I wanted to post this article from Rebecca Bahret of SheKnows.com. It’s about the mental rehearsal (brainstorming) of emergency situations so that in the event of an actual emergency there is less time spent thinking and more spent doing.
“Every time I drive over a bridge with my children in the car, I envision us getting into an accident and plunging over the side into the water below. I then go through my “what would I do” checklist, ending with us being rescued and — most importantly — surviving. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of my Mommy friends who commented that they did the same, not just with bridges but with most potential high-stress situations. Then it hit me: We were all unknowingly participating in a training practice I learned back when I was a cop called crisis rehearsal.”
This mental rehearsal and imagery goes by many names. Athletes use it all the time. I was taught from an early age that practicing perfect repetitions in my mind would improve performance when it came to physically performing a task. I used this technique to maintain my shooting proficiency while I was recovering from my stem cell transplant five years ago. I literally had no quantifiable degradation in skill, though I wasn’t able to shoot a gun for 9 months or so. This stuff works. The mind is the most important training tool.
I use this daily, from looking for the nearest exits in restaurants to picking an aiming spot on questionable characters that I cross paths with (“If this goes bad, I’ll shoot this guy right there”).
Dr. William Aprill tells a story in his lectures about a woman who witnessed a brutal murder in her neighbor’s lawn. The bad guy chased her neighbor into her back yard, and stabbed her dozens of times in the chest in the middle of the yard. The neighbor witnessed this, and when questioned by the police if she had last see her neighbor she said, “Yeah, I saw her earlier today, she was in the backyard planting flowers.” The woman hadn’t even wrapped her head around the idea that she might see someone stabbed to death, much less her neighbor, so her brain created it’s own story to fill the gaps. The digging motion she saw was her neighbor being murdered. Like Dr. Aprill says, “reserve a parking spot in your mind” for such acts, and you’ll be able to act more rapidly to a developing situation.
As The Tactical Professor points out in his “Wargaming vs Brainstorming” series, you can take brainstorming scenarios to a higher level by wargaming them. You should read this series if the topic interests you. Part 1, Part 2.