Friday, February 16, 2024

The 8 Core Skills Needed To Survive Life

By Tim Gamble

Survival isn't something that just takes place in the wilderness or during an extreme emergency. Survival also takes place in everyday life. There are many specific kills that are useful for survival in particular circumstances, but in my opinion there are seven core skills that any true survivalist needs to master. These seven skills will be useful throughout life, not just in an emergency.

1 - Health and fitness is a skill because it is something that doesn't come naturally, especially in the modern world. Like any skill, it must be learned, and takes time and effort to develop. It can't be bought from Amazon and delivered to your front door the next day, like you could buy your food storage. Developing the skill of health and fitness requires work, sacrifice, and time. Perhaps that is why its still on many people's "to do" list, still waiting to be checked off when we finally get around to it. Well, its time to get around to developing this fundamental survival skill.

2 - Self-reliance is an attitude put into action, thereby becoming a skill. Like the skill of health and fitness, self-reliance doesn't come naturally for most people today (in fact, modern society is intentionally set up to discourage self-reliance). Self-reliance must be learned, and takes time and effort to develop. I've identified these key components to self-reliance:
  • Assume responsibility for your own life.
  • Take the blame for your own life.
  • Be informed.
  • Know where your going.
  • Make your own decisions.
  • Know where your going.
  • Learn skills.
  • Gain experience.
3-  Problem solving is a series of closely related skills, and flows out of our self-reliance. This means if we don't develop our self-reliance, we'll never become a good problem solver. Problem solving means 1) recognizing when a problem exists, 2) accepting the responsibility to solve the problem yourself, 3) analyzing the problem to understand what is really wrong and what needs to be done to fix it, and then 4) actually doing your part to fix the problem. Fixing the problem usually entails using previously developed skills and/or learning new skills (self-reliance).

4 - Situational Awareness is another skill that doesn't come naturally because modern civilization has made us accustomed to feeling relatively safe as we go about our day-to-day lives. We depend on the government, laws, and societal norms to keep us safe. We expect the police and other "authorities" to be only moments away, waiting to rush to our rescue should we need them. But this is largely an illusion. The world is a dangerous place, and situational awareness will help us to safely navigate it. 

Situational awareness is much more than just paying attention to what is going on around us, although that is an important starting point. It means paying attention, knowing what to look for, and especially knowing how to assess (make decisions about) your surroundings. The end goal of situational awareness is correct action.

5 - Self-Defense, as well as the tools used for self-defense, is an unalienable right, a Biblical concept, and guaranteed by the US Constitution. We have the absolute right to defend ourselves and others from unprovoked violence and aggression. But, to do so successfully, we must learn how. Self-defense, both in both its lethal and non-lethal forms, is an important core skill we must learn and develop. 

6 - Financial Management is a basic skill needed in our everyday lives, but it is one that is rarely taught and therefore is missing from most people's skill sets. A broad topic, financial management includes living within our means, controlling our impulses, being employable, goal setting, budgeting, avoiding and/or getting out of debt, developing an emergency fund, saving for retirement, saving for major expenses, and generally managing our money to best benefit us and our families. It doesn't just include dealing with money, but all forms of wealth, which could include our homes, land, businesses, food, and supplies.

7 - Soft Skills are often overlooked, but can be extremely important for survival. Soft skills are general skills that are often seen as part of our personality, and as such are typically self-learned without realizing it while we are growing up. Examples of soft skills include communication skills, team work, creativity, and getting along with others, but there are many others. Although typically learned while growing up, they can be developed as adults.

8 - Self-Discipline is the last, but possibly most important, core skill on this list. Self-discipline isn't the knowing of what-to-do, but rather is the ability to make ourself actually do what we know we should do. Too often we know what we need to do, but simply don't do it. We want instant gratification, feel entitled, are lazy, are intimidated by difficult tasks, don't want to sacrifice our good time in the moment, or just lack impulse control. Whatever the reason, we lack the willpower and the ability to control ourselves. Learning self-discipline, acquiring willpower, and developing self-control is crucial for successfully surviving life. 
Ad: The Air Force Survival Knife by 
Ontario Knife Company - A high-performance fixed-blade survival knife tested and proven by military, law enforcement, hunters and survivalists around the world. My personal favorite survival knife. 

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