A READY MIND IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE TOOL.
Life is one amazing adventure, isn’t it? I am a firm believer that life is largely what we make of it. Of course, we often cannot control certain events or circumstances in our lives, but we can always choose our response. One of my favorite sayings states that there are three types of people in the world; those that make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those that wonder what happened!
No doubt that crazy and unexpected things will happen to us throughout our lives. That’s a given, right? We have the ability to respond to life with shock and awe and fall victim to the circumstances, or we can prepare ourselves by creating a buffer between us and those “adventures” that happen in life so that when reaction time comes, we can turn a potential big deal into a non-event.
“Luck is when opportunity meets preparedness.”
BUFFER – THE UNFAIR ADVANTAGE
In the Hebrew bible a story is told of Joseph, who saved Egypt from a savage, seven-year famine. The pharaoh had a dream he could not interpret and asked his wisest advisors to explain it correctly to him. They couldn’t interpret it either, but someone remembered that Joseph, who was in prison at the time, had a reputation for explaining the meaning of dreams, and thus he was called for.
In the dream Pharaoh was standing by a river when he saw seven “fat-fleshed” cows come out of the water and feed in a meadow. Then seven others came out that were “lean-fleshed.” The second set of cows ate the first set. Joseph explained that the dream meant there would be seven years of plenty in Egypt, then seven years of famine. Therefor, Joseph suggested that the Pharaoh appoint someone discreet and wise to take a fifth of the harvest every year and store it as a buffer for the years of famine. The plan was approved and Joseph was given the position of vizier, or second in command, over Egypt. He executed the plan perfectly so that when the seven years of famine arrived everyone in Egypt and the surrounding areas, including Joseph’s extended family, was saved.
1: any of various devices or pieces of material for reducing shock or damage due to contact
2: a means or device used as a cushion against the shock of fluctuations in business or financial activity
3: something that serves as a protective barrier
We live in an unpredictable world. I’m not a “doomsday” type of prepper and I certainly don’t like to fear the future. Quite the opposite in fact. Living scared is not living, and no one needs to go reclusive. I love to look forward to the future because I believe the best is yet to come. With the proper amount of planning and preparation, like the Egyptians, we can weather the storms (or famines) of the future with ease and not only survive, but thrive.
I recently read and highly recommend a book called “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown. In chapter 15, he teaches us:
“The Nonessentialist tends to always assume a best-case scenario. We all know these people (and many of us, myself included, have been that person) who chronically underestimate how long something will really take. “This will just take five minutes,” or “I’ll be finished with that project by Friday,” or “It will only take a year to write my magnum opus.” Yet inevitably these things take longer; something unexpected comes up, or the task ends up being more involved than anticipated, or the estimate was simply too optimistic in the first place. When this happens, they are left reacting to the problem, and results inevitably suffer. Perhaps they pull an all-nighter to make it happen. Perhaps they cut corners, hand in an incomplete project, or worse, fail to get it done at all. Or perhaps they leave someone else on the team to pick up the slack. Either way, they fail to execute at their highest level.
The way of the Essentialist is different. The Essentialist looks ahead. She plans. She prepares for different contingencies. She expects the unexpected. She creates a buffer to prepare for the unforeseen, thus giving herself some wiggle room when things come up, as they inevitably do.”
THE FIVE-QUESTION TEST
Think of some possible emergency scenario that you and your family could face. Then ask yourself these questions:
- What are all the risks involved in this situation?
- What is the worst-case scenario?
- What are the possible social effects, and how might other people respond?
- How would this impact your family’s safety?
- How can you invest to reduce risks and strengthen your resilience?
Your answer to the fifth and crucial question will help you create the buffers that have the potential to provide safety for you and your family during an emergency situation.
SO WHAT DOES “SOPHOS” MEAN?
Preparedness is so much more than just having a bunch of gear and food in your basement or garage and thinking you are going to be OK in the event of an emergency or disaster. I firmly believe that the single most important tool that you can have is a prepared and thoroughly trained MIND. Without that, you are certain to be a part of the chaos, not the solution. One of my favorite quotes by Deepak Chopra goes like this: “Luck is when opportunity meets preparedness.” We are truly not prepared for an emergency event unless we know what to do.
The Greek word sophist (sophistes) is derived from the words sophia, and sophos, meaning “wisdom” or “wise” since the time of Homer and was originally used to describe expertise in a particular knowledge or craft. The reason I chose this is because my goal is to TEACH and INSTILL emergency preparedness and survival, not just sell people some food and gear alone. A prepared mind is your most valuable tool, and it comes through receiving proper instruction and practice. In my opinion, survival is a choice and an attitude.
Professional aircraft pilots spend the majority of their continuous recurrent training on emergency procedures and reviewing aircraft systems. The procedural training to know WHAT to do, and the systems training to know what’s behind those procedures (how stuff works). Knowing HOW something works would cause the procedure to make more sense, do you agree? They PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. Then PRACTICE some more so that when something goes wrong (it’s not a questions of IF, it’s WHEN), the procedure is so ingrained that their response is calm, WISE, and automatic.
The reality is, we cannot really predict the future or plan for every possible scenario. This adventure we are on is far too complex and unpredictable. So here’s what we do… We plan, prepare, and practice which creates buffers between us and the unexpected.
MEET THE FOUNDER
Since he was a kid, he has always been fascinated with aviation and wanted to fly. He started flight training when he was 16 and got certified as a private pilot shortly after his 17th birthday. He went on to get his Instrument, Commercial, and eventually Airline Transport Pilot certificate and has flown professionally for several companies, including the Twin Otter for Grand Canyon Airlines, the Canadiar Regional Jet for SkyWest airlines, and currently flies a Gulfstream 150 for a Utah-based company.
His professional background has also included working as a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, and Sports Nutrition Specialist through the National Fitness Professionals Association, and received his Corporate Wellness Specialist certification through The Corporate Health and Wellness Association. He has worked in composites manufacturing and management for multiple aerospace companies, supply-chain management and operations/logistics, and most recently was the Executive V.P. of Gary Lee Price Studios, Inc. where he directed the marketing and production of bronze, stainless steel, and aluminum statues that are installed throughout the world.
Isaiah believes in working hard and playing hard and LOVES the outdoors. Camping, hunting, fishing, trail-running, hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding, motorcycling, etc. etc. etc. He is an ultra-marathoner with the 50-mile distance being his favorite.
He states, “Someone recently asked me why I started a survival company. In the event of an emergency, people tend to panic and common sense goes right out the window unless they have had specific training and practiced a response to that scenario. If you have thought it through and practiced it, you are far more likely to react calmly and wisely. I created Sophos Survival to provide people the skills, experience, and gear to be able to be a part of the solution – NOT the chaos. There are plenty of places out there that sell emergency gear and supplies, but how many of them also teach you how to use it?
Ever since I was a kid, I have been an absolute outdoors nut. I grew up in Springville, Utah with the amazing Rocky Mountains as my backyard. I absolutely love a good adrenaline rush, but probably my favorite thing about being in the outdoors is that I get to be one with Mother Nature. Most times when I hit the trail, I don’t listen to music. I don’t want to put noise in, I go there to let noise out. Nature is where I find my ‘chi.’ It is therapeutic and relaxing to me. I go to the mountains to meditate and find answers to my questions and to work out my challenges. I am sitting here writing this and getting emotional even describing it. It is sacred to me.”
Isaiah currently lives in Mapleton, Utah with his wife Laurie and two kids, Cooper and Piper. “My family is my whole world. They are my ‘WHY’ for doing what I do. I push myself hard to be the best ME so that I can be a better husband, father, and person. I continuously strive to be more present and enjoy the little things. That’s what it’s all about for me.”