We all do it. We fall into patterns, both in our lives and our thoughts. We get so accustomed to doing things one way, every time. The same can be said of our perceptions and our thoughts. We should, when we have time in our lives, sit back and contemplate everything we think, everything we do, and all of our perceptions. What do I mean? Allow me to make an example and explain. Joe Public is the average work day man. He rises at the same time, 6:00 AM (give or take a few hits on the snooze bar) and gets dressed for his day. He wanders to his kitchen where he starts the coffee pot, then he wanders out the front door and gets his daily paper. He sits down, starts reading the paper- the front section- but it is like white noise to his brain, nothing really sticks. When the coffee finishes, he pours himself a cup and continues reading the paper, now he is in the sports section, his attention perks up and his brain engages. He sees game stats, player names, stadium names, reads about the latest rumors in the sport, and notes when his favorite team will be playing next, and these details he will not forget. Why? they are extremely important to him, they entertain him and do not cause him unease or frustration. Let me stop here, and make a caveat. I know I am being deliberately generic and perhaps downplaying the importance Joe Public places on the headlines. Then again, how many people do you personally know that read the paper on a daily basis? I mean really read it? I personally know one. That is it. The vast majority flip on the tube, catch a little morning news, or perhaps turn on their laptops and peruse the headlines at their favorite website. Many do not. Many are on their My Face/Spacebook/Tweetle accounts within 30 minutes of rising. Many could care less about the news. More people place a higher importance on celebrity gossip or sports news than anything else. Pretty sad. Anyhow, you can see where I am going with the pattern thing. Being inside a box. Our thoughts get that way also. We become rigid in our thinking. We become so accustomed to the the way we think things are, that we cease to question and simply defend our stances, regardless of right or wrong. We also become complacent sometimes even apathetic. Part of being prepared for the worst is thinking and acting outside the box. Being active in our daily perceptions of the world around us, not just accepting or apathetic. Our thinking must be flexible as new rope. Our daily routine must be anything but routine. This will allow us to not only be more aware of the things going on around us, but also be better mentally prepared to cope with sudden or catastrophic changes around us. Your mindset is as much a preparation as storage food or guns and ammo. You remember the rule of threes? 3 minutes without breathing (drowning, asphyxiation) 3 hours without shelter in an extreme environment (exposure) 3 days without water (dehydration) 3 weeks without food (starvation) 3 months without hope (depression) Well, hope comes from inside. If you have a flexible mindset, you never will lose hope. There is always a solution, you just have to find it. In one of my previous posts, a man asked his brother-in-law to be a simple question: "What would you do in a society where you could not even afford a loaf of bread to eat?" the answer "Well, I guess I would just kill myself. I mean who wants to live in a world like that?" The operable words here are who wants to live? I sure do, and I have adjusted the way I think, act, and even perceive the world. It has done wonders for me. Now instead of insurmountable obstacles, I see opportunities to do things differently. Can you say the same?