Staying Left of the Bang

In the military, soldiers are trained to have a mindset that is proactive and that is always on the lookout for potential problems. Developing this mindset helps people to anticipate bad events before they happen. It doesn’t have anything to do with being psychic. Rather, it deals with recognizing patterns and analyzing situations, and then having the ability to add in problem-solving and critical thinking to put a damper on the situation before it escalates, or to leave the area. Soldiers call this staying “left of the bang”. The bang is the dangerous event, and it could be anything from a robbery to a shooting or an explosion.

This can come through experience. After enough bad situations, you start to develop a sense about these sorts of things. You see the patterns. Of course, you don’t want to have to go through any rotten situation just to gain the experience. Practicing and listening to your instincts now can help you get into this mindset. Be aware of your surroundings. Watch what others are doing, and always know the best exits from anyplace you happen to be visiting, whether it is a restaurant, a grocery store or your friend’s house.

Look for things that seem out of place and make sure you put your own safety first. You do not want to get to the point where you become paranoid and see danger lurking around every corner – because it isn’t – but you do want to improve your situational awareness. Look at the elements in your surroundings that you can use for cover and for weapons. Eliminate distractions in your life. You can be distracted later. When you are out, focus on the things around you, not your bills or the argument you had with your spouse.

Stay vigilant, trust your gut, and improve your awareness of the surroundings so you can stay left of the bang.


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