Mud Sweat And Tears

by Bear Grylls

Troy Shu
Troy Shu
Updated at: February 23, 2024
Mud Sweat And Tears
Mud Sweat And Tears

What are the big ideas? 1. Being kind and thinking of others first every day helps you become a better person. 2. Lessons from family and school, like staying true

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What are the big ideas?

  1. Being kind and thinking of others first every day helps you become a better person.
  2. Lessons from family and school, like staying true to yourself and working hard, are very important.
  3. Growing as a person means understanding what you can handle, being brave in tough situations, and staying excited about what you do.
  4. Believing in something bigger than yourself can give you comfort and strength when you feel weak.
  5. Giving to others and not being too greedy can make your life better and more rewarding.


Character and Values in Daily Life

  • “The gentleman is characterized by his sacrifice of self, and preference of others, in the little daily occurrences of life.”
  • “Kindness is one of the most important things in life and can mean so much. Try never to hurt those you love. We all make mistakes, and sometimes, terrible ones, but try not to hurt anyone for the sake of your own selfishness.”

Lessons Learned from Family and Education

  • Bear learned two very strong lessons from his grandparents: the grass isn’t always greener elsewhere, and true love is worth fighting for.
  • “Eton College was only ever intolerant of two things: laziness and a lack of enthusiasm.”
  • Eton showed Bear the value of a few close friends, and how those friendships really matter as we walk through our days. It also taught him to understand that life is what you make of it. And with that, there comes responsibility.

Personal Growth, Discipline, and Facing Challenges

  • “Know your limits, don’t embark on any adventures without a solid backup plan, and don’t be egged on by others when your instincts tell you something is a bad idea.”
  • “As a kid, you can only cry so much before you run out of tears and learn to get tough.”
  • “Fear forces you to look tough on the outside, but makes you weak on the inside.”
  • “I haven’t always succeeded, and I haven’t always had the most talent, but I have always given of myself with great enthusiasm—and that counts for a lot.”

The Role of Faith and Spirituality

  • “To me, Christian faith is all about being held, comforted, forgiven, strengthened and loved—yet somehow that message gets lost on most of us, and we tend only to remember the religious nutters or the God of endless school assemblies.”
  • “Faith in Christ has been the great empowering presence in my life, helping me walk strong when so often I feel so weak. It is no wonder I felt I had stumbled on something remarkable that night up that tree.”

The Importance of Giving and Generosity

  • Bear learnt from his mother that before you can get, you have to give, and that money is like a river—if you try to block it up and dam it (i.e. cling on to it), then, like a dammed river, the water will go stagnant and stale, and your life will fester. If you keep the stream moving, and keep giving stuff and money away, wherever you can, then the river and the rewards will keep flowing in.
  • A quote Bear’s mother once gave him: ‘When supply seems to have dried up, look around you quickly for something to give away.’”

Embracing Risk and Following Dreams

  • “I never minded risking failure because I was never punished for failing.”
  • Bear’s father would always say that what really matters in life is to ‘Follow your dreams and to look after your friends and family along the way.’
  • “There are no prizes for taking either yourself or life too seriously, and that life should be lived freely.”
  • “Dreams, though, are cheap, and the real task comes when you start putting in place the steps needed to make those dreams a reality.”
  • Bear believes strongly in the powerful words: ‘I took the road less travelled, and that has made all the difference.’

Perseverance and Resilience

  • “Good things come through grit and hard work, and all things worthwhile have a cost.”
  • “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 inevitably become our reality.”
  • “Life doesn’t often give us second chances. But if it does, be bloody grateful.”
  • “Our dreams are just wishes, if we never follow them through with action. And in life, you have got to be able to light your own fire.”
  • “Life is all about getting up again, dusting yourself down again, learning from the lessons and then pushing on.”

Overcoming Crisis and Seizing Opportunities

  • “I have always loved the quote from John F. Kennedy: ‘When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.’”
  • “Looking back on my life, I can see that I have never had a crisis that didn’t make me stronger.”

Lessons on Success and Achievement

  • “The laws of physics dictate that if you keep moving up, however slowly that might be, you will eventually reach the top.”
  • “The other thing the army had taught me was how, and when, to go that extra mile. And the time to do it is when it is tough – when all around you are slowing and quitting and complaining.”
  • “It is about understanding that the moment to shine brightest is when all about you is dark.”
  • “Ultimately, if

I had to pass on one message to my children it would be this: ‘fortune favours the brave’.”

The Importance of Spontaneity and Focus in Life

  • “Spontaneity has to be exercised every day, or we lose it.”
  • “My father always used to say that if you focus on doing your job well, then money will often follow. But chase the money and it has a habit of slipping through your fingers.”
  • “‘Smile when it’s raining, and when you’re going through hell – keep going.’”


  1. How does practicing selflessness and prioritizing others in small daily acts contribute to character development?
  2. What lessons about love and contentment can be learned from family and educational experiences?
  3. In what ways can understanding your limits and embracing challenges contribute to personal growth and resilience?
  4. How does faith or spirituality provide strength and comfort in challenging times?
  5. Why is it important to practice generosity and keep the flow of giving and receiving in balance?
  6. How does embracing risk and pursuing dreams impact one's life journey and personal fulfillment?
  7. What role does perseverance play in overcoming life's challenges and achieving success?
  8. How can moments of crisis be transformed into opportunities for growth and strength?


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