You’re very unlikely to hear an extreme adventurer explaining how they do what they do because of “self-directed adaptive plasticity”. But could it be that neuroscience, extreme adventurers and Darwin are all on the same page? Extreme adventurers always give the same maddeningly simple answer when asked how they do it. Inevitably they say “anyone can do it”. The idea is that you start with something slightly outside your comfort zone limit and work from there. Dr Andrew Huberman is a professor of neuroscience and neurobiology at Stanford School of Medicine. Among a host of state-of-the-art projects, his lab is also looking at the neuroscience of fear. Fear is very interesting. Because if you can learn to overcome fear, or develop tools to manage it, new worlds open up with renewed confidence and motivation to explore. The central idea seems to be embodied in the famous line from Franklin D Roosevelt’s 1932 inaugural presidential address: the only thing we have to fear is fear itself...

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