The Exciting Journey of Podcasting: From Curiosity to Global Impact.
Bear Grylls: Man VS Failure, Anxiety & Imposter Syndrome | E155 | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Bear Grylls: Man VS Failure, Anxiety & Imposter Syndrome | E155".
Note: This transcription is split and grouped by topics and subtopics. You can navigate through the Table of Contents on the left. It's interactive. All paragraphs are timed to the original video. Click on the time (e.g., 01:53) to jump to the specific portion of the video.
Just because you're determined doesn't mean everything is going to go well. Those four people that passed away, were they climbing with you? I'm Bear Grylls and I've learned how to survive in some of the most hostile terrains on the planet. You really fascinate me for a number of reasons that I actually never knew before I started digging into your story. You certainly had a lot of demons. In the early days of TV especially, there was so much pressure to go and do that and do the extra episode. You end up burning the things that are most valuable. To be successfully half to sacrifice. But maybe you reached one way and that's enough. Selection for the Special Forces is all about heart and spirit. And we can all have that. That's not a God-given talent. That's a muscle that builds with walking through the door of failure time and time again and keep getting back up. When was your darkest moment? One was when I brought my background and I was in rehabilitation for a long time and so much of my rock in my life had been that I was physically strong and I was doing a job I loved and suddenly I couldn't even reach a bathroom without screw-shading agony and it was just one of my going to do with my life. When is there a time to give up? So without further ado, I'm Steven Bartlett and this is the DiR over CEO. I hope nobody's listening. But if you are, then please keep this yourself. There. I want to start where I usually start, which is near the start.
Personal Development And Struggles
And one of the things you said was you certainly had a lot of demons. The quote, the exact quote is I was never short of demons. When I read that, I thought, "Well, what do you mean?" Growing up, I really struggled with confidence. You know, definitely when I was at school and I think, I think so much of the school culture still to this day, it definitely tends to celebrate the guy who's academic or sporty or good-looking or just a cool guy. Those are the currency of school. But as you and me know, it's not always the currency of life. But you try and tell a kid who maybe isn't sporty or academic who's just kind and does his best that actually those things have much more value in life. And it's kind of hard to believe. But certainly for me, I didn't have, I wasn't the sporty or the most academic or the cool guy. And I think it took me a while to find an identity. And actually, this is what, you know, this is what I love and it's nothing kind of brilliant, but I love it. And for me, growing up, it was always climbing with my dad. You know, he'd been a, he'd been a commando and loved all of that sort of stuff. And for me, growing up, it was always, you know, that's what I love to do. Just have many adventures with him. And I think it took a while to learn that that's okay. You know, my dad would always say, you've got to find something you really love and try and be kind to people along the way and be resilient. You know, have that dog who'd never give up attitude. That's the key things for life. But it's hard to believe that as a kid and sometimes if you get a bit lost in the system, so I suppose what I meant is it took me a while to find the confidence, you know. And it's still a journey. I think we're all on, you know, I think success doesn't always answer those sort of questions. And I think confidence has to come from in here. And it's often the opposite of what we think it is when we're growing up, you know, confidence is quiet. And I think that's where, that's kind of what I meant. When you say confidence, how do you define confidence? Because some people think of confidence as this like over external expression of like self assurance. What did you mean when you said I didn't have confidence and it's still an ongoing battle? What is that? I think it's not what the world always thinks. Like you say, you know, we always have this thing of confidence as you say, it's this unstoppable. I can do anything. You know, I think life is always humbling, you know, in every way, just like the wild, you know, the mountains are humbling. You know, the real things are life humbling. So you remind us that, you know, it's often a battle and, you know, you've got to sometimes put your head down and do your best. And you're going to fail and you're going to struggle and you're going to have doubts and you're going to have self doubt. But try and get to if you can get going. And I think that is confidence. You know, confidence is a quiet stuff and the honesty and to say this is a struggle, but let's go. You know, let's do our best. I love that thing of the scouts, you know, do your best, you know, which is so smart because I think so much of the world is about be the best, you know, win. Number one, you know, but actually that doesn't always stand the pressure test of time and of life and of going for big things. It's always going to be humbling. And I think the thing is do your best, you know, it's dib, dib, dib, you know, dyb, do your best. I love that because wherever you're at, you can do that, you know, it's a decision, isn't it? It's not a gift. It's not something we're born with, like the looks or the acutabricle of sports, something you've got a summon. And I like that. What were the symptoms of having a lack of confidence when you were that age? What would it look like? How did it manifest itself? I think probably just being quite shy and I think you see the people at school always, the bigger personalities. And it was always like, gosh, you've got to be like that to get anywhere. And it's a life journey, isn't it, to realize it's almost the opposite. It's almost the opposite. You know, look at the quiet, the persevering, relentlessly trying to put yourself up through the failures and keep going and know the wealth of life. The wealth is always found in our relationships. And, you know, you come across people who are rich in friendships and, you know, rich in passion and love what they do and love the people they work with. And that's enough. That's wonderful. But it takes a bit of unlearning, doesn't it, of saying, you know, don't have the people not always look up to, aren't always the front and center. And as I get older, I see more and more heroes left, right and center. We're more left and right rather than center. You know, and I love that. I sort of see it in people. And, you know, I sit in our camera crew. I mean, look at what's been a core part of my job for having many years, many years now, you know, the filming and stuff. And, you know, the focus is always on the person front of screen and, you know, that horrible word of talent as they call it. I never felt very talented. Still don't. Still feel I'm surrounded by way more talented people. But life isn't a competition about who's more talented. It's a journey to take with great friends. And I look at our camera crew and to me, true heroes. You know, they work harder. They carry heavier weights, you know, unsung, you know, relentlessly positive. Carry me many times, you know, in so many ways. Encourage me when I've been struggling. And I look at them and still brothers and sisters, best friends to this day. I think it's probably the thing I'm most proud of in my career, actually. The friendships with our crew, you know, in an industry that is no touristy transient. You know, people have crew come, crew go, new crews, you know, but we've kept pretty well the core crew from the beginning. And part of it is that we're obviously working in difficult, dangerous terrain and you forged stronger bonds than you would in a shiny studio. But part of it is that the loyalty really matters from both, goes both ways. And I love that. You said that you kind of have a bit of an allergic reaction to the word talent, right? Just from a few other things that you said in that little open, I wondered if you relate at all to the phrase "imposter syndrome" at all. Because you're someone who's the world has this image of you as being this like unbelievable, mountain scaling, fearless adventurer.
Imposter syndrome (08:08)
And even you talking about a lack of confidence doesn't seem to fit into that narrative that the world must hold of you. So have you ever felt what they call imposter syndrome at all? Would you have a different thing? Yeah, I think so. Because I'm going. Because it probably grows, you know, the more, you know, the more sort of something does well, you know, we did the show. This year for Netflix called You vs Wild, you know, and we just got the news this morning. We got nominated for three Emmys for it. And the crew got famous, he's so excited. But part of my heart dies. Part of me is like, oh, it's like that gulf between the sort of TV sort of, you know, guy and the r- it gets bigger, you know. And I feel from day one, I felt I almost had more confidence, I think, in my skills at the beginning. I think it's the years that gone on, I've realized actually I'm often surrounded by people who are better, better climbers, better skydive, better survival guys, better looking, fitter, stronger. All of these things, just because we've built a crew of ninjas, the true heroes, and, you know, got to work with people and locals and experts all around the world year after year. And I think more and more, I feel, these guys are, that person we met there, they are amazing, it'd be much better at the job than me. But, you know, like I say, our job isn't to be the best, you know, to do our best. And, you know, for some reason, I've been given the chance to do this. It's what I've always loved. I love the adventures. I love, like I say, the friendships and, you know, the job we do. And I think you can only ride that and be grateful for it. And, like I say, do your best. And not worry about too much about how the TV makes it always look. I mean, the truth is, the TV always puts the best bits. They cut out the trips and the stumbles. And you put anything to music and the guy's going to look cool, you know. But I think an element to why the show worked when we first started doing it is that we did show a lot of the mistakes. And it was kind of the slips and the stumbles and the ums and the ahs. And I remember from day one, the producer that came to me and said, "We want to do this show where we drop you in the middle of difficult places and you show us how to get out of there." And I kept saying, "No, because I didn't want to do TV." I didn't know about TV. And I was like, "Oh, no." And, you know, but you kept saying, "We don't want that. It doesn't need to be perfect." And it was my wife that said, "Why don't you go and try it?" You know. And I just left the military. We just got married. We were kind of starting out. And she was smart. She said, "Go and try it." And that she never felt like making a perfect thing. I think the magic at that time, it was the first show that came along that let all the mud be on the lens and the rain on the lens and the trips and the stumbles. And you saw the cameraman's hand and it was kind of, there was an sort of interactivity that was great. And I've always felt if it's not broke, don't fix it. The stumbles, the trips, the struggles, the mistakes are potted life. But the part of my heart that dies is because it all makes it look too good. Or too, you know, because at the end of the day, I'm a really regular guy. I'm a regular dad as well. You know, I'm not brilliant at any of these things, but I know what I love. And I know the weapons that serve me best. And the weapons are always this. You know, be dogged, be determined, be the most resilient person out there when it's hard. You know, come alive in the big moments. When it's not the big moments, you don't need to be front and center. But in the big moments, be there. I watched a lot of interviews of you before you arrived here today. And I think in pretty much all of them, you said, "I'm a normal guy. I'm a regular guy." And I get that. I get that. I understand what you're saying. However. Well, it's not false modesty. I don't want to. I'm not going to let people build me into something I'm not. You know, and I think it's like an older, I know the frailties more and more. And I'm not ashamed of them. I'm, do you know what I mean? It's okay. Many mistakes. Many, many shows. It's okay. Otherwise things become all too, you know, that how it's hard to relate to, you know? But you got through SaaS selection. Just. I got through all these hits. Just, you know. And people turned, turned to you and said things as they turned back and quit, right? That for me is a filtering process of something. Yeah. Whatever that's something. It's resilient. All it is, is something we can control. It's not a filtering of talent. It's not a filtering of your brilliant, your through, your not through. You know, it's a genius of selection for the special forces. It's all about heart and spirit. And we can all have that. That's not a God-given talent. That's a muscle that builds with walking through the door of failure time and time again and keep getting back up. You know, so I like that. That's why I say I am an ordinary person. That's why I also say just to so many things because, you know, yes, I pass out. Oh, yes, you reach the top of this man. Oh, yes, you do. But it's always just. And that's okay, you know? And it's also often by standing on the shoulders of many giants who have helped me, you know, many, many times. You know, I think of SS selection. You know, that time, there were so many times where somebody, somebody just kind of believed me in a critical time. You know, it might be something where two corporals running something, go, do all that guy, do all that. You know, a bit of luck falls on his side. Somebody backs you, you know, or, you know, you, I don't know, just the more I look back on so many so-called achievements, the more I see the hand of good people in critical moments. But as you know, you have to win the hearts of those people in the first place. But also the role of just that dogged determination to keep going. And that's not a thing of being brilliant. It's just trying to keep going, often sliding another step back, but keep moving forward. And you say that to, you know, I've got three boys now, three teenagers. And I think if you said to them, what one thing does your dad say to you day after day before you go to school? It's always just, you know, don't give up. Don't give up. Be kind, you know, be determined. Never give up. And they roll their eyes. But you know what, one day they'll know that it's a key thing of life. You know, you don't have to be the best to do your best.
Did that resilience muscle, as you call it, grow over time? Of course. It's like everything. It's like the little, little seas to the mighty oaks. You know, we had, how do we build it just inch by inch? And that's a great thing because it's not something only some people can have. You know, it's universal for us all. We can all become people think it's a God given gift to someone be resilient. Resilience is that muscle. And you build it by failing and trying to stay positive and trying to get back your feet and going again. I look back and I remember being really excited about being picked for the fourth 11 football team as a linesman. It wasn't even in the team, you know, and it was like, my job was to bring on the oranges half time, you know, but it was like, and I remember my dad was the only dad on the side of the pitch cheering me on. I thought it was so embarrassing. He's not, I'm not even in the team. And dad said, you know, he's come to kind of. But actually those little steps of like, I'm going to do this. I'm going to bring on those oranges and you know, you're never going to forget it's going to be great. And it's incremental, tiny little things. But having to fight for things, you know, so how often do we see at school though, the school hero actually in life doesn't always do that brilliantly. And why is that? It's because they've got, you know, schools rewarded that, but they've never tested this. You know, where little Johnny, who doesn't have that, doesn't get the awards, is a linesman, brings on the oranges. Yeah, whatever it is, struggles, doesn't even get noticed, never wins anything, but never gives up and keeps doing his best and still doesn't really get noticed, but doesn't matter. But when he leaves school, this might not be the biggest thing, but this is like ninja like, you know, that that resilience muscle inside is strong. And as you know, and as I know, in life, that's the one that is going to carry you further. And the unseen people at school often do better in life. It's like, don't peek too early. Don't peek at 14. I certainly didn't. I sat here with you, Ben, can I've been thinking about this idea of resilience and what it really means? And as we sit here today, my current hypothesis is basically resilience is the story. It's kind of this contract you have with yourself, this self story about who you are. And in those moments when no one is looking, I was talking to you, Ben, about me being on the running machine and knowing I've got two minutes to go, because I said before I started, I'd run until 45 minutes. But my legs are hurting and they're cramping and I could give up and walk away and no one's going to know because no one's here. But what I alter my own self story in a way, and I send a message to myself that I am the type of person that gives up when it's tough. So is it really, do you relate to that? And it's kind of like you're crafting this story about who you are to yourself with every small decision you make. Doing the lines and job, you said, I'm going to do it the best I possibly can. And although it's not what I wanted, I'm going to give it everything I can and not give up. Does that relate at all? And also I think the thing of giving up is that what is it, the sort of thing of temporary pleasure, long term? Yeah, that's true. And for me, I just developed this thing where whenever people are quitting or complaining, I like those moments. For me, it was like, OK, there's all the chat in the bravado. There's always that beginning. It was full of that. But bring it down. Put the squeeze on. We're like grapes. Squeeze this. You see what's inside. Bring the squeeze. Bring the squeeze. Now we see characters, see what people are like. And for me, it just became whenever I saw people quitting or complaining, especially complaining, you see it so much. In the military, you see it on big expeditions. You see it even when we're filming TV shows. When it gets hard, when you're hungry and you're scared and you're up against it, you're dehydrated. Those are the moments. And for me, it just became a trigger. When everyone's complaining and giving up, it's a time to give more. You don't have to give more in the early times. Just wait until it's... And that's how you separate yourselves in business and in life and in relationships, in the big moments. Look at a relationship. When you're under that real pain, everyone's throwing out. Are you going to really throw that nasty comment or hold it and just try and be gracious and kind in those big moments? And I like that. It wasn't complicated to think about under pressure. It was just like, "When everything's going wrong, that's the time to give more, rather than give up." And I held onto that many difficult moments across many different arenas. And it's helped me. I remember this guy said to me, "And you do anything for another 10 seconds." I like that. You're in that moment. You're going another 10 seconds. That makes you different, though. You've got to admit, because most people don't want another 10 seconds. Yeah. Well, it hurts. It hurts. I'm not saying it's not going to hurt. It's going to hurt. But that fire inside is in us all. It's just you've got to dig sometimes. But it's a great truth to know that it's there. When you dig, it's there. And I think, as you say, once you get used to it and you start to practice it, the muscle gets stronger. And then you almost seek out tough times. You know, this is a chance to shine. And as you say, that's how you separate yourselves in life. You're going to reach these points, but in those big moments, what are you going to go this way? How are you going to act in those big moments? And it's always what separates reaching those summits for not reaching those summits.
When to quit (20:01)
Never give up. It's the name of your latest book. When is there a time to give up? Because there is a wildly believed, I think, social phrase, which is like quitting is for losers, right? But when I look at my own life and my own career, quitting has played quite an important role sometimes in leaving a situation that wasn't good. So when should we give up? That's called wisdom. And it comes with experience. And there's always, there's always a right. First of all, my 16 year old nephew gave to me the other day. I said, I said, Beth, you need not the smoking on the head. You're smoking a lot at the moment. He went, but ever since I've a kid, you told me never give up. I said, apart from the cigarettes, you know, there's always a time to give things out. And experience and wisdom, you know, you just don't want to be a pig-headed head in the day. You know, that's not smart. That's not smart. You know, intuition and experience has to know when, hold on, this isn't maybe the right route. Let's just take a step back. And I think it's why so often great mountaineers are often a little bit older because they have that patience and that judgement. And when you young and you don't care and you kind of maybe should be listening to that intuition and maybe the weather's changed or something's happening that's saying, hold. You know, and you go and you die. It's why so many hard-hearted mountaineers, deaths, so that relentless ability not to adapt or change your plan where with age you have that ability to listen to instinct, to the mountains, to the circumstances, and maybe adapt and maybe change. And as we know, you know, with big mountains, they'll always be there. So I think that the ability to life, to listen to that and to amend and to adapt super important. And look at soldiering. Same as always just thinking man soldier, you know, was a mantra of a lot of these special forces stuff, as always being able to adapt, improvise, adapt, overcome. You know, that's leading with this and with this. So, of course, there's a time for pulling back and holding. But I think generally the message, you know, 90% of the time, most people don't get where they're going, not because of a lack of skills or talent. It's that lack of kind of ability to keep going when it's hard. And that's why I think doing little things every day, small things that, you know, whatever it is, that just push your, push this muscle a bit is good. You know, even if it's like, I've had a thing for years and it's now super popular. Everyone's kind of, you know, doing it, you know, the ice bath training. But I've done it for years and I love this thing. It's just three minutes or down, just in that cold water, you know, whether it's a river or in winter or lake or, you know, nighttime and, you know, I try and find somewhere every day, just getting that cold and it hurts, still hurts. But it's just a little something, little something, whatever it is, that it's, you're something that's difficult to do. Because most people spend their lives avoiding the painful, the difficult, you know, they're scared of public speaking or they're scared of it. So they avoid the things that challenge us. But as you know, it's where growth happens and growth isn't always fun. It's often painful, but it's like a muscle and more you push it and more you get used to it. You know, there's a great thing at the commando training center in Limston that just says comfortable with uncertainty. And it's a great thing for life, you know, don't get sat in that comfort zone too much. I call it a comfort pit somewhere to get out of quick. I was wondering if like training in the gym, when I do my repetitions of the weights, I then need a bigger weight to get the same gain.
Are we always chasing a bigger challenge? (23:26)
So do you find yourself needing like a bigger thrill or a bigger expedition or a greater challenge to get the same like feeling of fulfillment and contempt from what you work these days? And where do you find now if you've climbed Everest and done all you've done? I don't feel that. No, I don't feel that. I think what you're saying in the question is that is that where you get your fulfillment through that thing? And the answer is no, it's not where I get fulfillment. I do these things. I try and do the difficult things just to keep that inside muscle honed a little bit. But it's not always about bigger and better. You know, as I read the other day, half of life is getting the way you're achieving your goals and the other half of life has been really happy to enjoy it. The second ones are harder one to do. And I think I'd be super lucky to fulfill so many things. I still have many goals, many ambitions, but it's not goals and ambitions that trump the last one. It's not like that. It's just really grateful and try and make sure you stay alive. Make sure you're always grateful for the many good things and the luck you've had along the way. Keep that muscle inside honed. Keep working. Keep doing your best. But it's definitely not where I find the fulfillment. It's not like the achievements never going to fulfill that whole. Did you used to think it would? Maybe a little bit. I think when I was young, I think every certain people were such a symbol of, like, I'm going to do this. It was at a time when only I think 20-odd Brits had ever climbed it. And it was like, I thought this is going to be epic. And then you see the realities of, we have four climbers lose their lives up there. And it re-rattled me in many ways. And I was lucky to reach the top and got back in one piece. But it didn't answer that question of, you know, I don't know. I don't think I'd climb it now. I'm not so out on a quest to kind of prove anything. But I think when you're young, half of it's good to have a quest. You've got to have that goal. But the other half is that it's not the answer to life, is it? You know, that maybe comes from elsewhere. And with time and experience you learn. The real answer to life is always rooted in something aside. And relationships with great people. You know, a lot of it I think comes down to love, actually, you know, being known, those connections with great people and a love of whatever. It could be a love of the outdoors, a love of what you do, you know. But it's not found in achievement always. Have you found where it is found? You don't seem to be so certain exactly where that feeling of fulfillment. You talked about the second half, which is like enjoying the goals. Have you figured that bit out? I think it's a lifelong journey of figuring it out. You know, I hope I edge closer to where it's not found, which is never found in trophies and triumphs and accolades. You know, those things, I see those things with clearer lenses now. You know, I'm more proud of being married, you know, 22 years. You know, I've got three great boys. You know, the simpler things I'm more proud of. I think, you know, where do I really find fulfillment? I think my faith is a quiet thing in that sense. You know, faith's always a tricky one, and hard to articulate very well. But it's definitely comes from a place of like, that you're okay. You're okay. We're forgiven. We're loved, empowered, and try and live life as best you can. I was wide open with, you know, gratitude in your heart and a tough, resilient spirit to go for things. And I look at life in those sort of terms more and more. I feel like in the 2022 in the UK where I think we've grown more atheist as a society, I mean, some people say there's no such thing as an atheist, but we've grown more atheist in our viewpoints.
Finding your faith (27:22)
It is harder to communicate if you do have a faith. Why did you say that it's a tricky thing? I think it's been so tarnished. I think religion has been so tarnished. And I get that. I was always the least religious person growing up. I just thought, I mean, as a kid, I had a really natural faith. I always believed in some higher power and that I could feel, you know, there's something around, you know, as a little kid. It was like, ah, wow. And then I think I went to school and then, you know, you had to get a church and they all were white Catholics and spoken Latin. I thought, gosh, I really missed it. You know, this is actually what it's about. And it's been a life journey to unwind all of that and realize actually the little me had it right. You know, faith is in your heart, knowing that you're not alone and there's something bigger than us out there and that Paris forest not against this. And despite my doubts and all of those sort of things, I'm going to put my trust in that and try and, you know, have love at the center of all we do and live in power and go for things and not be scared to fail and not be driven by fear and all those sort of things. And that to me, what faith is? So it's hard to articulate, I think, because it's personal and it's intimate and also it's, like I say, it's has just as many doubts as it does, you know, doubt and faith, two sides of the same coin. You know, I think it does feel like that for me, but through it all, I would say my Christian faith has been a real backbone and a kind of secret strength in many tricky moments, you know, like to a dark path, I was kind of feel that sort of thing. So yeah. I did wonder when I was reading about your faith and I watched you pray for Obama just at the end of your time with him because I've sat here with guests who have undergone and witnessed such horrific things in their lives and they've, and it's shaken their faith. In fact, you back was one of them that his brother suddenly died. They were both very religious and that shook his faith and being out in nature and being on those expeditions of Everest where two people fall to their death and to, you know, die of the cold. One would might assume that those moments would shake your faith, but it sounds like it's made it stronger in a way from what you say. Well, I think the two things happen often. You get shaken and strengthened. And actually my experience of people, people have really been taken to the edge. That's actually where they find their faith. You know, you look at so many of the concentration camp stories and stuff, you know, it's, you know, two sides looking at one person said, there can be no God. I've seen a witness evil personified and yeah, it was if I can't remember when he said, I've been to the edge and I know there's no place that God has been in the way of the world. There's no place that God isn't. You know, it's all how we look at how we choose to live and choose to try and live with, you know, faith, faith in other people, faith in ourselves, faith in the Almighty. And that helped me, but it's funny that thing with the bomber because in a way that was never meant to be on TV. It was just a spontaneous thing at the end of the journey. And I'd, you know, as you know, when you spend time with people, you get a sense of someone. And I think at the end of that journey with the bomber, I got a real sense that he's a guy with a weight of the world on his shoulders. You know, and he got lighter as the journey went on. And by the end, he said, you know what, it's one of the best days of my presidency. I'm out of the office. I'm out of a suit talking about stuff that's in here rather than being grilled on, you know, politics. And I can see him light, getting lighter. You know, and I just said at the end, I said, first of all, good job. You're doing it. You probably, I don't know if you get told it very often. Most people give me a hold of doing your best. Dib, dib, dib. And I wanted to just say, you know, I don't feel like let's try and refill his fuel tank a bit. And actually it ended up going in the show, you know, put a hand on his shoulder and said, you know, strength this guy, you know, and the big decisions. Oh man, you know, and it wasn't really more complicated than that. But I don't know. I think the wild always creates honest connections without the fluff. And it didn't feel unnatural. You know, but it's funny how the effect of that, I still get people to this day talk about that a lot. And I know quite unlikely people often say that was a good moment. Not always easy. I mean, awkward sometimes, isn't it, doing that sort of thing. But that's okay. I've learned that that's okay. Dude, sometimes the awkward things are the best things. Telling someone that, you know, that they're amazing. You know, it can be awkward to a good friend, but it can mean a lot. Quick one. We bring in eight people a month to watch these conversations live here in the studio when we're here in the UK and when we're in LA. If you want to be one of those people, all you've got to do is hit subscribe. You said earlier about being rattled after Everest.
Climbing Everest was humbling (32:37)
One would never assume that, of course. You climb the biggest mountain in the world and you come down and you're rattled and your confidence is knocked. I think big mountains are humbling. You know, and sometimes you take on these big projects and it's about, come on, we're going to do it and you're full of that confidence. But it's often quite surface. And I think when you see things close up and... I think I came away with the real awareness that I've been really lucky and got away with my life where others hand up there. And this stage, Everest was killing one in six people's lives. You know, beforehand I read about that and it was almost kind of... It was almost glamorous. It was almost like romantic. You see the reality of it close up and it's not romantic. It's dark and difficult and confusing. And I think my feeling at the end of it was that I got really lucky. You know, I've been no doubt dug deep in a few big moments and, you know, it was some 92 days on that mountain. So there's a lot of time. You do have to dig deep. But ultimately I had a bit of luck at key times. And I think I came away aware of that and grateful for that, but less certain that just because you're determined in life doesn't mean everything's going to go well. You know, and I think beforehand I kind of thought, if you give everything, it's all going to work out. But as you know, in everything in life, there's no guarantees. You know, we live a gloves-off life. You know, life is gloves-off and no rules of kind of like, if you give this school going to be roses and sunshine, you know, you can give the best in the world and it's going to be hit you sometimes. You know, you get ill or something happens. And I think that's the part of me that got a bit shaken. But, you know, that's just life and you have to live with your eyes wide open to that and still choose to try and make the good decisions and pick the good attitudes and put them on like a t-shirt every day that even though gloves are off, we're going to go for this. We're going to do our best to be positive, do our best to give our best and keep going for it. Those four people that passed away, were they climbing with you? Two Russians and a Brit in New Zealand are from other teams, but they're on the mountain at the same time and never came back. And I remember with their teammates, you know, afterwards just them in tears and sitting with them and it definitely made me question a lot of the time. Is any mountain really worth a life of which your clear answer is no. But at the time, sometimes your ambition is, you know, it's like we're going to go for it. And that's why I think now kind of with a bit of time and experience, would I do it now? Would I take a one or six chance of not coming home? No, no, because you have more to live for. But I think at the time, I was like, I'm all in, I'm going to go. I want to meet my mark, you know, at a young age. And the truth is I got lucky.
Struggling with fame (35:37)
Fame. Yeah. What does that one mean? Yeah, you tell me. I've been only on the TV for a couple of minutes. I mean, so you've been on there for many, many, many years. So I was hoping maybe you could give me a little bit of an overview of what fame is. Because, you know, when I looked at Bear Girl's podcast, and I really couldn't find much, there was for someone that's been in the public eye for so long, could barely find anything. And then I read this quote that you don't like, sometimes you feel like when you meet someone, there's a sense of you're worried you might disappoint them because they're expecting you to be something else. Well, I think that's true. I think part of my kind of, the answer is I don't do very many of these. You know, I think, but that's okay. I'm not so hungry for more people to know everything. I do do these sort of things every now and again with good people. And when it feels right, you know, I think one of the reasons I get less comfortable sometimes in big groups of people and doing press stuff or doing is, you know, I'm not very, I don't really like the cameras on me. If I'm honest, I struggle really with that. So one, you know, I never gone to TV for that. You know, I go on to TV because, you know, this producer said, "Do you want to try this thing?" Like I said, we were just married and starting out and pretty broke. And it was like, let's go for it. Let's see what happens. But the sort of the recognition side of things, you know, I struggle with the word fame. I think it's a weird one. But I think the recognition side of things I struggle with more. And I think part of it is a little part of me feels I'm never going to be quite as good as people expect, you know, in, as a TV sometimes makes out and therefore less is more fun. Less is more very happy with my family and friends and I go and work, but I want to kind of come home afterwards. But when it comes to fame, you know, you say about that. I've kind of learnt, I think, over the years to first of all, take it with a, not just a pinch of salt, but with a bucket of salt. You know, don't believe it. It doesn't, it's not where you're worth. It's your work, you know, if you're worth is that, you're always going to struggle because it goes up and down. And ultimately it's going down, isn't it? You know, you know, you know, when we're, when we're 95 years old, nobody's going to know who, who I am. Speak for yourself. Well, but it, but, and it doesn't matter. You know, it doesn't, but I'll, I'll, I'll, I'll, I'll certain self-worth, you're always going to be fighting and losing battle. Yeah, yeah. So I take it all with a bucket of salt. I think for my family growing up with a little bit of that, they've, I always say to our boys growing up, we've got friends all over the world and look at it like that. Amazing connections. You know, I can go to, go to any country and, and there's a connection with, with, with people there and people want to tell their stories and go, "Oh, I've just been camping with my, you know, my son or my, you know, my uncle was this or did that. And all my sons are scout, daughters are scout or whatever it is." And I like those connections, always grateful for people's stories and, and that's fine. So that's how I kind of look at it. Pinch us all. Don't believe it all. But, uh, always be grateful for friends all over the world. Did you struggle with it? I think I struggled with it when I felt the attention was on me. I think I didn't like that. That, that felt, I remember so well in the early days when we started doing Man vs. Wild. First two seasons, were we just gunning and going and it was all just kind of fun. Out there was small crew. I never really didn't see it go down until he was going out in America at the time. So I was over in the UK. I didn't see it. I didn't know what was happening. It was just lucky. It was good timing. And it just worked, you know. It just was meant to be at that time. But I didn't really see much of that because I come home and live a regular life. And I remember the head of Discovery after a couple of seasons saying, you know, your show is best on Discovery. It's getting over a billion viewers now around the world. And, and my heart sank. I really started to struggle with it and I suddenly started to think when we were filming, I'd be like self-conscious and what am I saying and how does this, and the fun went out of it and my, I got more anxious with it all. And I thought I don't want people looking at this or doing this or, and it was a really sort of mark time of, and the crew said it. So they said, it's everything okay. And I think I had to learn to, it's about other people, you know. And when I was people coming up and they weren't going, you know, you're amazing. They would go, I took my sun camping or, or my, whatever did that. And when I was, it was about them. And I'd really try to shift it in my brain that everything's about them. You know, it's what it brings out, whether it's a single mum coming to me and saying, when you once said about you in that storm in the jungle and you said, someone is life is, it's going to beat you up and you just got to be dogged and keep going, keep your head down. You know, the storms weren't last forever. And I really understood that as a single mum, I was trying to hold down all these jobs. I've got, you know, that for me lifted my whole, I thought, that's why I do this job. And it kind of shifted it off me and, and, and, and that's why I've always loved my job now. It's like Chief Scout, you know, for me, that was a revolution to be able to say when people come up to me and go, you know, oh, you've done this one, it's now, yeah, but look what you could do. You know, you could join that and you can do this. And, you know, somewhere to be able to not deflect, but sort of direct people a little bit. And I, I get such a kick out of that is why I love running wild so much because it's about other people. It's about taking these rookies. It might be amazing rookies, but they're often wilderness rookies. And opening their eyes to my office, you know, the outdoors, what the wild can do for people that light inside that pride, that come on, you know, that magic. And, and saying, look at this. And that freed me a lot away from kind of look at, look at, you know, look that way instead of this way. You said a word though, which I, I started thinking about a lot, which was the word anxiety, which I actually think is a quite interesting thing because you're much of your work is about the natural world.
And one of the, I think, on natural human signals is anxiety. It kind of tells you something that you're potentially doing wrong. Maybe a train of thought that you've attached yourself to, which is destructive or whatever else. And depression is one of those things as well. I talk about a lot is also seems to be a pretty close signal for a natural signal that we have, you know, some of my guests have said that they've, it's a signal that they've been disconnected from their tribe. And it's, and they've explained the science of that. And, and even rid the signal of rejection and how that makes us feel is a prehistoric signal telling us to get back into our tribe because all that there's a chance we might be thrown off the island by our tribe because we're being rejected. So to change our behavior and all of these signals, anxiety, depression and this whole mental health awareness that's emerged in the last 10 years. What's your relationship been like with those, with those, those topics? First of all, it's, it's amazing that people are talking about this and focusing on it more. You know, I think, you know, it's, it's long overdue and it's a key part of our arsenal for life, isn't it? Our weapons that are going to help make your heart happy. You know, you need to need to look off the physical. You need to look off the emotional. You need to look off the spiritual. And you need to look off the mental side of things. You know, it's all, these are all weapons in our arsenal. We've got to focus on it. And if you neglect one, there's always going to be a little pot of your heart that is going to struggle a bit if you, if you, whether it's emotional, physical or mental. So you've got to try and put things in place that help your mental health. And, and I think people for many years are often neglected that you shut things away. But actually the, so many of the things that help us mentally are simple things. As you say, those connections to people and that honesty and vulnerability and, and like we've been talking about, not letting yourself sort of live a life that actually isn't real, not letting people make you into that hero that you don't always fear. You know, stay honest, stay connected, talk to people. You know, be outside how, how many times do we see studies proving that when we're outside and we're in the sun and we're expressing and we're working hard and we're connected to people. That's why the wild is such an amazing mental health weapon to build up that resource, you know, in a world that often depletes the resource. You know, all of this stuff is always pulling, you know, if I had pulling, pulling, you know, it leaves you emptier. But for me, the wild and connection and the sun and outdoors and soon cold rivers and, and challenge and failing and all these sort of things build up. I find for me help my mental health. You can't tear off the ball with mental health. You've got to, and you're not always going to get it right. And that's okay. Is there a time in your life where you discovered mental health was a very real thing because of an experience that you'd had? Because I think for many years, I thought it was something that happened to other people. And then there's a couple of sort of catalytic events that happened in my life that made me realize that I am not immune to anxiety, to feelings that you had depressive symptoms and all of those things. But is there something in your life where there's a pivotal moment or life events typically are the catalyst of those things where you go, oh, this is something that I now need to put as a priority? I think I've been lucky in the sense that I've never suffered from really bad depression, where many, many friends have stood alongside, have really had battles. I think I've always had an intuition of when I need to change something and when I'm struggling a little bit and when hard on this feeling of anxiety be going on a bit, oh, what can we change? What helps me? I've always sort of accidentally found things that help make that problem better. And for me, it's been that go to being outdoors, being with great friends. I think just a few good friends rather than lots and lots of friends. Even things like our B-military fit, our BMF, our veterans run fitness business has helped me so much because it's a collective tribe of often veterans, people who need that camaraderie but want to train, want to stay physically fit, don't want to be in a gym inside with white light and all of that. They want to be outside in the fresh air, they want to be down in the dirt a little bit, they want to laugh at themselves in situations and face a few rain swept early mornings, training outside in a park together. And like our physical health, the more we can be aware of the things that do help and approve it to help and to gravitate towards those things in our life, be outside, be connected, train, be honest, have a few friends. The more it's going to help us when we do have the dark moments and I've never met anyone who doesn't have them. They might tell you, but everyone has these moments and I certainly have. But I've also never met a strong person who's had an easy past. It's just part of it. If you're going to go for big things and you're going to shoot for the top, you're going to have struggles and failures and part of life. When was your darkest moment?
What were your darkest moments? (46:41)
One was when I brought my back in the military and was in rehabilitation for a long time. So much of my rock in my life had been that I was physically strong and I was doing a job I loved and suddenly I couldn't even reach a bathroom without excruciating agony and my back was broken in three places. I had to then leave my job with the military and it was just one of my going to do with my life. But I also look at that time and I think if I had had gone through that, I don't think I ever would have actually had the drive and the impetus to make that Everest expedition happen at that young age and if I hadn't done that, they wouldn't have opened the door to other things and then eventually the TV. It's like these clouds that often, it's why not to be scared when life does hit you sideways because there's often a plan there. You've just got to try and keep moving forward towards it. But that was definitely a dark time and I think also losing my dad at a young age. Shahra and my wife and me both lost our parents within 10 weeks of each other in year one of marriage and it was, we were young, we were 24-25 and just starting out on life and I think we always had that safety net of our parents behind us and I think suddenly both losing our dads and now being responsible for our mums and it was, it definitely took that safety net away and it was like, wow, we're both dealing with trauma here. Not always very well but we got to, I mean, I look back now and actually it's what made us, made us really tight and to have a love and a trust and a vulnerability together that has been key thing in our relationship I think ever since but at the time it was just pure pain and a huge hole that is still there to the day. I mean, I'm seeing our three boys grow up. The great loss for me is that they will never know my dad or he would never know them and how like he was, they are and all of these dynamics that we take for granted and soft and I see friends now and they get, oh, my mum's a bit poorly and my dad, I'm thinking, it was part of me, I think, you know, you're so lucky to have had your parents for that long and I was dealing with looking after sort of my mum and all her sort of bills and everything and, you know, when it was 25, you know, it's been going on a long time but at the same time I think my dad taught me so many of the key things in life which was back to the earlier point of like, you know, be resilient and be kind and keep going and those things I'll always be grateful for and I wish my only regret is that I can get a chance to say to him, wow, you were right, you were actually right all along when I kicked against it and kind of, you know, you were right, you know, full of dreams, be kind, be resilient, never give up and I never said thank you enough of that. That's something I always worry about.
What would you say to your father if he was alive? (49:38)
My dad has outlived his siblings and I don't feel like I've made enough of an effort to stay connected. There's something about us where we just think our parents are going to be around forever, like, when you said the safety blanket thing, it's like this, it's almost like it reminds me of COVID where I didn't realise the tectonic plate of society could ever move. So I built my life like ignorantly on this foundation that society would be open and then one day someone showed me that there was even a tectonic plate underneath me that I didn't know was there and my parents are the same thing, they've just always been there so I assume naively that they always will be but what would you say to, what advice would you give me about? Well, I'll never take that for granted and never be scared of saying it. Tell him now, you know, tell him on this, he'll listen to this. He's probably incredibly, incredibly proud of you, all you've achieved superseded his wider streams of what a son could be and he should be proud and tell him. What would you tell your dad? If he was listening, maybe he is. Well, I think I'd say thank you for the little things. You know, it's not that it's thanks for being there on that touchline when I was lines and you know, thanks for not putting too much focus just on success and school reports and being top. Thank you for putting focus on being kind and having a dream even though, you know, might not be the path most trodden, you know, but go for it. If it's your dream, go for it. And thanks for saying that never give up is the golden currency of life rather than, you know, good looks sporty talent or academic brilliance. But you know, I think for you, your dad, your dad knows, you know, I'm sure he knows, but never felt telling him, you know, because I think really parental relations, one of those ones, it's always going to be, there's always going to be dynamics and struggles and fallouts and arguments, stuff. But you can never articulate it too much that you love someone and you can never overestimate how much those simple, awkward, difficult words to say mean. I mean, my great buddy said he really wanted to tell his dad one time. He loved him, but he knew so English. He wouldn't, his father would be a really difficult thing to say. And he said, I'm going to say to you, he said, Dad, I just want to let you know I really love you. And his son, his dad goes, you've been drinking, you know, but the fingers, that's okay. You have to have a go home that night knowing that he hadn't been drinking, the guy, his son hadn't been drinking, but that was special. And I think those awkward, it's backed up thing of doing sometimes you all could difficult things like the prayer with Obama is a really good thing, you know, and I've tried to get better at this in my life of saying thank you and doing nice things and saying awkward, but good things to people. I mean, I said it to my great buddy the other day, Rupert. I said to him, you know, we work a lot together and stuff. So I said, actually, you know, forget the work side of the year. You're such a lovely friend. And I literally saw all my sort of eyes well out just for a second, you know, and it's like, you know, I know it's, keep, keep, keep training or whatever we do, you know, but it's sometimes the awkward things are the good things. And I hope as I live and do more in life that I create more and more of those moments because there are many people I like I said, I stand on the shoulders of many giants that are the real heroes in my life. And I definitely consider my dad one. I definitely consider those I served alongside in the military many still friends this day. I mean, I was with Corporal Williams, my old, you know, squadron, you know, patrol commander who's now a, you know, 70 and lives in Murther, Tidville was with him the other day for a walk in the brackets. Just remind him, I go, you've been an amazing friend through life. And I'll never get the belief you had in me in the early days. Thank you. You know, I consider the camera crew I work with in that same vein and never take those for granted. Quick one. I just wanted to share a fantastic initiative from one of my podcast sponsors. For those of you that are looking to grow your business online, right now you can get 200 pounds of social media advertising paid for by Vodafone business when you sign up to three unlimited mobile plans. Social media has a huge impact on your business. If I had to start my business again from scratch right now, the first thing I would do is produce content daily at a high cadence. The thing that grew my company so fast was producing content on social media platforms. It helps your company become known and builds your digital reputation slash personal brand. If you've not ventured into the space of social media or social media advertising before, don't worry. Vodafone business will also provide the knowledge, support and tips you need in creating a plan all through Vodafone V-Hub. To find out more and how I'd spend that 200 pounds that Vodafone are giving, search Vodafone digital boost and obviously terms and conditions apply. As you might know, my energy are a sponsor of this podcast and they offer countless ways to make your life a little bit more sustainable and make that transition from where you are now to a sustainable life 10 times easier. Their products are all about energy independence, allowing you to create a greener home through their cost effective and super user friendly products. One of my favorite products right now is the Zappi. It's a smart EV charger which simply allows you to charge your electric vehicle from solar or wind power. So if you would like to find out more about my energy, then head to myenergy.com and if you've tried the Zappi, let me know how you got on with it in the comments section below. Your wonderful wife.
The importance of relationships (55:36)
Remember you saying once upon a time if you really want to know someone you've got to ask the wife and kids what they're like, you know, so true, isn't it? I mean, when I asked your wife, what would she say? What would she say about the flawed, shit-provices, flawed, flawed, but you know, in what way? I think loyalty and sticking through things and knowing the real us and that we're not perfect and we're there for each other, creates a power to it. And I do look at relationships that are special like, you know, with your kids or with your wife, it's like stained glass, you know, you need to, they're really beautiful. You've got to protect them and you've got to protect them number one. And I think it's so easy in life to do the opposite. So that's actually take that one for granted and we produce our best, we produce our best for the at the dinner party to hold court and say the jokes. And you know, and it's the wrong way round, you know, it's the wrong way round. Save your best. I think it's saying I've learned and still try and I don't always get right by any means, but I know the goal is try and save my best for those who value the most, which is the closest relationship to you with your wife and with your kids, you know, make them save the best for them rather than kind of be tired and grumpy with them and then go out and then be on form, you know, try and shift it the other way. And it's counterculture, but it's always going to make you happier, you know, and that's why I say if you want to know what someone's like, oh, so why? Because don't don't look at the press reports and don't read their own stories about themselves. You know, I was supposed to really know someone when the mask is off and when it's, you know, the cameras aren't really there, they're the ones. And it's not to say, you know, anyone's perfect, but try and save your best for them. And I think if you do ask my wife what I would love her to say, I'd love her to say that I was loyal and kind and fought for them. You know, that's what I just have always tried to do in my life and prioritize them. And many times in my life, in the early days of TV, especially, there was so much pressure to, you know, be away too much and go and do that and do the extra episode and do the extra thing and the, you know, discover a channel or ask you for one more thing then. You end up burning, burning the things that are most valuable because you're way too much. You're focusing on this and always creates damage. And I say, sorry for those times there's way too much. And that's why I thought so hard to start to produce and make our own shows where we own the format and we could decide. I go, no, it's our boys half term. I'm not going to, even though it's Tom Cruise or whoever, I'm going to be at the half term for this. I want to put a shift onto the family. And it's been a great thing. It's been a key thing. And the other stuff is work. It will always be there, you know, it will be there and it's okay. Sometimes I fall into the trap of doing that. So you know, you're getting off a come in and it's all 50 grand or 100 grand to do this thing here. It'll take one day, but I'd scheduled to be in Indonesia that day with my partner. And I'm looking, I'm going to hunt. Can I really turn down a hundred grand for one day, just like hanging out on the sofa with my partner? It's a new challenge that I've been attending with. What, I mean, you've been through this. Well, I think, I think the answer is at the same time, you're hustling and you've got to work and you've got to build it and you're building it, especially when you get married and have kids, you're building for their future and all of us have this struggle. But I think listening to that inner voice, you know, a little bit and there's this line isn't there that we walk where, you know, this side is family, this side is work. And the problem is if you only try and walk this line, everyone's always asking favors. You know, it's just one off, it's one event, it's one thing. Well, before you know it, you're spending too long on this side of the line and you're creating damage and loss. It's only damage that it's losing. You're creating loss on this side. And I think what I've learned is just shift the line a little bit, you know, make the line here. Oh, so make it even more family oriented to start with. So, so when you drift over the line a few times, which you're going to do, you're still in surplus, you're still in surplus. And I think the wisdom and experience of life is knowing, do you know what? No, we should go and do that. I will go and do that in a mix. That's important. But knowing also the ones that really protect, it's often the little things, isn't it? Like a, you know, like the linesman story, you know, like that school play or that anniversary or whatever. Listen, I'm speaking from a place of flawed failure through many, many times, but I've learned through those things. Why do you say that? Because I've got it wrong many times. I've just been there and made mistakes and got them wrong. But I've learned through those is that it's worth protecting the most, the thing of most value in your life. And I think then with success, what happens, you'll reach a point where you don't need that extra hundred grand, you know, maybe when you're getting it, maybe you've got a hustle a bit. You've got a so many exe and sacrifices you do to be successfully have to sacrifice. Maybe, you know, and I was the same. I had to in those early days, you've got to, you've got to go that extra mile. I'm not saying you don't, you do. But maybe you reached a point where enough's enough and then then what you're really saying to your girlfriend or might be your wife or your kids at that stage is that I value you more than a hundred grand. And when you're like successful, you know, it doesn't get any easier to say no, but it comes more important to say no. Amen.
Career Achievements And Insights
Is your career complete? (01:00:59)
I felt that speaking of work really compelled by when I read that you're the chief scout. I was like, that's the CEO of the scouts, right? Is that not the CEO of the scouts effectively? Well, I don't think I've ever I've never had an aspiration to be like a CEO. CEO has always felt very important, even though we are on the diary of a CEO. I never feel like a CEO. Greatest honor in my life has been to, you know, be it be a small cog in this incredible worldwide machine of 55 million young people bound together by a common set of values of respect and kindness and humility and adventure and determination and life skills. And, you know, it's an amazing privilege. I never take it for granted. It's a worldwide force for good. It truly is the scouting movement is unlike anything else out there. And it really has been the greatest honor in my life. And, and I love it. I can sum up my job as chief scout three words, you know, encourage, encourage, encourage, you know, and shine the light on those, the young people because the stuff that I get up to, the missions they're on, the efforts, the endeavors, the extra, what they do is amazing. They're leading the thing on climate change. They're leading in many refugee camps and disaster areas, helping, serving. And when you get 57 million young people around the world saying, I make a promise to be kind and helpful, you know, it's amazing. There's a power to that. And it's brilliant. Do you think your, your career is complete? And I hope not. I hope not. I'm still hustling. I'm still, I like the, I like the struggle. I like the fight. I like the ambition. We've built a brilliant team. We're pushing many endeavors, you know, away from just the TV shows. You know, I'm super proud of our B military fit, our veterans fitness business. You know, we have our theme parks, our adventure parks at the NDC and opening up new ones around the world. We have the scout staff. We, you know, we have education initiatives. I love it. For me, it's about using this God-given platform we've been given through the TV shows to try and do exactly the same, which we do with the TV shows, which is to shine a light on you and say, look what you can do. Will it ever be complete? And, and I hope not. I think it's like my bucket list gets longer and longer as I live in life. Yeah. It's not, it's like the more things we can, we can do that. And we can help do this. And, and I always want to live with that eyes wide open, you know, willing to be all in, willing to fail, willing to put myself up with great people, have a lot of focus, mission of trying to empower other people, helping other people to find their adventures in life, whether it's you books or TV shows or whatever, to like be able to go that extra mile, to be able to dig deep, to understand the storms of life come, but sometimes you've got to be dogged and determined to keep going. I want to bring that adventure spirit to people every day I live on the Earth. That's the goal. To no end. To no end. I think, I mean, maybe I'll finish the TV shows one day, you know, that will naturally end in due course. I can't, I mean, to be honest, I never thought I'd still be doing it now, you know, but with, we're doing more TV shows and ever before we're doing a new network show on US TV the next month of a Southern season eight of running wild. You know, we're still out there gunning it and going and I love that. But the TV shows will end, but the adventures won't, you know, I go willing, you know, I hope when I'm old guy, I'm going to have me loads of adventures with my kids and eventually with grandkids and sharing that adventure spirit because as you know, you know, adventure is truly a state of mind, whatever you're doing, whatever, you know, my wife will shake so I'm going to be in the old people's home, go, come on, come on, we're going to do it, we're going to go over it, you know. And I think that's a state of mind that is about pushing the boundaries and, you know, having that resilience and that kind of wide our gratitude for life and the connections and because the truth is the world is amazing and it's a huge privilege. You look at everything that's happening around the world, there's hardship and struggling and battle and loss and the fact that we get to, you know, have our families and have something we love to do and that we're safe and we live in this kind of a society that has a rule of law and all these things are so easy to take for granted. We must never take that for granted. We've got to live with that eyes wide open, thank you and keep that adventure state of mind, firing bright that fire inside, shining bright. Never give up the name of your recent book.
Your latest and most special book: What did it teach you? (01:05:30)
This book, I got the sense that it was slightly more special than previous books to you and that it had taken five years to write this book that you wrote it all yourself. It took a long time, you know, I was reluctant to write it. I wrote an autobiography called Mud Sweat and Tears Originally. But the truth is, you know, that did well, you know, did 20 weeks at number one and I always kind of felt that I'm not going to beat that, you know, I'm not going to do another but we're done. But that book really ended as TV started and so many of the questions that I get asked by my kids and by people in the street always like the behind the scenes. What was it like on this? What was it like taking that person or what about the struggles there or what whatever? And in a way, they're the stories that I wanted my boys to understand, you know, and I think my kids are kind of grown up and seen the good side, seen the things that have worked but aren't always aware of the many failures behind those successes. And I wanted to be able to share all of that and share the things that actually made the difference and I wanted to write it myself and, you know, be honest in it. And so it took a long time to write but I'm really proud of it and I think it was always going to be called never give up, you know, it's at a time where I think the world's coming through an incredibly, continuous to be an incredibly tough time and I think that spirit of relentless determination is needed more than ever with all people and young people especially. So I'm proud of the stories and I'm proud to call it never give up. When I wrote my book, I didn't realize this until I wrote it that it was actually much more a learning process than it was a preaching process. Because it is a journey writing a book. Is there something that you learned that you didn't know before you started on that journey writing never give up that was profound or a problem you solved from putting pen to paper that you hadn't solved before that comes to mind? Well, I've definitely learned of the writing or speaking to be good. It has to be difficult. It has to be painful. You know, how often do we see the person who stands up and stands on stage and gives a talk and loves the sound of their own voice and it's just like it's a ball. They're a ball, you know. But the person who's this is hard to articulate or talk about but for what it's worth, this is where, you know, you're there and it's the same with writing. I think it's got to be vulnerable and it's got to have that struggle to it. And that's why I took me a while. What do you find? What did you feel? Well, yeah, for me, there was a couple of questions that when I started a chapter, I hadn't actually answered them yet. And by the end of the chapter, I'd answered the question, but it was because of that process. Is it easy for you to be vulnerable? Are you someone? Because we only think of someone that's been in the SAS and this, you know, again, talking about the public stereotype here, tough guy, resilience. Vulnerability seems to be the antithesis of that for other people. The complete opposite. How have you been, you know, we talk about toxic masculinity a lot now. I sat here with Terry Cruz, the actor, big tough guy, and his new book, Tough, which is about toxic masculinity. What's your relationship with vulnerability? Well, first of all, Terry Cruz, hero. And one of our running wild guests, actually, I took him on one last year and he was, like, with you, very honest about some of this stuff. Vulnerability was hard initially, but I think it's where life is, you know, and like with, like when you climb any big mountain, you know, where you rope to someone 24 hours a day, it brings you close. But it also is where the bonds are, you know, and when you're vulnerable, someone that creates a connection, you know, you and me probably feel more connected by being the vulnerability than the look at this, you know, vulnerability creates bonds and creates strength. But like all these things, there's a pain and it takes a strength to do it. But I think I'm not scared to show that, you know, I've got nothing to prove and I don't want people to think it's just all heroic. You know, I want people know that there's been many struggles through it all, but these things have quietly helped me. And I always think people have two faces of their life. One is like, you don't want the world to see who you really are. You're out there, you project this kind of image. And then the second half is you'd no longer care. You just want to be honest. And when you're honest, there's an amazing bonds with the really people you want to create bonds with. And some people have that realization at 25 and they live the rest of life in this empowered way. Some people don't reach that point until they're 85. They live the whole life with this mask and it's only when they're with that maybe nurse and a nurse in the first person, they should be honest and vulnerable and broken with. But you eventually realize it, you know, and the goal I suppose of life is to get this place early because it's where the wealth is, it's where the happiness is because you're not going to pretend any longer. And you can form those deeper relationships, as you said, which is exactly what happens when we have these conversations.
End Segment: Guest Questions
Our last guest's question (01:10:22)
There you go. We have a closing tradition on the podcast, which is our last guest asks a question for the next guest. So the question is, if you had to predict, where will you be this time in five years time? Wow. The truth is I hope to be doing the same sort of thing in the sense that living this mission or trying to empower other people to find their adventures through all these different means, you know, through the TV shows or the books or whatever, you know, I love that mission. You know, it starts with my relationship with my kids and it extends to scouts and it extends beyond that from there. So I hope to have that same mission, maybe at a slightly slower pace, you know, we film a lot of shows at the moment and it's a way of loading it. It's, you know, it's definitely has full on elements to it. So maybe kind of dial down the pace bit, but same mission and still protecting family first, you know, beyond before work, before even that mission, protect family first and keep those relationships strong. You know, my body aches every day. I've got many scars, like an old man getting up in the morning, but I don't apologize for any of those things. And I think by the end of my life, if I can, I don't want to arrive in a perfectly preserved body. So I quote, I want to come skidding in sideways, covered in scars, screaming, yo, what a ride, you know, and at long may that spirit continue. Yeah. Thank you so much for the time and generosity. I've got to say this does really feel like a huge honor for me because of how infrequently you do anything like this. So I just want to communicate how much of an honor this genuinely feels like for me. And I feel very special and I feel like our team are very honored to have you here and to have this conversation with you, you're someone that's achieved an unbelievable amount and for you to be so honest and because it would be so easy for you to say, to play into the narrative that you have superpowers, but it's almost impossible to get you to indulge in that. And as you say, that makes the things you've achieved so attainable for everybody that's listening, including myself. And if it is something that I can learn and grow in a muscle I can build, then that for me is incredibly empowering and empowerment. So is so evidently at the center of all the work you do with the scouts, with your new book, Never Go Up, which I highly recommend everybody reads. The paperback is out on the 9th of June, but it's really, you can tell you've written it. You can tell that it's come from a place of real authenticity and someone who is willing to tell you the truth and we need a lot more of that. So thank you. I'll never be able to say thank you enough for coming and doing this. And yeah, thanks for the inspiration over the years. You've empowered me just in this conversation. Yeah, I so come. Well, likewise you're doing an amazing job. Thank you. Your dad, he will definitely know it. I'm going to text him. I'm going to send him a voice now after this. Thank you, bear. Thanks. Thank you. I had a few words to say about one of my sponsors on this podcast. My girlfriend came upstairs yesterday when I was having a shower and she said to me that she tried the heel protein shake, which lives on my fridge over there. And she said, it's amazing. Low calories, you get your 20 odd grams of protein, you get your 26 vitamins and minerals, and it's nutritionally complete. In the protein space, there's lots of things, but it's hard to find something that is nice, especially when consumed just with water. And that is nutritionally complete. The salted caramel one, if you put some ice cubes in it and you put it in a blender and you try it, it's as good as pretty much any milkshake on the market, just mixed with water. It's been a game changer for me because I'm trying to drop my calorie intake and I'm trying to be a little bit more healthy with my diet. So this is where he'll fit in my life. Thank you, he'll for making a product that I actually like.