The United States has become a nation where the pursuit of happiness and the absence of discipline has turned us into a land of politically correct, overweight, sissies intent on pointing the finger at someone else as the source of the problem rather than looking in the mirror like we should. All the kids get trophies now. Used to be that a kid got the idea of what it took to be a winner either by winning something and knowing what it took to get there. If they lost, they’d appreciate what it took to get a trophy. Collectively, we used to know that if we put in the long hours and the hard work, it would pay off and we would be successful. Not enough people know this now. It would seem as though we’ve lost something in our culture that we used to rely on to win. At some point in time, we became soft.
We go through our lives now from one carefully controlled environment to the next. Not many people want to work outside in the cold winters or hot summers anymore. We wonder why immigrants are taking our jobs – it’s because not many people are willing to show up and work in the fields or do the menial jobs any more.
If you’re reading this blog there’s a good chance you don’t have this attitude. Why? If you’re here, you’re probably interested in surviving a catastrophic event. Anything from a national power outage to a nuclear war; we prepare for it all. You also know that survival will mean hard work and suffering – something many, if not most Americans don’t want to experience. I’ve talked with people in the past who have actually said, “If the power went out forever I wouldn’t want to survive.” So much for the pioneering spirit our ancestors brought with them. They would roll over in their graves if they saw what has become of our spirit.
If a little pain and suffering makes you quit, good luck when times get tough. To those with weak mental fortitude: all I can guarantee is pain, suffering, and uncertainty. If society collapses, nobody can say how others will react. Some people riot and others band together to help each other. Hopefully you live in an area where people help each other out. If society takes a nosedive, most visitors of this site will at least be somewhat prepared. Those who fail to see civilization is premised on a fragile infrastructure will be in a world of pain when conditions deteriorate.
Take the Pain!
Obese or overweight? Out of shape? Terrible diet? On a ton of medication? I’ll bet that if you lost some weight a lot of those ailments would disappear. If the idea of giving up McDonald’s food and exercising daily makes you cringe, good luck when the balloon goes up. Ask yourself this question and be honest: if you had to bug-out twenty miles right now – right this second, could you pick up your bug-out bag and walk the distance? Could you walk it without your bug-out bag? If the answer is no, then you must consider getting yourself back in shape. It could save your life several different ways. One, by making you healthy again allowing you to get rid of the medications and living a healthy life. Two, by giving you the ability to do physical, potentially life saving activities. Go to your local shopping center or mall and stop in the middle of a bunch of people and look around. In your opinion, how many could walk or run five miles in an emergency? I’ve done this exercise many times and I’m always surprised at how few would be able to do this.
People are more interested in a magic pill will allow us to eat and drink whatever we want. Most people avoid entertaining the idea of exercise and diet. We want all the stuff, whether that’s food, drink, drugs, or electronic toys, that will give us that little dopamine hit instead of working our asses off and being healthy. We now have a national epidemic of people taking opioids. It’s been around for a long time and it seems to just keep getting worse.
A lot of times improving yourself involves some kind of pain, whether it’s the pain of going without alcohol or drugs, or of denying yourself that extra piece of cake. Maybe it’s the pain associated with learning something new instead of watching three hours of T.V. every night. Sometimes you gotta sacrifice for the greater good. Take the pain!
No Easy Road
There’s no easy road to success. If you want more money find a better job or get better at the one you’re doing. A lot of young folks out there today don’t even have jobs and a good number of millennials are happy to live at home with mom and dad. If you’re one of these kids, I say get off your ass and get a job that will allow you to help pay the rent. I don’t care if you’re slinging burgers at McDonald’s or working on Wall Street, you need to be grown up and self sufficient because mom and dad aren’t always going to be there wiping your nose for you. Check out this crazy story about a 28 year old man who killed his parents because he didn’t want to move out and fend for himself. Sick eh? Granted, it’s the millennial mindset taken to the extreme, but it’s telling that this happened at all. As if all that was bad enough we’ve got rich companies skimming whatever they can off the top and people who don’t want to work skimming off the bottom. Pretty soon there won’t be enough left over for the guy in the middle.
What Can We Do?
First, our kids have to know that hard work and pain is ok. It’s part of the human condition. If you make sure that your kids never feel any pain, they’ll never have a chance to grow. You’re doing them a disservice. Now don’t go around saying, “Jarhead says to starve my kids!” Let’s not be stupid here. What I’m saying is that if your kid comes up to you fifteen minutes before a meal and says they’re hungry, it’s perfectly fine to tell them to wait instead of giving them a candy bar. If you give in, they’ll never know what it’s like to wait a few minutes. Teach them discipline.
A friend of mine came over with his son and we were all working out. My son (seven years old) gave up after ten minutes and started upstairs. He asked his friend to come with him and the friend said no, he wanted to try out for the football team. I said, “That’s because he wants it”. My boy came back downstairs and started working out again. I didn’t berate him. I didn’t yell at him, but I opened the door to hard work by pointing out that his friend was working to achieve a goal.
Read Also: Ten Ways to Improve Survival Fitness
Later this season my buddy called me up and told me his son was killing it on the football field. When he mentioned to his son what a great job he was doing, his boy said, “That’s because I want it, dad!” My buddy had to call me up and tell me what an impact my words had on his son. He was willing to take the pain to get what he wanted.
You don’t need to be friends with your kids. You should love them, but your children need someone who’s going to show them right and wrong and enforce it. Not a mom or dad who wants to be friends and will give in because they don’t want the kids mad at them. Guess what? If your kid has never been mad at you, you either have one hell of an exceptional kid or you aren’t doing your job right.
Set a Goal
Find something you want and set a goal. If you want to change the world you’ve first got to change yourself. I don’t care what it is, but when you set the goal follow up on it. Maybe you want to lose twenty pounds, write a book, walk five miles with your bug-out bag, race in a 5K, or give up drinking beer and eating hotdogs. Whatever it is, this is how you do it: set a realistic goal and a completion date. Remember, a goal without a due date is just a dream and will never happen. Next, take instant action on whatever that goal is. If you want to quit drinking, pour all your booze down the drain. If you want to write a book, make a goal to write a thousand words a day or whatever you can produce. Whatever it is you want to do make a small advance towards that goal every day. Your kids are looking to you as an example. If you set a goal and abandon it a week later, guess what? They’ll do the same thing.
Take Responsibility For Your Actions
When I went to Marine Corps bootcamp, one of the first things the D.I.’s pounded into us was to take responsibility for our actions. If we did something stupid or screwed up, we were expected to own it. They didn’t want to hear excuses or lies, they just wanted to hear you say, “The Private screwed up, sir!”. We were then expected to do whatever we could to make it right.
I think if more people – adults and kids – were held accountable for their actions, we’d live in a different world. Then again, maybe not. If you lack integrity, all the rules in the world won’t make you a better person. What do you think? Am I way outta line here? Questions? Comments? Sound off below!
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