How can a young person prepare for the unsustainability of the future?

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jsteid's picture
jsteid
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How can a young person prepare for the unsustainability of the future?

Everyone,

Just want to first start of by saying I'm a newbie here, just finished reading the book about a week ago and have been cruising the forums since, but decided I should dive right in and ask some questions.

I was really struck with Chris's suggestions on how you can prepare for the future crisis, but outside of small changes in how I live my life (sustainability practices) many of the suggestions simply were not applicable for me.

I'm 23 years old, just starting my first job out of graduate school in a major urban area making barely enough money to cover rent.

What can I do, as a young person in this situation and environment, to get myself prepared?

Thanks in advance for the suggestions.

Jsteid

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ao
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Chris Sacca

Welcome jsteid,

What's your education, job, and urban area?

Here's some of the best advice I've ever heard for a new grad starting out in the world from Chris Sacca at the 2011 University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management commencement.

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Advice

ao, thanks for posting the link of that excellent advice.

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maceves
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sustainablity

Don't go into debt!!  

Rethink the larder and how you cook.  Enjoy what's good and fresh, but keep adding to long term supplies keeping the long picutre in the back of your mind.

Go through this website and read everything, going back into the archives.  There is some brilliant stuff here.

Try to shake off consumerism.  Don't buy stuff you don't need.  

Avoid the stock market.  Think about what you will really need to have in the future.

I hope your significant other is on the same page with this,  It will help.

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A. M.
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Preparation

In a word: Skill Development.
Ok, so... two words.

Try and think of it like this:

When you're building a house, you don't start assembling the walls first. You make a cogent plan that affords you what you're looking for, and then you lay the firm foundation.
Like the foundation in a house, the base of skills you develop are the most lasting element - they can't be taken, burnt down, and are only destroyed by significant trauma. That's analogous to the concrete upon which you build the house. To me, these skills are the most dire and often useless. They're skills like how to feed, protect and shelter yourself in the absolute worst case scenarios.

The frame of the house is your family/friends and community. Those you surround yourself with. They'll hold up your protective efforts down the road (the roof).

The insulation is the things like keeping cash on hand, wisely allocating your money, holding Precious Metals. Perhaps most importantly, having adequate supplies of food.

The doors and windows are your abilities in dealing with people; how you manage unknown and known contacts, how you address external personalities. You can bar them up, keep them locked or leave them unsecure, and circumstance will dictate how that works for you.

The Roof is what ultimately protects you - like the foundation, this is one of the least visible parts, but perhaps the most important. It's your composite skillset that encompasses your occupation, abilities and knowledge. It's rarely acknowledged and often underappreciated. With luck, it'll not be tested, but like a roof, it needs repairs, maintanence and support.

So, a quick breakdown on how I plan:
1. Plan your "house" - The skills you want, the location and the purpose of the structure. 
2. Lay a firm foundation: Identify the skills you need to survive. Check the WSID series here for some excellent insights on where to start.
3. Frame your life with good, productive people.
4. Begin building your roof - identify the skills you need to thrive and pursue them, maintain them and always look for leaks.
5. Insulate yourself with methods to protect your wealth; tangible PM's and tools to protect your and your family from the "elements" (negative influences)
6. Fill it with good memories of the adventure and decorate it with experience.

I hope this helps.
Cheers,

Aaron

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Huh?
Alpha Mike wrote:

Like the foundation in a house, the base of skills you develop are the most lasting element - they can't be taken, burnt down, and are only destroyed by significant trauma. That's analogous to the concrete upon which you build the house. To me, these skills are the most dire and often useless. They're skills like how to feed, protect and shelter yourself in the absolute worst case scenarios.

Alpha

I find the bold sentence confusing.  Do you mean these skills are for the most dire circumstances and therefore the least likely to be used?  Because under extreme conditions they would become critically useful.  Your house analogy was terrific.  Thanks for your many good posts.

Travlin 

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Travlin

I mean they often go to waste, and are never used in a "real-world" situation.
For example, most people will never be stranded by a plane crash and have to build fire and shelter from nothing. The situation is dire, and the skillset in that situation is extremely important - but it is practically unlikely to occur.

Same thing with violent attacks and such - most people "shoot" because it's fun and those skills never become "practical".
When/if they do, they're urgently important - but if they don't, they really don't do you much good with regards to your daily tasks/interactions.

To me - these are my foundational skills. I built everything else off of them, and they're there if I need them, so I'm confident that if I ended up as a refugee, I'd be "ok" (though certainly not thrilled). To what degree people use these foundational skills, is really a matter of personal choice, and it can certainly be overcome with a good "frame".

Clear as mud? =-)

Aaron

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Crystal clear
Alpha Mike wrote:

I mean they often go to waste, and are never used in a "real-world" situation.  For example, most people will never be stranded by a plane crash and have to build fire and shelter from nothing. The situation is dire, and the skillset in that situation is extremely important - but it is practically unlikely to occur.

Clear as mud? =-)

Alpha

Your reply is crystal clear and very good advice.  Not understanding this is a common mistake among many “survivalist”.  They focus on the most extreme scenario and ignore the much more likely circumstances they need to address.  Thanks.

Travlin

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A. M.
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Good deal!

Travlin',

Thanks! I'm glad it makes sense - beg pardon for my poor phrasing there at first.

I remember when I first started prepping, there seemed to be two types of people:

1. People who were so into it that they were "manufacturing" emergencies in their mind.
These types were the "Alex Jones" crowd (no offense to anyone here who likes him) - they were looking at shadows and seeing boogymen... and their planning was in accordance. They built a "house" that was all foundation. More like a concrete bunker, and I'm sure many here will understand. Problem is, no matter how well stocked, you'll have to come up sometime, and to not have the framework of a supportive, loving family... well, I can't speak for everyone, but it takes a large portion of the motivation out of survival to be alienated and alone.

2. People who like the idea of being ready, but not the legwork. These types were generally some of the best types of people: Good, hardworking and honest, but generally too comfortable to consider the really serious problems that we're facing. These people did things that were "productive", but often didn't follow to completion. They'd buy supplies or land, but never get "serious" about making improvements. Same thing with guns - all too common, and probably the reason I harp like I do - they'd buy the finest hardware available, all the ammo you could ever need and shoot rifles from the bench, never carry their handgun and balk at the idea of moving/shooting drills.

These folks had a great house, but their foundation left them in a cannundrum - if they lost the house, they lacked the foundation upon which to rebuild.

It's pretty rare to find people who have both good, loving and supportive families, and actionable plans. Over the years, I've met scores of survivalists, preppers, yuppies, hippies, shooters, pacifists, hunters and gardeners who spanned the gamut from well prepared to dangerously lacking. All I can say to a person just starting out is that everyone has some useful knowledge. Try and emulate the good and discard the leaky parts.

Sorry for being so preachy. I hope this helps the OP and anyone else who is just "starting out".

Cheers,

Aaron

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Do Preparations Prepare?

The only thing you really need to prepare for is making a living without money. Can spending money on preparations prepare you for a life in which you have no money to spend? Your current circumstances are ideal training for achieving such a way of life; use them to find new ways to meet your needs.

Best...Jeff

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What were your triggers?

Aaron

You have obviously been prepping longer and more thoughtfully than most people. You have even done a thorough analysis and formulated a comprehensive framework. http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/practical-survival-skills-101-underst... If you don’t mind talking about it, some of us would be interested in what got you started. I’m sure your military training was part of it. But what were the other things that triggered you to start taking action in your personal life? And why in such depth? You don’t do this much work without strong motivation.

Travlin

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could not have said it better.
JAG wrote:

The only thing you really need to prepare for is making a living without money. Can spending money on preparations prepare you for a life in which you have no money to spend? Your current circumstances are ideal training for achieving such a way of life; use them to find new ways to meet your needs.

Best...Jeff

In a nutshell.......  JAG is 100% correct.

We've set ourselves up so that if we discard the cars, the phone line and internet, our overheads are ZERO.  Life wouldn't be much fun, but I don't think the future will be "fun".  And occasionally, one is reminded of this rather severely.....  I did my back in this morning, picking my socks up off the floor....  Not a happy chappy today.  One's health is the first priority around here.  Post TSHTF, no one will be able to get "fixed", and I just wonder how I would cope with a dud back for several days without painkillers.

At least "she who must be obeyed" is totally onside with prepping, and she's a nurse to boot, so I was really clever on the marriage stakes!

I really think lack of income will be the real challenge soon....

Mike

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Travlin

Hey Travlin,

I don't want to steal the OP's topic here, but the military actually came second for me.
There've been a lot of influential people in my life who were prior service members, and at a certain point, I began to feel as if I was knowledgable in certain arenas (crime and violence in the civilian world) and lacking perspective of what war was like. Incidentally, the military also offers educational incentives, and some practical experience in natural sciences. More beneficial (from a skillset point of view) was that the USAF aligns its Meteorologists with Army units, so we're expected to be able to integrate with INTEL or ground units - so there are good opportunities for extra training, as well as a good mix of "risk" and "smarts", which appealed to me.

And... that's where I am now.
To get to the reasons I started all this, it was out of a pure, shameless desire to be useful. I've always just kind of known that something was wrong/unsustainable, so I began looking for a starting point. I learned as much as I could about Survival, because when you're 14, you think of those kinds of things waaaay before you consider agriculture. Over the years, I've reformed my doctrine to be more "useful" in all of life's venues, and am mainly interested in preventing/treating injury rather than causing it. Ironically, war zones are a place rife with opportunities for just that. Each day's been a learning experience. 

I suppose it could all be tracked back to not liking the feeling of helplessness.
But, there's only so long you can go trying to learn everything yourself before you realize "wow, that's why we HAVE societies".
The benefits of having other good people in your life cannot be understated.

Cheers,

Aaron 

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Thanks
Alpha Mike wrote:

But, there's only so long you can go trying to learn everything yourself before you realize "wow, that's why we HAVE societies".

Aaron

That is the great dilemma isn’t it?  We’re all in this together.  Thanks for the reply.

Travlin

ao's picture
ao
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here's help
Damnthematrix wrote:

I did my back in this morning, picking my socks up off the floor....  Not a happy chappy today.  One's health is the first priority around here.  Post TSHTF, no one will be able to get "fixed", and I just wonder how I would cope with a dud back for several days without painkillers.

Sorry to go off topic here but I think I'll be forgiven.  In a non-traumatic situation, painkillers aren't needed.  Correct action is.  I think this will help.

http://www.amazon.com/OPTP-Treat-Your-Own-Back/dp/B000QIHV30

 

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Pick your pile...

That is the great dilemma isn’t it?  We’re all in this together.

Maybe this is too obvious but for me it was a revelation a few years ago:  The way we treat money now is as a stand-in for relationships with other human beings.  I rely on an insurance agent to protect me from life's ills and not my family/friends/community.  I rely on a state-run education system to educate my children so that I can have the time to make more money to break down more of the relationships that could sustain me.  The real currency, the real investments are our relationships with each other and the world around us.

Money has it's problems.  Trading our time (our life) for material goods. 

Community has it's problems.  Relationships with people are difficult to navigate.

My though for the OP is to work on your skills, yes.  But do not do it in isolation.  Time as well as Place are important ingredients for your metaphoric 'house of life' too.  That girl in the cafe is either a distraction or your soul-mate largerly due to timing. 

While you are young and mobile find a place that you can grow into.  A place that has potential for community growth.

Sorry for the sloppy post...not enough time to refine it....animals need choring!

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yes.

+1

The way we treat money now is as a stand-in for relationships with other human beings.  I rely on an insurance agent to protect me from life's ills and not my family/friends/community.  I rely on a state-run education system to educate my children so that I can have the time to make more money to break down more of the relationships that could sustain me.  The real currency, the real investments are our relationships with each other and the world around us.

People are more important than things. The young people of this generation would do well to rediscover that fact.

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