*This was co-written with my husband, Stephen. He deserves the primary credit including the overall concept.*
Self-improvement in the +P philosophy is no different than in any other philosophy: improving self by taking action. This might be in areas of career, education, or position. Self-improvement always begins with the acquisition of knowledge.
Knowledge is the key to eventual sustainability. In other words, the +P approach to preparedness includes self improvement through acquisition of knowledge. This knowledge may be acquired in many ways including but not limited to continuing education, personal experience, experimentation, mentoring relationships, university studies, outdoor schools, primitive skills gatherings, books, videos, marital arts training centers, and self-help/motivational materials.
Physical and Mental Health
This category of the +P approach is one that focuses on improving both mental and physical health. Physical and mental stability are key elements in having the ability to sustain yourself and your family during difficult times. As one might suspect, this area focuses on exercise, maintaining a positive outlook, building tolerance to various situations, stress management, preventative healthcare, eating clean/maintaining a healthy diet, building and maintaining positive relationships, getting adequate rest, living in a clean/safe environment, spirituality, and personal hygiene.
Once knowledge has been acquired, the newly developed skills must be practiced in the +P approach. Practiced skills may range from daily yoga for physical health to canning for food storage preparation. Practicing skills also contributes to positive mental and physical health.
In the +P approach, individuals are deemed to already have worth that can be used to trade for knowledge, skills, items of need, or other necessary elements that will contribute to self-improvement and the ultimate goal – self-sustainability. While finances, property, and similarly related items are certainly considered worth, they are not the only areas of wealth that one might possess. So, in the +P approach, worth is anything that an individual possesses, does, or could potentially do that may be in exchange for something such as education, skills, and supplies just to name a few. If you think about it, worth is that which we trade for money at our jobs. We provide something and in exchange for it, we receive money. As we increase our bank accounts, we are able to upgrade our education level, our homes, our vehicles as well as other areas. This increased worth can ultimately be traded for other needed knowledge, skills, and items. Money, however, is not the only item that can increase worth. For example, imagine that you attend a primitive skill gather for the purpose of learning how to fashion a bow or how to make clothing, but you have little to no money to trade in exchange for this skill. You might offer to work-trade (labor or teaching a subject that you know) so that you could attend classes in areas that you desire. The point is that worth can be much more than money.
The +P approach to sustainability encompasses all of the above mentioned areas. As an individual becomes more knowledgeable, applies learned skills, increases overall mental and physical health, and increases worth, the synergistic cycle continues as the individual continues to learn new knowledge contributing to self-improvement. Essentially, if an individual has learned the right skills, is mentally and physically healthy, and has increased his or her worth, the individual is highly likely to be able to live a sustainable life even in the face of disaster. This positive preparedness attitude is one that places emphasis on building a sound mind and a strong body, learning and practicing skills, and increasing personal worth which will ultimately result into having the ability to maintain a successful and sustainable existence before, during, and after a disastrous personal or global event.