How to Handle Pain and Suffering with Dr. Martin Inderbitzin | Pancreatic Cancer Survivor & Neuroscientist

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Life is a true roller coaster.

I think anyone can easily agree with that statement.

Life continually throws events at us, some good and beautiful, but certainly— to make the ride more fun—a whole bunch of bad and painful events are in the mix as well.

It can be tricky… Heck, that is an understatement. It can be devastating, overwhelming, and downright shattering to navigate this roller coaster when the bad and ugly show up.

Something we should realize – the sooner the better – is that life is not fair. That, as the great philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “To live is to suffer.” There is no point at which life will suddenly cease to throw such events at you while you are alive. Problems and struggles will always present themselves in some way or form.

If you have heard this quote from Nietzsche once before, you might remember that it is incomplete. The quote continues: “To survive, is to find meaning in the suffering”.

That is exactly what this podcast episode with neuroscientist, triathlete, and pancreatic cancer survivor Dr. Martin Inderbitzin is about.

A conversation about how to handle pain and suffering and find meaning within them.

Yes, it can be depressing to read that life is not fair, and never will be. However, pain and suffering do not have to be only negative.

They can become more than that.

Life is neither good nor evil. It is simply a force that is happening to us. How we react to this force and what we do with all that it throws at us, is the true definer of how meaningful this ride, this roller coaster, will turn out to be.

There is an art to suffering. An art anyone can learn and become better at. 

And it is one that Dr. Martin Inderbitzin certainly has come to master after more than 9 years (and counting) of practice while fighting pancreatic cancer.

The reason why I brought up this fact and that saying of “to live is to suffer” is because the first part of the journey towards mastering the art of suffering is to realize that life is unfair and that suffering is a part of being alive—for everyone.

No one gets to escape this life without any adversities. No one.

Once you understand this, a certain kind of calm, even peace, can start to come over you, as you know life is merely happening and has nothing against you. It is simply doing its own mysterious thing.

When you reach this understanding, you can go on, as the quote from Nietzsche goes, to find meaning in the suffering. Yes, this is important. Extremely important. Because without meaning, there is no hope. And without hope, we fall into a dark hole and lose our will to live.

If I had started this article with the phrase ‘Dark times make life beautiful”, I think you might have had a hard time agreeing with me. However, reading it now, you might grasp the truth behind that sentence.

While pain and suffering are not fun, they do lead to the most wondrous and marvellous creations, thoughts, and insights.

The most extraordinary stories have been created from traumaJ. R. R. Tolkien, for example, survived the horrors of the trenches during World War I, and went on to write The Lord of the Rings.  

Mental breakdowns have led to the most astonishing works of art. Van Gogh produced some of his best-known works, including The starry night, during his mental crisis.

Similarly the most life-changing platforms, like My Survival Story, a non-profit initiative that helps inspire other cancer patients in their battle against cancer, and The Mindset Academy, where Martin teaches through online courses, workshops, one-on-one coaching, and live Q&As how the mind works and how to sharpen it, have been founded because of the suffering someone went through fighting a disease like cancer, as Martin Inderbitzin did.

These two marvelous platforms have helped countless people find peace in their lives, and their existence came about because of this one thing many of us so often fear: suffering.

Life would be a hollow and empty place without pain and suffering, as pain and suffering often lead to finding beauty and seeing the true wonders of life.

The good thing is that you are not alone on this journey. It is one we all share. We can all learn from each other how to master the art of suffering.

However, there are some who certainly have practiced it more actively than others. And one of these people, is indeed our guest here in this interview on The IPS Podcast, Dr. Martin Inderbitzin.

I sincerely hope the words I wrote here have been a useful introduction to what is to follow in this interview on how to handle pain and suffering. If you did not listen to the interview yet, a whole lot of wisdom and knowledge await you from someone who I would call a master in the art of suffering.


  • – EP 010 – Martin Inderbitzin: Tasting Death, a Survival Story of Pancreatic Cancer – The Lessons, The Hardships, and Becoming a Triathlete (Pancreatic cancer survivor Martin Inderbitzin talks in this episode of The IPS Podcast about the lessons learned, in confronting death.)
  • – Headspace: Meditation and Sleep Made Simple (Live a healthier, happier, more well-rested life in just a few minutes a day with the Headspace app.)
  • – Hypnotherapy for the Management of Chronic Pain (This article reviews controlled prospective trials of hypnosis for the treatment of chronic pain.)

Coming soon.

Coming soon.

If you feel that you’ve gained some insights and lessons from this interview, and you are curious to see what else we offer at The IPS Project, check out The IPS Academy, where we offer online courses taught by guests here on The IPS Podcast.

Learn more about essential life topics, such as mental health, relationships, the mind, and the body and the brain, through fun and interactive courses. Simply go to

What is also interesting to note is that all the courses are quite affordable, as we at The IPS Project do not want money to stand in the way of bettering one’s life. Each course has a few lessons to try for free, so you get a taste of what the course is like.

We have countless reviews from other students so you can see what others think, and there is a 30-day money-back guarantee if you end up not liking the course. Again, check them out at

FOLLOW Martin Inderbitzin


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