Your Mission Control Centre
NOTICE: This website is still quite new!
A few things don't work yet, and some of the posts are incomplete. See here for more about this.
Your "Mission Control Centre" is a place that you use to centre your operations around. It could be a desk, or a workbench perhaps. Or any place that works for you. You could have more than one for different purposes, though you could think of one as being the main command centre that you operate from.
I got this idea from two main sources: An audio series called "How to Live the James Bond Lifestyle" by Paul Kyriazi, and a set of audio lessons by Jon Young from Wilderness Awareness School. I was hoping for the James Bond Lifestyle to have more about Bond's work-related activities, which would be relevant to prepping. Instead the series was more targeted to normal everyday people and focused more on the lifestyle aspects, like going on vacations to exotic resorts. I still found a lot of very good ideas in it though.
One which stayed with me was the idea of your Centre of Operations. Kyriazi describes this as your desk. Though it could be any place that works for you, such as a workbench in a workshop or garage or a place outside. Jon Young also described using a "naturalist desk" in this fashion.
One big idea from Kyriazi was that of establishing a space where you had complete control over it. In his example, this would begin with the surface of your desk. You keep it tidy at all times and only certain items (which are relevant to your "mission") are allowed to be on it. He then lists some of these items, which I may mention later on...
This is the place where you plan your "missions", i.e. your activities that you will be doing as part of your new lifestyle (which is in this case, prepping). A big part of the art of prepping is learning how to cope with situations that are out of your control. One thing you can do is to learn to keep certain things (even if small) inside a boundary which you can control. From here you make your plans, you set your goals and priorities, and you establish order.
The idea is that then you carefully and deliberately move outwards from here, gradually expanding your circle of control from your centre out into the world around you.
Being a prepper is about making use of a range of different techniques to get the job done. In one sense it's good to get used to being less in control, since the future events we're prepping for are uncertain and unknown.
But in another sense, it's good to get used to being in control. These two ideas aren't contradictory — in fact they reinforce each other. In an emergency or other unpredicted situation one of the absolute most important steps (and some people would say the most important) is to stay calm, figure out what your priorities are, make plans based on these priorities, and stay in control of the situation as much as possible.
So being in control while operating in an out of control environment go hand in hand.
On this page, the idea is introduced of having a mission control centre of some sort.
Go through the items from JBL. (this will come later)
For prepping the most important items will be different, (I will cover this later also)
While James Bond is a fictional character, and in some respects not a particularly moral one — in other respects, Bond does display very many extremely morally admirable characteristics. Such as loyalty, courage, dedication, and calmness in the face of massive adversity. He's fictional of course, and there are plenty of examples of real people who also display these traits. But being such a well known character it's not a bad idea to see what useful ideas and lessons can be learned here.
A lot of guys would (or at least imagine that they would) love to be James Bond. Perhaps this is more true in a hypothetical sense than a real sense, and perhaps most are attracted mainly to the glamour, and the ladies, and the cars, and the gear and the display of macho skills. More than the less appealing parts of the lifestyle, like getting into fights with assassins and having your life on the line almost continuously.
However these are part and parcel of the appeal. And in the movies they seem exciting.
I was thinking about the difference between what we see in the Bond movies and what I would experience if, say, an armed assasin were to make an attempt on my life as I slept tonight.
A lot of the appeal of the Bond movies comes from the... I'm trying to think of the right word for this... perhaps "status" will have to do until I think of a better word. The importance that we subconsciously assign to what Bond does, because he's fighting (often single-handedly) to save much of the world (or at least his country, or Western civilisation). Because he's living at the top of the tree in terms of lifestyle, glamour, adventure, romance, and all of those things.
Compared to all that our own lives seem a lot more mundane, less important, less interesting, less worthy.
I think that's the main difference.
So the next question is, how to reclaim some of that back for our own lives? Prepping can help you to do that.
The starting point of any mission is the gathering of intelligence. That is, learning things — about the situation, about what you need to do, what skills and resources and allies you have available to aid you on your quest. About your enemies and how they can be overcome. And so on... The next stage is planning. These preparatory stages aren't always seen in the Bond movies in full detail — they are kind of glossed over so we can get to the action.
Bond has a tidy desk. Everything is in it's place.
This is also seen in the armed forces. Having everything perfectly tidy and "ship shape" — completely in order, so that when you enter a world of total disorder, you've got something to hang onto. Like knowing your equipment so well that you can unpack and re-pack your gear in total darkness.
Anthony Robbins said that personal power is "the ability to act". To apply this to prepping, think about the things you'll need to be able to have, and to do. Starting with the basic needs of life. One of those needs is motivation, morale, and the ability to bond (excuse the pun) with the environment that you're in.
Another thing to note here is that Bond is cool. He doesn't get angry or upset, nor does he whine and complain about how hard his missions are. He just gets on with it.
When the Christian martyrs that I look up to died (or nearly died) they saw themselves as dying for their saviour, as part of their great mission to bring hope and salvation to the most lost parts of the world. Their suffering and death became in many ways a positive thing in their minds. Even in the recent "Waco" TV mini-series you can see some of this.
When soldiers die in battle, they're giving the ultimate amount of service they can possibly give, to save their country — giving their all, literally, to be part of a great and important task. In these kinds of situations, death becomes not the worst thing imaginable. It's quite possible to die while feeling you're a winner.
Now consider the opposite. The economy crashes. As in crashes all the way down. And it's not coming back. Perhaps (probably) wars start and/or local civil unrest begins. You're out of work. Whether the events play out slowly or quickly (either is possible or anything in between, or a series of ups and downs getting ever more down in terms of our familiar modern lifestyles), there's going to be a massive amount of losses in terms of the things that most modern Western people base their lives on — their self image, their goals, their self-worth. And what keeps people in control of things (e.g. having money they can spend). And a lot of other things too will suddenly be gone. In this scenario, it's easy to imagine dying in total despair. Dying while feeling as a loser. Especially if you don't have a faith or belief in a heavenly future in the next life. This is the main thing to avoid. It's avoidable.
You can start to learn about these things.
A lot of people (including preppers) may die a short time into a total collapse of civilisation. How could you die like that and still "die as a winner"? There are more possibilities here than would at first appear when considering the scenario above that's written in terms of loss and despair.
One more idea of this draft version of this web page: Bond is a secret agent. He knows about OPSEC (Operational Security, i.e. not telling everyone about everything you're doing). If someone were to see him working on his mission plans, he would just look like an ordinary person sitting at a desk. Often when on his missions that involve travel (like most of them) he says he's on holidays. Or a travelling businessman perhaps. He wears ordinary clothes, not a superhero costume with cape and bright colours. In other words, he appears to be just an ordinary person.
You can look like an ordinary person sitting at a desk. Or an ordinary person doing all kinds of activities that may be mistaken for other things, like sports or recreation, or hobbies, or a self-employment type of venture (like a small scale farm perhaps).
To be edited and continued...
Cover image by Mike Renlund. NASA's Christopher C. Kraft Jr. Mission Control "Center" at Houston, Texas. NASA has sent over three hundred people into space, including twelve to the moon and back. They achieved all of that without ever learning how to spell properly.
Here's a selection of books to help to quit drinking, or to slow down on drinking. I'll write up better explanations as I get time... The first one is the one that helped me the...
Since I have enough experience (and success) with this topic to easily write a whole book about it, or even a series of books, this first web page about how to quit drinking is going...