Minimalist 2: Situational Awareness is Not Enough

A gunfight occurs when our life strategies have failed. If you have no strategy you put yourself in danger more than someone with a strategy. Situational awareness allows you to see what is about to happen but it can’t prevent that situation from happening.

There are many good resources that talk about situational awareness yet some people forget the parts that talk about what you do physically to protect yourself. I found just being aware of my surroundings is not enough. You cannot be switched on all the time. Sooner or later you will be doing something that takes your eyes and brain off of your surroundings. It’s called life. Hence my saying: What you do right before you know you’re in a gunfight often determines if you win or lose.

This concept is not new or earth shattering. There are studies, including the FBI’s, that talk about law enforcement deaths and how they occur. One of the basic concepts to come out of these studies was how police officers apply the lessons of their profession often determines if they win or lose a lethal confrontation. If they apply the lessons uniformly to everyone and every where they tend to win the confrontation more than those that use their intuition to decide who or what is dangerous. Applying the rules no matter what your brain is telling you is one way of staying safe. There are no cues to miss because you were not paying as much attention as you should have been.

Your daily habits, procedures and checklists can save you even when your situational awareness is not on. We need to have a “way” of doing things that keep us safer or flush out bad guys sooner as we go through daily life at home, in the yard, car, work, parking lots and public buildings.

Those “What if” scenarios you develop can identify where you need to place these procedures. Develop habits in such a way that you avoid the confrontation or they buy you time and space during an unavoidable confrontation.

How have you set up your life? Having situational awareness is important. But it will only allow you to see what is coming. Developing a comprehensive life strategy will allow you to avoid most of the bad situations totally. Because bad guys do get a vote in making you a victim your strategy should also set you up to maximize the time, space and location available in your confrontation before you know you’re in that confrontation.


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