Attrition and prepping
Imagine you have a tank of water with a slow leak in the bottom. Your job is to grab a container and transfer what water you can find into it, and fill the tank. At first, you only react and use your hands and run around like a chicken with it's head cut off, and the water is far from the tank, and you spill most of it, stop to drink some, then a thimblefull gets placed in the tank.
You do this for a bit and realize it's hopeless unless you improve the situation. You carefully transfer as much water as quickly and carefully as you can, and some surplus volume develops. It gives you time to find a better container. Then you dump in far more water volume, and you can actually take a break for many minutes.
Still, this seems like insanity. Can you find a closer source of water? You find one, and then you divert the stream into the tank, and you no longer have to fill a container. In some seasons, that water supply is reduced, so on occasion you have to handfill the tank, but mostly you can do other things instead.
That's a lot of wasted water, isn't it? You read a book, and discover a gasket is broken or missing and purchase one or make one and then repair the leak. The tank fills up, you divert the stream away from the tank at first, but then later you place a valve on it so you can fill up the tank when it evaporates or when it's used up.
This process is called attrition and adjustment. Most prepping is about attrition and it's effects on supplies. Things get used up. Things wear out. People get tired. People die or leave. As a prepper, you'll adjust how to deal with attrition in order to best cope, and based upon your available surplus and knowledge. If you don't know much, you can't fix it. Better learn if you want any sleep. Better cope or you'll run out of food.
Some people don't have the common sense to do anything to deal with the leak. They'll let it all spill out, and call for a rescuer to repair it. If you've ever waited for a craftsman to fix something in your home, you know it's based upon cost, availability, and if there's a high demand for their services. In a collapse, they aren't comin'.
Some people's response to attrition is to be like the Dutch boy and the dyke (See the author Mary Mapes Dodge. She also wrote Hans Brinker). They'll try to do it all themselves and end up foolishly holding their finger in the leak.
A prepper who reduces attrition might have more free time to create craft items, gather long term preps, sleep, laugh, make adult beverages (ethanol), collect medicinal herbs, etc. They can lighten up for perpetually dealing with “doom” will kill you.