Monday, April 29, 2019 by Mary Miller
To be truly prepared for a survival situation, it is not enough to have a strong and active body. Your mind should be exercised just as much as any muscle. An unfocused mind can easily fall prey to panic and confusion during a disaster. However, a sharp and focused mind can readily adapt to any given situation. When SHTF, you can overcome any situation by properly honing your critical thinking skills. (h/t to ThePrepperJournal.com)
People who don’t think critically tend to take a simplistic view of the world. They often accept the given facts at face value without digging any deeper to verify if they are true or not. This kind of mindset can severely limit your options, especially in a survival scenario. It can hold you back from taking more efficient courses of action. If you blindly believe in one thing or support only a single side, without taking all the evidence into consideration, other people can quickly take advantage of you. However, if you have the ability to think critically, you will be able to think outside the box. You will be able to come to your own conclusions and make your own well thought-out decisions based on what you have learned.
Two of the major goals of critical thinking are the ability to think independently and the capacity to improve the quality of your judgment and personal beliefs. With this self-improvement comes the ability to better understand the situations of other people and see the world through their eyes. By honing your critical thinking skills, you will be able to obtain other soft skills that can come in handy in a survival situation. Some of these skills may include time management, empathy, logical reasoning, communication skills, situational awareness, problem solving skills, and leadership skills. Ultimately, the accumulation of these skills can lead you to become a more well-rounded individual. (Related: Practice makes perfect: Soft skills for the well-rounded prepper.)
In a survival situation, every action you take can quickly become a matter of life and death. Rash decisions can lead to unintended consequences for yourself and the people around you. Every choice you make should be weighed heavily before going through with it. Sometimes sacrifices will have to be made, but it is important that the gains must always outweigh the losses. Nothing comes without risk. You have to consider if it is worth it to take a temporary loss today in order to gain a better chance of survival tomorrow. If you have to make decisions on behalf of a group, your critical thinking skills will be especially crucial, since it won’t just be your survival at stake.
In the face of adversity, it is easy to just give up and succumb to your fate. However, critical thinking can sustain your mental fortitude. By looking at both the big picture and the finer details, critical thinking can make it easier for you to compartmentalize the challenges you have to face. You will be able to notice your advantages and not take them for granted.