What if you could train your brain to not freeze in a crisis? What if you could train your mind to respond to anything in a calm, measured way? What if uncertainty, doubt and mental pressure could be made to vanish from your mental horizon? How much more effective would you be as a business leader? New research coming out of neurological departments in the military shows that you can develop the warrior mind necessary to help you deal with the unexpected and make better business decisions.
Of all the things that go into training a sniper, the mind is now emerging as the most critical component. Snipers, historically, have come ready-made. They were farm boys who grew up shooting rabbits on the family farm, their sniper’s brains fashioned out of the unpredictability of live targets, the relatively poor quality of whatever weapon they happened to have at hand and the real need to hunt for their food. They were hunters who spent their lives taking shots downwind from prey, carefully hidden, mentally working out variables that would affect their hitting the target. The army, when it did get them, gave them a bigger, better gun and some extra training and sent them on their way. But it did not make them.
We live in the days of Big Data. We know that nothing is a coincidence, that no one is just “made” and that everything is the result of a confluence of factors that can now be analyzed and understood. Things that were traditionally invisible, are now being carefully studied, deconstructed and then put together again to see what the final outcome looks like.
Creating the warrior mind that can withstand pressure, is robust to uncertainty and fear and can still deliver ingenuity requires more than just hard physical training and the ability to handle weapons. The “warrior mind” is a cognitive profile whose signature can be analyzed and whose particular way of thinking and dealing with problems can be better understood and recreated through practice.
Here are some aspects of it:
- Clarity of thinking under pressure
- A strong belief in one’s own capabilities
- The ability to recognize and cut out distractions
- The ability to use what resources are available to get the job done
In hindsight these are obvious attributes but they don’t come easy. People who can ‘switch’ them on when required have learnt to do so through personal trial and error, frequently as part of their personal survival tactics. That means that they can be learnt and then they can be developed further.
Here’s why most of us don’t have them:
- We are not trained
- Our motivation is not clearly defined
- Our identity is still diffuse and lacking clarity
In most cases, in other words, we are not sure of who we truly are or even why we are. Working out the “who” and the “why” leads us towards unlocking the ability of our minds to withstand practically anything. That is the essence of the warrior mind.
Just how to train your brain to do this without putting your name to the Official Secrets Act and signing up for the MI6 is the subject of my latest book: The Sniper Mind: Eliminate Fear, Deal with Uncertainty, and Make Better Decisions. You are here. You know what to do.
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