June 24, 2017

Everyone Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth

I’m not a fan of Mike Tyson, but I do like this quote.

“Everyone Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth”

While Mike isn’t the most articulate fellow, this quote is very insightful. I think everyone should have a plan, but life tends throw us unexpected curves.

Normalcy bias is a mental state that people enter into that causes them to underestimate the possibility of, and potential magnitude of a potential danger. If I asked you how you thought the stuff would hit the fan, or to tell me what TEOTWAWKI would look, my guess is that most of you have some opinions. You have your eyes open and are aware of the many possible dangers and, in fact, have prepared with them in mind.

However, there are some of us who have gone too far in the other direction. There are some people who refuse to live life to its fullest because of what might happen. There are also some people who are so sure how things will fall apart that they might just miss things taking another route.

The Sky is Falling, or it Will be Anytime Now

I’m a prepper. I firmly believe that bad things can and do happen. I believe in this so strongly that I have spent hundreds of hours to help others understand that prepping is an act of faith and how to get prepared. While I believe it is possible that we could see society fall apart and resemble something out of the movies. I also believe that it is possible that we will see society degrade or have some regional weather related disaster, but, all-in-all, not be too terribly different than it is now. The point is, I don’t know and neither do you.

While I think it is prudent to take weather and political and societal conditions into account when making vacation plans, I do not think it is prudent to never take a vacation because the stuff might hit the fan while you’re away.

While I believe the emotion of fear is a gift from God, He did not give us a spirit of fear. If you feel an immediate sense of fear, listen to it, but if it keeps you locked inside, tell it off and go live life!

It’ll Happen Like This

Every once in a while I’ll hear from someone who takes issue with something I have said. Usually it has to do with what I have said not fitting into how they think things will fall apart. I usually try to explain that yes, if things happen just the way they think they will, they are correct, but that there are so many possible scenarios, they can’t be sure how things will unfold.

If you look back one year ago, are you where you thought you would be? Go back two, five or ten. Can you tell me that life has unfolded just like you thought it would? If you look back and life has not unfolded the way you thought it would, how can you possibly think things will fall apart a certain way?

I have always said the best approach to preparedness is very general. Do not prepare for specific events, prepare with them in mind, but not as the focus.

“The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men”

First, let me say that I think having preparedness and survival plans is a good idea and I think everyone should have a variety of them. I will also say that if you ever need to use them, the odds are good that they’ll go out the window.

Murphy’s Law states that “Anything that can go wrong, will”. This doesn’t mean that preparing is a waste of time or that we shouldn’t make plans. It just means we need to borrow a page from the Marine Corps, who have a motto; “improvise, adapt and overcome”.

First Things First

The most important reason you should have a variety of survival and preparedness plans is because it gets you thinking about possible scenarios. Have you ever read about people who froze when faced with a life and death situation?

When faced with an emergent survival situation, the human brain rifles through your life experiences, trying to find a way to process the information you’re taking in to tell you how to respond. There are people who experience “brain lock” or behavioral inaction when faced with something they’ve never had experience with or never considered might happen to them.

Having a plan in place for different events gives us a reference point to draw from and tells us what to do first. If your plan proceeds as intended after that, congratulations! If it doesn’t, improvise, adapt and overcome!

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  1. Rev. Dr. Michael E Harris says:

    This is a lot to think about.

  2. Thank you again for a practical opinion. There are days I don’t want to look at the computer because of the doom and gloom. We try to put things aside, not with any specific disaster but as insurance ‘in case’… then we can go on with our other ‘hobbies’. Being from Montana, it is my thought that most folks do the same as we are considered a rural state. Who knows what is actually down the pike so to speak!

    • Chris Ray says:

      My pleasure. I agree, there is often to much doom and gloom, while there is potential for it, there is no need to dwell.

  3. Well said sir!
    I’ve been dealing with this issue recently as my 10 yr. old Daughter is growing spiritually and coming to terms with the consciousness that the world is essentially fallen. (her life is not so much about rainbows, unicorns, and lollipops anymore)
    She gets concerned about the things she sees on the news, or how we prepare as a family for eventualities, and how her Dad fumes over the U.S. Constitution being decimated, but I’m quick to say “hope for the best, but expect the worst.”
    And a great Bible verse sums it up…1 Timothy, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

    • Although I believe our Constitution is worth our best efforts to preserve, it is not the Bible. Our children learn how to cope with their fears by watching us as parents. The way I calm fears is to be proactive, hiking, trips to the range, learning how to use a hatchet, start a fire, go camping, learning self reliance. It makes the children feel less helpless. As my father-in-law always said, it’s easy to curse the darkness so light a candle, or plant a garden, or put up some peaches, or pack a medical bag, etc etc! Yes our values are under attack, we’ve been told that since our LORD walked this earth, but we are the victors!!!

      • Rev. Dr. Michael E Harris says:

        If you read the Constitution very carefully, you will note that it only works with those who believe the Bible. The framers of the Constitution were all Deists, and most were Christian. With a liberal, progressive, socialist, or communist society and government, the Constitution does not mean much.

  4. Michael B says:

    I try to live each day in a manner that as far as material things are concerned; tomorrow doesn’t matter, however, prudence dictates preparedness to the best of my God given abilities.
    I do not think it is possible to prepare/prep too much, though I do firmly believe you can prepare/prep the wrong things ‘too much’.
    I like that Mike Tyson quote. A lot. I may have to plagiarize it. I tell my sons and friends that it’s my hope that: “Someday, a great-great-great-great grandchild will till this soil and find my hordes of supplies & weapons all rusty, rotten or otherwise damaged and say ‘My God, that old man WAS crazy’ “

  5. Marquita Martin says:

    Excellent article. For me the best way to prepare for anything is to use common sense and trust in God. Learn to do things on your own. My grandmother was a great example for me of an independent woman who survived the Depression and the Dust Bowl. I think about different scenarios and how I could respond, but who knows what will happen? I’ve almost died twice already during my life and what I did was just continue to do my best for my family and trust in God, whether I was to live or die.

  6. mariowen says:

    I just prepare! What do I prepare for? I prepare to eat, have shelter, have water, take care of my livestock, etc. What could take that away? Just about anything from floods or fires, to war or civil unrest. I just plod along and do what I can and try not to think through every single detail of every single eventuality. I get too bogged down in the trauma of it all.

    So I just put my nose to the grindstone and do what I can do. That way I don’t get lost in the forest of trees.

    I will take my Bible with me first no matter where I go. After that, it will just have to happen as God plans for it. I can’t spend all my time getting ready for everything.

  7. I think if people prepare with schwartz’s law in mind then they should be ok. With that in mind remember again what you said about Murphy’s law. Well schwartz’s law said Murphy was an optimist.. All kidding aside remember you go into this stuff with a plan but like in battle everything changes when the first round goes off. I believe that whatever disaster may hit all plans will fly out the window. One must remain fluid and be able to flow with whatever comes. You should not be so staunch and rigid in your plan that you miss what might save your life. Forget the Hollywood bull about survival and end times.

  8. Looking back 2-3 years I would not have expected to be where I am today. My wife and and I just became more serious about prepping a few years ago. I recently had spinal surgery to prevent possible sudden death or more likely a life in a wheelchair. Prepping has helped but Gods plans or ‘preps’ have moved us in a direction not seen but which fits. While I face another spinal surgery in the near future; I will continue prepping, but more importantly trusting God and His plans for us.
    Thank you

  9. Get out your Old Testament, reread Genesis 41, Pharoh’s dream, interpreted by Joseph, of seven years of plenty to be followed by seven years of famine—find your inspiration in Joseph, the original prepper

  10. Congratulations on getting land in the Redoubt and thank you for your kind comnmets. I have another guy who is looking for his bug out solution on a limited budget. He did something similar and purchased land he could afford. He then purchased a used R.V. and built a R.V. hook up on his land. Tanks that could hold some gas and such. Water is the secret though, either drill for it or know where to get it. He was lucky enough to get a Well-Maintenance agreement with a neighbor. It made sense, he is never there, but helps to keep up the well. For him he has water when he shows up. His bug out plans are coming together, he will (hopefully) drive his R.V. out to a very remote area and live there for as long as required. This actually covers a lot of natural disaster like TSHTF events. Now on the land front. I see good land from 2K 6K per acre. I did not pay more than that for my land. Neither did my conservative, Christian traditionalist neighbor who is also building a vacation home. I have not confirmed that he is a prepper, because I am slow to talk about that with neighbors (OPSEC and all of that), but the similarities to what we are doing are interesting. My first structure on my land will be a liveable barn which will, God-willing, cost under 10K. The largest cost i am putting into this land is water. Digging a well is not cheap. So to sum up, 5 acres can cost 10K (mine didn’t but I saw land that low). My first structure will costs (God-willing) under 10K (estimates are 4k for materials, rest for labor), the only thing that costs is the well (budge 15K for 260 foot dig). I just paid my property taxes in the Redoubt and they were something like $200 for the year. Since I like to solve problems (engineer) if you want, let me know your budget and what you can come up with per year and let me think on it. Please consider buying some coffee fro the Monks of the Redoubt, get your office to subscribe for their coffee purchased through the site also! The Bard.

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