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The Healing Power of Gratitude

Benny Wills

Read time: 3 minutes


Life events can disrupt consistency.

Just as I was starting to get into the flow of writing these newsletters, BAM, we went and had another baby.

I'm sleep deprived and up to my eyeballs with three boys, 3 and under. But in the interest of not losing momentum on something I started (and am determined to see through), here is another entry!

Wallace Wills was born on November 22nd at 2:02 p.m.

He's healthy, happy, and obsessed with his mom.

Thank God for his safe arrival.

In the spirit of giving thanks, I'd like to extend more gratitude.

I am thankful for:

  • My life 
  • My wife
  • My 3(!) sons
  • My friends
  • Our incredible midwife
  • All the things I take for granted (food, clean water, shelter, etc.)
  • And YOU

I have a mighty following.

Thank you for sticking with me throughout the years. Thank you for your support, encouragement, and trust. I appreciate it so much, and I don't take you for granted.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful...

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How To Win The Game Of Life

Benny Wills


Wallace “Wally” Wills, is due to arrive TODAY.

(It’s been 9 months already?!) 

In anticipation of his arrival, this week’s post is a bit lighter.

I want to talk about success.

My chief aim with The Self Reliant Way is to help men succeed in life. 

But what is success?

Millions of dollars? Expensive cars? Private jets? 

Well, even billionaires kill themselves. So money alone isn’t the key.

Loving relationships! Being surrounded by people you love and who love you. THAT’S success!

… Right?

To an extent. But if that person hasn’t slayed the money monster, they’re likely to be anxious about finances.

What about perfect health? Eating right. Exercise. Making it to 100.

Yes. And that person isn’t immune to regret. Or to wishing that their service, output, or contribution had been more meaningful.

So what is success?

Success is the ability to solve problems successfully.

The more problems you...

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The 40-Year-Old Version

Benny Wills

Read time: 5 1/2 minutes

I turned 40 earlier this week.

20 years ago, I was 20. In 20 years, I'll be 60.


I've been reflecting on my journey as an "adult" so far.

My 30th birthday was a huge bash. Dozens of people showed up. And of course I got hammered.

40 was a quiet evening with my wife, sons, and two close friends. We ate lemon meringue pie and played Settlers of Catan. (I won.)

What a decade it was! What a life it is!

If you had told me then that in 10 years I'd be:

  • Living in North Idaho 
  • Married with two sons (and a third on the way)
  • Working from home
  • Running a men's coaching program

I wouldn't have believed you.

Yet here I am.

For the record, I regret NOTHING about my life so far. I want to establish that right now. BUT, I could have spent WAY less time "figuring things out" and "finding myself."

My program, The Self Reliant Way, has gotten off to a great start. I launched it 3 1/2 months ago, and it's already transforming lives.

The main...

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What Was I Scared Of?

Benny Wills

Read time: 6 minutes

The most accurate metric for measuring intelligence is not IQ.


You either behave intelligently or you don't.

How “smart” you are is irrelevant if you act stupidly.

So what is the X factor here? What is the variable—the nexus point behind people’s unintelligent decisions?

It's obvious, isn’t it?


In one form or another. 

Everybody dies, but fear keeps people from living. 

The two most common types of fear that people suffer from are:

  1. Fear of Poverty
  2. Fear of Criticism 

Fear of death is, at best, a distant third.

Fear of poverty is the most destructive fear known to man and the most difficult fear to master. 

There's one primary difference between fear of poverty and fear of criticism. Admission. A person who fears criticism typically admits it. Someone who fears poverty doesn’t. Often not even to themselves.

The ramifications are astounding.

Fear of poverty is a silent...

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The Power of Nonconformity

Benny Wills

Read time: 6 minutes

My first impression of Ralph Waldo Emerson was this:

“The earth laughs in flowers.” 

Cute. Very nice. 

I read it on a tea bag in 2017. For a long time, it was the only context I had for his writing. 

In a previous post, I mentioned that the most exciting facet of the rabbit hole was the truth about success in life. Not just financial success, but success in all five major arenas of fulfillment:

  1. Health
  2. Relationships
  3. Meaningful work
  4. Financial freedom 
  5. Inner peace and Spiritual understanding

Great books tend to be full of great quotes from other great minds. A great quote is great because of its depth. In my obsessive consumption of timeless wisdom, I noticed a pattern. One guy in particular was quoted repeatedly. He was also highly revered. The “great,” the “immortal,” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Further, I noticed that one essay in particular was referred to constantly.


I read it, and...

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3 Lessons From 3 Years of Fatherhood

Benny Wills

Read time: 6 minutes

Three years ago today, everything in my world changed.

Three years ago today, the most challenging and rewarding chapter of my life began.

Three years ago today, I became a father. 

My son, Teague Ellis Wills, was conceived in January 2020, three months after Sonya and I got married. 

One month later, we were in Mexico. I was in the middle of emceeing Anarchapulco when Sonya broke the news. We were going to have a baby!

"Oh my God." 

We flew home, and two weeks later… the world shut down. 

And things got weird. 

In the preceding months, as Sonya's belly grew, so did the weirdness. 

2020 was the year of COVID-19. The coronavirus "pandemic." Lockdowns. Masks. Social distancing. "Slowing the curve." 

For me, 2020 was the year I became a dad.

18 months later, my second son, Oscar Wheeler, was born. 

And what a wild ride it's been...

Character Defining...

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Waiting For Doomsday

Benny Wills

Read time: 4 minutes


“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

At 20 years old, I fell down the rabbit hole.

Junior year.
San Francisco State University. 

Bush vs. Kerry. The sentiment in the air was, "Anyone but Bush!" 

I was on the bandwagon. 


Peter Camejo, a Green Party member and Ralph Nader's running mate, spoke at our school. 

This was my first "big" election. One year prior, I had voted for Gary Coleman in the California recall. (He would have been just as good as Schwarzenegger.)  

Camejo spoke, and I thought, "This guy's great. I like everything he's saying. Too bad I can't vote for him."


Wait, what??

That thought stopped me in my tracks. I had to vote against Bush, so I had to vote for Kerry. Right...? 

But why couldn’t I vote for the guy I liked? 

It may sound...

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The Opposite of Courage

Benny Wills 


"The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice. It’s conformity." - Earl Nightingale 

Have you ever been called a “conspiracy theorist?” If you’re like me, you’re almost numb to it at this point.

There are conspiracies, and it's okay to theorize.


What’s worse than being called a conspiracy theorist?

How about a conformist?

You know, someone who does what they’re told with no questions asked. The guy who:

  • Stays “informed” via television
  • Always trusts the "experts"
  • Posts “I Voted” sticker selfies on social media with the caption, “Do your part!” 

Yeah, that guy’s a 100% certified conformist. 

We conspiracy folk are different. We think critically. We're practical, rational, and open-minded. We are warriors for truth! Non-conformists! 

But stop right there. 

Does the term actually apply? Unfortunately, no, it...

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No More Parrhesia, No More Meme Monday... Why?

I hit rock bottom.

And what a gift that has proven to be.

But first, let me backup a bit...

Over the last three years, I have:

  • Enrolled more than 250 people in my course, Parrhesia: The Art of Communication.
  • Hosted 140 episodes of Meme Monday, where I shared 12K memes! (all which are still available on my website.)
  • With my wife, brought two little guys into the world—Teague and Oscar—and in November we'll be welcoming a third.
  • Survived the greatest financial mistake I’ve made to date.

I stopped sleeping. 

My first baby, a new business, COVID, and a bungled property purchase, made me more anxious and stressed than I thought was possible.

After suffering insomnia more nights than I can count, I mean it when I say I hit rock bottom.

And what I decided to do has changed me and my life’s trajectory forever:

I said enough is enough.

I inundated myself with success stories, wisdom of the ages, and empowering approaches.

I looked back on my life with a new...

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