Deep Survival

I’m currently reading a book called “Deep Survival”.  It was recommend to me by a buddy from the NCRC.  For years I’ve been interested in disasters and accidents.  Not so much the gruesome details that some enjoy;  but rather what caused them and why some people survive.  Deep Survival is more about the latter.

Why is it a trained SEAL can drown on a river while an untrained woman can survive an airplane crash in the Amazon and make it out to civilization?

The author, Laurence Gonzales, goes into the psychology of survivors.  One weakness of course is he can’t interview or ask questions of those who didn’t survive.

That said, in one chapter, he talks about maps and our places in them.  He points out often when people are lost it’s because they’re too busy trying to make reality fit their map.  They’ll look at a lake on the map, not see it in reality and convince themselves that perhaps the lake has dried up.  Or that the peak they’re standing on is really “that one over there.”

It’s only when they accept their reality can they become unlost.

I have to agree with him.  I tell people I haven’t been lost in the woods (or any other place physically) since I was about 3.  I’ve simply been “mislocated” a few times.  Indeed, I once came off a peak in the Adirondaks and after hiking awhile looked around and realized I had no idea where I was.  I didn’t consider myself lost, simply mislocated.  A little map reading later and some orienteering and 30 minutes later I ended up in the correct parking lot.

So a lot of it comes down to “attitude”.  You may not be where you want to be, but if you have the right attitude, you’re not lost.  You’re simply someplace other than you expected to be.  In August when I lost my job, I wasn’t lost. I was simply someplace other than where I expected to be.

While it was a bit scary (I was the sole breadwinner for the family) it was also a relief.  I no longer had the weekly commute from Troy to Virginia.  I could do other things.  I finally had lots of extra time on my calendar. Ok sure, the lack of income was a bit of an issue, but by focusing on the other factors, it really wasn’t so bad.

About two months later I was on a train when inspiration for a new business struck me.  Yesterday I filed the paperwork in the state of New York to form QuiCR LLC.  Under lawyer’s orders I can’t tell you what it is yet.  But stay tuned, over the coming months I will.

Only by letting go of my map, and accepting reality, could I end up where I am now.  It’s still a bit scary, but it’s also very exciting.

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