Self-sufficiency – noun: the state of not requiring any aid, support, or interaction, for survival; it is therefore a type of personal or collective independence.
Survival – [sərˈvīvəl] – noun: the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances.
In our day-to-day world, there are varied degrees of survival required of us. This is true simply because there are wide-ranging degrees of threat that we face.
And in today’s economic death spiral of Keynesian Economics, politically corrupt leadership, and a war torn world, many are already beginning to experience the peripheral edge of a “deep survival” state because of those same threats. There are more at that edge than I think we care to admit. Government figures of non-participation in the labor force and welfare rolls alone support this. We can look at the high percentage of millennials still at home and the lack of savings they have. Let’s not forget the fact that one out of five families does not have anyone working in them.
I am sure we can all point out a myriad of other examples as well. We could even make them an entire topic of conversation in and of themselves. The point is that an honest interpretation of the financial side of “civil order” tells us that we are in real trouble as a society and a nation.
While most are not fully engulfed in a deep survival mode at present, many do exist in a heightened state of survival with darker days on the horizon. Just the pressing threats of civil unrest, natural disaster, financial collapse, world war, and terrorism are enough to raise the Spidey senses a few notches, and it is forcing people at all levels to find new ways to survive day in and day out. It is sort of like being the frog in a pot of heating water and being boiled at a slow roll.
Unless we want to be the boiled frog, we need a strong mind, body, and soul that can assess threat, plan a defense, and then execute it. Plus, when it comes to defining “survival”, it is important to remember that survival and sufficiency are learned and earned over time.
That is to say that a man cannot easily walk the journey from his traditional 9 to 5 job with three kids and a wife into a deep survival mode overnight and expect there to be some automatic switch that is going to make him able to perform and act under pressure of threat without preparation and training, not for long at least. It’s no different really than the person who buys an AR platform. They take it home, show it off a bit, and then shove it in a safe or the closet, expecting that in a time of real threat they will be able to use it effectively without proper training and muscle memory. Sorry, it is just not happening! It’s also like the couple that has a pile of seeds and never grows anything. While you may have the seeds, you don’t have food unless you can grow them! Let’s not even mention storing the food for long-term use. Deep survival is not something you pull out of a 72-hour pack or the garage when the coming storm makes landfall. At least not without ever carrying the pack or cooking out of the #10 cans, it isn’t.
Much like an athlete doesn’t just sign up, put on the uniform, and run on to the field to play, you don’t just prep and play. No,, there is practice in between each game, and those that practice with purpose become sufficient in the game and excel. Similarly those who “prepare” but do not live the preparation by nature have less of a chance of actually using those preparations to their maximum benefit and self-sufficiency.
We all need training, just like the athlete. However, you and I are not training for a game. You and I are training for our life and the life of our family.
It is important to remember that successful and measurable survival is lived at some level, not stored in a pack or closet, and our chances of success in a deep survival scenario increase dramatically the more we have a tuned mind, body, and soul to complement our physical and operational preparations. So, live your survival before you get there, and it will be livable when it arrives.
Without a sharp and well-healed mind, we are less likely to make thorough decisions, take action, and effectively offset threats. It makes it even more difficult for us to see the threats on the horizon when we do not have good mental clarity and focus. If we are not thinking, planning, and acting ahead, well then we are falling behind.
It is for reasons like this that we must keep our mind in tune. In a deep survival situation, critical thinking skills are vital and will provide a higher degree of certainty that we are living through it and not just surviving in it.
Survival Tip #1 For the Mind (All Levels): Crosswords, Sudoku, Reading, and Poker
Who needs Luminosity when we have these rudimentary exercises, which really can be fun? These exercises can be challenging, and they require you to focus thought in one place for an extended period of time. This will help you improve your mental focus over time.
It will also provide you with knowledge and experience and an opportunity to research and learn. Believe it or not, when these exercises are done with daily regularity they will help you in your ability to make quicker and more targeted decisions.
However, there is one catch; you should use no phone, tablet, kindle, PC, laptop, or digital screen, please. Use the real thing, like a crossword or puzzle book, a novel, or a field manual. Also, when you play poker, try and do it with real people at a real table with real cards and chips. Turn off the virtual screens and pick up a pair of weights for your mind.
These exercises will help you think ahead and make decisions based on potential future outcomes. They will teach you how to find answers to things you do not know. They will help you in assessing your threats. They will give you skill in concentration. Additionally, these exercises will help round your knowledge base and make your mind a sharper weapon.
Survival Tip #2 For the Mind (All Levels): “Draw It”
A cohesive team is always an advantage in deep survival scenarios. One of the fundamental principles of team cohesion is communication. The clearer, faster, and more concise you can communicate with your team, the more agile and effective you are both as a leader and a team member.
This exercise should be done with some frequency to sharpen your skills and will require some maintenance and upkeep along the way. You will require the following for the exercise:
- Three different color crayons or markers, which you will share,
- Two pads of paper (one for each of you), and
- Two people.
- Without the other person seeing what you are drawing, draw (4) four shapes in a way that at least (2) two of the shapes overlap one another. Keep the shapes empty at this point, do not fill them in. Use at least (2) two different colors if not all of them in your drawing.
- With the other person still facing away from you, hand them your crayons or markers and then turn with your back to theirs. Now begin to instruct them on replicating what you have drawn on your pad of paper. Remember, the other person is not to see what you have drawn. Guide them step by step until you are sure they have the same picture as you. Do this without looking what they are drawing either!
This is actually a fun exercise for kids of all ages. It helps build communication skill.
Good communication skills are needed for effective leadership and team interaction. Good communication lends to making our workaday world easier and us more effective in it as well. Good communication skills are also required to relay information up the ladder to those that may need it from us. Our ability to communicate up and down the ladder is vital to our ability to live a deep survival scenario.
This exercise will help you learn how to give direction to others in a way that expresses exactly what you mean and want them to do. It will also allow you the opportunity to receive some instruction as well. Alphas can have a real hard time on the “receiving” portion of this exercise. However, a wise alpha will use the opportunity to be on the receiving end and evaluate their “instructor”. They will listen to them and learn. That way they will know what to expect from them in a pinch!
It can also allow you the opportunity to know which team members are effective communicators and recognize those who are not. There is no need to be threatened heroes!
Oxford Dictionary on line definition.
Keynesian Economics – Keynesian economics are the various theories about how in the short run, and especially during recessions, economic output is strongly influenced by aggregate demand (total spending in the economy).