The man's guide to understanding the psychology of survival.
Before we can make changes and action something new, we need to understand the concept and its importance fully. If you have a business meeting, you know the date and time, the location and what the meeting is about which means you can plan accordingly in advance. Survival situations are different in the sense that they provide very little if any warning which means the only assets you can bring to the fight are your mindset strategies on how to respond and what you carry on your person.
The need for survival is everywhere; we enjoy the notion of the world being a safe and caring place to live and much of the time it is but history shows there are dangers all around. The risk of travel and hostile urban threats, natural disasters and wilderness threats are ever increasing.
The fundamental question in this equation is what you are prepared to let go off? For those who aren't phased by that question then its time to walk on but for those who aren't prepared to lose anything and hold their loved one's safety with an iron fist then let's get to work.
The first concept we need to understand is that as humans we have an incredible gift, a gift which is a double edge blade in this situation. Humans are the only species who can believe in fictional stories, if I ask my Alaskan Malamute to give me back his bone and I will reward him with two bones later, that means absolutely nothing to him. If you ask a chimpanzee to believe certain ideologies and that when he passes, he will have all the bananas he could imagine, again that means nothing to him. Animals live for performance and survival, how can they perform and survive at their absolute best. At an instinctual and primal level, we have the same mindsets, mindsets which have had layers of fictional stories moulded over them. When looked at from an outside perspective, the majority of our lives are based on fictional stories, the idea of schooling, tax, border patrol and the internet, they are fictional stories we have made up to serve our modern way of thinking. I'm not to say they are good or bad; I am just instilling the understanding that they are not reality. Many of these fictional stories have served us well, but one giant setback it has caused is taking away our ability to think in the realms of survival. The way the brain works in terms placing importance and mental priority on tasks are the things that are most regular and common. We have school, work, and lifes jobs and we have become very good at them, the problem being when a life-threatening situation arises, our natural response is so rusty that even the concept of a survival situation is foreign to most.
Animals are supreme in the art of survival due to their daily need to practice that skill. We do not have that same daily need so in order to have the tools required to thrive when shit hits the fan in any situation; we need to implement strategies into our lives to develop these skill sets.
Modern humans have become incredibly good at outsourcing problems, a luxury in this world and not always a bad thing. The first downside to this comfort is the reliance we have developed on others, this way of thinking usually transfers into other aspects of life, making for a very dull blade. I'm in no way saying we should take the jobs of first responders and those who are trained better than us but possessing the mindset of self-reliance is a formidable asset. The second major problem and what history showcases are that in survival situations, first responders are usually too late and there are not enough emergency services to go around, again a very foreign concept to most.
I have a saying which is prepared not paranoid. We have all seen the preppers who have nine years of canned beans walking around with aluminum hats on; my thoughts are that will only bring paranoia and cannot provide an enjoyable quality of life. My philosophy is to understand the importance and concept of survival and the everyday risks my family and I face, to develop mindset strategies, skills and training to the point where they become a subconscious behaviour like crossing the road.
To have longevity with new behaviours, there needs to be an underlying importance and reason as to why. No one ever sustainably started running without placing a damn good importance on their reason as to why they were doing it, the same principle applies to implementing new survival strategies. For me, I never want to get caught with my pants down and have my family hurt or injured from something I could have prevented. My goal and purpose is to have the skills required to protect my family against whatever situation arises. Sounds easy? Being realistic, not in the world we live in.
Familiarity brings complacency. Let's skip back a few paragraphs to where we talked how the brain places importance on tasks, the same goes for whatever is most familiar to us is what we will inevitably become complacent with. We can train and be prepared for 40 years straight an not ever have to draw from that account, but we only have to be wrong once to lose everything in this world. Again, what are you prepared to let go off.
So we do we go from here? The way I see it we are at three crossroads. The first being, fine article but this is not for me. The second being, this is fricken amazing, I'm going to quit my job and take out a new mortgage to become prepared and build an underground bunker. The 3rd option is yes you make a good case, I see the importance of understanding survival and being prepared, I'm going to slowly and sustainably start implementing some new forms of training into my lifestyle. The first two options are about as bad as each other, but I see the 3rd option as the way to go from here.
When we cross the road, even though it is a somewhat dangerous task we don't sit down and make a risk assessment plan and go over how we are going to execute the mission, we just do it. When we were young, our parents taught us the importance of crossing the road safely, we have done it so many times that we just execute it as a subconscious action. I apply the same principle and way of thinking to develop these mindsets, skills, and knowledge. Taking on a new form of training that provides only one benefit has very little incentive, but if we can transfer the benefits across all aspects of life, then the importance goes up tenfold. My strategy is to implement microdoses of situational awareness, preparedness, and logical response training into all aspects of my life. The goal with these three skills is the same as a long-term savings account. Spend a small amount of time practicing these skills every day until they become the same as crossing a road. We hope we will never need to draw on them, but they will always be there accumulating interest and experience if a situation arises and we need to call on them.
Remember luck favours the prepared and success is always on the other side of hard work.