By Kellene Bishop
If you’re a beginning prepper you may feel the need for a clear road map or checklist. If you’re currently striving to be ready for life’s curveballs, you may benefit by taking stock of your efforts with the following fundamental tips in mind
Prepping for Beginners #1: Remember, it’s a PROCESS, not a destination
Remember that prepping is a way of life, a way of thinking. It’s not a destination. Sure you can have a list of “things” that you want to accumulate in order to better ensure your comfort and safety amidst life’s curveballs, but any prepper can tell you that if you approach it properly, it will forever be a process. As you learn you’ll always want to do better and more to ensure that you have eliminated as many vulnerabilities from your life as possible. You’d be surprised how often I get a new idea just from reading the posts of all our readers. Sometimes it’s a big “aha moment” about prepping (that I feel foolish not to have thought of before) and sometimes it’s a simple refinement to what is already being put into practice.
Prepping for Beginners # 2: Where to start?: Your mind will expand your level of awareness congruent with your level of readiness.
You’ll also find that your comfort level of pondering certain scenarios will expand as you get more self-sufficient in your prepping efforts. You may have started with a motivation to endure a potential job loss, but when you allow yourself to consider how to be better prepared against a potential home invasion; and then after watching “Red Dawn” you may actually envision yourself fighting alongside Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey as you save your community from a Russian overthrow. *grin* It’s a process. Our minds protect us from voluntarily going to areas that are simply unthinkable to us. But as your level of readiness in prepping expands, you’ll find that considering more “unthinkable” scenarios isn’t a source of fear, rather it’s a source of expanded awareness.
Prepping for Beginners #3: Establish a foundation of balance and prioritization in your self-reliance efforts.
There’s a reason why you call 9-1-1 when you find yourself in a car accident instead of the number for Domino’s Pizza. We can all agree that starving to death would be an ironic end after you’ve survived a car wreck worthy of a 9-1-1 call, but obviously food has it’s time and place—as do all of the Principles of Preparedness. That’s why I created and teach The Ten Principles of Preparedness. They cover every significant prepping fundamental to a self-sufficient life AND they are put in order of their prioritization. While they do all have a synergistic relationship, I’ve found that approaching preparedness with these key fundamentals will help us approach this unfamiliar territory with balance and practicality.
I encourage all of our readers to put “Ten Principles of Preparedness” in our search bar (up on the right) and then take a tour through the articles that deal with the Ten Principles of Preparedness as a whole and which also break each of the Principles down and illustrates what each Principle entails.
When my husband and I really worked at breaking down and identifying the Principles like this many years ago, we were certain that we were assisted in this effort beyond our own abilities, because as many times as we’ve tried to tweak it, question it, and fiddle around with it, we’ve discovered that it is perfect in what it entails and the prioritization thereof. While we both may be perfectionists, we rarely do things perfectly. But this is one of them that we can frankly direct people towards and know that it won’t lead them astray.
Prepping for Beginners #4: Put your time and money where your commitment is:
If you really want to experience the sanity of being self-reliant then you need to give prepping what you give everything else that’s important to you—your time and money. Prepping doesn’t come with hollow wishing or as a date on a calendar; it only comes to fruition with a commitment to it as a lifestyle. Those folks who rush to the store hours before a storm to buy band-aids, beans and bullets aren’t anymore prepared for the storm than I am to run a marathon, because to them it’s a singular event, not a lifestyle. But this is our LIFE we’re talking about here. Doesn’t it merit a regular financial and time commitment to ensure it’s not neglected? Budget X percentage of your income towards your future peace of mind. After all, we already do it with insurance, retirement accounts, and college education. The fastest way to frustrate a good plan is to cut off it’s funding, right? Likewise we must be willing to invest X percentage of our time to this end as well. If it’s important it gets done; if it’s not, it gets an excuse.
Prepping for Beginners #5: Accept no counterfeits.
At one end of the spectrum, you have the survivalist mindset (to be frank, I really don’t relate to survivalists, per se; to me they are extreme in their way of thinking and planning). In fact, I often find such persons with the survivalist mindset to also be arrogant in the midst of their peers—which is ironic because they are more likely to be lone wolves in their “preparedness” efforts—very secretive and hermit-like. It’s kind of tough to get adoration for an inflated ego when you’ve cut yourself off from everyone else. *grin*
On the other side of the spectrum you have what I view as “the loons” who actually fool themselves into preparing for “the end of the world.” Somehow the logic is lost on them that in the event of such an “end” all prepping supplies and plans would be mutually damaged as the earth, which holds it all, is swept away. (Dare I presume that so will the people on the earth at such a time?)
Peaceful Prepping? Yep!
Alien abductions, zombies, or castaway on a deserted island with nothing but a soccer ball for companionship are all delusions and distractions of the real peace of mind that comes from a practical and truly peaceful self-sufficient life. They are counterfeits, and counterfeits only exist to commit fraud and distract you from what’s real. While yes, there really are such things as blood-sucking zombies—they all work for the government, they have no part in a lifestyle of preparedness, neither does gloom and doom talk, panic, or fear. Instead, I can confidently assure everyone who is willing to try and embrace living a self-reliant lifestyle that the stigma of being some crazy prepping freak, village idiot or “the fringe” of society will be replaced by contentment and a peaceful feeling of wholeness. A life of readiness has the undeniable ability to replace the counterfeit of vulnerabilities, insecurities, worries, and fears with the reality of your truest self —one of hope, confidence, independence, empowerment, value, and love to those around you. While there’s so much around us that would cheapen those words and dress them up cheesy, I assure you that their true definitions only have a lasting place in a self-sufficient life. Panic and fear have never led to confidence and peace, but self-reliance always has; so let’s not settle for the carnival trinkets and focus instead on what’s real. I assure you that peaceful preparedness is real.
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