By Lisa Bedford, The Survival Mom
In 1989, Stephen Covey published his timeless book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and launched not only a “7 Habits” empire, but changed countless lives. I was reviewing his list of habits and was struck by how many of them directly apply to preparedness and survival, from everyday emergencies to worst case scenarios. Here are 6 of Covey’s habits and how they can make you more effective.
- Be Proactive
I wish we had all the time in the world to prepare, but even small emergencies catch most people unaware. Even fewer people are ready for the truly big crises that life has to offer.
It’s not enough to just know about impending catastrophes, such as a worldwide depression or the possibility of an EMP, and neither is it enough to spend hours researching survival topics. If you and your family are to survive and thrive well beyond any crisis, it requires being proactive right now, today.
- Begin With the End in Mind
What do you want your family and home to look like following a major catastrophe? Do you want to have enough food, water, medicines, and supplies to last at least six months? A year? Do you want to have cash, gold, and silver cached in case of a banking collapse? Do you want to be strong, healthy, and fit, able to do plenty of physical labor and take care of the family? Do you want your home to be the one in the neighborhood that survives because it is surrounded by sandbags that protect it from flood waters?
Develop an actual picture in your mind of what your optimal survival scenario will look like. Then set goals in order to achieve it. Being unfocused on something this important is taking a gamble on something where every day counts.
- Put First Things First
The basics of survival are water, food, shelter, and warmth. Wherever you live right now is where you must begin. That off-the-grid survival retreat may or may not become a reality (and may or may not be desirable – but that’s the subject of a different email), so don’t put off becoming as prepared as you possibly can be right were you are today. Fully cover the basics first.
- Think Win-Win
Too often survival minded people circle the wagons and include only their immediate family and, maybe, their very closest friends. But history has shown repeatedly that it’s groups of people who do best when it comes to survival. Neighborhoods and towns who band together following a tornado, for example, recover more quickly than someone trying to do everything on his or her own.
Look for ways to connect with others in your survival plans. No, you shouldn’t tell anyone everything, but sharing ideas, strategies and being supportive of others will increase the chances of your own survival, and that’s smart. If the people surrounding you also have plans and supplies for survival, it’s a win-win for everyone.
- Seek First to Understand, and Then be Understood
Not everyone has the same level of concern for survival as you. Some relatives and friends may even seem hostile when you mention food storage and being prepared for emergencies / disaster. Normalcy bias is such a nicer place to live than Awareness!
There are many reasons why people are oblivious to impending dangers from health issues to hurricanes. Rather than try to force someone to change their mind, spend time listening and asking questions. You may discover that the reason they don’t want to hear about preparedness is because they are frozen with fear and your lectures force them even further into a fear-filled corner.
- Sharpen the Saw
It takes far more effort to cut down a tree with a dull saw than a sharp one. You’ll be able to set clearer goals, stay focused, and accomplish more when you take care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Always remember that you are a pivotal factor in the survival of your loved ones. When you don’t take care of yourself, they become more vulnerable. Find time to decompress, as my husband says. Read a book just for entertainment, pray, get into a regular exercise routine, do some of the things you know you should do, but don’t!
Until next time, prepare more and panic less!
About Lisa Bedford: The Survival Mom blog launched on June 1, 2009, and is now read by hundreds of thousands of visitors each month from around the world.