The 7 Secrets to Survival Bear Grylls Shared With Me
Bear Grylls routinely faces big challenges and overcomes them, and in reading his book ‘Mud, Sweat and Tears‘ I put together a few ideas that apply as well to startups as to anyone out there. I’ll start with his favorite quote:
All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.
1. Don’t Listen to the Haters. Once you start talking about your ideas and goals, the naysayers come out whether they are trying to stop you for selfish motives or not. From Bear: “the key to your future success is going to be embracing the very same things those dream-stealers are warning you about: the failure, the heartache and the tears.”
2. Take the First Step Now. Martin Luther King said: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.” As Bear says, you can’t anticipate every lucky break or obstacle, but each step will help you reach your goal and getting going is what’s important.
3. Be the Most Enthusiastic Person You Know. I like this one a lot and is a good lesson for me – Bear believes that enthusiasm can be the difference-maker that sustains you when times are tough and encourages those around you. You can choose to be enthusiastic, even when you don’t feel like it and people will remember you for it.
4. Say Yes Instead of No. “A big part of getting ahead in life is a willingness to say ‘Why not?’ when others just say ‘Why?'” – Bear Grylls. It starts with small things – so find a case where you would normally hesitate on doing something and make a decision to instead embrace the unknown and try it. Serendipity and opportunity often come from opening these doors.
5. Never Give Up. Finish what you start with dogged determination, even if you fail and can learn from it. “Life rewards the dogged, not the qualified.”
6. Pack Light and Be Prepared. If you’re going on an expedition, and we all are, don’t bring along all your old baggage that probably didn’t serve you then and probably won’t help you now. I think this applies to those people who drag us down, as well as our own attitudes that have caused us to hesitate in the past. Conversely, as you see new people, attitudes and things that can help you on your journey, add them – sometimes you may have to make room for them by discarding some of the old!
7. Give Before you Get. “If you want to receive, you must first look around for something to give.” This couldn’t be more true: some of the most important and valuable personal relationships take years to “germinate”, and if you can help others as you travel on your journey, it truly will more than come back to help you when you need it most.
There’s plenty more great advice in Bear’s book. This post, like everything else, is just a step on the journey…