It’s been a while since I have written, or done much of anything for that matter. For the past three weeks I have been pretty much incapacitated with a pinched nerve in my back. I am getting an MRI done on Monday, and I will be making my second visit to a neurosurgeon on Wednesday. While I am not looking forward to potentially another surgery, I certainly can’t go on like this, I am miserable. What makes it even worse is that it was 60 degrees and sunny today, it would have been a perfect day to get out on the river and do some fly fishing.
I am sorry for all of these links in my post going to advertisements, that is not something I am doing, it is an act of piracy, and I am really pissed off about how this is happening. But I decided to not delay this post because of that, it would only mean that they win.
I am not going to write an entire article about my own personal misery; however the past three weeks have given me many opportunities to think about one of my favorite subjects, self-reliance. To me, a person’s ability to take care of them self in any situation is a very important quality to have, and developing that ability takes time, dedication, and knowledge. It’s a lot more than survival skills in the wilderness; it’s about how you live your life every day to build your knowledge, your awareness, and your confidence enough to know that if you find yourself in a dire situation that you will make it through.
It’s a long road to reach that point of confidence, and it comes from even the smallest things in life. It begins with the desire to do things for yourself, as a young child, so that need for self-reliance is within all of us in the beginnings of our lives. But it is the one who continues to do things for himself that develops him into a self-reliant man. These days almost anything a person needs done can be done for hire, but the person who can do those things himself is a stronger and more knowledgeable person. In addition, there is a great deal of gratification from doing something yourself rather than asking or paying someone else to do it. It is the foundation of character.
Obviously we can’t all know how to do everything that needs to be done, and in our busy lives we have little time to pursue the knowledge that allows us the ability to be self-reliant. But self-reliant people have a thirst for knowledge, to either prepare themselves for unpredicted situations, or to educate them for a known situation. For example, I am completely comfortable with my wilderness survival skills, but if I wanted to hook my bar-b-q grill up to the gas line coming into my house, I would have to do a little research on that, and then I would do it myself.
Another quality of the self-reliant person is awareness; from awareness of your life situation to awareness of the immediate situation. As far as your life situation, self-reliant people are prepared for anything that may come their way, like a storm that shuts down the city for an extended period of time. The self-reliant person is comfortable if their power is cut off for two weeks in freezing temperatures after a blizzard because they have the supplies on hand to survive in comfort.
A further dimension of awareness is your acuity at every moment in life. When you go into a restaurant, do you pay attention to where the fire exits are located? When you stand at the train station waiting for your train, do you keep an eye on the people around you, or is your head buried in your personal computing device? If you go to a concert, would you know how to get out of the facility if a fire broke out? These are but a few examples of situational awareness that we all find ourselves in every day of our lives, and the self-reliant person is always aware of what is going on around him.
While I could go on and on writing about this topic, I will add one last thought to this article. Determination is the strongest attribute of a self-reliant person. My favorite saying is “No fear, No Failure.” Fear is a state of mind that people feel when they don’t have courage, but courage conquers fear every time. Courage requires determination and the ability to hold steadfast to what you believe in and what you know, and you have to believe in yourself to have courage. It’s a complex relationship between many emotions, but it all comes down to you in the end.
The weak have no courage, and therefore are not determined, and they are the ones who will fail when the time calls to get them out of a situation. The strong, self-reliant person does not fail; they may be set back, but they don’t fail. Determination drives them until they succeed, and that determination is driven by courage. A failed attempt is not failure, but rather the opportunity to try something different. The lack of determination to continue in the face of a failed attempt is the sign of a weak person.
Those are my thoughts tonight on this topic; this is a subject that I really like to write about, and one that I feel very strongly about in case you couldn’t tell. The bottom line is that you are responsible for your existence on this earth, be a self-reliant person. When life turns to chaos around you, be sure that you will survive. Be the person that the others around you will be looking towards for guidance, whether in an emergency, or in your everyday life. Become a self-reliant person. Not only will your confidence rise, but you will be seen as a leader and a strong person that commands the respect of others. Be that person!