Home Survival 101 The Survival Mindset

The Survival Mindset

by Jason Salyer

Current events have motivated many people to prepare for future hardships. The form of these
hardships could be debated and theorized until the day the zombies finally do come. Many
people prepare for this unknown and unknowable event or events out of fear. A small
percentage of people squirrel away food, supplies, and equipment, and build bunkers under a
mountain somewhere in hopes that these preparations will keep them and their families from
harm and/or discomfort. 

A few of those individuals have even invested the time to develop skills and knowledge that will
enable them to use these supplies effectively. Fewer still are the people that have developed
the mindset, the fortitude, the stick-to-it-iveness, and the faith to persevere in the presence of
real adversity. 

Isolation in the wilderness

Please don’t misunderstand. Skills, supplies, and equipment are very important and should not be overlooked. However, if placed in order of importance, mindset will lead the charge.
Developing and maintaining a positive mental attitude when times get tough can and will be the difference between living and dying in a true survival situation. It is the difference between throwing in the towel and reaching the summit when faced with any real challenge in life. I once had the “privilege” of spending a month in the Louisiana swamp with nothing but the clothes on my back. No gear, no tarps, no tools, no nothin.’ This was documented by the History Channel for a series called “Alone: The Beast.” That month was, without a doubt, the most difficult of my life. There were moments of intensity such as raging tropical storms that threatened to erase our small foothold in the wetlands. 

These moments were exciting and frightening but were never the primary threat that could
break my will and drive me to quit. It was the duration. Long, slow, hungry, uncomfortable,
lethargic, pathetic days, and even longer nights attempted to break me. It was in my lowest
moments that I relied on my faith, and the best advice anyone could have given me.

I was on my way to Louisiana in the very crowded Atlanta International Airport waiting to go
through security when I, only by divine intervention, bumped into Alan Kay. I mean come on!
How perfect was it that I just so happened to run into the winner of the first season of “Alone” as
I was about to embark upon my own adventure? 

As I was stuffing my face with a burger in a hopeless attempt at weight gain, he bestowed upon
me some real life wisdom. He said to me, “Live in the moment. You are here and the time is
now. Don’t stress about the big picture and the seemingly endless amount of tasks and time
ahead of you, but focus on the now. Ask yourself, ‘What needs to be done right now?’ Then do
that thing, whatever it may be, and then move on to the next.” 

It was this mindset, not the skills, knowledge, and certainly not the gear that enabled me to
complete the challenge. It was living one moment at a time until the day had passed. Then
doing it again and again and again. Not only was this month the most difficult and most
miserable of my life, it was quite possibly the most rewarding. I know that I could not have been
successful without a bit of quality advice. My natural inclination to stay on the bright side of life,
and my faith gives me strength.

I strongly support every individual’s right to believe whatever they choose—just as I would
expect and enjoy that same freedom. If you desire to worship the golden armadillo at the top of
the ivory totem, that is your call. That tree won’t be very fruitful, but I digress. 

Personally speaking, I have made the conscious decision to believe in Jesus. I have chosen to
listen to that small voice in my head that steers me in the right direction. I believe the small
voice is God speaking to me, and it is a direct result of the decision to listen that allows me to
take risks. 

My faith gives me the courage to accept challenges. Challenges that make me aware of the
reality of life and death. Challenges that most certainly will make me uncomfortable, cause pain,
and, at worst, kill me. This choice has allowed me to experience adventure. It has given me the
opportunity to endure. Those experiences, in turn, have made me undeniably stronger
physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Makeshift Shelter

I live a relatively fearless life. I say relatively because, clearly, I am not perfect. I have moments
of weakness or fear, and my faith may waiver more often than I would like to admit. With God’s
help, my beautiful family, and a few solid friends, I will always manage to crawl my way back to
the narrow, slippery-rock covered, poison-ivy ridden, snake-infested path that few will find and
even fewer will have the courage to follow. 

My hope is that you will find some value in this. My hope is that you will be encouraged and
motivated to become stronger physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I want you to crush the
day. I want you to own it. There is nothing that we cannot do!

Tell me I’m full of crap. Tell me that golden armadillos are the only way to the promised land. It
matters not. I will be busy trying not to trip.

0 comment

Related Articles

Leave a Comment