38 Principles of Self-Sufficiency

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So much wisdom here! Self-sufficiency tips. | www.TheSurvivalMom.com

Change the way you look at everything.  Rethink your entire lifestyle.

Develop discernment about people.

When you invest, invest first in the right people.

Look at yourself honestly. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Seek the counsel of others you trust.

Find like-minded people who can be part of a mutual support group and who you can cooperate with.

Find alternate methods for doing everything.

Develop an instinct for what doesn’t feel right. No matter how good something looks or sounds on the surface, go with your gut feeling, your instinct, your intuition.

Eliminate non-essentials from your life. Eliminate all time wasters and money wasters, and things you don’t need, i.e. clothes, furniture, junk, etc. Eliminate television from your life.

Simplify your lifestyle. Learn to say no to things or activities which do not make you self-sufficient.

Develop physical, mental, and spiritual discipline.

Learn to treat everything as if it were irreplaceable.

Buy things that will last, even if they cost more.

Acquire tools that do not depend on electric power.

Learn to spend time alone with yourself in total silence. Think, reflect, reminisce and plan (or strategize) in silence.

Learn to spend time with your family without any superficial entertainment and distractions.

Learn something from every situation you are in. Everything you hear, see, touch or feel has a lesson in it.  Learn a principle from every mistake you make and from everyday life situations.

Make sure your trust is in the Lord and not your own preparedness. Pattern your preparedness according to the guidance of the Lord. Listen to what He puts in your heart. Don’t use only your reasoning power.

Learn to enjoy simple pleasures from the smallest things. Have a measure of joy and happiness that doesn’t come from creature comforts or entertainment.

Store up memories for times of isolation or separation from your loved ones.

Establish priorities for all areas of your life, including relationships and current and future needs. Set goals for areas to become proficient or self-sufficient in. Set a schedule or a timeline to reach those goals based on the money and time you have available.

Examine the concept of civil disobedience from Bible times throughout history. At what point should the people of Egypt have said no to killing the male babies in Moses’ day? At what point should the people of colonial America have said no to King George? At what point should the people of Germany have said no to Hitler? At what point do we say no to the despots of our day when they take over our money, property, guns, our children and our freedom? Decide what is your choke point.  When do you move toward civil disobedience?  For many throughout history it was when evil leaders handed down edicts that were directly contrary to God’s Word or commands. Don’t set your choke point too early or too quickly, too late or never. Think through and calculate a strategy. Then never look back.

Learn to ask the right questions in every situation.

Bring orderliness into your life. If you live in disorder, it will pull you down and break your focus. Think focus vs. distraction.  Eliminate the distractions from your life.

Self-sufficiency or survival principles are learned on a day-to-day basis and must be practical.

Always have more than one way to escape, more than one way to do something. Have a plan B and a plan C.

Every day life, and especially life during a crisis, requires up-front systems and back-up systems if the first line of defense, or the up-front system, fails.

Real education only takes place when change occurs in our attitudes, actions, and way of life.

Wisdom is making practical applications of what you know. It is not enough to know everything you need to know. It will only serve you and others if practical application is made of that knowledge.

Fix in your own mind the truth about your capabilities. In a crisis situation, this will keep you from being too cocky and will provide you with confidence.

Decide ahead of time, before a crisis arrives, how you will react in a given situation so that you are not swayed by the circumstances, the situation or your emotions.

Beware of being spread too thin in your life. Decide on the few things in life that you must do and then do them well. Think focus versus distraction. Make sure that unimportant, non-essential distractions don’t keep you from achieving your important objectives.

Learn to quit wasting things. Be a good steward of all that God provides.

Buy an extra of everything you use regularly and set that extra one aside for the time when such items may be difficult or impossible to obtain.

In every situation, train yourself to look for what doesn’t fit, what’s out of place, and what doesn’t look right.

Teach your children, and learn this yourself, that you are not obligated to give information to a stranger. You don’t have to answer questions that are none of their business, not even to government officials.

Sell or give away things you don’t use or need. Consider giving away or selling half of your stuff, the non-essentials. Simplify and streamline your life, lifestyle, and possessions.

Find someone who lived through the Great Depression and learn from them. Find out how they became self-sufficient, how they made do with very little, and how they found joy and contentment in the midst of hard times.


This list originally appeared on Don McIlvaney’s website, McIlvaney Intelligence Advisor.

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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 9 years.

6 thoughts on “38 Principles of Self-Sufficiency”

  1. This is great stuff! I used it to do a 4 part series on mindset in my blog and also credited Mr. McAlvany. He's pretty good.

    Bob Mayne
    Today's Survival Show

  2. I haven't read anything else by McAlvany but will definitely Google him to find out more. By the way, I caught your podcast yesterday and was very impressed! It's compelling without being terrifying, and I give it TheSurvivalMom's two thumbs up!


  3. Just discovered your website yesterday. Thank you, LOVE it. This is the first site I have found that incorporates the need to be prepared while living with a minimalist attitude. Yours is also the first I’ve read in a long while that is giving me great new ideas. I will be sharing your site with everyone I know. Thanks again.

  4. This is one of the best list I have ever read! thank you for it. I'm going to save this link and send it to all the people in my life. THANKS AGAIN

  5. Just found your site, and look forward to reading through your past posts! This was a good, well-thought out list. #22 about civil disobedience hit a sensitive place for me; I have two sons and I am a pacifist. I am also living in the Middle East and getting a first-hand look at the unrest all around me. It's not quite what American media and politicians make it out to be, and certainly something to consider. I appreciate that the author of the list did not pass judgment or take a view of right vs. wrong. Many of these ideas are deeply personal, and it is possible for people from differing viewpoints to support one another. Again, thanks for the blog–I look forward to reading more of your work.

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