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Episode 75 — Colin O'Brady — The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice – Crossing Antarctica Alone

"We all have reservoirs of untapped potential to achieve extraordinary things, particularly when we can shift our mindset towards the positive and choose how to react in tough situations." - Colin O'Brady

  • Why should we celebrate all successes (even those of our competitors)?
  • How do you turn big dreams into reality?
  • Why can't we experience the highs in life without first going through the hardships?
  • How does Colin break through his walls?

Unconventional Beginnings

Born into a hippie commune, Colin O'Brady didn't have the most conventional of starts in life. However, Colin's family didn't stay in the alternative lifestyle for long. At the forefront of the health food movement, the couple's entrepreneurship led to incredible success and instilled in Colin the ambition and determination he is so famed for today.

Colin is an endurance athlete, 10X world record holder, and New York Times best-seller. His achievements include being the fastest person to complete the Explorer's Grand Slam, the fastest person to complete the Three Poles Challenge, and the fastest person to complete the 50 highest points in the US just to name a few. In his book "The Impossible First," Colin details his treacherous 932-mile journey across one of the world's most inhospitable environments, Antarctica. This best-seller highlights the importance of self-belief, riding emotional highs, and pushing through the lowest lows.

Overcoming Tragedy

As a 22-year-old man, Colin set out on his first adventure. Traveling the world with little more than the money he saved up from painting houses, he found himself in Thailand. There, a tragic accident left him with severe burns to his legs. It was here that Colin was told by doctors that he'd never walk properly again — and it was also here that he decided they were wrong.

We discuss how Colin went from a hospital bed to winning the Chicago Triathlon in just 18 months. He breaks down how he achieves such ambitious feats and lets us in on the mindset that empowers him to turn struggle into motivation. He also shares the importance of setting goals and gives us an insight into how we can all leverage our untapped potential to achieve extraordinary things.

Nothing's Scarier Than a Comfort Zone

Even though he's bested mountains, frozen plains, and even an ocean, Colin will be the first to admit that he isn't fearless. He just has different fears from most people. Where most would fear exposure to the elements or injury, in Colin's mind, there's nothing worse than falling into the zone of "comfortable complacency." In this zone, we may no longer hit rock bottom — but neither do we hit our highest peaks.

Colin shares why experiencing the entire gamut of life's trials and rewards is important to him and he shares with us how embracing the turmoil of our own minds can lead to clarity and help us achieve flow states. He also explains how the mind can be strengthened and flexed so we can persevere in the most challenging of circumstances, helping us remain positive in the face of adversity.

Key takeaways:

  • Find your own Everest and work towards conquering it every day.
  • Cherish competition as it brings out the best in us.
  • Don't get preoccupied with the finish line. Just focus on the next checkpoint.

Links and Resources