Posts Tagged With: Information overload

Fear Built the Coffin, Are You Carrying the Shovel?

by Todd Walker

Preppers seem to be an intelligent, discerning bunch. They embrace individual responsibility, self-reliance, preparedness, and self-sufficiency. Very admirable traits indeed. My intention here is to shine some light on the foundation of many doomsday preppers – fear.

Grave digger removing a casket

All fear is not bad. It’s a gift in many cases that has been passed down ancestrally.

Fear of our future has motived many of us to change our lifestyle. Too much fear paralyzes. Picture your health. You’re chilling on the sofa after work with remote in hand – feeling fine physically. An ad from the Industrial Pharmaceutical Complex interrupts compelling you to take action (and their newest wonder drug – which may cause anal seepage). Hum, as the thought bubble forms. I do remember not being able to remember the name of my co-worker’s daughter’s husband. Is this the onset of …. [fill in the blank]. I can put up with a bit of seepage if that pill can help me.

Then there’s the pesky problem of information overload. We’re drowning in a tsunami of threats, boogeymen, four-horsemen hype that would make for a bad day – even for the most prepared. Anxiety and hand wringing in the corner or buying the latest shiny object seem to be our only hope of survival for our species. Negative news sells. Who tunes into a local newscast with stories of families that made it home safely for dinner? No one. We rubberneck to see the disconnected devastation and destruction on our idiot tubes. We want to have our fear – and be happy too.

But we have to stay informed on all the potential S hitting the fan, right? There’s better ways to stay informed than faux news. I try to find a happy medium – staying informed – without succumbing to anxiety-induced anal seepage.

Last year our family experienced our own genuine, personal SHTF scenario. This was not a drill or practice session. DRG’s life was on the line. Discounting or overlooking real threats to our families is just plain stupid. Minimizing our risk in this preparedness game is all we can do. The first step would be to prioritize what’s really likely to happen in our individual situation.

I’m not your typical prepper – whatever that term implies. I don’t own a single gas mask. I know the three minutes without air rule. It’s just that, in my estimation, owning a chemical suit and gas mask is not a priority for our family now. Would I buy one if I thought breathable air was in short supply? Yes. But for now, my priority is to fry bigger fish – like water and food.

Here’s the good news! We don’t have to watch fear-based TV news to stay informed. No more throwing remotes or shoes at the talking heads on your screen. Online alternative news sites are everywhere. User beware. Some prepping sites fall into the fear, doom and gloom category. I’ve found that I was guilty of this myself in the early stages of this blog – fanning the flames of fear drives web traffic. Again, look for information that offers practical advise and steps to living a more simple life. A lot of “non-prepping” sites offer excellent information. Meaning, surf outside the prepping wave pool. I’m always interested in other non “prepper” sites y’all ‘Commentistas’ have discovered. Please, do tell!

How do we avoid the coffin that fear built?

Put down the shovel and stop digging.

  • Relax. Take frequent breaks from the potential unknowns that keep you from sleeping. Health-destroying headlines top my list.
  • Turn off the TV. I use to be a news junkie. I’ve broken the addiction. I value my psychological health. Here’s a study that found that watching the news on television triggers persisting negative psychological feelings that could not be buffered by attention-diverting distraction (i.e., lecture), but only by a directed psychological intervention such as progressive relaxation.
  • Erase the hell-in-a-handbasket mindset. Bad stuff has happened in our time and to our ancestors – yet they prevailed.
  • Fire the worker bee in you. What if the secret to survival was to fire yourself? You’ve probably read the “What did you do to prep” threads on forums. If not, they’re easy to find. I sometimes get the impression that if you’re not doing something to prepare everyday that you’ll eventually get caught, um, unprepared. We have to escape the tyranny of the urgent – the daily grind. Well Mr. Knowitall, who’s going to do all that stuff ‘experts’ say are essential to survival? You will. But first, you must fire yourself. Go ahead. Step away form the food dehydrator. You could use the break, right? Take a weekend off to concentrate on your long-term plan. Act like a CEO, not a worker bee. Then, step-by-step, begin implementing your plan. Scurrying around full of fear is unproductive.
  • Focus on the main thing. Every trivial “news worthy” event has side-track potential. Your main thing may not be my main thing. Discover yours and focus your energy there.

What’s the next pandemic? I don’t know, and frankly, don’t care. Viewing life through the lens of fear shapes our future. Sadly, a lot is written in prepperdom that reinforces the panic-stricken mindset. My job is to decide what’s worth my time and energy. Standing over my coffin of fear with a shovel and dirty hands is not an option for me. Fear not.

How about you?

If you’ve found this helpful, please share it with your it with your family and friends. 

Also, if you’re on Twitter, you can Follow me for the latest on our journey to self-reliance, preparedness, and resilient living: @SurvivalSherpa

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Life-Liberty-Happiness, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

K.U.D.: 3 Simple Steps to Actually Doing The Stuff

by Todd Walker

Dizzy by data. Information overload sucks! Your brain is transformed into a pond of stagnant scum. Information flows in but just sits inactive with no circulation creating a breeding ground for pesky parasites in your cerebral cesspool.

When I first heard of the prepping movement about five years ago, I began investigating. Even though my parents had raised me to be prepared, my search in the online world of preparedness made my brain cells explode. The amount of information available was overwhelming. This past April, I decided to start this blog and add a few words to this avalanche of data asphyxiation. There in lies the problem. How can we apply of all this information and turn it into practical preparations?

Here are three simple, non-rocket-science steps that might help.

K.U.D. Know-Understand-Do.



Knowledge is the first step in acquiring a new skill. The problem in our age of information is T.M.I. – Too Much Information. Most information we get from virtual friends on social media sites, news outlets, the bottomless email bucket, our bosses, the government, our spouses [just kidding Honey ;)], our pastors, and especially our school teachers… is totally useless. We’re bombarded with thousands of messages daily. It’s hard to focus. To paraphrase the Bible, “Without a vision, the people would perish in a bog of data.” Not productive. Close the other tab and quit looking at cats doing stupid stuff on YouTube and let’s get started.

Smart phones and new technology are wonderful tools. We’ve got to learn to govern our intake. When I decide on a new skill to add to my tool box, I get all the knowledge I can from as many proven sources as possible. You’ll find many “expert preppers” online and in print. I don’t put much stock in a lot of gurus unless they are doing the stuff. There’s nothing new under the sun. So find out who is doing the stuff and follow them, Grasshopper. It’s just like eating. If you eat junk, you’ll feel like crap when your body is called on to perform. Feast on good, credible info.

I know I’m at my saturation point when my spongy gray matter yells, “Enough already! I can’t take anymore!” Time to unplug and assimilate.


The dictionary defines assimilation this way: The process of receiving new facts or of responding to new situations in conformity with what is already available to consciousness. In other words…

Time to dig out of the avalanche. Do you have a clear grasp on the knowledge? Can I wrap my mind around the concept now? To get there, I like to break the data down into manageable chunks. Understanding comes when I’m able to clearly see the complete idea behind the knowledge I’ve gained. This is where the “ah ha” moments pop up.

For instance. Last week marked my first day with students this school year. After boring them with all the rules and procedures, I held up a #2 pencil. “How many people does it take to make this pencil from scratch?” One or two, up to 14 was their response. I told them that to make one pencil, it would take millions of people. This started a great discussion on all the equipment, technology, raw material, transportation, equipment, and man hours involved in pencil production. Light bulbs began lighting up. We took a concept and broke it down into its raw, organic chunks. That’s understanding. By the way, if you’d like a simple lesson in free market economics, search “I, Pencil”. You can download it free in some places.

You’re not done yet. To make the knowledge and understanding useful, it’s time for the hardest part…



This is where the majority of people experience an epic fail. They simply don’t start. Articles, videos, and books are not enough. My goal here is to motivate you to start doing. Every prepper must confront his/her resistance to doing. It could be laziness. This doesn’t apply to most preparedness minded folks I know.

Maybe money is the excuse. You don’t need the shiniest bells and whistles to be prepared. If the S hit the fan today, I have a feeling that a lot of preppers would have no clue as to how to make use of the stuff they’ve stockpiled. Like the bug out bag kit they bought that they never got around to testing. I’m not hating on these folks, I’m just saying get busy doing the stuff with your stuff. Know how it works intimately. How many uses can one item have? I pack all my kits from things I’ve made or put to use regularly. The other stuff is just shiny eye candy and heavy.

Due to Dirt Road Girl’s cancer, she won’t be returning to teach this year. We certainly feel the vise squeezing our family wallet. At the same time, we accepted the challenge of prepping with one less paycheck. How hard can it be, right? We’ve been there – done that before. Frugality and the right attitude is essential. Whatever the objection, you are the only person alive able to confront the issue of not doing the stuff.

Plan your work – work your plan. Make doing the stuff a lifestyle. In the past, I would never budget time to “prepping”. It was a hit and miss shotgun blast. Now I devote 30 minutes each day to pure preparedness. That doesn’t sound like much but it adds up. 30 minutes/day x 365 days = 10,950 minutes/year or 5,475 hours of doing the stuff. This allows me to work my plan every day. Momentum is a preppers best friend!

If your cerebral cranium is stagnating, dynamite the dam by doing. A lot of preppers are riding the wave of knowledge hoping they’ll be able to do the stuff WTSHTF. Granted, reading about it is better than total ignorance. But can you do it when it counts? Do the stuff now while resources are available. It would benefit all of us to turn off our computers and smartphones and get busy doing… Only after you’ve finished this article of course.

K.U.D. helps me live a simple, self-reliant, back-to-basics life… and avoid information overload.

Follow me on Twitter for the latest on our journey to self-reliance, preparedness, and resilient living: @SurvivalSherpa

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Preparedness | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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