In my early 20s, I was addicted to paintball; I played almost every weekend for 8 years. I have played recreational guerrilla warfare style of paintball in the forest, and I also competed in competitive speedball style on the tournament field.
Paintball is an amazing war-game because it allow you to try any kind of strategy or tactic in a real-world environment without getting killed.
My team and I quickly realised that the best overall strategy that would give us advantage in any circumstance was basically what we called: Full Offence.
Strategies like preparing a good defence and waiting behind the bush for the enemy to fall in our trap would inevitably lead to a disaster especially if the opponent has chosen the full offence scheme.
Later, at the competitive level, in tournaments, it was common knowledge for everyone that the best defence is to have a good offence. At this point, to win a tournament, the best strategy was then always the same: launching a full attack with maximum speed and extreme pressure against an adversary.
Basically, just a more aggressive version of the same scheme.
During the gun fights, we would simply yell as loud as we could: STRIKE #3 ON LEFT! and instantly with this simple call, every member of the team knew what he had to do! Basically, moving forward or covering with heavy fire those who moved forward!
It had to be done in seconds!
Fighting against us was a bad news for any other team as we were known for being the most offensive team of the league.
I found that the same principle applies also in most aspects of life; the way you operate with openings or threats in life will resolve in the way things turn out for you: either a victory or defeat.
To win, your mind must be on the offensive, and the best defence will always to be on the offence. You never know when an opening will present itself; it can happen anytime, and it can stay available for only seconds or minutes.
Will you be ready?
Will you be in the right mindset to do a snap decision and take it?
Create your future
Abraham Lincoln once said that the best way to predict your future is to create it. That’s exactly what this warrior mindset is about. By being on the offensive, you’re setting the rhythm to which others have to react and adapt to.
Yet, it is very usual for most people to choose a defensive mindset. We can see it everywhere, in business or even in relationships. Most guys wait to see what will happen, and they get ready to duck and wait for the storm to go by.
Their modus operandi is basically to hope for the best!
By taking the initiative, by doing the unexpected, by pushing things to move forward, by being faster than the others, you are the one who is actively shaping the situation.
In life, exactly like in warfare, action and speed keeps you on top of your opposition and keeps them off balance!
It is exactly like rigging the deck!
Of course, you set contingency plans but by taking the bull by the horn and being part of those who create the next situation, you are way more likely to end up in a situation that favors you!
Are you programed to win?
Even if you are open-minded, smart and have a positive attitude, are you really programed for winning? This goes further than being positive! You can still think positively by using a defensive terminology which is going to profile your action the same way.
The words that you use, influence your mental images and all these have direct influence on your actions.
Positive self-talk is great, but it’s even better to eliminate defensive vocabulary from your speech.
Replace those defensive words by their offensive counterpart as frequently as possible when you speak, and you will see the impact it will have on your mindset and your actions!
Avoid using modal operators of impossibility like:
- Will not
- Must not
As they close the possibility of options.
When a thing seems impossible, use a word like:
Or phrase like:
- Let’s think about it…
As it keep the door open for solutions.
But most of the time you want to enforce modal operators of necessity like:
- Need to
- Have to
Just by changing the words you use, you can put yourself in this warrior offensive mindset! Picture the following scenario, and what actions will follow those two sentences.
- Maybe I should start working on that project!
- I must start working on the project!
This kind of self-improvement technique is called NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and it can be very efficient and may bring you instant results if you make the effort to do it!
Quicken your OODA loop
The warrior mindset requires you to make snap judgment calls, strike quickly and move offensively. In order to operate with a faster tempo in such an unpredictable and chaotic world, you need to be confident and for that you need to trust and understand why this process works.
The OODA loop is a combat operations process model that refers to Observe, Orient, Decide, Act, developed by the military strategist Colonel John Boyd. It describes the process that people use to go from the initial observation to their action and that this process runs in a continuous loop.
The loop goes like this:
- Observe. First, you basically gather the information. What is happening in that context, what is your position in relative to your competition.
- Orient. After that, you analyse the information and pass it through your conceptual model of reality (paradigm), thus creating yourself a concept of what is really going on and what your options are.
- Decide. Once you have an understanding on what’s happening, this is when you make the call.
- Act. Finally, you take action. The result of your action will be observed and used to feed the loop again in order to pursue.
What we need to understand from this is that when your OODA loop goes faster than the loops of your opponents, or anyone around you, you then become a chaotic influence, a part of your opponent’s loop which gives you a tremendous advantage.
Because your actions are affecting what the others are observing, and most importantly because your cycle is faster than theirs, your loop is creating turbulence in their loop, so to speak.
The higher speed of your loops makes you unpredictable while in the same time makes what they are doing obvious since they are constantly trying to reacting to you.
Basically, you put people around you off balance by altering what’s happening faster than they can react, thus making your game totally incomprehensible. The faster you can run your loop, the more chance you will have to win!
If you’re interested to dig deeper in this subject and learn more precisely how you can use Colonel John Boyd’s OODA loop, battle tested, concept and strategy to win in business or at life in general, Certain to Win: The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business is a great book to read!
The idea that a war can be won by standing on the defensive and waiting for the enemy to attack is a dangerous fallacy, which owes its inception to the desire to evade the price of victory. – Douglas Haig
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