Just mere life is not victory, just mere death is not defeat.

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Sunday Evening Thoughts

I watched a documentary about honesty and how being dishonest is fundamental trait of our human condition.  The documentary I saw, however, does not talk about the things I specifically an considering like mindset, training, gaining skill sets and refining those skill sets.  I found that this documentary, for me at least, was less about honesty or dishonesty but more about being honest with yourself and knowing when you are being dishonest with yourself.

I have been to numerous firearms training facilities with various quotes on the front door, they all normally have to do with "checking yourself" before you enter because ego's and over confidence can (and will) get people killed.  It will also quickly show how capable of a person you are.  So if you are not honest with yourself and show up to a school/class you are probably not qualified for, what you are doing is being dishonest with yourself.  This is quickly seen through any type of firearms manipulation and drills, we have all seen that one (or two) guys who show up to a class are completely unprepared or in way over their heads.  They were dishonest with themselves and thankfully, the entire class did not suffer for it.

The way I see it, translate that into real world application, how truly confident are you in your abilities in order to do what you believe you may need to?  I am not talking about messing up a drill because you shot too slow, too fast, and/or inaccurately, I am talking about pressure testing yourself and your skill sets.  Anyone can put a gun in their pocket and walk around thinking they are "prepared" but that is a small piece of the puzzle.  How do you know, for a fact or enough to make you confident, that your skill sets will function the way you hope they will under pressure in the real world?  Have you tested them via FoF? Have you ran scenario drills with your friends?  Have you had a plan and then had someone punch you square in your face to the point your plan was no longer a plan, because that can totally happen.

When we really sit down and start to consider what our skill sets are, what work we did to get them where they are and then contrast them against the grim reality which someone of us have seen first hand, we start to quickly understand that we need to be more honest with ourselves, about our mindset, about our skill sets, about our goals.  We have to be honest with ourselves before we can be honest with others.  You can be dishonest with people you do not care about with very little consequence, you can literally say anything you want to a person you will never see again at an airport and even if they say right there and then they are not being honest there is no actual impact on you or your everyday life.  But what happens when you tell yourself you are prepared for a deadly force situation and you carry a 5 shot revolver in your right cargo short pocket and then proceed to walk around holding your cell phone in your right hand, never having taken the time to really think about what you need to do to deploy that revolver?  What happens when you need more than 5 rounds?  What happens when you cannot go to guns but you have to go hands on first?  What happens when there are two or three contacts?  You would probably say at this point only a fool would say to themselves that they are prepared - but yet there are a lot of people who would say they are prepared for all of that, with less.  You may know them, you may have been them at one point.  Dishonesty with yourself is the first barrier to overcome when developing skill sets and proper mindset.  When you start being brutally honest with yourself, you start taking responsibility for your present condition and affecting your future.

A good book on this topic is Extreme Ownership, because owning up to your faults is paramount.

This is not the documentary but Dan Ariely is the guy who the documentary was about, its a good listen on a perspective you may not have known.