Coming to terms with the survival mindset is often the first hurdle that newbie Self Reliance Adherents (a.k.a. preppers) must overcome.  Getting beyond that shock that we all are scarcely prepared for incidents that had happened in the past i.e. wars, economic depressions, long lasting famines, etc., we can get our feet underneath ourselves and start taking personal action. Once doing so, however, the task of family preparedness becomes easier since each step along the way is defined by unique circumstances specific to your geographical area, family’s situation (numbers, health issues, etc.) and current economic status.

Still, even accounting for these individual differences, there are some common components that each and every one of us must consider in our path toward being prepared.  For some, these factors will be inconsequential in their very state, but for others, one or more may be present a challenge or hurdle to overcome.  That is not to say that the challenge will be insurmountable – only that is is a valid consideration that will need to be dealt with in one manner or another.


As I continually mention on the site, the cornerstone of the survival mindset is to first create an environment and a set of goals that meets your own unique requirements. After all, you do not want to be stuck with something that doesn’t have any benefit to you or to your own situation.

But where do you start? Sometimes we can feel paralyzed to what our next move may need to be. And at risk of suffering from Analysis Paralysis here are some pointers to get the ball rolling –

The 5 factors are: Time, Health, Desire, Attitude and Money.


Coming up with your plan of attack to be self-sufficient definitely takes time. It is not only the plan but the skills that need to be learned along the way to accomplishing all that is in the plan you create. Learning to purify water, becoming proficient in securing your food systems, determining what foods are right for your family, providing the ways for preservation, conservation and quality control; these things take time. For many, the best way to carve out time from busy lives is to treat the items you identify to be ready as a hobby. It can be something you do for fun. Instead of plopping down and watching mindless YouTube videos, take that time and learn, develop that plan and get on our feet and put it into action

Think about shelters (the one you are in and the one you will need when you are on the move). What would you need to be safe? Regularly fed? Out of the elements? This can be a wholesome family activity that will teach you about sheltering from the weather, building a campfire, hiking or walking great distances and a bit of fishing or hunting thrown in for good measure. Perhaps even more important, it helps you learn to be self-entertaining in a power-out situation. After all, there are very few, if any, power outlets in the campground or wilderness.


Health considerations can be more difficult to deal with. Included here are the special needs of the very young and the more elderly among you. When formulating your own personal self reliance plan for you and your family, you need to take an honest look at your and the others’ physical capabilities and ensure that your definition and execution of preparedness is realistic. If not, what can you do, get into shape, or tools you can bring along to make it happen? Quickest way to be burying loved ones in the pioneer days was when they were pushed beyond their physical limitations. You would ideally like to avoid the same fate in your own futures.

A more serious concern you need to plan for has to do with people that rely on outside sources for their health needs. Like electricity for their medical devices to function or refrigeration for their life sustaining medication. Even the very medications themselves… in a world where Big Pharma is no longer producing en masse, how can one be getting the meds they had been taking for their medical conditions? In creating a mindset, these needs must rise to the top. They should be discussed with health care professionals well in advance and a plan drawn up so that the individuals involved do not suffer, or worse, die needlessly.

(Key Point to remember: Be aware what animal meds can double for us humans – would be a great place to start in regards to our medications.)


The last thing you want to do on this list, or any self reliance list, is if you simply lack the desire to do it. If you do not care enough to take the action needed, you will fail. Why? Because you will approach your efforts in a lazy-daisical manner, perhaps giving lip-service to it all and even spending the money towards it but not seriously taking in to account your needs. You will purchase a gas generator but never take it out of its box and use it. You will purchase a case of freeze-dried food, and never open one and try it, or which is something you would never eat in any condition.

To succeed in self sustenance, you actually have to perform, be up and doing; you must be committed and passionate about what it means to be truly prepared.


And desire is usually guided when there is a change in one’s attitude. Desire is all fine and dandy, but if the right attitude is not present, then it all fails straight out of the shoot.

This is where a positive view of life, liberty and living comes in to play for you. Notice that we are not saying a positive view of the surroundings you find yourself in, or the current economical climate, or anything else other than your own life. Someone that has near to nothing can be one of the most happy and content people you have the pleasure of knowing. The reason you prepare is to keep on living and to stay as comfortable as you can be and how your loved ones can fair when a disaster or crisis occurs. It means having a personal optimism that comes from living each day to the fullest and to the best of your ability. A grateful heart within and God o’r head. It means surrounding yourself with loving relationships and, a spiritual understanding of your place in the cosmos.

You create your own personal hell-scapes and in the same breath you also can create your places of heaven on earth. To approach self reliance and sustenance with the attitude that the world is going to end is counterproductive and quite frankly a hellish way to live. After all, why prepare if there will be no tomorrow? A positive mental attitude coupled with a can-do desire, is paramount to your success in creating a positive and productive self reliance mindset.


A big issue on a lot of people’s minds is the money, and truthfully, it does take money or resources to prepare yourself. Not of what you need grows on trees, unless it is the actual wood or fruit that you need to have. All the gear, containers, tools and items that can last cost money which, for most people in today’s economy, is very precious and doesn’t seem to stretch as far as it used to. Still, think about this – There are ways you can sacrifice to have more money available for the things for preparedness… that morning coffee at Starbucks? Those candy bars when you gas up your car? Or those Chiclets sitting at the check out counter? The little things do add up, and can do so for you in a positive way, instead of a negative!

What about your cable, a large HD TV or the newest cell phone? Do you really need 100+ television channels? Do you really need hotspot on a cell phone? Do you really need the latest doo-dad or thing-a-ma-whats-it? Why not cut these costs in half and spend the savings on tools, gear, and preserved foods?

The possibilities for cutting back are endless and are only limited by your desire to make it happen and your attitude towards it.


You determine what and how you live. These days it is quite common for people talk about this sort of lifestyle, or that type of lifestyle.  You hear about the sedentary lifestyle, the paleo, or keto or a low-carb lifestyle, a minimalist lifestyle, the “being green for our planet” lifestyle, the vegan lifestyle – I could go on and on and on.  Simply put, a lifestyle is a set of choices by which we define the framework of our lives.  It is not something that is thrust upon us (though we may feel that we have mental blocks that do so) – it is something we do willingly as part of our core value system.

I talk about the “preparedness lifestyle” a lot! Where ordinary folks lie you and me are living ordinary lives and still, quietly go about assessing risks that potentially affect their well being and quietly prepare to overcome those risks by accumulating supplies and skills to get them though no matter what. There is nothing abnormal about that… heck it was how people lived for centuries before our modern age, why should it change now?

Overall TakeAway

In Self Reliant Mindset Part I I talked about self reliance and this newish term “prepping” which for most part is a kinder and gentler word without the negative connotations brought on by merely mentioning the word “survivalist”.   That, just by the asking yourself a few practical questions, you can define self reliance in your own words, on your own terms and thus create the best mindset in which you can thrive.

Here, in Part II, we expounded upon the five factors that in one way or another, contribute to establishing preparedness as a way of life.  Coming up next is Part III we will outline the “10 steps to achieving a positive self reliance mindset”.

I just want to say this, between you the reader and me – having the right motivation and the chutzpah to take action in being prepared is righteous and just. It is incumbent upon us as wise stewards to be striving so, in spite of the naysayers and in view of those that will ridicule and deride.  (Thinking of those who laughed at Noah outside the Ark when it started to sprinkle ‘a bit’.) Stay with it all that you planned to do and you will be rewarded with the supreme peace or mind that comes in knowing that you have done the best you can to take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Yes, it may at times seem to be a lonely individual quest.  But it also mean that you have the mindset to thrive when the times we live in get hard… and history is shown time and time again that that is the norm, and not the exception.