Overcome Any Challenge! Why Arctic Explorer Ben Saunders Succeeded, When Everyone Else Died Trying

Ben Saunders is the first explorer to walk from Russia to Canada across the North Pole over the frozen arctic ice AND the first explorer to hike from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back AND survive. Both times he pulled a 400-plus pound sled of supplies. In this candid conversation, a down-to-earth Ben humbly shares about his self-described occupation of “dragging heavy things around in cold places.”

Ben had a dream to complete the Scott Expedition, an 1800 mile journey on foot to the South Pole and back considered so dangerous, no one had attempted it in over 100 years. The last team all died trying.

But Ben believed he could do it. He doesn’t understand impossible. Instead he took 10 years preparing, raising 5 million dollars, and building a team to make the impossible possible.

Then he stepped onto the ice and into the unknown. For 105 days he pulled a 440 pound sled, over glaciers, ice-fields, even mountains in sub-zero blizzard conditions.

It’s a journey so daunting it’s hard to comprehend. But we all can relate. We each have our mountains to climb and arctic deserts to traverse. We can learn from Ben how to get started, stay motivated, find solutions, and put one foot in front of the other to succeed at our dreams, no-matter-what.

Ben Saunders is truly shining bright and after listening, you can’t help but shine brighter too! And, chances are, you’ll be ready and raring to take on your day and your next great adventure!

Key Topics:

  • his new perspective on life following a recent near death accident while cycling
  • how Ben is anything but a reckless adrenaline junkie
  • his inspiration for pursuing career in arctic exploration
  • at 23, his first attempt to reach the North Pole
  • how Ben became obsessed with completing the Scott Expedition
  • how he lulled himself into a false sense of security
  • their daily diet during the Scott Expedition
  • his mental self-talk to staying positive during the expedition 
  • setting the smallest possible goals and focusing on what you can do instead of what you can’t
  • trusting things will get better, such as light, weather, etc
  • what Ben was dreading and fearing the most on the Scott Expedition
  • the circumstances leading up to Ben’s decision to call for help


Top 3 Pieces of Advice:

  1. self-belief, is a muscle that needs exercise, which means stepping out of your comfort zone…
  2. success isn’t what happens at the end of the journey…
  3. keeping a sense of humor and remembering to have fun…



Ben Saunders Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



Pen Hadow: led unsupported expedition attempt to North Pole with Ben in 2001

Terra Nova Expedition, officially the British Antarctic Expedition 1910-13: the ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic led by Robert Falcon Scott

Robert Falcon Scott

Roald Amundsen’s Norwegian expedition: first expedition to reach the geographic South Pole

Scott Expedition Blog: blog entries spanning nearly 2 years including prepping for the journey and 108 days of the expedition itself

Tarka L’Herpiniere: Ben’s partner on the Scott Expedition

Ben practicing hill repeats with his dog, Marley

Beardmore Glacier: images of the glacier using Google search

Ben’s Ted Talk “Why bother leaving the house?”



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