The brain creates a structured narrative out of moments it observes

The Story You Tell Yourself

The mind makes sense of the world by running a narrative that’s not unlike a movie. Major events happen that tell us where we are in the story and why: we are born, we grow up, we become trained in something, we get married, friends die.

These are stitched together by smaller events and bit players. The waiter who brings us coffee at a business meeting in a café may look buff and strong but he’s a bit-player in our narrative. A backdrop prop that populates the workings of our world and provides stitching instances we use to unlock its secret code. The waiter stands as a marker for a lower-end, service-industry job that signifies the existence of a part of the economy that works on low-margin commodities (like coffee).

To understand his importance in our narrative consider that when he brings the coffee we ordered and goes away he’s ensured that the world we know is functioning in a way we consider the norm, and we need to focus on the importance of our meeting. But should he suddenly disappear from the picture. Should the café have no waiters whatsoever because they are impossible to get it would signal a fundamental disruption to the economy. Our understanding of how things work would change and we would need to look closely at the world around us to better comprehend the socioeconomic upheaval that marks the end of waitressing as an option and the further impact that would have.

It’s by constantly taking in and analyzing such micro-instances that stitch together the more significant events we pay attention to that we can predict what will happen next (and why). This allows us to have a certain sense of trust in the world saving precious mental and psychological resources so we can plot the course of our lives.

Neuroscience tells us that the narrative our brain constructs is a key part of our understanding of reality. How well that understanding works determines the type of choices we make, the decisions we take and the actions that follow them.

Top performers in any field: snipers, elite combatants, top baseball players and top basketball players understand this intimately. Their ability to navigate the key moments in their life depends upon the skill with which they read the cues that lead up to them. The Sniper Mind: Eliminate Fear, Deal With Uncertainty and Make Better Decisions gives you the tools you need to stitch together those micro-moments better. The outcomes you achieve as a result of that are then more directed. You are more in control of your narrative and the protagonist of your life, you, has a better set of tools with which to navigate his story.

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