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Episode Info: [13.15] Death of a fellow Marine [13:58] The war experience in Iraq [18:40] Find out how Akshay learned to adapt to the war environment [19:03] The positivity and power of journaling [21:56] Introduction to “Fearvana” [33:18] Akshay’s mentor, and how he fought through PTSD [43:19] Find out how you can learn more about Fearvana and support Akshay! Today at the dharmic evolution, we take a ride with former US marine veteran, author and speaker, Akshay Nanavati. Early childhood [2:37] Born in Bombay India, Akshay moved to the USA at a tender age of 13 years, this is after spending his 8 years in India, and 5 in Singapore. 2 years after joining the US, Akshay adopted a lifestyle of drugs and alcohol, a choice he says was partly due to his lack of self-identity and purpose. A life describes as characterized by depression and sadness. He would cut his own arm and even burn himself. Joining the army [8:12] 2 years down the line after spending his ripe teenage years drowned in drugs and alcohol, and losing 2 of his friends. Akshay’s life would take a total flip after watching the movie Black Hawk Down. This would prove to be the most pivotal moment of his life, the movie he says, inspired him so much that he went on to read book after book about the military and life in combat. And just like that, Akshay found himself cured of his drug-addicted life, a life he describes as being meaningless and selfish. Now that he knew what purpose he wanted to serve in life, nothing was going to stop him at the time, despite the many illnesses that dragged him down while enlisting, Akshay was focused and determined to join the military. School and training [9.40] Bootcamp training took a toll on Akshay because he wasn’t very physically fit. But he describes the entire boot camp process as more of a mental process rather than a physical one. With his mind focused on what he wanted to achieve, Akshay was able to not only succeed in the boot camp training but also graduate as an honor student in the Infantry school. Growing up with parents who provided everything for him, Akshay never had to struggle for a thing, but now, for the first time in his life, struggle and suffering became the order of the day. He began to experience joy and value in the process. He began to accept and learn the bliss and comfort associated with suffering. [24:15] life after the war Not quite sure what he wanted to do after the war, Akshay decided to first finish his undergraduate degree in Texas. Life after the war was a complete struggle to find meaning and purpose, to a point he kept volunteering to go back to war. In the end, Akshay ended up going to journalism school, where he was bound to meet his wife, get married, and settle down with a corporate job. But it all felt meaningless and not really what he was bound to do. Inevitably, he ended up quitting his job. After the whole school and corporate job experience, Akshay went on an expedition in the Himalayas, as a way...
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