While on his recent visit to Donegal to shoot our latest campaign, we sat down with extreme adventurer Damian Browne and picked his brain about what motivates him to achieve his incredible feats, what he’s listening to right now, and of course, the wild coasts of the Atlantic Ocean.
What kept you motivated when crossing the Atlantic?
In a word; meaning. The project was one of great purpose and meaning to me because of its fulfilling nature. It would give me enormous rewards on many different levels of life if I was able to complete it and plenty still if I wasn’t. Meaning is like a center mass of indefatigable energy that if you can understand your why and align your actions to that why, you will never run out of energy in the pursuit of the goal. Harnessing emotional energy through the powers of your imagination is a great way to fuel your actions and neutralise the effects of the darkest of negative states.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
You can motivate by fear, you can motivate by reward, but the only lasting motivation is self-motivation.
Do you have a motto you live by?
Life is a fight. (And you better cultivate the capacities to deal with the fight).
What drives you?
Self realisation. Getting to my deathbed with a sincere knowing I didn’t waste a minute of my life and tried with all my heart to live courageously, authentically and lovingly.
What do you consider the greatest success in your life?
The peacefulness, contentment, and security of my default internal state.
What did you want to be when you grow up?
A professional golfer or professional rugby player.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
Impossible to pick one but Glassilaun beach in Connemara, The Flaggy Shore in North Co. Clare or Bequia in The Grenadines in The Caribbean
What is your favourite book?
The Oxford Atlas of The World.
Describe your dream day at home in Ireland.
A mentally challenging training session, a dip in the Atlantic Ocean, quality time with Rozelle and Élodie, at least one great double espresso, a laugh with a friend/friends, a walk in nature with the dog and family, a meaningful conversation with Rozelle and 3 home cooked meals including some quality Irish beef or lamb.
What do you listen to when training?
My internal voice. I pay attention to what I am feeling; physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Apart from your own, what podcasts do you enjoy?
Desert Island Discs.
You are an incredibly busy person, what do you do to relax?
I operate out of a pretty calm state so never really feel the need to deliberately relax. However, training brings a greater sense of peace to me as does a dip in the ocean or a walk in nature.
I am still recovering emotionally from the incredible demands of the North Atlantic row, so I don’t have anything “big” on the horizon for the next while. In the meantime, for my travel and adventure fix I am climbing Kilimanjaro back to back in June and July.
Photography by Alex Hutchinson
Season 4 of Damian’s podcast ‘Deep Roots’ launches in June 2023