Surviving Life

Returning guest blogger Sunny Frazier, whose first novel in the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries, Fools Rush In, received the Best Novel Award from Public Safety Writers Association, is here today to share a young girl’s take on survival.

The third Christy Bristol Astrology Mystery, A Snitch in Time, is in bookstores now.

sunny69@comcast.net   //  http://www.sunnyfrazier.com

“There are as many ways to survive as there are survivors.”  Amanda Robb, journalist.

Charles Darwin promoted Survival of the Fittest for evolution.

I should know all about it, seeing as how I’ve made it to nearly 68 years. But, I’m not the fittest, not the brightest, and if left in a jungle or put on the show “Survivor”, I would last maybe two days. Evolution ends here.

So, how is it that tweenager Lilian Chen knows more about survival than I do? Her mother let me read her school paper, which is at college level. She broke down the process into 5 traits of survivors and opened my mind in a thousand ways.

She began by stating that every survivor is saved by a unique set of circumstances that depends on personal characteristics and factors. To my relief, she says it’s not always the strongest, smartest, or those who can manage change (I still can’t work a cell phone), but rather those who are positive, can turn fear into focus, and are just plain lucky. That I can do.

Miss Chen explains that being able to adapt to situations is the key. If people give way to confusion or fear and freeze in their tracks, they’re a goner. Better to have a plan. Mark those exit doors.

I’m ridiculously optimistic. That’s not helpful if wolves are chasing me, but apparently it increases willpower and effort. The opposite of optimism is not pessimism, but apathy. When we go psychologically downhill, we’re pretty much dead. Self-pity, despair and making no effort to live guarantees a visit from the Grim Reaper. A positive mind means a desire to resist death and maybe live another day.

Fear goes either way. It can keep a person alive or immobilize them. For some, it helps them focus on getting away from harm; for others, it puts them in a trance. The trick is overcoming terror and taking some sort of action. Either waste it or exploit it.

And (drumroll please) the number one factor in survival is luck. It’s also the one thing you can’t control. It’s either your savior or executioner. But, you can change your luck by making smart choices that increase your chances. Also, keep a four-leaf clover in your pocket.

Versatility is not #1 on the list. However, it’s needed to make all the other traits work. Staying alive doesn’t mean using one element in your survival kit, but a combination of all to put the odds in your favor.

Here again are the key traits:

ADAPTATION

OPTIMISM

FEAR

LUCK

VERSATILITY

I want to give a big shout-out to Lilian Chen for breaking it down for us. She’s a true survivor!

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