Righteous State of Cool

Man was designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.

– Zig Ziglar, Week 2 / Day 3

What does it mean to, “Be Cool?” Before reading this book, I associated being cool with other people liking you.  It’s funny, as a child you have no sense of what’s cool.  Then one day at school it seems everyone understands or at least thinks they understand.  This is period when cool meant, other people liking you or something you had, for a lot of my life I was worried about those things as well.  I worried about the importance of, “Being Cool,” not just around friends but also my family.  I was supposed to do certain things and act a certain way to make other people happy, but it wasn’t what made me happy.  I wanted other things, but I was too worried about, being cool.

That’s why it was so refreshing to read Laurence Gonzales’ Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why.  I discovered this book on, The Personal MBA reading list (PMBA).  It’s one of the many great books I’ve discovered from this list.

Deep Survival might be my new favorite non-fiction book, because Laurence does a great job relating stories of surviving in the wilderness to teach you how to work with complex systems and handle the high-stress situations in your life. This isn’t a guide to avoid survival situations because you never really know beforehand.  This book teaches ideas you’ll need when you find yourself already in a survival situation.  Those ideas are not what you might expect.  I thought that training and equipment were the keys to surviving, those things helps, but the key is something much more basic.

The key to survival is how you handle high-stress situations.  Do you stay cool or do you lose yourself?  This is the main determination if someone will survive.  Laurence goes on to talk about experienced hikers, mountaineers, fighter pilots, emergency personal, and regular people who made certain decisions that saved or sealed their fate.

Being cool, is a state of mind. It’s the ability to stay calm in the midst of a high-stress situation. It’s about being able to laugh in the face of adversity, create a plan, listen to reason, and control your emotions.

If you’re interested in learning how to display a righteous state of cool then read this book now.