Survival and disaster readiness in general carry an innate negativity - often having an “apocalyptic” aura to them. While these topics do feed this mind-set, we prefer to see survival and readiness as a life skill set, one which enriches and sweetens life. Being self-sufficient and prepared for life’s ups and downs fosters a deeper sense of security, ownership - of course, and personal freedom.
The core of BeFoundAlive.com’s philosophy about being self-reliant, prepared and lifestyle planning can be summed up with in the following guiding principles:
1. LIVE FREE: The steps you take to prepare for emergencies, disasters or economic turmoil should be fulfilled in such a way as to strengthen and improve your current way of life, even if nothing disastrous should ever occur.
Be Debt Free: Debt is financial bondage! Minimize it, pay it off and stay away from credit cards. Dave Ramsey’s “10 Baby Steps” are a great way to begin this process. They can be found here: link
Reduce Dependence: Lessen dependence on “systems”, whether governmental, municipal utilities and energy companies, or financial institutions. Start a business, grow a garden, learn a skill or trade, and/or barter for goods.
Reduce Tax Footprint: Taxes are a form of usury. The best way to combat this slavery is to understand and use every legal deduction you can take or create. Every dollar you keep can be used to improve your self-sufficiency; every dollar taken from you can be used to make your dependence on the government and the “system” stronger.
2. LIVE SIMPLY: Everything in life seems so complicated these days. Does it need to be? The following are simple steps to taking more control of your life and slowing things down.
Manage your Stuff: Having a lot of “stuff” can trap you into a home, a city, or even a relationship that you do not want, dragging you down and often deeper into debt. Freeing yourself of this burden is simply a matter of setting your mind to it, creating a plan and putting it into action.
To aid in this process, consider an item and ask yourself these four questions:
1. Have I used this item recently?
2. Does this item help me in my life's goals?
3. Do I need to own this item?
4. Is there a way I can rent, borrow, or improvise this item when needed?
Organize your Space: Once you have de-cluttered your life, it’s time to organize it.
A) Organize your stuff by function.
B) Use bags, boxes, or containers to organize items.
C) Avoid storing things in hard-to-access places.
Set Goals: “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” - Dan Miller.
Personal goal setting is a valuable tool for all self-reliant individuals and families, creating a personalized roadmap to greater freedoms. We prescribe to a “whole person” system of goal setting. Short term and long term goals are recorded, charted and accomplished in three areas of life: physical, spiritual, and intellectual. As always, goals should be specific, realistic and achievable.
3. LIVE GREEN: The environment and its health has become a “hot” topic as of late. Truth be told, the environmental movement has been hijacked by activist groups, the media and politicians, as a tool of manipulation pursuant of their own interests. The Earth and the state of the environment however, is not a political issue but a “human” issue. Since the beginning of time, man has altered his environment to meet his own needs (and wants); wisely (and not so wisely) utilizing its resources for the preservation of culture and survival of the human race.
Living with the Earth in mind is a key factor to living a sustainable lifestyle. The “Three Rs” are at the core of the “baby steps” each of us can take on a daily basis to effect a change in both ourselves and nation as a whole.
Pre-cycle: Make purchasing choices that support responsible products and packaging. Support locally owned businesses and locally produced products. Another way to responsibly reduce waste; not purchasing it in the first place!
Three ways to pre-cycle:
A) Buy items that will last.
B) Avoid excess packaging.
C) Reuse as much as possible.
Reduce It: Consume less. Turn off the water. Buy in bulk - from food to supplies, especially from health food stores and co-ops. Use "refillable" products, from pens and ink cartridges, to liquid soaps to motor oil. Buy fresh & local (meat & produce). Buy “lightly” or “bulk” packaged products. Compost. Borrow. Share.
Re-Use It: “Use it up, wear it out, and make it do, or do without!” From supporting your local thrift stores, garage and yard sales, and consignment shops (through purchases and donations), to finding creative ways to re-use odd items, re-use is an important part of a sustainable household.
Recycle It: Recycling is the LAST STEP in our waste reduction plan. It's a great solution and an important part of a sustainable community. Recycle what you cannot reuse: plastic, glass, tin, steel, aluminum, batteries, oil, paper, cardboard, etc... In addition to recycling the above, you can help the environment by buying products that contain recycled materials. Many brands of paper towels, garbage bags, greeting cards, and toilet paper - to name a few products, clearly indicate on their labels if they contain recycled materials.
4. LIVE STRONG: No matter what the “sheeple” or media tell you, HOW you live does matter, and you are in control of your own destiny. Live life to the fullest and understand that your decisions in life have an impact on your family, your community and the nation.
Prepare: While unrealistic to prepare for all possible emergencies, identifying the most likely for your geographic area, economic class and geopolitical environment is both prudent and wise. Identify, make a plan, and act.
Move: Physical fitness is an often overlooked aspect of self-reliance, but an integral part of developing a “whole person”. A survivor must be physically and mentally fit for the potential rigors of survival situations.
All of these factors affect a person's survivability in ANY situation. Cleaning your diet, setting realistic goals, and learning about the body can give you the needed edge.
Question: “Question with boldness….” - Thomas Jefferson.
The questions we ask ourselves can either empower change, or feed FEAR and dysfunction. Changing the questions we ask ourselves and others can drastically affect quality of life and our desired outcome. Finding your own answers, will provide the fertile ground in which your vision may grow.
Learn: Get off the couch and take responsibility for your life. With modern technology, the world is literally at your fingertips. Learning opportunities abound. Take time to get out and learn something new, polish up on, or add to an old interest or skill. Question yourself and others. Questioning, is at the heart and soul of learning. Questions can facilitate critical and creative thinking providing direction of one’s course. “The time to learn to swim is NOT when the boat is sinking.”
Dream: What is your vision or dream? Knowing your personal vision and living it is the purpose behind simplifying your life. By knowing your dream or personal vision, you have a custom road map to the direction in your life. By firmly planting your feet on your vision’s path, your life takes on a joy and meaning that makes the sacrifice of simplicity worthwhile.
ACT: Move. Do. Try. Proceed. Accomplish. Achieve. Execute. Perform. Undertake. Begin. Carry Out. Create. Develop. Go About. Persist. Practice. Serve…