Bear Grylls on Success, Team Building and Personal Strength


Exclusive Interview with: Bear Grylls

One of television’s most watched celebrities, Bear Grylls launched a Survivalism Fever that has swept across the world. The former British Special Forces operative is best-known for taking his adventures in the planet’s most hostile environments to the small screen. Similar to his acclaimed television shows, Grylls’ keynotes grip audiences of all backgrounds, while sharing valuable lessons on grit, teamwork, and overcoming adversity to achieve your goals.

The lesson has always been simple: try, fail, pick yourself up, go again and again. Life rewards the dogged and determined. The key is in the getting back up. That’s where champions set themselves apart.

SPEAKING.COM: How did you start out learning wilderness survival skills?

GRYLLS: I started climbing with my dad as a young boy, but it was in the military that I really got the chance to hone my adventure muscles. The training I received within 21 SAS (Special Air Service Reserves) was heavily focused on combat survival and climbing – and these have held me in good stead ever since.

SPEAKING.COM: An article on The Daily Mail mentioned that all the lessons you’ve learned “have been through making mistakes over the years.” Could you share some of those mistakes and lessons with us?

GRYLLS: By overcoming setbacks, making mistakes and picking myself up again, I learnt resilience. My mistakes and failures have taught me much more than my successes. The lessons have always been simple and easy for anyone to apply to their own lives: try, fail, pick yourself up, go again and again. Life rewards the dogged and determined. The key is in the getting back up. That’s where champions set themselves apart.

It’s not about being the strongest, fittest, or cleverest. It’s much more about being kind and having courage.

SPEAKING.COM: What is your advice for leading a team through a difficult time or high-stakes situation?

GRYLLS: It’s not about being the strongest, fittest, or cleverest. It’s much more about being kind and having courage. Make sure your team knows you have their backs, that you lead by example by taking on the hardest tasks yourself and never giving up. Show kindness every day and muster courage in the big, challenging moments.

SPEAKING.COM: What can people do to stop themselves from shutting down under stress?

GRYLLS: Just keep moving forward – however slow. Positive action changes everything. Make it a conscious decision to do this regardless of your feelings. In the face of adversity hold onto a winning attitude: humility, resilience, courage, determination, selflessness and cheerfulness.

SPEAKING.COM: In 1996, you broke your back in a parachuting accident and spent 18 months recovering. What were some of the thoughts that went through your mind during those months?

GRYLLS: I stumbled a lot on that journey of recovery and worked through many dark days, but I also never took my eyes off the goal to one day make it to the summit of Everest. This gave me that driving force to get strong again and go out and grab life boldly! The accident should have left me paralyzed but through it all, it taught me a gratitude for life that has never left me.

The ‘wild’ rewards persistence and courage. The hardships and camaraderie that we experience on these adventures build bonds that are hard to explain.

SPEAKING.COM: Why do you think Man vs. Wild drew in such a large audience for so many years?

GRYLLS: I believe that being in the wild exposes us to the bareness of human nature and we can’t hide: that’s the pain but also the magic. On shows like Man vs. Wild you see the struggle or being alone in difficult situations and that can be compelling – the mistakes & challenges always are!

But then on a show like Running Wild, you see unlikely heroes emerge, despite often being rookies or lacking in confidence at the start. The wild rewards persistence and courage; the hardships and the camaraderie that we experience on these adventures build bonds that are hard to explain.

SPEAKING.COM: What actions can people take in their everyday lives to protect the environment?

GRYLLS: Be mindful of how you live, how you interact with your environment – and we should always encourage respect for our world in our children, the next generation.

SPEAKING.COM: What is one place you want to go that you haven’t visited yet?

GRYLLS: I would love to return to the glaciers of Greenland; there are such huge expanses of genuine wilderness, totally unexplored, virgin peaks everywhere and a sense of awe that is hard to describe.

To bring inspiring speaker Bear Grylls to your organization, please contact Michael Frick at: Mike@Speaking.com

© SPEAKING.com, published on August 29, 2018

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