Why do some people survive an event while others perish during the exact same event? Why can some survive months on the open sea in a life raft while others perish within three days? Why do some lost in the forest make it out weeks later while others die within 48 hours? Laurence Gonzales, in his fascinating book Deep Survival, goes in-depth on this very subject. The answers are amazing. After years of studying accident reports, talking to survivors, and studying this phenomenon he has come up with 12 things that survivors did in common to get through hell. Here they are:
1. LOOK, SEE & BELIEVE; Immediately recognize, acknowledge and accept the situation.
2. STAY CALM: use humor and fear to focus. While others are flipping out start to work on a plan.
3. THINK, ANALYZE & PLAN; Get organized and set up small, manageable tasks.
4. TAKE CORRECT, DECISIVE ACTIONS; Be bold yet cautious while carrying out tasks. Don’t be paralyzed while overthinking!
5. CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESS; Take joy in completing tasks.
6. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS; Be grateful – you are alive!
7. PLAY; Sing, play mind games, recite poetry
8. SEE THE BEAUTY; Those lost in nature who survived actually stopped to enjoy the scenery!
9. BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL SUCCEED; Develop a deep conviction that you will survive. It is fascinating that Mr. Gonzales found that those who prayed had a higher survival rate than those who didn’t.
10. SURRENDER; put away your fear of dying. Be matter of fact about it.
11. DO WHATEVER IS NECESSARY; Do what it takes to survive. There are many stories of women who fought off would-be killers and rapists by grabbing the blade of a knife. Certainly, something that no right-thinking person would do in everyday life but in a horrible situation, they did what had to be done to survive.
12. NEVER GIVE UP; Believe that anything is possible.
Don’t just read over this list. Take time to commit it to memory. We never know when a situation will arise that will become gut-check time!! BE SAFE!