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Modern life is exhilarating. Technology is amazing and everything seems to move at such a fast pace. I’m as much a fan of modernity as anyone else, but it’s never been easier to tune out our immediate environment. We do this at our own peril. It seems wise to slow down, tune in, and pay attention to what our senses are telling us, particularly if we find ourselves in risky situations. There are two important concepts that help us to tune in, and to help create safety. These are situational awareness and positive mental attitude. We can develop situational awareness by frequently scanning our environment with our senses, and paying serious attention to what we discover, and to what we feel. This requires a pragmatic approach, and honesty with one’s self. Situational awareness, after all, is just as much about the internal environment as it is the external one.

When we are aware of our situation, we can respond to it. Our response will be most effective if we can maintain a positive mental attitude. This doesn’t mean that we have to be eerily happy about every situation that we face. Sometimes life throws some real roughness our way. Rather, positive mental attitude means that we can get ourselves to the point that we believe that we are going to make it through whatever situation we end up in. To bring these concepts together; first we must figure out what situation we are really in, and then we have to believe that we can get through it. This requires the merging of external senses with the internal feelings of hope and faith. While this is key to becoming aware of danger and responding effectively to it, situational awareness and positive mental attitude have many benefits that spill into our day to day experiences. Put simply, this is not just about safety, it’s also about living your life to it’s fullest potential.

John Windsor – Mandt Faculty

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