Today’s post is about mindset, because I believe mental flexibility and preparedness is more important than equipment or even skill acquisition. If your mind is right you can work on everything else, and it’s the one thing that cannot be taken from you.
I use an idea that originated with Notre Dame Football coach Lou Holtz. The idea is a simple acronym W.I.N. It stands for what’s important now. Coach Holtz mad his players ask themselves this 35 times a day, no matter if they were in the classroom, the sidelines, the weight room, or in the game, He wanted his players to be able to learn to focus on what mattered most at any given time.
My first experience with this was when I was serving in the Marines, and my mentor Sgt. B asked me this one day, and then choked the fire out of me when I answered wrong… Believe me, it stuck. Later while looking through the archives of a law enforcement training organization’s website, I became reacquainted with this idea through an article by Brian Willis.
I now try to pass this idea on to my wife whenever she is stressing over an issue that is major to her, but minor in the scope of things. (For the record, I don’t use Sgt. B’s method)…
When She calls me that the rabbits have babies or hail has dented the car, or the washer is making a funny noise, I just ask her to take a deep breath and tell me if anyone is dying, hurt, or about to be hurt or killed. If not then the issue is not of immediate importance. That’s not to say I ignore the problem or its not serious – just that we have some space to think of an appropriate solution.
What this philosophy does is allow you some thinking room to solve the immediate problem rather than get bogged down in the details and minutiae. By concentrating all your effort on what we need to do RIGHT NOW we can focus on specifics and shelve our fears about things we cannot change or that are not pressing concerns.
I find the concept of W.I.N. is a powerful tool in my preparedness arsenal, and coupled with the Rule of Threes (covered tomorrow) gives us an essential tool for both planning and response.