Book Review - Mud, Sweat and Tears by Bear Grylls

Sam Monaghan shares his thoughts on Bear Grylls' uplifting life story.

March 25, 2019

By Sam Monaghan

The title feels a bit like my journey as an actor and filmmaker (particularly the camping filming we made), it is in fact the title for Bear Grylls biography.

There is a reason that I have read this book twice. It is because this book, Bears story, is so uplifting. Every time I read this book I feel like I’ve just spent a week with the most positive and optimistic friend in the world. Overcoming so many challenges and keeping such humility and grounded perspective is uncommon. Not many people break their back in a skydiving accident and use it as motivation to rehab and summit Mt Everest.

I have had some successes, more failings and many times of trial and tribulations in my career as a filmmaker. I was compelled to reflect on how I handled them, did I whine, feel self-pitying, complain, give up, get an ego, put my head down and powered on, ask for help? If I’m honest I’ve done my share of each of these things.

The more useful exercise though was to look to the future and consider how I want to respond to my life, both its adventures and misadventures. Whether that’s building a career and company in the film industry, strengthening my marriage, dealing with loss of loved ones, navigating finances *eye-roll* or even something simple like being less fat ;P

The answer is that I want to move forward with optimism, with hope, with determination, humility and belief. I am optimistic that I will make a place in film, I am hopeful that that is sooner rather than later, I am determined to outwork those around me - to do everything in my power to learn more and grow faster, I want to be humble in my failures and more so in my successes. I know this will come to pass, for not just me personally but for the beautiful and talented people I am privileged to share the journey with.

More than anything (and I wanted to save this for last), the thing I love most about Bear and his outlook is that he knows what is truly important. Family, friends, teamwork and enjoying the ‘real’ moments in life are priority. It’s easy to forget this, I personally fall prey to getting caught up in my ambition too often (that’s why I read).

Filmmaking is great because it is a team sport; we get to share the highs and lows, challenges and obstacles together. We are lucky to have such an amazing and ever-growing team.

If you haven’t read it, I strongly suggest it. Please share your favorite book with us, we always need more recommendations!