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How To Develop Situational Awareness

Anybody who has seen the Bourne Identity film may have thought about the concept of situational awareness.

There’s a scene towards the start of the film where Jason Bourne is attempting to discover his identity. He’s alarmed at the way his mind has been trained to work and is amazed that within minutes of entering the restaurant, he has assessed the weight and strength of other customers, remembered the vehicle number plates of the cars parked outside, and located the exits as well as discovered that the bartender is left-handed.

This sort of training actually does exist amongst intelligence officers and military workers. It’s called ‘situational awareness’ and it basically includes having the ability to rapidly and effortlessly determine crucial realities about your environments.

In today’s world situational awareness is necessary for everybody and definitely for those thinking about cultivating a warrior frame of mind. Situational awareness enables us to determine prospective dangers quicker so that we can prevent or neutralize them. It permits us to move quickly and effectively when the scenario requires it and eventually it lets us keep ourselves and others more secure.

The issue is, the majority of us have our mind on other things: things like our workplace, Angry Birds, financial obligations, relationships or the person at the office with the hot smile.

How do we get our mind back in the game and begin taking notes of the important things that matter to us and to those we love and care about?

The OODA Loop

In the exceptional Art of Manliness article, author Brett McKay explains a technique utilized by Air Force fighter pilot/military strategist John Boyd called OODA Loop.

OODA is a 4 action procedure that informs us to:





In neuroscience terms, you shouldn’t let your ‘default mode network’ kick-in (basically, you should keep your mind on what’s taking place). You should of course stay relaxed, but likewise be alert.

Position yourself in any space in such a position that you can observe the optimum variety of individuals and prevent letting individuals get the jump on you. A fine example would be the corner of a space with your back to the wall. Stay near an exit where possible.

The next action is to orient, which in this context implies searching for particular things. Develop a ‘standard’ by considering the typical behavior and conditions for a particular location. Does somebody look uneasy?

Next decide whether to act and ways to act. Somebody acting suspiciously or possibly strongly? Attempt moving far from them, or informing them to security.

Practicing these suggestions might one day save your life and at minimum, will assist you to embrace a warrior mindset that will be felt by those around you.

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