Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why
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Laurence Gonzales knows how to write...and survive.
Why do some live when so many others die?
"...to survive, you must first be annealed in the fires of peril."
"I found otherwise rational people doing inexplicable things to get themselves killed—against all advice, against all reason."
Reason doesn't control our actions.
Why did Scott's crew perish in Antarctica while, against all odds, Shackleton's crew survived and even thrived in the same circumstances?
Brain functions...psychology of risk-taking and survival
They apply to stressful, demanding situations...
- losing a job
- running a business in a rapidly changing world
Experience, training, and modern equipment can betray you.
What's in your heart is what can save you.
The farther one goes, the less one knows." ~Tao Te Ching
How did I get into this and this and how do I get out of it again, how does it end?" ~Søren Kierkegaard
How Accidents Happen
Of each particular thing ask: 'What is it in itself, in its own construction?'" ~Marcus Aurelius
You need skill and superior emotional control.
Lesson #1: Remain calm, do not panic.
Turn fear and anger into focus. Stay "cool" by not allowing your emotions, i.e. "hot cognitions," to get away from you.
Four Steps (only 10-20% can stay calm and think in an emergency):
- Take the correct action
- Rapidly adapt
Why do we ignore the obvious and do the inexplicable?
What is the source of power that has us block out all the right information that is trying to save us, which results in our death—or the death of our business, marriage, etc.?
Rule #1: Face reality...but keep it simple
When you're in a "high state of arousal," only the simplest of inputs are going to get in.
Dark humor cuts through the fear, the clutter, and the noise.
Look death in the face and come up with a wry smile.
Find the droll, wondrous, and inspiring...or kiss your ass goodbye.
"Survivor Personality: Why Some People Are Stronger, Smarter, and More Skillful atHandling Life's Diffi culties...and How You Can Be, Too"—survivors laugh at threats...playing and laughing go together. Playing keeps the person in contact with what is happening around [him]."
Fear is good. Too much fear is not.
Insider language/slang is for those who get it. Besides, it's terrifying to use the real language of what you're embarking upon just before you do it!
In the moment your IQ rolls back to that of an ape!
Plato understood that emotions—the horse—can trump reason so use the reins of reason on the horse of emotion.
The intellect without the emotions is like a jockey without a horse.
"When you walk across the ramp to your airplane, you lose half your IQ."
Fear puts me in my place. It gives me the humility to see things as they are.
When you're in a demanding/stressful situation you're not all there. You are in a profoundly altered state when it comes to perception, cognition, memory, and emotion.
Emotion comes from the Latin verb emovere, "to move away." It woks powerfully and quickly to to motivate behavior.
All Quiet on the Western Front story of how we "rush back, in one part of our being, a thousand years....animal instinct...not conscious; it is far quicker, much more sure, less fallible, than consciousness...this second sight in us,..."
Emotion is an instinctive response aimed a self-preservation.
Reason is tentative, slow, and fallible, while emotion is sure, quick, and unhesitating.
Greeks saw the mind as part of and integral to the body while Plato thought they were separate, with the soul going after death. Aristotle brought them back together.
Thinking is a bodily function, as are emotions and feelings.
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