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SURVIVAL: WHAT WOULD YOU TAKE?


About 20 years ago I went on a training conference when I was working as a Patent Attorney for a Swiss multinational company called Sandoz. And one of the conundrums they set us to test our ingenuity was this:


You are in a plane flying over the desert and as you are sitting near the cockpit you hear the Captain giving his co-ordinates to the tower at 15.00 hours.


Half an hour later, however the plane crashes in an uninhabited part of the desert in which the only vegetation is a few cactus trees.


But before the plane crashes you hear the Captain sending off an SOS message to the tower and you hear them reply – but you can’t make out what they have said.


The plane crashes and no one is hurt but the radio is totally destroyed and it looks as if the plane is going to explode in a few minutes time.


In the plane there are only ten things that you can see that can be taken out of the plane – but you can only take three of them.


What three items would best ensure your survival and why.


You have three minute to get into groups to decide:


The ten items are:


1. A bottle of water

2. A box of salt tablets

3. A parachute

4. A knife

5. A sun hat

6. A lady’s vanity mirror

7. A watch

8. A compass

9. A first aid box

10. Sunglasses


Question: What are those three most important items that you would take from the plane to ensure your survival?


You only have three minutes to decide what to take starting NOW.


Three minutes later. STOP.


What did you decide?


The answer- according to the US Military’s top survival expert was as follows:


3. The third most important item was the knife – because it can be used to cut the cactuses to provide drinking water.


2. The second most important item is the parachute – because once the plane blows up you will have no shelter from the sun.


1. The most important item is the lady’s vanity mirror, because you can use it to reflect the light of the sun and so attract the attention of any plane sent out to look for you.


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