May 18, 2010

Find the lessons...

... wherever they find you.

We have a detached garage with no doors on it. As should be expected, some birds have taken up residence, and the babies have been popping their heads up to watch me whenever I'm in there.

Today was flying lessons. I went out to do some work on the truck, and was greeted by a not-yet-mature robin sitting on the mirror of my truck. It took one look at me and took wing - directly into one of the exposed wall studs in the next bay of the garage.


I wandered over to where it had fallen behind a stack of lumber and found it staring up at me looking slightly confused. I left it be. (It was gone by the time I finished working on the truck.)

So where's the lesson?

Being that humans are ostensibly one of the higher-functioning animals, we should be able to *think* before flying into a wall. Some folks call it the OODA cycle, those in the fire service may recognize it as "GEDAPER/DECIDE".

At some point in life, every one of us is confronted with a Major Event. Some of us will face more than one. A Major Event is a situation that has the potential to be utterly life-changing, and is usually thrown at us with little warning or preparation.

It could be as (relatively) minor as a deer in the roadway, as long-term as cancer, or as sudden and violent as an home invasion. Each of these requires us to react in one form or another, and ideally we will do it without hitting the wall.

"OODA" means "Observe, Orient, Decide, Act". In other words, get your information, plan out your action, decide to do it, then DO IT.

GEDAPER/DECIDE is a fire service thing for HazMat incidents:
* Gather information
* Estimate potential course and harm
* Determine strategic goals
* Assess tactical options and resources
* Plan and implement actions decided upon
* Evaluate
* Review

* Detect the presence of hazardous materials
* Estimate the likely harm
* Choose a response objective
* Identify the action
* Do the best that you can
* Evaluate your progress

Either of these decision-making loops is perfectly acceptable, and shouldn't have to be conscious thought. If you train yourself to think about your actions before acting, and train yourself to specific courses of action with specific events, the loop should be entirely automatic:

If X, then Y.
Y is/is not working.
Z? Flee?

The lower animals (and a lot of people) fail on Step 2 of any of these cycles: "Orient/Estimate". They perceive a threat and go directly to either "fight" or "flight" - or worse yet, "shut down". Once you're out of this decision-making loop, it's VERY hard to get back in.

Teach yourself: think, then act. The consequences otherwise could be devastating.


In other news, this gem was posted on the S&W Forum last night:

Why do people get wound so tight in internet discussions?
I mean, what exactly sets folks off- just the fact that others have different opinions, or the fact that they refuse to adopt your opinions/preferences?

It ain't that complicated.
If you see the merits in another's viewpoint and learn something new, and want to change your opinion, change it.
If you prefer to keep your original viewpoint, keep it.

On a board primarily filled with alpha males, you probably won't have much luck forcing people to agree with you when they are not inclined to do so.

Good things to remember...

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