It has hit the fan. Plans just went out the window and you’re scrambling.
It seems like everywhere I look I see new acronyms to use in survival situations. There is a justifiable reason for all the different ways to keep your head on your shoulders and focused on what is most important, living. We can however find ourselves learning something that is too complex and not practiced enough for recall when it is needed.
If you think about what you need sitting in your chair at your computer or on the couch you can probably come up with a very comprehensive list, maybe including some very minute details. It is a great way to start and we never have enough knowledge. What happens to our minds when our car crashes, we lose ourselves or a loved one in the wilderness or we get called out and reamed in from of a group of peers in an office meeting, justly or not. Basically, what happens to your mind when the shit hits the fan (SHTF)
We tend to gravitate towards the most basic thoughts and ideas until we have more time to assess the situation and call up more detailed information. The problem we have is how much time does it take to make the transition from instinct to learned behavior? Unfortunately, there is no, “one fits all” time frame, but you can bet we all have to make the transition when the SHTF.
I have another pesky acronym that helps me make my transition. WTF! WTF stands for Working?, Temperature and Food. It also helps that in everyday conversation WTF implies what happened in a surprised or unexpected way. You may say it automatically when you start your process. Again, WTF is meant to move your from your state of disorientation to your learned and practiced routine. WTF will help us get bearing on what’s most important to your personal survival. Like placing your mask first in an airplane crash, taking care of yourself first will allow you to assist others and other SHTF scenarios.
Working? As is are you in good working order? Do you need to address anything with your person before proceeding? Take a self-assessment. Temperature, what are your current and short term needs to be at as close to a comfortable operating temperature as possible i.e. fire, clothing, shelter…. Food (and water), you need it, how do you get it? Where is the closest resource? Food and water can greatly dictate how you choose your next course of action after you clear the SHTF phase.
You may ask yourself, “how does WTF help me in the office scenario you mentioned earlier?”. In this case Wait to Talk and Finish. Meaning take a moment to collect yourself before speak. Speak thoughtfully and Finish the comment with truth. Waiting for the speaker will give you time to formulate your thoughts. Talking thoughtfully will garner self-respect and Finishing with the truth will ensure you are conducting yourself in a well principled manner, earning self-respect and the respect of your peers. It is very difficult to collect your thoughts when the SHTF.
Thinking of the WTF principle in the first few moments of a crisis can assist make the transition from the moment of impact to our practiced routine for long term survival before and after the SHTF.