Ep. 297 – Rich Roll: Surrendering Does Not Mean Failure

rich roll

“If you were on the outside looking in you’d probably think, ‘This guy’s got a really good life.’ And on paper I did, but on the inside I felt like I was dying. I was depressed. I was unenthusiastic about my life because I knew I was in a career that was ill suited to me. But I just couldn’t see my way out of it,” Rich Roll said.

He told be about the time he felt a tightness in his chest. He couldn’t walk up the stairs. He had to take a break halfway up the flight.

Rich was 39 and dying.

Rich and I talked about his story before… how he transformed himself from a depressed and overweight alcoholic to a plant based, vegan eating, mega athlete / bestselling author / podcaster / writer and total peak performer.

But THIS time we dove even deeper.

“I was trying to force this round peg into a square hole for most of my life,” he said.

I wanted to understand the switch that led him to himself… He told me his secret. And I believe him.


He went to rehab. And got help for a problem he couldn’t handle on his own.

That’s Rich’s meaning of “surrender.” Getting help when you need.

But it’s hard to know when it’s the right time to get help. I probably need help right now. It’s the first time I’ve felt physically sick in five years. My body is tired. And I’m trying to rest. But sometimes, I can’t pull myself away from what I love.

So I talked to Rich and then my friend Ryan Holiday. And then prepped for two more interviews.

I like this interview with Rich for a lot of reasons. I’ll tell you one though… It’s because when he says something, it feels just confessing. He’s sharing what’s true for him. And helping you heal in the process. (You’ll know what I mean if you start listening)

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  • Dr. LaVigne

    Such a treat listening to these two!

  • What was the cheese book Rich mentioned? (When will we arrive to the days when google search will encompass audio… or when I’m not so lazy to go back to the relevant fragment).

    Or when I stop panicking and not ask questions before typing “rich roll cheese” reveals the answer (surprisingly not showing any cheese rolls with rich fillings). If anyone else is a vegan nutter like me: https://www.amazon.com/This-Cheese-Nuts-Delicious-Vegan/dp/0735213798