminder, ask your future self ask your 90 year old self, will I regret not doing this? And if your 90 year old self is like, yep, you have to do it. My opinion. Okay, so you're like, okay, my old self is gonna be like, you're an idiot. You didn't write the book. I'm pissed off at you. Okay, I gotta write the book. So how much time can commit, I can't commit very much time. I'm super busy. I have a family, I have a career, blah, blah, blah, okay, well, I can do two hours a week. Okay, now, this is important. Now you have to protect that time, just like you would protect the most important meeting that you have at work. If you have a meeting with your leader, or with investors or with a like, you're not missing that meeting. Okay, so what do you do, you put in your calendar, you tell people about it, you share, you say, guys, to your family, to your team, to everyone, guys, my biggest dream, I've always wanted to write a book, I'm going to do it this year, okay. And on Thursday nights, from six to eight, I'm writing the book, you know, so just wanna let you know this is. And so then they start to support you in that mission. And by communicating, you build accountability, but you also tell them and you said it, right? You need to tell people that support you, right? Because there's people that will drain you and be like, you're gonna write a book that's dumb, like, You're not an author, what are you talking about, like, there's people that will drag you down, share it with the people that you know, are supportive and lifting you up the agenda, the goal, if I didn't how much time you can afford to do it now just about building structures of accountability around it, put in your calendar, talk about it, you know, get an accountability buddy seeking, you can get a writing partner or something like that. Ask for help. But we just don't ask for help with these things. Email an author out of the blue is hey, listen, like I'm, I'm so excited to write a book, I had no idea how to get an agent, like, can I borrow 50 minutes of your time? Right? Be respectful, be concise, ask for help. And so these are just different ideas of how to build accountability. But that's kind of the idea is that you want to start to build those structures.

Jamila Souffrant 33:56

Yeah, and so with the list, right, that can also be overwhelming if we're thinking about all the things we want to do. So you say that there are 10 categories that you can break your list down into. So can you briefly describe like how those categories work, and then how to prioritize within those categories? What you can do?

Ben Nemptin 34:15

Yep, the 10 categories for me has sort of helped me give structure to the list writing process. And sometimes it's overwhelming to look at a blank piece of paper and just think like what are all what's my purpose kind of, you know, like, what are all the things that I am passionate about? Once I started to sort of redefine what this list actually was, I started to think about okay, what are the categories that will sort of be able to encompass all of my my dreams and so I mentioned that there are traveling adventure. Those are those are great goals. There's giving goals like how do you want to make an impact for me, as we started to help other people achieve their dreams and you build this like instant connection with someone when you have help them do something that's so important to them. It helps you instantly, right? So you're actually giving to yourself, it's like when you give a gift to someone that you love, let's just say like a birthday present, you're so excited for them to open it, because you just can't wait for them to have it. And as they open it, you get the same amount of joy as they get. So there's like this giving without expectations, which I think is a big part of your own well being and also your success is by sort of taking time to, to give back. So that's the category intellectual goals. So what do you want to learn, that could be reading, that could be a course, that could be something that helps stimulate your brain material goals, it's okay to have material bucket list items, you have a dream, watch, save up for the dream, watch it that's going to bring you joy and happiness, new tennis racket, right? That makes me happy. A house on the beach. So you can have your grandkids come and spend summers to get like all of these things. The important thing, though, for material goals is that you're doing it for you. So you're not buying the dream watch to like floss and like impress other people, you're actually doing it because like every time you put it on, you're like I love this watch, you know, this brings me joy every time I put it on, and makes me feel good. So material items are okay, financial goals. You know, I don't have to talk about that. That's this is about creative goals. I think this is a big one that's kind of often overlooked. I think creativity is an overlooked pillar of wellness. Because when you're creative, what you're really doing is you're letting out this true expression of yourself. And I think that's therapeutic. And you get into a flow state, which means you're truly in the moment and you're truly present. So that could be you recording this podcast as a creative pursuit that could be writing, that could be music, that could be even sport can kind of be this sort of experience where you are totally immersed in the moment. And you're used as a creative expression. So make sure that you carve out time for those creative goals. Drawing, painting could be anything. Okay, professional goals, self explanatory. relationship goals, I mentioned, this is a big one. These are things that tend to get pushed under the rug, right, you get too busy. You realize I haven't seen my best friend in a year, I haven't called My mum in a month. These are the things we regret, health goals, this physical health goals, it's or somebody's holding you back and injury or it's just you, you know, getting in shape. And then mental health goals, which obviously, these days are so important, you know, more people are struggling with anxiety and depression than ever before. Because the pandemic, obviously, this is something that is near and dear to my heart because of my experiences. I think that this is probably the biggest category of life. So you want to figure out what can you do to lower your stress? What can you do to build your mental health toolkit of things that you know are going to work for you, so that you can navigate stress. And a lot of times that's going to be just talking about it, finding someone that cares about you, a therapist that you trust, you know that you can talk about these struggles, because the truth is, all human beings struggle, this is the human condition. And no one is invincible. And so you need to talk about these things you're going through one because you give someone the chance to help you. But you also are able to process it and break it down as you talk about it. And they're less scary out in the world, when you say these things they are actually when they're spinning around in your head. Here's what I found. So this is sort of a framework that I use. I put this in the bucket list journal, which is my book. It's a sort of an interactive book. It's basically you write your list in these 10 categories. And it gives you prompts of ideas of what these list items could be in different categories. And then the journal helps you get over those barriers that I talked about. create accountability, so you want to create a reward for yourself. I used to get myself that my favorite smoothie after I worked out at the gym. And I would just go to the gym because like I want that smoothie, like what's the reward you're gonna give yourself when you accomplish the thing. But a deadline, what's your deadline for the goal, who's your accountability, buddy? Break that goal down into very small, easy steps. So you can create your own inspiration through action. So these are things you do in the journal, I would encourage everyone to write their list in a journal something that they're going to keep so that they come back to it. And this is like a safe place for your dreams to live. It's a living, breathing document. So you want to come back to it every couple of months and be like, okay, is this something I still want to do? Or am I going to add something to it? Or am I gonna take this off because I don't want to do it anymore. You know, like, we started with this 100 list, but I've added hundreds more as as I've grown. So those are the 10 categories of life. If you want to see those 10 categories. You can go to write your list.com That's what the book Because Journal website is and you can see these 10 categories, use them as a guide. So that's right, your list.com.

Jamila Souffrant 40:07

And I will link that in the episode show notes. You know, as you're talking about all the categories, it's funny, because I think this is why as humans, we are overwhelmed beings, because I'm just like, oh my gosh, it's so much like to live a whole life and full life, like, there's all these facets that we need to be paying attention to. And I know a lot of people, if any fewer those are, some of those are just not getting attention, because of overwhelm, because of they don't feel like they have the capacity to do it. But the reality is, it's what creates and makes our lives tick. And so, yeah, we don't feel good when something is off. But what are some practical ways like, so for me, when I'm listening to that list, knowing that that list is, you know, just naturally a part of all our lives, I say to myself, like, Okay, I know, I'm not gonna accomplish all 10 categories, or major things like in one day, right? Like, for me, when I think about it's like, Alright, maybe today, it's gonna be focused on physical, a physical or health goal. So that means I'm gonna go run, I'm gonna go workout. But tomorrow, it's going to be more professional goals. And that happens for me a lot. Like, I have to make a choice. Am I going to work out today? Or am I going to have more time to write the book that I'm working on? Right, and I have to it literally is a choice, and I have to give up one. So are there ways that someone could say to themselves, okay, how do I make a choice between the two?

Ben Nemptin 41:24

Yeah, I think one thing is just to know, you don't have to do all the 10 categories. But I do think it's important to take some time to think about them, and identify, is there something that's important to me, that I am not actively thinking about right now, or is sort of getting pushed, subconsciously. Give me an example. Like, it might be for some people, that really the, the most important thing is relationship, maybe that someone's thinking, you know, it, like, I'm actually, I don't really have the relationship with my dad that I want to have. And if my dad dies tomorrow, I'm going to regret not saying some things to him, I'm going to regret not doing some things with him. And that is something that sticks out for me in my life right now. And everything else, you know, maybe they have their finances under control, maybe, you know, they're feeling good about us. And they have all they have goals and a thing. But really, that's the main thing. That's just the thing that that person needs to prioritize, and start to move towards, because that's something they're going to really like, regret not doing. So I just think it's important to just note before I answer that question that this isn't like optimizing your life, and you need to achieve goals in all 10 categories, and then you have a complete life. These are just ideas for you to think about. So you might be able to unearth these things that maybe you are subconsciously pushing off, you know, you're not addressing. So, yeah, to your question about like, okay, now I have, I have physical health goals, and I have professional goals. And I haven't mastered this at all, because I tend to do too much on the professional side, and not enough on the personal side. And I'm working on that. But I think it's about creating barriers and boundaries, so that you have time to do the other things in your life that you may be letting slide. So for me, I mean, just it I do a ton of public speaking this year, I have like 150 speaking engagements. So I'm not home very much at all. And that's not something that I want to continue moving forward. Because relationships in my life that I care about, ultimately start to slide but just because the fact that I just am not here. So I started to now next year put up boundaries. I'm taking August and December off no speaking engagements. I'm not doing speaking engagements on the weekend because I miss my buddy's wedding last weekend. I couldn't go because I had two speaking engagements in Ottawa and Vancouver on Saturday and Sunday. You know, so that for me, I was like, Okay, that's a big problem. I just missed my buddy's wedding. So you start to put up boundaries, so that you can create space to do the things that you know now are really important to you and you're learning about yourself as you grow. So you don't beat yourself up. You're just like, Okay, moving forward, this is what I'm going to do. So for you, it's like, okay, maybe it is that one day you focus on health one day, you focus on more on the professional or you take Sunday to do this and that. But there's no silver bullet. It's identifying things that are important. And then figuring out what time you can allocate towards those things and making sure you then set those boundaries that people know about them, so that you protect that time and that's what you're going to use to to focus on.

Jamila Souffrant 44:57

Now you've accomplished Are you checked off some pretty amazing things that may also show up on other people's like big goals lists, like, again, sitting down with Oprah hitting the New York Times bestseller list playing basketball with Obama. And I'm sure like, I'm missing some other big ones. But for you, and it doesn't have to be those big moments or things that were on that list, but was there a moment or thing that you did where it wasn't as satisfying or rewarding as you thought it would have been? Because sometimes what happens is like, we are looking forward to these moments or these things, and we think, Oh, once we do that, that's gonna make me happy. I'm good. And you've done a lot of things that people wouldn't want to do. And I know everyone's different. So you don't like speak for the world? But are there things you've done? Or have you reflected on accomplishing some of these things? And has it taught you or showing you something different than you thought you'd feel about life and what you're doing?

Ben Nemptin 45:49

Yeah, I think that when we were doing the show, we did a lot of things that we were very, like big, you know, we had to do things that were sort of entertaining to make an entertaining show. And I think there was some things that we did then reflection that we just did, because we wanted to do something that was loud and exciting. And I guess you could look at that as like, we're doing it for other people. Now our job was to do things for other people, like we had to make a show that other people liked. Like, I mean, we'd sit strict to field and God, you know, try to streak a field and get away we didn't we ended up spending a night in jail. You can tell we like, my friend asked out Taylor Swift because it was like ask the girl your dreams. And it crashed the CMTS and dress them up like a fake country music star. And I tried to ask up Megan Fox, I totally failed. Like there's just it but you know, we were kind of doing some things to make a really exciting, compelling show. And reflection. It's like, yeah, I guess we were kind of doing that for other people. So the only time that I've been disappointed a little bit is, is when I've realized, I'm actually not doing this for me. I'm doing this for validation, or I'm doing this because what's expected of me. So it's really easy to fall into that, I think, because sometimes you don't even realize that you're doing something for someone else, you think you're doing it for you. But you're actually you're doing it for others. And so that's why the reflection is important. Talking about these things is important. And if you look at like the Top Five Regrets of the Dying, this is from brawny wares book, as I mentioned, that Top Five Regrets of the Dying, should ask people on their deathbed what they regret. And there are things that you wouldn't necessarily think would be things you regret, because they don't really have anything to do with money, or career. You know, if you think about, like, when you go, if you've been to a funeral, and you know, someone speaks about the person that passed, they don't usually say like, wow, like Bob really killed it, he had a lot of money. You know, he was he was loaded. And he had an incredible business. You know, like, you hear that Bob was a really good friend to me, you know, like, every time I needed him, he was there. Or he's a great family man. Or he just inspired people that he was around, you know, so the top five regrets, they're more along those lines. It's like, as I said, I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to me, not the life others expected of me. It's actually the second regret is I wish I would hadn't worked so hard. And it's actually the opposite. People wish they didn't work as much. The third is I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings. The fourth is I wish I would have stayed in touch with my friends. And the fifth is I wish I would have let myself be happier. So you can kind of like just look at those and be like, Okay, let's reverse engineer a life to not have those regrets. And what are the list of things that will encourage you to feel like you don't feel those feelings when you're on your deathbed.

Jamila Souffrant 48:57

And that's, that's heavy in a good way. I think hopefully, in a good way for people to think about as they are listening to this, then thank you so much for this enlightening conversation. Please tell everyone where they can find out more about you and the bucket list journal.

Ben Nemptin 49:11

Yeah, you can find me. I'm probably most active on Instagram, which is just my full name at Ben Hampton. And if you want to check out the bucket list journal, you can search the bucket list journal on Amazon or go to write your list.com

Jamila Souffrant 49:26

Awesome. And again, I'll put that all in the episode show notes. Thank you so much again, Ben.

Ben Nemptin 49:30

Thank you for having me. This is super fun.

Ad 49:35

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Outro 49:52

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Ben Nemtin, number one New York Times bestselling author and the star and co-creator of MTV’s, The Buried Life, joins the podcast to discuss his new book which includes his philosophy of radical possibility and waking people up from sleepwalking their lives away.

We chat about using accountability to fuel your goals, surrounding yourself with people that energize you instead of drain you, facing the fear and doing it anyway and being true to yourself no matter what.

Ben has been featured on The Today Show, The Oprah Show, CNN, Fox News, NBC News, you name it– and President Obama even called Ben and The Buried Life inspiration for a new generation. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What Ben did when he realized he was struggling with depression and anxiety 
  • Why surrounding yourself with inspiring people is important + necessary to living your best life and achieving your goals
  • How to get back to what you truly want when day-to-day responsibilities and distractions take over
  • The 10 categories of life to consider when writing your dream and/or bucket list 
  • The power of physically writing down your dream and/or bucket list + more
I'm Listening to Episode 297 of the Journey to Launch Podcast, Uncovering Your Buried Life: Accomplishing Your Dreams & Being The Architect Of Your Own Inspiration With Ben Nemtin Click To Tweet

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