This week’s conversation is Akshay Nanavati, a Marine Corps Veteran, endurance athlete, philanthropist and creator of Fearvana.

After overcoming drug addiction, PTSD and depression from fighting the war in Iraq with the US Marines, and alcoholism that pushed him to the brink of suicide, Akshay has since built a global business, run ultramarathons, and explored the most hostile environments on the planet, from mountains to caves to polar icecaps.

Combining his life experience with years of research in neuroscience, psychology and spirituality, he wrote a book called “Fearvana: The Revolutionary Science of How to Turn Fear Into Health, Wealth and Happiness.”

About the book, the Dalai Lama said “Fearvana inspires us to look beyond our own agonizing experiences and find the positive side of our lives.”

He is now on a mission to turn Fearvana into a global movement to help others build a positive relationship with suffering.

“The greatest thing that stands in the way of our wellbeing is the negative relationship to suffering. We live in a world that demonizes fear, stress, anxiety, pain, and adversity. If we can shift that relationship, we can live a better life.”

In This Episode:

  • Why is he interested in depth, in spending time on the inner-journey of self-discovery?
  • Struggling with depression growing up and feeling inclined to commit suicide at certain points
  • His nomadic upbringing impacted his depression pushing him to want to stand out and do crazy things
  • His intense approach to life and how that didn’t mix well with alcohol
  • Why he’s infatuated by the paradox of singular duality
  • How he was able to reframe his PTSD and survivor’s guilt from fighting overseas
  • Where he gets in his own way
  • How he defines inner peace
  • What it means to actually be happy
  • The way he structures his life
  • Who’s been influential in his life?
  • What he thinks he’ll find by going through prolonged darkness
  • Where pressure comes from
  • What it all comes down to
  • How he defines mastery

 

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Quotables:

“I want to get to a point where it doesn’t matter what’s happening in the external world, that I control my internal reality.”

“I want to delve deeper into the pits of the darkness.”

“I believe through every struggle there’s another awakening on the other side of that struggle.”

“Fear can coexist with faith, pain can coexist with beauty, and if you can truly find the oneness in all of it, you transcend yourself. That self-transcendence is everything.”

“I think inner peace is not the absence of conflict or chaos. It’s the acceptance of them, because there’s always going to be chaos and conflict within. Whether you seek it out or not, we all know this. Our monkey mind goes to these places.”

“The paradox of happiness is by seeking it you actually lead to greater struggle. By seeking a worthy struggle, you actually get happiness as a side effect.”

 

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Creator at

Akshay Nanavati is a United States Marine veteran, speaker, entrepreneur, ultra runner and author. He served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.