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Akshay Nanavati | Dancing with Fearvana


Upon overcoming drug addiction, a diagnosis of PTSD from fighting the war in Iraq, and a battle with alcohol that pushed him to the brink of suicide, he then dedicated his life to mastering the forces that drive human behavior.

From exploring the most hostile environments on the planet, pushing his mind and body to their limits, and healing his brain through years of studying neuroscience and psychology, the most valuable lesson he learned was that if we don't seek out a worthy struggle, struggle will find us anyway.

Fearvana is the bliss that results from engaging our fears to pursue our own worthy struggle.

Akshay’s work has been featured in Forbes, Psychology Today,, CNN, Huffington Post, Military Times, FOX 5 NY, ABC, NBC and other media outlets across the globe.

He uses the proceeds from his work to fund his nonprofit, the Fearvana Foundation. It’s the change-making arm of his lifelong mission to run across every country in the world to create enduring peace, one community at a time.


Akshay Nanavanti is an explorer of what it is to be human, to be fully alive. This discussion challenged me to reanalyze how I perceive the concepts of fear and love. Akshay doesn’t see them as opposing forces at all. He actually views them as being complimentary. He notes that when fear is felt, oxytocin is created in the blood, which is the “love hormone”. And that oxytocin allows you to rise above the fear, to be love. Whoa!

Akshay believes that fear and love must come together for us to come fully alive. “When you push those lines of the human potential within yourself, you start to see that connection within us. When you explore your own potential, you see yourself in others, and others in you.”


  • We so often confuse natural human responses as being some sort of deficiency, when often they are just normal, reasonable reactions to life.
  • There is something beautiful about war, where all you have to do is worry about living or dying. But in normal life, you have to deal with so many other elements that complicate our minds. I had to first realize what actually caused my attraction to war.
  • I had to learn to replicate the simplicity of war in my everyday life.
  • Sometimes it’s only in the simple chaos of war that we find the ability to focus in on what really matters to us.
  • How do we find that simplicity, to narrow our lives a bit, so we can have clarity and direct the energy of your life?
  • We have to deliberately shape the perception of trauma or any experience and our response to it.
  • There are two kinds of fear, genetic and learned.
  • When we suffer together, we bond together.
  • “If we don’t judge fear to be negative, then we can harness it…. we can leverage it to do something beautiful.” – Akshay
  • “My fears have led me to the greatest experiences of my life. It’s like a doorway that offers us a set of choices that can open up new possibilities.” – Jared
  • All the thoughts we think, shape the reality we live in.
  • You definitely need a worthy struggle. Something that is worthy of who you are, worthy of who you want to be. Then channel your being into that struggle.
  • There is a hero in all of us. When you travel and interact with other people, you start to realize that we’re all just humans.
  • We all have limitedness within us. We must rise above what the world tells us to be, and see who we want to be for ourselves.


When you push those lines of the human potential within yourself, you start to see that connection within us. When you explore your own potential, you see yourself in others, and others in you.


Twitter: @existing2living 


(CNN) Ex-Marine plans to beat PTSD by trekking every country

Akshay Nanavati: Find strength in fear (9:33 min video)



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