Is your mind trained for survival?

There’s a ton of articles, posts, videos, and documentaries on what is necessary for survival during extreme circumstances. Many teachers, experts and instructors speak a lot about the physical necessities of survival and how the most prepared usually survive the longest. Knowledge on what to stock up on, training for self-defense, learning how to construct shelter or tools, and even how to hunt for game always comes in handy in your survival resume.

I’ve been involved in tactical and firearms training for quite some time and I see most students think on a large scale about the physical needs of becoming a tactically sound firearms handler and I am very impressed with the equipment and firearms that they bring to courses. Many have either taken enough courses or have taken the time to adjust much of the equipment to where it fits well on them and is practically useful while running through drills required during my courses.

Others can articulate why they purchased specific weapons and why they chose certain calibers. These specific choices also determine why they wear certain pants or footwear.

These are all awesome considerations and I also look deeply into all these things but the one thing I find missing most is have they prepared their mind to perform such drills in real life. If the need presented itself, do they have, or have they even researched the mindset it takes to perform such actions in self-defense?

When looking at the bigger picture of survival I also look into the mindset and what mentality you need to increase your chances of survival, even when you remove the thought of weapons and using deadly force.

What mental skills would be advantageous to your survival needs? I feel a lot of people seem to miss this aspect of their preparation. So, let’s talk about a few that come to mind.

We are a society that throughout the years have become very accustomed to a general sense of comfort. Being comfortable with eating when we want, with all the technology that we have come to love and use every day, knowing that in a sense our day will not present us with something that will threaten our lives or the life of a family member. So, what happens to your mental state when discomfort becomes an everyday occurrence? Will you adapt?

Most of us have somewhat of a daily routine, when that routine or preplanned schedule gets thrown off, we get into a fit of some sort because it wasn’t expected. Do you have the mental flexibility to accept the fact that in a survival situation there might not be a routine. Like they say, can you roll with the punches and make no routine a normal occurrence?
Frugality is the quality of being economical with items needed to survive. How will you deal with not being able to lavish in a large meal with dessert every time you sit for a meal, or have to eat on the move?

What about the practice of cognitive awareness; being aware of everything and how you process things. In a survival scenario this absolutely means everything from your physical health to what made that twig snap in the distance. Being attentive to everything but also giving each item its due amount of attention, storing that in your memory for possible later use and using your logic and reasoning skills to determine whether action is needed.

Most importantly, at least in my opinion, faith. You have to have faith that you can survive and that whatever scenario you are in will eventually end. Whether it ends in a days’ time or five years in the future, it will end, then you can relax and thank God for your continued existence.

Do not overlook your mind when preparing for anything that might be a struggle. Your equipment, firearms, food, bugout vehicle all serve no purpose if your mind is not in the right place, and is able to stay there no matter what, or how long.

If you would like more information on our Group we are forming, please visit

For any questions regarding my article, please email me at [email protected]
Oz Johnson/lead instructor
Johnson Group TAC