3 Keys To Survival

3 Keys To Survival

Float Plane

Float Plane

Back when I lived in Anchorage, Alaska, my dad wanted to take me and my little brother fishing.  My dad loves fishing the hardest possible way.  We woke up early one morning and went to a float-plane charter.  My dad insisted that we go to the most remote lake possible, that nobody had ever been to.  I did not want to go to this spot.  But he insisted.  We ended up going to a lake that the fishing guide had never been to.  The only way that we could get upstream was by walking through the river.  At one point, the guide stopped us, put his hand on his gun and said for us to be quiet. Then he said, “Did you smell that grizzly bear?”  This was not my idea of a fun fishing trip!  The only thing that was fun about the trip is we were walking through about 2 inches of water and a 50 pound king salmon was trying to swim upstream.  I threw my pole down and bear hugged the salmon.  I asked my dad to take a picture, but then the fish slapped me in the face and got away.  We ended the day after hiking 9 to 10 miles trying to get back to the float plane and fly home.  The pilot made several failed attempts at flying us out of the wilderness.  We were scared to death and we barely got out of the lake alive.

Alaska King Salmon

Alaska King Salmon

After this extreme fishing trip, I decided I was going to drive to my next territory where I was selling books door-to-door in Fairbanks, Alaska, which was almost a 5 hour drive.  As I was driving through the Denali Mountains and elevation was increasing, I physically started to shake as I was driving in my car.  Knowing that there was no human life within miles of where I was, I drove my car as fast as I could to find the nearest hotel.  I found the owner of the hotel and he called the ambulance for me.  He told me I was dehydrated.

Road to Denali Mountain

I woke up the next morning in Fairbanks with the doctor telling me that I had a clean bill of health.  I asked how I should get back to my car on the Denali Mountains.  He laughed and said I would have to take the Greyhound.  I said where do you get the Greyhound?  He said if you run as fast as you can all the way across town you can catch it, but it leaves in 10 minutes.  So there I went, still wearing my hospital bracelet, running as fast as I could out of the hospital across town and barely catching the bus in time to take the five-hour ride back to retrieve my car and drive back to Fairbanks.

I checked into a hotel in Fairbanks that night, woke up at six in the morning and was knocking on doors by 7:59 AM the next day.  I ended up having a great week…and still ended up finishing as the #1 salesperson at Southwestern Advantage that year.

Upon reflection, I found that there were three key things that I did to be successful that next week and stay alive!

1.  Focus on the Solution Not the Problem

When facing dehydration in Alaska, focusing on the problem would have made it worse.  If I had pulled over to think about what I needed to do, it could have been the end of the road for me.

2.  Never Hesitate

Not making a decision can be the worst decision I could have made when faced with a life or death situation.  The most successful people I know are decisive decision makers.  They know that even if their decisions aren’t 100% the best decision they can keep making decisions to make up for the few bad ones.

3.  When Life Throws You A Curve Ball…Hit a Home Run!

Excuses are so much easier than following through, sticking to a plan and being successful.  It would have been very easy for me to quit and go home after this near-death experience in Alaska.  No one would have thought any less of me, I would have still made good money, and life would have gone on.  However, my goal for that year was to be the #1 salesperson in the company.  I still had two more weeks of selling left, and if I had quit, I would not have hit my goal.

After the doctor told me there was absolutely nothing wrong with me and I had a clean bill of health, all I wanted to do is get back to work before I lost all of the momentum I had before this seemingly major setback.

What is your Denali Mountain that you’re facing right now?  Are you shaking at the wheel?  What area of your life do you want to quit in right now?  Do you have what it takes to not just survive, but thrive?

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3 Responses to “3 Keys To Survival”

  1. GREAT encouragement!

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