Episode #32 Akshay Nanavati- Author of Fearvana
After moving to Austin, Texas from Bombay, Bangalore and Singapore, I overcame a lifestyle of drug addiction that killed two of my friends in high school. When I then decided to join the United States Marine Corps, two doctors told me that boot camp would kill me, thanks to a blood disorder I was born with. But I wasn’t about to let that stop me. Not only did I complete boot camp (with a twisted ankle, no less), but I was chosen as the honor graduate in Infantry school and went on to spend 7 months in Iraq where my job was to walk in front of our vehicle convoys to find explosives before they could destroy our vehicles.
That was just the beginning of my understanding of the positive power of fear and struggle. In 2012, I left a comfortable corporate job to drag a 190-pound sled 350-miles across the world’s second largest polar ice cap for a month. I’ve swam through underwater caves, almost been killed by a falling boulder while glacier caving, experienced severe altitude sickness while climbing in the Himalayas, and suffered through heat exhaustion while running across countries. But my greatest struggle came many years after the war. I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and consequently struggled with depression and alcohol addiction that drove me to the brink of suicide. I then spent years studying neuroscience, psychology and spirituality to not only heal my own brain, but figure out what does it take to live a happy, succesful and meaningful life.
That is when I rejected the label of PTSD assigned to me and created a new one – Fearvana. I define Fearvana as the bliss that results from engaging our fears to pursue our own worthy struggle. I then wrote a book about the concept called “Fearvana: The Revolutionary Science of How to Turn Fear Into Health, Wealth and Happiness.”
I was blessed and truly humbled to receive a foreword for my book from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who said “Fearvana inspires us to look beyond our own agonizing experiences and find the positive side of our lives.”
Beyond these adventures into the depths of my soul and in some of the most hostile environments on the planet, I have also:
Completed a Masters in Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Publications, on a full scholarship.
Been trained as a coach from an ICF-accredited institution
Graduated from Jack Canfield’s Train the Trainer program
Started a non-profit organization called The Fearvana Foundation Built a business that allows me to work from where I want, when I want. Used speaking engagements, coaching, seminars, and consulting to help countless people like you smash through their obstacles and find bliss through struggle.