What makes you get up everyday!

It seems like such a simple question and yet it could be one of the most important.

To start off let’s have a look at the image below.

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Lets call this impressive chap Fred.

Fred has a really simple and yet successful life. What makes Fred get up everyday? Simply his pre programmed desire to survive and propagate. Things are very clear to him and have been since childhood. Hunt for food, make a cozy weatherproof shelter, find a woman and make babies. After that, ensure that his kids grow strong and finally return to the earth a wise old man with a swollen tummy and a full heart.

It really is the simplest way of life one can get with ample time to share stories of bravery around fires, take in the sights and sound the wide open world has to offer. Some would argue adamantly that this was the golden age of man, where we experienced hardships yet mental and emotional bliss.

That being said, let’s fast-forward to present day.

When you wake up in the morning do you wake up with an alarm? Are you excited for the day ahead or are you just going through the motions?

I assume like most people you have to go to work. Why do we work?  Silly question. We work to make money. What do we do with this token of our labours? Very basically we use that to pay for food and a place to rest our head at night. Everything else we purchase should really be just to facilitate comfort and ease in achieving this goal. If we achieve this by all intent and purposes we are in fact successful.

This is where it gets interesting. Lets for a moment say we won the lotto, or whilst walking in the woods stumbled onto a pile of gold bullion. This would buy you, your wife and your kids a place to live and food till a ripe old age. Would you be successful ? Why would you then get up every day? Would you jump out of bed with a smile, ready for the next day of relaxation? Would you be HAPPY? Lets hold that thought for a moment.

I read a story of a normal working class family, that won a few million dollars in a State Lotto. You would think that they would have their life all sorted. What did they do? They bought flash cars, paid of their home loan, then sold the house and purchased a huge house with more rooms than needed.

They then spent all the remaining money on a start-up restaurant. They all work in this restaurant 7 days a week, dawn to dusk to make ends meet.  At the time I read the story, the restaurant was not really working out well and they had sunk every last cent they had to make it work. In fact they were running into quite a lot of debt. They were having their meals at their place of business to cut costs. The entire family was getting up begrudgingly, climbing into fancy cars to go to a place they hate, to serve tables.

What was it that drove them back into working to achieve the very thing they  let slip through their fingers. Is it the social programming, consumerism or the fear of success that drove them back into this hole? Why would you have all your financial concerns met and then put yourself in a position that you need to serve people food to make money to buy the very thing you had before you started.

Many successful business men and woman have written books with insights into what makes a person happy as well as successful.  One statement always seems to crop up in many forms but basically says the following, you must do what makes you happy and you will become successful. I am a big fan of sleeping. I sincerely doubt that it will make me successful or buy me the house I need. However I can understand the premise.

We all need money to purchase the things we need. If you enjoy the chosen occupation then you will be much more engaged , thus you should be more successful at that job. Successful in terms of you will enjoy getting up for work as you enjoy the activity. The money will be a secondary issue of importance. If you enjoy making money, you will then wake up happy to dig pig swill if the hourly rate is good. Its my opinion. You either work to live… or live to work.

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This possibly explains why some men suddenly wake up one day with a mid-life crisis. Am I a success? Have I wasted the best years of my life chasing a dream that I pushed away every chance I got?  The important thing is to remember that once you have a roof over your head and a full tummy. Think very clearly… What makes me happy? What makes me jump out of bed like a kid on Christmas morning!

If it’s the thrill of making sales, then sell dodgy second-hand cell phones on street corners. If you like fixing stuff or have a bit of a DIY thing,  maybe fix and/or modify  cars. You will love the challenge.

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Just don’t fool yourself into thinking you doing it to make money. You will be miserable. Chances are you will not succeed or be successful not to mention be bored to death. The only person you will fool is yourself !

Our time on this rock is very short. The time that we have to actively do the things that make us happy is even less. Be very honest with yourself and strive for those moments.

Ascertain, Engage and Achieve.

Well that’s just my humble opinion anyway.

Thank you for reading.

Dan

The science of natural things

Foot 1

What do you see…. A simple boot print?  I see a story!

Since I was a kid I have been interested in tracking. Animal tracking can be fun, however my guilty pleasure has always been a bit more sinister. As I write this I can almost see Fiona’s eyes rolling, but maybe there is someone else who finds this interesting. So why not.

Looking back, this interest was probably sparked by programs like the Lone Ranger not to mention those terrible jungle war movies that I was drawn to as I kid. What ever the reason was, it stuck. I am not the best tracker in the world nor would I ever claim to be anything other than interested. Do I make mistakes you may ask?   Yes I do. But I always learn from them and try hone my interest.

Tracking for me is not some “Rambo” like ambition. It is something that I do whilst out and about. It’s second nature to me now. I have used aspects of it my whole life and to be honest it has never been anything but positive. To me its a great way to learn more about your environment and your surroundings as well as there being new things to learn and experiment with. A few very basic examples are as follows; How long does a print last in the soil and in what type of soil? How much pressure does it take to break what type of branch? Do they break like in the movies or do they just bend?How long does it take a certain spider to spin a new web, when do certain spiders spin webs? Bird language, animal behavior and the list goes on and on. There are so many variables to take into account I cant possibly mention them all. For me tracking is really the study of natural things and people. That being said, I will continue with this story.

We have been having issues with poaching of all types for years, this is nothing new. However I was really horrified to see how bad it has become in my area. It seems that rising unemployment and an overloaded legal system has thrown down the red carpet for certain people.

In my youth, poaching seemed a little more candid. Some guy going around taking a few things he should not. Not really a big deal. He would get a warning, maybe a fine and that would be that. Now it seems to be a fully fledged way of life for some. A very  profitable way to make money. A new world market with US dollar prices. These people have no intention of doing anything else.  They have been giving our Rangers the run around for some time.

Now when faced with a problem like this I try to put myself in their shoes. See their problems and how would they solve them. In doing so I can see the flaws, patterns and weak links in the chain. The same as tracking any animal.

One thing I do know that humans don’t do anything without motivation. Not even something as simple as going to the loo. We don’t move a muscle without a reason. It turns out that a group is actually  taken the initiative. They are actively watching the patrolling Rangers and moving according to their schedule. But that could be their weakness. I will explain.

I started to explore the place were the animals have been repeatedly harvested and worked my way back. Literally in a way that I would not be seen. It was not possible. So they must be doing this in the dark….A vehicle driving in the dark would be noticed…They must be dropped off in the day and walk in at night. I looked at all the places I would hide that would meet the following criteria: Must be a easy drop off point, must be able to walk with a heavy carry load, good cell phone reception, good overview of any roads and Rangers, must be able to hide from Thermal and IR detection and bingo.  I found their route, their staging area and collection point. This area has been used repeatedly by multiple people for some time. The poachers were definitely watching the Rangers and acting accordingly. The signs range from a month or more rightq up to 24hours old. The way these individuals were operating was cunning as well as incredibly interesting .

 

Bag 2

Belly bag used for harvesting

Bags 4

Bags used to transport the animals

Condoms used to make cell phones waterproof

I am not an expert as I mentioned however the signs indicated a minimum of 3 guys excluding the driver. From what I could see they were athletic, aware and motivated. Not forgetting at least one of them has a drug problem. This could mean he could be unpredictable, aggressive or sloppy. However to be honest I was hoping for the latter. As it turns out that night they employed quite an innovative tactic. Multiple people hit a few different areas. This area had a total of 7 operators but this particular spot was the overview point. Three were detained but one of the Rangers had to break off the car chase for the remaining offenders. A second vehicle appeared and tried to force him off the road whilst in pursuit of the first.  Things elevated quickly. It is becoming very clear that the steaks are high and people are willing to risk it all in the pursuit of quick cash.

 

Tracking or situational awareness is beneficial to just about everyone now days, no matter if its for hiking pleasure, a better understanding of our natural world, driving home from work or even being aware with regards to your local neighbourhood watch.

If you find this type of story interesting or you would like to know more about tracking and or situational awareness , please indicate so by commenting or leaving a like. I am happy to share the things I have learnt or noticed with people who are interested.

Thank You

Dan

How free are YOU?

What is freedom ?  A Simple question or is it.

We are all familiar with the term incarceration. You commit a crime, you are tried in a court and if found guilty you get sent to jail. Solitary confinement and jail time are the worst form of punishment that man has dreamt up without infringing on human rights. Traditionally you are assigned a certain amount of time (depending of the severity of your crime) , to a small cell where you sleep, a mess hall where you eat and a yard, where if you lucky you can get a few hours of sunshine a week. If you are well behaved you can get assigned a little job punching number-plates for a few dollars a week (room and board are included).

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My understanding is that the hardest part of doing time is not so much “doing the time” but the routine. Nothing changes, it is exactly the same routine every single day. The relentless repetition and routine grinds down on even the hardest criminals. How do you know your in jail? The security and barb wire fencing and your loss of freedom. Your punishment is the constant reminder that you don’t have any choice in your day-to-day activities, every decision is made on your behalf and your just a zombie doing your time. I think we can all agree that we all would rather avoid any time in the clink if at all possible.

This is what is interesting to me. If we look at our lives in modernity we can all say we have given up certain aspects of our freedom. The question is really how much have you given up or lost unintentionally. I was having a quick think about the various lifestyles we choose to see if I could draw any parallels.

On the extreme end of the scale let’s look at city living. We constantly cram ourselves into tiny rooms in grey multi-story building blocks, with various security measures including 24 hour surveillance , buzzers , intercoms, key card access, endless rules and the list goes on.

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Our routine is to wake up, make a quick breakfast if we have time, rush of to some bus or underground train, clock into some very important irrelevant job that involves flying a desk. We then rush off as the clock strikes the hour back to your block to catch a take away “sad meal” on your way to check in for a shower and sleep time. Five or six times a week we do this,all in the hope of our one or two days off (invariably to buy food in preparation for the following week). We eat sleep and repeat the cycle, watching a clock, day in and day out till we either get a better job with a bigger cell ( Apartment) or we burn out. The only distraction is the chance of surrounding ourselves with more expensive and trendy trappings to numb the pain and the eventual demises of our dull existence.

There are many parallels between that type of life and incarceration. However people who live in the suburbs are better off in certain aspects no doubt, however they to have the same fundamental underlying issues.

Lets for a moment look at hard core drug addicts. The supposed scum of the earth. Have you ever for a moment thought of what’s its like to be in their shoes.

Prisoners if I have ever seen one. Never see one far from home for long or have any real freedom of choice as they are under a clock. No fences or high walls keeping them locked down. Just the threat of time. Time till the next fix is like a gun to their heads, always cocked and ready to fire. The ever present need to reset a clock that never stops ticking.

Have you ever dreamed of sailing away off into the distance?

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In reality it can be wet and cold, your all alone in desert of unmanageable expanse, monotonous dehydrated food and bad conditions with the ever present threat of loosing your life in a freak storm.

heavy weather sailing

What could possibly be inviting about something like that? Well maybe, The freedom of choice. The freedom to go anywhere at any time and the unknown over the horizon. Freedom to explore. The choice to set your sails to far away lands and adventures.

The facts are , no one can exist in this world for any amount of time without money.

You cant be happy without a certain amount of it, its our life blood.Anyone who tells you different is either clueless or wealthy, in my experience its the latter.

We all have to sacrifice certain freedoms in life and make compromise’s to get by. I have made way to many to mention. We all need to find a way to live our lives in a full and satisfying way.  I have found that we don’t need to be walled in to be prisoners in modern society, in-fact its really easy. As humans we adapt really well. It has helped us thrive but it can just as easily turn against us. One day its unthinkable, the next its a option and then finally, its expected. The trick is that we must not forget what we are working towards and whats really important in the long run.

Of all the worldly possessions we could possibly get our hands on, the most valuable commodity we  have and the only commodity that increases with each second that rolls buy is, time. The real question is…..

What are you going to do with yours. 

Thank you for reading. Anyway it was just a thought I had the other day, lets not forget its only my humble opinion.  Please feel free to share any comments or thoughts you may have.

Dan