Want To Be Safe? Try This…

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This World of ours appears to be on a trajectory of ever increasing craziness.

A quick browse through the news leaves us bombarded by stories of war, terrorism, global instability and crime. It is easy to formulate the impression that we are “under attack”…everything from our physical safety, the safety of our family, the security of our information, our ability to travel safely and the security of our assets appear to be at risk on a daily basis.

So…what do we do?

One of the cornerstones of personal safety is “Situational Awareness”. Unfortunately there is a lot of confusion round this concept. Many “security gurus” tell us to “keep our head on a swivel” and to “identify the threat early”. This state of hyper-vigilance not only results in burn out and a loss of enjoyment in life AND we are less likely to avoid an incident.

In the deep recesses of our brain is a filter called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). The RAS directs our attention to what we perceive as to be important. For example, if we place importance on terrorism our RAS will retain all the data you pick up about terrorism, it will feel like you see it everywhere. The danger in this is that your RAS will discard other relevant data in favor of the data about terrorism, and so you mow have a blind spot.

The answer is…become the Dalai Lama! Buddhists practice MINDFULNESS which is an opening of the senses not a narrowing. By being mindful of our entire environment (not just potential threats) we build a “library” of what is normal in our environment and we are alerted to, or sense when things aren’t normal. It’s at this point we should begin to narrow our focus to specific threats. So the trick to good security is quite simple…be the Dalai Lama before you become Rambo!


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