Finding Nirvana by Embracing Fear, with Akshay Nanavati

Akshay Nanavati

Akshay Nanavati is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who now works as a celebrated author, speaker and entrepreneur. Born in India, Akshay immigrated to the United States at the age of thirteen and began struggling with drugs shortly thereafter. However, watching the 2001 film Black Hawk Down inspired Akshay to take a different path and ultimately led him to the Marines.

His time in the Marine Corps was challenging. A blood disorder detected during basic training almost ended his career. And a painful loss of a friend left him with survivor’s guilt. His time after the Marines was punctuated with alcoholism and depression that almost ended in suicide.

But Akshay found a new purpose and chose to dedicate himself to embracing and overcoming his fears. From skydiving to cave diving to ultrarunning, Akshay’s adventures are designed to challenge himself. This was the foundation of his book FEARVANA: The Revolutionary Science of How to Turn Fear into Health, Wealth and Happiness, endorsed by such luminaries as Jack Canfield and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

On this inspiring podcast episode of Finding Your Summit, Akshay shares his profound and unique story of overcoming challenges and embracing the union of fear and nirvana. Akshay’s work has positively impacted many lives and I hope it will touch yours as well, inspiring you to welcome and overcome your own fears. This truly is one of the most motivational podcasts you’ll find, and Akshay’s journey has some profound lessons to teach.

What You Will Learn:

  • Akshay shares the many ups and downs of his life, from his drug problems and losing friends to addiction as a teen, to the physical and mental challenges of his Marine Corps service, to finding new purpose after military life.
  • Hear how depression and alcoholism were almost Akshay’s breaking point, causing him to seriously consider suicide. Then learn how he moved past that challenging point in his life by dedicating himself to his own mental wellbeing.
  • Akshay discusses the key principles behind his Fearvana philosophy and explains why it is important to understand that suffering is a necessary part of blissfulness.
  • Akshay shares how extreme activities like skydiving, cave exploration and cave diving, and ultrarunning across countries help him maintain focus, gratitude and perspective on his life.
  • Learn how Akshay was able to convince His Holiness the Dalai Lama to write the forward for his book, through sincerity and tenacity.

Running Toward Fear

This truly is one of the best motivational podcast episodes you’ll hear on the subject of fear. Akshay’s journey to self-understanding is a powerful story of overcoming adversity and embracing the things we are too-often hesitant to embrace in our lives.

Fear is universal. We all experience fear of the unknown and fear of our lives being turned upside down by the unexpected. Akshay believes that running from our fears or trying to suppress them does more psychological harm than good. Accepting that things aren’t always going to be sunshine and rainbows means that we are better able to handle the storm clouds when they do inevitably roll in.

Reaching Fearvana

Akshay recognizes the challenges he faces in his life, and he welcomes the lessons those challenges can impart. Fear can be a powerful motivator, keeping us alert and aware of our surroundings. Fear isn’t a “negative emotion”… so long as we react to it properly.

Part of Akshay’s Fearvana philosophy is the idea that stress, fear and anxiety can be reframed as allies instead of negative emotions. We can use fear as a tool to better ourselves and find bliss in our lives. This motivational podcast episode can be a stepping stone for you to help you find your own Fearvana.

ALinks to Additional Resources

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