MindsetOct 3rd, 2007 | By Ric. | Category: Articles
One’s outlook on life and the world around them does a great many things. In some it is the source of joy, in others despair. In all though, it shapes ones actions and reactions and helps to define them to themselves and to those around them.
I certainly do not mean to infer that everyone should be narrow eyed and constantly looking for a fight or a confrontation, but I would suggest that before one leaves the safety and security of one’s home for the day they should understand that the world is a dangerous place and sometimes, bad things happen. If a bad thing happens and you have not considered that it might, then you will be caught behind the power-curve and have a great deal of ground to cover in a very short time. If however, you have a tentative plan for the things that might occur, then you will not be surprised and will at least be on an even footing when the time to take action comes.
This leads us into the subject of situational awareness. Situational Awareness, or SA for short, is merely the practice of paying attention to the world around you. We have a tendency to get caught up in our thoughts and go through our daily routines by rote. How many times have you left work after a particularly trying day and suddenly found yourself walking through the front door? Did you remember the commute home? Did you run any stop signs? We often chalk this up to “multitasking” and console ourselves that nothing went wrong so it is OK. Wrong answer! Thousands of victims of crimes have told police officers over the years, “I didn’t see the suspect approach me”. “I didn’t hear the suspect walk up to me”. “I didn’t see his clothes”. Had they kept their heads up and their eyes open they would have. In fact, if they had been practicing SA, they probably would not have become a victim in the first place. This leads us into our next mindset topic.
The Predator vs. Prey mentality concept is certainly nothing new. In fact it has been around as long as one creature decided that some other creature seemed like a tasty supper. In the animal kingdom, to which we do belong there are two distinct types of animals based on their eating habits.
Predators hunt and eat other animals. As a result of this activity they develop certain behaviors. They use their senses to locate and identify the easiest targets. This increases their probability for success and leads to a full belly. They watch, they listen, they lay in wait, stalk, strike, and pounce. When they strike or pounce they do so with a sense of determination and commitment. If they act without commitment then they will probably fail and go hungry.
Prey animals typically eat something besides other animals. They develop other survival skills. They use their senses to locate and identify threats. This decreases their chances of becoming the main course for the evening. They watch, they listen and they try to stay close to the rest of the herd. The whole “safety in numbers concept.” This works to a degree and proof positive, because there are still plenty of grass eaters around.
Human predators operate in the same manner as their animal counterparts. They watch the “herd” and select the weak and unwary. The target is the one with its head down, eyes averted and submissive posture. They are easy to stalk, and pounce upon. They probably won’t fight, and have apparently already given up. The easiest way to not become a victim is to think like a predator. When was the last time you saw a lion take on a leopard on a nature documentary? The lion would take the leopard, but it would be too costly so it just does not happen. If you pay attention to what is going on around you then you appear to be too expensive a target and will in all likelihood be left alone.