Sustainability in Uncertainty


Tomorrow, the pattern we are all comfortable with could be disrupted. Be it weather or some other factor, what is normal may not be for a while. What can help you deal with this situation is your Individual Sustainability.

A friend reached out to me as so many people were dealing with the weather this winter and asked for my opinion about a kit for surviving during an emergency. I practice many skills to help me be sustainable and some of them align with survival and self-reliance. I consider what I do “being prepared” because I was taught to be prepared my whole life. I was taught a mindset. Her question inspired me to write this post. She reminded me that, at the foundation of my ability to sustain myself were all of these skills and tools, but girding these tools was that mindset of fundamental readiness.

As I have said before, Individual Sustainability is about how we prepare ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. When I started thinking about her situation, I decided to approach it in two ways. First, I wanted to actually review the items she asked about to give her the peace of mind if appropriate, or the right guidance if needed. But, I also wanted to remind her that being able to deal with a disruption to our normal life takes more than a supply of food, water, and basic essentials. In fact, it is very hard to have everything you need for every possible event. There are too many unknowns. It is better to have a core set of tools and a mental readiness to accept that change is occurring and knowing how to deal with that change.

Everyone is different. Everyone must discover for themselves what they need to feel ready for change. I am more comfortable adapting to change as it comes with a core preparedness that applies generally to most situations. Others may not feel as prepared with that level of uncertainty. Find the level of risk you are comfortable with and then plan to mitigate those risks as best you can. If you need more supplies to feel sustainable, then get them, but understand the cost associated with that. Maintaining that supply requires attention, time, and money. If you choose instead to accept that there are a set of tools that you need to help you acquire the supplies as the disruption occurs, remember there is a level of understanding of how to use those tools required. Either way, there is effort required. When you have put the effort into creating the support system you need, you will feel prepared. That confidence in your planning should not make you arrogant thinking you have it all figured out, but it will give you a feeling that you can deal with the worst of the disruption, and can adapt when the changes don’t follow the plan.

To reach a level of Individual Sustainability in a survival situation;

  • Learn What You Need to Know to Survive
  • Discover What Minimum Tools and Supplies You Need
  • Identify What Makes You Afraid of The Situation
  • Discover What Support You Need To Fight Those Fears and Keep Yourself Calm

Once you have these areas addressed, focus a little of your time on accomplishing some items in each section. As you do, you will start to feel less like you have no control and more prepared to face uncertainty. Your personal plan will never be perfect, and if you try to make it handle every possible situation, you will create an unachievable challenge for yourself. Focus on creating the minimum list of needs and build on that. Realize all plans must be able to change or they will collapse under their own weight.

As with all things, there is a balance to be struck. You are the only one who knows your balance. Find it, and you will be able to sustain yourself in uncertainty. 

Welcome to this five part series on Sustainability. Check back weekly for the next installment as we look at each of the areas called out above. Next week: Learn What You Need to Know to Survive.

 

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