Episode 33: The Unsettling Truth About Self-Discipline (ft. Rich Roll)

June 5, 2024

About the Episode

I’ve often wondered if self-discipline is just a way of turning bad addictions into healthy ones. After all, addictions of all kinds are really just an attempt to numb and distract ourselves from facing uncomfortable feelings. Can’t the same be said for healthy behaviors once they reach a level of compulsion?

I brought Rich Roll on the pod to discuss this idea because, well, he’s a recovered alcoholic who turned into an ultra-endurance athlete in his 40s. Rich is no stranger to reinventing himself, repeatedly leveraging his flaws into virtues.

We talk about the value of pain as a catalyst for change, the idea that addiction is a spectrum that doesn’t just involve substances, terrible breakups, finding a deeper spirituality, lessons from Rich’s financial struggles, his career running a top podcast, and much, much more.

Rich Roll Quotes From the Episode

Pain has been my greatest teacher, and I think from a general perspective, when pain where you want to define the playing field here, you have to look at the motivation behind the pain.
You don’t have to be in pain to make a change, but I just think there’s something wired into our cells, into our bodies, and into our minds that make us resistant to that until we suffer adequately.
Every single one of us has our own bespoke newsfeed driven by an algorithm that knows you better than you know yourself… We’re crafting human beings who are walking around in a reactive way, unaware of the vast extent to which they’ve been manipulated.
When bad things happen, it is an opportunity for growth… Our job is to identify the growth opportunity in those challenging moments and obstacles.

Did you enjoy this episode?

Leave a podcast review on

5 Minutes Each Week That Might Change Your Life

Enter your email address below to sign up for my free newsletter, Your Next Breakthrough. Each week, you’ll receive a few prompts and exercises designed to create your next breakthrough. No fluff, no filler, no BS. Just five minutes each week that might change your life.