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Survivalist Attitude

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posted on Nov, 1 2006 @ 12:23 PM
There is one thing that is above all else when it comes to Survival, in any situation. Your Attitude, the wrong attitude will kill you the right one can win the day. A friend of mine wrote a paper in college about it and I'm posting it here with is permission. Its quite a long article so it will take up two post I apologize in advance for the length but I don't have FTP on this PC so I cant upload it to a different site but its important it remain as one article. Hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to comment Share with every body how you keep your mind on the right track and focused for survival in every day life and emergency situations.

Survival Attitude

A mental position with regard to a fact or state
A feeling or emotion toward a fact or state
A position assumed for a specific purpose
An organismic state of readiness to respond in a characteristic way to a stimulus (as an object, concept, or situation) (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

The saying that “necessity is the mother of invention” is fairly well known, it can be truest when confronted with an unexpected survival situation. Man has the potential to overcome many challenges, beat incredible odds, and come out a survivor. Survival is the art of surviving through any situation. To survive means the continuation of life or existence; to live. Survival is taking any given circumstance, accepting it, and trying to improve it, while sustaining your life until you can get out of the situation. And most importantly, survival is a state of mind, an attitude.

Your brain is your most valuable asset in a survival situation. It isn’t always the physically strong who are the most effective or better at handling fear in an emergency. Survival more often depends on the individual’s reactions to stress than upon the danger, or nature of the emergency. To adapt is to live. The ability to think and adapt is much more important than physical skills in survival situations. A person’s reaction to survival situations can often make them unable or unwilling to utilize their available resources. You most likely won’t use your physical skills if you don’t have a positive attitude.
Attitude is most certainly the most important ingredient of survival. With the proper attitude almost anything is possible. To make it through, a strong will or determination to live is needed. The mind has the power to will the body to extraordinary feats. Records have shown that will alone has often been the major factor for surviving emergencies. Without the will to live survival is impossible. Survival is possible in most situations but attitude and imagination are critical (some knowledge is also helpful). People can be very brave and resourceful in emergency situations. The mind is a very powerful force. It has control of the body, its actions, and its reasoning. What affects you mentally affects you physically. If you think that you can’t survive, then you won’t try to survive. A commitment or goal to live, refusal to give up, and positive mental attitude greatly increase your chances for survival.
When placed in an unexpected survival situation you will be forced to rely upon your own resources; improvising and solving problems for yourself. If you want to survive then you must ultimately decide to take care of yourself and not count on others to help you. You must continually work towards the goal of survival. Never give up the will to live, without the will to live those in an emergency survival situation will likely give up and die.
While in a survival situation you will be confronted with many problems. Your mind will be your best asset but it could also be your worst enemy. You will have to face negative thoughts and also master your fears. You will need to shift mental processes and adopt a “can do attitude”. You will need to be creative and use your ability to improvise to adapt to the situation. Work with nature instead of against it. It is important to consider your safety at all times. If you analyze what you need it will be easier to survive against known enemies than if you are fighting something unknown. Loneliness, fatigue, pain, weather conditions, hunger, thirst, and fear are your major enemies in any survival situation.
Always remember to keep a positive mental attitude. Don’t fall into the trap of self-pity or hopelessness. Remember what is important to you in your life and don’t let the image fade. Most people have experienced loneliness, fatigue, pain, bad weather conditions, hunger, thirst, and fear before, but have not had to face them all at once Any one of them can diminish your self-confidence and reduce your desire to live. All of these are normal but are more severe and dangerous in survival situations. By learning to identify them you will be able to control them instead of letting them control you.


mod edit: edited title due to creation of new forum

[edit on 12-12-2006 by UK Wizard]

Added link and tags as requested

[edit on 15/6/10 by masqua]

posted on Nov, 1 2006 @ 12:25 PM
Hunger and thirst can really depress your positive mental attitude. Find water. Food can wait. A person can survive for weeks without food but only a few days without water. Conserve your energy. You will be better off resting than wandering around aimlessly looking for food. If you can find food easily then go for it. You may be surprised at what you can eat that you would normally not think of as food, once you get beyond the idea that you cannot eat certain things.
Keeping a positive mental attitude is the most important aspect of survival. While in a survival situation you will practice self-reliance. You will only be able to depend on yourself and your abilities. You will have to overcome any challenges that you are faced with. Modern society has conditioned us to expect instant relief from discomforts such as darkness, hunger, pain, thirst, boredom, cold, and heat. Adapt and survive, in most cases it is only a temporary situation. Observe the resources around you. Analyze your situation and plan a course of action only after considering all of the aspects of your predicament. Be sure to keep calm and collected. It is important to make the right decision at all times. Never give up. Prepare for the worst but hope for the best. Think and survive.

posted on Nov, 6 2006 @ 10:22 AM
I see encounter people with defeatists attitudes all the time. I can't stand them. "If some event happens, I would rather die right away than struggle to survive". Was this how it was during the cold war when the US and the USSR were poised to nuke the planet into rubble? How can so many people today be so utterly ready to roll over and die at the threat of a terrorist dirtybomb? I mean, come on.

posted on Nov, 6 2006 @ 02:39 PM
Max Brooks introduced two terms that, despite the fact his book was a work of fiction, fit this subject rather well. Asymptomatic Demise Syndrome (ADS) and Quislings (which is actually already a word, but Brooks found a new use for it), both of which I believe would be found during Situation X.

Quislings - Quite literally, a traitor, but more to the point, someone who has the psychological bent to become that which conquers them. For those who watched the series Firefly, the surviver of the Reaver attack was a quisling. A quisling is so mentally traumatized and unprepared for what they perceive as their conquerer that they emulate it to the fullest possible extent. An historic real-life example would be those conquered peoples who became rather enthusiastic members of the Nazi party during WWII.

Asymptomatic Demise Syndrome - When someone dies with no apparent physical cause. Sometimes known as "died of a broken heart", the body just goes to sleep one night and never wakes up. This happens during crisis situations where the victim has simply "given up". Perhaps they believe the situation will never improve, or will improve too slowly for them to care. It is something of a mind-over matter suicide.

A few other problems one may have to content with...

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - When the mind has been under so much stress, and experienced so many crises, that it has a lasting harmful effect to the point it will not self-heal.

Pack Mentality - When in Rome, do as the Romans do. As much as sheeple may disgust certain members, the Pack Mentality is a very deeply ingrained biological response. Never underestimate the appeal of numbers over reason.

Ferals - If Situation X continues for long enough, an entire generation or more of people isolated from the civilized world may revert to feral instincts. Contrary to popular belief, it is nearly impossible to integrate or re-integrate such people back into society.

posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 11:05 AM
"The ability to think and adapt is much more important than physical skills in survival situations."

eeerr i have a problem with that bit.... I'd rather have a SAS /SBS / Ranger/ Para on team than einstein. Sure einstein could think and adapt, but if he knew frig all about the techniques and physical skills for survival he would be about as much use as a chocolate tea pot at brew up time.

Oh sure, bet he could come up with some fancy theories of survival but the actuality of the situation requires some skills.

Cheers for posting though, appreciated.

posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 12:32 PM
Good thread. The mind is arguably the most important tool in a survival situation. Knowing what to do and having the will to do it will keep you alive as surely as any fancy toy or a stockpile of food.

People often seem to neglect this aspect of preparation and focus on goods, or technical training. I'm not saying those things aren't necessary, but it's a fact that all the toys in the world, and a heap of technical training in hunting, fishing, trapping, etc., won't save your life if you can't overcome the crushing depression and hopelessness that being in a survival situation can spawn.

Also, something that's very important is learning how to deal with pain, and understand its purpose. Pain serves a valuable purpose, but it's not the last word. Depending on the situation, it can be advantageous to suffer more pain and cover a bit of extra distance, or finish erecting a shelter, or what-have-you.

Pain is telling you that there is an injury present, and you're making it worse. Just signals sent to your brain by your body, updating you on the status of various organs and systems.

Depending on the sort of pain/injury, it might be wise to address it before doing anything else. But if your life depends on it, you have to understand that pain is a signal that can be ignored. I think of paiin like the little lights on the dashboard of your car. If the situation necessitates, you can keep driving. But you have to be conscious of the situation, and those little lights can keep you up to date.

The pain is a message. Depending on the sort of message, it can be ignored entirely, taken into consideration and weighed against other factors, or immediately dealt with. It's hard to do, but you need to use your logical mind and your knowledge to analyze these messages, giving priority to the ones that could slow you down too much, or stop you entirely (if you're on the run), and discounting the messages that are simply plaintive.

Some people simply can't deal with pain, and that's a liability. I'd rather suffer than die, in most scenarios. I think that's the quintessential survivalist mentality, at its core.

posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 01:54 PM
you hit the nail on the head. Suffering is miles miles better than dying unless it really, really is your time to go!

I've been on exercises where an NCO has had a broken leg, and just trooped on through it, as it was better to complete and pass out than to limp off, even with such an injury (he completed a full 7 days on it, including an ice climb)

Me, dying isn't an option if i even have a 1 in a million chance of living, im going for the living.

Thats what survivalists are - we chase life, grab its tail, and hang on in there for the ride of a life time.

posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 02:19 PM
It is a good idea to make sure you have good multi-vitamins in with your supply of canned & dried food. You can be well-fed, but still experience mood depressions from lack of vitamins if the food has been stored or processed too much.

Also, it is a good idea to notice edible wild plants in your area and use them as part of normal cooking so that you become habituated to their flavors and do not experience them as "hardship" foods when you are forced to rely more heavily on them.

It is a good idea to minimize use of air-conditioning and heat, because people who do not experience temperature change can actually lose the ability of their bodies to self-regulate.

These may seem trivial to the experienced survivalist, but every "tough" survivalist is going to become a resource for softer, weaker people in a crisis, and so these tips are good for the less experienced to begin to help themselves.

posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 04:08 PM
you will find that we share and share some more any and all advice we can give to those who may need it.

This forums going to be a great place for those who have a skill to pass it along, and those who have a need can come in and pick stuff up.

Survival tip no. 1. be prepared.

Corny? may be... true? indeed it is.


posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 07:01 PM
One thing you have to think about is sacrifice, yes If you are willing to do anything to survive on your own its Ok but if you are confrented with your survival or your wife, kid, friend relative leader...whatever, a careful mental path should be considered a priory because when push comes to shove you make the wrong choices due to "attachments" its a requierement that this IS though before and not after...

I live in Mexico city,,, always on th e brink of a major earthquake and in a valley with 33 dormant volcano and with 60 miles of a huge 5600 meter volcano that is ACTIVE... people think I am nuts when I tell them I have planed my escape within 35 minutes out the city via secondary roads with essentials, bicicles (we would ditch the Van after fuel is exhausted)...some basic medicines, food, water, radios solar chargers...very basic, light, since the plan is SURVIVAL....

Be prepared for the unexpected

posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 07:25 PM
Excellent topic!

In talking about "surviving" with friends and even my own kid, I detect a certain apathy and it makes me worry quite frankly. In the end I guess it boils down to relying on no one but myself.

My daughter @ 18 seems to think that I'll always be there to tend to her. Ah youth...and friends seem to take the attitude that A) nothing will ever happen or B) I'll worry about it if it does and not until then.

I've told them that not if but when an emergency happens...I'll have only enough supplies and energy to tend to my own. Is this tough love? LMAO...I'm not a cruel person, but you know what...we all need to take responsibility and if one is prepared when another isn't there's only so much that can be done.

Case in point. Vancouver had a near three week boil water advisory. No biggy right? WRONG. My friends who have babies were totally unprepared. Even to boil was such hardship! OMG...and these are my backups for my kid if anything happens to me???

Any plan is only as good as those who are expected to carry it out. Keeping myself in a prepared state...not a paranoid state is part of the battle with attitude. Knowing that this is an earthquake zone, flood zone etc etc...not falling into the "won't happen" mentality...that's the real big difference.

Trusting in ones abilities is another. Trust in others will likely go out the window with a major if you can't trust your own instinct and knowledge you're in for a heck of rough time.

I know i can manage if and when something happens. I also know that my kid wouldn't if I wasn't there...that's a scary thought. Regardless of instructions and preparations...if i weren't here for some reason to guide my adult child...she doesn't have the "fight" mentality.

Anyone else consider this as a challenge? What if the ones that you love just can't manage or cope? How much pressure will be placed on you to keep it all together?

LOL I keep saying I'm going to get a hold of some tranquilizers for my kid in the event that there's a situation X in the near future...otherwise I'll end up strangling her

posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 10:42 PM
Another element of the survivalist attitude that should be mentioned is the way we think of food.

In Western society, with the exception of the destitute, we eat food we like, and we eat when we're not hungry. Many times we pass up perfectly good food, even if we're hungry, simply because it's not something we want.

In a survival situation, you have to eat what's available, when it's available. Sometimes it tastes awful, sometimes it's dirty, or cold, or slimy. You need the energy from the food in order to survive, so it's a matter of will, getting past the taste, the smell, moral objections (in the case of vegetarians/vegans), whatever.

There's also appetite fatigue to consider. It doesn't matter if you've got twenty tons of beans and rice buried in the backyard, if you can't choke it down after the third helping, it does you no good.

There are two solutions to appetite fatigue (that I know of, at least). One is to store a variety of foods you like (not just what's cheap, what lasts the longest, etc.), and another is to eat the food you store as part of your normal routine.

If eating does become a chore, do your chores!

I've heard of appetite fatigue leading as far as nausea, but I think that's probably in rare cases. I've been eating loads of peanut butter rice and beans, saltines and tuna fish my whole life, so I seriously doubt if my stockpile will stop tasting good just because the fit is hitting the shan outside. So, if you stockpile foods you normally eat, it should never be an issue.

But if it does become an issue, remember that you need to eat to live. Even if becomes downright unpleasant, it's something that needs to be done if you expect to live.

posted on Dec, 13 2006 @ 03:40 AM
The biggest concern for me in a survival situation is my boys - husband and both sons have ADHD. Without medication their ability to concentrate and focus is severely diminished, and stockpiling medication is out of the question, no doctor is going to prescribe large amounts of class A drugs!

Husband would probably be OK, other than his tendency off medication to act impulsively without consulting others.

Son No 1 (21) has no practical skills whatsoever and would be as much use as a fart in a colinder.

Son No 2 (13) is highly intelligent and practical as well, so as long as he could keep it together mentally he'd probably be OK.

Thank goodness I have girls as well to help out. Daughter No 1 is 22 and a nurse, also a medic in the TA, and she's a tough cookie, used to crawling through the forest and then digging a trench to sleep in. Only problem she's 200 miles away, so I need a plan to get her back to the fold!

No 2 daughter is 11, flighty, scatty and suffering from raging hormones!


I'm used to dealing with the ADHD when the tablets wear off in the evening, but that normally involves keeping them away from each other - not ideal if you're in a confined space.

Anyone got any ideas that could help?

posted on Dec, 13 2006 @ 05:06 AM
The family unit attitude...I only have one to worry about!!!

Decide with your hubby who will lead. That'd be step one. Enforce it in an emergency no ifs and or buts.

I think most kids, even the grown and relatively independent ones will obey and follow guidelines if agreed upon before hand and if once trouble hits, are delivered confidently.

I have faith that a woman with 3 guys all ADHD around her, can definitely kick some arse and keep a family unit in tow

My daughter is a wild one at times and although her survival instinct may not be as defined...I trust that she will fall into line in the event of an emergency with little or no fuss. Best thing is to discuss it with the family...feel it out.

In an emergency people will turn to whoever makes the most sense, and is the most confident. Most people

posted on Dec, 13 2006 @ 07:19 AM
Several good points have been made regarding eating the native foods that can be harvested from the land. One more point should be made: start to get accustomed to eating them now, as opposed to a situation where they all of a sudden have to substitue for a Big Mac or whatever you normally have for dinner. It will be less of a shock on your body, and probably save you from a raging case of diarrhea or worse.


posted on Dec, 13 2006 @ 12:03 PM
This last one is very VERY important. and ALSO consider eating not very clean ffod so your digestive tract is more accustomed to foreign bugs and knows how to fight them, its no use to suvive and have a perfect plan just to die from stomacal related diseases....

I remember one guy here in MEXICO THAT REFUSED to eat cooked worms in a tortilla, when everyone told him they tasted like dry doritos... You should lear out to "prepare" any kind of foods, to identify proper eatable plants and EAT THEM... you have the luxury of hospitals NOW, later...who knows...

posted on Jun, 24 2007 @ 02:07 PM
With All the new members coming daily to the ATS survival forums I thought I would kinda go thru some of the old stuff and maybe bring it to there attention.

posted on Jun, 24 2007 @ 03:16 PM
Developing the 'Survivalist Mentality' can benefit the rest of your daily life, not just the anticipated X-factor.

This attitude was brought home to me when I met a friend of my parents' a couple of years ago and he told me his potted-lifestory over a bottle of wine after the meal..

He came from Pakistan to England to study at the university and had virtually no money to live on having used all he had to come here, what little student support he was entitled to, half was sent home to Pakistan to help support his family as he was the eldest son and a bread-winner for the family group.

He lived in the cheapest pokiest student house in the smallest room, washed his clothes by hand in the bath rather than spend money he couldn't afford at a laundromat, and lived the rest of his time in the library as it was the only warm place to go during winter, even taking to sleeping there at times.

As he could barely afford to eat and wasn't able to earn enough to provide for food as well as rent and other study expenses, he would wait until his wealthier flatmates had gone to bed drunk and stuffed with pizza and takeaway, and rummage through the bins for left-over food...anything he could find that would keep him fed and able to study was eaten.

After he graduated, he went on to start his own business and the same attitude and 'never quit' tenacity enabled him to build his business to the point that at the time I was having this discussion with him, he was worth £3-4 million, but his life experience during the dark days had taught him to be self-resilient and resourceful..I'd never have guessed the guy was worth so much, as he didn't wear his success on his sleeve, or display status symbols, but he told me that his money meant little to him, as the experiences during his years of total hardship forged a mind-set that life and especially education is worth more than any riches.

posted on Jun, 24 2007 @ 09:57 PM
Thanks for sharing that story. thats exactly the mind set every body needs. There is more to survival then just waiting til SHTF.
The hard stuff is the every day survival. Not the am I gonna make it til tomorrow. its the how can I make it threw the next hour.

posted on Jun, 24 2007 @ 11:56 PM
You gotta be one tough SOB to survive in the wilderness. It takes a certain mentality. I don't think it is in everyone, even with a guide.

It is the will to survive, to "conquer" more or less.

One must be able to hike for extensive periods of time to understand the feeling (or be an athlete, soldier, that sort of occupation).

There are probably many of us on ATS.

Good hunting.

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