Akshay Nanavati

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Akshay Nanavati
Nanavati with John McCain in Iraq in 2007
Born (1984-10-15) October 15, 1984 (age 37)
OccupationSpeaker, author, runner
Known forFearvana
Websitefearvana.com Edit this at Wikidata

Akshay Nanavati (born October 15, 1984) is a United States Marine veteran, speaker, entrepreneur, ultra runner and author. He served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and was later diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. His book Fearvana was endorsed by the Dalai Lama and Jack Canfield.

Early life and education[edit]

Nanavati was born in Bombay, India, on October 15, 1984. He has also lived in Bangalore, Singapore, Austin, and Eden Prairie, Minnesota.[1] He did his Bachelors of Arts in History at Southwestern University.[2] During his high school years at Westlake High School,[3] he watched the film Black Hawk Down, which inspired him to join the United States Marine Corps.[2] He currently lives in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.[4]


After overcoming drug addiction, despite two doctors suggesting boot camp could kill him because of a blood disorder, he enlisted in the Marines.[5] Nanavati was then sent to Haditha, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.[6] He was an infantry non-commissioned officer,[7] where one of his jobs was to walk in front of vehicles to find improvised explosive devices[8] and another as communications liaison.[9] He later did his Masters of Arts in journalism from Syracuse University's S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.[2] He eventually ended his tenure as a sergeant before graduating. He was also diagnosed by the Department of Veterans Affairs with post traumatic stress disorder[10] and survivor's guilt,[11] which led him to alcoholism and depression before realizing he was on the brink of suicide. As a result, this led him to research neuroscience, psychology and spirituality.[10]

While at base in Iraq, he started to run to cope with the stress of war. He then also decided to trek across every country in the world as a self-challenge.[10][12][13] In addition to seeking to run across the world, he also discovered skydiving, mountain biking, scuba diving, rock climbing and ice climbing as "anything that forced me to face my fears."[14] He is also a public speaker.[15]


Nanavati in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

His philosophy is about fighting fear.[16] As a result of his research, he wrote Fearvana which is, in his words, about the "revolutionary science of how to turn fear into health, wealth and happiness." He said of neuroscience, psychology and spirituality that:[17]

Fearvana teaches the science of how to transform all your seemingly negative emotions into health, wealth and happiness. Fearvana’s revolutionary approach shatters conventional wisdom, giving you the tools to leverage your fear, stress and anxiety to accomplish anything you set your mind to.

The Dalai Lama wrote the foreword for his book.[17]

I am happy that Akshay Nanavati has found the strength to overcome the traumatic experiences of his life and has developed the aspiration to help others. His book, Fearvana, inspires us to look beyond our own agonizing experiences, suggesting means for overcoming our fears. I appreciate his sincerity and hope that others will find reason and the encouragement to see the positive side of their lives.[18]

It was also endorsed by Jack Canfield,[5] amongst others.[17] All his profits from the book go towards his non-profit,[19] Fearvana Foundation, which sought funding for a vocational school in post-civil war in Liberia,[20] amongst other projects.


  • Nanavati, Akshay. 2017. Fearvana: The Revolutionary Science of How to Turn Fear into Health, Wealth and Happiness. Morgan James Publishing.


  1. ^ "About Us". Fearvana. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Adventure Enthusiast". Southwestern University. February 13, 2012. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 17, 2018. Retrieved November 6, 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Cerasaro, Ashley J. (January 16, 2012). "Ice Road Trekker: For this Basking Ridge resident, a 342-mile trek on skis across Greenland's enormous ice cap is just a walk in the park". Njmonthly.com. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "The Marine, the Dalai Lama, Overcoming PTSD, and Overcoming Fear". Inc.com. July 25, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  6. ^ "PTSD: A Marine Corps Veteran's Battle and Victory". Huffingtonpost.com. December 6, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  7. ^ "Three Types Of Employee Recognition That Backfire (And One That Doesn't)". Fastcompany.com. July 26, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  8. ^ "Why you should never sleep on long flights, travel tips from a Marine". Bloomberg.com. October 25, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  9. ^ "How to survive a marathon flight". The Washington Post. September 7, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c Akshay Nanavati. "6 Lessons This Marine Veteran Learned Overcoming PTSD, Alcoholism and Suicidal Thoughts to Build a Successful Business". Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  11. ^ "Wounded Warriors Using Entrepreneurship To Combat Military Injuries & Retirement". Forbes.com. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  12. ^ "7 Ways That Running Makes You a Better Person". Runnersworld.com. November 28, 2016. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  13. ^ "From PTSD to "Fearvana": Akshay Nanavati's Quest to Run Across Every Country : The Art of Non-Conformity". Chrisguillebeau.com. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  14. ^ "Ex-Marine plans to beat PTSD by trekking every country". Edition.cnn.com. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  15. ^ "Akshay Nanavati - Author Biography". Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  16. ^ "Fearvana: How Millennials Are Using Fear As A Gateway To Bliss". Forbes.com. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  17. ^ a b c Nanavati, Akshay (October 10, 2017). Fearvana: The Revolutionary Science of How to Turn Fear into Health, Wealth and Happiness: Akshay Nanavati: 9781630476052: Amazon.com: Books. ISBN 978-1630476052.
  18. ^ Nanavati, Akshay. Fearvana: The Revolutionary Science of How to Turn Fear into Health. Forward. Morgan James Publishing, 2017.
  19. ^ https://fearvana.com/about-us/[dead link]
  20. ^ https://www.fearvanafoundation.org/liberia

External links[edit]