Day Dreaming With A Purpose

Yesterday morning my wife asked if I could go to the corner store to grab some milk for the kids’ breakfast.  I, of course, jumped at the chance to get out of the house during the morning routine. 

As I walked out the door, I grabbed my revolver which is a Smith and Wesson 638 with a clip draw clip that slides right over the belt with no holster. 

I never leave the house without a firearm and today was no different

            I pulled into the gas station at a busy intersection in my home town.  It was a quiet winter Saturday morning in a small village. 

There was an older lady pumping gas at the small three pump station.  There was a gentleman standing by the cigarette butt dispenser finishing off his cigarette. 

As I walked past him into the store I could smell the smoke of the tobacco in the crisp morning air.

            I walked straight to the back of the store where the milk was kept in the walk-in cooler.  As I bent down I heard and a loud scream of what sounded like a woman fearing for her life. 

I turned from the cooler to see a thin scraggly male point a silver gun at the cash teller behind the counter. 

I could not make out what he was saying but knew it was not a good situation.

            I began to think about my options and the scenario that was unfolding. 

I immediately checked for my gun, which I knew I had but under the stress had to double check. 

I was alone and did not have to worry about my kids or my wife. 

At this point, I had a decision to make. 

Do I engage this bad guy or do I let him take the money and run?  

This is called daydreaming with a purpose.

 

This scenario never happened in real life and I certainly played it out with numerous conclusions. 

It is a simple way to take your mind someplace where it has never been before. 

Now when this scenario plays out in real life and in real time under real stress you will not be spinning your wheels trying to come up with a plan on how to react in this most stressful situation. 

            Stress is an amazing thing that does incredible things to the human body and mind, both physically and psychologically during the incident and afterward. 

I have been involved in extremely dangerous situations from high-speed car chases to responding to active killer situations where people have lost their lives. 

The way the body and mind deal with these stressors is both amazing and frustrating without the knowledge of what is likely to happen to a human being in those environments.

            For a quick example, I was by chance very close to a fellow police officer who had been trying to stop a vehicle that fled on him.  When I entered the pursuit the vehicle immediately came to a stop on the expressway.  I was amped up and ready for a foot chase. 

This never happened and both driver and passenger were taken into custody with no issue. 

While I was placing the passenger in handcuffs with zero resistances, my left leg started to shake and twitch uncontrollably. 

Think or picture a rabbit’s leg going up and down as fast as it can!  I was amazed by this, I felt totally in control emotionally and mentally. 

I did not feel stressed or “code black”. 

Yet there I was on the side of the expressway shaking a leg uncontrollably. 

            For those not familiar with adrenaline and cortisol they are hormones released by the body during stress “Fight or Flight”.  The chemicals were dumped into my system and there was no fight and there was no flight. 

So my body took all that energy and made my leg twitch.  To this day I think the bad guy thought I was having a seizure!

            So it’s good you are here and still reading because you can learn from my experiences and take this little blog and continue your training in this wonderful realm of firearms. 

Daydreaming with a purpose has helped me succeed in law enforcement.  It has helped me speed up my reactions to others reactions because I have taken my mind there already. 

After you are done reading this, I want you to look up OODA Loop by Colonel John Boyd. The OODA loop is the cycle observe–orient–decide–act, developed by military strategist and the United States Air Force Colonel John Boyd.

Boyd applied the concept to the combat operations process, often at the operational level during military campaigns.

ooda loop, law enforcement
The OODA Loop by John Boyd

Boyd developed the concept to explain how to direct one’s energies to defeat an adversary and survive.

Boyd emphasized that “the loop” is actually a set of interacting loops that are to be kept in continuous operation during combat.

He also indicated that the phase of the battle has an important bearing on the ideal allocation of one’s energies.

Boyd’s diagram shows that all decisions are based on observations of the evolving situation tempered with implicit filtering of the problem being addressed.

The observations are the raw information on which decisions and actions are based. The observed information must be processed to orient it for decision making.

Other considerations to make too are what type of firearm are you going to carry? 

Glock 19X with 20 round magazines or a Sig Sauer P365 with 10 rounds? 

  • Will you carry extra magazines? 
  • Extra speed loaders for your revolver? 
  • Have you trained reloads? 

Reloads with one hand if you get shot in the other arm?  The list is endless, but so are the possibilities.

We go through life with our heads in our smartphones and thinking about all the other things in life that cloud our thoughts. 

If you take anything from this, I want you to start putting yourself in scenarios while you are doing your mundane daily tasks at the grocery store, gas station, office, gym or school. 

Put yourself in those “if this happens I am going to do this” type of scenarios. 

You will be quicker to react and won’t get stuck in that OODA loop that could cost you or your loved ones their life.

Do something today that your future self will be thankful for, KEEP TRAINING!

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