The 2% Solution to Prepper Paralysis

by Todd Walker

Stuck in a paralyzing paradigm? Want to improve your skills but feeling overwhelmed?

If so, 2% is your solution.

The 2% Solution to Prepper Paralysis

Your preparedness equation

The American Heritage Dictionary defines paradigm as…

“A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them”

Paradigm and mindset are closely related. The emphasis on paradigm is geared towards our preparedness community. Mindset, for our purposes, will focus on the individual.

According to the Oxford American Dictionary, mindset is…

“an established set of attitudes held by someone”

Many believe mindset determines actions. Hipster life-coach gurus tell you to get your mind right before tackling a new skill, shedding pounds, or reaching goals. Your body follows your head.

This theory may sell books, but will it work in the real world?

Too often people believe they have to get mentally ready to start doing the stuff. A common result of information overload is prepper paralysis – drowning in a sea of knowledge.

It’s not complete gobbledygook that our thoughts determine our actions. However, I have found that my actions determine my mindset – for good or bad.

The act of doing a new skill or honing an existing one builds confidence in your ability. This cycle creates a circle, if you will, with no beginning or end. However, your circle remains broken until you take the first step… Action! Thoughts won’t get the job done.

Think of it this way…

The 2% Solution to Prepper Paralysis

Left: Closed – Right: Open  

Image source

Action (Doing the Stuff) is the light switch in an electrical circuit above. Flip the switch “On” and your circuit is closed or completed allowing electrical energy to flow to its target. Turn it “Off” and your circuit is open or incomplete. The energy is there but can’t bridge the open gap without action.

This should be applied to your preps – and life in general. And the good news is that it only takes 2% more time, energy, and resources to give you a slight edge.

Overrated Moments

There’s a dangerous mindset that new preppers embrace. This kind of thinking will sink you before you start. You have to have X amount of beans, bullets, and Band-Aids to be prepared. Once you’ve reached that defining moment, you’re prepared… for anything.


Any veteran will tell you that preparedness is a journey, a marathon of skills, not a sprint to some illusive summit. Preparedness is a culmination of the tiny things over time.

Meaningful improvements happen with consistent, minimal changes. Don’t fall into the trap of large visible events.

The 2% Solution

The beauty of this mindset is that you only need an extra 2%. That may not seem like much, but over time it has a huge impact. This is why I say a daily process is more important than setting lofty goals.

In our Doing the Stuff Network, everyday people are challenging themselves to learn a minimum of one new skill this year. This is what we’re learning…

Our skills and abilities are not fixed… unless we decide they are.

Use 2% of Your Time and Energy

You’re life doesn’t have to come to a complete stop to learn how to safely pressure can your harvest or start a friction fire. Simply start giving 2% of your time to learn the basics. That translates to 30 minutes in a 24 hour day to learn a new skill. Take a Doing the Stuff lunch break.

When I coached football in the 80’s, I never understood why we asked our players to give 110%. Not a realistic goal. That’s when I began to understand the 2% Solution. I only asked my players to give 2% more than the guy they were competing against in practice or the player across the line of scrimmage in a game.

This was a mindset teenage jocks could understand and employ. They pushed themselves an extra 2% in fundamental drills, conditioning, strength training, and nutrition. Doing this stuff over the course of two seasons led to small gains over time which helped land us in the state playoffs after a years of losing seasons.

You can find 30 minutes a day to work on your skills, right? Set boundaries on common time sinks. Social media sites are one of the worst offenders. I mean how many cute cat videos are really necessary!?

Set a timer to budget the amount of time you’re willing to spend on Facebook or Twitter. When time is up, move away from the mouse! This saves you valuable time to devote 2% to your skill set.

Using 2% of Your Resources

Hopefully no one remembers my epic fail at fire by friction. Actually, failure is our best teacher if we fail forward. I created a bow drill on training wheels a year ago. What I learned from this experiment is that I don’t need training wheels to create an ember with a stick and string.

I successfully created an ember and fire with a bow drill last night with my friction fire kit!

The 2% Solution to Preparedness Paralysis

Fire at last!

Here are the tutorials I watched (took less than 30 minutes) on the finer tips and tricks of friction fire by David Wendell at Bushcraft On Fire.

<iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”//” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

Resource gathering is an important part of preparedness. If you’re like me, you don’t have time to waste looking for value-adding resources. I’ll save you some time and point you to our Doing the Stuff Trusted Resource list. There are more out there, but these folks I know and trust. You’re welcome to add suggestions to our list.

The modern convenience-store mindset conditions us to want immediate results. If we could only reach that big event, we’d be ready. In reality, preparedness is not an event. It’s a chain of tiny stuff linked together over time.

How do you plan to leverage your 2% this week, month, or year? Share in the comments if you don’t mind.

Keep Doing the Stuff,


P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page. Trade theory for action and join us in the Doing the Stuff Network on these social media sites: PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

P.P.S ~ If you find value in our blog, DRG and I would appreciate your vote on the Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding Prepper Sites while you’re there…

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Doing the Stuff, Preparedness | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

Post navigation

8 thoughts on “The 2% Solution to Prepper Paralysis

  1. Chewylouie

    I don’t have a Facebook. I don’t have a twitter. I don’t have any social media accounts (unless you count email). Instead, I spend my “electronic” time on blogs with good information (like yours) and youtube (watching videos by people like Dave Canterbury, Wranglerstar, and other survival/bushcraft/self-reliance/homesteading channels) and then I go out an use trial and error to figure it out, or going camping or whatever I can do to practice and “tune” my skills. I have gotten close to a friction fire, I have done some trapping and “theoretical” snaring (do to some rules and regulations, I just set snares in the yard and then test them with a stick or something and then I go out in the woods and find a place that “theoretically”, they would be successful). I have built shelters that kept me dry in the rain (and some that wouldn’t). I have hunted and taken a good bit of meat. And there are dozens more things that I still want do and try and hone, and of course, continue to practice the other skills.


    • Thanks for the kind words, Chewy! Have you watched Pathfinder TV, yet? It’s rich! I think it’s $3/month but full of excellent stuff. Steve Davis just posted a vid on horses. Very comprehensive on owning and caring for these beautiful animals… stuff unrelated to bushcraft but actually ties in very well with the subject.

      I’m working on a semi-permanent trapping shelter in the woods right now. I’ll post a tutorial when I’m done. Thanks for sharing your stuff! You sound very similar to me. 🙂


      • Chewylouie

        I saw the video that told about pathfinder tv, but I haven’t actually watched any. It sounds like it would be really great though.


      • It is. Much like all of Dave’s other vids only there’s five or six quality folks contributing. One new vid per day!


  2. A prepper mindset (in my opinion) is based on habit and practice. If you make a habit of spending 30 min a day reading (as an example) about new skills and then practicing what you’ve learned, it’ll become a habit and possibly something you enjoy and look forward to doing again and again. Same way with stocking your supplies. Each time you go to the store buy “x” amount of extra to place in storage. Set a realistic amount you can afford and stick to that goal. It’ll become an accepted habit.

    Thanks for the article, I’ll be sharing it on my FB page.


  3. Pingback: Julie's Weekly Roundup 2.22.14 - Home Ready Home

  4. Pingback: The 2% Solution to Prepper Paralysis | TheSurvivalPlaceBlog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: