#318 Alistair Urquhart (Listen to this when you’re stressed)

Episode Summary

What I learned from reading The Forgotten Highlander: An Incredible WWII Story of Survival in the Pacific by Alistair Urquhart.

Episode Notes

What I learned from reading The Forgotten Highlander: An Incredible WWII Story of Survival in the Pacific by Alistair Urquhart.


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(4:00) I hope that this book will be inspirational and offer hope to those who suffer adversity in their daily lives.

(10:00) You might as well send a cow in pursuit of a rabbit. The Indians were accustomed to these woods. — Franklin & Washington: The Founding Partnership by Edward Larson. (Founders #251)

(13:30) When you reach a large goal or finally get to the top, the distractions and new assumptions can be dizzying. First comes heightened confidence, followed quickly by overconfidence, arrogance, and a sense that “we’ve mastered it; we’ve figured it out; we’re golden.” But the gold can tarnish quickly. Mastery requires endless remastery. In fact, I don’t believe there is ever true mastery. It is a process, not a destination. — The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership by Bill Walsh. (Founders #106)

(15:30) Invaders are always organized.

(23:00) Stay at the front and do not look back.

(29:00) Every morning I would tell myself over and over: Survive this day. Survive this day. Survive this day.

(32:00) On countless occasions I've seen two men with the same symptoms and same physical state and one will die and one will make it. I can only put that down to sheer willpower.

(35:00) Shantaram: A Novel by Gregory David Roberts 

(41:00) Dan Carlin's Nightmares of Indianapolis podcast episode

(48:00) Alistair Urquhart was conscripted into the British military to fight during World War II. He was 19 years old.

He was sent to Singapore. The Japanese invaded and he was taken hostage.

He survived 750 days in the jungle working as a slave on The Death Railway and the bridge on the River Kwai.

Most of the time he worked completely naked.

He contracted dysentery, malaria, and tropical ulcers. A lot.

He was transferred to a Japanese hellship.

The ship was torpedoed.

Almost everyone on the ship died. He survived.

He spent 5 days adrift at sea until he was picked up by a Japanese whaling ship.

He was sent to Nagasaki and forced to work in a mine.

Two months later he was struck by the blast from the Atomic bomb.

He was freed by the US Marines shortly thereafter.

He returns home to Scotland and finds out his best friend died in the war and the girl he loved got married and moved to Canada.

At 90 years of age he wrote the book to inspire others to persevere when they are faced with hardships in their life.

I think it is a great book for entrepreneurs.

The story demonstrates the adaptability of humans, our fierce desire to survive, and puts the stress of building companies into the proper perspective.

The entire story only takes 3 hours and 14 minutes


I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested, so my poor wallet suffers.” — Gareth

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