Adventurer and survival expert, Megan Hine, shares some of the key features to develop a survivor mind.
by Julia Migné
Megan Hine always had a passion for the outdoors and managed to make a career out of it. Described on her website as an “Internationally Renowned Female Survival Consultant”, Megan is a fierce adventurer and a celebrity expedition leader.
From bushcraft to mountain climbing, she is able to overcome any possible situation in the wild and is widely known for her work alongside British adventurer and TV presenter Bear Grylls.
“I’d like to add another [rule]: three seconds without thinking, because nothing will kill you quicker in the wilderness than switching off and making a bad decision.”
“In the wilderness, the only person you are in competition with is yourself,” Megan says. “You should constantly strive to be better, to push your own limits and explore your own relationship with the environment.”
If you’re wondering how to push your own limits and become a real adventurer, wonder no more as that’s exactly what Megan talks about in her first book: Mind Of A Survivor: What the Wild Has Taught Me About Survival & Success.
In her introduction, Megan immediately explained that a popular Rule of Three in the survival world is three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food — that’s all it takes to go from being a survivor to being dead.
However, the British adventurer writes: “I’d like to add another [rule]: three seconds without thinking, because nothing will kill you quicker in the wilderness than switching off and making a bad decision.”
Taking us on a breathtaking journey, Megan goes through some of the most extreme challenges she faced and explains how each of them helped her develop the mind of a survivor.
She reminds us that the threats we face today in our everyday life are very different than the ones our ancestors dealt with. We, nowadays, wrestle more with fears about our job security, debt or overall mental health than we do about being eaten by predators or dying from a flesh wound. Despite this major shift in lifestyle, we are still hit by one evolutionary response that affected early humans: stress.
Somehow, the wilderness has this magical power over us: it soothes our stress. “Walking is beneficial to us because it releases endorphins, which makes us feel better,” explains Megan. Despite this powerful fact, we are getting less and less adapted to the wilderness spending most of our days sitting at desks. So it might be worth giving the wild a try.
Intuition is often overlooked but Megan believes it’s a key tool in surviving in the wild. From strange encounters to sudden change of weather in the jungle, she highlights how her intuition saved her life and many others multiple times. Next time, you get a gut-feeling, you might want to follow it through just in case — better safe than sorry.
Another interesting feature to take into account to develop the mind of a survivor is empathy. However, in a survival sense, empathy is not just about responding to someone’s distress because you feel for them but is more about “extending that insight to the environment and our own bodies”. The idea is to see the world without judgement and to use knowledge previously acquired to face challenges in a smarter way.
This trait of character is closely linked to another tool that Megan calls the “Active Mind”. You never know when your plane might crash or when you might get lost whilst hiking but the best way to be prepared if that does happen is to train your mind to be as open as possible.
Balance takes practice. Being kind but not taken advantage of, trusting but still seeing truth, being happy but still reaching for dreams pic.twitter.com/TyBDINBoAA
— Megan Hine (@Meg_Hine) July 18, 2017
Running scenarios in your mind is one way to train your brain to get more proactive and it doesn’t have to be realistic to work. If Earth was suddenly invaded by aliens, what would you do? If the bridge you’re supposed to cross suddenly collapsed in front of your eyes what would you plan B be to cross the river? This type of thinking keeps your mind flexible and help you deal with any eventuality.
Next time you’re daydreaming at the office, have a look at what’s around you and identify what you could use to survive if a crisis was to suddenly hit you. And if after that you still feel you need more ideas and inspiration on how to become a true survivor, go get Megan’s book.