Bringing the Text to Life
The world’s winningest athletes seem to have a knack for it. Fighter pilots live and die by it. CIA agents spend years learning it. Your high- school friend, the one everyone labeled as “street smart,” had somehow managed to tap into it. Even many mothers — the ones who seem to have developed “eyes in the back of their head” — have mastered it.
“It,” as this installment’s title suggests, is situational awareness. It’s the ability to scan one’s surroundings, comprehend their meaning and make quick judgments about what will likely happen next and what decisions you’ll need to make as a result. Many experts in military and combat theory believe this skill of split-second assessment is the fundamental ingredient for human success in sticky situations.
Take, for example, the heroics of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who was able to quickly assess his surroundings and beautifully land a commercial airplane in the Hudson River last year. On the other hand, you have the case of Loren...