Have you ever asked yourself, “Who am I?”
Most people never bother, submitting instead the nagging voice of the abomination known as the inner critic. Or perhaps they fear answers that may never arrive. The mind, capable of incredible creativity, can also be the greatest obstacle to true authentic expression.
When powered by the ubiquity of the heart however, the mind is a faithful servant acting on passion and purpose with incredible ease. On the other hand, the mind – without heart – is an unfeeling entity capable of tremendous destruction – to the self and to the world. The cold logic of the dominant intellect oppresses the true self through fear, reason, excuses, opinions, blame, reactivity, judgement, projection, cynicism, separation, and denial.
Most people prefer the certainty of misery over the self-created illusory misery of uncertainty. And what is uncertainty? It’s simply the place in life of not knowing. A place greatly feared by those with a deep attachment to the mind. However, next to death, uncertainty is the only true certainty in life. How ironic. How many people inhabit the globe living half-lives of “comfort” fearing the illusory uncertainty surrounding true authentic expression? In a world where conformity, judgement, fear, and indifference have oppressed the masses, it’s no wonder that few act on the calling in their hearts.
Unless we’re willing to step into uncertainty, there is no possibility. We must be willing to step into uncertainty for new possibilities to happen in life. It’s just that simple. For some people, a powerful question may be all that is required to transform their lives. For others, it may be a movie, a book, or words of wisdom spoken in a podcast. And for still others, a rock-bottom plunge, a life-threatening health scare, the death of a loved one, or surviving a dramatic accident may be the wake up call required to demolish the cultural trance.
Today’s podcast guest is a man who transformed himself from overweight addict to best-selling author, inspiring motivational speaker, and one of the 25 fittest men in the world. Rich Roll is, in his own words, a man of extremes.
A former entertainment attorney turned accomplished vegan ultra-endurance athlete and full-time wellness and plant-based nutrition advocate, Rich was also considered by Men’s Fitness magazine in 2009 as one of the 25 fittest guys in the world. It wasn’t always this way though. Rich transformed his life after what he calls “his staircase epiphany”.
Although he competed as a butterfly swimmer at Stanford University in the late 80’s, his career was cut short by struggles with drugs and alcohol that led him down the dangerous path of self-destruction where he alienated friends, colleagues and family. He also found himself in jails, institutions and ultimately in rehab at age 31.
It didn’t end there though. Despite his new-found post-rehab sobriety, he soon found himself 50 pounds overweight – the furthest thing from fit. Everything came to head on the eve of his 40th birthday. He found himself defeated by a short flight of stairs that left him buckled over in pain, foreshadowing a heart attack looming in his near future.
It was time for a major life change.
As he states on his website:
The day immediately following his staircase epiphany, Rich overhauled his diet, became a dedicated vegan, put on his running shoes and jumped back into the pool. It wasn’t long before ambition took hold and his quest to participate in Ultraman slowly began. Two years later, 50 pounds lighter, and fueled by nothing but plants, he surprised the triathlon & ultra communities by not only becoming the first vegan to complete the 320-mile über-endurance event, but by finishing in the top 10 males (3rd fastest American) with the 2nd fastest swim split — all despite having never previously completed even a half-ironman distance triathlon.
I’ve had the honor of getting to know Rich on a personal level and I can tell you with authority that he’s one of the most dedicated people I’ve met living a life of purposeful meaning. We click. We “get” one another. And I’m deeply grateful for his presence in the world.
Today’s episode is chock full of meaningful talk. We dive deep into such important topics as:
- How the flick of an internal switch is sometimes all it takes to transform your life.
- How living from faith, instinct, and trust always leads you in the right direction.
- The physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual resurgence that occurred in his life after a significant dietary shift.
- How plant-based nutrition was the key that unlocked his heart to reveal the authentic man inside.
- Developing a greater conscious awareness on a moment-to-moment basis can drastically improve the quality of your life.
- How increasing your capacity for self-inquiry uncovers what is is about you that is under-expressed.
- How the world needs a massive transformation of people who fully express their passionate selves.
- The path of the warrior – living consciously and authentically in an unconscious world.
- When living your calling means work no longer feels like work.
- And how people are starving for real, sustainable solutions in order to truly live a life of optimal health.
There’s a great Chinese proverb which I’d like to share that is perfect for today’s interview:
“If there is light in the soul,
there will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person,
there will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house,
there will order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.”
What this tells me is that we need to connect to our own sense of non-harming towards our own being. The way we treat the planet and animals is a direct reflection of the way we treat ourselves and one another. When we establish habits that are healthy and loving towards ourselves, this is a critical first step towards making a difference on a much bigger scale. When we feel healthy and vital, inner guidance is more pronounced, and purpose unfolds with ease. Its only then that we start acting on purpose in an authentic and loving way.
I write all this because Rich is a prime example of someone who exemplifies this proverb. Rich used to neglect himself. And that negligence hurt many people who loved him. It also made him indifferent to the plight of the world. But, after the staircase epiphany, everything changed in his life. An awakening. He started caring for himself in a way that transformed his life, revealed his authentic self, and connected him to his life purpose. He’s now a best-selling author and passionate wellness advocate traveling the globe making a difference in the lives of the masses.
So you see, it really does start with each and every one of us.
Be prepared to be inspired because Rich Roll is about to touch your heart.
Finding Ultra Book Trailer:
- Rich’s inspiring blog post The Art of Living with Purpose.
- The Rich Roll podcast on iTunes.
- The “Ultimate Guide to Plant-based nutrition” video course. Transform your life!
- Another amazing blog post by Rich today “Why You Should Stop Lifehacking and Invest in the Journey”.
- Rich Roll on Facebook.
- Rich Roll on Twitter.
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As always, thank you for listening and thank you for helping to co-create a better world!