Andes Plane Crash 1972

Andes Plane Crash 1972

Andes Plane Crash 1972

Andes Plane Crash 1972

Mindset is the single most important factor in survival. If you are looking for a way to escape, to pull through, to make it, and even to thrive, you stand a far greater chance of finding what you’re looking for. If you’re not looking, you may not even see possible advantages that are often decisive factors.

Ben Sherwood, author of the recent book The Survivors Club, documents this well through many instances of people surviving horrendous and life-altering tragedies. Stories of survival during 9/11 and Katrina, of the fateful 1996 Everest climb (Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer), the 1972 Andes plane crash involving members of a rugby team, Aaron Ralston surviving a rock-climbing adventure by having to amputate his right arm (Between a Rock and a Hard Place [book] and 127 Hours [film])-the list goes on and on, and the single thread connecting them all is MINDSET. In addition, studies have shown that this is true in many other arenas of life too-enjoying successful relationships, building business, living a long and happy life. Much of the advice we like to hear from people who reach 100 is about mindset.

Andes Plane Crash 1972

Andes Plane Crash 1972

Andes Plane Crash 1972

And while a major change in mindset is difficult and can take years or decades, it can occur in an instant through an earthquake shift in perception-”in a heartbeat” as one teacher says- or hours or days when we are thrown into a life-or-death situation, or one where we realize the outcome could have been fatal or seriously debilitating. (I had this happen just last week, exactly one week before my 59th birthday, when I fell off a 10-foot ladder and landed flat on my back-not seriously hurt, just sore and shaken up-but the outcome could have been much worse. We have no health insurance, and our lifestyle depends almost solely on income provided through my electrical contracting business, so death or serious injury would have had major repercussions.)

Andes Plane Crash 1972

Andes Plane Crash 1972

Andes Plane Crash 1972

So what are some key factors that have been found to matter?

1) BELIEF. Call it hope, faith, or whatever, our belief system is a primary determining factor. Jim Collins analyzes this well in his book Good to Great in his interview with Admiral Stockdale and the resulting term “Stockdale paradox”-the ability to maintain faith that you will prevail while confronting the brutal facts of the reality currently facing you. Victor Frankl says something similar in the classic Man’s Search for Meaning, based on his experiences in Hitler’s concentration camps.

2) GOALS. Having a vision of something worth living for, something worth dying for, something worth struggling through for-these create purpose, meaning, and hope in us. We overcome best when we see a future we want, a possibility that things might be better, that our struggles are not in vain. For Aaron Ralston, the turning point came when he had a vision of a one-armed man holding a small child-a vision that came true over 7 years later in his own life.

Andes Plane Crash 1972

Andes Plane Crash 1972

Andes Plane Crash 1972

3) LETTING GO. Call it forgiveness, the ability to get past the past, or whatever, focus on what cannot now be changed can be fatal. We have to let go of pain, of mistakes, of lost opportunities, of wrongs done to us, of wrongs we have done. Medical studies prove that such holding on wrecks up our bodies, and we know it deep in our spirits first-hand. Being able to learn to let go at the right moments can be life-saving and amazingly energizing.

4) PURPOSE. This is related to BELIEF and GOALS, but is a broader underlying mindset, often developed as part of our worldview. If we view life as fatalistic, we fail to develop purpose because we see outcomes as unalterable and unavoidable. PURPOSE is the canvas on which we paint with the brush of BELIEF and the paint of GOALS. We want to make our lives into a living portrait, a landscape of what we desire, a masterpiece that endures and is remembered lovingly. Bill Strickland does a masterful job of doing this in his story, Make the Impossible Possible, where he compares life to jazz and analyzes what it means to have “swing.” PURPOSE becomes the overlay of our life, the “Big Picture,” developed over a lifetime.

Andes Plane Crash 1972

Andes Plane Crash 1972

Andes Plane Crash 1972

5) RESISTANCE. Resistance is crucial both as a force against us and a learned skill for survival. “Resistance training” uses opposition, called resistance, to strengthen muscles and skeleton. We need resistance to maximize our potential; the greatest feats, the most admirable human accomplishments, come in the face of the greatest opposition. The term “resistance” or “resistance movement” describes the forces opposing wartime invasion. In order to survive and thrive, we too need to learn to resist things that invade our lives and sap our strength. It has been said, “The easiest way to say NO is to have a GREATER YES”-i.e., GOALS and PURPOSE. We need to learn resistance as a principle regularly so that when we are suddenly in a crisis, we are able to make decisions with clarity and integrity to our principles.

Andes Plane Crash 1972

Andes Plane Crash 1972

Andes Plane Crash 1972

6) RESILIENCE. Chris Martenson points this out as one of the keys to surviving coming crunches or crashes: “The point of personal (and community) preparedness can be summed up in one single word: resilience. We are more resilient when we have multiple sources and systems to supply…when we have a strong local community…when we are in control of how our needs are met…” etc. He recommends setting realistic goals of being 3-10% self-sufficient in various areas, since it is impossible for any of us to ever be totally 100% self-sufficient, and points out that the difference between being totally unprepared and being 10% prepared is huge-and potentially life-saving.

7) PERSISTENCE. Persistence wins the day. Combining the above factors over the long haul is called “persistence.” Andy Andrews, in his marvelous novel/motivational book The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success, lists this as the seventh. The picture he paints illustrates the importance of this principle most poignantly: The angel Gabriel takes the main character David Ponder through the warehouses of heaven, showing him all the gifts, medical cures, miracles, inventions, writings, etc. that either have yet to be brought to earth, or never will. The key determiner is persistence, and the catch-phrase for motivation becomes “I will persist without exception.”

Andes Plane Crash 1972

Andes Plane Crash 1972

Andes Plane Crash 1972

We could possibly add other terms-ATTITUDE, PHILOSOPHY, WORLDVIEW. Some will be reasonably synonymous with some of the above; there will be overlap. Make your own list, or select from the above. The key point, though, is ACTION, and ACTION comes through AWARENESS: Until you realize the need, you will not begin to consciously begin to work on it. PREPAREDNESS IS A MINDSET, and it begins with you. Only you can make it work, from the inside out. Don’t waste what could easily be, in the coming crises-or in your daily life, the most valuable resource you could ever possess.

By Ken Stewart Jr
Article Source: ezinearticles.com