Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Survival Guide for Life by Bear Grylls - A Guest Review

A Survival Guide for Life: How to Achieve Your Goals, Thrive in Adversity, and Grown in Character by Bear Grylls
Published July 2013 by HarperCollins Publishers
Source: our copy courtesy of the publisher and TLC Book Tours in exchange for this review

We've been watching Bear Grylls in our house for years (and by "we" I mean The Big Guy and the boys) so when this book came up on a tour, I knew it would be one The Big Guy would enjoy reading. Thanks, BG, for sharing your thoughts on this one!

Publisher's Summary:
Life in the outdoors teaches us invaluable lessons. Encountering the wild forces us to plan and execute goals, face danger, push our "limits," and sharpen our instincts. But our most important adventures don't always happen in nature's extremes. Living a purpose-driven, meaningful life can often be an even greater challenge. . . . In A Survival Guide for Life, Bear Grylls, globally renowned adventurer and television host, shares the hard-earned wisdom he's gained in the harshest environments on earth, from the summit of Mt. Everest to the boot camps of the British Special Forces: What are the most important skills to learn if you really want to achieve your maximum potential? How do you keep going when all the odds are stacked against you? How can you motivate a team to follow you in spite of apparent risks? Filled with exclusive, never-before-told tales from Bear's globe-trekking expeditions, A Survival Guide for Life teaches every reader—no matter your age or experience—that we're all capable of living life more boldly, of achieving our most daring dreams, and of having more fun along the way. Here's to your own great adventure!  

My Thoughts:

I have liked Bear from the time his show first came to in America some years ago. He shows us how to survive in the wild from extreme cold in the Arctic, rugged mountains and in remote swamps.  In this book he applies the character traits and skills he has learned from these expeditions on his show, his ascent of Everest and his UK Special Forces work and pulls in wisdom from various people from Winston Churchill to his parents. 

This book is a quick read and you could plow through in one night, but I believe it is best enjoyed in 20-30 minute segments to soak in the wisdom. While each of the 75 segments are short they are each very diverse from each other and I felt the need to take some time to enjoy them in small quantities. 

The titles of these chapters or segments are things like "Have a Dream, Never Give Up, Pack Light, Failure Isn't Failure, Storms Make You Stronger, Scouting Principals to Live By, Two Ears One Mouth, Don't Dwell on Mistakes, Crisis = Danger + Opportunity" and many others. 

The title of the book pretty well sums up what it is all about "A Survival Guide for Life - How to achieve your goals, thrive in adversity and grow in character"  I really plan to use this is a reference to read periodically as a pick me up or to just remind myself to push myself a little harder.  My boys having been in Boy Scouts growing up so I plan to encourage them to give it a read. 

Even though Bear is an expert in survival and special forces, he brings forth concepts, stories and guidance that are useful for anyone whether young, old, male, female, CEO or entry level employee. 


  1. Nice job, BG.

    I have mixed feelings about Bear. I loved him and when he came to the Barnes and Noble by me, it was clear that everyone loves him too. But then I began to hear all the talk about the set-up for the show and how all that stuff is scripted and made-up ahead of time. I guess it's hard to imagine it not being scripted since you have cameramen all around you, but that is when I got into Survivorman. Les seemed more authentic to me. I still like Bear but not as much as I used to.

  2. Sounds like an interesting read :)

  3. My first reaction was 'who?' and then you mention that you've watched this guy for years. Well, I must be really out of it. I must know of his show and just don't know his name, maybe. Is it on the Discovery channel? (sorry if my first thought was he must play football for NE.) Glad you got a lot out of his book.

    1. I think he was on Discovery when BG and the boys first started watching him. Now he's got a competition show on one of the major channels.

  4. This sounds like a good one. I can see how Bear's skills and experiences would lend itself to this type of book. I can think of a few people in my life who would enjoy this one (as I start my Christmas shopping).

  5. When I saw this pop up on my phone I actually thought.. interesting choice for Lisa! This makes so much sense now - whew.

    1. Ha - I am only interested in a survival guide if it includes tips on what to do if your hotel room doesn't have enough towels, you can't find the store you're looking for in the mall, or the restaurant doesn't have a respectable white wine!

  6. My son just "graduated" from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts this past year. I'll keep this book in mind for him as he continues his Scouting career.

    Thanks for being on the tour! I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.