Internationally known survival expert and adventurer Bear Grylls told CNBC that after the Covid-19 crisis it “has never been more difficult to be a young person”.
The TV star and bestselling author of over 90 books spoke on the sidelines of The Goals House’s January dialogues about the launch of his new global learning and development organization BecomingX, which aims to “demystify what it really takes to be successful be”.
Grylls, who was also one of the youngest climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, said the pandemic was “turning those hills and obstacles into giant mountains in front of young people.”
BecomingX aims to inspire today’s youth and give them the tools they need to be successful. Grylls is co-founded by Paul Gurney – a former senior director at Accenture Strategy who is now also CEO of BecomingX.
The organization has interviewed some of the most famous and inspiring artists, athletes, teachers, CEOs, adventurers, politicians, humanists and entrepreneurs in the world.
In short films on its website, the world’s leading companies in their fields – including sports champion Roger Federer and Hollywood superstars Julia Roberts, Channing Tatum and Courteney Cox – share their own stories and the prerequisites for their success.
The initiative has an educational branch and offers over 100 digital lessons through BecomingX Education to help schools teach personal development and life skills. It also aims to take the initiative to reach low-income countries and underserved communities.
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Grylls says education can feel like a “big animal” that is always slow to adapt and change, and while there is good education in the West today, there are still many learning gaps for young people.
“I also think that as much of traditional education as linear learning is and has to be done through a book and tests, exams or numbers. And when we learn about people and how we evolve, we don’t always learn that way.” he said in an interview last month.
“What was so powerful about these films, and why … the response has been so positive, is that it’s very raw and very open and very much of the struggles and doubts these stars have and how they face those challenges and failures at one point too the good things come, “he added.
When asked what advice he would give today’s global leaders to help young people, he said, “Seeking integrity and humility is as important as having clear vision, determination and courage.”
Trump trip to the wild?
In 2015, Grylls – a former British Special Forces soldier – took US President Barack Obama into the Alaskan wilderness to highlight the effects of climate change for an episode of his NBC reality show “Running Wild with Bear Grylls”.
But Grylls told CNBC he wasn’t sure former President Donald Trump would like to experience a similar taste of life in the wild.
“I think the wilderness is always the big leveler, don’t you know it doesn’t matter who we are,” he said.
“I don’t know. I doubt Trump would probably want to do that. I think in the wild you have to make yourself vulnerable and get out of your comfort zone, and some people like that, some don’t.” that, “he added.
The multi-award-winning adventurer believes that learning from failure is key and “the only way to get anywhere where it makes sense”.
“School too often celebrates the natural heroes, you know, the athletic or the academic. But in fact, life doesn’t really care about that stuff. Life actually rewards the resilient person,” he said.
“I think what I learned is that success is not something people are born with … it’s rooted in resilience and never gives up and stays true to your vision and doesn’t get distracted and doesn’t listen to the naysayers and Dream theft and learn how to overcome those mistakes and setbacks, “he added.