Posted on July 26 2017
Newnham: What have you been up to since we last spoke in 2015?
Hine: Wow! Was it really that long ago we last spoke!?! I’ve been travelling pretty much non stop since. I’ve been involved with some exciting film projects and have been working more in a producer role which has been exciting and challenging as well as being a large responsibility when you are tasked with setting up multi million dollar shows. I’ve also been working with 2 A list celebrities on wilderness survival and mountaineering skills for an upcoming adventure movie they are making and had my first book Mind of a Survivor published.
Newnham: Can you tell us more about your book and why you wrote it?
Hine: Mind of a Survivor is an exploration into several questions I had considered for a long time. Firstly; why, in a wilderness survival situation do only a few people make it out alive where as most would not? What is it about those people, when they often tend to be people society would not imagine to be survivors that they do survive? What are the mental traits that make up the resilience of these people and can anyone learn them? And finally are those traits transferable from the wild, where it can be obvious where certain emotions like fear and anxiety are coming from to the average person’s everyday life where we are faced with so many overwhelming stimulae that the mind cannot separate out all the aspects that are causing us these emotions.
Newnham: What do you hope readers get from reading it?
Hine: I’d love for readers to question the way they see and interact with the world. To understand that the stress, anxiety and potentially negative emotions they are currently going through are products of the primal, animalistic side of our brains reacting to stimulae as they have been programmed to do and can be controlled. To realise they are not alone and hopefully give them the seeds to allow positive change to start growing.
Newnham: What are your top 3 tips for building resilience in the face of adversity?
Hine: 1. Exposure to lots of different experiences. Knowing you can cope no matter what is thrown at you is key to developing self confidence in the face of adversity. By exposing yourself to lots of different experiences, particularly those which challenge you, whether that is learning a new sport or confronting a fear or phobia these will start to grow your confidence in yourself for when you truly need it.
2. Listening to yourself. Much of our mental processing, in fact it is believed as much as 95%, occurs subconsciously. This is partly to protect the conscious mind from becoming over stimulated by all the information coming in from the world around us. The subconscious mind then chooses which information to feed onwards to the conscious mind. This is where I truly believe things like gut feelings stem from. Part of an awareness has been sent through, not enough to give us the full picture but enough to give us that odd feeling something is wrong. I have learnt to listen to this feeling and analyse what it is. It is an easy feeling to shake off but can be something important like a gut feeling about someones intentions. Listening to these feelings has saved my life on several occasions in the wilderness and although I hope your life is not on the line that promotion or your job could be.
3. Learning to place potentially overwhelming emotions out of the way so you can focus on the task at hand. In stressful moments where I need to be fully present my brain automatically places my own feelings into a mental box. For example someone has had a serious accident, as the expedition leader I need to sort it out. If I allowed my emotions to be grossed out by what I was seeing or I became emotionally overwhelmed and broke down I would not be able to deal effectively with the casualty or the situation. I would not maintain control of the situation and it could rapidly snowball, not to mention stressing out the casualty. This is the same in all aspects of life, if we allow those emotions or self doubts to overwhelm us before a board meeting or speech, we would never be able to perform well.
Newnham: We have talked in person before about the grit required by e.g. founders trying to build a business - what is the greatest lesson you have learned about thriving amidst a stressful environment?
Hine: You have to find a way to enjoy it. Whether it is the pushing of your own boundaries you enjoy or discovering the cause and effect of a situation or seeing your team grow and begin to work together or seeing people interact with your product or idea there has to be an element of enjoyment. If you let bitterness, stress and anxiety consume you you will burn out. Taking time to step back and see the bigger picture or finding time to carry out your hobbies, hiking, yoga, cooking etc will give you headspace to look at what you are achieving. Easier said than done when you’re in the midst of it all but with practice it is possible to step back and learn to enjoy life.
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