Survivor originates from the old French term Sourvivre. Survivre translates to; live longer or longer than. The French term originates from the Latin term Super vivere. Super translates to; more or more than. Vivre translates into; to live.
So you could say a survivor is a person who is willing to live more than normal.
You could define a survivor as a person who accepts, defeats and overcome adversity, hardship, sickness, physical or mental injuries and then tell others about it, so they can learn from it. A survivor is a person who continues forward, in spite of what life and fate throws at him. A survivor never gives up, no matter the odds or the situation he’s in.
Survival is not only done in the wilderness. It’s performed by anyone you might bump into on the street or it could be your colleague at work. Survival is all around you in various shapes and degrees of seriousness.
It’s almost impossible to define the degree of seriousness of a survival situation using a universal scale. It’s not like defining the strength of the wind using the Beaufort scale. You could argue that survival situations come in different sizes and degrees of seriousness. But a situation threatening you, or someone close to you, will always have your undivided attention, no matter how serious it seems to others.
You could ask yourself;
What situation the worst to survive in?
To be stuck on the side of a mountain for 50 days, and be forced to cannibalism to survive.
To run over and kill your only child by accident while reversing out the driveway in your car?
Studies at Kings College Hospital in London, where people during a 5 year period, was divided into 4 categories; Fighting Spirit – Denial – Helpless and Hopeless – Stoic Acceptance, showed that people in the category Helpless and Hopeless had a lesser chance to survive than the Fighting Spirit category. The study also concluded that people in the Fighting Spirit category didn’t live longer than normal, but they had a life with fewer depressions, anxiety and other mental illnesses. So the Fighting Spirit approach to life might not give you more quantity, but it will give you more quality of life.
In the following I will concentrate on the primitive and basic skills of survival. In my opinion you need to go back to the very basics of survival and in this way build your confidence and skills so you can overcome what fate and life throws at you in the modern world.
I’m in no doubt that if you can overcome survival situations in the wilderness you will also be confident fighting them in the modern world, although they might be of another type.
By exposing yourself to various stressors in the wilderness, and hereby get to know yourself and your reactions in an area you are not used to be in, you will feel that it’s much easier to overcome emergency or survival situations in an area you are accustomed to.
To be in a real survival situation, in the wilderness or modern world, and be able to say; “I’ve tried something similar during training, so this isn’t so bad, and I know I can overcome it”, will provide you with a positive mind-set and the will not to give up.