email a friend iconprinter friendly iconHow to Survive (Almost) Anything: 14 Survival Skills
Page [ 14 ] of 15

13. Be Cool

Acting cool is not the same as being cool. As the head of training for the Navy SEALs once said, "The Rambo types are the first to go." Siebert wrote in his book The Survivor Personality that "combat survivors . . . have a relaxed awareness." People who are destined to be good at survival will get upset when something bad happens, but they will quickly regain emotional balance and immediately begin figuring out what the new reality looks like, what the new rules are, and what they can do about it. In the past few decades, technologies like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have allowed researchers such as Bruce McEwen at Rockefeller University to demonstrate that stress changes the shape and chemistry of the brain, resulting in trouble remembering, difficulty completing tasks, and altered behavior. In effect, losing your cool makes you stupid. Examine the way you handle yourself under pressure: Do you blow up when you’re stuck in traffic or when someone cuts you off? Are you able to accept failure philosophically and move on with resolve to do better next time? If you’re rejected—in love, in business, in sports—do you stew over it? Practice being calm in the face of small emergencies and you’ll be more prepared to deal with large ones.

Page [ 14 ] of 15
Join the discussion

National Geographic Adventure is pleased to provide this opportunity for you to share your comments about this article. Thanks for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Recent Comments
  • I had been looking for a motivational tool for a member of staff that had been bullied so badly she …
  • This is valuable advice! As a Cancer Survivor and current fighter of a second Cancer These tools are…
  • This is a great article. Good examples. Most of these are already explained in "Bhagwat Gita".
  • WOW!! Good article! Very good ideas that I am going to put into practice!
  • There is some fantastic advice here. Resilience is a terrific quality as well. I suspect many who lo…
Read All »