“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere” – Bear Grylls

Mud, sweat and tears by Bear Grylls is an autobiography of how he persevered through multiple life’s challenges to achieve success.

Retelling his life from even before he was born up to the post-SAS times, Everest climb struggles and other adventures, Bear covers the key steps that formed the man he is today. That man was never gifted by nature to be at the top: he was never the fastest, strongest, tallest or richest person. Instead he persevered by training hard, failing at every corner and still achieving a few key victories, that mattered the most to his success.

Today’s media depict success stories while avoiding to mention the countless failures. However this book is a humbling read that goes through 99% of trying and failing, and shows only 1% of success. This is the reason I wanted to write about it in the first place.

Bear doesn’t talk about grandioze victories, rather he talks about the journey to get to it. It’s just like the one you are on at the moment: training hard, hustling, trying to better yourself and succeed in racing. That’s 99.9% of your time; that mental battle where you decide what route to take towards success, and the physical battle of getting there. The remainder .01% is the tiny fraction consisting of relief and shiny medals.

Bear describes the battle to success as:

Our achievements are generally limited only by the beliefs we impose on ourselves. If we tell ourselves often enough that we don’t have what it takes, then that will inevitable become our reality.

Besides that, the book has a few key lessons, which I would like to share with you:

  • Lesson 1. It’s all in your mind:
    Mental strength is something that has to accompany the physical. And the physical is always driven by the mental.
  • Lesson 2. The right thing at the right time:
    If you are going to risk it all on an act of daring, then pick your moment, and don’t get caught.
  • Lesson 3. Embrace the challenge:
    The worse the conditions get, the more you have to learn to ride them out: “It is a learnt skill: to roll with the punches and to keep going, I made that my mantra”.
  • Lesson 4. Qualities to nurture in yourself:
    quick to learn, react, adapt and improvise, remain calm under pressure, work well in a small team as well as alone. You also need to be self-disciplined, organized and able to show controlled aggression when needed.
  • Lesson 5. Persevere and finish:
    Keep on going and never stop. “I have often felt my own internal fire flickering close to snuff point. Action is what keeps it alight”


As you can see, you can apply these lessons to your OCR hustle today. Make them your mantras.

The last thing to point out…
Bear had to lose it all — get his back broken, resulting in not being able to walk, being absolutely broke, desperate at times — in order to take life by its balls.

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