On the Grid

Mind Games

RECOIL OFFGRID - - Contents -

No prob­lem can with­stand the as­sault of sus­tained think­ing.

— Voltaire

Al­though sur­vival is un­de­ni­ably a phys­i­cal chal­lenge, the men­tal as­pect is of­ten even tougher to over­come. The most ob­vi­ous men­tal chal­lenges oc­cur in the heat of the mo­ment — for ex­am­ple, strug­gling to main­tain fo­cus, stay calm, and sur­mount hope­less­ness in a des­per­ate sit­u­a­tion. But think­ing through the dif­fi­cul­ties of a sur­vival sit­u­a­tion shouldn’t be­gin when you’re ac­tu­ally fac­ing it. A truly pre­pared mind will have al­ready con­sid­ered the sit­u­a­tion long be­fore it hap­pens.

Back in Is­sue 22, I in­ter­viewed ex­pe­di­tion leader and sur­vival con­sul­tant Megan Hine. Megan told me she keeps her mind ac­tive by con­tin­u­ally think­ing through hy­po­thet­i­cal sce­nar­ios, rang­ing from prac­ti­cal moun­taineer­ing in­juries to out­landish alien in­va­sions, and solves prob­lems that she could fore­see hap­pen­ing. By do­ing so, she feels calmer and more pre­pared when she en­coun­ters ac­tual emer­gen­cies (a reg­u­lar oc­cur­rence in her line of work).

Each one of us can ben­e­fit from tak­ing on this same men­tal­ity. When your mind is idle, pick a dan­ger­ous or dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion, then think through solv­ing as­so­ci­ated prob­lems. You might be on a re­mote trail with a bro­ken leg, car­jacked at gun­point, or trapped at a sport­ing venue dur­ing a ter­ror­ist at­tack. There are lim­it­less sit­u­a­tions to pon­der, and few are truly un­fore­see­able.

Al­though this is an ex­er­cise of imag­i­na­tion, re­mem­ber to be re­al­is­tic with your so­lu­tions — you’re not go­ing to MacGyver to­gether a HAM ra­dio from pa­per clips and chew­ing gum, and you’re not go­ing to de­feat an en­tire com­pound of bad guys sin­gle­hand­edly like Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger in Com­mando.

This is what sep­a­rates day­dream­ing from prac­ti­cal men­tal prepa­ra­tion. Make a list of pri­or­i­ties and ad­dress them us­ing real tech­niques you’ve learned, prac­ticed, and con­tin­u­ally worked to im­prove. If you find your­self stuck at a dead end or won­der­ing what to do, that’s a great time to do some re­search and find ad­di­tional train­ing to par­tic­i­pate in.

The What If? fea­ture in this mag­a­zine is one tool that may help you think your way through hy­po­thet­i­cal sit­u­a­tions, but it’s not the only one we’ve de­vel­oped. The Sur­vival Sce­nar­ios se­ries on OF­F­GRID­web.com poses many other sce­nar­ios with dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions to con­sider — see be­low for more de­tails. You may also want to turn to fic­tional works, such as nov­els, movies, TV shows, and even video games for in­spi­ra­tion. All that mat­ters is that you keep think­ing, and pre­pare your mind for prob­lems be­fore you en­counter them in real life.

How do men­tal ex­er­cises fac­tor in to your pre­pared­ness strat­egy? What was the last sce­nario you con­sid­ered, and how did you work through it? Let me know by email­ing me at pm­c­carthy­of­f­[email protected] You can also fol­low my lat­est projects on In­sta­gram at @pm­c­carthy10.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.