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Now What? A Back to Basics Approach to an Uncertain Future

Let’s face it, 2020 has been a rough year. Just about every one of us has struggled through the twists and turns we’ve faced in the last 10 months. We all know, or have been affected by, job loss, mental frustration, isolation, ammo shortages, and more. I myself have faced burnout and even death in the family this year.

To cap it all of is an election that we all knew would piss of half the country no matter the outcome. We still don’t even know the results yet, and the way everything has been handled so far only continues to rob American’s of our faith in the republic.

I’ve been asked more than one to share my thoughts on all of this, not to mention the prospects of an [possible] incoming president who explicitly ran on a platform of banning the kinds of rifles I like to shoot and write about.

So I’m going to say something that you probably don’t want to hear, but need to…

Take a breath.

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Back to Basics

There’s a diagram I remember learning about, it’s two large circles with a smaller circle in each. The outer circle is the “circle of concern” and the inner circle is the “circle of influence.” The concept is that in one, where the influence circle is much smaller, it is because that person spends too much time and energy focusing on the things they cannot control or influence. Therefore, their own personal influence over their world begins to shrink.

In the second circle, which represents a person who spends their time focusing on the things that they actually can control, their influence expands to fill their world.

I like this idea because it aligns with something I’ve been saying for a long time. Whatever happens in the coming months and years, we largely do not have control over it. Sure, we can contact our representivies, organize, and participate in the system as best we can- but we cannot control it.

So rather than waste our time and energy trying to force it, let’s focus on ourselves and our own influence. In this episode, I propose five categories of things that we can control:

  • Marksmanship & skill at arms
  • Physical strength and health
  • Mental health and resilience
  • Economic health
  • Our tribe

Nearly nobody is “solid” in all of these areas,  yet each of them is completely within our control. This is our sphere of influence. So listen to the episode where I break down each one and tell me what you think down in the comments.

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Matt is the primary author and owner of The Everyday Marksman. He's a former military officer turned professional tech sector trainer. He's a lifelong learner, passionate outdoorsman, and steadfast supporter of firearms culture.

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Oldest First
Newest First

Nice job Matt! Really like the quote you referenced! I think we all need to step back and put things in perspective – things we can control and things we cannot. However it remains difficult to focus when one is heavily invested in something that the sun may be setting on very soon (it’s not exactly a haircut going out of style). In the spirit of maintaining preparedness –

“Si vis pacem, para bellum”

C. J. Daniel
C. J. Daniel

Matt, you said something interesting in the podcast, to paraphrase, “a city and a Capital we have no influence on”. That statement illustrates the key issue. The elected officials are supposed to govern at the consent of the governed, yet we have no influence on DC. Our elected representatives are no longer working for We The People. Obviously anyone who has been paying attention for the last few decades is saying “no duh”, but what are we doing about it? Don’t get me wrong, the five categories you listed are excellent and super important, but not at the risk of… Read more »

C. J. Daniel
C. J. Daniel
Replying to  Matt

I wholeheartedly agree. We have some influence, but I feel it is slipping dangerously close to the point of no return. Like that time I through the anchor overboard before tying to the boat, then watched the 30’ rope slip through my hands into the 45’ deep lake. The problem we all face is building a solid tribe without a) inviting legitimate nutjobs in, while b)not coming across as a radical. Alpha Rubicon is a wealth of knowledge to share with your tribe even if it’s just the non-member side. I have a lot of close friends and we’re all… Read more »

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