Amy Posey and Kevin Vallely have created a collection of exciting biographies and interviews of adventure seekers, their struggles, failures and successes. In doing so they have taken those experiences and the mindset behind them and laid the groundwork for using the same approaches in everyday life and in business situations. Some of the techniques gleaned from these real-life adventurers are attitudes we all can learn from such as reappraising our situations, acknowledging and reducing our emotional responses to negative situations and taking a step back form our situation to get a clearer view.  For instance, the techniques that were used in the direst death-defying circumstances with positive results can be a blueprint in the business world today, changing a product-based focus to a solution-based focus.

The idea of seeing that attitude was the reason these adventurers survived such insurmountable odds is a key by which the business world can learn from. Attitudes such as starting small, practicing, learning to recognize your emotions, and making flexibility a habit is an important observation.


The book itself is written well with exciting personable stories that hold the reader’s interest. Chapters are divided and are summed up at the end for clarity and easy reference.  The examples are detailed, and the reader gets to know these incredible people who have risked lives and limb to carry out their purpose and passions.

From a surfer who has a terrible accident to two people in the middle of the Atlantic fighting giant waves to keep afloat in a row boat; to a man skiing the North Pole and then leading others there after a horrific sailing mishap to mountain climbers and sky divers. The research is firsthand and the tales gripping.

Some of the adventurers knew nothing about what they were doing and practiced what the book terms “the imposter syndrome” and helps us all to understand how that feeling can be worked for the positive. There was one adventure who was interviewed that gave me pause. She found she was living a life with no purpose and decided to give up all she owned to ‘find herself’. Unfortunately that included leaving her marriage and whereas that may have been a catalyst to her search, it made me think that these pursuits can be selfish at times, and that purpose should be not just for our satisfaction but for the benefit of others as well.


The book does have a chapter about purpose as a motivation for achieving success and how some of these adventurers did what they did for a cause and for the greater good of humanity, but I would have liked to have seen the greater good a more personable goal, such as helping others including family and those we love.

The concluding chapter on innovation is an excellent one.

In conclusion this book is well researched and well thought out. There was some repetition, as some of the concepts were very closely related. But for those seeking a better means of self-discipline and fulfillment for themselves, or for their employees, I recommend this book as a well compiled and thoughtful read.

D.L. Gardner posted by Garth Thomas