Our guest today is Henry Cookson, the CEO, and founder of Cookson Adventures, a professional explorer, and a Guinness world record holder for the first expedition on foot to the southern pole of inaccessibility. In this episode, we talked about how he left a career in banking to make his passion his profession, his adventures, the power of curiosity, and why your mindset really matters regardless of what you want to achieve in life.
Henry grew up thinking that he will follow the traditional career route that was expected from him and become a lawyer or a banker. He didn’t know what his passion was until he took a year out before university and worked on a horse-riding safari in East-Africa.
This is when he became passionate about exploring the outdoors. However, Henry started his career in banking at Goldman Sachs. After spending 3 years in banking, he just knew this was not for him and decided to go back to Africa.
Racing To The North Pole
Henry’s Africa dream did not work out, however, he was persuaded by one of his friends to enter the Scott Dunn Polar Challenge as the third member of Team Hardware, alongside Rory Sweet and Rupert Longsdon It seemed like a great opportunity to do something different and try something new, and his plan was to do this as a one-off adventure and come back and find a job.
The team prepared for this race for 6 months. Considered as complete outsiders, they managed to win the race against 17 other teams, and even though they did not have any prior experience they set a record that stands until today. Henry thinks that it was their curious and lighthearted mindset that helped them to win.
The Southern Pole Of Inaccessibility
After returning from this expedition, Henry felt that he had to decide what to do with his life. One of his teammates suggested going to the South Pole, however, it was even more expensive than their first expedition. Eventually, one of his friends decided to fund the whole team.
During his research, Henry felt a bit disenchanted by the South Pole as it was explored many times before, but he discovered a point in the Antarctic called the Pole of Inaccessibility, which is far more remote and difficult to reach than the geographic South Pole. The Soviets left a statue of Lenin there during the cold war, but no one ever reached it on foot before.
Henry came up with systems on how to reach the statue by foot and he and his team succeeded and received a Guinness world record for that.
Exploring The World
After returning from his world record adventure, Henry knew he never wanted to work in an office again. He found his true passion and wanted to continue to pursue it.
In 2007/08 he went to Alaska to train as a polar guide. As he always had a fascination for exploring new places, he started organizing trips to Africa and also got involved in a non-profit organization founded by Prince Harry called Walking with the Wounded. This eventually led him to found Cookson Adventures in 2009, an ultra-luxury travel company that takes people on bespoke adventures all around the world. Henri says that being active and in nature is his meditation.
Henry’s advice on how to follow your true calling is to get out of your comfort zone. Even if you cannot or do not want to go on months of adventure, you can still put down your phone and do something that you are passionate about.
Just keep your eyes and ears open and never lose your curiosity!
Palma’s Reflection On Seeing Opportunities
Henry mentioned in the show, how he always sees the solution and works backward from there.
So this week we would like to invite you to reflect or journal on what would be your ideal life?
What would be your ideal career, profession, relationship, fitness level, or financial situation if you had no limits at all?
After visualizing your ideal, limitless life, ask yourself the question: why not?
Your mind might come up with all these reasons why you cannot reach this ideal life, but just experiment with WHY NOT, and see what happens.
About Our Guest, Henry Cookson
Henry Cookson is the founder of Cookson Adventures. Since achieving a world record for kite-skiing to the Antarctic Pole of Inaccessibility, Henry has continued to set new benchmarks in the world of ultra-luxury travel.
At his pioneering adventure company, Cookson Adventures, his team of project designers states “no request is too large or ambitious.” Their knowledge spans the globe, creating life-changing experiences in some of our planet’s furthest reaches.
From the Arctic to Antarctica, and everywhere in between, his itineraries incorporate explorer yachts, helicopters, cutting-edge submersibles, extravagant celebrations, and bespoke camps like no other.
Resources Mentioned In The Show:
Continue Your Journey
Now it is time to find your own unique path. We can help you to connect with your innate wisdom and create an inspiring vision for a deeply fulfilling and meaningful life. Apply for a discovery session on our website,palmamichel.com.
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