COVID-19: coronavirus threshold crossed to a new world paradigm

The video content on this page is informative and educational pointing to a threshold we have crossed necessitating a new world paradigm and perhaps an improved way of thinking.  Prepped and Frosty is about increasing our self-reliance and sharing what we have learned with others. Central to future success at the individual and societal levels is self-reliant thinking.  Go from dependence to independence, to interdependence. You never were, nor should ever be a victim of anything.  When you claim to be a victim, you yield your personal power and your hope.

A disaster can leave you homeless.  Its okay, and can actually be beneficial.

There is no way, mix it all together.

Simple, Direct, Non-classical:  A new way of seeing, a new paradigm, a new foundation.

    • Existing concepts can be re-combined to create something new.
    • Remix and update your toolbox of concepts to be less rigid and more flexible to deal with rapid change (chaos).
    • You are on offense.
    • Lead with your strengths.
    • Learn to intercept.  Respond before, during , or after
    • It’s a subtraction process.  Remove waste to increase agility and speed.
    • Flow with sophisticated spontaneity to changing conditions millisecond-by-millisecond
    • As an example, Bruce Lee’s martial art Jeet-Kune-Do (JKD) is being practiced in the video below.

Suggested Next steps:

COVID-19 Global Pandemic – preparing for the worst by focusing on self-reliance

It is always good to hope for the best but prepare for the worst by cultivating your own self-reliance.  The dominoes have begun to fall with global efforts to control the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, and we don’t know when they will stop.  Here are some suggestions to help increase your self-reliance to aid in decision making and action taking in preparing for the worst during this global pandemic.  The seriousness of the situation offers an opportunity to establish a new paradigm for yourself that will serve you now as well as in the future.  You are responsible for yourself and the results you get in life.  This experience is being forced on us but is also an opportunity to learn and right-size our lifestyle in many ways.  As we monitor the developing situation, keeping these recommendations in mind will assist in determining needed assets vs. assets that may prevent flexible deployment.

This is a good opportunity to practice

But first, let’s consider the good.  The pandemic is an opportunity allowing for personal reflection and goal formation on how you want to live your life as an individual as well as being an example of how you would like the planet to be. In other words, you can be the change that you would like to see in the world and express yourself in a fulfilling way.  As Cody Lundin states “You benefit from acting on these principles whether Armageddon happens or not.”  At a relatively low cost, you can be prepared, flexible, adaptable, and agile. So now we have an opportunity. You can also do the planet a favor by consuming on a smaller scale. Living small is one of the most responsible things you can do and ultimately makes life better as practicing minimalists say.   A happy and successful life is more of a subtraction process than adding things.  Rightsize on the right things, and stop clinging to ineffective concepts and practices.   The world is different now, we need a new way to see.  Some people update their mental models better than others, they are called survivors.” – Laurence Gonzales.  Shoring up these principles in your life will help you now and when it passes.  The information presented here are simple, core understandings that build a foundation of a paradigm that will serve you your entire lifetime.

The world is complex and is very hard to understand.  Mental maps are hard to create.  It is hard, if not impossible to fully understand.  The complexity of our world will not fit onto our mental stage at one time.  By focusing on our own self-reliance, we can learn and understand these principles, deploy these principles now during the pandemic, and keep our resources aligned for the next crisis which will inevitably come again one day.  Building in flexible, nimble, agile, adaptable, and general principles is a smart way to deal with an uncertain future.

Principles of simplicity  (borrowing from Cody Lundin and other sources)

Complexity breeds waste and you have no resources to waste. Conservation of resources and energy is paramount.  A spiritual collapse will occur if you overextend yourself.  Simplicity needs to rule.  Strive for simplicity in all things.  Good old common sense. The easiest and cheapest way to reduce the variables in your life or survival plan is to keep things simple.  Even simple systems behave in very complex ways and can lead to disaster.  When you begin to outfit your home with self-reliant goodies, simply purchase more of the same stuff that you packed with your portable disaster kit.

Principles of survival

Here is an interpretation of the Survival Rule of 3’s.  This is a great outline of survival principles upon which you can maintain countermeasures to prevent death.  These are basic and fundamental.

  • Immediate survival
    • In 3 seconds, you can die from panic
    • In 3 minutes, you will die without air
  • Short term survival
    • In 3 hours, you can die from exposure (lack of thermo-regulation)
    • In 3 days, you can die without water
  • Long term survival
    • In 3 weeks, you can die without food

A typical survival rescue scenario lasts between 1 and 5 days but averages 3 days / 72 hours.  Therefore, during normal societal conditions, it is good to inform someone of your outing plan prior to leaving.  If you don’t show up on time, a rescue will be triggered to find you and it may take up to 5 days.  You will not die of starvation, but you may die from a lack of water.  If we get into trouble, it is good to S.T.O.P (Stop, Think, Observe, Plan) which prevents a negative spiral of actions as panic sets in.  A panicked mind is a useless mind and can kill you. It’s good to know this for priorities, but also keep in mind that if you are not in-taking food and water on a regular basis, your energy level tanks resulting in poor mental and physical performance.

Countermeasures for the Rule of 3’s:  know your needs

  • Immediate survival
    • In 3 seconds, you can die from panic
      • Things which help you maintain composure.
      • “Thrashing does not save a drowning victim, but is natural.  Those who float quietly have a better chance at survival.” – Laurence Gonzales:  Deep Survival
    • In 3 minutes, you will die without air
      • Avoid situations such as drowning in water, suffocating from an avalanche, respiratory infections
  • Short term survival
    • In 3 hours, you can die from exposure (lack of thermo-regulation)
      • shelter
        • houses, buildings, vehicles, tents, tarps, primitive shelters
      • clothing / insulation
        • sleeping bags, blankets, coats, long underwear, hats, gloves, boots.
      • fire
        • matches, lighters, ferrocerium rods, flint and steel, friction fires.
      • In 3 days, you can die without water
        • Water containers and treatment methods
  • Long term survival
    • In 3 weeks, you can die without food
      • food supplies on hand with the ability to mobilize if you need to

Note that these survival needs can be met in many ways.  In normal house living, everything is in place and possibly not necessarily obvious to duplicate.  Should we have to go mobile for some reason, we will need appropriate countermeasures in having the right gear.  In a mobile situation, these needs can be met in a different way using different items.  The Survival Rule of 3’s gives us an outline of what can kill us and how to combat that risk.

Think like a backpacker

In When All Hell Breaks Loose, Cody Lundin recommends thinking like a backpacker.  This is a great idea for investing in survival gear.  A backpacking stove works out of a backpack, in a car situation, and in a building situation.  A house stove is limited to a house.  Thinking like a backpacker helps you to accumulate backpackable survival assets.  Add a vehicle to have more of those some assets.  Add a house to have even more assets.  I like to think of this as a telescoping system.  My backpacking gear is in my vehicle, which is in my garage.  I can leave my house, drive as far as possible if needed, then project out on foot should the need arise.  You can live out of a house, a vehicle, or a backpack or any combination you desire or are forced into.  Modern gear and technologies allow you to be independent regardless of the environment.

Bushcraft and primitive living

Bushcraft and primitive living skills enable you to meet the needs of the human body from the landscape.  Bushcraft teachings leverage the use of the knife, axe, and saw to interact with nature.  In primitive living, all of your gear comes from nature.  In these realms, there is a lifetime worth of learning to become proficient.  I try to practice and study in these areas and they are critically important.  Backpacking concepts are a stable, modern gear platform to become proficient in.  We have consumed so much of the planet’s resources and your chances of surviving off of the land are quite low, even if you know what you are doing.   As I mentioned, there is a lifetimes worth of knowledge and skills to acquire to be proficient here.  Backpacking skills work in any environment.  Bushcraft and primitive living skills are important, but difficult to learn and change with geography.

Bugging out

As Cody Lundin points out in When All Hell Breaks Loose, an emergency can quickly leave you homeless and backpacks make good bug out kits. He recommends we consider building bug out kits before outfitting your home. Backpacking forces a minimalist mindset which forces you do differentiate between needs and wants. Simply purchase more of the same stuff that you packed in your bug out kit to outfit your vehicle and home.

Prepped and Frosty planning for COVID-19

With this information in mind, here is our Prepped and Frosty COVID-19 preparedness and action plan that we are using to structure our thinking and actions and maintain composure.  A reminder from Laurence Gonzales in Deep Survival, there are 4 poisons of the mind:

  1. Fear:  > overcome fear with spirit and intellect, panic can kill you quickly
  2. Confusion: > get the information in the 40 to 70% range and then go with your gut
  3. Hesitation: > act decisively and with confidence
  4. Surprise: > plan for the worst-case scenario, then you will not be surprised by anything

We are striving to have all of these plans ready for deployment at the drop of a hat. The Survival Rule of 3 countermeasures can be met in many ways; substitute as required and keep them in mind when you make a move. Cody Lundin advises: having all of your eggs in one basket has been a bad idea since the beginning.  Hoping for the best but preparing for the worst, here is our telescoping plan:

  • Plan A: shelter in home
    • Following recommended guidelines per the federal and local leadership structure, plus a tad more to be able to help others who have their head up their ass and need help.
      • Social distancing, 1 month supply, plus some more to help others,  not hoarding
      • Always keep your chin up, be Radiant, Prepped and Frosty
  • Plan B: vehicle deployment
    • Should our local environment become non-viable, we will deploy in our vehicle to a better area. We do not think this will happen, but we are preparing for it.
    • If triggered, naturally all available resources will be loaded into the vehicle rapidly.
    • I have lived in my van for numerous years and have seen many people who have fallen out of society and are forced to their vehicles.  You can survive in your vehicle relatively easy.  The key is mental optimism.  Always keep your chin up, be Radiant, Prepped and Frosty.
  • Plan C: backpacking focus
    • Should our vehicle break down or gas becomes insufficient, we have our backpack systems packed and inside the vehicle for foot deployment. The collapse of world energy markets is a possibility discussed on various radio shows.
    • Get your backpacking gear ready to carry everything on your back if necessary
      • If you have no backpack, here are some alternatives
        • Blanket rolled up with gear inside and tied
        • Travel luggage of all types
        • Plastic contractor bags
    • With backpacking gear, you can live well. I recently lived out of my tent for 5 months traveling down the Missouri River. A lot of homeless people live in alternative shelters every day.  Always keep your chin up, be Radiant, Prepped and Frosty.

Other related blogs:


Simplicity, Complexity and the Yonder Shore

In this post, we explore Simplicity, Complexity, and the Yonder shore.   The quote below has been invaluable in my career and personal development.

“For the simplicity on this side of complexity, I wouldn’t give you a fig. But for the simplicity on the other side of complexity, for that, I would give you anything I have.”― Oliver Wendell Holmes

This statement is genius and provides us a rare clarification that there are different kinds of simplicity.  In my work career, keeping things simple is often cited as “preferable”.  Not many can argue with that.  The issue is that some simple solutions do not address the complexity of the problem they are trying to solve, and therefore do not work.  Simplicity on “this side” of complexity is not a solution at all.  The wisdom of the quote suggests we must understand complexity, and a simple solution is derived on the other side of that understanding,  This is extremely difficult to do.

In my personal development over the years, some authorities have delivered solutions that I would personally award the label of “simplicity on the far side of complexity”.  The nature of a concept that meets this condition is interesting.  It is a simple statement that summarizes complexity.  If you were to “squeeze” that simplicity, complexity will come pouring out of it.  You could use some of these concepts to be your standard for living your life and they would produce some results for you.

Here are some examples I consider being vehicles of “simplicity on the far side of complexity”:

    • Joseph Campbell’s “the hero’s journey” and “follow your bliss” concepts
    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
    • Getting Things Done by David Allen
    • Bruce Lee’s martial art Jeet Kune Do (the way of the intercepting fist)

Many of these authorities have written multiple books trying to refine and clarify what they are trying to say.  It takes a very long time of persistent work, usually over a lifetime, to simplify and clarify their insights and test them out when possible.  When we apply these tools or concepts, they generally do give us a structure to work our way through real-world scenarios.  They offer us a way and work to some degree, thus helping us grow.

The Yonder Shore

Bruce Lee said of his martial art “Jeet Kune Do is merely a name used, a boat to get one across the river, and once across, it is to be discarded, and not be carried on one’s back”.  So the end goal is to reach the “Yonder Shore” of the river, then leave the boat behind.  Not to stay in the boat or carry the boat with you.  The idea is to subject oneself to training and understanding and then integrate that into a larger base, on the other side of the training.  Bruce then leaves us with two additional powerful statements.

    • “Use no way, as way”:
      • Our personal path is unique and is on the yonder shore of training and adventure.  If you are using someone else’s concept for yourself, you are still on the boat, limited by that concept.
      • Your style needs to be your own.
    • “Use no limitation as limitation”:
      • The human body is limited, you should transcend it.
      • Express yourself maximally.
      • The ultimate style is to have no style.

The training/concept/tool is the boat that takes us across the river of complexity.  The yonder shore is the simplicity on the far side of complexity and there are multiple ways of explaining it.  Boats that can take you across the river of complexity include The 7 Habits, Getting Things Done, Joseph Campbell, and JKD.  They are valid vehicles, each expressing characteristics of the grand mystery we find ourselves in.  What is super cool, is that each boat has commonality in the skill areas of spirituality, mental thinking, and taking action.  Each concept incorporates all three but prioritizes differently.

    • Spirituality
      • “Follow your Bliss” by Joseph Campbell represents his latest thinking in terms of personal development.  The spiritual message dominates.
    • Mental Thinking
      • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey encourages us to step back from the stimulus, think, and choose a better response.  Here we are trying to optimize, to strategically think about what our plans should be before executing.
    • Taking Action
      • Getting Things Done by David Allen emphasizes the next action management to real-time stimulus, fighting multiple enemies at once to keep your head above water.
      • JKD is about expressing your physical body with speed, power, and flexibility all while conserving as much energy as possible.

We need to be good at spirituality, mental thinking, and taking action

So which concept is best?  Which one do I need?  You need all three to be ready for deployment at any time.  These three critical competencies are interdependent.  Each one affects the other two positively or negatively.

Let me mention three other subjects we all need:  happiness, brain function, and survival.  All of these are incorporated in books that discuss these important topics and offer suggestions on how to overcome their respective challenge.   The suggestions on how to understand the challenge subjects are yet again, variations of the above methodologies.  Below I try to show how these three topics use the above critical skill areas.  What I am trying to show here is that each topic requires all three critical competencies.

  • What Happy People Know by Dan Baker Ph.D.
    • Fear is our #1 enemy of happiness and we are to overcome it with spirit and intellect.
    • Happiness tools are about taking action.
  • Your Brain at Work by Jacob Rock
    • We need a director to help control what gets loaded onto your mental stage and to not be stuck in our default “lost in thought” existence.  Otherwise, you are missing the needed information because you are not paying attention.
    • Five functions of understanding, deciding, recalling, memorizing, and inhibiting make up the majority of conscious thought.  These functions are re-combined to plan, problem-solve, communicate, and to perform other tasks.  They use the prefrontal cortex intensely and require a lot of resources to operate.
    • There are severe limitations to optimal brain function.
    • The brain requires everything to be just right for it to operate at peak performance.
    • No matter who you are you cannot sit and make brilliant decisions all day.
    • Once you take an action, an energetic loop commences that makes it harder to stop that action.
  • Deep Survival, Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales
    • Survivors go inside.
    • Some people update their mental models better than others, they are called survivors.
    • Take correct decisive action – transform thought into action, take risks, large jobs into small tasks, do each task well, deal with what is within your power and leave the rest behind.

Wow, this simplicity stuff is complex!

Exactly.  Simplicity and complexity are opposites.  One does not exist without the other.  As the Yin Yang symbol shows, there is a little bit of one in the other.  Simplicity has complexity in it.  Complexity has simplicity in it.  Squeeze one, and the other pops out of it.  Simplicity is order, complexity is chaos.  One begets the other. This is the cycle of change.

The “Yonder Shore” is the completion of the journey. The return.  Having completed the journey, crossing the threshold to the unknown (complexity) in a boat (adventure with certain gear, team, rules, concepts), battled against obstacles, finding treasure, and returning it back to the known (simple) world, we are bigger for the experience.  Saying no to the boat ride means stagnation and no growth.  Saying yes to the boat ride is saying yes to adventure, physically or in our mind. We should not carry our boat with us on our backs, we should find another one to adventure in the next time.

The “who we are today” in the simple known world, must adventure into the complex unknown world, overcome trials and tribulations (fight/wrestle with), obtain the treasure, and escape/return back to the known/simple world to grow the individual self into the “who we are after the adventure”.

OK, I need a boat to adventure in that is robust to ensure my safe return.

Luckily, we know that our survival/effectiveness/happiness kit is inside us.  We just need an efficient way to load massive complexity on our extremely limited mental stage, in a simple fast way.  The method must address spirituality, mental thinking abilities, and taking quick decisive action.  We roll this up into striving to be Radiant, Prepped and Frosty.

  • Radiant – spiritually alive
    • Lead with your strengths, they are your weapons of salvation to cultivate your personal power.
    • Trust in yourself and keep fear at bay.
    • In the end, security is an inside job.  Learn to live inside out, not outside in.
    • Align your inner-outer worlds for greater performance.
  • Prepped – strategic planning
    • Use your brain as much as possible, but it is extremely limited.
    • Your brain is powerful, but not sufficient.  You simply do not have all the necessary information and never will, even with a computer chip implanted in your skull.
    • Fear lives in the brain and will challenge us our entire lives.  It is the #1 enemy of our happiness and growth.  We must have the courage to adventure into the complex/unknown realms that are out of our comfort zone.
  • Frosty – tactical action
    • Be able to take quick action on instinct without thinking.
    • Hesitation can be deadly, you cannot afford to intellectualize every moment.

Simply saying the phrase: Radiant, Prepped and Frosty loads your mental stage rapidly with the tool-set needed for any and all situations known and unknown.  As the complexity of life oozes out of the Radiant, Prepped and Frosty mindset, you now have a flexible, adaptable, and powerful tool-set to deal with it competently.  They function independently when necessary, and complement each other into a balanced solution for the majority of life situations.  Make Radiant, Prepped and Frosty your core, then add your own needs on top of that.  The universe made you to be you.  Let’s make that happen!

Suggested Next Steps:

Prepped and Frosty’s Logo Explained

Our logo is based on Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey with a core methodology at its center.  Our logo is meant to represent the “anatomy of adventure”.  What adventure looks like, how to execute adventure, and how to repeat adventuring to bring about increased awareness and happiness in our lives.  Our logo represents a paradigm and methodology that establishes a map to navigate life, allowing a sense of awe to reach you, yet keeping you firmly grounded through all stages of maturity from birth to grave.  Our logo is a map and methodology enabling you to become and then express your greatest self.

What is The Hero’s Journey?

The Hero’s Journey is also known as the monomyth.  After years of study and teaching about mythologies throughout the world, Joseph Campbell concluded that they are basically all variations of the same story.  The one-story, the monomyth, is about historical spiritual heroes and the journeys they underwent.  “The labyrinth is thoroughly known” per Joseph Campbell.  We think of The Hero’s Journey as a map and we can follow it without having to get lost in the labyrinth of life.

The Hero’s Journey is, therefore, a template of the collective spiritual messages from myths and religions around the world as to how we should conduct our lives.   The story resonates with us all because it is a manifestation of the energies that work interior to us all.   Many popular movies, such as The Matrix, Star Wars, Harry Potter and others have used or mimicked The Hero’s Journey.  The Hero’s Journey resonates with people because it is inside everyone.  When watching these movies, we resonate with them, and we feel good.

The importance of being familiar with The Hero’s Journey:

It can help you because it is a map of the treasure you are seeking in your life.  It is actively being used against you as well.   The Hero’s Journey is the one story for us all and marketing takes advantage of this by indicating you have a problem, they have a product to fix the problem, and you are going to fail without their product.  As Alan Watts once said, “If you can be fooled, you deserve to be fooled.”   It is also a bit malicious as well.  Advertising and marketing are actively working to manipulate you from becoming your greatest, best self.

Key Elements of The Hero’s Journey:

The Hero’s Journey is the total sum of key elements of all mythologies, containing universal patterns, and can be complicated, with multiple variants.  It is well documented. “…A good life is one hero journey after another.  Over and over again, you are called into the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons…”  (Pathways to Bliss. pg 122, Collective Works of Joseph Campbell).  We like a simplified version as follows below.

  • The Known World
    • There is a call to adventure: the universe taps you on the shoulder inviting you to adventure and it is time to leave the existing place behind.
      • Saying no leads to purification, a drying up of life occurs.
      • Saying yes requires courage.
    • Sometimes there is a mentor: one who is the source of the adventure.
  • The Threshold Crossing
    • Two cherubs block the entrance to the unknown and are frightening, but will not stop you if you do not let them.  They are actually benign.
      • These are also known as the “clashing rocks” or the symplegades.
        • These represent the active mind that generates the world of opposites, i.e. fear and desire, right and wrong, black and white.  We have to have the courage to go past these apparent obstacles and venture into the unknown world.  We have to go beyond our comfort zone.
  • The Unknown World
    • Trials and tribulations will test you.
    • Magical aid will be there to help you if you are worthy.
    • You will either:
      • be killed and resurrected
        • Motif from plant-based societies.  Group, priestly view of the world.
      • find treasure
        • Motif from Hunting based societies.  Individual, shamanistic view of the world.
    • Escape and return to the known world where you are to and integrate your treasure into everyday life and share with others.
      • Sometimes your treasure is accepted by others, sometimes rejected.

Our Logo is a simple representation of The Hero’s Journey, with a core added:

  • The left triangle represents the “known world” and is brown to represent fertility.
  • The two dots reflect the “clashing rocks” generated by mental thought.
  • The right triangle represents the “unknown world”, is green and slightly larger than the “known world” to represent new growth.
  • The red arrow through the middle represents a core that is meant to depict a sword bridge that is required to execute the adventure.  Its cross-section is our Radiant, Prepped, and Frosty methodology.  A methodology of bare essential skill set adjectives we should be able to describe ourselves with to be effective adventurers.
    • Radiant is a spiritual message that represents what is inside us all and suggests we should lead with our strengths, mitigate our weaknesses, and have confidence in who and what we are.  It is our source of energy, personal power, and courage.
    • Prepped is using your active mind to strategically plan.
    • Frosty is about taking tactical action.
  • The bottom arrow represents the return of the adventure back into the known world, where the treasure found is to be integrated into a new plateau of awareness.  It also represents a smile.  It engulfs The Hero’s Journey in its entirety and hints that your happiness lies in executing this process.   Adventuring is how we bring about happiness in our lives.
  • The cyclical nature of the arrows indicates we are to repeat this process over and over.

Suggested Next Steps:

  • Check out our core Radiant, Prepped and Frosty methodology we use to maximize adventuring in our life.
  • We have our favorite Joseph Campbell books listed on our resource page for your consideration to read.
  • “Finding Joe” is a great movie explaining The Hero’s Journey.
  • The Power of Myth is an excellent introduction to Joseph Campbell’s collective work. It is a is PBS interview between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell and is available as a book, a CD set, and on YouTube.
  • You can find other Joseph Campbell works at the Joseph Campbell Foundation.
  • Read our review of  What Happy People Know by Dan Baker PhD.
  • Read our review of  Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales.

Review of Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales discusses survival situations and offers some great advice to keep in mind.

Here are some key concepts from Laurence’s book:

  • Twelve steps that survivors do:
  1. Look, see, perceive, believe – accept the reality of the situation.
  2. Stay calm – use humor or fear to focus.  Make use of fear, don’t be ruled by it.
  3. Think/Analyze/Plan – Organize, setup routines, institute discipline.
  4. Take correct decisive action – transform thought into action, take risks, large jobs into small tasks, do each task well, deal with what is within your power and leave the rest behind.
  5. Celebrate your successes – prevents descent into hopelessness and creates motivation.
  6. Count your blessings – be grateful your alive.
  7. Play – Exercise your mind (play creates innovation).
  8. See the beauty – opens the senses and allows you to take in more information.
  9. Believe that you will succeed – fix your determination, make no mistakes, do your best.
  10. Surrender – resignation without giving up.
  11. Do whatever is necessary –  be coldly rational about the world.
  12. Never give up – let nothing break your spirit, there is always one more thing you can do.
  • Survival is a way of life:
    • Eat life or it will eat you.
    • You engage fate deliberately with your adventures.
    • Live a life of bored caution and die of cancer vs. take the adventure and minimize the risks.
    • To live life is to risk it.
    • Risk is the essence of life.
    • Close calls make you live more intensely.
  • Use your limited resources wisely; be stingy with your resources.
  • To approach things like they are familiar is a mistake.
  • Our attention is fragmentary. The survivor must compartmentalize and set small goals (it will kill you not to).
  • Some people update their mental models better than others.  They are called survivors.
  • Many conditions influence what and how much you perceive.
  • The more things you are working, the chance of success decreases.
  • You have a choice to obey or rebel against what is happening to you.
  • Trivial events begin to shape an accident long before it happens.
  • Training allows your reason to overcome emotions which, on average, keeps the species alive. Elite performers train hard.
    • Don’t get comfortable, get confident.
    • Adversity anneals you.
  • When you change your environment you need a new way of seeing, a new plan.
    • The world is messy and not easily explained > maps are not easy to create.
    • The real world is messy and chaotic.
    • The survivor personality allows new information to reshape their model.
    • Indifferent forces punish the inattentive and arrogant.
    • Need experience and perception not information; act quickly and correctly.
    • Disconnect between perception and reality leads to many accidents.
  • Failure is easy, success is hard.  Keep things simple for greater success.
    • Initial conditions, simple inputs, simple interactions can still be wildly unstable with minor changes to initial conditions or inputs (butterfly effect).
  • Hippocampus creates and updates maps, stress impairs this (no time creates stress).
  • Organism maps itself, maps the environment, then keeps the two in balance.
  • If the maps don’t match, the hippocampus spins its wheels and the amygdala sounds the alarm (vertigo, claustrophobia, panic, and wasted motion/energy).
  • Insanity = when the mind does not match the world.
  • Bewilder, bewilderment, woods shock.
  • Reason fails, instincts take over; thrashing does not save a drowning victim, but it is natural.  Those who float quietly have a better chance at survival.
  • Cognition is a mechanism for modulating emotional and physical responses.
  • STOP:  Stop, Think, Observe, Plan
  • Must take control of the situation ASAP, keep calm, think clearly, act decisively.
  • Don’t want to run out of options and energy.
  • Survival started before the emergency/accident.
  • You must make yourself worthy of survival. Practice!
  • You can’t change the world, only yourself.
  • You must see and know the world and its materials.
  • When the personality is ripped away, there has to be a core remaining to carry the person through.
  • The more you invest, the more you have when trouble comes.
  • The more you know the more resources you have to fall back on.
  • Everyone has finite resources going into an emergency, manage those resources.
  • Spend your life building a core.
  • Practice
  • Each test is in preparation for the next.
  • Survival is a path that must be walked from birth to death; it is a way of life.
  • Have no mortal spots.
  • Fear and pain are the tools of salvation. Fear becomes sustenance, its energy feeds action
  • Become familiar with pain and discomfort.
  • Once fatigue sets in, it is almost impossible to recover and it becomes a spiritual collapse:
    • hallucinations can bring relief and rest
    • take your mind back to a memory/place where you were not overextended
    • pace yourself, rest frequently and hydrate
    • the struggle to survive can rapidly deplete your resources
    • nature’s forces are unlimited, yours are not
    • you should operate at 60% of your normal activity level
    • you only have so much stored energy
    • be stingy with your scarce resources
    • balance risk vs. reward
    • invest in efforts of biggest return
    • survival requires a burst of energy – move fast and get the job done
  • Stages of getting lost: being lost is not a location; it is a failure of the mind.
    • Denial
    • Anger
    • Bargaining
    • Depression
    • Acceptance
  • To survive, you must find yourself, and then it does not matter where you are.
  • Focusing filters things that we are not concentrating out.
  • Nature loves to strip the unwary of their gear.
  • Leadership, order, and routine are all important elements of survival.
  • Four poisons of the mind:

    1. Fear
    2. Confusion
    3. Hesitation
    4. Surprise
  • Watch clear and calm, and then act decisively at the correct moment.

Suggested Next Steps:

Review of Getting Things Done by David Allen

Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen is an excellent book and concept.  I have been a fan and practitioner for years.

David Allen created a productivity system for the office based on the martial art Karate.  Beyond his book, he has many videos on YouTube that are worth watching.

Here are some of his key concepts:

  • GTD is a thinking process that facilitates getting things done.
  • Achieve organized, stress free, productivity.
  • Be in control at all levels at all times.
  • Clarify and surf the issues instead of being buried by them.
  • Spin many plates at a more sophisticated level.
  • In a chaotic workplace, we do not have time to optimize our environment and must react to what is on our plate.  The emphasis is on managing next actions and taking as many actions as needed until completion.
  • Your environment will swamp you.  Its a matter of survival to act quickly.
  • Get ahead and stay ahead.  You do not know what is coming around the corner.
  • Want to get things done with as little mental and physical effort as possible.
  • Your mind tries to be the system.
  • Your mind is limited in its ability to manage commitments, because it is handicapped in its ability to remember and remind.
  • Develop a trusted system to be your minds mind.
  • Discipline is remembering.
  • You don’t want to have to re-think or have the same thought twice.
  • Get things out of your head for the rest of your life and into a trusted system.  Your brain is a focusing tool not a storage device.  Lose ends cause mental drag.
  • The brain is a natural problem solving tool.  Tasks requiring more than two steps are projects but do not require sophisticated project management tools.
  • David offers a ” Natural Planning Model” that reflects how your brain actually plans:
    • Clarify purpose and values
    • Vision of what “done” looks like
    • Brainstorm
    • Organize
    • Take next actions
    • Move: up to increase clarity, down to increase action
  • Core process steps: Collect, Process, Organize, Review, Execute:
    • Collect Information:  Capture everything into the inbox of your trusted system so that you don’t have to store them in your head. Collect all potentially relevant information.  See my recommendation below for a trusted system.
    • Process the Information: Collected things need additional processing to clarify and determine if further action is needed.   Derive next action and execute on it.  Move the item from your inbox to an appropriate storage location or trash it.  If the next step can be done in 2 minutes or less, execute on it now.  Transform tasks into actions.
    • Organize the Information:  Organize and prioritize tasks for next action management.
    • Review the Information:  Review your projects frequently to keep them on your mental stage.
    • Execute Next Actions:  What is the next action needed to move this forward? Next action management is the key.
  • How do I set things up so that:
      • I don’t have to remember
      • I can find things quickly and easily
      • The least amount of effort is used; how do I define what “done” what looks like
      • I can be in control at all levels, at all times
      • I can capture things that grab my attention, then figure it out later
      • I have a reminder function so tasks cannot disappear

After years of practicing GTD, here is my evaluation:

  • Pros:
    • Fighting is a great metaphor for life and GTD is based on Karate.
    • David Allen is completely right.  You cannot keep things in your head or your environment will swamp you.  Get ahead and stay ahead.
    • If you are not taking notes, you are wasting my time.  I am dismissing you as I speak because I know your brain is overloaded.
    • “Get things out of your head for the rest of your life.”  This is a brilliant concept that I use all of the time. You never know what is potentially relevant.  Taking notes helps you pay attention the first time. Your recall will dramatically improve as well.  The act of paying attention and recording helps your mental recall as well as it can be searched in your trusted system when you do not remember.
        • Idea > capture it in Evernote or write it down
        • Defect > capture it with a picture in Evernote to commicate broadly
        • part number > capture it, then you don’t need to ask for it later.
        • Contact info > capture it
        • anything and everything > capture it and free up your mind.
  • Cons:
    • Karate is a series of katas or dances to simulate fight scenarios with multiple opponents.  It is a scripted set of rules.  GTD is a smaller set of rules that make quick action more likely.
    • GTD originally did not fully recommend a system to be your “trusted system”.
    • The Secret Weapon (TSW):  GTD was written before the explosion of modern internet tools.  At the time there was no perfect organization system for executing GTD principles.  I discovered TSW on YouTube, implemented it, and have been using it for many years now as my “GTD trusted system”.  I could not live without it and highly, highly recommend using this tool. TSW is free and involves using the Evernote application with GTD principles.  I used this tool in my Mechanical Engineering job for years and now have a premium Evernote subscription due to the megabytes of data that I process.  Capture on your phone, process on your PC after synchronizing. Those megabytes are not stored in my head. Its a true competitive advantage.  Click here to watch a video on TSW.

Review of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is an excellent book.  I have used it for years and found success beyond what I could have done without it.  Other great books by Mr. Covey related to this are First things First and the 8th Habit.

As a 7 Habits practitioner for many years, here is an overview:

  • Effectiveness is a balance between production and production capability.
  • Think of production as golden eggs and production capability as the goose.  There are no golden eggs if you do not take care of the goose.

State of Dependence: others take care of me

  • Habit 1:  Be Proactive
    • It is your responsibility to make things happen; get busy and reprogram yourself.
    • You are the programmer.
    • You are never a victim, if its broke, it’s your fault.
  • Habit 2:  Begin with the End in Mind
    • In the perspective of your entire life, what do you want to accomplish?  These are the wildly important things.  These are first things. These are priorities.
    • Write your program.
    • The Eisenhower Matrix is introduced and broken into 4 quadrants.
    • You are seeking to identify important but not urgent things and get to work on them.
    • To do this, you need to not work on anything unimportant.  In today’s world of work, everything is declared urgent.  Learn to say no to the unimportant.
  • Habit 3:  First Things First
    • Do first things first and second things not at all.
    • Execute your program.
    • Optimize and execute around priorities.

State of Independence: private victory achieved; I take care of myself

  • Habit 4:  Think Win/Win
    • Have an abundance mentality where there is enough for everybody to win.
    • Avoid win/lose and lose/win scenarios.
    • Seek win/win or no deal and move on.
  • Habit 5:  First Seek to Understand, Then to be Understood
    • Listening skills go a long way towards lessening resistance to your plan.
    • Make sure you hear and understand what others are saying.  The extended team may have red herrings you need to dismiss or may have the key ingredient your plan is missing.
  • Habit 6:  Synergize
    • 7 Habits calls this is the “3rd solution”, your ideas, plus ideas from others makes for the best plan possible.

State of Interdependence:  public victory achieved, we take care of each other

  • Habit 7:  Sharpen the saw
    • This is the habit of renewal.  You need to renew yourself in each of the dimensions below everyday.
    • Always work with a sharp saw.  If your saw is not sharp, it will take you longer to saw down your trees.
    • This habit powers all of the others, creating an upward spiral of capability.
      • Sharpen the Saw Physically:  Take care of your physical body: Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise, Water.
        • Exercises and fortifies Habit 1:  Be Proactive
      • Sharpen the Saw Spiritually:  Cultivate your spiritual side.
        • Exercises and fortifies Habit 2:  Begin with the End in Mind
      • Sharpen the Saw Mentally:  Continual honing and expanding of the mind.
        • Exercises and fortifies Habit 3:  First Things First
      • Sharpen the Saw Socially:  Build and maintain relationships.  Maintain a positive emotional bank account with others.  Do not bankrupt the account by making too many withdrawals.
        • Exercises and fortifies Habits: 4, 5 and 6: influencing and dealing with other people.

Evaluation from personal experience:

  • Pros
    • Applies in all circumstances and offers a way forward most of the time if you are stuck on something.  It gets your creative juices going and you can derive options.  Just review the habits and you can find an actionable way forward.
    • Is effective and works after substantial investment in effort to understand and practice the habits.
    • Powerful web of habits that all align in a beautiful way.
    • Habit 1 is a punch in the face: Be Proactive.  You are responsible for your own life and are not a victim.  It is your responsibility to make things happen for yourself.
  • Cons
    • It is too big to load onto your mental stage all at one time.  You can’t keep it in your head.  I wrote them out everyday for years to get them to sink in.  I have them memorized, but it takes considerable time to even state them.
    • The book is a difficult read. I spent years reviewing and summarizing the concepts into a workable format for myself.  I have never met another individual who understands the entire message.
    • Upper limit: limits spontaneous action if you try to process everything on your plate with these steps.  Hence, it becomes more of a background activity and reminder rather than a front line tool.  if you have time to think, then these steps are helpful.
    • As pointed out by David Allen in Getting things Done, 7 Habits is an optimization methodology that is hard to execute on when dealing with many issues that are overwhelming you day to day.
    • Too many steps, many not needed for every situation.  It is hard to load onto your mental stage quickly and easily.
    • Not fast enough.  You cannot intellectualize every moment.  Chaos will punch you in the face if you cannot operate quickly enough.