"All of life is a low-intensity survival challenge, and a survival emergency is just a high-intensity life challenge."

While panicking at every slight sign of trouble is certainly unhealthy, it is far more dangerous to ignore clear signs of potential hazard without further consideration. Remember, we are all the descendants of people who heard the rustling in the bushes and ran like hell. The ones who shrugged and said, “It’s probably nothing,” didn’t have descendants.

Survivors are people who quickly move through the stages of denial and deliberation to decisions and actions. Accepting the possibility or probability that a bad thing may happen to you is essential. The military calls this process OODA: observe, orient, decide, act. Anticipation based on the presumption that if it can happen it will happen and that if it has happened to others it can happen to you motivates actions to avoid, prevent, and, if necessary, survive a disastrous event.

The sooner you get out of the denial mode, the more time you have for deliberation. Indecisive people generally do not survive threatening situations unless they are just lucky.


Total Survival by James C.Jones