We’ve all sat through that conversation.
You know, the one with a tale about a guy somewhere else who did something stupid and became the center of a teaching point. You’ve undoubtedly sat through several talks like this, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably thought to yourself, “that could never happen to me.”
Guess what, it can, and if you toss caution to the wind, you might just become the anecdote used to teach others about your mistake.
You do not want to be that person. You don’t want to be a part of that story.
How do you avoid being the punchline of a joke while staying on the right side of wrong? The answer is simple: apply the fundamental concepts to everything you do, whether it’s exploring the great outdoors, carrying a pistol as part of your everyday routine, or driving down the road.
Focus on one move
I have a large collection of pocket tools that fit into the “multi-tool” category. These pocket tools can perform a variety of jobs, but when compared to dedicated versions of the tools compressed into a small box, the multi-tool falls short.
Humans may multitask by working on multiple projects and tasks at the same time. We may believe we are capable of juggling all of these, but the reality is that our attention is fragmented.
Sure. You could argue that you can drive, talk on the phone, and eat breakfast all at the same time, but I’m willing to bet you don’t have two hands on the wheel, you’ve disrupted the natural back and forth of communication by biting, chewing, and swallowing, and you’ve probably dropped your phone or spilled food on yourself as you balanced your meal on your knee.
Multitasking is less successful than focusing on one task at a time. Consider how distracted attention can lead to careless discharges. Think of how losing track of your focus can lead you to forget something at home before a trip to the wilderness.
Respect your rest
We have 24 hours in a day, and about one-third of that time is normally spent sleeping. This means we have time to refuel, mend, and rest our minds before tackling the next day. It is tempting to drive through the night, figuring you will eventually sleep, but you must listen to your body.
Lack of sleep is associated with numerous health problems, this also means you can lack awareness when you preach valuing readiness.
Think about it, falling asleep at your guard post would never be accepted in a combat zone. How is falling asleep when you are protecting your family be any different? The consequences are the same.
Think of what happens if you drive through weariness just to fall asleep behind the wheel. You may not fall asleep, but you will lose some of your reaction time. The results are the same.
Respect your rest time and what it does for your senses and body.
The teachable are the wisest
It’s easy to feel you’re capable of more than you are.
Take only one survival course, and you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world, ready to take on Mother Nature. If you take one driving course, you could think you don’t need any advanced training. The reality is that you are a tool that requires consistent sharpening, and we often overestimate our talents.
Every year, there are numerous requests for search and rescue for people who set out on trails only to find they don’t have enough stamina to return. Every year, some men and women engage in fights with those they believe they can win, only to wake up in jail or with a buddy telling them, “you got knocked out.”
Every year, some people make mistakes simply because they let their perceived self to interfere with their actual self. It is okay to confess when you should decline an opportunity. It is acceptable to return stronger and more prepared.
However, It is never acceptable to make a stupid mistake for the sake of your ego.
Don’t be that guy
Perhaps you embody some of the characteristics of one of the subjects in any of the stories and lessons that I will share in this platform.
It is easy to “read ahead” in this book you are writing each day by evaluating the decisions of the people you hear about compared to your own.
But in the end, learn from others’ mistakes and don’t make them yourself.
Don’t become a statistic or a story unless that story is one of success.