You have heard the saying “survival of the fittest” this is based on the theory of natural selection that only the strongest will survive. This only works however during the course of the evolutionary process.
The best traits exhibited by humans and other species are carried forward and those lacking the better traits sometimes end up extinct. This is not by conscious effort however; you do not even know it is going on.
However, nature is thinking about it all the time and that is why the human brain became bigger at some point and muscular make up of humans decreased. We do not need as much muscle when we have more brains. This is why some experts claim humans lost a lot of their body hair because early humans figured out how to protect themselves from the cold using animal furs. Therefore, the saying “survival of the fittest” should be changed to “survival of the smartest” because survival is 90 percent mental.
Having the skills and training to survive is important but having the desire to maintain life is critical. Those well prepared as far as gear and materials for survival are concerned can simply give up mentality and succumb to the situation, in other words, they die even though they had the tools but not the mental fortitude.
Survival is Thinking Ahead
Agriculture was new to the villagers and they were struggling to implement the concept. They knew instinctively that the village could no longer just pick up and move to new areas where food grew wild. Too many other villages now knew where all the food sources were and it was becoming scarce in the wild.
The village elders were growing older and weaker as well. It was time to stay in one place but to do so they needed to plant crops to survive. Some other villages had passed along the knowledge along with some seeds that they said would grow into food for the village.
All It takes Sometimes is Mental Fortitude
The young artisan sat and chipped away at the heavy stone. Each flake that was knapped off was one-step closer to a sharpened edge. A stout stick and wet sinew lay close. The artesian looked up from time to time to watch a group of warriors trying to push over a stout oak tree. The tree had to be removed otherwise the sun would never reach the crops as they sprouted in the spring. They battered the tree with clubs and stones and they all heaved and pushed, and nary a blemish on the tree. This had been going on for days.
With the sharpened stone now securely fastened to the stout stick the artesian walked over and began striking the tree. After two hours, the tree lay on the ground, while the others stood by and watched. The artesian pointed to the forehead of the village chief and then to the stone axe. The leader was muscle weary, worn to a frazzle and yet understood that life in the village had just changed. He understood at once that the survival of the village did not necessarily depend on how strong its warriors were but how well they could think.
You Have To Decide
First, you have to want to survive and then tell yourself regardless of the situation you are coming out the other side alive. First, however, you have to control your stress. Panic in many cases is more deadly than the situation itself. People lose control and panic, because they refuse to accept the fact they are lost, or in the situation, they are in and do not know what to do next.
Flight-or-fight is a survival mechanism. In some cases, you may have to run to save yourself and in other cases running is dangerous because you are fleeing one crisis simply to find yourself in another.
You may not survive unless you get control of your emotions. You have to evaluate your situation first and then inventory your gear and supplies if lost in the woods and then come up with a plan.
Rescue personnel have reported finding backpacks of lost hikers that had contained survival gear in them. The assumption is that the hikers panicked and ripped off their packs and began running in a panic, thinking the trail or camp was just ahead. After they had calmed somewhat and had realized that they no longer had their packs on the hikers could not find them again.
Panicked people will do anything to include jumping off the roof of a burning building even as firefighters are readying the ladders. People convinced they will drown will pull their rescuers under in their panic.
Often time’s survival hinges on how strong mentally you are and not how physically strong you are.
You have to know that logically someone will be looking for you at some point if you become lost or stranded. You just need to stay calm and get that survival mentality going. You will get cold, you will not sleep well, but you have to get tough mentally to survive it. Giving up to your emotions by panicking will kill you.
Make a plan and stick with it. In most cases once you find yourself lost, you should shelter in place and wait for someone to find you. You will have to fight yourself however to remain in one place because this is not your instinct now.
You want to run toward where you think safety is, where the trail is or where you think you left your car. This is where survival becomes 90 percent mental. You have to have the mental toughness to stay put and let rescue personnel find you.
You have to keep thinking about shelter, fire and water as you slowly come to grips with your instinct to begin hiking back to where you think is civilization. Develop a routine and get pro-active in your survival.
If you plan to stay in place, help rescue personnel find you by lighting signal fires, putting out pieces of brightly colored clothing and tracing symbols in the snow or sand that can be seen from the air. Having a routine can save your life but you have to be able to think ahead to establish one.
Hoping for and expecting miracles will not save you. You have to make things happen, and yet you must be able to assess your situation realistically and determine what needs to be done and in what order. Survival has always been at the individual level and what goes on inside your mind can and will make the difference between surviving and not.