Not everyone can be a rifleman. Most of us have the luxury of time when it comes to making decisions. However, the crutch of time allows us to procrastinate. Too often this leads to anxiety and ultimately makes us dread decision making. Today you’ll learn 5 basics that streamline the decision-making process.
Every Soldier goes through both Basic Rifle Marksmanship to learn how to properly handle and control their weapon. One acronym still stands out from my training: B.R.A.S.S. This simple method is not only good for taking out targets, but gives you direction when decisions become difficult.
I know this sounds crazy, but most people don’t know how to breath properly. Most of the time they go through their day without giving breath a second thought. But you’re different. You understand that each breath keeps you alive and calms your nerves.
The number one action for making decisions is having control of your breath. Steady breathing not only increases the oxygen levels in your brain making your thinking clearer, but it slows and steadies your body’s functions leading to relaxation. For ages, both religious teachers and psychologists have taught the power of proper breathing.
Have you ever noticed how your muscles get tight when you feel stressed or anxious? This tension makes you overly rigid and completely inflexible. Breath control is the first step to relaxing, but it isn’t everything.
You’ve got to look past all the junk that gets in your way. Take a timeout. Get away from all the distractions (kids, social media, negative people) even if it’s only for 5 minutes. This short burst of down-time is just what you need to bring your body back to a balanced state and create an environment where you can focus on what’s important.
Think about looking down the barrel of a rifle. The bullets go wherever it’s pointed when you pull the trigger. You could just point the weapon down range and fire (the ol’ “spray & pray). You might hit the target, but the chances are low. If you take a moment to look through the sights and align the front and rear sight-posts, you can easily hit a target at 300 yards.
For the rifleman, aim is finding and focusing on the target. Your aim is focusing on your principles and priorities, your goals, or simply your mission. What you’re looking for is alignment. Ask yourself, “What am I truly trying to accomplish?”
Many weapons have slack in the trigger. It is something that gives Soldiers greater control and makes darn sure the trigger is not pulled unintentionally.
Decision making has similar wiggle room. There are 100 different directions most decisions can go. There will always be unknowns or gray areas. Your job is to find those areas and gently squeeze through the slack. This could be as simple as asking your wife’s opinion or calling up your battle buddy to get his input. The goal is to get everything in line before you make the final decision.Confidence in your decision is what separates you as a leader.
Trigger squeeze usually determines whether you hit or miss the target. Jerk the trigger and your shot is off. Squeeze too soft and you are sure to miss. You have to squeeze the trigger with controlled and intentional movement.
If you followed the first 4 steps, this step should be easy. Now, actually make a decision. Confidence in your decision is what separates you as a leader. Others see your confidence and resolve and know you are in control of the situation.
Steady movement toward your goals is possible through using the B.R.A.S.S. model for making decisions. All it takes is getting perspective of the situation and taking action.
Of the 5 steps above, which one do you see as the most important?