Les Stroud

Born Survivor

When I was younger, it was the dream. I'd watch Tarzan movies and Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and Jacques Cousteau, especially. Those were some big-ass adventures. But I was sure that because of my white-bread life a teenager in a Toronto suburb, smoking pot, drinking beer, listening to Styx and Supertramp all of it was out of reach. I just assumed you had to have lots of money. But here's something about adventure: You just do it. That's it. When it comes to Survivorman, I'm not interested in making a TV show. I'm interesting in creating powerful, inspirational, compelling pieces of work. People ask me a lot, "What are you afraid of?" I hate to give this cornball answer, but I fear mediocrity. There's that classic pull-it-out-of-the-Seven-Habits-book exercise: What do you want people to say about you at your funeral? I do that a lot. It really works.

Canadian survival expert and filmmaker Stroud, 47, spent more than 150 hours alone to create 21 episodes of Survivorman.

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