FUTURE leaders of the Fraser Coast have been empowered by the stories of extreme adventurer John Cantor, who suffered from anxiety and panic attacks while preparing for his world-record breaking trek across Alaska.
Mr Cantor, who grew up on the Sunshine Coast, has surfed on every continent except Antarctica and his television appearances have included being a stunt double for Bear Grylls.
He spent Tuesday morning sharing important life lessons he learned from his many adventures with about 60 student leaders from the Fraser Coast and Bundaberg.
In his talked he described his trek across Arctic Alaska, and discussed the severe anxiety he experienced in the lead-up to his Artic missions.
"Where I went wrong is I viewed my anxiety as a really bad thing," John said.
"I never had panic attacks when I was actually in a dangerous situation, it was before I got there that I would have an attack.
"But when I came to accept it was part of what I was going through, I then learned to manage it rather than try to eliminate it - I would schedule my panic attacks rather than try to stop them from happening."
while treking across Alaska, John hiked 1000km and paddled another 600km and faced getting lost, sickness and injury.
St Mary's College student Blair Stewart said hearing John's story helped put his own life into perspective.
"When you hear something like that, how he kept going when his body was breaking down or when he was told he might die, it makes you think about how good you've got it," Blair said.
"I get tired just walking up the hill, so it really helps you think about what you're facing; like if he could do that, I can do thing I'm facing too."
Dealing with stress and anxiety was also the focus of program's second session; during which students learned a simple breathing technique to help deal with fear, anxiousness and challenges.
The breathing workshop was run by USC Bachelor of Science graduate and yoga instructor Katherine Tucker, founder of the Breathe Project which promotes breathing as the missing link to feeling good.
"Everyone is so constantly stimulated today and often people forget just how to breathe," Katherine said.
"But the reality is everyone, especially young people, need to be connected to themselves and know how to take a deep breath and be calm."