The Survivors Club

The Survivors Club, written by Ben Sherwood, is an international bestselling book that explores the secrets and sciences that could save your life. And by the definition of “saving your life”, he means the human psychology of what makes someone a survivor.

Be it in an air crash, or a person who have experienced extreme trauma in life, like cancer, violence and crime, he explores in this book, the essence of human survival. He also delves deep into the human psyche of the human will to survive and some of the aspects of human survival and the characteristics of survivors in general. He touches on how luck plays a role in survival, the power of faith, and the optimism of living found in most survivors. He also discovers the impeccable ability of humans within us to rise above the challenges and trauma in life and that we are actually stronger than we give credit for.

At the end of the book, Ben Sherwood invited us to take an online test to see what survival tools are inherent within us that makes us strong and willing to survive during tough times. The online test have been tested time and time again to be as accurate as possible, and to reflect accurately based on your personality and outlook in life. I have the taken the test and it was very interesting to see my results.

The first part of the test is to categorize people based on their Survivor Types. There are 5 types of survivors in the world after years of research. They are:

The Fighter

The Believer

The Connector

The Thinker

The Realist

So what am I? After taking the fifteen minute test, I found out that I am the Connector. Connectors comprises about 28% of the population, the highest among the 5 survivor types found in people.

THE CONNECTOR

“When you are a connector, you overcome incredible adversity with the power of your relationship and bonds with other people. You are deeply devoted to your family and friends. your love of your parents, spouse or partner, children and friends motivate you to tackle enormous obstacles. You know that your family and friends depend on your and need you. You hold these relationships sacred, and you will go to any lengths to protect and preserve them. You draw strength from these primary relationships and often rely on support groups or social networks to help you through difficult times. You are able to lean on others for aid, and you now how to reach beyond your regular circle of friends to find the help you need. You are a good networker who makes the most of your connections. You often feel great empathy for others who are struggling. You take care  of other people before you look after yourself. You are good at reading strangers and situations. You know how to get along with others. You play well on teams and work effectively with others to get things done. You survive because of your powerful bonds. You would endure anything – and do everything- for the people you love. Above all, you are a Connector.”

In the second part of the test, the quiz digs deeper into your psychology and tells you your top three Survivor Tools. These tools are inherent in you and they are a reflection of your personality in general. These tools are the tools that you would use within you to rise up to the challenge when adversity strikes you in your life.

There are twelve tools. They are:

Adaptability

Resilience

Faith

Hope

Purpose

Tenacity

Love

Empathy

Intelligence

Ingenuity

Flow

Instinct

My top three Survivor Tools are:

1. HOPE

Hope gets you through the toughest times. You believe that no matter how bad life gets, everything will turn out for the best in the end. When you have a wish of desire, you are confident that it will be fulfilled. You kind of hope isnt a rosy sunrise on a Hallmark card. Its a combination of optimism and realism. You believe good things happen, but you are not naive.

Your hope lifts others when they are down. You are an upbeat person who can turn negative feelings into positive thoughts. You feel lucky and blessed in your life. You believe hard times never last too long and always make a turn for the better. You  can also laugh in the toughest times and see the humor in even the darkest situations.

Dr. Jerome Groopman, a best-selling author and Harvard Medical School Professor, has carefully investigated the science of hope. He found that you brain pumps chemicals responsible for the hopeful sensation, which in turn block out pain and accelerate healing. Belief and expectation – the one-two punches of hope – release neurochemicals called endorphines and enkephalins that mimic the effects of morphine. As a results,  “Hope helps us over come hurdles that we otherwise could not scale,” Dr. Groopman writes, “and it moves us forward to a place where healing can occur.” Hope doesnt directly lead to recovery, he notes. But it contributes to survival. In scientific terms, they may not be causally connected, but they are definitely correlated. Whenever Dr. Groopman meets new patients, reviews their medical history, and performs a physical exam, he writes in The Anatomy of Hope, “I am doing more than gathering and analyzing clinical data. I am searching for hope. Hope, I have come to believe, is as vital to our lives as the very oxygen that we breathe.

“I see hope as the very heart of healing,” Dr. Groopman continues. “For those who have hope, it may help some live longer, and it will help all to live better.”

2. LOVE

The capacity for love is universal, but your level of devotion is different. You will do anything – and go to any lengths – for the people you love. Your bonds with family and friends are unbreakable and give you the reason for living. Purpose – a survivor tool – is described as a calling greater than yourself. For you, love is the ultimate purpose. In a crisis, you always think of your friends and family first. Other people depend on you, and you can never let them down. Your attachments make your life worthwhile. In tough times, you are less afraid because you are surrounded by the love and support of family and friends. In an emergency, you would through fire for the people who depend on you. Even in the worst times, the love around you and inside you gives the strength to go on.

3. EMPATHY

Empathy is a surprising survival tool. It may seem counterintuitive, but in a crisis, you ability to help others turns out to be a very powerful way to help yourself. Your compassion motivates you to help other people stricken by misfortune. You feel a deep connection with others and will do anything to reduce their suffering. You take care of others before you look after yourself. You are sensitive to other people’s needs and go out your way to look after people you dont know. You are good at reading new situations and people, and you are always aware of your surroundings. In group situations, you work well with others. You are a team player. In a crisis, some people resort to selfishness to survive. But you are different. Your empathy and altruism are far more powerful. By caring for others, you take care of yourself.

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