In this first of a series of follow-ups to my article "Stuff" You Need To Build Self-Reliance, I discuss the first of the "stuff" you need - the right mindset.
The core of prepping and survivalism is the building self-reliance - as individuals, as families, and as communities. More than just knowledge and skills, self-reliance is first and foremost a mindset. It is a willingness "to do as much as we can without outside assistance" (definition of John McCann in his book Practical Self-Reliance, page 14).
People have long-identified four or five keys to a self-reliant life. Those keys are in how we think. They are:
1- Assume responsibility for your own life. Don't wait around for the government, society, your parents, union leaders, community organizers, or anyone else to take care of you. Don't sit around whining that life is unfair, or that someone else has it so much better than you. Learn to take care of yourself. You are in charge of your life, so act like it. The single most important thing you can do to survive any future chaos is to start taking responsibility for your own life now.
2- Take the blame for your own life. We all make mistakes. Own up to yours. Don't scapegoat others. Don't "pass the buck." If you are blaming someone else, you are not being self-reliant. Even when things happen beyond your control - such as being robbed, being laid-off, or even your house burning down - you are still in control of how you react to those things.
3- Be informed. It is your responsibility to find out the facts and information you need to make informed decisions. Pay attention to the world around you. Keep up with current events. Keep up with the trends in your industry. Know where and how to get information. Ask questions. Be a lifelong learner. Remember the acronym ASK - Always Seek Knowledge.
4- Know where your going. Know yourself. What are your beliefs and values? What are your goals? What is your purpose? What do you hope to accomplish? What is, and isn't, important to you? Don't just drift through life, being aimless. Think. Plan ahead. And take careful aim, and action, at what you want in life.
5- Make your own decisions. Don't let others run your life for you - and that especially includes the government. Don't wait around for others to make the decision for you. Don't worry about what others think of you. Don't worry about being politically correct or socially acceptable. Don't give in to peer pressure. Don't just "go along to get along." Be informed of the issues, and decide for yourself. Make you own choices.
Above all, don't be indecisive. Failing to make a decision, for whatever reason (fear, uncertainty, lack of confidence...) is a decision, and a bad one. Take responsibility for your life, know what you want, gather what information you can, decide as best you can, act on that decision, and let the chips fall where they may. If it happens not to work out, at least you can accept the blame knowing you did your best under the circumstances.
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