November 3, 2010
Colombo, Sri Lanka
A few weeks ago when I was in Africa, I had a great conversation with Neil Strauss, author of Emergency.
In his book, Neil tells a very compelling story about the awakening he had years ago when he realized that the system in place-– our banks, government, jobs, logistical infrastructure, etc. are all interconnected and depend on a well-functioning symbiosis.
This system, however, is very fragile. If unexpected, tumultuous events occur, then suddenly the government, banks, emergency services, corporations, and even basic infrastructure wouldn’t be there to support the people.
Neil reached this conclusion after watching the government’s reaction to 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, and his initial reaction was to ask, “Am I prepared for what else may come?” At the time, the answer was decidedly ‘no’, and this generally leads to fear.
Fear is a very powerful emotion, and people deal with it in different ways. In Neil’s case, he started doing a lot of research about the potential problems, and then he put himself on a path to become better prepared.
For instance, he wanted to have a ‘backup country’ in case things got really bad in the US, so he set out to acquire second citizenship in St. Kitts. He was also concerned that basic infrastructure like water and electricity may fail, so he went to survival school and learned a series of incredibly valuable skills.
Neil’s preparation gave him shatterproof confidence in the way that he deals with the world now. It’s possible that his nightmare scenario may never occur, but he’s much better off as an individual for having made the efforts to prepare.
As he said in his own words, “no matter what happens, they can never take your skills away from you.”
The conversation we had was very interesting, and he allowed me to record it and share with you. I had to spend the last few weeks getting the audio cleaned up, but you can now take a listen by click on the video below. I hope you enjoy it.