This week’s conversation is with Colin O’Brady, an explorer and elite endurance athlete, who has set multiple records and pushed the boundaries of what we understand to be possible.

He was a previous guest on Finding Mastery – episode 36 – and I’m excited to have him back on to talk about his latest feat, the world’s first solo, unsupported and completely human powered crossing of Antarctica.

Previous to this, he set speed records for the Explorers Grand Slam and the Seven Summits.

The Explorers Grand Slam involves climbing the tallest mountain on each continent and skiing the last degree of latitude to the North and South Poles – and Colin completed it in a mere 139 days.

Colin also recently published a book called, The Impossible First, a bestselling adventure memoir.

We cover so much in this conversation including what continues to drive him, his thoughts on human potential, and why he believes many people are settling, when they’re capable of so much more.

I’m confident you’ll leave this conversation inspired.

“We’re going to have hard things happen to us, whether that’s on the field of play, in business, or interpersonally. That’s life. We’re not in control of that necessarily, but we are in control of our minds and how we choose to react.”

In This Episode:

  • Setting the record for first solo trek across Antartica… what drove him to do it?
  • The early framework he developed…  the world is hard, it’s up to you how to respond
  • How that framework has helped him accomplish each feat he attempts
  • Living his life with alignment… why “love’ plays a big role in why he does anything
  • Being on a mission to understand himself better and what the solo trek taught him
  • How does he balance the external vs internal validation that comes with these projects
  • Is his identity tied to exploration?
  • Has he found inner peace?
  • If his ability to do these expeditions were to be taken away from him, would he be ok?
  • His purpose in life
  • How does he define human potential and why does it matter?
  • Does pushing the boundaries of what we believe to be possible matter to everyone or only the more fortunate?
  • Why he believes many of us settle, living our lives between the 4-6 range and don’t strive for a 9-10
  • What we can do to exceed that 4-6 range and why he believes thats where true fulfillment happens
  • Staying true to himself and the micro choices he faces that test his authenticity


Listen via: Apple Podcasts | Android | SpotifyStitcher | Pocket Casts |  RSS



“The reason I’ve continued to push my body in the way that I do, and certainly with this solo Antarctica crossing, was to find out what was there, what was actually within, in a pure way.”

“When you’re out there alone pushing your limits, I think that you’re testing some level of your own sort of existentialism or spirituality.”

“The second that I say, ‘I’m only doing this because people are watching me,’ is the second I know I’m not going down that path. There has to be a purity and a desire to do it.”

“My hope is that by sharing my story with the world, my ups and downs, the failures and the doubts, someone goes, ‘What’s my Impossible First?’ What can I then go out and achieve in my own life?”

“I think that we have the ability to uplift and inspire, and the power of storytelling and sharing of that is actually tremendously valuable to humanity at large.”

“I have found some of my truest, happiest, peaceful, loving moments with nothing. Knowing that makes me feel happy about the future understanding that, ‘If all this goes away, I’m also really, really good.'”

“I think by pushing the boundaries further in my discipline of human performance, it gives other people inspiration as well as agency to take that into their own life. And that could be in anything.”

“The human potential movement for me is about stacking, about learning the lessons from the past, being present in the moment of pushing forward and then hopefully releasing that into a world.”

“When you can step outside of your comfort zone, that is where the growth happens. I would encourage anybody out there to do that, to that that leap.”

“Even in those darkest moments, find that way to keep putting, as trite as it sounds, one foot in front of the other. Embrace the moment that is low. Be like, ‘I’m here right now. I’m feeling that one, but that’s going to allow me to feel that 10 as well.'”

“I’m a big believer that we are the stories that we tell ourselves, that we have the ability to override whatever mindset is happening inside.”

“Be kind to yourself. People can say mean or nice stuff or to you, but inside your own head, you get to decide what thoughts are coming in. So choose positive affirming thoughts that will help you move forward on your own path.”


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Pro Endurance Athlete at

Colin O'Brady is an American pro endurance athlete, mountain climber, adventurer, and professional speaker. O'Brady is a two-time world record holder for the Explorers Grand Slam and Seven Summits speed records.