ROGER HOUSDEN: How to Drop the Struggle and Love the Life you Have


Is it possible to love the life you have — acknowledging and accepting the conditions of your life exactly as they are — and drop the struggle to make you and your life different? 

Today’s guest—Roger Housden— sent me a sneak preview of his book, Dropping the Struggle: Seven Ways to Love the Life You Have, which actually came out the day we recorded this! I was so touched by  his work; and it resonated with me on many different levels and in various areas of my life—that I thought it’d be an honor to have him come on the show and talk more about it. 

Roger Housden (whose-den), is the author of Dropping the Struggle and numerous other books, including the best-selling Ten Poems series, which began in 2001 with Ten Poems to Change Your Life and ended with Ten Poems to Say Goodbye in 2012. He offers writing workshops, both live and online, with an emphasis on self-discovery and exploration.

Roger wrote Dropping the Struggle from first hand experience as someone who, up until just a few years ago, spent much of his time in a covert struggle with life. Despite his success as the bestselling author of the Ten Poems to Change Your Life series, he often felt that something, which he couldn’t quite put his finger on, was missing. Like many of us, he struggled with the past, the future, relationships, his desire to improve himself, and his own mortality. His inner struggle continued until he got to know himself at a level deep enough that he was able to see how he was making his life needlessly difficult and make a conscious choice to let go. 

What I love is that he shares lessons from his own experience as he offers readers seven ways to love the life they have by dropping the struggle to be special, dropping the struggle for a perfect life, dropping the struggle for meaning, dropping the struggle for love, dropping the struggle with time, dropping the struggle with change, and dropping the struggle to know. 

And in our interview here together, Roger talks about the difference between “effort” and “struggle,” how it is that our struggles all tie back to our sense of identity, and how we can use that intel to shape our life choices—including careers, relationships, etc. And he even recounts how he was captured and interrogated for two days in Tehran, and how that experience had a MAJOR impact on him and his view of life. Roger brings so much clear wisdom to the show, and I’m so honored to dive into his story together. Let’s listen in… 

Listen in for more of his story here:

In this episode we dive into… 

  • Roger explains his book title, “Dropping the Struggle”
  • Why we NEED struggles
  • How Roger defines “struggle” and why it’s different from “effort” (6:15)
  • Why it is that our “struggles” all relate to our identify
  • Unlearning to learn (15:40)
  • **What happens when life turns us upside down (16:30)
  • What it was like to be interrogated for two days in Tehran (19:30)
    • Why it became a turning point for him 
  • How to tap into our natural instincts to help us identify our path(s) in life
  • How to use Roger’s philosophy to help navigate the job market and our purpose, career-wise
  • Why Roger thinks we live in a world of savage beauty (28:38)
  • Where our real identity comes from
  • Roger’s Obituary, written by him (36:19) (pg. 52 from Roger’s book, Dropping the Struggle)
  • Why maintaining friendships matter so much (40:00)
  • Where Roger’s book ideas come from (45:00)


Referred to in the ‘cast…


Where to find Roger online:
Dropping the Struggle: Seven Ways to Love the Life You Have by Roger Housden
 (available at Amazon + at other bookstores as well)