SURVIVING – Crisis and Dire Situations

     It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the most adaptable to change.

     Most people believe that survival means having a pack full of equipment, food and water that would allow them to make fire, drink water, eat food and build shelter in the wilderness or in a disaster crises zone. Wrong.

     During my years in extreme combat zones I kept coming across cases, in which someone had survived for a long-time  without any equipment, tools, food or water, and others had perished or died while in possession of all the right tools and survival needs. Obviously something else was at work here. After more than four decades of analyzing who lives, who dies, and why, in combat zones, disasters and in the wilderness, I realized that character, emotion, personality, styles of thinking, and ways of viewing the world and life had more to do with how well people cope with adversity than any type of equipment, tools or survival needs. Although I still believe that equipment, tools and survival needs are essential and good to have, but, most survival and combat writings and training leaves out the essential and powerful human element “the Brain” in the equation. That’s why over the years I’ve concentrated my efforts on learning about the hearts, the will to live and the survival mindset of survivors. You too can start developing these powerful mind tools of survival now. It takes time learning and deliberate practice to change. But new research shows that if we adjust our everyday routines even slightly, we do indeed change. The chemical makeup of the brain even shifts. To make these powerful mind transitions useful, you have to engage in learning long before you need it — it’s too late when you’re in the middle of a crisis or a dire situation. Presented here are 6 concepts that have proved helpful to survivors in extreme situations, as well as to people trying to meet the challenges of daily life.

  1. Do the Right Thing
    The mental, emotional and psychological attitude is the key elements of survival and winning. “Each step, each chunk must be as simple as possible…. Simple directed action is the key to regaining normal psychological functioning.  This approach can sometimes seem counterintuitive. And yet almost any organized action can help you recover the ability to think clearly and aid in your survival.
  2. Control Your Destiny 
    The importance of realistic mentality is evidenced in all survival statistics. This doesn’t mean we should be overconfident. Rather, we should balance confidence with reasonable doubt, self-esteem with self-criticism. And we should do this each day. Your habitual way of reacting to everyday events influences your chances of being a survivor in a crisis.”
  3. Deny Denial
    Denial plays a large role in many survival accidents. Learn to Recognize your tendency to see things not as they are but how you wish them to be and you’ll be better able to avoid such crises. See it as is…Face Reality and Possibilities…Mind Games and Arrogance Costs Lives…
  4. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
    Every new challenge you face actually causes your brain to rewire itself and to become more adaptable. Take tasks that require no thought and re-invent them so that you have to think. This bears repeating: Survival is not about equipment and training alone. It’s about what’s in your survival mindset and your emotional system. Living in a low-risk environment dulls our abilities. We must make a conscious effort to learn new things, to force ourselves out of our comfort zones.
  5. Don’t Celebrate the Summit
    Climbers learn this the hard way: Don’t congratulate yourself too much after reaching a goal. The worst part of the expedition may still be ahead. Statistically speaking, most mountaineering accidents happen on the descent. Celebrating at the halfway point encourages you to let down your guard when you’re already tired and stressed.
  6. Know Plan B
    When undertaking anything risky, always have a clear bailout plan. When formulating a bailout plan, it’s important to establish parameters by which to make the decision. Whatever the criterion, make sure it’s specific. Then, when you’re brain’s not working well because of stress or exhaustion, you’ll still make the right decision.


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