Plan your personal security like a vacation

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In Monday’s article about self defense tips I mentioned that the path to personal security, home defense and family protection doesn’t come from digesting little soundbites or snippets of information. Those sorts of things might make you feel good or give you a temporary (and very illusory) sense of security, but in reality they don’t do much to actually make you or your family any safer.

What will help with your safety and defense preparations? First, taking a look at what kinds of threats you might face (and I’m not talking just about bad guys, either); then honestly thinking about your abilities to deal with both the immediate and long-term impacts of those threats; and, finally, deciding what steps you’ll take to increase your protection from the threats.

In other words, it starts with making a plan.

What’s in your plan?

Note the order in which I placed those steps. Most people, particularly if they’re gear/hardware-oriented or training hobbyists, will immediately go to the last step and make a list of the guns they’re going to buy or the cool tactical training classes they’re going to take. It’s amazing, actually, how many of my students have taken a wide variety of shooting courses, many of which deal with what I consider fantasy scenarios, but have never stopped to consider whether those courses really contributed to their overall personal security!

Knowing where you need to go and how you’re going to get there is fundamental to any sort of goal achievement. It’s no different when we’re talking about safety and security. That’s why planning ahead is so important; as the old saying goes, if you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there. To that I’ll add that you’ll probably spend more time, energy, and money on the trip!

You don’t have unlimited resources

Those preparedness resources — your time, energy, and money — are all finite resources. No one has unlimited amounts of any of those, and as a result we all need to spend them wisely. If you exhaust your spare time and discretionary income on what I call “enterTRAINment”, activities which are more about the recreation or fantasy than the learning, that means you have less time and money to spend on those things which will really help you and your family be safer. In fact you can waste a lot of time in those kinds of activities, feeling that you’re really accomplishing something, and be very little more prepared than you were when you started!

Taking the time to make your personal security plan helps you spend your limited preparedness resources where they really matter: the safety and security of you and your family. I’ll admit it sounds a little boring, but the process really doesn’t take long. If you look at it the right way, it might even be fun!

It can be fun!

I’ll admit this is going to sound a little corny, but when you’re planning out a hobby activity don’t you get excited just in thinking about what you’ll be doing (or the end result)? Whether it’s a kitchen remodel, a car restoration, or perhaps a major hiking trip, thinking and anticipating are half of the fun. A lot of people get that enjoyment out of planning which new gun they’re going to buy or in thinking about their new AR-15 building project. If you approach your personal security planning with the same attitude it won’t seem so boring!

The first step in the planning process is identifying the threats you might plausibly face. The problem is that they aren’t always what you think they are. I’ll tackle that topic in the next article!

– Grant Cunningham

Photo by Milada Vigerova/unsplash.com

 

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About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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