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How Climbing’s Three Points of Contact Helps Bear Grylls in Life

Beginner climbers have a few simple rules to learn, and one of the most important rules that survival expert Bear Grylls follows is the “rule of three.” 

This means that you should have at least three points of contact with the rock face you’re climbing on, rather than relying on just one point of contact. 

You can either have contact with one hand and two feet or two hands and one foot. 

Limit your Chances of Falling

The rule of three ensures that if you lose your grip on any of the holds, or if the rock itself fails, there is enough support with the two remaining holds that you can avoid falling. 

This rule applies to all types of climbing – such as climbing a ladder, climbing on and off heavy equipment or work platforms, or climbing in and out of trucks. If you make this rule a habit, it’ll limit your risk of falling across the board.

Applying the Rule of Three to Life

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In his book Mind Fuel, Bear Grylls writes about how this rule can also apply to life. “In life, we can be tempted to pin all our hopes on a single hold,” says Bear.

This “single hold” could be our career or an important relationship in our life, or it could be family life or a financial investment that we have made. Some people even pin all their hopes onto the fortunes of a sports team. 

Don’t Just Rely on One Hold

Like in climbing, it is not a good idea to just rely on one hold in life.

“The problem with staking our future happiness on just one thing is that it’s inherently unstable; if it gives way, then we fall with it,” says Bear.

If we have pinned our hopes on a job and then lose it, if a relationship disappoints us, if a financial investment fails, or if our team crashes out of a big competition, then we “fall” alongside those hopes and dreams. 

Examine What You Are Committed to

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Bear advises that while it is a good idea to have a clear focus and to be committed to something, that something should not be the only thing that we are committed to.

Ask yourself, do you think you are committing to any one thing to the potential detriment of everything else in your life? You can also think back to the last time something you were committed to fell through, how it made you feel, and how you coped, so that you can learn from this going forward.

Will you use the rule of three in life going forward?

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