Posts Tagged With: James Wesley Rawles

4 Bad Habits of Highly Productive Preppers

by Todd Walker

Are bad habits pulling you to the bottom of the prepping abyss?

Can you beat them?

The experts want you to ‘believe’ you can. You want to believe. The whole self-help universe wants you to believe. But you know yourself better than anyone. You know your bad habits, intimately.

Break them or you’re doomed. You’ll never survive anything doing those things!

Okay, that’s a little much.

But here’s my spin on ‘bad’ habits.

What if you could be an epic prepper, not in spite of bad habits, but because of them?

Many books tell you how to be a highly successful prepper. You gotta get your beans, bullets, and band aids in order, buy productive farm land, live of grid, fill up your basement with gold and silver and food, and build a tribe of like-minded people to help with all the unknowns ~ not to mention guard duty.

To achieve the apex of self-sufficiency, all your bad habits have to go. You must stay focused, set goals, stay physically fit, and learn everything – even the stuff that’s not important and you’ll never use.

If you’re a huge Steven Covey fan, you’ll want to stop reading here. Go ahead. Click away.

Still with me? Okay, you’ve been warned!

Greatly simplified procrastination flowchart: "Do something right now -> No"

(this clever flowchart was copied from

If you notice any of these 4 ‘bad’ habits in your journey to preparedness and self-reliance, stop beating yourself up over them. Learn to embrace them and let them do their job.

I have seen highly productive people benefit from these no-no’s in the business world and the preparedness community.

#1 – Shiny Object Syndrome (Distractibility)

You may have been diagnosed with ADHD in school. Bogus! I’ve never bought into this made up, money making psychological disorder.

First off, there’s no way to prove anyone has ADHD or any other psychological ailment. Psychologists suggest possible problems in your head, you stew on it a few days, weeks, years, and all of a sudden – WHAM! You’ve got ADHD.

Celebrate your faux ailment. Here are a few famous people who were diagnosed with ADHD (or displayed many of the alleged symptoms) that found a way to tap into their natural creativity, imagination, and sense of adventure to make history.

  • Richard Branson
  • Albert Einstein
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Thomas Edison
  • Suzanne Somers
  • Agatha Christie
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald

Good company indeed! You can be productive even with all the shiny objects vexing you!

Those 27 open tabs on your browser are actually a badge of honor! Don’t let non-Shiny Object Syndrome suffers tell you otherwise.

#2 – Too Giving and Sensitive

The image of sensitivity is not what comes to mind when we think of a rugged survivalist/prepper. We tend to get stereotyped as thick-skinned, uncaring, hoarders, and sometimes, down right nasty individuals.

Do some of us fit that description? Absolutely.

Non-prepper types may be tempted to lump you into that one-size-fits-all fringe. If you’re sensitive and not so thick-skinned, you may bristle and want to buck up to show your tougher side – online or in person. Resist the urge.

James Rawles (SurvivalBlog) does a great job of promoting charity and how to build giving, especially in tough times, into your preparedness plans. According to him, it’s not optional if you’re a Christian prepper.

And it’s not a sign that your weak because you’re sensitive and giving to the needs of others. Quite the opposite. Your ‘weakness’ becomes your strength.

#3 – Productive Procrastination

Here’s your morning prayer: “Please, Lord, make me more productive ~ just not today!”

I admire procrastinators. You know the ones I’m talking about. They’re constantly not doing the things that they ‘should’ be doing.

There is an element of putting off that works to your benefit – even in the preparedness community. Procrastination implies negative action (what you did not do). It’s the stuff we did not do that we’re suppose to feel shameful about. Even when we are working on something, we aren’t working on other stuff – projects or skills or duties or relationships. Most of us can only do one thing at a time.

We are all procrastinators. Even the most productive and efficient preppers put things off. It’s part of our nature. Our instinct. There’s no cure. It’s been argued that procrastination is a survival mechanism inherent in all of us.

Procrastination benefits us only when our life if not in danger. You don’t hesitate when your toddler is scampering toward a busy street. But not reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – NOW – won’t destroy your life.

Studies say that nearly 1 out of 5 adults practice chronic procrastination. For me, I use procrastination as a tool for doing the stuff. Here’s what I’ve learned from Procrasti-Nation:

  • New perspective, solutions and more efficient ways of doing the stuff.
  • Prioritized lists – the must do’s go in the small notebook – all others go in the larger notebook of projects.
  • Playing with the Shiny Objects in #1 frees my mind to create new ideas.
  • Balance procrastination with my obligations.
  • No shame in putting off.
  • Goals and objectives are moving targets. I don’t hit them all, and I don’t beat myself for missing.

The issue is not to figure out how to stop procrastinating, but to learn how to do it well. Sitting in a coffee shop ‘wasting time’ has led me to many great ideas and people. Being a slacker from time to time ain’t all bad.

The last sentence is not meant to give you license to put off the important stuff on your preparedness plan. Heed this warning: if procrastination halts progress completely on your plan, you know it’s in the unhealthy zone.

The real trick for me is knowing when Dirt Road Girl has had enough. 😉

#4 – Doubting Yourself

You’ve got questions. So do I. We get into trouble when our pride eclipses our self-doubt.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – an old philosopher

How could Socrates make such a bold, unequivocal, no holds barred, no wiggle room statement?

Questioning conventional wisdom, or the program that runs your life, causes you to grow personally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

While believing in yourself and your ability creates productive prepping, questioning yourself and plans is critical. A healthy (not fatal) dose of doubt slows you down and provides time to reflect (see #3).

Self-doubt is not navel gazing and pity parties. Questioning your plan of action, even in the middle of it, no, through the whole process, will help you hit those moving targets.

Having complete blind faith in myself is one trait that has left me in a crumpled, crying heap many times. If only I had honestly questioned my motives, tactics, and direction.

Your turn

Do you fall into any of these categories? All of them? What ‘bad’ habit(s) would you add to the list that helps you prepare?

Keep doing the stuff,



I’m expecting some updates from our Doing the Stuff Challenge last week. Of course, after this post, I’ll understand if you’re dragging your feet.

Don’t forget to ‘like‘ us on FB, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest if you haven’t already. DRG and I appreciate y’all a bunch!

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

Who’s Your Influencer?

by Todd Walker

John C. Maxwell once said that leadership is influence. Having the position ‘leader’ means nothing. You’re only a leader if people are following you. Otherwise you’re just taking a long walk by yourself.


I’ve been there, done that, and got the lesson I deserved.

Position does not equal leadership. A wise leader must understand that he/she may hold the title of ‘leader’ in an organization, or group, or family – but not be the real leader. If you’re in that scenario, your job is to influence the influencer – their voice gets heard over positional leaders.

When times are rosy, this principle applies. After the SHTF, leadership becomes even more important.

Here’s why.

I’ve read leadership styles promoted within the prepper community. Many have said that it’s crucial that one person take control of their retreat group or prepping community. No ruling by committee. A single leader needs to micro manage everything.

The problem I have with this model is – what if that person is not the influencer? Force and coercion would be needed to make followers follow.

Pride in position blurs a leader’s vision. Misguided assumption #1 – I’m the appointed ‘leader’ so people should follow. If they don’t, I’ll make them. That’s coercion, pure and simple. A leader is a leader when people voluntarily follow. Swallowing your pride is the first step to being an effective leader.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

We’ve all seen real life examples of top down leadership. Dictates come from the top and everyone below is expected to jump. Our military, corporate world, schools, churches, and even our government are models of this centralized system of control. Fear of reprisal keeps followers following. Forced association wins.

I have more questions than answers on leadership. Is our present model the cause of the mess we’re in now? Why do we need to be told what to do, what to think, and how to act? Can individuals practicing self-ownership thrive in a group? Who owns you? Can we really self-govern? Why do we clammer for a “leader?”

What I’ve unlearned from school history class (this has taken a lifetime) is that individual initiative is far superior to listening to dictates from a Dear Leader. Schools teach compliance. So does organized religion along with all the previously mentioned institutions.

Here’s a way to determine your follow-ability. Try this the next time you’re in a church service. When it comes time to bow your head, close your eyes, and pray, do the opposite. Keep you eyes open and look around while you pray. Pay attention to how you feel. Do you feel defiant? Does it seem ‘wrong’? Does God really care if you pray with your eyes open – in a church service?

Did you feel a creepy uneasiness crawl up you legs and spine? If so, ask yourself why? This doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s just a simple test to determine the level of your programming. To what degree do you feel programmed to comply?

Here’s another experiment. When they pass out the donation card during a job luncheon or faculty meeting to raise money for the United Way or Relay for Life or other charity, to give your company or school bragging rights for meeting the fundraising goal – sign the card and write why you are not giving across the top of the card. Don’t give because you’re expected to give. If you choose to give, give anonymously where no one can give you credit. It saves a lot of chest thumping.

Not participating in this public display of giving may have made you uneasy. Why? The unease is planted in you by the collective to influence you to “fill in the blank” and comply. The goal is to destroy your ability to provide for yourself and your family.

You might be shocked to find one or two others that don’t participate in compliance rituals. You’ve just discovered that some people reject mass compliance and think for themselves. Connect with these people. They are unconventional, independent thinkers, and good influencers.

Finding your influencers

Below I’ve compiled a list of non-compliant influencers that have helped me on my journey to self-sufficiency, liberty, and freedom.

Lew Rockwell – The most viewed libertarian site on the planet. Coming from a lifetime R voter, I highly recommend you read this site at least once a week. Daily is better.

Mark Sisson – The godfather of the primal/paleo lifestyle movement. He changed my lifestyle and attitude towards food, personal responsibility, and primal prepping.

John Taylor Gatto – He’s responsible for confirming what I’ve always thought about our public school system. Whether you like schooling or not, you’ll enjoy his poetic skill with words.

James Wesley Rawles – I discovered SurvivalBlog 6 years ago and have applied many concepts from his blog and books – even though I’m not moving to an unknown Western state.

Durable Faith – DF is someone I respect highly for his lifestyle of no-compromise and his pursuit to wake up the institutional church. He’s the guy you’d see ramming a whaling ship with a dingy if he was in GreenPeace.

Daisy Luther – A frequent contributor to this blog, Daisy is an activist prepper I hold in high regard. Love her style!

Claire Wolfe – Not only great at preparedness stuff, she’s Freedom Outlaw worth your time.

Gaye Levy – Practical prepping advice without all the hype.

Brain Clark is responsible for waking me up to the realization that there really is no box to get outside of. He’s the founder and CEO of Copyblogger Media. While I don’t advertise on my site, I’ve found his copywriting principles have improved my writing – at least in my mind.

You – my Sherpa community

Dirt Road Girl – I saved her for last. She inspires me. Y’all should see her write. Maybe she’ll listen to your request to share stuff on this blog. I’m still trying to convince her to start posting here.

Your turn. Who has influenced your lifestyle of preparedness, self-reliance, and liberty? Please let us know in the comments.





Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Life-Liberty-Happiness, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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