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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
This latest book `A Survival Guide for Life' by Bear Grylls is a 5-star publication - beautifully bound with a marker ribbon and with a variety of fonts and almost bullet-point bold print presentation that is simple and straightforward to read. In addition to books the author is probably best known for his world-wide television swashbuckling adventure and survival programmes. At age 23 years in 1998 he became the youngest Briton to climb Mount Everest, and I was impressed by his subsequent book `Facing Up'. As a Boy Scout one of my grandsons is equally impressed by Bear's contributions as Chief Scout and his promotion of guidance on how to stay alive in the wild and sustain oneself in hostile situations. On the basis of its title `A Survival Guide for Life' seemed to be a perfect Christmas present for my grandson (coming up 11 years old), and certainly it is inspiring and inspirational - but it is not what I expected - it does urge venturing outdoors, adoption of practical skills and tackling mountains, and Bears refers to Scouting and to SAS/Commando experiences, but `A Survival Guide for Life' is more about firing readers with enthusiasm as a form of treatise on life challenges and motivation.

Topics covered include commitment, courage, perseverance, tenacity, working hard, overcoming hurdles, kindness and caring with emphasis on fun and laughing at oneself. In the first chapter Bears encourages readers to think big and find their dream - their own personal Everest. He goes on to warn of `dream-stealers' and to beware of obstacles - but to make the first step, be passionate and positive, and to follow goals wholeheartedly. He employs numerous metaphors linked to mountaineering - taking things a step at a time, leadership and team spirit, assessing the risk:reward ratio, not carrying unnecessary baggage, acknowledging retreat is not failure etc. In giving advice about how to cope when things aren't going well he also relies on homilies and stories concerning family and friends plus Biblical quotes and comments from his heroes including Winston Churchill, Edmund Hillary and Neil Armstrong. The final chapter is on humanity and humility and there can be no doubting Bear Grylls as genuine. His writing endorses him as a likeable person with narrative that oozes enthusiasm and humour, and I credit him with speaking from the heart and having genuine faith - but his book is for older children and adults - at Christmas I'll be giving my copy of `A Survival Guide for Life' to my grandson's dad!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 2012
Wow. I have always enjoyed Bear's adventure programmes on TV, largely due to his unrelentingly positive attitude towards life, and have found him genuinely inspirational. To be so mentally strong, attract success in many different facets of life, and yet be so humble is incredibly rare.

To now be able to immerse myself in his pearls of wisdom has been a privilege, and like other reviewers, I only wish I had had access to this book many years ago, as I would now be a better person because of it.

Whether you have a cursory interest or a deeply held commitment to self-improvement, this book will benefit you and help you grow - I can feel the benefits myself already after 2 reads!

Intelligently written and directly delivered, this book is first class.

Get ready to build as a person, and enjoy the ride!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 12 December 2012
What a great book. I have such a short attention span unless I'm really interested in something so this book ticked two boxes for me: 1. Each chapter is ridiculously short and 2. I found it all interesting.

It's presented in hardback format with an extremely useful bright orange ribbon bookmark.

Bear comes across as a really genuine guy and has snippets from his life experience (despite being only a few years older than myself). He's achieved a lot and stayed true to his morals and ethics.

This isn't a full on self-help book but in that genre of books is one of the best - if not the best - that I've read.

It's short, to the point and snappy. None of this elongated 10/12 page chapter nonsense for the sake of it. It reaffirms.

I knew Bear was religious and he goes down the religious line a bit in this book with "put your faith in Jesus", etc. This disturbed me initially as I'm not religious but then I got to thinking that faith is that inner belief that things will be ok and this creates confidence and so if this is what I need then maybe I need some faith in some form or another. Basically, each to their own so I didn't mind it and can see how he draws strength from this.

All in all, very good book. Easy read. Get the most from it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 22 November 2012
This is not another survival guide but a guide with 75 quotes and motivational stories to achieve Your goals in life told and sometimes experienced by Bear Grylls. The ultimate message is to never quit and keep going.
A phycological boost to everyone who needs motivation in any situation.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2012
A very well written guide from somebody who knows a thing or two about getting on in life. Regardless of what your ambitions or goals are you will find this very insightful and uncomplicated. I am not personally a fan of self-help books, and it would be unhelpful to describe this as one, but if it's guidance, direction or even just motivation you are looking for then this is a great, common sense companion written with zeal and compassion.
The bite-sized chapters are perfect for reading at your leisure, and are well-thought out making it a great reference book to go back to whenever you need inspiration. Good work Bear!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2012
A brilliant motivational book, the mottos of which you can adapt to sport or any aspect of life where you need reinspiring. Most chapters only a couple of pages, so very easybto pick up and put down.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2012
What an awesome book (take a bow Mr Bear Grylls)no nonsense straight to the point,i have read through it twice so far and it will be a great reference book for future when you need to give yourself a kick up the arse.Well worth the money people.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 March 2014
A Survival Guide for Life
How to achieve your goals, thrive in adversity and grow in character
by Bear Grylls

What’s not to love about Bear Grylls? He is tough yet kind and eternally positive. I was hoping a little of this might rub off on me so I plunged into A Survival Guide for Life with high hopes.

The layout of the book is great. It contains short punchy chapters that are perfect for a shot of inspiration and motivation. There is a variety of fonts and font sizes and well spaced paragraphs that draw you into read rather than putting you off with overwhelming pages of dense type.

This doesn’t mean the book is light on content though. It is inspirational and contains many nuggets of good advice with compelling stories to illustrate the points.
Some of my favourite quotes include:

‘Trust me: if you find a road without any obstacles, I can promise you it doesn’t lead anywhere worthwhile.

‘We live in a society where people love to equate success with money. It is always a mistake.’

‘The will to win means nothing without the will to train.’

‘You may not be the fastest, fittest, the cleverest or the strongest, but there’s nothing to stop you from being the most enthusiastic person you know.’

‘How you speak about others speaks loudest about yourself.’

‘Never give in, never, never, never. Never give in.’

There is also plenty of good old-fashioned advice that it is helpful to be reminded of such as be kind, loyal, trustworthy and cheerful.

Given that Bear Grylls used to be in the SAS, many of the analogies and stories are related to an outdoor life and it can sometimes take a bit of thought to relate them to a less physical set of goals and aspirations. Bear is a Christian and mentions how his faith helps him in a few places in the book.

Finally, he has good advice for those naysayers who suggest the effects of motivational reading never last:

‘so are the effects of washing your armpits - that’s why you should do it every day.’
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2013
All those other 5 star reviews are correct. The man who eats insects, drinks his own p*** and camps inside a dead camel is also able to punch out a superb self-help book. Some of it consists of classic personal development stories, re-told from the Grylls perspective. Some is totally original. But all is spot on. I have read every self-help book out there. I've even written a few! And while generally, the authors talk a good talk, they tend to be full of platitudes and/or American smulchy stuff.

This one isn't! Which is why I love it. Bear's message seems to be work hard, appreciate what you've got, be resilient, keep your promises, be positive and go for it. Stuff that people already know but aren't doing!

And, to his absolute credit, he's not just saying these things, he's living them
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2015
Firstly a little background. After a hard week in my job and feeling a little low I was looking for a little inspiration and I looked to Bear Grylls book due to his relentless positive attitude and how he has come through challenges in life to achieve so much. He was someone I envied and admired. I wanted that inspiration to see if it could help put things in perspective.

Maybe I wanted too much, but this certainly wasn't what I wanted.

I can sum up the book in a few bullet points: -

- Choose your goals
- Be determined
- Don't give up in the face of adversity
- Stay positive
- Be nice to people
- Have faith
- Work hard

Not exactly revolutionary stuff. Grylls extolls the virtues of living his way in such a way that it becomes preachy and to me sanctimonious. He at one point basically says that non-religious beliefs are not as important as his because no atheist can have known true fear. He quotes bible passages and tells stories from his adventures conveniently ignoring other possibilities as to why things turned out the way they did to suit his narrative.

Consequently for me I found that for every inspiring quote I found one that was either a repeat, one that was too simplistic or one that was downright objectionable.

Worst of all comes when he states that people should try his religion because you have nothing to lose by doing so. He states faith as one of his 5 routes to success and this to me comes off as a mini recruitment drive for christianity something I feel is totally unacceptable for a book that gives no indication that this is coming.

I rate it two stars because if you have Jesus and God as part of your life then some of this might help you along a bit, but there are too many cliches and too much simplification of the complexities of life to be of any real value. To those who aren't christian and look at life in a bit more depth this book will give you little to nothing.
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