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Book Review: Deep Survival – Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

150 150 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

“Deep Survival” is a great tool to help establish the survival mindset that is critical to becoming a survivor.

by Leon Pantenburg

I read “Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, And Why” by Lawrence Gonzales, in a few marathon sessions. The fast-paced accounts of real life survival situations are mesmerizing. It’s a good survival mindset read and I couldn’t help wondering what I might do in some of the situations.

This book is good information for anybody who practices survival common sense, because a survival mindset must be established before you will be able to use any tools and training you might have acquired.  In the book,  Gonzales mentions 12 points that disaster survivors seemed to have in common.  These points are definitely worth reading and thinking about, even if you don’t get anything else out of the book.

  1. Perceive, believe: If there is any denial, it is counterbalanced by a solid belief in the clear evidence of their senses. In other words, survivors establish a survival mindset immediately. They see opportunity, even good, in their situation.
  2. Stay calm (use humor, use fear to focus) In the initial crisis, survivors use fear, and aren’t ruled by it.
  3. Think/analyze/plan: Survivors quickly organize, set up small manageable tasks. In other words, they’re using the STOP tool.
  4. Take correct decisive action: Survivors were able to convert thoughts to action. They deal with what they can from moment to moment, hour to hour.
  5. Celebrate successes: This is important to maintaining motivation and avoiding hopelessness.
  6. Count you blessings: Be grateful you’re alive.
  7. Play: Sing, play mind games, recite poetry, count things etc.
  8. See the beauty: Survivors are attuned to the wonder of the world.
  9. Believe you will succeed: All the above practices lead to the point where survivors become convinced they will prevail.
  10. Surrender: Let go of your fear of dying. This is the type of thinking John Leach calls: “resignation without giving up. It is survival by surrender.”
  11. Do whatever is necessary: Survivors know their abilities and don’t over or under estimate them. They believe anything is possible and act accordingly.
  12. Never give up: There is always one more thing you can do.

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