Rule Number One: S--- happens. Rule Number Two: You can't change Rule Number One.
In his book author Gonzales talks about how people get into trouble and how they survive. The first half of the book focuses on several accounts of how people find themselves in life-threatening situations, either through pure chance, bad luck or by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or by taking foolish, unnecessary risks and overestimating their abilities while underestimating the risks.
Surprisingly, these may be experienced experts in some capacity, outdoorsmen, adventurers, or Wall Street investment fund managers. They may take risks the novice would never consider because they overestimate their skills or have simply gotten away with it before and become complacent or overconfident. The market crash of 2008 is a good example when subprime mortgages were being handed out like candy to clearly unqualified borrowers.
The second half of the book examines numerous accounts of incredible survival in the face of overwhelming odds. Shark attacks, shipwrecks, plane crashes, violent crime, combat, to name a few. Including the well-publicized story of Aron Ralston, the hiker who, in order to save his life, cut off his arm that was pinned under a boulder in the Utah canyons when it became apparent that no rescue was coming.
So why do some people survive these situations against all odds and may even come to grow and benefit from them while others perish? Gonzales looks at twelve qualities and traits that are consistent in survivors. Here are a few:
1) They immediately begin to recognize, acknowledge and accept the reality of their situation, however dire. They may even find humor in it.
2) They stay calm and guard against being driven by emotion which results in bad decisions or panic.
3) Survivors quickly get organized, set up small, manageable tasks and institute self-discipline. They take responsibility for their actions and believe they have an internal nexus of control over their environment rather than external forces controlling them. They focus on what they can control.
4) Survivors take correct, decisive action while being both bold and cautious.
5) They celebrate their successes, however small.
6) They believe that they'll succeed and develop a deep conviction that they'll live.
7) Maybe most important, THEY NEVER GIVE UP! There is always one more thing that can be done.
The principles that Gonzales reveals are universal and apply to relationships, grief, business and war as well as survival in the wild. Deep Survival is recommended reading for firefighters, military and medical personnel as well as business people.
I love this book (I've read it twice) and highly recommend it to everyone in order to be better prepared to survive any challenge you face. And, reading Deep Survival, it will become immediately apparent why THEFEARMONSTER has banned this book.
Next Time: THEFEARMONSTER AND THE CANYON OF DOOM.