“To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” Lao Tzu
Stop it! Now! It’ll only make you more stupid as a survivalist.
I use to look at all the preparedness blogs and books and turn green drooling over all the cool stuff these folks say I needed to survive an emergency, SHTF situation, or TEOTWASKI. I still slap myself on my green face from time to time. Maybe the hand prints are fading with time. Let’s hope so. I’d wake up at crazy hours of the night wondering how I’d get my family to safety if…fill-in-the-blank happened. I still envy some of my self-reliant heroes and heroine. It’s addictive. But I’ve come to realize that only makes me more stupid.
I’m no expert on anything. I’m a self-professed serial multitasker. I consider myself the stupidest survivalist on the planet. I’ve added lots of preparedness knowledge to my brain, but I have to balance my knowledge with wisdom. Taking away things like prepper envy adds wisdom. It’s so unwise to envy what many in the prepper community have in terms of gadgets, supplies, and tools. But I catch myself still doing it.
Here’s my 7 cures for prepper envy.
Prepper Envy Cure #1:
Be honest. Seems simple. The most useful, yet most neglected, item in my preparedness toolbox is honesty. I wish I was more honest with myself. I said I’m the stupidest survivalist on the planet. I really feel this way. This isn’t false humiliating, self-depreciation babble. This falls into the more I know, the less I know category.
Arrogance humbles. Last year I decided I needed to start working out with my BOB (Bug Out Bag). I consider myself to be in above average shape for my age (50). So I sling my 40 pound pack on my back and start my daily 4 mile walk with my Loving Wife. Into mile 2 I discovered I hadn’t been honest about two things: A) My fitness level; B) The amount of “needed” stuff in my BOB. Find out before the curtain goes up for the show if you’re ready. Be honest and adjust your lifestyle.
Every book I read reminds me to be honest about my abilities. Kevin Dunn’s Caveman Chemistry is one book that has me humbled and excited. I was never interested in chemistry in school. If all school textbooks were written like this, government schooled students might have a chance of learning. Dunn comes across as a mad scientist at times. I like him. Now I see my lack of knowledge and treat it as a challenge. Learn to be a producer. Your stuff/supplies will run out eventually.
Prepper Envy Cure #2:
Don’t worrying, be happy. Pollyanna notions about whorled peas is not what I’m talking about here. Worrying may be the biggest drain and waste of energy in the prepper community. FEAR! A friend gave me this advise in the early 90′s that has served me well since (when I do it): Be prayed up and laid back. At some point, we all have to get over ourselves and depend on a higher power. Mine happens to be God. This is by no means a He’ll take care of everything excuse not to prepare for our future. Prepare, but stop worrying about things you can’t control. Do what you can do, do all you can do, and let go of the rest.
What’s your biggest fear?
Prepper Envy Cure #3:
Hone your abilities. Coach John Wooden once said, “Ability is a poor man’s wealth.” You don’t have to be wealthy to be prepared. Skills trump gadgets. Again, I’m not advocating not stocking up on supplies. I’m saying practice your skills. Ability comes from experience and practice. Turn off the TV or computer (ONLY after you’ve finished my article) and get outside and practice bush crafting skills. Take a kid fishing/hunting. Walk your lawn and identify common weeds that might be useful for meds or food. You do have weeds in your yard right? I know exactly were to find plantain in my yard for the occasional tick bite or skin irritation. It’s an amazing wild weed!
Quit wishing you had the latest whatyacallit all the experts say you need. Time spent developing yourself helps dissolve prepper envy.
Prepper Envy Cure #4:
Avoid stupid mistakes. Avoid getting a personal “Darwin Award”. “That could have put your eye out,” Mama said. Why? Because we were shooting our BB guns at each other and she found out. It was obvious with the welt over my eye. I’d envy the ability to see if the BB had struck 2 inches lower.
We all make stupid mistakes. Prepper envy doesn’t have to be one of them.
Prepper Envy Cure #5:
Exercise mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I know I could have made these four Prepper Envy Cures #5-8, but I refuse to have “list envy” on top of prepper envy – (you’ve seen it, “The 39 Top Threats To Tyranny”, “7 Myths That Schools Teach as Real History”, “30 Canned Foods You Never Knew Existed“).
I touched on the physical aspect here. I’ll develop these four in a later post.
Prepper Envy Cure #6:
Fail forward. No regrets. I regret way too much. When I was five, I wanted to grow up to be the guy that rode on the back of the trash truck. It’s looked fun at the time. I don’t regret following that dream. I do regret wasting so much money, time, and energy on stuff that really doesn’t matter in the big scheme of life. I envy those with no regrets. See how it’s a vicious cycle.
Regrets waste energy and stop your preparedness momentum. Let the past go. In an earlier chapter of my life, I read a John Maxwell book or listened to one of cassette tapes (that dates it, huh?) and remember hearing the phrase “fail forward.” That stuck with me. I don’t always follow this wisdom, but it’s still truth. You’re reading this from an electric device because Thomas Edison was a “fail forward” man.
Regrets kills future ideas! I’ve never read any science on this, but it’s been proven in my life. The more I wallow in regret, the less creative I become.
Prepper Envy Cure #7:
Perfection is overrated. If you have OCD (Obsessive Compulsion Disorder), I feel for you. My mother-in-law has it. I don’t know how I passed the vetting to marry her daughter. Somehow she overlooked my many imperfect traits.
We’re bombarded with thousands of images daily promoting perfection – the perfect figure, job, car, drug, home, makeup, gun, knife, etc. Even in “education”, NCLB (No Child Left Behind) says we will achieve 100% passing rate on standardized testing for all students by 2014. Educrats are clueless! Resist the urge to envy perfect people. They’re photo shopped. Be yourself. That’s enough.
See Prepper Envy Cure #1: Be honest about your imperfections. It opens more doors and opportunities than the vinyl veneer of perfection. See, I told you I’m the stupidest survivalist on the planet.