While evolution overlooked us when it came to giving out super-strong muscles, long, sharp teeth, and Wolverine-like claws, it did not completely forget us when it came to giving out superpowers. Of all the creatures that walk the Earth, Homo Sapiens Sapiens, may be the only species who can redesign the software that runs inside its head, on the fly.
If you’re thinking about superpowers we definitely have them, but they come with a caveat that every superhero will recognize. Accessing them is difficult, using them is painful and the moment we become aware of what we can do, we also change.
Cognitive analytics, the ability to see how the brain thinks, the impact of the mind upon it and how the two, together, can become a unit that is much greater than the sum of its parts, is a relatively new area that’s fueled by neuroscientific studies and breakthroughs. What we are learning is that there is no area of human activity that remains untouched by the mind and that the mind, in turn, is directly affected by the actions we take and the choices we make in the real world.
Of all the areas of human activity we can possibly contemplate the one where everything comes together in extreme settings is war. The life-or-death scenarios, the multitude of unpredictable, uncontrollable factors that are encountered which need to be overcome and the necessity to create positive outcomes in impossibly hostile conditions, create a petri dish where we can examine how the brain and mind learn to perform under pressure.
Of all the roles within the military the one which can, arguably, be called the epitome of mental, psychological, physical and technical training is that of the sniper. Trained to make executive decisions on the fly, subject to scrutiny over each one. Taught to deal with unexpected circumstances and still deliver positive outcomes, a sniper embodies the superpowers we all possess trained to an incredible degree and honed to a fine edge.
In writing The Sniper Mind: Eliminate Fear, Deal with Uncertainty, and Make Better Decisions I delved deep into cutting-edge neuroscientific research and interviewed hundreds of serving and retired snipers. I looked at some specific sniper stories, analyzing some of the elements to see the challenges that the sniper was facing and then looked at the outcome and the sniper’s performance.
Bottom line, when we know how the best of us can do something we can take steps to replicate that quality and improve our own executive decision making skills without having to undergo two-years of sniper training, Navy SEALs’ Hell Week and then a couple of tours of duty in some of the world’s military hot zones.
The mental skills of elite performers, the ‘secrets’, so to speak, which allow them to remain calm under pressure, exercise critical analysis and then choose the best course of action possible in order to successfully achieve their goal, can then be adopted and used by anyone to improve their business skills, communication, relationships and even, outlook in life.
Three years in the making, The Sniper Mind Table of Contents includes:
1. SEEKING A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
2. CHOOSING THE BATTLEFIELD
3. THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB
Each chapter provides the necessary information to develop or improve a specific skill set. It explains the science behind it and it then shows how it can be applied in our everyday life. In a step-by-step approach it builds the pathway from absolute novice to highly skilled, analytical thinker. Download a sample chapter in PDF format.
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Now also available in Chinese (Mandarin).
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