The Stuff of Life

The Stuff of Life
For those of us who find nature to be both aesthetically beautiful and life-sustaining.

Monday, July 7, 2014

How To Survive Your Current Situation And Empower Yourself For When The SHTF


Approaching the great outdoors with a beginner’s mind will allow even the most experienced to view the surroundings with an open mind. Opening up your mind to all of the possibilities your surroundings offer will only increase and improve your odds of survival. With the mind of a novice everything has possibilities and you are only limited by your own imagination.

 All of us approach our physical and social worlds with mental models that are a compilation of our past experiences, our internal values and judgments and our own mental roadblocks that are put in place over years of disappointments, successes and failures. But, by purposefully stepping out of this box we have put ourselves into and viewing everything with a new, untainted perspective, we open up a world of new options.

 This mental practice, when put to use in practicing survival skills, enables you to be more innovative and increase your ability to expand your potential options when presented with a situation. We tend toward the same responses when problem solving that we have always relied upon. To approach a problem with a novice mindset takes practice in and of itself. Once you have mastered this ability, however, you will be amazed at how much creative energy is allowed to surface that we typically cut off with boundaries and mental roadblocks.

 An open mind that is wide-open to possibilities will far sooner be able to recognize any opportunity than a closed, jaded, know-it-all mind. Do not allow your own brain to keep you from seeing things with a new perspective. Remember what it was like to practice your skills when you had never seen it done before. Teach a child how to do a skill and you will see an open mind in practice. They have no preconceived ideas of what the outcome will be and are therefore much more open to problem solving and seeing opportunities wherever they may be. Children see everything as possible and this is the mindset that you want to hone in on. As adults we slowly narrow our options until we are confined by our own lack of daring creativity.

 Problem solving in survival situations or real-world, day-to-day circumstances is a skill that not everyone is great at. You can improve this ability via learning how to put down your everyday lens that you use to view the world and pick up a lens that has not been used yet. Mentally pretend that you are viewing the problem with this unused lens. Everything about the problem should look different with this new lens. Consider all of your options and all of the possibilities utilizing whatever you have on in terms of every-day-carry items, what is in your immediate surroundings and what is perhaps beyond your immediate surroundings. Attempt to problem solve your way around the problem with new eyes and see if more solutions don’t come to mind.

 In every-day life many of us get caught up in patterns and routines. Because of these patterns and routines, we become “stuck” or unable to get ourselves out of a situation that we no longer want to be in or that is painful to be in. Why is it that some people always land on their feet while others struggle with the same sort of problems over and over again? Because of these mental models and routines some people are virtually unable to see a new solution. Therefore, they continue to respond to problems with the same set of solutions expecting different outcomes each time and never really grasping that they will continue to get the same sort of outcome if they continue to respond to problems with the same set of solutions.
Taking a chance on "you" can be frightening. Sometimes we are blocked by an inability to see the potential in ourselves. Opening up your mind to possibilities and practicing looking at solutions without stopping yourself with a lack of belief in yourself can be difficult. Explore your world, explore your options, explore change and explore these options with a free and open mind as if you were a child again. Remember when you thought you could be an astronaut? Remember when you believed 100% that you would be a race-car driver? What happened to you between those dreams and your current set of circumstances? You got in your own way. You kept yourself from being able to believe that you would ever be able to do those things. And, so you continued on the path of least resistance a.k.a. “the easier path.” When looking at solutions to survival situations and having a survival mindset, it is vital that you do not get in your own way.

You have to believe in yourself. You must believe that you can get out of the situation. You need to accept that although it may be one of the most difficult things you have ever been through, you can and you will survive. You must have the will to survive. You cannot afford to have a lack of faith in your own ability and you cannot afford to be closed-minded to the survival options you are presented with in a SHTF situation. Having the ability to see the entire situation for what it is and exploring what your options may be without thinking of all of the reasons that you don’t have what it takes to succeed is the point of practicing a survival mindset.
You do have the capacity to problem-solve and to explore options and utilize your experience and your wilderness skills to best meet your needs and survive another day. You can do this now, in your current life. You can practice looking at your situation for the first time with a new set of eyes and exploring all of your options not just the options that you immediately think of. Not just the options that you usually give yourself….but, all of the options. Use your new lens. Use the lens of a novice. How would someone who hasn’t lived your life, hasn’t experienced what you have experienced and hasn’t made all of the choices or suffered all of the consequences of those choices view your life? Would they offer new insights? Would they see new solutions? Most certainly they would. We are only limited by our own lens and our own borders. Expand those borders in your current world and in your wilderness practice. View everything with a new untainted lens and see how different everything looks. An open-mind creates a world of new opportunity for which we were unable to see before.

 This is not to say that you should foolishly go out into the wilderness with only an open mind and everything will work out. This is one more skill to add to your survival pack. You should have the practical and experiential knowledge of self-reliance, bush craft and wilderness survival skills before ever partaking on an outdoor adventure into uncharted territory. You should not travel alone if at all possible and you should always let someone know where you will be and when to expect you back and when to become concerned before heading out on a camping trip, a day hike or a longer-term survival trip. Make sure you have the necessary clothing and gear and that you are amply familiar with how to use any gear that you take along. Add to that, an open-mind that allows you to see all possibilities and you will most certainly open up a new world of options, solutions and improve your survival mindset.

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