Developing a Survival Mindset

Being mentally prepared is a key to successful survival. Just as athletes can improve their performance by mentally reviewing their actions before the big game, you can improve your performance in a survival situation by reviewing your options and plans before you need them. Play scenarios through your head and rehearse your options and actions. For example:

  • If you are stuck in traffic, imagine what you would do if a large earthquake struck. Where would you go? What would you do? (If you’re not in an earthquake-prone area, think what you would do if you saw a huge funnel cloud heading towards you.)
  • In your work place, think what you would do if an ex-employee returned to work one day a bit drunk and verbally abusive. You know he owns guns, but you don’t see one on him. How do you react?
  • If you’re traveling out of town or in any unfamiliar area, think about what you would do if you were stranded due to a breakdown or if the area was suddenly hit by a flash flood. What would you do to increase your chance of survival?
  • You’re in a convenience store picking up milk and as you turn around form the cooler, you see a man holding a gun on the cashier. What do you do?
  • What would you do if you were at work and an EMP bomb suddenly went off, shutting down all electricity and preventing 98% of the vehicles on the street from working?  How would you get home, what would you take with you when you left?  Adjust for seasonal differences.
  • You turn on the news one morning to learn that thousands of people in Miami have come down with a strange disease, overwhelming their hospital system and resulting in hundreds of deaths in just the past 24 hours.  Similar outbreaks on a smaller scale have been reported in nine other cities.  What do you do?

Maybe we are being cynical, but by expecting the worse, you will never be disappointed and will occasionally receive a pleasant surprise. After all, we’re not practicing how to survive winning the lottery or getting a big raise at work.

A U.S. Navy publication that covers Evasion, Survival and Escape has the following to say about the survival mindset:

The experience of hundreds of servicemen isolated
during World War II, the Korean conflict, and the
Vietnam conflict proved that survival is largely a matter
of mental outlook The will to survive is the deciding
factor. Whether with a group or alone, you experience
emotional problems resulting from fear, despair,
loneliness, and boredom. Also, your will to live is sure
to be taxed by injury and pain, fatigue, hunger, and thirst.
When you are not prepared mentally to overcome all
obstacles and accept the worst, your chances of coming
out alive are greatly reduced.

If you do not yet have the survival mindset, develop it.  Tap into the inner warrior.  Survive, or at least go down fighting the good fight rather than whining one last whine about how unfair life is.

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