By Ross Powell
Believe it or not, fiction is one of our most useful tools for spreading awareness about preparing for adverse scenarios and actually getting prepared ourselves. Effective, relevant fiction writing is capable of reaching audiences that manuals, articles, and essays cannot. People who aren’t already fully dedicated to the concepts of risk assessment and tactical preparation – and even many who are – just get bored when they encounter material that reads like instructions for assembling furniture. This is an unfortunate facet of human nature that has been exacerbated by our current cultural climate, but we must acknowledge the facts on the ground even if we would prefer them to be otherwise. A full spectrum preparation mindset requires this attitude of realism. Fiction is not a catch-all tool, but it must be part of our toolbox as we engage our communities and plan for a variety of potential situations. Remember: the truth is stranger than fiction.
The best and most appropriate fictional content for expanding the effectiveness of our real-world preparations is relevant, current, and easily imaginable. Often when people read or watch various media that portrays scenarios like a zombie apocalypse they automatically relegate it to the realm of fictional impossibility. Such a compartmentalization removes any impetus to ask about practical preparations because most simply cannot imagine such a situation playing out. Even when people read dramatic nonfictional accounts of war, natural disasters, and major accidents they tend to assume an ‘it could never happen to me’ attitude. In order for our fiction tool to be sharp and robust, the material we deploy must be able to vibrantly demonstrate a plausible set of circumstances that leads to the following line of questions and realizations:
What would I do if I were in this situation?
Could this actually happen?
Could this really happen to me?
What do I need to do to prepare?
The first question is critical because it is a natural attitude for a general audience to take. We all have a tendency to armchair quarterback from time to time regardless of the content that we’re consuming. If the scenario being presented is realistic enough to have teeth, then the first question is going to have some bite for those with an open enough mind to consider what is happening and engage with the subject. Identifiable characters, genuine emotions, and believable situations are the hooks that can lead those who haven’t given much thought to practical preparation into spending time on the natural follow up questions and taking necessary steps to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.
But the effectiveness of fiction and the questions listed above are not limited to expanding awareness among people who haven’t given much or any prior thought to preparation. Even seasoned preppers can benefit from encountering a scenario that they haven’t fully considered or ran through in a while. Sometimes all it takes is one moment to trigger a question or thought process that enlightens a crucial detail or aspect and solidifies our tactical plans. We must prepare with a full spectrum mindset, and while laundry lists of items are indeed important, sometimes only the vibrancy and detail of a fictional scenario can lead us to visualize something that we hadn’t noticed before and then to prepare for it.
A fantastic source for fiction writing that is relevant, tactical, and engaging is author Franklin Horton (http://franklinhorton.com/). His book series The Borrowed World checks off all the boxes that we have discussed here. Here is the synopsis from the first book in the series:
In a night of devastating terror, ISIS operatives have unleashed a coordinated attack on America’s infrastructure. Life as we know it in America grinds to a halt as the electrical grid collapses, communication networks are damaged, critical bridges and dams are destroyed, and major fuel refineries go up in massive fiery clouds. When the government responds by immediately halting fuel sales to the public, Jim Powell finds himself in a terrifying predicament – trapped five hundred miles from home with a group of coworkers.
With thousands of trapped travelers and scarce law enforcement, the miles between Jim and his family become a brutal gauntlet where the rules of civilized society no longer apply. As Jim puts his years of preparation and planning to the test, he is forced to ask himself if he has what it takes to make it home. Does he have the strength, the brutality, required to meet this new world toe-to-toe? (http://franklinhorton.com/the-borrowed-world/)
You can listen to a recent interview I was able to do with Franklin Horton on “The Price of Business Show”:
Grab a copy today. Ask yourself necessary questions. Point other people to the content. Develop a full spectrum preparation mindset. Expand your toolbox. Commit yourself to taking the small steps that add up to massive progress over the course of time.
About Ross Powell, Survival401K.com
Ross Powell is the Founder of Survival 401k, LLC. Ross was raised in San Antonio and graduated from the University of Texas and is a veteran Naval Officer.
Ross worked in banking and finance for almost 30 years including some of the largest banks and insurance companies in the country. His intimate knowledge of the inner workings of financial institutions helps him direct clients into our Solo 401k product to take control of their retirement funds and escape the pitfalls many see in modern retirement portfolios. His knowledge and access to alternative investments outside of Wall Street has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs find predictable results by helping them segment their retirement plans into wealth preservation, growth and liquidity. An avid fan of being prepared for the unexpected, Ross also guides his clients in preparing their lives and portfolios for the changing world to make Wise Decisions in Perilous Times.
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