It seems these days, that everywhere you look, there's a disaster either happening or waiting to happen. Pick a subject, throw a dart at a map, and you'll find something to put you into alarm mode. What's worse, is that it seems to come at you from every direction and most of it doesn't appear to bode well for the average person. It's times like these that cause the subject of survival to become center stage. Along those lines, if the current popularity of numerous survival shows and doomsday movies is any indication, chances are that you are not alone in feeling the ominous threat of looming disaster. Consequently, it might be easy to imagine our world changing drastically in the near future. Our environment can eventually begin to affect what we call "attitude". If left unchecked, our attitude will take on a life of it's own and reflect doom and gloom. If our story ends there, we are doing a great injustice to ourselves and those around us.
Attitude is one of the most important aspects of survival, bar none. It is often the most misunderstood subject on this planet. Being highly contagious, attitude is easily transferred like a common cold.....both good attitude and bad. Referred to by the military as "morale", attitude is the door that leads to success via the stairs of our preparation. With a superior attitude, the door is open and we can proceed with preparation and build a stairway to our success. If our attitude is lacking, the door is closed and proper utilization of our preparation is hindered to the degree of the attitude we carry. As a classic example, an attitude consisting of continual complaints, hinders us from searching for and creating solutions. In addition, a bad attitude is highly contagious and energy robbing bickering can result....just for starters.
That being said, it's imperative to remember that attitude is only the door, not the stairway to success. Attitude does not replace the effort required for proper training and preparation. As an example of a commonly prevalent attitude, it seems that everybody is a "tough guy" today, though the truth is far from it. Many of the "tough guys", be they men or women, only think they know how to fight. Still, lots of folks walk around with the attitude that they can't be beaten. Though such an attitude is one where the wearer believes themselves to be superior to those around, it is not a superior attitude. On the contrary, any attitude not based upon continual and consistent experience is an inferior one. To add to the equation, since expertise is not transferable, a person who has vast experience in one area that allows that attitude to carry into another area of less or even zero experience, also carries an inferior attitude. We see examples of inferior attitude in every facet of life, too. Whether it's in the office, on the dance floor, at the gym or even driving a car. Everybody has an attitude. The vast majority of attitudes, though, are inferior. Attitude, whether superior or inferior, is taken with us wherever we go.
So what can it hurt? As long as a person with an inferior attitude is never put to the test, probably nothing more than appearing as a "poser" to folks with more experience. Such posers use their attitude to soak up the gravy of a desired reputation (among less experienced folks), though never having put in their time cleaning the pots after long days of cooking in the heat of the kitchen. That's all well and good for them....until it's go-time. Then you will see the excuses. You will see the no-shows and the vacancies. But once they're knee deep in a survival situation, it will be too late for them, or worse, for anyone who has believed in them and is now in a position of reliance upon them. So for those who think their inferior attitudes are working, because they believe they've already achieved some imagined level, stick with it. Just remember, when it comes to a matter of survival, whether a physical confrontation, feeding your stomach, finding shelter, you name it, once the attitude is put to the test, the winner takes all.
For those who desire to develop a superior attitude, the first step is to define it. Let's look at superior attitude v.s. inferior attitude like we would at "asset" and "liability". Once you learn to cut through the myth and confusion, building your stairway to success becomes clear and it simply becomes a matter of effort. What keeps most folks from reaching any level of success is the confusion regarding clear definitions. For example; A banker or a lawyer would refer to your house as your "greatest asset". The truth is, that you house is their greatest asset. For by definition, an asset puts money into your pocket and a liability takes money out. The banker makes tons of interest, and if you default on your mortgage, the bank re-sells your home....you lose everything you paid into it. The lawyer does all the legal work and gets paid for it. Every time that same home is re-sold, the same players profit.
You, on the other hand, pay at least 3 times the purchase price of the home in interest over the life of the mortgage. You have to maintain the house which negatively affects your time and your wallet. Even if you pay off your home, you can lose it in back property taxes. Let's not mention someone suing you for slipping and falling on your sidewalk, that is not yours even though you have to maintain it. In short, a house is a liability for the homeowner and an asset to the bank, the legal community and the political community. Once you begin to view things according to the definition that an asset puts money in your pocket and a liability takes money out of your pocket, you can begin to plug up the money leaks. For in the end, it's not how much you make, but how much you keep that defines wealth.
Using that example, a superior attitude is one that adds to your chance of success and an inferior attitude is one that decreases your chance of success. Applying that definition to any aspect of our lives can reveal things that need more attention. But we would also do well to remember that survival is often about endurance. Though folks can survival a given situation for a while, only those who endure to the end are survivors. Just like the amount of money you keep in the end defines wealth, so does the amount of life left in the body define survival. Once we've come to this understanding, the next step is to find out if there's a common thread in real life survivors. Are you surprised to find that there is? Would you be more surprised to know that it wasn't training, ethnic background or social status? It's superior attitude.
Of those who have survived prolonged situations, those who had hope, lived. Those who had no hope, or had lost hope, died. But what was their hope? For some, God. For others, the hope to see their family again. For others, the simple will to live. What does this tell us? It tells us that "good" can be stored in our minds and can carry us through unimaginable situations, just like fat can be stored in our bodies for times when food is not readily available. Sometimes, all we need in a given situation is a little more "hang time".
Just as a little more sleep can give you that freshness you need before game time and a little extra food the night before can give you that extra energy for your journey, quality time spent with family, friends and loved ones on a consistent basis can also give you an added edge against the odds. Experience, training, preparation, discipline, and a host of other attributes can give you the necessary physical tools as well as help to build a superior attitude. But all that is for nothing when a person, after a prolonged situation begins to ask themselves, "what's the point?" Between workouts, training and preparation, don't forget to give yourself "a point". Take a vacation for a couple hours and build up the lives of those around you. Make a consistent habit of building your friendships and family relationships along the way. In so doing, you're building up your own superior attitude. You never know when you're going to need it. Besides building the mental health of all involved, it can give you a refreshed grasp on perspective in the face of constant apparent doom and gloom.
Superior attitude; Like any necessary component of survival, when you need it most, it's better to be looking at it, than for it.