Survival Resources


Lesson objective:

In this lesson, we cover survival resources and how all animals share basic survival priorities with humans, such as finding food or avoiding danger. As every living being on this planet, we acquire resources and try to survive by utilizing them.


In order to succeed in this world, you first need to stay alive. I think this is clear by now. 

Survival–how it is most commonly understood–means having enough food and water to stay alive.

But it also means being able to stay alert to threats and risks. 

It means having people to rely on to help you get that food and water, to have shelter, and to find a mate if so desired. 

Overall, there are many things that make survival more likely, or easier–beyond the bare basics of food, shelter, and water. 

If you can absorb nutrients effectively from food, you are more likely to survive.

If you have people around to protect you, you are more likely to survive.

If you avoid places that are dangerous, you are more likely to survive.

If you can avoid illness and disease, you are more likely to survive.

If you can recognize threats and dangers, you are more likely to survive.

One more time–survival is more than just having enough food and water. The human brain takes a very comprehensive approach to survival, and when we say the brain prioritizes survival and coordinates various functions in service of survival, we mean that the brain helps direct our thoughts, actions, and reactions to build up survival resources.

Survival resources are physical resources, processes, and behaviors that help increase your ability to survive and avoid harm. In this sense, food and water are definitely survival resources. 

The ability to rapidly detect danger is a survival resource. A protective community of family and friends is a survival resource. A strong immune system is a survival resource.

You get the picture. All of these resources–including processes below our direct or conscious awareness–together increase your chance of survival. And your brain coordinates all its activity, and activities across the body, to increase your access to survival resources. 

All animals share with humans a fundamental survival priority, and have developed specific resources specific to its unique situation. 

The gazelle, for example, has developed excellent hearing, far better than humans, in order to be able to hear a lion brushing through the grass from far away. Ducks developed the ability to sleep with one eye open, so as to always be on the lookout for predators approaching the edge of the water, where they sleep. Dolphins have developed special sonar communication to be able to communicate to each other across long distances, to coordinate their fishing for food. 

Humans, too, have special, customized abilities that help us maximize our chances of survival, and some of these abilities are with us from the time we’re born, while others take a while to learn, and then in some cases, unlearn. 

We’ll talk more about these “survival shortcuts” next.